KARACHI- Scientists and educationists at the 14th Asian Symposium have said that the present government has increased the budget for Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, which is a positive sign for the public universities in the country.
During the last five years, the HEC was under attack, hence the public universities have suffered financial storm, despite the fact that education is the only solution to all problems of the country, they said, while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 4-day 14th Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants, Spices and Other Natural Products (ASOMPS), held on Monday morning, organised by International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), at Dr. Saleem-uz-Zaman Siddiqui Auditorium of ICCBS.
Executive Director Higher Education Commission Dr Mukhtar Ahmed inaugurated the symposium, and delivered key address. Former Chairman HEC Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Acting KU VC Prof. Dr. Ghazala M. Rizwana, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Dean Faculty of Sciences Prof. Syed Abid Azhar, Managing Trustee Muhammad Hussain Panjwani Memorial Trust Ms. Nadira Pujwani, Chairmn Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation Mr. Aziz Latif Jamal, Chairman Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Prof. Dr. Mudassir Azrar, Dr Ghulam Musharraf of HEJ and Dr. Sonia Siddqui of PCMD also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that Pakistan is passing through most turbulent times, while education is the only and key solution to all problems of the country. There is an increase in the numbers of higher learning institutions in the country; the country has more than 153 public and private universities, he said and added that Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman as HEC Chief has done great job for the higher education sector; Prof. Atta has left the path for other countries to follow; India and Bangladesh are some of those following the path of HEC.
Speaking to the gathering, Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman said that now the progress of nations in the world are measured with reference to the education, whereas nations are known for their achievements in education, health and science and technologies. During the previous years, HEC remained under fire that is why the public institutions have suffered financial crunch, he said, and added that Knowledge is the only key driver to get socio-economic progress in the world. He said that the real wealth of the country is our youth. Talking to media, he said that some politicians tried to demolish HEC so that their fake degrees could not be checked properly.
Talking about ASOMPS, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary said that said the aim of the symposium was to bring together leading experts in the field of natural products sciences all around the world and forge global partnerships for sustainable utilization of natural resources for the common benefit of humanity and rapid development of the countries in the south. . Through this meeting stronger research ties between the scientists of different regions can be fostered, he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that over 600 eminent scientists and young researchers are participating in this symposium, which is recognized as one of the most prestigious international events in the field of natural product sciences.”