HEC’s leadership role appreciated in OIC moot

Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) role in the development of a science and technology based knowledge economy was appreciated by member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the sixth Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research, which concluded in Khartoum, Sudan .
Around 57 ministers of Higher Education and Science and Technology took part in the two day conference on ‘The role of higher education in the development of science and technology for a prosperous future’. The conference was inaugurated by the Sudanese vice president and co-chaired by higher education ministers of Sudan and Malaysia. The conference was held under the sponsorship of OIC and Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ISESCO.
HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari spoke of the role of science and technology in the development of an economy. He said that OIC countries had 70% of the world’s energy resources and 40% of the natural resources and yet their combined GDP was less than that of a country like Japan with no energy or natural resources. The game changer which could change the future of OIC countries was creating a science and technology based economy. “Only through the acquisition of knowledge would we be able to promote creativity, innovation, and indulge in technology based entrepreneurship,” he said.
He described how most OIC countries had fallen behind in tertiary enrollment, researchers per capita, ICT usage, wireless broadband, research and scientific publications, high tech exports, and patent development. He said that there was hope for the future, and the OIC region had much more potential than many other developing regions of the world, which must be exploited and cultivated.
Focusing on Pakistan, he said that gains made in Pakistan in the area of higher education, technology readiness and research in the last few years were phenomenal. Research that was relevant to economic development had taken off, and Pakistan had now become a regional player and was ready to play a leading role among OIC countries in the development of a science and technology based knowledge economy.

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