MIRPUR (AJK)-AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that all the public sector universities of AJK will make concrete efforts to provide the students with modern education and promote research.

Masood, who is also chancellor of the AJK-based public sector universities, made the comment while chairing the Vice Chancellors Conference in the State's capital town on Monday.

Vice Chancellor of the world-class Mirpur University of Science & Technology Mirpur (MUST) Dr Habib-ur-Rehman, University of AJK VC Prof Dr Kaleem Abbasi; VC University of Poonch (UoP) Dr Rasul Jan; VC Women University of AJK Dr Haleem Khan and VC University of Kotli Dr Dilnawaz Gardezi attended the conference.

Various matters relating to the universities were discussed, including the introduction of new disciplines, establishment of sub-campuses, job fairs, conducting seminars and conferences, enactment of statutes, inter-university competitions, and other financial, administrative and academic issues.

The vice chancellors informed the President of the progress on drafting statutes of their respective universities. Statutes of University of Kotli, Poonch, Bagh and MUST were in final stages of being drafted and the President was assured that these statutes will be placed for approval in the near future.

The President, in a previous meeting, urged the universities to organise job-fairs, and seminars on the Kashmir issue and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. It was informed that University of Kotli, UoP and UAJK would organise job fairs in the first week of September, while Women University Bagh will hold their job fair by the mid of August. The President advised expediting all arrangements in order to ensure the job fairs are held on time.

Dr Dilnawaz said that the University of Kotli will also be organizing an International Science Conference in October, this year.

Reiterating the need to create awareness and to acknowledge the sacrifices of the founding fathers of AJK, the President highlighted the need to organize seminars/conferences on prominent personalities. It was decided that seminars/conferences on the lives and contributions of Sardar Ibrahim Khan, Sardar Abdul Qayyum, Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, Ali Ahmad Shah, Fateh Muhammad Khan Karelvi, Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah, K. H. Khurshid, Captain Khan Muhammad Khan (Khan of Mong) and Col Khan Muhammad Khan (Baba-e-Poonch) would be organized at the universities.

The President said that contributors be invited to submit their scholarly papers on these personalities so as to be presented in the conferences. The President was apprised of the status of Mong and Abbaspur sub-campuses of UoP; Pallandri sub-campus of MUST and the sub-campuses of UAJK at Hattian Bala and Neelum. The President said that work on the sub-campuses be completed on time so that classes may be initiated soon. He also advised VC UoP that issues relating to land-acquisition for Kahuta campus be resolved on priority. He said that by establishing sub-campuses, the students of these areas will be provided quality higher education near their homes.

He also advised VC UoP for promoting research on developing horticulture and floriculture products, which in turn would also help generate revenue for the university. The VC said that orchards are being established at the university which will be ready by next year. He also said that students and researchers at UoP are researching on mushroom production which will help introduce local farmers to new value crops.

The President was also informed that the issue relating to accommodation of students at the Women University of AJK, Bagh will soon be resolved. The President recommended to the Vice Chancellors to streamline financial and administrative issues of the universities and to help rationalise spending on academic and development activities.

Masood urged upholding the highest standards of merit in admissions, recruitments and promotions. He added that the universities be made centres of excellence in order to cater for the students not only from AJK but also from all over the country.