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Research is not given due importance in Pakistan: Prof. Dr. Iqbal Choudhary

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Ed: MMA

KARACHI: Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary (Director International Center for Chemical & Biological Sciences) has lamented that despite knowing the value of research work it was not given due importance and that had led to intellectual crisis in Pakistan.  

Dr. Choudhary was speaking as guest of honor on the occasion of 9th Annual Research Day held here today at Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Auditorium, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).

The celebrated scientist, however, optimistically noted that there were some people and fund-raising organizations “who are passionate to spend on research work over recent developments and are providing funds for multi-disciplinary topics.

“What would be more catastrophic than having people claiming and making dictum without any reference of the past history or any book? Despite of being the 5th largest population as Pakistani, we are having our intellectual people migrating to other countries benefiting them instead of us.” Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary added.

Stressing on the need to promote research work and to support research culture among students Dr. Choudhary opined young dynamic students should be provided right platform in order to increase their capabilities to be more subsistent among other nations.

Dr. Choudhary pointed out that it was due to the endless efforts and endeavors of Dr. Saleemuzaman Siddiqui that HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry had become a significant institute for scientific developments: “We look forward to establish many such institutions in future”, he concluded.  

Vice Chancellor, DUHS Prof. Dr. Mohammad Saeed Quraishi, while addressing the ladies and gentlemen in the audience stated that research was the back bone of any university and distinguished it from a college: “It is the prime duty of the students to get benefit from the research platform that Dow University has provided them and take it to the highest level by increasing the efficacy and capability of the newer generation through the knowledge of new developments and research culture”.

The VC also emphasized upon the need to enhance the capabilities of the youth so that they might continue upon their endeavors in future.

Conspicuous among others, besides senior faculty members and students, there were Engineer Jawed Memon (Regional Director, Higher Education Commission), Mohammad Masroor Pro-VC DUHS, Prof. Dr. Amanullah Abbasi (Registrar), Prof. Dr. Zarnaz Wahid (Principal Dow International Medical College), Nadeem Shakoor Jaweri (Director Finance).

According to details the Research Day showcased presentations by a thousand researchers. DUHS’ Assitt. Prof. Asif Qureishi bagged the first prize. He was followed by Syeda Sadia Fatima from Aga Khan University and Sania Shabbir from Federal Urdu University who were awarded 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.

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Education

Sargodha Uni. collaborates with China’s Lanzhou Uni.

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Fee-free university to open in Pakistan

BEIJING: The University of Sargodha has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lanzhou University of China to enhance their collaboration in academic, educational and cultural spheres in the next five years.
The agreement was concluded by Professor Chun-Hua Yan, President Lanzhou University and Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad, Vice Chancellor Sargodha University, on Sunday at Lanzhou University, according to a message received here on Sunday.
Under its terms, the two universities have agreed to the reciprocal exchange of faculty, administrative staff and students; to the collaboration on post-graduate training and education; to exchange of academic information and materials; and promoting other academic cooperation.
Under a previous MoU, Lanzhou University is already extending its technical support to Sargodha University in the field of Dry Land Agriculture, including the supply of the first consignment of technical equipment worth Rs.25 million.
The new agreement is broad and covers all aspects and levels of academic collaboration between the two institutions, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“As the only public sector university included in China’s Belt and Road Initiative’s Agriculture League, we seek to expand our collaboration with Lanzhou University to Geological Sciences and other disciplines,” said Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad.
The President of Lanzhou University assured full cooperation by his staff and faculty for future collaboration in agriculture and other sciences with Sargodha University.“We already have some 40 students doing post-graduate studies and research at our university, and we expect this number to grow to 100 soon, including students and faculty from Sargodha University,” said Prof Yan.

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MAJU, Azerbaijan’s varsity sign MoU for academic cooperation

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Fee-free university to open in Pakistan

KARACHI: Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi (MAJU) and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation with each other.
MAJU Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Kamran Azim and Rector, Khizar University, Dr.Hassan Niknafs have signed MoU.
This agreement is based on the reciprocity principle and expresses the genuine interest of both universities in exchanging students, scholars, academic information and dual degree programs, said a statement here on Sunday.
As per MoU, MAJU and Khazar University besides exchanging students and faculty/ staff will encourage the development and implementation of visiting scholars/tutors, cultural exchange, cooperative /collaborative research projects, cooperative (joint and double) degree and joint summer programs at respective campuses.  The term of this agreement shall be five academic years that is 2018 to 2023.
Both Universities will cooperate for short term training programs/ projects and service – learning programs, cooperative and exchange lecturing plans and lecture content, conferences and seminars, academic supervision of graduate /post-graduate students.
As per MoU in the event of students exchange, specific arrangement for payment of related expenses, including round-trip travel, board, lodging, tuition and health insurance will be agreed upon by both universities in advance.

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Coventry Uni. delegation calls on Chairman HEC

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PM appoints Tariq Banuri as HEC chairman

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Coventry University, London called on Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Tariq Banuri and discussed feasible collaborations between the two organizations.

Dr. Banuri welcomed the delegation to HEC and briefed them about the HEC’s initiatives and achievements regarding promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said international collaboration will be helpful in resolving local issues. He stressed the need for research based on the problem-solving approach in order to help address the problems facing the country.

The delegation comprised Vice-Chancellor, Associate Professor Gary Armstrong, International Business Development, Prof Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Christopher Bland, Group Director, Quality Assurance, Associate Head Dr. Farzana Aslam.

The delegation shared the strength of Coventry University as well as the success of industry-university linkages. They dwelt in detail on the level of excellence in their engineering, research centers. Apart from serious involvement and funding from industry, it was revealed that the Government investment is also a major part in the uplift of the varsity. The Coventry University works on the premise that teaching and learning are deeply connected with the industry, they informed.

Dr. Farzana Aslam explained the importance of embedded employability which was the main feature of their programme where each graduate is taught skills for employment making every student fit for work. They also train their students to apply for placement in all over the world, where students are motivated with a suitable academic which results in the transfer of skills for a year.

Dr. Banuri expressed interest in the university’s achievements and stressed the need for bilateral collaboration for the promotion of higher education and research. He shed light on the HEC Split Ph.D. programme under which Pakistani scholars will spend two-three months every year in the university for research and other activities. The HEC will provide a monthly stipend and discounted bench fee during scholars’ stay in the UK, he added. He said Pakistan would welcome support in capacity building, knowledge and technology transfer, and research assessment mechanisms.

Earlier, the delegation held a series of meetings with HEC’s senior management and heads of various divisions as well as representatives of selected universities for interaction on different areas of interest including provision of PhD, joint research endeavours, academic partnerships, two-way mobility of faculty and students, transnational education, academic audit and teaching excellence framework.

The delegation highlighted that the research at Coventry University is based on five key themes namely Safety and Security, Intelligent Products and Processes, Creative Cultures, Sustainability and Resilience and Health, and Well-being.
Coventry University has over 1000 researchers (increasing to 1500 by 2021) working in 15 challenge-led interdisciplinary research centers. In addition to external research funding, the university is committed to contributing an investment of over £120 million in research programmes between 2014 and 2021.

In their meeting at the Research and Development (R&D) Division, HEC gave a brief overview on the initiatives, functions, achievements of R&D programmes and two R&D initiatives for the proposed Pak-UK Gateway project namely “Development of Research Excellence Framework (REF)’’ and “Mega Sectoral Research Grant”.

Possibilities of placement of HEC Ph.D. scholars in various priority areas at Coventry University also came under discussion and the delegation was informed that HEC has already availed partial fee waiver from many UK universities.

Moreover, capacity building opportunities available for Pakistani faculty, Quality Assurance implementation mechanism, and ranking criteria for universities were also discussed in the meetings with the heads of HEC divisions.

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