Pakistani universities’ dismal performance in the list of top 500 universities of Asia is a matter of grave concern, President Arif Alvi has said.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the “2nd International Symposium on Natural Products for the Future (ISNPF-2)”. The event was organised at Professor Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium at University of Karachi.
During his address, the president said the government was focused on addressing the needs of the education sector on a priority basis. He said the government was making efforts to promote education at primary and secondary levels and was aiming to educate as well as train 100 million youngsters below the age of 20; calling them the real asset of the country. Alvi said the quality of education, rather than number of institutions, was much more important, adding that it was extremely vital for education institutions to improve the quality of faculty and standards of research and education.
The president said these research initiatives should emphasise on the current needs of the country, such as research on the development of seeds, which was rare in present times. He also said that indigenous research needed to be conducted areas such as medicine, botany and food sciences and water conservation practises in farming.
“Following the footprints of Bangladesh and Philippine, the country needs to promote crops that could be cultivated in less water so that the country could be saved from any expected food shortage,” he said.
Alvi also appreciated the efforts by Professor Salimuzzaman Siddiqui, Professor Attaur Rahman, Latif Ebrahim Jamal, Dr Panjwani Memorial Trust Chairperson Nadira Panjwani and Professor Iqbal Chaudhary in the expansion and advancement of International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) and acknowledged Hakim Saeeds’ services for the country.
The president said the socio-economic development of the country relied heavily on education, science, technology and innovation and the right emphasis on these key pillars would assist the country in transitioning into a knowledge economy.