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PM Ashraf approves more scholarships for needy students

02 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Thursday stressed the need to provide scholarships to deserving students belonging to under-developed areas to help them get an opportunity to study in the country's universities.

The premier said this while chairing the 23rd board meeting of the National Information and Communication Technology Research and Development Fund (ICTR&D) at the PM's House.

The prime minister expressed the hope that the board would increase the number of scholarships for students in FATA, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan so that they are provided an opportunity to attend top universities in the country.

The PM also announced the rollout of National ICT Research Awards Programme as well that seeks to acknowledge the efforts and contributions of Pakistani organizations, researchers, academicians and professionals.

The establishment of VU-ICT Campuses in Alipur, Jhal Magsi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Gujjar Khan and Rahim Yar Khan and IT Blocks in Viqar-un-Nisa College for Women Rawalpindi and Kinnaird College for Women Lahore, DG Khan Campus of Balochistan Zakariya University was also announced by the Prime Minister.

The prime minister said that in a country like Pakistan where literacy was low, information technology could play an important role in improving the socio-economic condition of the people.

The PM was informed that 3,175 scholarships have been given by the fund during the last five years apart from funding research projects in areas identified by the board.

PM Raja also advised the board to prepare vocational programmes so that students could be absorbed by the market.

The prime minister approved provision of 500 scholarships per year for the next three years. "The funds are available and if there are needy students especially from under-privileged areas, more scholarships may be given," observed the premier. The prime minister also directed to earmark Rs 1 billion for ICT-centric projects exclusively for the uplift, education, training and facilitation of residents of Balochistan.

The board approved the annual budget of the Fund for FY 2012-13 besides giving in-principal approval for continuation of Prime Minister National ICT Scholarship Programme (PMNICTSP) and National Grassroots ICT Research Initiative (NGIRI). The total budget for these important national-level programmes exceeds Rs 2 billion. Information Technology Secretary Amir Tariq Zaman Khan, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Farooq Ahmad Awan and other senior officials attended the meeting.


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