Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, said that AJK government is keen on enhancing the quality of higher education in the State by introducing cutting edge disciplines which are more germane to the ever growing and changing job market.
The President made these remarks while addressing the management, faculty and students here during a visit to Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI). Mr. Shams-ul-Mulk, President Society for the Promotion of Engineering Sciences and Technology (SOPREST), Mr. Shakeel Durrani, Executive Director SOPREST and Mr. Jahangir Bashar, Rector GIKI along with senior faculty members welcomed the President upon his arrival
Mr. Jahangir Bashar also gave a detailed briefing on the institute’s achievements and the various disciplines taught at GIKI. The President interacted with the Deans and senior faculty members in an earlier session and was also given a detailed tour of the campus, state of the art laboratories and “The Catalyst”- GIKI’s incubation centre.
President AJK while addressing his audience said that AJK, after attaining considerable success in educational scores and fulfilling quantitative targets, is now focusing on improving its quality of education, especially at the tertiary level. Public sector universities of AJK, he said, have a lot to collaborate on with GIKI which has become a standard bearer and leader for imparting engineering education in Pakistan. He added that the AJK government would explore avenues for collaborations in student and faculty exchange programs with GIKI and other leading universities of Pakistan.
He said that it was especially encouraging to see that this avant-garde institution of Pakistan is opening up to research in revolutionary and innovative specialities like the Internet of Things, photonics, cloud computing, biomechanics, nanotechnology, blockchain, supply chain management and climate change. He termed GIKI as a truly national university with representation from all over Pakistan.
The President stressed that the future of Pakistan depends on our abundant investment on quality education and that, he said, differentiates a developed country from a developing country. While referring to the example set by GIKI, he said that closer collaborations and linkages between industry and academic institutions must be fostered in order to help understand opportunities, constraints and potentials. He said that the incubation centre and startups here at GIKI are very inspirational and a similar effort has also been made at Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST), which he said, has given students the opportunity to implement their skills as entrepreneurs and innovators.
Directly addressing the students, the President said that you are the leaders of the not very distant tomorrow and you should take your destiny in your hands and help shape the destiny of this nation. Your personal compass, he said, must be for your self-development but your national compass should direct you towards service for your country. He urged the students to inculcate within themselves a passion for competence and excellence. He said true confidence coming from competence and excellence can help you rapidly take Pakistan to new heights.
President Masood Khan emphasized the need to use digital technologies to project a true and peaceful image of Pakistan. He said that in the digital world we must put forward our narrative especially when it comes to the human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir. He said that the people of Kashmir are suffering for over 71 years under the illegitimate occupation of India and have been disenfranchised by being denied their right to self-determination. He said that we must use our newly found clout to fight for the rights of the Kashmiris and reach out to our peers and the global civil society.
In the Q&A session the President while replying to a question posed by a student said the AJK Government will consider the possibility of sponsoring a scholarship for AJK students at GIKI to help encourage students to apply to this prestigious institution.
The event ended with a vote of thanks by the Rector, who also presented the President with a memento.