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Consultative Session on Inter-Faith & Communal Harmony BeginsConsultative Session on Inter-Faith & Communal Harmony Begins<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 6, 2017: A two-day Consultative Session on Inter-Faith and Communal Harmony organized by University of Peshawar's Seerat Chair in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan began here on Friday. The purpose of the Consultative Session, involving experts from all parts of the country, is to identify challenges that our society face regarding harmony among people belonging to different religions and sects, and what role academia and researchers should play to come up with concrete recommendations for advocacy and policymaking for a just and tolerant society. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Reform and Development was chief guest during the inaugural ceremony while Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman Seerat Chair, University of Peshawar and many other academicians were also present. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his address, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal appreciated efforts of HEC for taking up project to establish <em>Seerat </em>Chairs in different higher education institutions. He emphasized that world portrays religion as a problem though it is actually solution to all of our problems. He said that there was a dire need for evolving an academic vision to project religion in its real essence. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Academia has to recommend for advocacy and policymaking in line with the objectives for setting up <em>Seerat</em> Chairs", said Mr. Iqbal who has spearheaded the idea of establishing these Chairs in a number of higher learning institutions. He urged three groups, formed for brainstorming in this two-day Session, to devise a future roadmap with regard to research, advocacy and other areas pertaining to <em>Seerat</em>-<em>un-Nabi </em>(SAW).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan said that system presented by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a complete code of life. "We, the Muslims, ruled the world when we followed his teachings in their true spirit but over the past few centuries, situation has become otherwise only because we stopped seeking guidance from <em>Quran</em> and <em>Sunnah </em>which is the real key to success."  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister reminded the audience that the reason for rapid spread of Islam was its model of social justice. He stressed the need to return to our roots for a just society where all are equal. He said that character building is imperative for a country's real development and establishment of <em>Seerat</em> Chairs is an important part of such initiatives being launched by the Government. He informed that topics for these Chairs have been selected very carefully while keeping in view current needs of globalization. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Iqbal stressed the need for following the true spirit of <em>Meesaq e Madina</em> (Charter of Medina) in our relationship and deals with non-Muslims. He highlighted significance of Islam's model of education, knowledge, social justice and welfare. "I am confident that our universities will become real think tanks for welfare of mankind and these Chairs will contribute to bring solutions to problems of humanity in light of Prophet's life." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed lamented lack of tolerance in society, and how we have forgotten our real treasure, which is teachings of Quran and life of our Holy Prophet (SAW). He observed that there are so many differences prevailing in every sphere of life, however life of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) presents right solutions to all the discrepancies. He also termed the research imperative for identifying and resolving these differences and problems. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman informed that nine Seerat Chairs will be established in total under the project which was launched in 2014. He said these Chairs are meant for projecting the real essence of religion. "Islam is a very simple religion made difficult by us", he said and expressed the hope that experts will come up with tangible recommendations.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Qibla Ayaz appreciated HEC's efforts for development of higher learning institutions and tapping potential of country's academics and researchers. He said that <em>Seerat</em> Chairs will provide academic vision for bringing much-needed reforms in our society, and will come up with recommendations for advocacy and policy making. He also appreciated University of Peshawar's Vice Chancellor and Dean of Faculty for their continuous support. He hoped that after two-day deliberations, three groups of the Consultative Session will provide a roadmap for future course of action.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Apart from University of Peshawar's Seerat Chair covering areas related to Inter-Faith and Communal Harmony, eight other Seerat Chairs will be established in different universities on Leadership and Governance; Human Rights and Social Justice; Education and Knowledge; Global Peace; Business, Commerce and Property Rights; Sustainable Development; Social Justice and Welfare; and Gender Studies and Women Rights. </p>19-01-2017 09:42:20<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
PM's Adviser Amir Muqam Meets Chairman HECPM's Adviser Amir Muqam Meets Chairman HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 4, 2017: Mr. Amir Muqam, Adviser to Prime Minister on Federal Departments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa visited Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat on Wednesday and met Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman welcomed Mr. Amir Muqam to HEC and briefed him about HEC's initiatives for promotion of higher education in the country. He said since inception of HEC in 2002, number of universities has increased remarkably, while HEC follows no-compromise policy on quality. He maintained that research activities in the country have gained momentum during the last decade. He said HEC is emphasising on research dedicated to solution of prevailing socio-economic problems of Pakistan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He informed him about HEC's plan to open new university sub-campuses at district level with special reference to the University of Swat's Shangla campus where land will be provided by the Provincial Government. He said HEC has already released 10 million rupees to the University of Swat for establishment of the sub-campus. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that Shangla campus will initially be permitted to operate two disciplines, namely BS in Computer Science and Information Technology. He informed the Adviser that work on Swat University's permanent campus is already underway while arrangements for starting women campus are also under process where classes will be started in coming Fall. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Mr. Amir Muqam lauded the remarkable progress of higher education sector in the country and HEC's efforts and achievements in this regard.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p>19-01-2017 09:40:09<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />'s-Adviser.aspx
HEC Achieves New Milestones in 2016, Focus on Quality & Governance of Higher EducationHEC Achieves New Milestones in 2016, Focus on Quality & Governance of Higher Education<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 4, 2017: While pursuing its policy of no-compromise on quality and governance issues of higher education institutions, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan took many new steps in year 2016 to further strengthen country's higher education sector.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC reviewed a total of 293 PhD programmes and 57 MPhil programmes of 171 universities, of which 31 PhD and 26 MPhil programmes of different universities were closed due to lack of fulfillment of minimum quality standards. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, HEC also launched the first phase of establishing sub-campuses of different universities and degree awarding institutions at 31 districts of Pakistan. The project aims to open 16 campuses of public sector universities in those districts which have potential intake of 1000-1500 students in addition to setting up campuses of Virtual University in districts where the population is relatively thin. The second phase of the project will cover another 35 districts with regard to establishment of university campuses. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The sub-campuses being established in this phase include Karakoram International University, Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan; University of Poonch, Forward Kahuta, Azad Jammu & Kashmir; University of Balochistan, Pishin, Balochistan; University of Balochistan, Quetta, Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan; Lasbela University of Agriculture Water & Marine Sciences, Uthal, Balochistan; Sardar Bahudar Khan Women University, Naushki, Balochistan; University of Hazara, Battagram, Khyber Pakhtunkha; University of Swat, Shangla, KPK; Gomal University, Tank, KPK; Kohat University of Science & Technology, Hangu; Shah Abdul Latif University, Ghotki and Shahdadkot, Sindh; Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sanghar; IBA, Kashmore; Sindh Agriculture University, Umerkot; and, Mehran University of Engg & Technology, Jacobabad. Likewise, a total of 15 Virtual University sub-campuses will be established including two in Gilgit-Baltistan, one in FATA, five in Balochistan, one in KPK, four in Punjab and two in Sindh. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the same year, HEC inaugurated Cloud Data Centre with an aim to facilitate universities to become part of the world-class research environment. Building of the Centre has been donated by Huawei Technologies. The Centre is meant for improving productivity, enhancing business processes, and accelerating change. HEC's Cloud services aim at increasing efficiency, productivity and collaboration between the universities of Pakistan and reduce costs by using an optimized IT infrastructure. This data centre provides services like Virtual Data Centres (VDC), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Safe Campus Central Solution and Central Surveillance, Unified Communication and Shared Services, Storage as a Service, and Training as a Service. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Besides, HEC launched the country's first government testing body for education sector named Education Testing Council (ETC) to conduct free, standardized tests for university admissions. ETC will conduct test free of cost for all students desirous of taking admission in public and private universities. It will be held twice a year and its results will be valid for two years. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, Pakistan emerged as a country with highest percentage of highly cited papers as compared to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. A report entitled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall" issued by Thomson Reuters stated that though Pakistan's R&D environment faced substantial economic challenges, despite this the most influential research was not affected. It reveals that in last decade Pakistan's scientific productivity increased by more than four times from 2000 articles in 2006 to more than 9000 articles in 2015. During this period, the number of highly cited papers featuring Pakistan based authors increased 10-fold, from nine articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The percentage of Pakistani documents cited during 2006 to 2015 was 62.27% of the total published documents as against 59.73% of the documents published by all BRIC countries. "Percentage of cited documents gives a starting perspective on efficiency of the published documents." It added that, "in 2012, Pakistan's Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) was higher than all of BRIC countries. Also, percentages of documents cited and percentage of highly cited papers are higher."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC has received 198 plagiarism complaints since 2006, in which 160 cases have been finalized; 90 complaints have proved to be false, while 38 faculty members have been blacklisted. About 38 cases are under process and six cases are <em>sub judice</em>. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The newly formed Technology Development Fund, a project worth Rs. 2.91 billion, is for a duration of five years and will cover 200 proposals. Its priority areas will be IT/Computers, Micro-electronics, Biotechnology, Material Sciences, Telecommunication and Robotics. The Fund aims at promoting prototypes for problem-based solutions. The first year target will be 50 joint proposals from university and industry projects.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Apart from various other initiatives for promotion and transfer of technology, HEC entered into a strategic partnership with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and signed a Document of Understanding (DOU) to enhance collaboration through research and development initiatives aimed towards promoting and encouraging higher education institutions for joint development of technologies in Pakistan. For this purpose, Huawei will assist HEC to set up its R&D Laboratory in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">With its unflinching commitment to human resource development, HEC took numerous steps to provide Pakistan with highly qualified and skilled human capital. For this purpose, it extended 1036 foreign and indigenous scholarships, over 23,000 need-based scholarships, and 24640 scholarships under the Prime Minister Fee Reimbursement Scheme in addition to the scholarships provided to Pakistani students under various programmes developed as a result of foreign collaboration. HEC has also been executing the Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Meanwhile, HEC has also launched a new faculty development programme costing Rs. 7142 million to provide qualified faculty in universities. Under the project, approved by ECNEC in December 2016, as many as 2000 faculty members from public sector universities will be provided opportunity to enrol in PhD programme in local universities. There will be a provision to spend six month to one year in foreign university for research purposes. During their stay in foreign universities, their research will be jointly supervised by Foreign and Pakistan faculty members.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the year, FATA University was made operational and work was initiated on University of Gwadar as well as University of Central Asia, Pakistan. Besides, the number of Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, and Business Incubation Centres has also increased remarkably. HEC took valuable initiatives to boost academia-industry linkages so as to turn the country into a knowledge economy and follow the Government's Vision 2025. Likewise, HEC announced the 5<sup>th</sup> Ranking of Pakistani Higher Education Institutions for 2013-2014 with an aim to boost academic and research culture among Pakistani universities, and encourage them to compete at international level. The ranking was carried out under various categories including Engineering and Technology, Business Education, Agriculture and Veterinary, Medical, and Arts & Design. The major criteria for evaluation of universities were Quality Assurance, Teaching Quality, Research, Finance & Facilities, and Social Integration/ Community Development. </p>19-01-2017 09:37:47<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
VCs of Punjab’s Universities Meet Innovation Steering CommitteeVCs of Punjab’s Universities Meet Innovation Steering Committee<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 3, 2017: A meeting of Vice Chancellors from different universities of Punjab region with HEC's Innovation Steering Committee (ISC) was held at Higher Education Commission, Islamabad on Tuesday. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The meeting, chaired by Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, aimed to discuss framework developed by ISC to support and strengthen Offices of Innovation, Research and Commercialization (ORICs) established at various universities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC had established the Innovation Steering Committee in March 2015 to further strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship activities in Pakistani universities that will ultimately help in creation of job opportunities as well as country's economic empowerment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Vice Chancellors appreciated HEC's initiative and its effort for strengthening ORICs to play their role effectively for research, innovation and commercialization. A same kind of meeting with the Vice Chancellors of Federal Capital/Rawalpindi and KPK was held in December last year. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Meeting with the Vice Chancellors of Sindh and Balochistan region is scheduled for January 16, 2017, thereafter the draft framework will be finalized and circulated among universities for implementation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali appreciated the interest of University heads for their active participation as well as valuable feedback to formulate a comprehensive framework. "Though some institutions and individuals have performed very well in the recent years, yet there is dire need to encourage maximum number of faculty members, researchers and students to embrace innovative and entrepreneurial endeavours." </p>19-01-2017 09:35:49<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
New VC of Punjab University Calls on Chairman HECNew VC of Punjab University Calls on Chairman HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 2, 2017: Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of University of the Punjab, Lahore called on Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, Higher Education Commission at HEC Secretariat here on Monday. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed welcomed the new Vice Chancellor and congratulated him on joining country's one of the leading and oldest institution of higher education as its head. He hoped that the University, under his leadership, will further develop in academics and research. He offered all possible support for development of the University.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that over the years HEC has not only considerably increased the budget for research but has also assured that the faculty members and researchers focus on priority areas related to our society and country's economic challenges. "HEC is committed to ensuring equitable access to higher education without any compromise on quality," he said.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Vice Chancellor appreciated the promotion of higher education in Pakistan over the last decade and the role played by HEC during these years. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Renowned economist and educationist, Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar did his PhD from Kansas State University in Economics. He has over 33 years of experience in research, education, teaching and education management. </p>19-01-2017 09:33:21<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Talent Farming Workshops for PhD Studies in US UniversitiesTalent Farming Workshops for PhD Studies in US Universities<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, December 31, 2016: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan in collaboration with the US Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) organized Talent Farming workshops for scholars who are interested to pursue Doctoral studies in leading universities of the United States in selected fields.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The workshops were held in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi under the umbrella of "US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor", an initiative launched in June 2015, which aims to provide opportunities to 10,000 scholars for PhD studies in top US universities. In initial phase, HEC is focusing to send 1500 PhD scholars.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The workshops are scheduled to be conducted four times a year under "Call for GRE Training" in Islamabad and four provincial capitals through three programme components, including orientation, workshop and five-week training session. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The orientation session for Islamabad was conducted by USEFP officials, Ms. Shiza Toor and Mr. Zeeshan Rahat. In his opening speech, Dr. Mahmood-ul-Hasan Butt, Consultant HEC highlighted objectives of the US-Pak Knowledge Corridor. Later, a focused presentation was given by USEFP followed by a Q&A session by Mr. Fauad Naqvi and Ms. Fareeha Armughan from Project Management Unit of the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Orientation session for Lahore was conducted by Mr. Zeeshan Rahat at University of the Punjab. Ms. Nusrat Jabeen responded to queries of participants at Q&A session. The event at Karachi was held at Dawood University of Engineering and Technology and conducted by USEFP officials, Mr. Faraz Hussain and Mr. Umair Khan while Ms. Fareeha Armaghan managed the Q&A session. Workshops at Peshawar and Quetta will be conducted very soon.  </p>19-01-2017 09:31:32<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
NCHR, HEC to Spread Human Rights Awareness, Encourage Research on Key IssuesNCHR, HEC to Spread Human Rights Awareness, Encourage Research on Key Issues<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, December 23, 2016: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote awareness about human rights, particularly among youth at higher education institutions in the country.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Under the MoU, the two sides have agreed to create awareness on human rights and promote academic activities covering different aspects of human rights. They have also agreed to put joint efforts to spread knowledge on fundamental principles of human rights through publications, print and electronic media, seminars and other such activities. It has also been decided to encourage research in different fields of human rights at higher learning institutions, particularly on rights of marginalized groups including women, children and minorities.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The MoU was signed by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Justice (R) Mr. Ali Nawaz Chohan, Chairman NCHR during a ceremony held at the Commission Secretariat. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC and other senior officials from both sides were also present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed termed signing of the MoU for awareness of human rights as a good initiative. He said that educating masses on human rights is an imperative obligation. He said HEC fully encourages students who conduct research on those subjects that relates to welfare of our country as well as mankind as a whole. "HEC will fully support NCHR in pursuance of this noble cause," he assured. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman stressed the need for taking practical steps to safeguard human rights in the country. "I always emphasize the need for training of youth alongside imparting them education because we do need good doctors, good engineers and good professionals in every field nut above all we need good human beings," he said, adding that it is need of the hour to encourage our youth to be courteous, polite and observe ethics in daily life. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​In his remarks, Mr. Ali Nawaz Chohan underscored the protection of human rights without discrimination of creed and caste. Citing references from Holy Quran, prophetic traditions and Islamic history, he said that Islamic teachings emphatically promote equal human rights and helping the needy. He urged the quarters concerned to jointly resolve clashes of interpretation of ideologies on human rights. He said that new vistas towards protection of human rights need to be opened through our education system. "HEC and NCHR have to work in tandem to materialize these thoughts," the Chairman NCHR said.</p>19-01-2017 09:29:11<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />,-HEC.aspx





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