23 US Universities receive grants to work with Pakistani counterparts

WASHINGTON: As many as 23 American universities from 16 states and the District of Columbia have received grants to work with counterpart Pakistani universities in fields ranging from business development to gender studies, the US State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The US State Department gave an overview of economic cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in multiple areas which is benefiting both the countries. Various students and faculty members are already studying and engaged in research activities under this partnership.

Since 2005, grants co-financed by both countries under the US-Pakistan Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement have funded 96 research projects in a variety of scientific areas.

According to the statement, currently, researchers from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and University of California are developing a low-cost, blood-based Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic test, more sensitive than the current World Health Organization-recommended sputum test.

This diagnostic test is undergoing trials in Chennai, India to prepare for approval and commercial launch of the test in India. This test could eventually enable patients testing positive for TB to undergo effective treatment sooner for a highly damaging disease affecting populations across multiple TB-endemic countries, according to the statement.

The University of California, Davis, a public research university, and Pakistan’s University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, last year launched a $17 million collaborate project, which will enable faculty members and graduate students from both countries to study and do research at each other’s campuses, according to a statement posted on UC, Davis website. The project is designed to update curriculum and technical resources at the Faisalabad university.

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According to the US State Department, researchers at the University of Michigan at Dearborn and University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Lahore are collaborating to develop air quality monitoring that can be applied to mobile and wireless devices.

This new area of research aims to improve air quality in polluted urban areas in both countries, and possibly soil and water quality in future applications.

Detailing more ongoing projects between the US and Pakistan, the US State Department said, the two countries launched the US-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership in 2015, which supports private investment in financially sound, clean energy projects in Pakistan. The Partnership aims to add at least 3,000 megawatts of clean power in Pakistan by 2020, creating opportunities for US businesses across the clean energy spectrum.

In 2016, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a Pakistani group of Cochran and Borlaug Fellows to study the benefits of using US wood products. USDA connects US and Pakistani scientists to jointly develop varieties of seeds which will resist diseases that threaten both US and Pakistani cotton and wheat production.

On the economic front, cooperation with Pakistan is directly benefits America by creating well-paying US jobs, promoting US businesses and exports, and advancing scientific progress in critical areas, according to the statements. The US exported $1.8 billion in goods to Pakistan in 2015, creating or supporting over 9,200 US jobs according to the US Department of Commerce.

In 2016, General Electric won a contract to provide 55 locomotives to Pakistan Railways, all of which will be manufactured in Erie, Pennsylvania. Foreign direct investment from Pakistan to the United States in 2015 supported up to 1,000 additional US jobs.

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Source: APP


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