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May 4, 2017

Promotion of development-oriented research emphasised


May 4, 2017


President Mamnoon Hussain called for the promotion of development-oriented research to help the country grapple with the challenges of modern times.

"Research and development are interlinked and by cementing the bond between the two we can cater the emerging needs of our industries and development agencies," he told the award distribution ceremony of the National Research Programme for Universities here on Wednesday.

The event was held under the auspices of Higher Education Commission at the Aiwan-i-Sadr.

The president said educational and research institutes were recognized by their patronage of intellectual development, where new ideas and concepts are promoted to strengthen the foundation of a nation’s progress.

He said the nations that focus on research activities never lag behind others in development.

The president said the knowledge-based societies used research material not for the purpose of personal gains of a few people, but for the betterment of entire humanity.

He said he was satisfied that Pakistani researchers were following new ideas in knowledge and learning, setting aside old beliefs.

"Such efforts of researchers will help promote the culture of research in universities."

The president also stressed the need for close collaboration between research institutes and industry in the country saying such linkages would help researchers know the contemporary needs of industry, also giving their evaluative studies a right direction to yield substantive results.

He felicitated the researchers for approval of their proposals and said their efforts would make the Pakistani society a hub of knowledge and learning.

"This would reconnect the new generation with the lost tradition of their ancestors in the realms of research-oriented studies, as the weakening of this legacy has resulted in rise of social problems," he said.

He said the country had immense scope for research activities and lauded the contribution of HEC for supporting the research scholars.

The president termed educational research a noble cause and stressed to uphold its worth at every cost.

He mentioned that the practice of using unfair means by students in early education was severely detrimental and needed to be avoided.

He pointed that the parents facilitating their children to indulge in such malpractices were doing no good service to them.

The president said tough times were over for Pakistan and the country was heading towards an era of development and prosperity.

He said decline in Pakistani exports was due to weak research culture in the country, for which youth could play a significant role.

He said wrong policies in the past resulted in damaging the national institutions and slowing down of pace of development.

He emphasized on shunning the wrong practices of the past and converging energies to achieve the national objectives.

HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed announced that from next year, research awards would be given on an open competitive basis.

President Mamnoon Hussain gave away awards to the research scholars from different universities.

A total of 568 research awards have been given by HEC to the universities across the country, while 3,200 research proposals were submitted. The distribution of awards is 199 for federal area, 214 for Punjab, 80 for Sindh, 69 for Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, and three each for Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

NRPU is one of the flagship programs of HEC, which is aimed to meet researchers’ challenges and requirements, promote Research and Development activities, and avoid brain-drain. Under this program, research grants are awarded to academia and researchers on competitive basis.

The researchers from Federal Area and AJK whose projects have been approved under NRPU belong to COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, National University of Sciences and Technology, Quaid-i-Azam University, International Islamic University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences – FAST, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, National University of Medical Sciences, National University of  Modern Languages, Air University, Bahria University, Allama Iqbal Open University, University of AJK and University of Management Sciences and Information Technology, Kotli. In total, 203 projects of these universities worth Rs808 million have been approved for FY 2016-17.

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology won 62 project worth Rs224 million approximately and stands first, while National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad and Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad won 2nd and 3rd positions amongst federal chartered universities by getting 37 and 26 projects worth 166 and 128 million rupees, respectively.