IUCPSS struggles to promote higher education in Balochistan

GWADAR: A special meeting of Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) concluded here at Gwadar. The meeting was attended by 26 vice chancellors and representatives of various national and international organizations.

The meeting was hosted by University of Turbat and presided over by Chairman Inter University Consortium & Vice Chancellor University of Hairpur Dr. Nasser Ali Khan.

The participants deliberated on various issues and proposals for strengthening social sciences in Pakistan especially in Balochistan.

At the end of the meeting The Gwadar Declaration issued which reaffirmed Abbottabad Declaration 15th July 2012, Bahawalpur Declaration 27th April 2013, Swat Declaration 10th June 2013 and Mardan Declaration 7th February 2015.

These declarations called for increase in allocation for socials sciences, establishment of Pakistan Academy   of Social Sciences, strengthening of existing social sciences research journals and promotion of inter-provincial experience collaborations & sharing expertise in higher education sector.

Following worldwide patterns/global practices and other Pakistan ‘s   inter university consortias , Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences  as an autonomous organization would continue its contribution, under the leadership of current chairman Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, towards strengthening Social Sciences at national level, in close liaison with its partner organizations.

The consortium would complement the efforts being undertaken for promotion of social sciences at international and national levels.

According to the declaration, the consortium will extend cooperation for preservation of archeological sites, establishment of Museums and promotion of Tourism in Balochistan through a group of archeologists led by Prof. Dr. Ihsan Ali (SI) Vice Chancellor University of Mardan. In this regard, initially two museums will be established at Lasbella and Khuzdar.

On the request of Chief Minister of Balochistan, the consortium member universities will offer admissions and scholarships to the youth of Balochistan in those disciplines which are not being offered at the HEIs of Balochistan in addition to existing reserved seats.

Each member institution will offer 5 full time new scholarships to the students from Balochistan each year.

As per signed MOU between the Consortium and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, a reputed consortium of 35 leading American Universities, the effective representation   of faculty from Balochistan would be ensured in all ongoing joint programs: dissertation writing workshops for doctoral candidates, thematic workshops for faculty mentoring, Social Science faculty placements at leading US universities.

UN corners will be established at member universities of Balochistan along with implementation of UN Wall campaign and offering internships to the students of Balochistan within the UN system.

Being partner organization of the IUCPSS, National Testing Service would offer proficiency enhancement 30 TOEFL ITP Tests Certification, teachers training of  30 English Language Teacher, faculty development of 30 teachers of Baluchistan public sector universities by engaging Faculty Development Academy (FDA) of COMSATS Institute of Information and Technology (CIIT).

It will also offer Capacity building workshops on Effective Test Item Construction and marking Techniques for 60 faculty members, funding for seminars/conferences in the disciplines of social sciences, 10 additional Scholarships to the students of 2 higher education colleges of the provinces, provision of computers software training to faculty members of two public sector universities of Baluchistan and Library corner in all public sector universities of the province.

The issue related to BS regular program (2 years) in colleges of Balochistan also came under discussion and the consortium resolved to deliberate the issue in its next meeting.  The membership of the consortium will be extended to other universities of the Balochistan.

The participants also extended thanks to Honourable Chief Minister of Balochistan and University of Turbat for hosting special meeting of the consortium at Gwadar.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Balochistan Dr. Malik Baloch has appreciated Gwadar declaration and roadmap on strengthening on social sciences in Pakistan.

While terming the declaration a milestone for strengthening higher education sector in Balochistan, he hoped that the youth of Balochistan would benefit from the scholarships and admission offers by the member institutions of Inter University consortium.

He also lauded the efforts and contribution of inter university consortium for undertaking practical steps aiming at promotion of social sciences, arts and humanities in Pakistan. DNA

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