Islamabad - The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its meeting approved three projects of Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The first project approved by CDWP in the meeting is establishment of Seerat Chairs in public sector universities. The project envisages establishing/ strengthening Seerat Chairs in seven universities, including University of Sindh, Jamshoro, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, and International Islamic University, Islamabad. The proposed chairs will focus on the prevalent challenges being faced by the society, and propose guidelines in light of the extracts from the life of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW).

The specific areas to be researched by these chairs will include leadership and governance, inter-religious and community harmony, human rights and justice, business and commerce, education and knowledge, sustainable development, and social justice and welfare. Endowment fund of Rs 20 million will be provided to each chair for financial sustainability and to support R&D activities of the chair. Operational cost for two years will also be provided. The second project entitled ‘establishment of UET Lahore sub-campus at Narowal’ worth Rs 2899.423 million has been approved. Major components of the project include civil works, procurement of teaching laboratory equipment, ICT infrastructure, furniture and fixture, transport, books and journals, chemicals, glassware and consumable items, besides master planning and detailed designing of the sub-campus. Narowal campus of UET Lahore was temporarily established in postgraduate block of Islamia College, Narowal, in September 2012, which comprises departments of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering. The new departments proposed to be added are department of computer science and engineering, and department of business administration and management.

The government of Punjab has already provided 200 acres of land for the sub-campus. In addition to academic departments, a hostel for 400 male and 250 female students and a faculty hostel will also be established. The campus will be offering initially bachelor programme and subsequently start masters and PhD programmes.

Similarly, the third project approved is strengthening of the University of Poonch, Rawlakot, which will cater to the needs of around 6,000 projected student population, over 260 teaching staff and over 230 management and technical staff. Faculty of agriculture will be shifted to new campus in Chotta Gala, which is under-construction. Faculties of basic and applied sciences, arts, management sciences, and engineering and technology will be shifted to new campus, while faculties of veterinary and animal sciences, medical and health sciences will remain in the existing campus. The project will focus on faculty development, strengthening IT infrastructure, provision of teaching and research laboratories, teaching aids, construction of academic blocks, a hostel for 200 female students, an administration block, central library in addition to provision of furniture/fixture, books and journals, and transport.