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Huge investment in education a must for progress: HEC

ISLAMABAD, July 3(Daily Times): Huge investment in the education sector is vital to rapid progress, said Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman on Monday. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of a three-day international conference on 'Recent Development in Fluid Mechanics' organised by the Fluid Mechanics Group (FMG) at the Earth Sciences Auditorium of the Quad-i-Azam University (QAU).

QAU Vice Chancellor Prof M Qasim Jan, FMG head Professor Saleem Asghar and others attended the ceremony.

Rehman said that universities were a source of knowledge and could play a vital role in the development of a country. "Pakistan has to equip young and bright minds with modern and research-based knowledge by ensuring its provision in the universities," he said, adding that bright minds develop their countries. Rehman said that Pakistan had 85 million youths below the age of 19 and 100 million between the ages of 19 and 25. Talented youths need appropriate access to research and knowledge, he said.

He said the government would keep on enhancing the HEC budget every year till it reached one percent of the total GDP. He said the HEC was fully aware of the utilisation of the allocated funds for quality education and its relevance to the country's needs.

The HEC has made 25,000 international journals accessible to universities students through digital libraries and videoconferences, said Rehman, adding that 40,000 textbooks would be made available to the students through its e-book programme in the current month.

He said that almost 1,000 foreign scholarships would be awarded to brilliant students by the end of this year. He said 2,000 scholarships had already been awarded in this connection. He said after three years 1,000 students equipped with advance knowledge in their relevant disciplines would return Pakistan every year.
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