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Rs 35b allocated for scholarships

KARACHI, Sep 7: Chairman HEC Prof Dr Attaur Rahman on Thursday said that the professors in the country would be paid from Rs 80,000 to Rs 312,000 under the Tenure Track System (TTS).

Around, Rs 35 billion will be spent on account of scholarship programme, initiated by the HEC to produce quality PhDs in the country, sending students abroad for acquiring higher education.

The HEC had decided to provide 40,000 online books under the e-books support programme in addition to 23,000 journals that had been made available through the Digital Library Programme.

Speaking at a press conference held at International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, he said that under the TTS the salary of an assistant professor of any public university would be started from Rs 80,000 to Rs 160,000.

"Similarly, under the said programme an associate professor and a full professor will be able to obtain Rs 120,000 to Rs 250,000 and Rs 180,000 to 312,000 on account of monthly salaries respectively. This is absolutely performance based system, approved by the federal cabinet two days ago," he said.

Talking about the scholarship programme, he said that the HEC would send one thousand more students this year to the top European universities for completing PhD courses.

"While 500 students will also be sent in next year for said purpose, around Rs 35 billion will be spent for the said programme. Under the programme about 70 percent of the fund is allocated for basic or pure sciences, while 30 percent of the fund is being spent in promotion of social sciences in the country.

The major objective of the programme is to develop and strengthen the quality faculty for the national universities; whereas more than 500 scholars have been arrived in the country under the foreign faculty hiring programme. The HEC is also organizing faculty staff development courses in the various universities of the country," he said.

Talking about the e-books programme, Dr Atta said that the said programme would allow researchers to access most of the important text and reference books electronically in a variety of subject areas.

He said that these books were published by over 220 leading international publishers; the objective of the entire attempt was to support and strengthen the learning activities of students in the country.

"The books cover various disciplines, including Business and Management, Information Technology, Engineering, Health and Biomedical, Life and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, etc. the important feature of the this programme is that these books are downloadable," he added.

He said that the revolutionary initiatives taken by the HEC had brought up positive and vital change in the field of higher education in the country. To a query, he said that the 'model university ordnance' was not obligatory for the universities, while the commission would not pressurize any administration of the university to adopt the ordinance.

He said that the HEC had developed a technology based national development vision ad action plan after detailed consultations with subject experts, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, industrialists and representatives of the government.

"Some key sectors have been focused in the plan, including energy, agriculture, textiles, leather, engineering, materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electronics, telecommunication and information technology, construction, housing, transport and defense technologies," he said. The nation
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