Pakistan Launches NUTech to Prepare 21st Century Workforce

As technology begins to permeate every aspect of life in Pakistan, the country needs a balanced mix of highly skilled workers, technicians, mechanics, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to meet the challenge.  Recent launch of National University of Technology (NUTech) is part of Pakistan government's response to this challenge.

21st Century Workforce:

Pakistan's economy is rapidly transforming from traditional agriculture to modern business and industry.  Accelerating penetration of smartphones, personal computers, flat screens, mobile broadband, indoor plumbing, motorized vehicles, home appliances, air-conditioners, tractors, tube-wells, advanced construction machines and  solar and other technology-based products and services requires a highly skilled workforce to design, manufacture, market, sell, operate and service.

Building this new highly skilled work force must begin with designing curricula and facilities. It also demands a new crop of trainers and educators and closer collaboration between academia and industry.

National University of Technology (NUTech) Campus in Islamanad

NUTech Launch:

National University of Technology (NUTech) has just been launched as a federally chartered institution of higher learning.  It is enrolling students now for its first academic semester starting in September 2018.

NUTech will not only produce hands-on engineers and scientists but it will also serve as an umbrella organization for training skilled technicians and tradespeople to build, service and maintain advanced technology-based plant and equipment.

NUTech will work with a national network of technical and vocational training institutes to produce skilled workers.  It will include representatives of business and industry in design of curricula to ensure these workers meet the needs of the industry.

Specialized Institutions:

Pakistan Air Force's Air University, established in 2002, is an example of a specialized institution aimed at developing human capital in the aviation sector.

Development of a new advanced fighter is a wide-ranging effort that will encompass building human capital in a variety of fields including material science, physics, electronics, computer science, computer software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, avionics, weapons design, etc.

Air University has added a new campus in Kamra Aviation City. The university already offers bachelor's master's and doctoral degrees in several subjects. Pakistan Air Force Chief Sohail Aman told Quwa Defense News that the campus will “provide the desired impetus for cutting-edge indigenization programs, strengthen the local industry and harness the demands of foreign aviation industry by reducing … imports and promoting joint research and production ventures.”

Higher Education in Pakistan:

There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14.  The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years.  In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).

Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013
Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates, including over 10,000 IT graduates, every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009

Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.

Former Chairman of HEC summed up the country's higher education progress well in a piece he wrote for The News in 2012: "Pakistan has achieved critical mass and reached a point of take-off. For this phenomenal growth to continue, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to support and further strengthen the HEC as a national institution and protect its autonomy. If this momentum continues for another 10 years, Pakistan is certain to become a global player through a flourishing knowledge economy and a highly literate population".

Here's an introductory video about National University of Technology (NUTech) Pakistan:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

10 Pakistan Universities Among Top 300 in Asia

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Education Attainment in South Asia

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Defends HEC Reforms

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Armed Drones Outrage and Inspire Young Pakistanis


Riaz Haq said…
Austria, Pakistan plan joint venture educational institute

During a meeting with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri, Austrian Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Brigitta Blaha announced that there was a joint venture in the works between the higher education sectors of two countries called Pak-Austria Fachhochschule: Institute of Applied Sciences & Technology (PAF-IAST).

The institute is being established in University of Haripur in collaboration with several Austrian institutions. She explained that Institute has dual objectives; creating a high quality technical education infrastructure at a tertiary level and creating high technology industry.

During the meeting HEC Chairman Dr Banuri, stressed the need for international collaboration in the education sector. He emphasised on its role as a stepping stone toward economic stability and social development.

The chairman welcomed the ambassador and placing importance on international partnerships he added that several Pakistani Higher Education Institutions have an encouraging history of academic collaboration with the Austrian education sector and assured that the HEC would continue to create opportunities for beneficial academic collaboration between the two countries.

Dr Brigitta Blaha assured that her office will extend its cooperation in strengthening academic and research linkages between the two countries. According to Dr Blaha, currently 41 Pakistani students are pursuing PhD degree in Austrian institutions. She emphasised on the critical need for enhancing this number.

Their meeting took place on June 21, 2018. HEC Executive Director Prof Dr Arshad Ali also joined the meeting.

Dr Banuri expressed his opinion that the improvement of Pakistani higher education sector over a short span of 15 years under the umbrella of HEC has become a possibility through the help and support of the Government of Pakistan.

He also highlighted that Pakistan Vision 2025 has added new reforms for the higher education sector.

Dr Banuri voiced his commitment to adopting a wholesome approach for advancement in all areas of the higher education sector including human resource development, promotion of basic and applied research, establishing university-industry linkage, encouraging entrepreneurial culture, quality education, physical and technology infrastructure development and international collaboration.
Riaz Haq said…
#PTI's 14-Point for #Digital #Pakistan. #Elections2018 #ImranKhan PTI’s 14 Points for Digital Pakistan:
$2 billion set aside for National digital transformations & provision of different services to citizens through mobile.
Using technology to open government data to increase transparency
IT education of 50,000 students
Establishment of 120 new campuses to produce 100,000 technology graduates/year
Mathematics and Science teacher training and certification program
Five new major technology clusters (Special Economic Zones)
A focus will be on creating enabling environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
50,000 call center seats available on a turn-key basis
One window operation to register a new company
A global PR campaign involving expat community
Visa issuance on green passport for Businessmen and professionals
Simplification of processes for foreign ownership of companies
Public-Private Partnership on projects
Target will be set to increase the global ranking of Pakistan in ease of doing business
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani students to be offered vocational training, education in China

The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme will offer scholarships to 1,000 Pakistani students for a one-year vocational training starting from November this year in China.

“The students to be selected from across the country will be provided free tuition and dormitory during the training at different universities and institutes in China,” Echo Lee, Director General, CPEC CCC and CEO of St Xianglin Management and Consulting Company while talking to APP here on Sunday.

The CPEC CCC is located in China’s Suzhou Vocational University, which has the world-class facilities and able faculty and its functions include Sino-Pak students exchange, academic research and seminars, vocational education, organising Chinese culture experience camp and teachers exchange, she added.

Giving further details about scholarship scheme, she said it is a three level programme and the students will be taught outer space and high-speed train technology during the first level while in the middle level, they will be imparted education of hydro-power and solar energy engineering.

The students selected for the lowest level will get training for the driving of different machines and types of equipment including excavation machines and caterpillar etc.

Ms Echo Lee said this year, 1,000 students will be offered 20 majors from a high level to the lower level classes as compared to 100 scholarships in six majors last year.

While hoping for a positive response and cooperation from the Pakistani side, she said at present, the details are being discussed with the concerned officials in the Pakistan ministry of planning, development and reforms as well as the embassy of Pakistan in Beijing.

She informed the CPEC CCC is jointly working along with the Chinese education ministry which is affiliated with a number of vocational universities and institutes.

To a question, she claimed that vocational education in China is the highest level in the world even in some areas it is better than Germany and Japan.

The CEO said this cross-border education exchange programme is step one of the overall project and added in the next phases, equipment and teachers will be sent for vocational training of Pakistani students in Pakistan.

The Chinese vocational education centres, as well as educational parks, would be set up in Pakistan in future, she added.

She said her organization intends to donate some training equipment and looking forward to a positive response from Pakistani institutions which are interested to receive it.

About the cooperation in the past, she said her organization has signed a MoU with Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw (KP) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) governments to set up cultural communication centres under the CPEC framework.

These centres will serve as the main forum in the field of Sino-Pak education and cultural communication, she added.
Riaz Haq said…
First-ever fee-free university to open in Pakistan next month

The world’s first fee-free university will be operational next month in Pakistan with 600 students enrolled for three different master degrees.

Dr Mohammed Amjad Saqib, executive director of a micro-finance firm offering interest-free loans (Qarz-e-Hasna) in Pakistan, told Khaleej Times that the institute will be opened in Kasur district, near Lahore, on August 14, 2018.

“We are establishing the first fee-free university in Pakistan where students will not have to pay any fee. This is some kind of long-term Qarz-e-Hasan. First you get education and pay after 5, 10 or 20 years, when you are able to return it; because remember that you got education but didn’t pay for it; but now when you have a job you can pay so that somebody else can also benefit,” he said.

Dr Amjad Saqib added that “education is ultimate solution of our problems. We can’t progress and compete with international community unless we are ahead in education. But it is a pity that a boy coming from a poor family may be able to complete 10-year education but can’t receive higher education. We are not doing justice with our talent”.

He pointed out that this residential university will be a national institute where 20 per cent of students will come from each province of Pakistan.

To get entry into the college, a student must obtain 75 per cent marks in matriculation examination followed by an examination conducted at the college.
Riaz Haq said…
Space Summer School Concluded At Institute Of Space Technology (IST)
Sumaira FH 4 hours ago Mon 30th July 2018 | 03:53 PM

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Jul, 2018 ) :Space Summer school (SSS) organized with the participation of over 100 students of 60 schools and colleges of the country concluded here on Monday at Institute of Space Technology (IST).

The two-week activity based learning covered more than 50 interactive sessions in 10 exploration tracks for students in two levels as abecedarian and virtuoso.

It had a canvas of space themed activities, interactive lectures, hands on workshops, space career counselling, Dr. Abdus Salam space contest, space creative writing, space creative arts, space Spellathon, webinars and seminars, said a news release issued here.

Dr. Najam Abbas, Director Student Affairs and Programme Head SSS greeted the participants at the concluding session and appraised the accomplishments of Space Summer School under the initiative of Space Technology Education and Popularization (STEP).

The chief guest of the ceremony, Dr. Khurram Iqbal commended the initiative of Institute of Space Technology for creating cognizance about space technology among the youth and educating students about the benefits of space technology.

Dr. Khurram appreciated the efforts of IST for Space Technology education and popularization.

Space Summer School covered ten themes namely the Earth, Atmosphere, Aviation, Rocketry, Satellite Technology, Space Travel, Space for Life, Space Agencies, Astronomy and Astrophysics and space agencies.

It hosted two special webinars with Dr. Aquib Moin from UAE Space Agency�about UAE Mars Mission�and Dr. Nozair Khawaja from Germany�on Astrobiology.�IST also conducted the Dr. Abdus Salam Space Contest on the last day of space summer school in order to gauge the level of space learning of students.

Awards were given to the winners of Space Spellathon, Space creative writing, Space Arts, water rocket, aero modeling and drag parachute competitions. Space Summer School participants were also provided an opportunity to explore Planetarium, Aircraft Technology, CanSat Satellite development, water rocket & Quad- copter Design and Fabrication along with Astrolabe and Telescopy.
Riaz Haq said…
Mutant Varieties Satisfy Market and add USD 6 Billion to Pakistan’s Economy

When Pakistani farmers harvested fields planted with a new mutant variety of cotton, not only did they have a higher yield, they also received a higher price at the market because of the improved fibre quality. Farmers who adopted mutant varieties of sesame released in 2016 saw yields double and income increase, and now these new varieties cover 50 percent of the area planted to sesame in the entire country. Those who planted a mutant variety of castor bean released in 2017, bred for early maturity and high oil content, have already planted it on 2 000 ha and are making an extra USD 618 per ha. These are just a few of dozens of advances made possible by Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) which, with the support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, has used mutation breeding to improve varieties of eight different crops – benefitting millions of Pakistani farmers and their families, and adding billions to the Pakistan economy.

Across the millennia, those entrusted with saving seeds for planting in future seasons have always made decisions related to the environment, choosing seeds from varieties that will give them the best chance of a good harvest. Even as science has advanced the field from simply saving seeds to cross breeding and now to mutation breeding, the crucial role of the plant breeder has remained largely unchanged – developing varieties that can thrive in whatever the local environment has to offer and be resilient enough to adapt to change. Since 1969, Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), an institute of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, has overseen the development of 43 mutant crop varieties, ranging from sesame seed to castor bean to mandarin to cotton – all bred in response to what Pakistan’s farmers and their consumers need.

The government of Pakistan recognizes the importance of breeding crop varieties specifically for the Pakistan situation – its terrain, its climate, the needs and capacities of its farmers and, of course, when it comes to food crops, the taste and texture that will appeal to consumers. This government support of the NIAB mutant breeding programme has paid back in terms of increased yields and higher quality products, which have not only contributed to farmers’ livelihoods, it has meant more food for the marketplace and improved food security. Two sesame varieties released in 2016 and 2017 have double the yield of traditional varieties and are more suitable for modern cultivation techniques. The mutant mandarin variety, NIAB Kinnow, released in 2017, has an increased yield of more than 30 percent and reduced seed count from around 50 to just 3-5 seeds per fruit, which makes it more valuable and popular for export.

NIAB has received support from the Joint Division for more than 30 years, including equipment and technology packages for mutation breeding, individual staff trainingthrough fellowships, and national and regional training courses. The mutation breeding process calls for irradiating and then planting crop seeds, and then screening them as they grow in the following generations to see which induced changes that emerge could be helpful for breeding in future generations – from aesthetics of colour and texture to physiological changes that account for traits such as heat or cold tolerance, resilience or length of the growing period.
Riaz Haq said…
Hospitality Management Training Program

Hospitality Management Training Program (HMTP) is one of the flagship programs of HF focused to impart knowledge and skills to young men and women giving them opportunities to learn & practice the skills required for the hospitality industry in Pakistan and abroad. HMTP was initiated in 1999 by introducing practical training in Marriott and Pearl Continental Hotels across Pakistan. HMTP has been expanded to Peshawar and Karachi. The qualification under this program offers food preparation, Culinary Art, Front Office, Reception, Operational Services, Food & Beverage Services and Accommodation Operations and Services. Other Technical and Vocational trainings include beautician, tailoring and professional skills training.

Following international vocational qualifications (basic to advanced diploma level) are being offered under this program:

Food Preparation and Culinary Art
Front Office and Reception Operation Services
Food & Beverage Services
Accommodation Operations and Services
HF trained over 5,000 youth since last few years, the program is facilitating youth with various International Vocational Qualifications (IVQs) curriculum/content, approved by City & Guilds UK and National Training Bureau, Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #PTI to have comprehensive #education policy. "Vocational and Technical training is must. We are in the process of setting up skill universities besides being in close liaison with all chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in this regard"

Federal minister for education and technical training Shafqat Mahmood on Monday declared out-of-school children, multiple streams of education, provision of quality education, removal of discrimination in education system and skill development real challenges for his ministry in the post-devolution regime and said the government was working on a comprehensive education policy to address them.
"The new education policy will also ensure provision of quality education to the people and will provide a level- playing field and equal opportunities to everyone," he told World Bank country director Patchamuthu Illangovan, who called on him in the ministry here.

The meeting was also attended by education secretary Arshad Mirza. The minister told the visitor that the ministry would launch a special programme for the education of street children and introduce a standard curriculum for the entire country with core compulsory subjects.

He said some of the reforms introduced in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa education sector by the last PTI government would be replicated in other parts of the country. The minister said Pakistan currently faced various challenges in education sector and that the government was fully committed to handling them with the support of the World Bank.

"Though most powers and functions of the education ministry have devolved to provinces after 18th Constitutional Amendment, we will still try to take the lead in introducing positive changes in the sector," he said.

The minister said he would ensure the ministry's reorganisation in a way that would be reflective of the government's educational priorities. He said the ministry would focus its attention on skill and human development.

"Vocational and Technical training is must. We are in the process of setting up skill universities besides being in close liaison with all chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in this regard," he said.

The minister suggested that the World Bank provide support to Pakistan on skill development in Pakistan. The WB country director appreciated the steps of the government for the promotion of education and offered the bank's help and support for it.

"We are looking forward to work closely with the government of Pakistan for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan and for promotion of education in the country," he said. The WB country director said the number of out-of-school children in Pakistan was a big problem and the World Bank would support any effort to bring the children to schools.

“Our second aim is that Pakistan should develop the national standards on education,” he said. Regarding the skill development, the WB country director said the bank was carrying out a study to know the gap between the current education and skills and the future nature of jobs.

"This exercise will be immensely beneficial for Pakistan, too, which can work on providing trainings in those skills that can match the future requirements of the jobs," he said. Both the minister and visitor agreed on keeping regular contact and coordination for addressing the challenges in the country's education sector.
Riaz Haq said…
Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016
Prof Stephen S Lim, PhD
Rachel L Updike, BA
Alexander S Kaldjian, MSc
Ryan M Barber, BS
Krycia Cowling, PhD
Hunter York, BA
et al

In 2016, Finland had the highest level of expected human capital of 28·4 health, education, and learning-adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years (95% uncertainty interval 27·5–29·2); Niger had the lowest expected human capital of less than 1·6 years (0·98–2·6). In 2016, 44 countries had already achieved more than 20 years of expected human capital; 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Of 195 countries, the ten most populous countries in 2016 for expected human capital were ranked: China at 44, India at 158, USA at 27, Indonesia at 131, Brazil at 71, Pakistan at 164, Nigeria at 171, Bangladesh at 161, Russia at 49, and Mexico at 104. Assessment of change in expected human capital from 1990 to 2016 shows marked variation from less than 2 years of progress in 18 countries to more than 5 years of progress in 35 countries. Larger improvements in expected human capital appear to be associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in human capital from 1990 to 2016 had a median annualised growth in gross domestic product of 2·60% (IQR 1·85–3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18–2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile.

Despite 25 years of progress in many dimensions of human capital, in 2016 these levels were not universally high (Figure 2, Figure 3). The top five countries were unchanged from 1990 except for the replacement of Canada with Taiwan (province of China). In 2016, all countries in western Europe, and many in central and eastern Europe, had more than 20 years of expected human capital, as did South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan (province of China), Turkey, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. Despite improvements, 24 countries in 2016 continued to have expected human capital below 5 years, with the five lowest-ranked countries being Niger (1·6 years; 95% UI 0·98–2·6), South Sudan (2·0 years; 1·2–3·0), Chad (2·7 years; 1·7–3·2), Burkina Faso (2·8 years; 1·8–4·2), and Mali (2·8 years; 2·0–3·8).

Human capital refers to the attributes of a population that, along with physical capital such as buildings, equipment, and other tangible assets, contribute to economic productivity.1 Human capital is characterised as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population,2 affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity.3 The World Bank has brought new attention to this topic through its recently introduced Human Capital Project,4 which aims to “understand the link between investing in people and economic growth, and to accelerate financing for human capital investments.” A basic input needed for this aim to be fulfilled is an internationally comparable index of human capital, which currently does not exist. This study seeks to fill this global measurement gap.3
Although evidence supports human capital as a driver of growth, the World Bank has argued that investments in human capital are too low in low-income and middle-income countries.5 Much of the World Bank's investments focus on physical rather than human capital.5 Only 1·5% of the World Bank International Development Association concessional grants are for health and 1·9% are for education.6 As countries graduate to borrowing from the non-concessional International Bank for Reconstruction and Development framework, the shares for health increase to 4·2% and to 5·2% for education.6 A focus on building physical assets might also be driven by time horizons; such projects can yield returns sooner than investing in children's health and education, and the political process in many nations might reward short-run returns.6
Riaz Haq said…
#Technical and #Vocational #Education and #Training (TVET) institutes in #Pakistan to meet demand of skilled workforce for #CPEC projects. #Bahawalpur, #Jehlum, #Mansehra, Dera Ismail Khan, #Gwadar, Lasbela, #Larkana, #Hyderabad, #Giglit, #Mirpur.

The government is planning to upgrade and enhance capacity of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutes across the country by transferring state of the art Chinese technology to meet China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) skilled workforce required for its second phase.

The US $ 68million worth of project is to be implemented with the Chinese support under its socio-economic development programme for Pakistan, according to official documents available with APP.

Pakistan earnestly needs such projects to improve skilled labour productivity as the country falls behind other neigbouring countries in this area, the document revealed.
The cities in which the TVET institutes are planned to be upgraded include Bahawalpur, Jehlum, Mansehra, Dera Ismail Khan, Gwadar, Lasbela, Larkana, Hyderabad, Giglit, and Mirpur.

Under the project, the institutes would be equipped with modern apparatus and smart laboratories, besides advanced level 5 of curricula would also be adopted in the institutes.

Similarly the local institutes would be affiliated with the best Chinese TVET training institutes and student and trainers exchange and capacity building programme would also be launched under the project.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan National #Vocational and #Technical #Training Commission (NAVTTC) to launch joint degree programs with #Australia, #Germany & #UK. 15,000 youth to be trained by NAVTCC under Prime Minister's Hunarmand Pakistan program. #education #skills

The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) is going to start joint degree programmes in collaboration with Australia, Germany and United Kingdom, said NAVTTC Executive Director Dr Nasir Khan.

"Almost 30 per cent quota has been reserved for women, while other women can join NAVTTC initiatives on merit," Dr Nasir told reporters here.

He said a total of one hundred and seventy thousand youth will get training by National Vocational and Technical Training Commission under Prime Minister's Hunarmand Pakistan programme.

The NAVTTC ED said a total of one hundred and seventy thousand youth will get training by National Vocational and Technical Training Commission under Prime Minister's Hunarmand Pakistan programme.

He said the main purpose of the programme was to enhance the skills and knowledge of internees in public and private sectors. Dr Nasir said leading private firms and development sector firms, federal, provincial and local government institutions including educational institutions would offer training under the scheme.

He said under the programme, youth would be trained in the latest technologies according to the demand of the industry.

The NAVTTC ED said the courses would comprise three and six month training and candidates of all educational levels can benefit from this initiative.

He said the courses will be started at 558 centres across the country and that the skill development training will be provided in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Computing, Information Technology and traditional programmes.

Dr Nasir said 600,000 trained youth were on the data bank of NAVTTC and the data was provided to the ministries and departments concerned for employment within the country and abroad.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan, #China universities sign agreement on #textile cooperation between National Textile University (NTU) Pakistan and #Shanghai University of Engineering Science (SUES) of China| Associated Press Of Pakistan

An agreement on textile cooperation was jointly signed by National Textile University (NTU), Pakistan and Shanghai University of Engineering Science (SUES), China last week.
According to SUES, NTU is the very first Pakistani partner for SUES, and the move is of great significance when it comes to the educational exchanges and cooperation between universities of South Asian countries involved into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China Economic Net reported on Friday.
Xia Jianguo, the President of SUES, noted that the signing ceremony was SUES’s first move of international cooperation ever since the COVID-19 outbreak. The iron-clad friendship between China and Pakistan has laid a solid foundation for the cooperation and exchanges between both universities.
President Xia spoke highly of the competences and characteristics of research and talent training in NTU regarding textile. Over the years, SUES has conducted a wide range of international exchanges and cooperation with overseas universities and enterprises, he mentioned, adding that he firmly believed the cooperation would provide both with more opportunities for common development.
Prof Dr. Tanveer Hussain, the Rector of NTU, expressed his heartfelt thanks to SUES for the arrangement and preparation for the video signing ceremony.
He said NTU has been the premier institute of textile education in Pakistan, meeting the technical and managerial human resource needs of almost the entire textile industry of Pakistan ever since its inception.
What is more, he expressed full confidence and keen expectation for a long-term cooperation between the two universities in multiple levels and fields.
The signing ceremony was held in video form. Directors from SUES’s Office of International Cooperation and Exchange and the Institute of Textile and Garment were present.
Riaz Haq said…
China to provide $4m equipment for #vocational training institutes in #Pakistan for socio-economic uplift. Vocational training will support development of skilled #labor force for low cost #housing, #agriculture, #COVID mitigation, pest control, etc.

China would provide training equipment worth $4 million (approximately 650 million rupees) for the vocational training institutes/ schools around Pakistan through National Vocational and Technical Training Commission.

The signing ceremony for Letter of Exchange for provision of ‘Vocational School Equipment and Material’ was held at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Yao Jing, Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, and Dr. Wang Zhihua, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of China in Pakistan attended the ceremony and from Pakistan side Noor Ahmed, Federal Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, signed the LOE.

The ambassador reassured cooperation by government of China for socio-economic development in Pakistan. A number of projects under social welfare of the poor and vulnerable people are already under progress like cooperation in PM’s Low Cost Housing Scheme and boosting rural economy through agricultural support. Government of China has also supported Pakistan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Pesticide and equipment has been provided to control the locust spread in the southern parts of the country. The ambassador also appreciated the continuity of CPEC projects particularly establishment of export-based industry in Special Economic Zones under SEZs despite challenging conditions globally due to pandemic.

Secretary Economic Affairs reiterated strong commitment towards further strengthening and expanding of bilateral economic cooperation between China and Pakistan. Both sides agreed that all the ongoing initiatives will be pursued very closely to achieve the targeted completion so that people of Pakistan can benefit from the Chinese assistance in a more productive manner.
Riaz Haq said…
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government’s flagship project, Pak-Austria Fachhochschule University completed in Haripur

Pak-Austria Fachhochschule University, Haripur will offer specialised courses like artificial intelligence, railway engineering, mineral resource engineering and agriculture food technologies and others. It is pertinent to note that construction work on university was launched by the current government last year.

PAF-IAST said,” PAF-IAST is nestled in natural mountains that flank its campus from all sides, offering one even the ravishing view of snow-capped peaks of Nathiagali and natural winding trails. To its north-west is Tarbela Lake, a journey of only a few kilometers from the campus.”

“Set in middle of the campus is natural lake, fed by the springs of surrounding mountains. The campus is just a 3-kilometer drive from the Hazara Motorway,” PAF-IAST said.

The major cities like Islamabad and Abbottabad, are just an hour’s drive, while small towns like Wah, Hasanabadal, Taxila and Swabi can be reached in just half an hour from the campus.

PAF-IAST said the university wanted to contribute to the development of sound industrial economy in Pakistan and to strive and achieve the goals of effective higher education in engineering, science, and technology.


Skilling Pakistan
A Vision for the National Skills Strategy, 2008-12” seeks to achieve three main objectives in the context of defining technical education at policy level: 1) providing relevant skills for industrial and economic development; 2) improving access, equity and employability; 3) assuring high standards in skills development. These objectives are consistent with the policy of government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa towards poverty alleviation through skill training and human resource development. Underpinning these prime objectives is our prime focus on meeting workforce demands in key growth sectors such as industry, IT, information and communication technologies, medical technologies, electrical and mechanical as well as mineral resource development, extractive metallurgy and construction fields.
Riaz Haq said…
An analysis of IT software and service exports from India

Manzoor Hassan Malik, Nirmala Velan
International Trade, Politics and Development

India is not an exception. The tremendous success of the IT sector after economic reforms, particularly in software and service exports, has influenced economic growth of the Indian economy. The importance of IT software and services has been increasing since the last decade, as reflected by its mounting shares in various macroeconomic parameters, like national income, total exports, employment and foreign exchange of the country. An abundant supply of labour force acts as a comparative advantage of the Indian software and services industry. Investments in the education industry in the form of Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs), Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and engineering colleges over the years have significantly contributed to the growth of software and service industry. The country's abundant IT professionals have been absorbed by the software and services export sector, thus enjoying some sort of monopoly in supplying desired labour (Arora and Athreye, 2002). The benefit of the International Standard Organization (ISO) certification is also significant because it acts as a quality signal to potential customers. This certification has enabled to enjoy the firm’s enhanced income through higher level of price per unit of output besides increasing the quality of output (Arora and Asundi, 1999). Large changes in the locational division of labour brought more jobs to India. The real benefit to the industry comes through exports carried out on-site, which do not involve costs of hardware or software technology for the Indian firms.
Indian IT industry has recorded exceptional growth rate, particularly after the period of liberalization. It accomplished 51% compound annual growth rate, with it being the only nation to have this rate of growth during the period 1990 to 2002. The domestic software industry growth rate was even higher than that of the global industry (Kumar 2001). However, the IT industry witnessed a falling growth amid a worldwide change in innovation and business models since 2014. Its software and services exports are experiencing a skewed nature of slowdown in growth, essentially due to the reliance on North American and European markets. Furthermore, other developing nations, like China, Malaysia and the Philippines, are also entering into the world software market in meeting the global demands of software and services of the advanced nations by overcoming their earlier hurdles. Now, an important question that arises is how to deal with the global strategic paradigm shifts [1]. Answering this question requires an assessment of the direction and magnitude of the potential factors responsible for software and service exports. This article attempts to investigate the factors that influence software and service exports from India both positively and negatively. Such a study is important to understand in depth the impact of each determinant on software and service export, for formulation of policy measures for sustainability and competitiveness of the Indian IT industry.
Riaz Haq said…
Some countries are punching above their weight relative to their levels of #socioeconomic development. In absolute numbers, for example, #Pakistan has 17 institutions in the THE (Times Higher Education) rankings, rising from 9 just 2 years ago. #education

Very tentatively, some realignment within Asian economies can be identified. The share of ranked institutions accounted for by the more developed countries, including Japan and South Korea, has declined. India presents a mixed outlook, with a rise in places in the THE ranking over the past three years, but slight declines in the other two rankings schema, while Malaysian institutions are moving up.

Also of note, as part of this emergent realignment, is the rise in rankings of ‘green shoot’ countries including Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam and, to some extent, the Philippines.

In some of these cases, countries are punching above their weight relative to their levels of economic and social development. In absolute numbers, for example, Pakistan has 17 institutions in the THE ranking, rising from nine just two years ago.

However, there are a number of caveats. First, is that in the THE ranking there are significantly more ranked institutions this year (and previously), thus widening the pool.

Second, in the top 200 in the THE ranking, Asia is represented by China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Other emerging Asian countries, including India, have not cracked the top 200. That takes time and patience.

Third, the tentative realignment within Asia should not be overstated because, for example, Japan and South Korea (and even to some extent Taiwan), the more developed countries in Asia, still account for very significant numbers of institutions in absolute terms.
Riaz Haq said…
Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology

Globalization and the information and communication revolution have greatly impacted worlds’ production methods and its structure. Today, knowledge is one of the main distinguishing features between developed and underdeveloped economies. In highly-developed economies, research and development activities and production are horizontally integrated in the form of networks, covering production sites and laboratories in a number of countries.
Pakistan is lacking in having an adequately trained and skilled workforce in production sector which ultimately resulted in lowest exports and consequently limited potential for economic growth.
‘Skilling Pakistan: A Vision for the National Skills Strategy, 2008-12” aims at three main objectives when defining technical education at policy level: firstly, providing relevant skills for industrial and economic development; secondly, improving access, equity and employability; and lastly, assuring quality for skills development. These objectives are in line with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s aim to poverty alleviation through human resource development and skill training.
Riaz Haq said…
Interview: Pakistan should seize opportunity to learn from China's scientific advancement: Pakistani scientist

"When the students return to Pakistan after completing advanced learning in China, Pakistan can get benefit from their expertise by hiring them at significant posts in colleges, universities and laboratories," the professor (Dr. Ataur Rahman) at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) of the University of Karachi told Xinhua.

"It will not only provide the scientists a platform to conduct further research, but also give them a chance to teach advanced sciences to other students, and the whole process will gradually set the base of scientific studies on modern grounds in the country," Rahman added.

"I always suggest that Pakistan should start taking benefit from China right now so that Pakistani students and researchers can grow with China in the field of science."

An alumnus of King's College of Britain's University of Cambridge from where he received his PhD in organic chemistry in 1968, Rahman has won lots of awards in Pakistan including the highest national award Nishan-e-Imtiaz for his services to the country in the field of science, apart from a number of other international awards.


"I also have a number of international co-publications with Chinese scientists. Many Chinese scientists and pharmaceutical companies have visited Pakistan to conduct research in the ICCBS. By all these research and publications, I have made a small effort to promote Chinese science in the world."

The professor is also the head of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's task force on science and technology. The task force is aimed at making the country standout in the world in "specific and targeted fields."

"Initially we have identified five areas including education, agriculture, minerals, information technology, and linkages of innovation with society which will focus on engineering and emerging sciences. Two new universities are also being established to give education of applied science."

Development budget of the country's science and technology has increased six-fold this year to encourage innovation, he said, adding that one of the main focuses of the Pakistani government is to change the direction of the country's economy from agricultural economy to knowledge and science economy.

"China will be a great help for Pakistan to achieve the target and for that purpose we are forming 20 centers of excellence in various universities of the country with the help of China," the professor said. These centers will include artificial intelligence in health sciences, hybrid seed production, virology, nanotechnology, railways engineering, agricultural food processing, mineral extraction and processing among others.

Many top Chinese institutes and universities including Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, China National Rice Research Institute and Wuhan Institute of Virology among others will cooperate with Pakistan to make these centers of excellence a success story, he added.

"I have a long and cordial association with China, and these centers of excellence will form linkages of young Pakistani scientists with China too, and they will act as an engine of scientific advancement for Pakistan by learning from China."

Sharing his vision regarding the potential of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in development of science and technology in the country, the professor said that Pakistan should form joint industrial ventures in high-tech manufacturing with China to benefit from Chinese technological advancement and the Pakistani government is also working towards that direction in special economic zones.

Riaz Haq said…
In 1962, a landmark legislation laid the foundation of vocational training in Pakistan. The Apprenticeship Ordinance, 1962 was promulgated by the government of Gen Ayub Khan to feed the growing industries with skilled technicians and process operators.

This was followed by the Apprenticeship Rules in 1966, which quite comprehensively provided modalities of the training scheme, obligations of both the employers and apprentices and the latter’s terms and conditions of apprenticeship.

The Ordinance of 1962, has been made applicable to undertakings employing fifty or more persons, as are notified by the provincial government in the official gazette. The notified undertaking is obliged to introduce and operate an apprenticeship programme and get it registered with the Competent Authority defined in the Ordinance.

Such undertaking is required to train apprentices in the proportion of a minimum of twenty percent of the total number of persons employed in the ‘apprenticeable trade’. For instance, if an undertaking employs five electricians, it should have at least one apprentice in this trade. There are more than three hundred vocational professions to choose from, encompassing different areas.

The induction of the Ordinance met with immense success and all the notified undertakings established their apprenticeship centers in accordance with the law. The most notable among them was the remarkable apprenticeship training center established by the American corporate giant Exxon Chemical Pakistan Limited at its fertilizer plant in Daharki (Sindh).

In the late 1960s, the Exxon corporation was attracted to install a plant in Pakistan looking at its rapid pace of industrial development. The company not only imparted training to apprentices in mechanical and chemical trades for two to three years duration but also devised a competitive scheme for their career development in the post apprenticeship employment of the company. Exxon’s successor company Engro Fertilizer Limited continues to follow the scheme.

The federal government has promulgated the Apprenticeship Act, 2018 by repealing the Ordinance of 1962, which has become outdated. However, due to the 18th Amendment, provisions of the act of 2018 extend only to the Islamabad Capital Territory. The provinces should make and enforce their own apprenticeship acts, to revive the effectiveness of a most beneficial training scheme.

In order to supplement the apprenticeship scheme and boost vocational training in the country, the government promulgated the National Training Ordinance, 1980, which was amended through the Amendment Ordinance, 2002. The purpose of the ordinance was to constitute training boards in the respective provinces to regulate and promote vocational training facilities in various fields. By virtue of this ordinance, the scope of vocational training has widened beyond the confines of notified undertakings. While the apprenticeship training extends only to the apprentices enrolled with some undertaking, any person whether or not he/she is employed, can join the vocational training institutes established all over Pakistan, to learn the desired skill.

The National Board has 17 different functions relating to promotion of technical, vocational and in-plant training and skill development etc. The provincial boards have nine functions, which include: (a) registration and licensing of establishments, organizations or institutions, which are offering vocational training; and (b) conducting trade tests and certifying the skilled persons and trainers, who may have received vocational training through any source or acquired the skill through experience or informal system of Ustad-Shagird.

Most of Pakistan’s blue-collar workers learn their work informally and have little to no formal academic education. However, raw potential is not a substitute for proper industrial skills-based training.

Riaz Haq said…
Athar Osama PIF Facebook post

Today we embark upon a 6-month long learning journey with 60 Pakistani Teachers and 6 Indonesian Teacher Trainers on Holistic Science Teaching.

This is an innovative approach to Teaching Science in a manner that is connected with other branches of knowledge such as History, Philosophy, Ethics, Religion and the Liberal Arts being piloted, to our knowledge, for the first time in the Muslim World.

Over 3 years, we will 6 workshops in Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Arab World - very different cultures, education systems, languages but the same objective: Train Teachers to create Curious Classrooms!

6-8 Grade Science Teachers may register to attend a future workshop at

World Science Collaborative Ltd, in collaboration with, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), The Aga Khan University – Institute of Education Development (AKU-IED), South East Asian Ministerial Organisation (SEAMEO), Indonesia, and Qatar University, Qatar, as well as partners Khawarzimi Science Society (KSS), Lahore; Pakistan Innovation Foundation, Pakistan, and STEMx – STEM School for the World, Islamabad presents a unique workshop to enable teachers to explore and learn how to teach science holistically.

In our society, teaching of science is often extremely siloed and compartmentalised whereby the science teacher delivers the content in the classroom but does not relate what is being taught to the real world nor brings forth (or draws upon) the diverse body of knowledge available in disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion and ethics. In doing so, he/she runs the risk, at the very least, of leaving the scientific learning unconnected, or much worse, leaving the students more confused than informed.

It is absolutely critical, therefore, to teach science holistically i.e. connect the learning in the classroom with the real world, for example, by:

* Bringing together knowledge from diverse sources and disciplines such as science, history, philosophy, religion, and ethics?

* Using hands-on experiments and play to bring inspiration and insight in the science classroom?

* Planning lessons that adequately address the curious minds of students and encourage critical inquiry?

* Addressing Big Philosophical Questions that stem from scientific discoveries such as Big Bang, Multiverses, Genetics, Evolution, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

The Holistic Teaching of Science Workshop is OPEN to ALL Teachers of Science in Middle School (Grades 6-8) at any public, private, or religious (madrassa) school who struggles with teaching modern science in the classroom and wants to do better.

The Holistic Science Teaching Online (Hybrid) Workshop is 1 of 6 Workshops that will be carried out in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Qatar between Dec 2022 and July 2025.
Riaz Haq said…
First solar school project in Pakistan inaugurated at Benchmark School

According to Ms. Kulsoom Tanvir, Principal of Benchmark Schools, “We are very proud of being the first solar school project in Pakistan. The idea behind this project is to engage the youth of Pakistan in the areas of climate change and renewable energy resources. We appreciate all our students, teachers and project partners and hope to continue and build upon such projects in the future.”
The solar school project aims to spark the enthusiasm of the young generation for renewable energy sources, particularly in countries in which the awareness of renewables is still low. As a part of the project, local installers place a solar system specially designed for teaching purposes, which is then integrated into school lessons. The solar schools are also provided with so-called solar suitcases, which are used to integrate the topic of solar energy into physics lessons in a practical way with interactive experiments. The project started in 2021, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. Before Benchmark School, 4 schools joined the project and network, in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Karshi (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Astana (Kazakhstan).

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