CM Punjab Approves Expansion of Honahar Merit Scholarships
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CM Punjab Approves Expansion of Honahar Merit Scholarships

Honahar Merit Scholarships

Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has given the green light to the expansion of the Punjab Honahar Merit Scholarship Programme, significantly increasing the number of scholarships from 4,000 to 25,000. This announcement came during a high-level meeting with the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED).

The enhanced scholarship programme will now cover 100% of the tuition fees for students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees at government universities and eight selected private universities across the province. This move aims to provide broader access to higher education for talented students.

In addition to the scholarship expansion, Chief Minister Nawaz directed the immediate establishment of new universities in Jhelum, Vehari, and Bahawalnagar. She emphasized the importance of introducing market-relevant disciplines in colleges that currently have limited enrollment, ensuring that education aligns more closely with job market demands.

To streamline administrative appointments, Nawaz ordered the creation of a transparent online portal for the appointment of divisional directors and principals based on merit. This measure is expected to enhance the efficiency and integrity of the appointment process.

A proposal to provide new buses to government colleges was also discussed during the meeting, reflecting the government’s commitment to improving transportation facilities for students.

Chief Minister Nawaz recommended forming a high-level ministerial committee to oversee private universities and decided to establish the Punjab Board Coordination Commission. This commission will focus on reforming the province’s education boards to ensure higher standards and better coordination.

Highlighting the need to support students from remote areas, Nawaz stressed the gradual expansion of free MDCAT and e-CAT classes. These classes prepare students for medical and engineering college admission tests, providing them with greater opportunities for higher education.

Proposals for setting up universities through public-private partnerships were reviewed, with Nawaz expressing strong support for facilitating the private sector in promoting higher education.

In a move to enhance students’ access to technology, she instructed the immediate launch of a laptop distribution scheme. Nawaz praised Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat and the Higher Education Department for their performance, acknowledging their efforts in advancing the province’s educational initiatives.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Nawaz, included detailed briefings by Higher Education Secretary Dr. Farrukh Naveed. Key officials in attendance were Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat, Chief Secretary, Chairman of P&D, Finance Secretary, and Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

This series of initiatives marks a significant step towards improving the quality and accessibility of higher education in Punjab, aiming to create a more educated and skilled workforce for the future.

Related: Punjab SED Partners with Tech Valley to Enhance Digital Learning

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