In a significant move to bolster higher education in Pakistan, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to initiate more scholarships specifically targeting technical and scientific disciplines. This directive was issued during a meeting in Islamabad, which was attended by key figures such as the Caretaker Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Madad Ali Sindhi, Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, and other senior officials.
Prime Minister Kakar underscored the necessity of aligning Pakistan’s higher education system with the contemporary economic demands of the world. He stressed that introducing scholarships in technical and scientific fields is crucial to meet global standards and requirements. The briefing also touched upon the recognition of 259 higher education institutions by the HEC and noted the increase in Pakistani universities that are meeting international benchmarks.
The prime minister was informed that over 20,000 scholarships for Ph.D. programs have been awarded since the HEC’s inception, reflecting the commission’s ongoing commitment to advancing higher education. Furthermore, the meeting addressed the issue of plagiarism in the education sector, with PM Kakar calling for a comprehensive report on the outcomes of government-funded scholarships and the challenges faced by Pakistani students abroad in accessing scholarship funds.
PM Kakar emphasized the importance of human and technical resource development, advocating for stipends in science and engineering subjects. He was briefed on strategies formulated for academia-industry collaboration and urged the development of funding mechanisms for research from sectors like IT and pharmaceuticals.
Additionally, the prime minister called for a joint meeting of provincial authorities to tackle education-related issues and directed the establishment of a training program for skilled manpower, particularly in nursing, to enhance the potential of Pakistan’s workforce in the international market.
The meeting also highlighted the HEC’s initiatives in the IT sector, including the establishment of advanced data centers in Lahore and Karachi, the utilization of supercomputers, and other related programs.
This strategic push towards enhancing technical and scientific education through scholarships is poised to create a ripple effect, potentially leading to a more skilled workforce capable of contributing to Pakistan’s development and competitiveness on a global scale. The HEC’s ordered expansion of scholarships is a testament to the government’s recognition of the pivotal role that higher education plays in national progress and its commitment to investing in the country’s future.