Academic Exchange to Improve Rural Community

The Jigme Namgyel Polytechnic (JNP) in Dewathang under Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) in collaboration with Japan government will introduce a new mechanical program to support the rural community and improve their livelihood.
JNP Director Andu Dukpa said it is JNP’s mandate to support the community and improve the livelihood of the community.
He said the college had closely worked with ‘Samdrup Jongkhar initiative’ under Lho Mon Society, a civil society organization (CSO). “The students and the CSO had already built a prototype solar dryer and currently worked on rain water harvesting,” he said.
Around three students were sent to Lauri under Samdrup Jongkhar, funded by the CSO to teach carpenters to build solar dryers using locally available materials.
The Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT) in Japan was interested to support the center and explore a collaboration program with JNP, to promote a higher level of mechanical engineering in the country.
A meeting convened on 10 August decided to focus on four main areas. They are namely the staff-student exchange program, Center for Appropriate Technology (CAT), requisition of engineering personnel in Bhutan and identification of subject area.
The team will discuss this further with the Japan government and establish a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) if it turns out to be successful one.
“Currently we have diploma in Mechanical Engineering but we are looking at the possibility of introducing Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering,” said the JNP Director.
The Director said it would be one of the main challenges as demand for mechanical engineers is lower as compared to civil engineers.
The Executive Representative Director of Society of Expert for the Construction Equipment (SECONEQ) Engineer Hajime Shirai found poor human resources in technical and mechanical when he was working for Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL), Bhutan few years back.
Therefore, he looked for support from Japan Government “to support Bhutanese government in terms of providing mechanical engineering program”.
He added the Japan Government became eager after His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema made a visit to Japan with its developmental philosophy Gross National Happiness (GNH).
To explore other areas in mechanical engineering the academic exchange program even looks toward a probability to provide diploma in Mechatronic. It’s a combination of mechanical and electronic which is in AIT and have rich human resources for this.
During the academic exchange program the College of Science and Technology (CST) also planned for Bachelors in Architecture as AIT provides both architecture and Civil engineering courses together.
AIT President Izumi Ushiyama said after a formal signing of MoU, one of the tentative programs would be staff exchange program.
“After that graduates will be sent for the exchange program as undergraduates courses are conducted in Japanese language only,” he added.
Apart from that the team promised to support civil engineering courses with faculty as Japan had reached a saturation point in its construction sector with plenty of civil engineers and professors.
The program also decided to have a Joint Venture project on wind energy which is the topic of interest for both.

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