ISLAMABAD    -    The Government of Japan Wednesday announced grant aid worth around 322 million Japanese Yen for the Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS) Programme in Pakistan.

Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between Yusuke Shindo, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, and Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Noor Ahmed. A grant agreement on the details of implementation of the project for fiscal year 2019 was signed and exchanged between Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Adil Akbar Khan, Joint Secretary, EAD.

Under the agreement, the Government of Japan will provide grant amounting to JPY 322.00 million ($3 million) for “Human Resource Development Scholarships” for the academic year 2020. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar witnessed the grant agreement signing ceremony. This program was introduced first time to Pakistan in 2018. The main objective of JDS is to strengthen the administrative capacities of government of Pakistan by providing the opportunity to obtain the Master and Doctor of Philosophy degree to the capable government officers who are involved in formulation and implementation of social and economic development of Pakistan.

The JDS program is designed to accept four batches of fellow students to Japan in consecutive four years. First batch consisting of eighteen civil servants is going to leave Pakistan for Japan in August 2019. The target fields of JDS are Public Administration and Finance, Energy Policy and Implementation, Industrial Promotion, Investment Climate and Trade, Agriculture, Water Resource and Rural Development, Disaster Management Capacity.

Yusuke Shindo, Charge d’ Affaires, said: “We have started this project since last year because we believe human resource development, especially that of young civil servants, is key to the development of Pakistan. They are expected to become future leaders of this country. Japan will continue to contribute for the prosperous future of Pakistan. We will also continue to support the education sector in Pakistan, which we believe, is the key sector in Pakistan’s development.”

Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs expressed that this opportunity will strengthen the government’s administrative capacities in the country. All developing countries confront the challenge of designing coherent policies that can simultaneously improve service delivery, accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty and inequality and meet environmental challenges.

 To successfully achieve these objectives, countries need both (i) strong analytical capacities to assess policy options; and (ii) sound institutional arrangements for policy formulation and its effective implementation. The Minister also expressed gratitude for Japan’s long-term economic partnership with Pakistan and reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment for further strengthening the bilateral relationships. Government of Japan has been one of the largest development partners of Pakistan for the last six decades. Japan’s economic cooperation has played a vital role in development of socioeconomic sectors with main focus on human uplift, poverty reduction and capacity building of our institutions.

Shigeki Furuta said: “This program would make a significant contribution towards human resource development in Pakistan. JDS fellows will gain knowledge, which will be useful for policy planning and implementation. These fellows will be expected to take an important leading role in the government to its capacity, which enable them to achieve its goals and objectives. The effectiveness of the government will directly affect the development of Pakistan and welfare of the people.