By — Shyamal Sinha
Since Asia Pacific Univ. first opened in 2000, we have been accepting outstanding international students from around Asia as part of the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS). The JDS program is run by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).Begun in 1999, JDS was established to assist up-and-coming government officials and entrepreneurs to study at Japanese graduate schools, fulfill their potential and become future leaders in their respective countries. Funds for the JDS are earmarked from Japan’s ODA grant-in-aid budget.
The Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) Programme was introduced in Sri Lanka in 2010 by the Government of Japan in order to provide opportunities to the executive level public sector officials to undergo Master Degree Programmes in prominent universities in Japan.
Accordingly, the First Framework (2010-2013) and the Second Framework (2014-2017) of this programme were successfully completed in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The Third Framework (2018–2021) was started in 2018 to continue this programme for further period of four years. After considering the necessity of further career development of JDS fellows, the Government of Japan has agreed to offer scholarship for PhD programmes at most 2 slots per batch. Accordingly, altogether 165 (15 per year) opportunities for Master Degree Programmes and 06 opportunities for PhD programmes have been provided under this scholarship programme.
The selection process of the Third batch of the Third Framework has already been completed and the selected officials are scheduled to commence their studies in September 2020. In order to facilitate these officials, the Government of Japan has agreed to offer a grant assistance of Japanese Yen 269 million (approximately Rs. 457 million) to Sri Lanka in 2020.
The Government of Sri Lanka expects that the public officers who will be benefited under this programme will contribute to the social and economic development of the country in a productive manner with self–confidence and also contribute to strengthen the existing bilateral relationship between two countries Two Exchange of Notes between the two Governments and Grant Agreements between the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the JICA for the implementation of the Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme were signed on 13 th July 2020 at the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development. Relevant documents were signed between Mr. S R Attygalle, Secretary, Ministry of Finance,
Economic and Policy Development on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Akira Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka on behalf of the Government of Japan and Mr Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA on behalf of the JICA.