ISLAMABAD - Education in general and higher education in particular has been a priority of the Pakistan People’s Party since its inception. The federal government is committed to promotion of social sciences in Pakistan.

It was stated by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira while addressing at MoU signing ceremony between Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences and National Testing Service Pakistan and Reception in the honour of the delegates of 2nd International Social Sciences Conference on “The Emerging Issues of Social Science in Pakistan” held at Islamabad Club Islamabad.

He added that first PPP government, led by its founding Chairman Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, established the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1974 as a federal body, realising the importance of higher education for a developing country like Pakistan. Many of the top universities in the country were established especially in remote regions of the country to equip the young people with modern knowledge and technology.

He also appreciated the MoU signed between member institutions of Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences and National Testing Service Pakistan and hoped that through this MoU, assessment and examination system will be improved in Pakistan especially in the disciplines of social sciences, arts and humanities and will be instrumental in bringing Pakistan’s education system at par with the international standards. Lauding the efforts of higher education commission Pakistan, he added that a culture of seminars and conferences encompassing various current socio-economic challenges faced by the country, will augment the situation. 

He also urged the social scientists to play their pivotal role to promote the values of peace, tolerance, harmony, pluralism and culture of dialogue. To guide the government regarding the people’s needs and aspirations should be the focus of the social scientists, the Federal Minister added.

He also termed the country s’ first ever Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities as a remarkable initiative, that has been recently established by  eight leading higher education institutions of the country under the facilitation of Higher Education Commission Pakistan. “Inter-university collaboration bring the higher educational institutions closer to one another for a constructive cause while availing each other’s resources and expertise”, he added.

Earlier Executive Director HEC, Prof. Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi said that realizing the importance of social sciences for the socio-economic development of the country and reformation of the society, HEC has  paid special attention to strengthening the social sciences through  a number of new programs;  establishing  the Committee for Development of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in Pakistan (CDSSHP); initiating  thematic research grant in social sciences; allocating  special quota to the social sciences in human resource development programs;  strengthening  institutional capacity through improving existing facilities in social science departments of universities and maintaining  close interaction with R & D and civil society organizations working in the field of social sciences.

The recent establishment of inter university consortium for promotion of social sciences is another glowing example of HEC’s commitment to promotion of social sciences.

Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, Chairperson National Committee on Development of Social Sciences, Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, Chairperson Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan, Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai, Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University, and Dr Haroon Rashid, Director National Testing Service Pakistan, also spoke on the occasion.