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HEC, Hungary Sign MoU for Award of 200 Scholarships to Pakistani StudentsHEC, Hungary Sign MoU for Award of 200 Scholarships to Pakistani Students<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 21, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the Government of Hungary have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme under which Hungary will provide 200 scholarships to Pakistani students to study in Hungarian universities.   </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, was chief guest of the ceremony. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Mr. Szabo Istvan, Ambassador of Hungary to Pakistan signed the MoU. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Mr. Waseem S. Hashmi Syed, Adviser HRD HEC, Dr. Mazhar Saeed, Director General Planning and Development, Mrs. Emilia Szabone Nagy, wife of Hungarian Ambassador, and other representatives of HEC, Embassy of Hungary, and European Union were also present. Mr. Nandor Mullner, a Hungarian student studying in International Islamic University Islamabad also attended the MoU signing ceremony.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Out of 200 scholarships, 125 scholarships will be awarded in Bachelors programmes in addition to 50 scholarships in Masters and 25 scholarships in PhD programmes. Earlier at the onset of a three-year programme in 2015, Hungary announced 240 scholarships and the first batch of 80 students was sent to Hungary while Pakistan announced 30 scholarships for Hungarian students to study in Pakistani higher education institutions. However, following the MoU, the number has been increased from 80 to 200 per year.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the increase in scholarships from 80 to 200 an incredible development. This measure will help bringing the two nations closer, he asserted. He held out assurance that the Government of Pakistan will extend all-out support to Hungarian students to come and study in Pakistani institutions. He said the Government of Pakistan is keen to further improve relations with Hungary. He appreciated the role of HEC in facilitating students and availing themselves of opportunities to pursue their education in countries like Hungary. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Expressing his grief over the recent spate of terrorism incidents, the Minister said Pakistan is committed to overcoming the menace of terrorism and energy crisis. He observed that the situation is far better than the past owing to Zarb-e-Azb Operation and other Government initiatives. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his welcome note, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed described the background of Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme between HEC and Hungary. He informed more than 3000 students had earlier applied for the scholarships awarded by Hungary. "The mobility of students between the two countries will create more opportunities for the two nations to come closer," he said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said HEC is planning to expand research collaboration with Hungarian universities. He informed that Hungarian institutions have offered their support in setting up a Sport university in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Szabo Istavan said the increase in number of scholarships indicates that the Government of Hungary gives great importance to bilateral relations with Pakistan. "Investment in education is indeed investment in future," he said, adding that the two countries have a long history of diplomatic relations spanning over half a century. He hoped that the academic linkages will build strong bonds between Pakistan and Hungary.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Sharing his experience in Pakistani university, Mr. Nandor Mullner said Pakistani students, faculty and the university's administration welcomed him on his arrival. "I feel at home while studying in Pakistan," he said. He expressed a wish that more Hungarian students should come to Pakistan and benefit from the opportunity. </p>22-02-2017 06:25:54<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/HEC-Hungary-MoU.aspx
HEC Launches Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR)HEC Launches Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR)<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 17, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has achieved another milestone by launching Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR) through e-portal system so that stakeholders of HEC can view online those programmes of Pakistani Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions that have been approved by HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQR is an online database which contains information regarding accredited higher qualifications and institutions recognized by HEC of all public and private sector universities including their sub campuses and affiliated as well as constituent colleges. PQR is aimed to provide clearly defined levels of knowledge, skills and competencies to be acquired by every graduate.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC started developing a Qualification Framework for higher education sector in 2009 and took necessary steps to develop tools for implementing the framework covering all HEC chartered public and private higher education institutions in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQF is a level-based and outcomes focused mechanism. It sets out the levels on which a qualification can be recognized in Pakistan. It encompasses a comprehensive list of all quality assured qualifications in Pakistan. Each accredited qualification has been assigned a level. It consists of Entry Level-1 to Level-8, describing the difficulty of qualifications at each level.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">PQF has been structured to help learners to make informed decisions about the qualification required, and will help employers to assess what qualification a candidate has achieved. It will help in establishing the national standards of qualifications as well as provide a basis for comparison of qualifications at national as well as international levels. Further, it will help in international recognition of academic qualifications, facilitate trans-national mobility of graduates and learners, in addition to be used as an instrument for qualitative reforms in education system.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first announcement for nomination of Focal Persons for PQR and populating the data by universities was made by HEC in October 2016. The response of universities on PQR has been encouraging and till date 144 HEC recognized universities and degree awarding institutions, out of total 183 institutions, have nominated their Focal Persons. It is worth mentioning that till date 15098 programmes have been listed in the PQR portal . </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​The universities have been informed that PQR is going to be linked to HEC initiatives such as attestation system of degrees awarded by the universities, appointment of HEC approved supervisors, award of national research grants for universities, thematic research grants for social sciences, indigenous/overseas scholarships, etc.</p>22-02-2017 06:23:37<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/HEC-Launches-PQR.aspx
HEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC NetworkHEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC Network<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 1, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a workshop on Access to Technology for Innovation and Establishing a Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) Network in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC was chief guest in the closing ceremony held at the Commission Secretariat, Islamabad. The workshop provided hands-on practices and awareness about technical tools and strategies on patent databases as well as intellectual property. The awareness sessions were attended by over 70 participants/focal persons from higher education institutions and R&D institutions across the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The workshop covered different topics including Promotion of Innovation: The Usefulness and Value of Patent Information for the Public and Private Sectors, WIPO's Project on Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs), Search Tools and Strategies for Patent Search, Patent Filing Trend in Pakistan, International Patent Classification (IPC) for Searching, Searching Patent using PATENTSCOPE, Searching Patent using Espacenet, and Overview of TISC Resources: Website, e-TISC Platform, E-Tutorial, WIPO Academy Distance  Learning Courses, Patent Landscape Reports.​</p>02-02-2017 09:21:58<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/HEC-IPO-Workshop.aspx
29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 30, 2017: The closing ceremony of the week-long 29th South Asian Network Operators Group meeting, jointly organized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), was held at HEC Secretariat here on Monday.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest. Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Member (Operations and Planning), HEC and Dr. Philip Smith, Chair, SANOG Programme Committee were also present.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the holding of 29th SANOG meeting in Pakistan a welcoming development and said that the meeting has surely provided a great learning opportunity to participants. "It is believed that the world has witnessed three industrial revolutions i.e., invention of steam engine, mass scale productions, and digital revolution, however the fourth revolution is taking place now in the form of availability of networking capability," he said.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Minister said that the country has made visible progress during the last few years despite economic pressures, terrorism, and other challenges. He maintained that Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme has played a vital role in ending digital divide and provision of Evo devices to students has increased connectivity.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Admiring the establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) by HEC, he said it has immensely improved connectivity among universities. He said the Government has remarkably increased the budget of higher education sector and it is committed to promotion of tertiary education.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Appreciating the collaboration between HEC and PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah revealed that 29th SANOG meeting addressed all the issues relevant to internet including connectivity and cyber security. He said the number of internet users as well as data usage has increased in the country. These facilities need to be used for service of humanity, he emphasized.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">In his welcome address, Dr. Arshad Ali briefed the audience on the proceedings of 29th SANOG meeting and informed him about the launch of Pakistan Internet Exchange Point at HEC. He said the meeting was a great learning opportunity for participants from academia, industry and IT sector. He urged the faculty members to ensure optimal utilization of networking information disseminated during the 29th SANOG meeting by data networking experts.</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">  </span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Executive Director lauded the collaborative endeavours of all the partners of the meeting. He said promoting higher education and research and benefitting from internet and technological advancements is a key goal of HEC.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;"> event was jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). 29th SANOG consisted of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days consisted of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and focused on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks, while the rest of days sessions contained workshops.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. It is a regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia.</span></p>02-02-2017 09:19:37<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/29th-SANOG-HEC.aspx
1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 27, 2017: Pakistan's first Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) has been inaugurated at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad, under the headship of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and support of HEC as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman, State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication was the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony held at Commission's Secretariat here on Friday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC were also present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The hardware equipment required for the establishment of Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has been donated by Huawei Technologies, Pakistan. Pakistan Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) will serve as an exchange point for all local ISPs that will help in reducing latency rates for all domestic traffic. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The primary purpose of PKIX is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks. It will also enable local networks to efficiently exchange information at a common point within Pakistan rather than exchanging local Internet traffic with outside world. More than seven national telecom and internet carriers  have become part of Pakistan`s First Internet Exchange Point. The first Internet Exchange Point has been established in Islamabad. The way forward is Regional Internet Exchange Points in other cities like Lahore, Karachi and Quetta.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated the HEC, PTA and the audience on inauguration of the first Internet Exchange Point in Islamabad. She said that IXP was mandated by telecommunication policy which contains various steps aiming at promotion of ICT in the country. "Steps being taken under the telecommunication policy will take Pakistan to its ultimate destination of leading the world as a key player in IT," she said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman said the policy which has a critical one-point agenda to connect the unconnected is being strictly followed for improvement in connectivity in the country. She stressed the need for cooperation between public and private sectors to remove hurdles in the way of increasing connectivity. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister informed the audience about her Ministry's initiatives for development of IT sector in Pakistan including the plan to establish National Incubation Centre and setups on artificial intelligence and robotics. She said the Ministry is pursuing a comprehensive programme as an enabler and supporter to facilitate other ministries as well as other organizations in benefitting from the development in the IT sector. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the Minister about the 29<sup>th</sup> South Asian Network Operators Group Conference being held at HEC. He said MoIT, HEC and PTA have to work together to get benefits of IT tools and technologies. He said the Government is putting its resources through various programmes for promotion of higher education in the country. He said HEC is dedicatedly playing its part to facilitate the higher education institutions with ICT services aiming at the country's socio-economic development.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Dr. Ismail Shah lauded the MoIT and HEC for their efforts to promote utilization of new technologies in their respective spheres. He said the country has witnessed a great improvement in the use of internet. The number of broadband users has reached 40 million in Pakistan, he informed. He termed the inauguration of IXP as a milestone in the IT sector and hoped that such Internet Exchange Points will soon be launched in Lahore, Karachi and other cities as well. </p>02-02-2017 09:17:04<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/1st-Internet-Exchange-Point.aspx
29th South Asian Network Operators Group Conference Begins at HEC29th South Asian Network Operators Group Conference Begins at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 23, 2017: The opening ceremony of the week-long 29<sup>th</sup> South Asian Network Operators Group (SANOG) Conference was held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat here on Monday.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was the chief guest and Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was the guest of honour. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. A regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia. Earlier, 8<sup>th</sup> and 13<sup>th</sup> SANOG conferences were also hosted by Pakistan in 2006 and 2009. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SANOG 29 consists of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days will consist of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and will focus on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The event is being jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed underlined that academia has a strong connection with the rapid technological advancement and ongoing digitization process. He said that HEC, since its inception in 2002, has been actively playing its role in increasing equitable access to quality higher education and encouraging relevant research activities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He added that HEC has taken a number of measures for growth of ICT in the country. In this sphere, HEC has taken various initiatives including establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN), Digital Library, and Cloud Data Centre. He maintained that HEC evolved Smart University concept in view of future challenges and opportunities in the higher education sector. He said that HEC has set up Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization as well as Business and Technology Incubation Centres in many universities in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Owing to these steps, Pakistan has ICT setup in higher education that is seen as one of the best in the region," the Chairman remarked. He hoped that the week-long SANOG Conference will bring about concrete recommendations for further development of ICT in Pakistan which could be implemented by academia. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his address, Dr. Ismail Shah shed light on the speedy diffusion of new technologies, especially broadband applications, in Pakistan. He informed that the number of broadband subscribers has reached 40 million in Pakistan covering 87-90 per cent population. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Discussing future prospects in the digitization age, he said that the world is heading towards a cyber-physical system and the future will witness many evolutions like branchless banking, driverless cars, further development of cloud computing and novelties in artificial intelligence. He stressed the need for planning to have a rightly trained human resource to deal with new technologies so as to keep pace with the world.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Anwar Amjad, Director General, Information Technology, HEC, and Mr. Aftab Siddiqui, Co-chairman, SANOG, presented an introduction to the 29<sup>th</sup> SANOG Conference and informed that 8<sup>th</sup>, 13<sup>th</sup> and 20<sup>th</sup> SANOG conferences were also hosted by Pakistan in 2006, 2009 and 2012. They said that SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the occasion, Mr. Yusuf Bhaiji, Programme Manager, Cisco, and Mr. Haris Shamsi, Vice President, Inbox Business Technologies delivered their keynote speeches on "Future of Networks, Networking, and Networkers" and "Software Defined Everything", respectively.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​The event includes five-day parallel workshops on three different tracks i.e. Domain Name System (DNS)/DNSSEC, IPv4/IPv6 Routing, and Campus Network Design and Security. These workshops will be conducted by eminent national and international experts.</p>02-02-2017 09:14:10<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-05.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/29th-SANOG.aspx
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;" />http://hec.gov.pk/english/news/news/Pages/Consultative-Session.aspx

 

 

 

 

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