Press Releases



HEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC NetworkHEC, IPO Workshop on Establishment of TISC Network<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, February 1, 2017: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a workshop on Access to Technology for Innovation and Establishing a Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) Network in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC was chief guest in the closing ceremony held at the Commission Secretariat, Islamabad. The workshop provided hands-on practices and awareness about technical tools and strategies on patent databases as well as intellectual property. The awareness sessions were attended by over 70 participants/focal persons from higher education institutions and R&D institutions across the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The workshop covered different topics including Promotion of Innovation: The Usefulness and Value of Patent Information for the Public and Private Sectors, WIPO's Project on Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs), Search Tools and Strategies for Patent Search, Patent Filing Trend in Pakistan, International Patent Classification (IPC) for Searching, Searching Patent using PATENTSCOPE, Searching Patent using Espacenet, and Overview of TISC Resources: Website, e-TISC Platform, E-Tutorial, WIPO Academy Distance  Learning Courses, Patent Landscape Reports.​</p>02-02-2017 09:21:58<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC29th South Asian Network Operators Group Meeting Concludes at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 30, 2017: The closing ceremony of the week-long 29th South Asian Network Operators Group meeting, jointly organized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), was held at HEC Secretariat here on Monday.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest. Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Member (Operations and Planning), HEC and Dr. Philip Smith, Chair, SANOG Programme Committee were also present.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the holding of 29th SANOG meeting in Pakistan a welcoming development and said that the meeting has surely provided a great learning opportunity to participants. "It is believed that the world has witnessed three industrial revolutions i.e., invention of steam engine, mass scale productions, and digital revolution, however the fourth revolution is taking place now in the form of availability of networking capability," he said.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Minister said that the country has made visible progress during the last few years despite economic pressures, terrorism, and other challenges. He maintained that Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme has played a vital role in ending digital divide and provision of Evo devices to students has increased connectivity.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Admiring the establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) by HEC, he said it has immensely improved connectivity among universities. He said the Government has remarkably increased the budget of higher education sector and it is committed to promotion of tertiary education.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">Appreciating the collaboration between HEC and PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah revealed that 29th SANOG meeting addressed all the issues relevant to internet including connectivity and cyber security. He said the number of internet users as well as data usage has increased in the country. These facilities need to be used for service of humanity, he emphasized.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">In his welcome address, Dr. Arshad Ali briefed the audience on the proceedings of 29th SANOG meeting and informed him about the launch of Pakistan Internet Exchange Point at HEC. He said the meeting was a great learning opportunity for participants from academia, industry and IT sector. He urged the faculty members to ensure optimal utilization of networking information disseminated during the 29th SANOG meeting by data networking experts.</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">  </span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The Executive Director lauded the collaborative endeavours of all the partners of the meeting. He said promoting higher education and research and benefitting from internet and technological advancements is a key goal of HEC.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">The</span><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;"> event was jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). 29th SANOG consisted of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days consisted of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and focused on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks, while the rest of days sessions contained workshops.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;">SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. It is a regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia.</span></p>02-02-2017 09:19:37<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad1st Internet Exchange Point in Pakistan Inaugurated at HEC Islamabad<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 27, 2017: Pakistan's first Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) has been inaugurated at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad, under the headship of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and support of HEC as well as Internet Service Providers (ISPs). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman, State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication was the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony held at Commission's Secretariat here on Friday. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC were also present.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The hardware equipment required for the establishment of Internet Exchange Point (IXP) has been donated by Huawei Technologies, Pakistan. Pakistan Internet Exchange Point (PKIX) will serve as an exchange point for all local ISPs that will help in reducing latency rates for all domestic traffic. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The primary purpose of PKIX is to allow networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more third-party networks. It will also enable local networks to efficiently exchange information at a common point within Pakistan rather than exchanging local Internet traffic with outside world. More than seven national telecom and internet carriers  have become part of Pakistan`s First Internet Exchange Point. The first Internet Exchange Point has been established in Islamabad. The way forward is Regional Internet Exchange Points in other cities like Lahore, Karachi and Quetta.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated the HEC, PTA and the audience on inauguration of the first Internet Exchange Point in Islamabad. She said that IXP was mandated by telecommunication policy which contains various steps aiming at promotion of ICT in the country. "Steps being taken under the telecommunication policy will take Pakistan to its ultimate destination of leading the world as a key player in IT," she said. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ms. Anusha Rehman said the policy which has a critical one-point agenda to connect the unconnected is being strictly followed for improvement in connectivity in the country. She stressed the need for cooperation between public and private sectors to remove hurdles in the way of increasing connectivity. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister informed the audience about her Ministry's initiatives for development of IT sector in Pakistan including the plan to establish National Incubation Centre and setups on artificial intelligence and robotics. She said the Ministry is pursuing a comprehensive programme as an enabler and supporter to facilitate other ministries as well as other organizations in benefitting from the development in the IT sector. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his opening remarks, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the Minister about the 29<sup>th</sup> South Asian Network Operators Group Conference being held at HEC. He said MoIT, HEC and PTA have to work together to get benefits of IT tools and technologies. He said the Government is putting its resources through various programmes for promotion of higher education in the country. He said HEC is dedicatedly playing its part to facilitate the higher education institutions with ICT services aiming at the country's socio-economic development.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Dr. Ismail Shah lauded the MoIT and HEC for their efforts to promote utilization of new technologies in their respective spheres. He said the country has witnessed a great improvement in the use of internet. The number of broadband users has reached 40 million in Pakistan, he informed. He termed the inauguration of IXP as a milestone in the IT sector and hoped that such Internet Exchange Points will soon be launched in Lahore, Karachi and other cities as well. </p>02-02-2017 09:17:04<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
29th South Asian Network Operators Group Conference Begins at HEC29th South Asian Network Operators Group Conference Begins at HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 23, 2017: The opening ceremony of the week-long 29<sup>th</sup> South Asian Network Operators Group (SANOG) Conference was held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat here on Monday.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was the chief guest and Dr. Ismail Shah, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) was the guest of honour. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. A regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia. Earlier, 8<sup>th</sup> and 13<sup>th</sup> SANOG conferences were also hosted by Pakistan in 2006 and 2009. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SANOG 29 consists of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days will consist of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and will focus on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The event is being jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed underlined that academia has a strong connection with the rapid technological advancement and ongoing digitization process. He said that HEC, since its inception in 2002, has been actively playing its role in increasing equitable access to quality higher education and encouraging relevant research activities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He added that HEC has taken a number of measures for growth of ICT in the country. In this sphere, HEC has taken various initiatives including establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN), Digital Library, and Cloud Data Centre. He maintained that HEC evolved Smart University concept in view of future challenges and opportunities in the higher education sector. He said that HEC has set up Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization as well as Business and Technology Incubation Centres in many universities in the country. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Owing to these steps, Pakistan has ICT setup in higher education that is seen as one of the best in the region," the Chairman remarked. He hoped that the week-long SANOG Conference will bring about concrete recommendations for further development of ICT in Pakistan which could be implemented by academia. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his address, Dr. Ismail Shah shed light on the speedy diffusion of new technologies, especially broadband applications, in Pakistan. He informed that the number of broadband subscribers has reached 40 million in Pakistan covering 87-90 per cent population. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Discussing future prospects in the digitization age, he said that the world is heading towards a cyber-physical system and the future will witness many evolutions like branchless banking, driverless cars, further development of cloud computing and novelties in artificial intelligence. He stressed the need for planning to have a rightly trained human resource to deal with new technologies so as to keep pace with the world.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Anwar Amjad, Director General, Information Technology, HEC, and Mr. Aftab Siddiqui, Co-chairman, SANOG, presented an introduction to the 29<sup>th</sup> SANOG Conference and informed that 8<sup>th</sup>, 13<sup>th</sup> and 20<sup>th</sup> SANOG conferences were also hosted by Pakistan in 2006, 2009 and 2012. They said that SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the occasion, Mr. Yusuf Bhaiji, Programme Manager, Cisco, and Mr. Haris Shamsi, Vice President, Inbox Business Technologies delivered their keynote speeches on "Future of Networks, Networking, and Networkers" and "Software Defined Everything", respectively.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​The event includes five-day parallel workshops on three different tracks i.e. Domain Name System (DNS)/DNSSEC, IPv4/IPv6 Routing, and Campus Network Design and Security. These workshops will be conducted by eminent national and international experts.</p>02-02-2017 09:14:10<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-05.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
Consultative Session on Inter-Faith & Communal Harmony BeginsConsultative Session on Inter-Faith & Communal Harmony Begins<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 6, 2017: A two-day Consultative Session on Inter-Faith and Communal Harmony organized by University of Peshawar's Seerat Chair in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan began here on Friday. The purpose of the Consultative Session, involving experts from all parts of the country, is to identify challenges that our society face regarding harmony among people belonging to different religions and sects, and what role academia and researchers should play to come up with concrete recommendations for advocacy and policymaking for a just and tolerant society. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Reform and Development was chief guest during the inaugural ceremony while Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman Seerat Chair, University of Peshawar and many other academicians were also present. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In his address, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal appreciated efforts of HEC for taking up project to establish <em>Seerat </em>Chairs in different higher education institutions. He emphasized that world portrays religion as a problem though it is actually solution to all of our problems. He said that there was a dire need for evolving an academic vision to project religion in its real essence. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Academia has to recommend for advocacy and policymaking in line with the objectives for setting up <em>Seerat</em> Chairs", said Mr. Iqbal who has spearheaded the idea of establishing these Chairs in a number of higher learning institutions. He urged three groups, formed for brainstorming in this two-day Session, to devise a future roadmap with regard to research, advocacy and other areas pertaining to <em>Seerat</em>-<em>un-Nabi </em>(SAW).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Ahsan said that system presented by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a complete code of life. "We, the Muslims, ruled the world when we followed his teachings in their true spirit but over the past few centuries, situation has become otherwise only because we stopped seeking guidance from <em>Quran</em> and <em>Sunnah </em>which is the real key to success."  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Minister reminded the audience that the reason for rapid spread of Islam was its model of social justice. He stressed the need to return to our roots for a just society where all are equal. He said that character building is imperative for a country's real development and establishment of <em>Seerat</em> Chairs is an important part of such initiatives being launched by the Government. He informed that topics for these Chairs have been selected very carefully while keeping in view current needs of globalization. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr. Iqbal stressed the need for following the true spirit of <em>Meesaq e Madina</em> (Charter of Medina) in our relationship and deals with non-Muslims. He highlighted significance of Islam's model of education, knowledge, social justice and welfare. "I am confident that our universities will become real think tanks for welfare of mankind and these Chairs will contribute to bring solutions to problems of humanity in light of Prophet's life." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed lamented lack of tolerance in society, and how we have forgotten our real treasure, which is teachings of Quran and life of our Holy Prophet (SAW). He observed that there are so many differences prevailing in every sphere of life, however life of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) presents right solutions to all the discrepancies. He also termed the research imperative for identifying and resolving these differences and problems. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman informed that nine Seerat Chairs will be established in total under the project which was launched in 2014. He said these Chairs are meant for projecting the real essence of religion. "Islam is a very simple religion made difficult by us", he said and expressed the hope that experts will come up with tangible recommendations.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr. Qibla Ayaz appreciated HEC's efforts for development of higher learning institutions and tapping potential of country's academics and researchers. He said that <em>Seerat</em> Chairs will provide academic vision for bringing much-needed reforms in our society, and will come up with recommendations for advocacy and policy making. He also appreciated University of Peshawar's Vice Chancellor and Dean of Faculty for their continuous support. He hoped that after two-day deliberations, three groups of the Consultative Session will provide a roadmap for future course of action.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Apart from University of Peshawar's Seerat Chair covering areas related to Inter-Faith and Communal Harmony, eight other Seerat Chairs will be established in different universities on Leadership and Governance; Human Rights and Social Justice; Education and Knowledge; Global Peace; Business, Commerce and Property Rights; Sustainable Development; Social Justice and Welfare; and Gender Studies and Women Rights. </p>19-01-2017 09:42:20<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />
PM's Adviser Amir Muqam Meets Chairman HECPM's Adviser Amir Muqam Meets Chairman HEC<p style="text-align:justify;">Islamabad, January 4, 2017: Mr. Amir Muqam, Adviser to Prime Minister on Federal Departments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa visited Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat on Wednesday and met Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman welcomed Mr. Amir Muqam to HEC and briefed him about HEC's initiatives for promotion of higher education in the country. He said since inception of HEC in 2002, number of universities has increased remarkably, while HEC follows no-compromise policy on quality. He maintained that research activities in the country have gained momentum during the last decade. He said HEC is emphasising on research dedicated to solution of prevailing socio-economic problems of Pakistan.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He informed him about HEC's plan to open new university sub-campuses at district level with special reference to the University of Swat's Shangla campus where land will be provided by the Provincial Government. He said HEC has already released 10 million rupees to the University of Swat for establishment of the sub-campus. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Chairman said that Shangla campus will initially be permitted to operate two disciplines, namely BS in Computer Science and Information Technology. He informed the Adviser that work on Swat University's permanent campus is already underway while arrangements for starting women campus are also under process where classes will be started in coming Fall. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​Mr. Amir Muqam lauded the remarkable progress of higher education sector in the country and HEC's efforts and achievements in this regard.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p>19-01-2017 09:40:09<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />'s-Adviser.aspx
HEC Achieves New Milestones in 2016, Focus on Quality & Governance of Higher EducationHEC Achieves New Milestones in 2016, Focus on Quality & Governance of Higher Education<p style="text-align:justify;">​Islamabad, January 4, 2017: While pursuing its policy of no-compromise on quality and governance issues of higher education institutions, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan took many new steps in year 2016 to further strengthen country's higher education sector.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC reviewed a total of 293 PhD programmes and 57 MPhil programmes of 171 universities, of which 31 PhD and 26 MPhil programmes of different universities were closed due to lack of fulfillment of minimum quality standards. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, HEC also launched the first phase of establishing sub-campuses of different universities and degree awarding institutions at 31 districts of Pakistan. The project aims to open 16 campuses of public sector universities in those districts which have potential intake of 1000-1500 students in addition to setting up campuses of Virtual University in districts where the population is relatively thin. The second phase of the project will cover another 35 districts with regard to establishment of university campuses. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The sub-campuses being established in this phase include Karakoram International University, Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan; University of Poonch, Forward Kahuta, Azad Jammu & Kashmir; University of Balochistan, Pishin, Balochistan; University of Balochistan, Quetta, Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan; Lasbela University of Agriculture Water & Marine Sciences, Uthal, Balochistan; Sardar Bahudar Khan Women University, Naushki, Balochistan; University of Hazara, Battagram, Khyber Pakhtunkha; University of Swat, Shangla, KPK; Gomal University, Tank, KPK; Kohat University of Science & Technology, Hangu; Shah Abdul Latif University, Ghotki and Shahdadkot, Sindh; Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sanghar; IBA, Kashmore; Sindh Agriculture University, Umerkot; and, Mehran University of Engg & Technology, Jacobabad. Likewise, a total of 15 Virtual University sub-campuses will be established including two in Gilgit-Baltistan, one in FATA, five in Balochistan, one in KPK, four in Punjab and two in Sindh. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the same year, HEC inaugurated Cloud Data Centre with an aim to facilitate universities to become part of the world-class research environment. Building of the Centre has been donated by Huawei Technologies. The Centre is meant for improving productivity, enhancing business processes, and accelerating change. HEC's Cloud services aim at increasing efficiency, productivity and collaboration between the universities of Pakistan and reduce costs by using an optimized IT infrastructure. This data centre provides services like Virtual Data Centres (VDC), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Safe Campus Central Solution and Central Surveillance, Unified Communication and Shared Services, Storage as a Service, and Training as a Service. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Besides, HEC launched the country's first government testing body for education sector named Education Testing Council (ETC) to conduct free, standardized tests for university admissions. ETC will conduct test free of cost for all students desirous of taking admission in public and private universities. It will be held twice a year and its results will be valid for two years. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2016, Pakistan emerged as a country with highest percentage of highly cited papers as compared to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. A report entitled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall" issued by Thomson Reuters stated that though Pakistan's R&D environment faced substantial economic challenges, despite this the most influential research was not affected. It reveals that in last decade Pakistan's scientific productivity increased by more than four times from 2000 articles in 2006 to more than 9000 articles in 2015. During this period, the number of highly cited papers featuring Pakistan based authors increased 10-fold, from nine articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The percentage of Pakistani documents cited during 2006 to 2015 was 62.27% of the total published documents as against 59.73% of the documents published by all BRIC countries. "Percentage of cited documents gives a starting perspective on efficiency of the published documents." It added that, "in 2012, Pakistan's Category Normalized Citation Impact (CNCI) was higher than all of BRIC countries. Also, percentages of documents cited and percentage of highly cited papers are higher."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">HEC has received 198 plagiarism complaints since 2006, in which 160 cases have been finalized; 90 complaints have proved to be false, while 38 faculty members have been blacklisted. About 38 cases are under process and six cases are <em>sub judice</em>. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The newly formed Technology Development Fund, a project worth Rs. 2.91 billion, is for a duration of five years and will cover 200 proposals. Its priority areas will be IT/Computers, Micro-electronics, Biotechnology, Material Sciences, Telecommunication and Robotics. The Fund aims at promoting prototypes for problem-based solutions. The first year target will be 50 joint proposals from university and industry projects.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Apart from various other initiatives for promotion and transfer of technology, HEC entered into a strategic partnership with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and signed a Document of Understanding (DOU) to enhance collaboration through research and development initiatives aimed towards promoting and encouraging higher education institutions for joint development of technologies in Pakistan. For this purpose, Huawei will assist HEC to set up its R&D Laboratory in Pakistan. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">With its unflinching commitment to human resource development, HEC took numerous steps to provide Pakistan with highly qualified and skilled human capital. For this purpose, it extended 1036 foreign and indigenous scholarships, over 23,000 need-based scholarships, and 24640 scholarships under the Prime Minister Fee Reimbursement Scheme in addition to the scholarships provided to Pakistani students under various programmes developed as a result of foreign collaboration. HEC has also been executing the Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Meanwhile, HEC has also launched a new faculty development programme costing Rs. 7142 million to provide qualified faculty in universities. Under the project, approved by ECNEC in December 2016, as many as 2000 faculty members from public sector universities will be provided opportunity to enrol in PhD programme in local universities. There will be a provision to spend six month to one year in foreign university for research purposes. During their stay in foreign universities, their research will be jointly supervised by Foreign and Pakistan faculty members.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the year, FATA University was made operational and work was initiated on University of Gwadar as well as University of Central Asia, Pakistan. Besides, the number of Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization, and Business Incubation Centres has also increased remarkably. HEC took valuable initiatives to boost academia-industry linkages so as to turn the country into a knowledge economy and follow the Government's Vision 2025. Likewise, HEC announced the 5<sup>th</sup> Ranking of Pakistani Higher Education Institutions for 2013-2014 with an aim to boost academic and research culture among Pakistani universities, and encourage them to compete at international level. The ranking was carried out under various categories including Engineering and Technology, Business Education, Agriculture and Veterinary, Medical, and Arts & Design. The major criteria for evaluation of universities were Quality Assurance, Teaching Quality, Research, Finance & Facilities, and Social Integration/ Community Development. </p>19-01-2017 09:37:47<img alt="" src="/english/PublishingImages/ThematicImages/HEC%20ICON-15.png" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />





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