Friday August 19, 2022

Academia-industry linkages discussed

June 29, 2022

Islamabad: Developing strong industry-academia linkages could play an important role to improve the economic performance of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This was stressed by panellists at a webinar on “Role of academia-industry linkage in MSMEs development in KPK” organised here by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).Adnan Jalil, Executive Member, Peshawar Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industries lamented that Pakhtunkhwa was still following a very primitive model of doing business that lacks the required knowledge and research.

He highlighted that there was a lack of enthusiasm and collaboration between the business community, particularly between SMEs and academia. Besides, the curriculum imparted in TEVTAs, and other institutes are not at par with the global standards and do not meet the futuristic needs to remain competitive on a global scale, he observed and proposed that a specially designed SME Conference with the participation of all the stakeholders from academia, industry and policy makers together should be held to find a way forward in this regard.

Dr. Azmat Hayat from Malakand University was of the view that the curriculum being taught in our academic institutions is quite rigid and is not modified based on the needs of different career paths and major disciplines. Likewise, he added, there is less focus on applied research which is the reason behind the lack of innovation and creativity.

While highlighting the importance of innovation, Muhammad Salman Khan, General Secretary, the Swabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, explained that the students are generally unaware of the facilities and opportunities being offered by the industrial sector.

Dr Muhammad Arif Shah, a software engineer, termed it unfortunate that Pakistani products did not follow and uphold any international standards which undermined the image and credibility of Pakistani enterprises in the international markets. Besides, the market competitiveness of Pakistani products, graduates, entrepreneurs and SMEs get compromised due to this fact, he asserted.