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Higher Education Commission awards scholarships to Baloch & Fata students

In order to maintain peace and stability in the region on a permanent basis, President Asif Ali Zardari has signed the document on ‘Nizam-e-Adal’ according to which ‘Shariat’ will gain a legal status in Swat and the adjoining areas.

Deputy Speaker National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi said this here Wednesday while talking to media persons during the distribution ceremony of the first ever Higher Education Commission (HEC) merit scholarship certificates under the project ‘Provision of Higher Education Opportunities’ for the students of Balochistan and Fata.

“The government is keen to maintain law and order in Swat in particular and the country in general that will ultimately lead to the progress and stability of the country,” he said.

Answering a question regarding the drone attacks, the deputy speaker said the Government of Pakistan is negotiating with the Obama regime to bring an end to such attacks in Pakistan. “We don’t need drone attacks but financial help to support our educational programmes that will help in eliminating poverty and illiteracy besides eradicating the factors of extremism from our country,” he said adding that education is the only weapon to root out extremism and terrorism from society.

Kundi said it is appreciable that HEC has selected students from the less developed areas of Balochistan and Fata but it should also extend its programme to NWFP. “I am sure that the students of NWFP equally deserve such programmes. There is no dearth of talent in these regions but the need is to polish the capabilities of the youth there in order to utilise them in a constructive manner,” he said.

Chairperson HEC Shahnaz Wazir Ali said on the occasion that the government is working for resource development by investing in the youth’s capabilities. “It is the government’s responsibility to provide high quality education to the youth in order to explore their hidden potential,” she said.

She said there are a number of merit based scholarship programmes running under HEC. “We believe in merit and not a single scholarship has ever been awarded on the basis of links or influence”. She said 3,517 applications were received out of which 140 were selected after provisional scrutiny while 131 students got the final award. “As many as 93 undergraduates and 38 graduates were selected for the scholarship including 117 men and 14 women,” she said.

She assured that the scholarship programmes are the government’s top priority and they would not be affected by the current financial crunch.

Executive Director (ED) HEC Sohail A Naqvi on the occasion said the scholarship programme with a total cost of Rs981.486 million is part of a fully funded educational opportunity for the students of Balochistan and Fata that covers tuition fee and the cost & living allowance as well as allowances for books, travel and settlement.

He said the scheme comprises of 2,000 scholarships including 700 for Masters programme and 1,300 for graduate studies over a period of seven years. However, the distribution between Balochistan and Fata is in a ratio of 60 and 40 per cent. “The total number of scholarships will gradually increase each year whereas during the first year, there are only 140 scholarships,” he said.

Source: The News

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