Pak-China varsity project in doldrums
Pak-China varsity project stopped due to unavailability of funds
Islamabad, Dec 18: The sudden closure of the project of foreign universities by the
government has left the Chinese faculty in the worst circumstances, which is
keenly waiting to join Pak-China University, which was decided to start in
Though the President Asif Ali Zardari had assured the Chinese
government to start the university during his visit to China but practically the
work has been stopped due to unavailability of funds and the team of the project
of foreign universities has been dispersing gradually.
The government had
decided the Establishment of Engineering, Science & Technology Universities
in Pakistan (UESTP's) where Rectors, curriculum and all the faculty members were
decided to be foreigner to fulfil the engineering vision 2030.
In the context
of this decision, agreements had been signed with Germany, Italy, France,
Austria, Japan, China, and South Korea etc to achieve the goals in the realm of
science and technology. It was the brainchild of former chairman of Higher
Education Commission, Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman.
Initially conceived nine but later on it were converted into seven projects and
Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the
establishment of four universities in 2008. And finally Pak-China University was
ready to start in 2008 in a temporary campus in that short span of time.
classes of MSc. at Pak-German and Pak-Austria universities were also decided to
start in 2008 and the HEC had obtained the building of old airport of Lahore
from the Ministry of Sports for the time being. But the Austrian and German team
after visiting Pakistan postponed the project till 2009 considering the
situation and lack of will amongst the new government in pursuing it.
decided that the universities would have technology parks and technology
incubators with enhanced links to the industry of the area, which will greatly
help consolidate our technological base and make us more independent which was
the speciality of these universities.
But the new government of Pakistan People's Party stopped the funding of
development projects including the project of UESTP's and directed to wind up
the project. On the other side, the Chinese faculty and Rector selected from
nearly eight top class Chinese universities have resigned from their
universities and eagerly waiting to come Pakistan.
The government had
constituted a four member cabinet committee to review the project. The members
included Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Economic Affairs
and Revenue Hina Rabbani Khar, Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Social
Sector Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Former Deputy Chairman Planning Commission M. Salman
Faruqui and Education Secretary Jehangir Bashar.
Interestingly, there was no
representation of HEC in the committee, which suggested limiting the project.
The Commission accepted the suggestions and decided to decrease the enrolment of
students in half still the grant was not released to continue the project.
Now, the fate of the project hangs in the balance, as the cabinet committee
is yet to decide about it and anything can be expected. The government can
direct HEC to limit its project into one or two universities or it can be
scrapped altogether as the government has not been able to release full
recurring as well as development grant of this quarter. The Nation
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Biochemistry conference at at Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR)
Rawalpindi: The ninth conference of Pakistan Society for Biochemistry
& Molecular Biology (PSBMB) at Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture
University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) started here Wednesday with experts from
across the country, says a press release.
Topics to be discussed during
the four-day conference include Protein Structure & Function, Protein
Engineering, Proteomics, Gene Expression & Regulation, Genomes &
Bioinformatics, Signal Transduction, Clinical Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics,
Transgenic Plants, Plant Genomics, Diagnostics & Therapeutics, Industrial
Enzymology, Biofertiliser & Biopesticides, and Environmental Biochemistry
& Biotechnology. The conference contains lectures, 23 technical sessions and
a poster competition.
AAUR is organising the conference in collaboration
with Pakistan Academy of Sciences, PSBMB and National Commission on
Biotechnology. The theme of the conference is 'Advances in Biochemistry
Processes and Molecular Biology'.
Speaking as chief guest at the
inaugural session, Dr Anwer Naseem, chairman National Commission on
Biotechnology and Advisor Comstech, said the conference is a unique opportunity
for scientists to share their knowledge and experiences and come up with new
techniques and methodologies to find out the solutions of outstanding issues in
the field of science and technology.
He was of the view that without the
involvement of young people, science could not flourish. "We have to motivate
young scientists and it is their duty to take more interest in research for the
promotion of science." He said the conference would not only give broad based
exposure to teachers but also help scientists in their research
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Wali Khan University project reviewed
Mardan: Members of a high-level committee visited the site of the Abdul Wali
Khan University (AWKU), Mardan here Wednesday to ascertain the status of the
upcoming university and review progress on the project.
Javed Ahmed Khan of Higher Education Commission (HEC), Chairman Professor
Humayun Zia of Higher Education Regulatory Authority (Hera) and Ahmed Hanif
Orakzai, Secretary Higher Education, NWFP visited the university.
this occasion, Project Director Dr Ihsan Ali Khan gave the team a briefing about
AWKU and hoped that the university would soon get status of a full-fledged seat
of learning in the second largest city of the NWFP.
He said NWFP Chief
Minister Ameer Haider Hoti had already approved funds of Rs18.2 million for the
establishment of AWKU. He said the provincial government had also sanctioned
Rs330m for purchase of land for the university and granted it another Rs70
million. Dr Ihsan, who is also vice-chancellor of Hazara University, said that
AWKU would fulfil all requirements for a great seat of learning. The News
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