Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that in today's world, no nation can properly progress in the absence of a sound human capital base and education. Especially technical education is the key to a successful human resource development. Access of people to advanced knowledge and skills has emerged as the single most competitive advantage at the global level, he said while addressing the Graduation Ceremony Of SZABIST Islamabad at Convention Center. Right knowledge and right people with knowledge are the crucial factors for development, main drivers of growth and major determinants of competitiveness in today's global economy, he said. Knowledge, both as an input and as an output, is the key source of long-term growth and development. Today's buzz term 'knowledge based economy' is used in this very context. The developed nations have made their place in the global community on the basis of realization of importance of knowledge, he said. They consider the degree of their success directly proportional to the strategic investment in education, particularly in science and technology. This realization has enabled them to fully exploit the emerging opportunities of globalization and improve their economic strength. "This is possible only when everyone of us, male or female, does the hard work in real sense of the word, to catch up with the advancements in all fields, especially in the fields of science and technology", he said. PM said it is unfortunate that education has been a grossly neglected area in Pakistan. Different educational policies were made from time to time but never implemented. Big claims of improvement in this vital sector were made by different governments but the hard reality is that education was never given the due attention which it deserved. The crises, which we are facing presently at national level in various areas, are to a great extent the result of this neglect of education sector. He said our government is committed to see education, especially higher education, flourish in the country. The Government would like to encourage the private sector to work side by side with the public sector to invest in education and promote research and development in higher education, especially technical and vocational education. "Our target is to achieve over 90% literacy by 2015 and obviously, it is not possible for the government alone to achieve this target within the stipulated time period. An active participation of the private sector in this endeavor is a must and I am happy that SZABIST is far ahead of others in this regard", PM said. He said the efforts of Higher Education Commission (HEC) is commendable which has brought a revolutionary change in Pakistan since its formation in 2002. It has increased the number of universities from 98 to 132, and also tripled the university enrolment. Up till 2002, Only 3,000 PhD degrees were awarded whereas more than 3,280 have been awarded in the last eight years alone. Similarly the number of research publications increased from 815 in 2002 to over 4,000 in 2009 and are still growing by each year with the number of returning PhD scholars. At present, on HEC scholarships over 2800 scholars are pursuing their PhD degrees abroad while another 3800 are pursuing it locally. If this pace of growth and development will continue over the next 10 years then I am sure Pakistan will be on its way to becoming a knowledge power country.