ISLAMABAD-A send-off ceremony for 18 trainees in Human Resource Development Scholarship Programme was held here Friday in Islamabad at the residence of Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan.

Speaking to the reception Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Kuninori Matsuda said this scholarship had been newly created to provide young and competent Pakistani government officials with opportunities to study two years in Japan’s graduate schools.

“The first group, that is, Class of 2019 is comprised of 18 officials who are with us this evening and represent Ministries of Climate Change, Commerce and Textile Industry, Energy, Finance, Information and Broadcasting, Interior, Investment, National Foods Security and Research, Planning Development and Reform, Postal Service, Privatization, Science and Technology, as well as Auditor General and Election Commission. They are all very important for Pakistan’s development and prosperity,” he said.

Both governments of Japan and Pakistan, he said, attach great importance to education and vocational training for young people, including government officials.

“As a matter of fact, since 1954 Japan’s s economic cooperation to Pakistan has always put an emphasis on education, vocational training and women’s empowerment. I also understand that Prime Minister Imran Khan focuses on governance reform and modernization of the public sector as one of his priorities. Government of Japan fully supports Prime Minister and has decided to contribute to training of young government officials in Pakistan by creating this scholarship programme,” the envoy said.

This programme, he said, was not a just one- time trial; “we will select three more groups, that is, Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022. I expect all of you to encourage your colleagues to apply for this programme in the future.”

This programme was launched in Pakistan in 2018. The main objective of JDS is to strengthen the administrative capacities of government of Pakistan for social and economic development. This programme targets young government officials, who are expected to play a leadership role in the development of their country.

This year, 18 competent civil servants from thirteen different departments enrolled in six different universities will study in Japan. They get benefit from this programme to achieve the key objectives of acquiring expert knowledge, conduct research, and build human networks. These will help the trainees to take an active role in solving practical problems of the social and economic development issues in Pakistan. Five fellows are enrolled in Public Administration and Finance; four fellows for Energy Policy and Implementation; Six fellows in Industrial Promotion, Investment Climate and Trade; two fellows in Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development and One fellow enrolled in Disaster Management Capacity.

Ambassador Kuninori Matsuda said: “We expect them not only to make their maximum effort to successfully complete their respective degree but also to understand Japan, its people, its unique culture and tradition. We hope that after completing their studies in Japan they utilize their experience in Japan and will work for the development of Pakistan.”

Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of JICA while speaking at the event said with his expectation to the JDS fellows. “I would like to congratulate all of you for your next adventure and will be pleased to see you accomplishing great things to solidify foundations to further bilateral relation not only on country basis but also personal basis with Japan. You can do this by utilizing human network development through academic and social activities which will become precious asset for both the countries.”