LAHORE: Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz has said the government has made the higher education a priority and all institutions of higher learning would be made centre of excellence in research.
He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of a three-day international conference on information management and libraries organised by Punjab University Department of Information Management (DoIM) at University Law College’s auditorium on Wednesday. Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Nizamuddin, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhter, DoIM Chairman Dr Khalid Mahmood, Conference Chair Dr Kanwal Amin, more than 400 delegates from the USA, the UK, Malaysia, Kenya, Kuwait, India, Iran and from various parts of Pakistan and a large number of students participated in the conference.
Addressing the conference, Yasir said due to the latest technological developments, the sources of getting information had changed. He said the learning the art of getting access to appropriate information play role in becoming a good researcher. He stressed the need for training librarians as their role had become important for researchers in doing quality research. “The government will set up new institutions for the promotion of research in the province,” the minister said.
Addressing the ceremony, PHEC Chairman Dr Nizamuddin said around 450 posts of librarians were lying vacant in Punjab. He said the concept of libraries had changed now and the new concept of cybraries had developed. “We must have trained information officers in the libraries who could apprise researchers of latest techniques in accessing data. Information management should be part of the curriculum in all subjects,” he said. He added all information resources must be networked for the benefit of researchers.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Niaz Ahmed said the administration was committed to upgrading the department because of its growing importance. He said PU administration was quality conscious and would provide quality professionals and services in this field. The curriculum of the subject would also be revised to accommodate the latest developments in the field. “Our libraries must have an environment which could attract readers.”
He called upon the conference delegates to prepare recommendations for the betterment of the subject. DoIM Chairman Dr Khalid Mahmood said that PU would contribute to the government in different projects in its own way. “We will extend full support to the government for building a ‘new Pakistan’ and develop the culture of research.