Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary R.H.S. Samaratunga and JICA Sri Lanka Office Chief Representative Fusato Tanaka sign the agreements
Two grant agreements for a value of 470 million Japanese yen (equivalent to approximately Rs.640 million) were signed on June 30, 2017 between Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Dr. R. Samaratunga and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Fusato Tanaka, at the Finance and Mass Media Ministry, following exchange of notes between Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma and Dr. Samaratunga.
The ‘Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)’ was introduced in 2009, with the purpose of developing the capacities of young public sector officials who are expected to play a leading role in formulating and implementing socio-economic development policies of the Government of Sri Lanka.
“The JDS programme facilitates the government officials to improve their analytical capacities and decision-making skills. The Government of Japan through JICA provides more than 150 short-term training programmes and around 18 long-term scholarships annually in diverse fields to realize this goal,” said External Resources Department Director General Priyantha Ratnayake.
Under the first and second phases of JDS, JICA accepts 120 Sri Lankan officials from the year 2009 till 2019 for two-year master’s degree courses in reputed universities in Japan in the areas of public administration, public policy, public finance, regional development, economics, business management and environment and disaster management. As of current, 90 officials have returned after successfully concluding the programme in Japan.
On top of and in parallel to the ongoing assistance, JICA will further extend 120 master’s degree seats under a third phase of JDS to be implemented from the year 2017 to year 2023, in increasing the cumulative number to 240 government officials.
In addition to the master’s courses, a doctoral programme will be newly introduced and launched under a third phase of JDS, based on the results of a preparatory survey conducted in early 2017.
Tanaka emphasized, “JICA’s assistance strategy towards Sri Lanka provides a high prominence on human resource development in the public sector. In this respect, the JDS programme is well known and popular for its special features, in terms of preparations and amenities provided to its fellows. A consultant assigned by JICA provides close facilitation to fellows throughout the programme from the time of application to pre-departure and on-arrival to Japan.
During the programme in Japan, the fellows will be closely assisted in adapting to Japan’s living environment as smoothly and swiftly as possible. We believe that a close relationship is built between the fellows and agent enabling fellows to continue their studies and research without any hindrance.”