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ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (APP):Minister of Interior and Planning, Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday inaugurated National Endowment scholarships for Talent (NEST) to award scholarships to needy but talented students from across the country.

The inaugural ceremony was organized by NEST here which was attended by a large number of students who were selected for the scholarships.
For vertical up gradation of the less privileged, NEST is out reaching and providing quality education opportunities to the masses to help them fight the vicious circles of poverty and obtained sustainable living standards.
NEST has awarded 2244 scholarships to talented and deserving student in less developed districts according to a prescribed quota all over the country.
Scholarships have been awarded for intermediate and graduation programmes. The company also provides facility of Qarz-e-Hasna for overseas master’s programmes for needy and talented students.
Addressing the ceremony, Ahsan Iqbal said scholarships under this scheme, were awarded on merit, performance and need basis. He said women students were also given equal opportunity to receive the scholarships as what he believed that without equal participation of women in any field of life, the country could not develop economically and socially.
He said today, Pakistani women are flying planes in the heights of skies and driving dumper trucks from depth of the earth. “During my recent visit to Thar, I felt proud to see the Thari women at site of Thar Coal Mine Block 2 where Sindh Engro Coal Mine Company trained them to drive the heavy dumper trucks who were now driving the trucks from 100 meter depth of earth for coal mining evacuation process,” he added.

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He said work on Thar coal mine was initiated under the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was a historic step by the current government as over 150 billion tons of coal reserves were buried under earth and the total energy potential of these reserves was equal to combined energy potential of oil reserves in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The minister said proper training and education of youth was vital for development of the nation. He said that a few years ago, when the government initiated Laptop Scheme for the students, the opponents of PML-N opposed this scheme, however now this scheme has helped the the country becoming the fourth largest free-lancing service provider in the world.
The minister said so far over one million laptops had been distributed among students across the country and all distributions were made on merit irrespective of any party affiliation.
He also called upon the media to also give breaking news status to positive news such as big achievements of students. He said media should play its role in development of the country by highlighting positive news.

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