Over 400 need-based scholarships okayed

ISLAMABAD, Sept 2: The National Scholarship Management Committee (NSMC) of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Saturday approved the cases of 487 candidates from 26 different universities for the award of Rs1.1 billion "need-based scholarships (NBS)", under Japanese and US programmes.

The meeting was presided over by executive director of the HEC Prof Dr Sohail Naqvi, says a press release.

Dr Naqvi briefed the participants that the HEC had initiated the scholarship programmes, which would benefit more than 2,800 families for pursuing undergraduate and graduate academic programmes at various public and private institutions.

At present, he said, three such programmes were in operation for the last two years in which more than 1,500 families were benefiting. The disciplines covered in these programmes are agriculture, business administration, biotechnology, engineering, information technology and telecommunication, natural sciences, social sciences, genetics, pharmacy and life sciences.

Dr Naqvi informed the participants that at present 50 leading public and private institutions were participating in this HEC initiative. He said the HEC intended to spread this network of scholarship and develop a sustainable methodology to include all the universities and institutions of higher education in Pakistan in this scheme.

He said it was the right time that the participating institutions must aggressively take up the pivotal assignment to make the programme accessible to the students in backward and rural areas who could not afford to attain higher education despite possessing the intelligence. Similarly, he said, the institutions were required to initiate activities to generate funds for continuity of the programme.

Abeera Sherafgan, the representative of USAID, informed the committee members regarding the US government's preferences to increase the ratio of female enrolments in the participating institutions.

Suleman Abdiah, the representative of the Japanese government, said Japan had given special consideration for promotion of higher education in Pakistan by approving this multi million scholarship project.

He said the Japanese government was keen to fund more students from the under-privileged areas of Pakistan, specifically Fata. Dawn

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