ISLAMABAD, Dec 26 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday said focusing on three key areas, namely education, health and employment, would prove helpful in effectively utilizing the real potential of country’s talented youth.

Addressing the Vice Chancellors Committee on Ehsaas Undergraduate Programme here at Higher Education Commission, the president stressed steps to ensure diverting energies and abilities of youth towards national development.

President Dr Alvi emphasized on the importance of scholarships, both on need and merit basis, to provide financial and moral support to students in their quest for knowledge.

He recalled that his own educational career had several phases where he studied on scholarships, including completion of the first masters degree.

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He said Ehsaas scholarship programme was significant in bringing positive change in the lives of students, facing financial constraints.

He said fairness and transparency were important while shortlisting candidates for scholarships and expressed confidence that the Ehsaas team would justify the criteria.

President Alvi said education of women was equally important in view of their contribution to national economy. However, he pointed out that a large number of talented women left their professional careers after marriages, resulting in waste of educational resources.

Special Assistant to PM on Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the umbrella of Ehsaas programme was meant to provide social safety cover and bring a paradigm shift in poverty eradication.

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She mentioned that 50,000 annual scholarships would be given to youth to help them become self-reliant and a useful segment of society.