ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the Vision-2025 of the present government had a special emphasis on education and creating jobs especially for the educated youth.

He was addressing a scholarship award ceremony under National Endowment Scholarships for Talent Students, here today to distribute scholarships among the talented students to continue their education with the financial support from the government.

The Minister for Planning and Development said the National Endowment Scholarships for Talent would be gradually increased from the existing Rs. 5.2 to Rs. 25 billion to support merit-based studies.

He said the programme has been launched on the pattern of Punjab Education Endowment Fund under which one hundred and fifty thousand students are getting the scholarship and its number will be increased in future gradually.

Ahsan Iqbal said as the education and knowledge is the real foundation for sustained progress and development, therefore, the government has been giving due attention to this sector.

He said scholarships under National Endowment Scholarship for Talent are being awarded through a transparent and merit-based process. The Minister said a major programme launched by the present Government is US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, which would produce 10,000 PhDs.

The Minister said the programme has been initiated to provide an opportunity to students to continue their higher and research-based education in quality institutions in the United States.

The Minister for Planning and Development said a National Science Talent Farming Scheme will be implemented under which 300 children will be given the scholarship to pursue the education in quality institutions to PhD.

He said one million laptops have been distributed under Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme purely on merit among the talented students. He said with a view to promoting higher education, the government has been concentrating on establishing more educational campuses of the universities at least at each district. He said it would ensure access to higher education by students of backward and far-flung areas of the country.

Under the National Endowment Scholarships Talent Student, scholars are being distributed among the bachelors and intermediate students to continue their education without any financial problem.

The National Endowment Scholarship for Talent (NEST), is a public sector non-profit organization which announces financial assistance to the students who are deserving, less privileged and want to study in bachelors level in public and private sector institution.