ISLAMABAD: The National University of Science and Technology (NUST) is planning to establish its own printing press. The initiative will enable university students to get access to foreign authors’ texts and reference books at a more affordable cost.
The printing press will be operated in collaboration with the National Book Foundation (NBF) and its basic objective will be to provide text books and journals on various subjects to students in particular, and libraries in general.
It will cater to the orders of printing approximately 80,000 books per year and also publish university stationery, broachers, booklets, prospectus, reports, magazines and research journals.
The concept paper of the university revealed that NUST had allocated about four acres of developed land for the press at its new campus located at H-12. The cost of the equipment is estimated to be around Rs180 million and another Rs80 million will be allocated in the budget each year for the maintenance of the press.
Sources said that the government has also assured NUST to help in arranging funds for the project from any international development agency. A senior official at NUST said, in addition to NUST’s own constituent bodies, the printing press will seeks demands for printing from other universities, colleges, institutions and organisations from all over the country. These include Allama Iqbal Open University and NBF.
As per statistics, there are about 803,000 students in all the public sector universities of Pakistan and if the printing press gets orders catering to only 10 per cent of the students, it will be publishing almost 80,000 books in the first phase.
As per National Education Census 2005 of Pakistan, there are over 30 million students in the country. If the printing press gets an average demand of two notebooks per student from 10 per cent of the total students enrolled, it will be preparing six million notebooks each year.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2010.