LAHORE - Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that there is a need for eliminating booti-mafia from our society and ensure transparency in examination system. He said the government had set up Punjab Educational Endowment Fund with a sum of Rs 2 billion and an equal amount would be added to this fund each year, from which brilliant students would be awarded scholarships for continuing their studies without financial constraints. He was addressing a function with regard to study tour of position-holders of different examinations to the reputed seats of learning in Germany and Britain at the CM Secretariat here on Thursday. Senior Advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, MPA Kh Imran Nazir, Vice-Chancellors of different varsities, teachers, parents, educationists and senior officers were present on the occasion. The Chief Minister said that 20 talented students of the province were being sent to Germany and the UK on a study tour of prestigious educational institutions. He said that the visit of these students to the Cambridge, Oxford and Heidelberg varsities would further promote their quest for knowledge. He said that 40 instead of 20 position-holders would be sent on study tour of foreign countries the next year. He said that there was a need for elimination of illiteracy and ignorance and equipping the young generation with modern education for the progress and prosperity of the country. He said that keeping in view the importance of education, the Punjab government was attaching top priority to the uplift of this sector and revolutionary measures had been taken in this regard. Shahbaz said that setting up of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund would guarantee higher education for talented students, who cannot pursue their studies due to financial problems. He said that disparity in educational system would be removed and a uniform system of education soon be introduced for the promotion of quality education in Punjab. He also announced to double the amount of cash prize for the position-holders the next year as well as sending of 40 students instead of 20 on study tour of the foreign countries. The Chief Minister said that neighbouring countries of Pakistan had moved far ahead by developing education sector whereas no substantial increase had been made in the rate of literacy in Pakistan despite the passage of 62 years. He said that illiteracy would have to be removed in the interest of the country and provision of educational facilities to every child from Karachi to Khyber and Rahim Yar Khan to Attock would also be ensured. He said that students displaying outstanding performance in the speech and essay competitions were given cash prizes of Rs 140 million as well as certificates and this process would continue in future as well. He distributed tickets and passports among the students. Later, Dean Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) and Coordinator of the visit Prof Dr Noor Muhammad Sheikh informed about the aims and objectives and details of the study tour. The students paid rich tributes to the Chief Minister and said that the way the talented students were being honoured was unprecedented in the history of the country. They said the revolutionary steps being taken by the the CM for the development of education sector would yield far-reaching results and the students would be able to continue their studies with greater commitment and dedication.