The Chancellor of the Maldives National University Dr. Hassan Hameedh, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Ibrahim Hassan, Cabinet Ministers, Vice Chancellor, High Commissioners, honoured guests, staff and students of Maldives National University, ladies and gentlemen;
And a very good morning to you all.
I am pleased to join you today at this year’s “Theveli Conference.” I am delighted to see many local and international participants on this platform eager to share their knowledge. It is always inspiring to see so many bright minds gathered under one roof with the noble pursuit of sharing knowledge.
Research and development are two inseparable aspects we must embrace to propel humanity and our nation forward. We must consider both critical instruments to make our country’s developmental agenda successful. Research is paramount to achieving meaningful development, without which our efforts will be baseless. And the knowledge we gain from research is what makes up the cornerstone of our nation-building efforts.
Our lives would have been somewhat different, rather bleak even, if our ancestors had not been curious about how everything around them functioned; of the sun, the moon and the stars; of planetary movements; of the sky, land and oceans; of our lives and our place in the universe. This curiosity and hunger for knowledge led them to discover many new things; the knowledge we take for granted, helped us bring humanity to where we are today. It was research that led us to be able to enjoy the advancements and innovations of today. It made us a civilised society and equipped us with the knowledge and tools to move forward and to learn more, so we can do more.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is a need to connect research with nation-building. Politics and policies backed by proper scientific research yields better results – this has been proven time and time again. Research helps us as policy-makers make regulations in a way that would maximise benefits for the citizens. It helps build economies, sectors and society while finding solutions to age-old problems like poverty, unemployment and inequality. Research helps us understand the plight of the people, the intricate science that governs the world around us, and it helps us make informed decisions. It is encouraging to see a growing culture of research-based decision-making in the Maldives at the policy, institutional, and individual levels.
At this conference, I hope to hear solutions that governments worldwide can use to enhance and elevate their policies. It gives me great joy to see that papers are being presented in a broad spectrum of areas, including technical topics such as housing and infrastructure, computer and technology, health and medicine, to more abstract issues such as gender and human rights, history and culture, as well as journalism and social media. I hope that through discussions and the exchange of ideas at this conference, we will be able to find creative solutions that are needed for building this nation and improving our lives on these little islands we call our home.
I would also like to take a moment to thank the Maldives National University for hosting this event. This “Theveli Conference” is the fifth of its kind, and it is just the tip of the iceberg of the many initiatives taken by the university to promote research. MNU publishes the Maldives National Journal Research twice yearly to provide a platform for researchers to publish their work. The university allocates MVR 5 Million Rufiyaa annually as research grants to encourage more students to pursue academia. MNU also offers a Book Writing Grant of MVR 2.5 Million Rufiyaa every year, and it provides financial assistance to staff members to attend international conferences to maximise exposure to high-quality research.
As the conferences’ name suggests, I hope the light rays of knowledge inspired by this conference shine throughout the nation and the region and the rest of the world. I encourage you all to utilise this platform to expand your knowledge in areas that may not be familiar to you and to keep an open mind to the new concepts you are about to learn. There are still millions of things to be discovered in this world – and all of that is possible with proper research.
I wish you all the best of luck with your presentations.
Thank you very much!