ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
A meeting of the Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas was held Friday under the Chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar at Parliament House. The agenda before the meeting was to analyze implementation report of the previous meeting’s recommendation, monitor performance of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and examine status of establishment of universities campuses in less developed areas.
HEC Executive Director apprised the Committee that Balochistan and other less developed areas were given priority in disbursement of foreign and indigenous scholarships for students. He added that return rate of students who got scholarships for foreign studies was a remarkable 92percent and those who chose not to return to Pakistan were required to submit complete scholarship funding along with a 25 percent penalty.
Chairman Committee Senator Usman Khan Kakar directed to revise the policy of scholarship disbursement where 50percent should be allocated for merit across the province and the other half be allocated for merit in that district. He added that in case scholarships reserved for students of district were not utilized, they should be filled by the students of other areas of the province.
HEC officials briefed the Committee about current status and progress in establishing university campuses across less developed areas. They informed that 32 sub-campuses are planned to be established with a special focus on remote areas in Balochistan. The Committee was told that a project of strengthening universities in less developed areas has been launched to support about 12 universities in terms of accommodation, IT equipment and library services for students and faculty members.
The Committee has given directives to accelerate the execution process of these projects in order to provide better academic services to the students of under-privileged areas. It also directed to expedite the evaluation process of issuance of equivalence and verification certificates/degrees to the students who are foreign qualified.
Senators Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahid were present in the meeting.