UAJK, P&D ink MoU for strategic policy research

By Syed Abbas Gardezi,
February 29, 2024
Officials sign MOU during a signing ceremony between the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) and the Planning and Development (P&D) Department of the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (GoAJK) at the City Campus of the university on February 28, 2024. — Facebook/The University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir - UAJK

MUZAFFARABAD: The University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) and the Planning and Development (P&D) Department of the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (GoAJK) have embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at promoting evidence-based research and offering crucial insights for policymakers. This collaboration was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).The MoU was signed at the City Campus of the university on Wednesday.


Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi and Additional Chief Secretary (Development) GoAJK, Mrs Midhat Shehzad, alongside other distinguished officials from both the government and UAJK participated in the event. Representing their respective institutions, Mr Amir Latif Awan, Secretary of Planning and Development, and Dr Rauf Ahmed Janjua, Director of the Office of Research, Innovation, and Commercialisation (ORIC), UAJK, formally executed the signing of the MoU.

Under the terms of the MoU, both P&D and UAJK will jointly host Policy Papers and seminar series focusing on mutually agreed-upon themes concerning socioeconomic challenges and opportunities in the region. The primary goal is to formulate research-based solutions to address policy challenges encountered by stakeholders and disseminate the findings through dialogue sessions (seminars), print and electronic media, and other appropriate channels. UAJK will also provide need-based research support to P&D on specific topics and issues faced by Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Additionally, P&D will establish a framework to facilitate GoAJK employees in pursuing Executive M.Phil., PhD, and other higher degree programs in relevant subjects at UAJK, offering evening or weekend classes with minimal enrollment requirements.

The MoU underscores mutual support between the institutions for initiatives related to capacity building for government and UAJK employees, with provision for additional related activities subject to mutual agreement.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi emphasised the significance of the collaboration, stating, “This partnership represents a commitment to advancing knowledge and addressing critical issues in our region through research and academic endeavors.” He highlighted the fundamental objectives of universities: education, research, innovation, and societal contribution, stressing that this agreement signifies a significant step towards advancing community engagement. Prof Dr Abbasi underscored the transformative potential of the agreement, positioning it as the initial stride towards fostering sustainable economic and social progress within the region through collaborative efforts between the two institutions.

Further endorsing this sentiment, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Ms Midhat Shahzad stated, “The partnership between UAJK and P&D is a commendable initiative that aligns with our shared goal of fostering growth and development in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.”