President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday stressed the need for universities in the country to emerge as ‘centres of excellence’ to side by side hone talent of their students in academic and co-curricular domains.

Addressing at the launch of ‘Sports and Co-curricular Activities Division’ under the Kamyab Jawan programme at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in connection with International Youth Day, the President said promoting healthy activities through sports was fundamental to the physical and social development of youth.

With a cost of Rs 3,969 million, the HEC will execute five projects of Kamyab Jawan, namely Kamyab Jawan PM’s Youth programme, establishment of Sports academics (high-performance and resource centres) and Youth Olympics, Talent Hunt Youth Sports League, Green Youth Movement and Innovative League.

President Alvi said Pakistan’s talented youth could excel in all fields of life if provided with the right platform to showcase their skills.

He regretted that the commercialization of educational institutions in the country had marred the environment that once used to be their hallmark, where the focus was laid on both academic and co-curricular activities along with character-building of students.

In the past, he said, the schools, colleges and universities with their rich traditions produced several national heroes in sports, who brought laurels to the country.

He lauded the performance of the two Pakistani athletes, who had a near-miss at the recent Tokyo Olympics, and said a proper infrastructure was key to prepare best stuff for the future sporting events.

The president urged the HEC to remain cognizant of the scope of jobs as per the market requirements and formulate the course outline accordingly.

Without planning, he said, the graduates and Ph.Ds could face severe crisis of unemployment.

The president mentioned that China’s emphasis on education and health sectors helped it overcoming the big challenge of poverty and rising as a strong nation.

He said the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was also focusing on the uplift of all segments of society through projects such as Kamyab Jawan and Ehsass, to mainstream them in national development.

The president lauded Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, who despite the limitations of the Constitution’s 18th amendment, was successfully pursuing the government’s agenda of uniform syllabus.

He said PM’s Special Usman Dar had effectively expanded the reach of Kamyab Jawan programme to benefit youth from all provinces, may it in areas of skill development or easy loans for business start-ups.

On the occasion, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood hoped that the initiatives taken under Kamyab Jawan programme will train the Pakistani youth and lead them to international championships. He emphasised on adopting a holistic approach towards improvement in the university education, by enhancing the quality of education and research, faculty development, and character building of youth.

Mr. Usman Dar stated that youth and sports are interconnected. “The Government is committed to ensuring that the Pakistani youth do not lag behind due to lack of resources.” He said that the initiatives of Kamyab Jawan programme are the demands of youth being fulfilled by the Government. He said that the Government conducted a survey and consulted experts to know what the youth needed to be able to contribute to the uplift of this country. “The programme will prove to be a game changer, as it is aimed to connect the youth to the facilities available in Pakistan”, he said.

Earlier, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail gave a detailed insight into the Kamyab Jawan Sports and Co-Curricular Activities Division. She also highlighted the objectives of the five projects.

Later on during the ceremony, Minister for Communications Mr. Murad Saeed appreciated Mr. Usman Dar for reaching out to the youth, taking into account their ideas, and providing them with loans and business opportunities.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Abbad Bukhari expressed pleasure that focus was being placed on sports that will ensure the well-being and health of students.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Farrukh Habib observed that the young people of Pakistani society are ready for transformation. He said that Kamyab Jawan programme is aimed to work for the uplift of youth who are the economic engine of Pakistan. He stressed the need for making the youth an asset by investing in them. He said that a loan of Rs. 19 billion has been provided to the youth having innovative business ideas, while so far 20,000 young people have benefited from the initiative.

The ceremony was also addressed by Minister for Information Technology Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Minister for Tourism, Gilgit-Baltistan, Raja Nasir, Vice Chancellor Quaid-e-Azam University Dr. Muhammad Ali, Vice Chancellor NED Karachi Dr. Sarosh Lodhi, Vice Chancellor Punjab University Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan, Dr. Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi and other notables.

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