Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a meeting on Higher Education. Image Credit: APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday chaired a meeting to review the progress on thee establishment of a state-of-the-art University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies.

The meeting at the Prime Minister’s House was attended by Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Chairman Task Force on Science and Technology Professor Dr Atta-ur-Rehman and senior officials, a PM Office statement said.

They discussed matters regarding the establishment of national centres of research, innovation and entrepreneurship in artificial intelligence and allied technologies and a major national human resources development programme.

Hussain briefed the prime minister about various initiatives being taken by his ministry to promote scientific and technical education, besides encouraging research and development activities.

The briefing also encompassed the ministry’s measures for establishing effective links between various government organisations and the industry in the field of research in science and technology.

Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, while briefing the prime minister about the progress made by the Task Force on Science and Technology, said they had prepared a comprehensive Knowledge Economy Policy document.

Moreover, a document on improving ease of doing business had also been prepared and would be shared with the Board of Investment, he added.

He said the task force was also helping to establish effective links between the Federal Board of Revenue and the National Database and Registration Authority in the area of tax collection.

Discussing the strengthening of technical training programmes, the meeting noted that there was a need to further strengthen coordination among the relevant organisations involved in technical education and skill development.

The prime minister appreciated the efforts being made by the Ministry of Science and Technology in promoting scientific and technical education and research.

He said that the aspect of value addition in the sphere of agriculture should be accorded priority.

Imran also approved a proposal presented by the minister for science and technology and the Higher Education Commission chairman to select the top 15 universities of the country and accord them elite university status.

The prime minister also directed that the proposal to allow universities for undertaking commercial projects, based on their research products, should be examined.

A national level scholarship scheme for the deserving students was also discussed during the meeting.

The prime minister observed that the scholarship schemes needed to be integrated and linked with Ehsas Programme to enable deserving and competent students to complete their studies.

He also directed that industries should be encouraged to play greater role in promoting research and development activities.