The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan organized online orientation sessions on the Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award (PMNIA) for the Vice Chancellors and Rectors of public and private sector universities.
More than 230 university heads were invited to the sessions, which were aimed at giving them a detailed orientation of various components of the National Innovation Award and how the universities can partake to make this project a success for the country’s youth.
Executive Director HEC Dr Shaista Sohail, in her briefing to the Vice Chancellors, said that the project is aimed at changing the economic landscape for youth by promoting innovation and creating/supporting local businesses. She explained in detail the nine thematic areas of the National Innovation Award.
“All Pakistani youth aged between 15 to 30 years can take part in the Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award and get business funding of up to Rs 2 million,” said Dr Shaista Sohail adding that the Award would allow youngsters to turn their potential business ideas into a reality. She further said that in the current situation where Pakistan was facing flood devastations and climate change problems, the new generation needed to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to cope with these challenges.
While briefing about PMNIA Noshaba Awais, Project Director, PMNIA informed the participants that the objectives of the Innovation Award are improving Pakistan’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index, fostering entrepreneurial culture among the youth, and transforming ideas into a successful business.
Vice-Chancellors / Rectors appreciated HEC’s initiative to promote entrepreneurship culture among the youth. They also assured HEC to support the project in every possible way and encourage students to submit their innovative ideas.
It may be mentioned here that PMNIA is open to all kinds of innovative ideas including but not limited to Food Security, Water Management and Sustainability, Sustainable Energy, Urban Planning, Climate Change and Environment, Information Technology and Telecom, Innovative Governance and Reforms, Sociology and Philosophy, Medical and Health Sciences, and others. The selection of awards will be made through an open, rigorous, transparent, competitive, and merit-based process.