ISLAMABAD: The two-day launch conference of the Islamabad National University (INU) entitled ‘Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for Pakistan’ organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) concluded here at the former Prime Minister (PM) House on Saturday.
The conference encompassed four thematic areas including governance, development, climate, and technology. It was attended by a large number of field experts from across Pakistan as well as expatriate Pakistani and foreign academicians.
INU is envisioned as an apex institution designed to support research-based policy formulation. It will initially consist of an Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), which will be charged with providing a science-based annual report to the government on emerging challenges confronting Pakistan and the world, and the menu of options for addressing these challenges.
Benazir Income Support Programme Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar was the chief guest of the closing ceremony. HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri and HEC Executive Director Lt General (r) Muhammad Asghar also graced the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Nishtar said the conference was of great importance as it provided a discourse about knowledge, learning and policy. She said knowledge and evidence have a critical role in driving decision making process of a country. She added that the conference kicked off the launch of a new university charged with analytical thinking and foresight to identify and help address challenges. “A forward-looking academia will provide evidence based research solutions for policy formulation,” she elaborated.
She revealed that decision making in the public sector used to be guided by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adding that it has turned out to be a worldwide consensus that it is imperative to analyse threats and opportunities and develop own capacities.
She hoped that HEC will take the foresight exercise forward while directing it to outcomes based on strengthened system, transparency, and economic gains. She emphasised on incentivising and taking private sector on board while framing research agenda.
In his vote of thanks, Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Asghar assured that HEC will take tangible measures to fulfill the tasks assigned to it. He extended gratitude to international partners who contributed to the success of conference either in individual capacity or representing institutions. He also thanked the Vice Chancellors, scholars and partners from Pakistan for their valuable outputs.