Building more universities indispensable for access to higher education: Ahsan Iqbal

Building more universities indispensable for access to higher education: Ahsan Iqbal

QUETTA, Nov 24 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday stressed the need for higher education, especially for the youth in far-flung areas to access which he said was only possible by building more universities.

This he said while congratulating the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) and BUITEMS for conducting a successful conference which concluded here.

The minister graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The 3-day 36th AGM & Conference of Pakistan Society of Development Economists (PSDE) was organized by PIDE in collaboration with BUITEMS,

The theme of the conference was “Charter of Economy: Investment, Productivity, and Employability.” The collaborators and sponsors of the conference included the World Bank Group, CPEC Center of Excellence, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, IFAD, National Poverty Graduation Programme, Engro, PPAF, the Bank of Punjab, PMIC, ILO, Nafees Poly Pack, Saudi-Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company, and the University of Balochistan.

Prof. Iqbal stressed the need for higher education, especially for the youth in far-flung areas which he said was only possible by building more universities.

He hoped that this conference would shed light on solutions to our problems, adding, “my[Ahsan Iqbal] experience has been that for every economist there is an opposite economist”, so the consensus is hard to come by.

He said the need of the hour was policy consistency and continuity. This key difference sets India and Bangladesh apart from us. He said that we must focus on political stability and export-led growth.

Prof. Iqbal stressed the need to focus on the 5Es:
1) Enterprise and exports
2) Equity in society through strengthened health and education. Twenty districts have been identified for accelerated growth program
3) E-Pakistan and empowerment of youth
4) Energy efficiency and conservation
5) Environment and Food Security.

Meanwhile, Nadeem ul Haque, the Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, in his address, said that PIDE had come up with a charter of the economy. He stressed the need to ‘delink’ politics with economics, which were, according to him, separate domains. However, he acknowledged that a political consensus is needed if the charter of the economy was to be implemented.

The charter talks about, among other things, the kind of parliamentary and local governance structure we should have. Moreover, it also poses the question of whether there should be a limit on the term of a member of parliament and the structure of senate elections.