Planning, Development and Reform Minister Ahsan Iqbal held meetings with leading figures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to discuss the potential of collaboration, including setting up a state-of-the-art university in Pakistan.
The minister met with MIT Associate Department Head of Physics Nergis Mavalvala. The Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist is a member of the team of scientists that announced the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, which are ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein.
Iqbal, who is currently visiting the US, congratulated her on the success and discussed opportunities for collaboration with MIT in the field of science and technology.
The minister also met Managing Director of the Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT in Boston, Bill Aulet. The centre is responsible for entrepreneurships across all five schools at MIT starting with education but extending outside the class room with student clubs, conferences, competitions, networking events, awards, hackathons, student trips and most recently accelerators.
Aulet presented his book and the two discussed ideas to promote entrepreneurship in Pakistani universities so that the youth could become job creators instead of job seekers.
The minister met with Boston MIT’s Associate Provost Professor Richard Lester and apprised him of launching a campaign on productivity, quality and innovation in Pakistan, for making it a competitive economy.
Iqbal informed the Pakistani students at Kennedy School, Harvard University about the improvements being made in Pakistan, highlighting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
“We need to have confidence in ourselves and keep a sustained effort,” he said, offering full assistance to those working on Pakistan related projects.
The meeting was hosted by Dr Asim Khawaja, Professor of Public Policy at Kennedy School who is one of the few Pakistani American academicians in top US universities.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2016.