Islamabad - Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions, has urged the researchers to relate their research with social and economic problems of the country and come up with tangible solutions whether they belong to sciences, arts or humanities.

He was speaking at the 4th Outstanding Research Awards ceremony for the year 2012 organised here at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat on Friday. As many as 28 outstanding researchers were given awards in four categories including best research paper, best young research scholar, best innovator and best book publication. Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and Adviser (R&D) HEC Dr Tariq Mahmood were also present on the occasion.

Congratulating the award winners, the minister said, “The role of academics and researchers is very important in any society. I hope you will be involved more energetically to boost research culture and relate your work with society’s ground realities. I would request our researchers and scholars to pay attention areas like energy, water, food security as well important social issues.” The minister further said that increasing access of higher education must be linked to quality.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that HEC has been spearheading research in universities which has led to the creation and growth of the indigenous knowledge in all fields of sciences. He said that it is encouraging to see that the universities have responded passionately to all the initiatives taken by HEC for research and development and many projects have made their presence felt at national and international forums.

“The HEC has adopted a wholesome approach for development through research, ranging from personal development to strengthening of universities, development of research incubators, capacity development of human resource, exposure of faculty and researchers to international academia, establishing university-to-university linkages to name a few.”

Awards for Best Research Paper went to Dr Muhammad Atif, National Institute of Lasers and Optronics, Islamabad, Dr Shamaraz Firdous, National Institute of Lasers and Optronics, Islamabad, Dr Muhammad Hanif, Assistant COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad, Dr Muhammad Sharif, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Dr Muhammad Najam-ul-Haq, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Dr Muhammad Ramzan Saeed Ashraf, Assistant Professor University of Sargodha, Dr Muhammad Nauman Ahmad, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Dr Jamil Ahmad, BUITEMS Quetta, Dr Azeem Khalid, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Fiaz Ahmad, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Dr Shah Ali Ul Qader, Dr AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi, Dr Naveed Arshad, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Dr Muhammad Kashif Khan, DHA Suffa University, Karachi, Dr Basit Raza, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad, Dr Muhammad Kamran, CIIT, Wah Campus, Dr Naveed Ahmad, UET Peshawar, Dr Inayatullah Jan, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Dr Tahira Jibeen, CIIT Lahore, Shoaib-ul-Haq, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Dr Mohammad Zafar Iqbal, International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Best Young Research Scholar Award were given to Dr Khalid Mahmood Zia, Government College University, Faisalabad, Dr Muhammad Farooq, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Dr Junaid Zafar, Government College University, Lahore, Dr Muhammad Abbas, Riphah International University.

Best Innovator Award went to Dr Riaz Ahmad Mufti, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad. Best Book Award was won by Dr Arshad Mehmood Abbasi, CIIT Abbottabad, Dr Shoaib Pervez, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, and Dr Rabia Umar Ali, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.