OIC committee approves ten-year action plan for scientific development

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ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Standing Committee on Science and Technology Tuesday approved a ten-year action plan for scientific development in Muslim World.

President Mamnoon Hussain chaired First Plenary Session of
15th COMSTECH General Assembly Meeting in which this plan was approved.

On the occasion, OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani,
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali and COMSTECH Coordinator General Dr Shaukat Hameed Khan were also present.

The purpose of the ten-year action plan is to promote science and technology in the Muslim world. Some 159 leading scientists and thinkers of 20 OIC members countries were involved in the preparation of the action plan.

The 20 ministers of Science and Technology and high officials
of Islamic countries participated the meeting, which would
continue till June 1.

An important component of the plan is the Ibn Al Haitham
Programme, which is intended to encourage exchange of scientists across member states – an internal transfer of technology and knowledge.

The host country/institution will be provided local hospitality
for periods up to three months, while travel and subsistence grants will be provided by COMSTECH. The selection of the scientists will be done by panels of experts drawn from member states.

To encourage new start-ups in high technology, a Venture
Capital Fund has also been proposed for use in OIC countries.

Addressing the inaugural session, Coordinator General
COMSTECH, Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan said S&T would play a critical role in addressing contemporary challenges of development across multiple dimensions, including poverty alleviation, better health, preservation of environment and ensuring food, water, and energy security-today- and in the years to come.

It lays stress on the basic sciences in addition to some Big
Science programmes which can and should be implemented through multinational efforts for reducing costs and strengthening collaboration, he said.

He said knowledge and critical thinking of which science and
technology are the most visible symbols, will be key drivers of change, not just in terms of economic growth and development, but in all human enterprise in this century.