OPEC Fund for Int Development 2009 Scholarship

First Pakistani to get OFID scholarship Rawalpindi, July 22: Sameen Shahid has become the first Pakistani to win the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) 2009 Scholarship for a master's degree in Public Administration at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Her professional career includes work in Evaluation Research and Development with the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF). She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Sameen got selected out of 3,000 applicants from over 100 developing countries. The OFID scholarship covers costs up to US $100,000 spread over a maximum of two years. The scholarship goes to qualified students from developing countries to overcome the financial challenge of advanced professional or graduate training. The News

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University-industry liaison
With the advent of the industrial revolution, the conventional role of universities has been transformed from merely educating young people to creating and disseminating knowledge to the whole society. Every higher education institution needs enormous financial resources which are typically provided through public funding in our country. The state demands a return on its investment beyond traditional manpower development. Thus, universities bear the responsibility of interacting with the entire society to demonstrate positive gains. A university can reap large gains by establishing an industrial liaison; one of the most important being an exposure to the realities of practical problems. Such liaisons, which are a win-win prospect for universities and industries, are common in developed countries but are non-existent in our society.

Currently, public sector universities in Pakistan get reasonable levels of state funding, but this state of affairs will not last forever. The time is approaching when these institutions will face pressure to generate their own funding beyond the usual increase of the fees charged to students. Under these demanding circumstances, the only recourse for our universities will be industrial funding, especially in the pure and applied sciences. By developing workable industrial linkages, the universities cannot only raise requisite finances, but also can acquire a great deal of skill and knowledge. This is probably the best way to contribute towards society as well. Our higher education policy-makers and university managers must begin to play outside of the stereotypical classrooms where only rudimentary problems are discussed. The country is facing gigantic challenges in every sphere of life and intellectuals and scholars, especially those serving in the universities as faculty, must lend their hands in order to improve the deteriorated and troubled situation. -By Dr Tauseef Aized (The Nation)

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Village book club dedicated to Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad: National Book Foundation (NBF) has established two village book clubs in Mithi and Tharparkar to promote reading culture and to build a book reading oriented society. NBF Managing Director Mazhar-ul-Islam said that in a briefing held here on Tuesday.

He said that the foundation is striving hard to promote reading habits among people. For the purpose, book clubs are being set up across the country. Mazhar-ul-Islam who himself an acclaimed writer said that NBF had dedicated the first village book club in Mithi to Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto since she was a gifted writer apart from being political writer, he said.

Replying to a question, he said the idea of setting up village book clubs had been widely appreciated and people welcomed the book friendly initiatives of NBF. He said that for the book clubs books were donated by eminent poets and writers and Mazhar-ul-Islam himself.

He said, it is the first raindrop and in the coming days, hopefully, more books would come as people would realise the significance of the book clubs. He said that the book clubs also include children and women book clubs. He said that people living in Sindh had more interest in reading books than those in other provinces. The News

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