• 132,000 students file applications for Ehsaas Scholarship in 1st Phase

President Arif Alvi on Thursday said the Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Project was a state guardianship for the marginalized students of the country, as it was the state’s responsibility to counter elitism by facilitating people in employment as well as education and health sectors.

Alvi was the 27th Vice Chancellors Committee meeting held on Thursday in connection with Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships. The heads of public sector universities across the country attended the meeting at the HEC Secretariat, while several others attended via video link.

The president regretted that students from low income families were forced to quit education after matriculation or intermediate due to financial constraints. “If only three percent of students acquire college education, 97 per cent of the country’s intellect is neglected,” he asserted.

He stressed that the state was responsible for countering elitism by taking measures such as the Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Programme. Elaborating his own experiences, he highlighted the importance of merit and need-based scholarships in a student’s life. He said it was a major development that provision of educational opportunities to undergraduate students was focused on under this project.

The president urged the VCs to take a ‘quantum jump’ for enhancement in quality of education in order to make the country’s youth productive in terms of provision of service to the society. He stressed the need for ensuring fairness and transparency in the execution of Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Project.

Appreciating the gender balance maintained in the project, he said it was a social obligation not to let the women’s productivity and contribution to society go waste. He regretted that, according to a report, 80 percent of women graduating from medical institutions did not work. He also advised the university heads to take greater care of specially-abled students in whatever form they need it.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the project aimed at promoting human capital investment, as it was imperative to invest in human capital to make the youth technologically skilled to meet future challenges.

Dr Nishtar termed the project a paradigm change in the state scholarship policy. She said the prime minister wished for the programme to benefit maximum number of students across the country, adding that the government would allocate more resources for this project in the coming years.

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