ISLAMABAD: The federal government has rolled back its plan to set up a university at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad and is considering building an engineering and emerging technology Institute there.
According to sources, the head of the prime minister’s taskforce on science and technology and Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman was instructed to start working on the university project and prepare its PC-1.
Over Rs30 million were spent in January 2019 for organising a ceremony for the establishment of the university. The university’s ordinance, PC-1 and feasibility report were also prepared.
However, the government decided to review the plan. No funds were allocated in the budget 2019-20 for the construction of a university at the PM House.
The HEC chairman was directed to halt work on the old project and prepare a new one.
Now the HEC has recommended setting up an engineering university instead of the Islamabad National University.
Commenting on the development, Dr Rehman said it had been decided to build the “National Engineering and Emerging Technology Institute” at the PM House.
“The institute will not offer undergraduate degrees and focus on research and development,” he added.
The institute will offer research and education facilities from MSc to PhD covering various subjects including Artificial Intelligence, industrial biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, economic governance, water and food security, energy, future of the atmosphere, glaciers, strategies for coping with natural calamities, applied biotechnology and cyber security.
“A technology park will also be set up at the institute in the future,” said Dr Rehman.
The PC-1 of the institute has not been approved yet and is expected to be approved within three to four months.
The government will allocate a budget of Rs25 billion for the project and it is expected to be completed within three to four years
“The purpose of the institute is to prepare the country for a fourth industrial revolution,” the HEC chairman said. “Work on the project will start from the next fiscal year.”