LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said on Friday that only states that invested in higher education would prosper in view of a world poised to become a knowledge economy.
Iqbal was addressing a seminar on the role of higher education institutions to realise Vision 2025 at the Township campus of the University of Education. Iqbal said varsities were centres of research and education. He said they were responsible for creating new knowledge and facilitating social development. Iqbal said mankind had entered the era of information revolution.
“The roadmap for Pakistan’s development and progress is inextricably linked to research and education. Six of the vision’s eight basic clauses are directly related to the role and performance of higher education institutions,” the federal minister said. Iqbal said education was the only instrument behind progress and affluence across the developed world. “Promoting a culture of research, quality education and human development are the basic tools needed to derive adequate results from Vision 2025,” he said.
Iqbal said that it had been decided that 10,000 Pakistani PhD scholars would study at American varsities over a decade on the occasion of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent tour of the United States. He said the initiative was part of the Pakistan-United States Knowledge Corridor Programme. Iqbal said the programme would revolutionise national development.
The federal minister counselled students to focus on their studies to realise the nation’s full potential. He said the government had allocated funds to the tune of Rs78 billion for the education sector in the budget. Iqbal said the creation of 10,000 PhDs in various subjects of strategic importance afforded a clear insight into an enlightened and brighter future for the nation.
UoE Vice Chancellor Rauf-i-Azam thanked the guests and shed light on pivotal aspects of the seminar’s topic. While presenting an introduction regarding the university, he said that UoE had been conceived as an institution to facilitate the provision of quality teacher training. “Development and progress in the sector was premised on the competence and industry of teachers,” Iqbal said.
Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Nizamuddin said higher education institutions had a pivotal role to play with regard to realising the aims of Vision 2025. He said this could not be neglected at any cost.
Government College University Lahore VC Hassan Amir Shah, Lahore College for Women University acting VC Uzma Qureshi, Punjab University Institute of Education and Research Director Mumtaz Akhtar were among those present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.