Higher Education Commission gathers experts for aligning country’s Human Resource Development Plan with Production Platform
Islamabad, October 13, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) organized a one-day conference entitled “National Human Resource Development Plan (2015-2025) — Visualizing Socio-Economic Growth of Pakistan” at HEC Secretariat on Tuesday. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony.
The objective of the conference was to identify key areas where human resource development is necessary in order to cater to future needs of Pakistan. The conference, aimed to assess current socio-economic needs of society in terms of HRD, was attended by experts from academia, industry, R and D organizations, ministries and allied departments, chambers of commerce and industry civil society and corporate sector.
The experts were divided into 12 working groups on different disciplines including Agriculture, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Economics, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Veterinary Sciences, Medical Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Business Educations, Arts and Humanities and New Higher Education Trends. These groups comprised around 150 experts from across Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said that knowledge is the main driving force that sets dimensions of nations and the development or decay of countries depend upon their standard of knowledge creation and its linkage with the production platform of that country. He said that youth are the most valuable asset of the country and they should be provided with higher education and training with a focused approach.
The Minister said that under the Vision 2025, the Government will focus on developing human resource in priority disciplines so they could play effective role in country’s socio-economic development. He underlined that Pakistan needs 70 per cent of experts in S and T to fulfill future requirements. He emphasized that our academia needs to conduct research on socio-economic solution of problems facing the country.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal also underscored the need for expansion of facilities for youth in higher education sector, saying that Pakistan needs 10000 PhDs in different fields in the coming years. He said the Government has launched a programme entitled Technology Innovation Fund in order to provide grants to researchers and youth who have novel ideas and want to bring something new in the market.
Earlier in his address, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, presented an overview of the objectives of the conference and informed the audience that HEC is spending over 40 per cent of PSDP funds on human resource development. He said the purpose of holding this conference was to identify the subject areas for human resource development as well as threats and challenges in the process of enhancing our human capital. He said it also aimed at aligning research and innovation to national needs, which would contribute to the socio-economic uplift of the country for the next 10 years, in line with the Vision 2025 of the Government.
The Chairman said that higher education is key to success in the era of knowledge economy and it has a direct relation with country’s GDP growth, exports and overall development, adding it is necessary to ensure development of human resource equipped with education, knowledge and training. He also stressed the need for capitalizing the opportunity of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, adding it has a great importance for country’s progress.
The Chairman briefed the audience about a remarkable increase in the number of PhD scholars in the country during the last 13 years. He said HEC’s initiatives are based on three pillars including Access, Quality and Relevance, adding that HEC is working on the first two pillars as it is ensuring equitable access of students to higher education in addition to paying full attention to quality of research. However, he said, now we are also focusing on the third pillar – relevance – and one of the objectives of the conference is to figure out various sectors for progress on the relevance issue.
Dr. Mukhtar said HEC has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, China, Hong Kong, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, New Zealand and many other countries for collaboration in higher education. He said HEC is providing equal opportunities to students, whether they belong to urban areas or far flung rural areas. Similarly, he added, HEC is taking tangible steps to cater to the faculty requirements of universities by providing them with skilled human resource.
He informed the audience that currently a total of 5,335 PhDs have completed studies on HEC scholarships. He revealed that academia and researchers are playing a vital role for implementation of targets set under the Vision 2025 of the Government. He said there were only 3281 PhDs produced in Pakistan from 1947 to 2002, but after the establishment of HEC, the number produced in Pakistan has reached 8900 in 2015. He said HEC has awarded a total of 23735 scholarships while over 11000 have completed their studies under these scholarships.
The Chairman said that recommendations put forward by experts gathered in this conference will be made part of HEC’s overall strategy and priority will be given to those fields and disciplines which have direct impact on country’s socio-economic development.
For more information, contact:
Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC)
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-90402404, +92-51-90402412