ISlamabad - President Dr. Arif Alvi appreciated the role of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in promotion of education and alleviating illiteracy in the country, a statement said on Saturday. President of Pakistan, who is also Chancellor of the AIOU, while presiding over a high-level meeting of the varsity here yesterday at President House said that the AIOU was playing significant role in social and economic development of the country by educating the masses of the far flung areas of Pakistan. He urged upon the university authorities to adopt new information and communication technology for strengthening teaching and learning system through distance education in the country.  To cope up with the present-day challenges in the field of education and making the quality of education compatible with that of the rest of the world, our educational institutions need to use the latest technology in the field, the President added. He also appreciated the presence of AIOU in almost every area of Pakistan especially far flung areas of Balochistan, Sindh and KP. Professor Dr. Zia-ul-Qayyum, Vice Chancellor of the AIOU in his briefing to the President about the university affairs on this occasion informed that currently around fourteen lac students are enrolled in various academic programmes and courses being offered by the university. And since its establishment around thirty five lac students have graduated from this mega university of the country, he added. He also informed the Chancellor that the varsity is adopting the new and emerging technologies to transform its operations from manual to digital/online mode.