Former Higher Education Commission chairman Dr Attaur Rehman on Tuesday said that only 1.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is being spent on the education which needs to be increased. Pakistan is standing among bottom countries in the index of spending on education.

He was addressing the faculty members of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad at New Senate Hall. UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad presented the welcome address.

Addressing on occasion, Dr Attaur Rehman said that the present government had announced earmarking 5 percent for the education that will bring positive result in term of poverty alleviation and prosperity of the country. He linked socio-education development with the quality education that enables people to open up their new world. He quoted the examples of Malaysia, China who worked day and night to prove their mettle due to education. He said that India was moving with large pace as 200 new universities would be established there over the period of next five years.

He said that the HEC had awarded 11,000 scholarships to the talented students, helping the country to combat different challenges. He said higher education is the indicator with which you can measure a country’s development plans, its uplift policies and its doctrine of growth.

He was of the view that it is the wondrous world of the science bringing the prosperity and progress. He said that it is the need of hour to excel in the field of science to compete with fast moving world. He said that the Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) is getting popularity across the globe. He added that system provides an opportunity to the people to get the benefit from world renowned scholars lectures at their doorsteps through internet.

Talking about the agriculture, keeping in view the issue of water, it is vital to make the sea water, comprising one third of the world, usable for agriculture. He said that modern agriculture practices are vital to face the challenges to ensure the food for increasing population.  

Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that the University was talking all steps to ensure the quality education at the campus. That’s why the UAF is standing among top 100 world universities in the subject of agriculture sciences, as per National Taiwan University. He said that the university research portfolio has crossed the 2 billion compared to 300 million five year ago. He thanked Dr Attaur Rehman to deliver a lecture here.