Nikol Pashinyan: “The unification of university, scientific and research activities should be the conceptual basis for solving problems in science”
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A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The Government amended one of its previous decisions, as a result of which in 2019 those organizations engaged in scientific and engineering activities, as well as foundations and close-joint stock entities will receive their basic funding based on the opinion of the inter-ministerial committee on discussing basic and government targeted projects. Accordingly, the continuity of research activities will be ensured in these economic entities.
Touching on the changes in the financing procedure that caused discontent in the scientific circles, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted that the reform of this mechanism is very important in the context of the future of science.
“Our biggest challenge today is to create or strengthen the link between science and reality, science and life, economics, security and modern requirements in general, and science in the sense that we need to understand what we expect from our science, and science must understand what we expect from it. We need to be sure that we can meet these mutual expectations, and we are going through the creation of mechanisms to justify these mutual expectations. This is very important, because, on the one hand, the financing of science and the results of science are said to fall short of expectations, but when we want or try to change something in this area, it turns out that people are not that dissatisfied with the current situation. This is a strange situation, and we need to clearly state that we will not accept it,” the Head of Government said.
During the discussion of the issue, it was also noted that as a matter of fact, international experts are mostly invited to provide expert opinion. “The first step that the state should take is as follows: we need not call in experts from elsewhere in order to deal with our problems, instead we must first set this task before the domestic scientific community. This should be our government’s work style: first of all, we have to do the maximum in order to get answers to these questions inside. We must step by step develop our research potential and make them feel involved in the whole process of reforms,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
The Government made an appropriate decision in connection with the need to carry out the demolition of buildings for the construction of new school buildings under the Seismic Safety Enhancement Program implemented between the Government of Armenia and the Asian Development Bank in accordance with Armenia’s legislation. It was proposed to preserve the frontal walls of four schools, reinforce them, while two school buildings are subject to demolition since they cannot be reinforced according to the findings of technical expertise.
Nikol Pashinyan stressed the importance of serious quality control. “The logic of state-funded construction has not changed in our minds for many years due to the fact that construction at the expense of the state can prove a little bit our of color,” the Premier said, adding that construction with public funds should be carried out in accordance with the highest standards.
In conclusion, the Government decided to appoint Tigran Petrosyan to the office of Governor of Shirak Marz, and Hayk Chobanyan - Governor of Tavush Marz.