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United States has always contributed in socio-economic development of Pakistan: Ebad

Karachi, March 19, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Higher Education Commission and USAID jointly organised a reunion of USAID-funded ‘Merit and Needs based Alumni’ from Sindh at the Governor House, Karachi, to acknowledge the selection of over 450 students in the programme.

The purpose of the event was to celebrate one of the most successful collaborative endeavours by the USAID and HEC through which over 550 young students of four higher education institutions of Sindh benefited from the program. The ceremony was attended by government officials, representatives of USAID civil society, corporate sector, donors and philanthropists.

In their brief remarks, the students thanked the US government and HEC for providing them support in continuation of their higher studies in the disciplines of business education and agriculture at the leading four institutions of Sindh. They shared their success stories and also vowed to play an active role for the socio-economic development of the province and country.

Addressing the gathering, Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan lauded the concerted efforts of HEC and USAID in arranging the event and carrying out the useful initiative and said that United States had always contributed in socio-economic development of Pakistan including health, education, agriculture, and economy and finance sectors. He said the government had always laid great importance on creating opportunities to make education accessible at the doorstep of every Pakistani.

“The supports from the US authorities and the unwavering commitment of HEC have helped the government towards achieving this goal.” The governor said that awarding over 550 scholarships under merit and need based scholarship program was a commendable accomplishment and such useful endeavors would also continue in future as well, he hoped. He also emphasised the young scholars to play their pivotal role for the economic prosperity of Pakistan.

US Consulate General Karchi Michael Dodman expressed his pleasure over the event and said US fully realised that a coordinated and mutual efforts involving Government of Pakistan would be quite beneficial for the well- being of people of Pakistan.

He pointed out the success of the merit based scholarship program was initiated in 2004 in universities across all provinces of Pakistan. He informed that the USAID was also supporting HEC’s cause of establishing high class educational centers to build university-industry-government linkages and address issues of national priorities.

In this regard, he said, HEC and USAID were establishing three centers for advanced studies in priority areas of water, agriculture and energy. The establishment of these centers would be quite helpful in meeting the growing needs of Pakistan in these important areas.

He said the Center for Advanced Study on Water Resources was being established in Sindh. He assured the participants that USAID would continue its contribution towards a developed Pakistan.

Chairman Higher Education Commission HEC Dr Javaid R. Laghari stressed the importance for attention towards low education budget allocations and access to higher education in Pakistan as its current enrollment rate of 7.8 for the ages of 17-23, putting the country in the line of some sub-Saharan African countries.

He said that HEC, with its partner organizations, had undertaken a number of new programmes for provision of equitable access to higher education especially to marginalised segments of the society.

While appreciating the scholarship program, he said that the award of needs based scholarships had been greatly helpful in poverty alleviation by providing grooming and learning opportunities to the youth belonging to lower middle class.

He also hoped that the establishment of three centers for advanced studies in Pakistani universities in most critical areas for Pakistan’s development – Water Resources, Energy and Food Security – would bring together the best minds in academia, government and the business community to undertake research and find solutions to overcome some of the Pakistan’s greatest challenges.

He also acknowledged the contribution of students financial aid office for following transparent and merit based scholarship award mechanism.

For more information, contact:
Sindh Governor House
Syed Wajahat Ali
Press Secretary to Governor
Tel: 99201217, 99201201-3
Email: press_secretary@governorsindh.gov.pk

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