ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas (LDA) was held Friday under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar at the Parliament House.
The agenda before the meeting included analysis of implementation report of the previous meeting’s recommendation, monitoring of performance of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and examination of establishment of universities campuses in less developed areas.
The HEC executive director apprised the committee that Balochistan and other less developed areas were given priority in disbursement of foreign and indigenous scholarships for students. He added that the return rate of students who got scholarships for foreign studies was a remarkable 92 percent and those who chose not to return to Pakistan were required to submit complete scholarship funding along with a 25 percent penalty.
Usman Khan Kakar directed to revise the policy of scholarship disbursement where 50 percent should be allocated for merit across the province while the other half allocated for merit in that district. He added that in case scholarships reserved for students of district were not utilised, they should be filled by the students of other areas of the province.
The HEC officials briefed the committee about current status and progress in establishing university campuses across less developed areas. They informed that 32 sub-campuses are planned to be established with a special focus on remote areas in Balochistan. The committee was told that a project of strengthening universities in less developed areas has been launched to support about 12 universities in terms of accommodation, IT equipment and library services.
The committee has given directives to accelerate the execution process of these projects in order to provide better academic services to the students of underprivileged areas. It also directed to expedite the evaluation process of issuance of equivalence and verification certificates/degrees to the students who are foreign qualified.
Senators Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahid were present in the meeting.

Source: The Daily Times


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