Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Mohamed Maleeh Jamaal on Tuesday, attended the India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 in Kolkata, India.
In addition to the tech festival inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference, Minister Maleeh took part in the Overseas Science and Technology Ministers and Diplomat Conclave.
During his speech, the minister revealed that "under the new government’s development agenda, we shall establish the Maldives’ National Science Foundation (NSF)", which aims to foster a "culture of research and development".
Moreover, NSF will provide grants for research and development in line with the state's "National Research Agenda".
The Minister also visited Jadavpur University and met with Vice Chancellor Professor Suanjan Das and Pro Vice Chancellors Professor Pradip Kumar Ghosh and Chiranjib Bhattacharjee over potential avenues to transfer "knowledge and technology and the possibilities of student placement, faculty exchange and scholarships".
Organised by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, IISF launched in 2015, with the ambition to promote public engagement and inspire curiosity within the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Highlighting a growing issue surrounding a lack of skills within STEM, Minister Maleeh noted that "tomorrow's leaders will need creativity, originality and initiative" and that the country needs to "steer our young towards the local and global value chains with technology design and programming skills, critical thinking and analysis, and complex problem-solving skills".
Urging further bilateral collaboration the minister was "delighted" to announce a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of India.
"We look forward to activating this platform towards achieving such common goals of mobilizing youth dividend by preparing them with the skills for the 21st century".