Pakistan has only 14 seats in Foreign Universities of Germany, Turkey and China and out of which 6 are being decided to be filed by Ministry of Education today morning. The seats were vacant since for past 6 to 10 years as reported by media. The seats in foreign Universities are governmental tool to build a soft image of Pakistan in foreign countries. Pakistan’s arch rival India has been able to maintain 300 seats in foreign Universities. It is rather disappointing that this never occurred before to the Ministry of education that how Pakistan is gradually diminishing its membership in foreign Universities.
One of the senior faculty members of Quaid-i-Azam University shared with the media by commenting that, ‘These chairs play an important role in promoting Pakistan’s culture and image. The appointees are academic ambassadors but unfortunately our bureaucrats are not taking this important issue seriously, India had almost 300 chairs in world’s top university where its scholars were playing an important role to promote their country’s interest.’
Today while reporting to the media, Ministry of Education Pakistan’s Joint Advisor, Mr. Rafiq Tahir commented, ‘We are going to re-advertise these positions within two weeks and in the first phase we will make appointments on four to six chairs instead of 14.’ In the first phase of appointments for Pakistan’s seats in Foreign Universities, the process will start from countries which have important strategic and foreign relations with Pakistan such as China.
The Ministry told the press that it is due to monetary issues which have performed as hindrance in this process in the past. Last year the selection process was completed and the budget allotted was RS 50million and later it was reduced to RS15Million by the Federal Government. This delay is occurring since the last decade. The seats in foreign Universities are being set up on reciprocal basis and the holders of the chairs are invited to give lectures with the core purpose of promoting Pakistani culture, history, Urdu language and represent a softer image of Pakistan.
The senior professor told that last year a PhD Scholar was selected for one of the seat but later due to prolonged delay the process of final appointed is still on hold, he said, ‘Now, we are being told that the process is going to be re-advertised which is unfortunate and a joke with scholars.’ He suggested that instead of reducing this important membership of Pakistani scholars in foreign Universities that can open many opportunities and doors as well as present a positive image of Pakistan in Foreign lands, the Ministry should increase its budget and implement aggressively on appointing members instantly.
This is one of the reasons which have been stopping Pakistan to reintroduce itself among common youth of foreign countries that see us as the media has fabricated. But there has a lot to be done and that too in high pace. The average at which our neighboring countries have evolved in academic fields, it is unmatchable, and we are certainly way behind them.
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