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UAJK and AJK Govt sign MoU for Policy Advancement

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In a landmark move aimed at fostering evidence-based policymaking and driving socio-economic progress, the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (UAJK) and the Planning and Development (P&D) Department of the Government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (GoAJK) have formalized a pioneering collaboration. This partnership, sealed through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marks a significant step towards leveraging research insights for informed decision-making.

The signing ceremony, held at the City Campus, convened esteemed dignitaries including Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi and Additional Chief Secretary (Development) of GoAJK, Mrs. Midhat Shehzad, alongside other prominent officials from both UAJK and the government.

Representatives from both institutions, Mr. Amir Latif Awan, Secretary of Planning and Development, and Dr. Rauf Ahmed Janjua, Director of the Office of Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (ORIC) at UAJK, formally inked the MoU, cementing their commitment to collaborative endeavors.

The MoU outlines a framework for joint initiatives between P&D and UAJK, notably including the hosting of Policy Papers and Seminar Series focusing on mutually agreed-upon themes concerning the socio-economic landscape of the region. The primary objective is to devise research-based solutions to pertinent policy challenges and disseminate findings through various platforms, including dialogue sessions, media channels, and other relevant mediums.

UAJK will extend tailored research support to P&D on specific topics pertinent to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Additionally, P&D will facilitate GoAJK employees in pursuing higher education programs such as Executive M.Phil., Ph.D., and other relevant courses at UAJK, accommodating their schedules with evening and weekend classes and minimal enrollment prerequisites.

The MoU underscores mutual support for capacity-building initiatives targeting government and UAJK personnel, with provisions for additional collaborative activities to be determined through mutual agreement.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi emphasized the collaborative partnership’s significance, highlighting its potential to drive knowledge advancement and tackle pressing regional issues through research and academic pursuits. He underscored the pivotal role of universities in education, research, innovation, and societal contribution, emphasizing the agreement’s importance in fostering community engagement and sustainable progress.

Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Ms. Midhat Shahzad echoed these sentiments, lauding the partnership as a commendable step towards fostering growth and development in the region. She emphasized the importance of integrating university research into governmental strategies for effective development planning, envisioning the MoU as a cornerstone for future sustainable initiatives in the state.

Secretary of Agriculture Amir Mehmood Mirza and Secretary of Planning and Development Amir Latif Awan, along with other dignitaries, also delivered remarks, expressing their support for the collaboration and its potential impact.

Dr. Rauf Ahmed Janjua provided insights into the aims and objectives of the agreement, highlighting its role in providing evidence-based solutions for policymakers and fostering collaboration between academia and government entities.

In recognition of their contributions, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi presented commemorative shields to Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Ms. Midhat Shahzad and other dignitaries, marking the culmination of the signing ceremony.

Established in 1980, UAJK stands as a premier institution committed to disseminating higher education and fostering research across diverse fields. With a vision to produce skilled human resources and research outcomes that drive societal growth and development, UAJK aims to serve as a hub for evidence-based research and policy solutions for the benefit of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Related: UAJK hosts Professional Development Workshop

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