ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal, who also holds the Planning, Development and Reforms portfolio, has urged the academic community to promote research and innovation in universities around the country.
Addressing a ceremony of Aga Khan University’s (AKU) report launch on the economic impact of the institution in Pakistan, Iqbal said that universities need to enhance industry linkages as well.
“Educational institutions must produce future leaders and engage in community development for economic prosperity of the country,” the minister remarked while speaking as chief guest on the occasion.
Individuals from government organisations, diplomatic corps, international donor agencies and civil society groups also joined the university at the launch of the report in Islamabad on Wednesday.
“This economic impact study by Aga Khan University is a trendsetter for our education sector,” Iqbal noted.
Appreciating the efforts put into the study by the research team, the federal minister observed that, “AKU continues to hold its reputation as a model of excellence in higher education by showing us another way to assess, evaluate and hold accountable our higher education institutions.”
“Universities must connect with the society to uplift the marginalised segment of our society. Education is the biggest weapon for social mobilisation and a major source inclusive development,” Ahsan Iqbal stated while talking about the importance of an inclusive Pakistan.
The minister was of the opinion that the government had resolved the energy crisis and choked the menace of terrorism by providing a conducive environment for economic development in the country.
“Pakistan has had record Gross Domestic Production (GDP) growth in the past ten years. We expect 6 per cent GDP growth in this fiscal year,” Iqbal declared.
President and Chief Executive Officer of AKU Firoz Rasul also spoke to the gathering in the capital, saying that the results of a landmark study at the university had revealed that AKU has an annual economic impact of Rs103 billion in Pakistan, supporting 42,000 jobs.
“The study reports that AKU’s spending has a multiplier effect, with every rupee of its direct gross value added generating Rs 7.3 in economic benefits,” Rasul said.
According to Rasul, the study demonstrates that AKU has a major impact as a leader that improves quality of life in Pakistan, whether by raising standards in health care and education, empowering women or conducting cutting-edge research.
Providing further details about the research, Rasul maintained that AKU generated its economic impact in a variety of ways.
“By providing high-quality education, it increases the earning power of its alumni. By providing outstanding health care to 1.3 million individuals annually, it keeps people healthy and productive. And as a major purchaser of goods and services, it generates revenues for businesses and jobs for people across the country.”
Prisoners enrolled in the autumn of 2017 for upgrading their qualification
Connectivity, energy, trade, poverty alleviation are among salient features
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