ISLAMABAD - The Comsats Coordinating Council, while formally approving inclusion of Tunisia's Water Research and Technologies Centre of Borj-Cedria (CERTE) as the 19th member of the COMSATS' Network of International S&T Centres of Excellence, has taken various strategic decisions in connection with its international programmes and projects.

The decision to this effect was reached during the 17th two-day meeting of the Coordinating Council of the COMSATS held on May 19-20, 2014, in Tehran, says a statement issued here by the Comsats headquarters here on Friday.

The Council meeting was hosted by COMSATS' Centre of Excellence in Iran, the Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST).

Apart from the senior officials of COMSATS Headquarters, the meeting was attended by Council members or their representatives from 10 Centres of Excellence of COMSATS; BCSIR-Bangladesh, ICCES-China, CIF-Colombia, IROST-Iran, NMC-Nigeria, ICCBS-Pakistan, CIIT-Pakistan, UCAD-Senegal, ITI-Sri Lanka and TIRDO-Tanzania.

The meeting deliberated on a 13-point agenda, reviewing the activities of COMSATS Network and taking strategic decisions in connection with its international programmes and projects.

By virtue of the induction of CERTE, COMSATS Network gets a boost in its scientific potential, capacity and outreach in areas such as characterization and mapping of deep reservoir aquifers; hydrogeology, hydrology, geo-chemistry and modeling of surface and subsurface waters; assessment of dams and great hydraulic shells; scaling of drinking and industrial waters; as well as investigation of interaction between waters, soil and water tables.

Other important decisions taken by the Council in its recent assembly included replacement of five members of COMSATS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with nominees of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) belonging to Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and Malaysia.

Senior officials of UNESCO, TWAS, CIF, COMSATS Secretariat, as well as Sri Lankan Government have been made panelists of COMSATS' Panel of Experts on 'Science, Technology and Innovation Policy'. The review of COMSATS' International Thematic Research Groups (ITRGs) resulted in the announcements of launching of the ITRG on 'Mathematical Modeling' during 2014. Among other highlights of the meeting were discussions on the MoU between UNESCO and COMSATS for technical cooperation and IROST's proposal for establishing a Centre on 'Human Resource Development in Advanced Science and Technology'. 

The Coordinating Council approved the necessary revisions and amendments in the Charter of the Network, the revised documents bearing the consolidated statutes will be presented for approval of the COMSATS' Commission at its 3rd Meeting.

The Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting bore clauses that encourage the Centres of Excellence to undertake collaborative research programmes; make concerted efforts for launching new ITRGs; as well as make maximum utilization of scholarships offered by China, Pakistan and Iran.

The distinguished speakers of the meeting, including the Chief Guest, the President of IROST, a representative of the President of Ghana, and the Chairperson of the Council appreciated the efforts of COMSATS Secretariat for fulfilling the objectives of the organization. The 18th meeting of the Council is expected to be held in Sri Lanka next year.