The federal government has earmarked Rs 57.47 billion for the higher education sector in the country for fiscal year 2013-14 with an increase of Rs 8 billion as compared to last year.

As major chunk of the budget of Higher Education Commission (HEC) goes to non-development expenditures, Rs 39 billion have been allocated for recurring expenditures and universities working under the Commission while Rs 18.49 billion have been allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 154 various projects. 

In the year 2012-13, the Commission was allocated Rs 48.578 billion in total but so far Rs 43 billion have been released, according to the officials of HEC. 

Among the 154 projects, 121 projects are ongoing while 33 schemes are new. As many as Rs. 1400 million have been allocated for the Overseas Scholarships for MS/M. Phil leading to Ph.D  (Phase II) in the new fiscal year and for PhD Fellowships for 5000 Scholars Rs. 550 million have been earmarked while for Post Doctoral Fellowship Programme Phase II Rs. 144. 969 million would be released during the year.  For the students of Balochistan, Rs. 160 million have been pledged under the programme of Master Leading to PhD Scholarship Programme (an initiative of the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package).  

The project Human Resource Development Initiative MS Leading to PhD Programme of Faculty Development for Engineering Universities/UESTPs would be released Rs. 740 million and Rs. 739 million have been pledged for Indigenous Ph.D Fellowship for 5000 Scholars HEC (Phase II). 

Under the new development projects, Rs. 300 million have been earmarked for Youth Laptop Scheme for ICT, AJK, GB and FATA while Rs. 200 million have been allocated for Strengthening of Faculties of Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Lahore. As many as Rs. 150 million have been allocated for Strengthening of Islamabad Campus of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science, and Technology and for the construction of UET Lahore Campus at Narowal Rs. 200 million have been pledged.   Rs. 700 million have been earmarked for the Establishment of New Campus of Jalozai Khyber Pakhtunkhawa University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, while for the Construction of 3-Hostel Blocks at International Islamic University Islamabad Rs 200 million have been pledged to be released in the upcoming fiscal year.–ASMA GHANI