IMS, Federal Urdu University win inter-university debate contest

* Education budget to be increased to four percent in four years: Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: The Institute of Management Sciences (IMS), Peshawar and the Federal Urdu University won the 16th all-Pakistan inter-university debate contest, in English and Urdu categories, respectively. The final round of the contest was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat on Tuesday.Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal was the chief guest on the occasion. As many as 30 contestants belonging to public and private sectors of higher education institutions from all over the country participated in the contest. Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, and the University of Balochistan stood second and third in the English category, while the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, and Government College University, Lahore, secured the second and third position in the Urdu category, respectively. The winners of the first, second and third positions were given cash prizes of Rs 60,000, Rs 50,000 and Rs 40,000.Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that the youth is Pakistan’s real asset, who always performs excellently whenever they are provided an opportunity. He asserted that it was need of the time to spread optimism in society. “No doubt, our country is facing a number of challenges but we have the potential and resources to overcome all the problems and achieve our goals,” said the minister. Iqbal said that the government is committed to the promotion of education, particularly higher education in the country and in four years’ time, the education budget would be increased from two percent to four percent. “We realise that it is essential to empower S&T professionals,” he added.He said, “There is no denying the fact that real socio-economic development cannot be achieved until research agenda is linked to the economic agenda and needs of society. We are making efforts to bring academia, industry and the government on one platform to link our research and development activities with the socio-economic requirements.” HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed said that the HEC has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote extracurricular activities at the university campuses. He said that the basic objective of this contest is to promote communication skills and critical thinking of students, and enhance their understanding of socio-economic and political issues as well as divert their energies towards healthy activities and creative thinking.The chairman thanked the government for increasing the education budget and for its further commitment for the upcoming years. “HEC stands committed to achieving its targets and further strengthen the universities of Pakistan so that these institutions play an effective role in country’s development,” Mukhtar said. 

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