Dr. Dambaru Ballab Kattel has been working with us for over four years at the TPE office. As our colleague next desk, he tells fascinating stories about Nepal, his experience in China as well as TPE. We did a feature on his past decade.
Just recently, Dr. Dambaru Ballab Kattel was invited to participate in the symposium held by Premier Li Keqiang for representatives of foreign experts working in China, before the Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year. The following is the statement he delivered at the symposium:
His Excellency Mr. Premier Li Keqiang, Respected Government officials, Respected Personalities, scientists, and experts from different countries, and ladies and gentleman.
I am greatly honored to be here, and would like to thank both the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences for providing me with this opportunity. As a Nepalese scientist, this is a first and historic moment for me.
The Nepal-China friendship and collaboration started as early as 600-650 CE, when Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti got married to Songtsan Gampo, the earliest known Emperor of Tibet. The famous Nepalese Architect Araniko was invited to China in 1260 CE to design and build Stupa in Beijing, who may be the first Nepalese expert to work in China.
Science and technology are crucial for our shared future. Over the last decade, China has not only seen remarkable scientific and technological development, but also been willing to share that knowledge and collaborate with the global scientific community on common challenges. For example, the Third Pole Environment Program (TPE), an international science program initiated and supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences for the interdisciplinary study of the relationships among water, ice, air, ecology and humankind in the Third Pole region and beyond, has fostered a cooperative research relationship between China and Nepal.
I had played a “bridge” role in building the TPE Center in Kathmandu, which over the years, has developed into the Kathmandu Centre for Research and Education (KCRE), Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tribhuvan University. KCRE has provided international training courses through the TPE global network. KCRE also supported a number of excellent students to pursue advanced study in China, many of whom have already graduated and become backbone of the Nepalese science community. The center also enabled hundreds of outstanding research papers in the region. We expect KCRE to grow into a regional research hub, only not only of south Asia, but also the countries of central Asia, or even to contribute to global environmental protection.
There is no doubt that China is becoming a global education and research hub. I am glad to know that PIFI, the CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative, which enabled me to do collaborative work in CAS Institutions, will expand in the next 5 years to support over 7000 global scientists. I believe more platforms to attract foreign talent will help enhance its capability for innovation in future, especially in my field of study. The impacts of climate change due to global warming is a matter of serious concerns of the Third Pole region, more research cooperation, including academic exchanges, training opportunities, capacity building programs will be highly beneficial in this aspect in the future.
Thank you very much,
Dr. Dambaru Ballab Kattel,
Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences,