Effective role of universities was urged for promotion of book-reading culture, knowledge creation and dissemination at a seminar titled, “Role of Universities in Promoting Book Culture”, organised by the Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS) at Pak-China Friendship Centre Islamabad on Saturday.
Organised in connection with the seventh National Book Day Festival, main speakers of the event included Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Prof Dr Muhammad Qasim Bughio, renowned scholar Prof Dr Najeeb Jamal, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Nadeem Akber, Director of American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Islamabad, Javed Zafar Advisor COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, Dr Sajid Mehmood Awan senior research fellow National Institute of Historical and Culture Research Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and Muhammad Murtaza Noor National Coordinator Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan.
The speakers suggested use of modern technology and innovative methods to motivate the youth for booking reading.
In his address, Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Prof Dr Bughio stressed the need for paying special attention to improvement of university libraries through purchase of new books. He was of the view that universities should play pivotal role for creation and dissemination of knowledge.
Nadeem Akber of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies suggested that special incentives were offered to university faculty for writing books relevant to socio-economic issues of the country. He was of the view that book review culture could be helpful in promoting book reading culture among varsity students.
Dr Sajid Awan from the Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad said that higher education institutions should adopt innovative methods for creation of knowledge instead of only focusing on traditional role of teaching.
Dr Najeeb Jamal remarked that books had a vital role in studies and training but instead taking benefit from this valuable treasure, “we just locked them in cupboards”. He lamented that despite passage of 70 years, book-reading culture could not be promoted in Pakistani universities. “Except one university in Pakistan, no university has translation centre to translate important literature in our own languages,” he deplored.
IUCPSS National Coordinator Murtaza Noor highlighted the vital role of universities for undertaking research to resolve problems being confronted by Pakistani society.
Various other programmes were also organised on the second day of the book festival. A lot of visitors from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad paid visit and took keen interest in various stalls displayed by leading publishing houses of the country.
The main activities of the second day included book-reading sessions in Urdu and English languages, dialogue on Literature of Overseas Pakistanis, seminar on Peace, Prosperity and Interfaith Harmony, special session on Works and Life of Henrik Ibsen, renowned Norwegian writer.
Special programmes for children were also arranged in children activity area especially allocated at Pak-China Friendship Centre Islamabad. Stage performance by kids on poetry of Allamq Iqbal was appreciated by the audience. A special session on basic techniques of drawing was also conducted. Separate story reading sessions were also conducted for children.