HYDERABAD: Governor Mohammad Zubair has advised the academia and business community to exercise prudence while voting for political parties in the 2018 general elections. He especially asked the latter to discern the vision and performance of a party before exercising the right of voting.
"A collaboration between the business community and political parties is very strongly needed as much as between the academia and industry," said the governor while talking to the media at a seminar on Wednesday in Hyderabad.
The event, titled, 'Promotion of Industry-Academia Collaboration on Knowledge and Economic Development', was organised by the Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (Pastic) of the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) and Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI).
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Zubair believed that businesspersons should weigh the economic plan, its viability and implementation as well as past performance of a political party before they decide to vote. He said that he floated the same suggestion to the Pakistan Business Council, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The governor also advised political parties on their economic programme with the business community so that the latter could peruse it and decide which party can better lead economic growth.
Responding to queries, he denied expressing tacit support for any political party. He also parried a question when asked to comment on the performance of the Pakistan Peoples Party's Sindh government.
He emphasised that academia should collaborate with the industry to produce skilled manpower. Zubair assured that he would personally take an initiative in this regard and approach key businessmen to establish their linkages with universities.
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"The academia should sit with the industry to take their input on what marketing, business, information, communication, technology and other skills the industry needs," the governor proposed, adding that courses should be mutually designed by the two stakeholders.
Isra University Pro Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Hameedullah Kazi said there is a long way to go for the academia to assure the industry that its graduates are employable.
Sindh University's VC Prof Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat acknowledged that the universities have been hitherto producing graduates who are only equipped with theoretical knowledge of their subjects.
Prof Bhawani Shankar Chaudhry of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology said the seminar has identified gaps and challenges for both stakeholders, calling for policy initiatives for better coordination.
PSF Chairperson Muhammad Ashraf said the 2016 global universities' ranking reports is an eye-opener for Pakistani varsities. He said that research, development, innovation and invention have been set as the criteria for the ranking, implying that the country's higher education institutions lagged behind in these areas.
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HCCI Vice-President Ziauddin Ahmed requested the government to carry out infrastructure development in Hyderabad's SITE area and to make Hyderabad airport operational. "Three industrial zones in Hyderabad region and the huge agriculture market very strongly require this facility," he accentuated.
Pastic Director-General Nageen Ainuddin, Sindh Agriculture University VC Prof Dr Mujeebuddin Sahrai and other officials also spoke on the occasion.
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