Rawalpindi - The University of Utah, USA and Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) have agreed to initiate collaboration in research projects and academic programs to resolve water crisis, through developing human resource, technologies and policy formulations.

It was decided in a meeting of Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and a delegation of UTAH University headed by Prof Tariq Banuri, here on Thursday.

On the occasion, Prof Patrick Shea of University of UTAH, Mark Halle Adviser on Sustainable Development US-Pak Centre of Advanced Studies on Water, PMAS-AAUR Deans, Directors and senior faculty members were also present.

The visiting delegation exchanged views with PMAS-AAUR academic leadership and applauded its numerous steps to develop the institutional relations with leading institutions and corporate entities.

Both parties shared views for joint efforts that are important for potential expansion of future academic collaborations.

Both universities agreed to cooperate in education & research in areas of mutual interest and to establish mutual scientific, educational and cultural programmes in order to assert and to consolidate relationships between the two universities and their countries.

The cooperative activities to be covered will include exchange of faculty members and students, joint research activities, sharing of academic material and other joint initiatives such as workshops, seminars, symposiums, etc.

On the occasion, Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, briefed the guests about mandate, functions, programmes, achievements and future plans of the University.

He said that PMAS-AAUR is rapidly expanding its academic and research avenues, while its research output had significantly increased in the international journals.

He informed the participants of delegation that university has already converted its research farm at Chakwal road into a model farm by collecting rainwater into reservoirs and saved water amounting to 45 acre-feet, sufficient to irrigate its entire farm of 250 acres.

He emphasized that our focus should be on rainwater harvesting, water resource development and value addition of farm produce.

He said that the university had very active research and academic collaboration agreements with other universities and is looking forward for active foreign collaboration and funding for its faculty development programme and research projects.

He was of the view that collaboration with University of UTAH would open new directions of academic and research exchange. Students and faculty exchange programmes between the universities would strengthen educational ties as well as bond of friendship between the two countries’ people, he added.

The delegation also visited Solid Waste Management Station and Rainwater harvesting pond at the campus. The delegation appreciated the efforts of PMAS-AAUR in the development of higher education and research, especially in the field of arid agriculture, where the harvest-able resources are limited.