Minister Attends Convocation Ceremony of FAST-NU

 Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Engr. Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman was Chief Guest at 49th Convocation Ceremony of National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES-FAST) Islamabad Campus here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister congratulated the students on their achievements and advised them to develop habit of achieving excellence in whatever they do. “You must all strive for continuous improvement in your life and adopt perseverance to achieve your goals”. Minister also advised students to counter challenges through positive attitude and strive for a meaningful life with clarity of vision and goals. Minister also appreciated the University for its focus on conducting quality research to meet contemporary industrial demands.

Reflecting on government’s four year performance, he said that Pakistan’s economy experienced a huge turnaround under the leadership of Mian Nawaz Sharif and government is committed to continue with the vision and momentum given by him. “Industries that were moving out of country due to law and order and energy situation are now reposing confidence in the country’s future and more new units are being set up”, he said. Growth momentum continued in the government’s tenure and last financial year witnessed record economic growth of 5.28% in 10 years, he added. He further said that the present government will add 10,000 MW of new capacity in the energy grid which was around 16,000 MW even 65 years after independence. “The new capacity is based on cost efficient energy mix, thereby providing cheap electricity to consumers”, he added. He said that in order to address gas shortages, government brought LNG at competitive rates and set up LNG terminal at record time of 11 months. “Pakistan Stock Exchange which is reflection of both local and foreign investors’ confidence witnessed a rise from 19000 points to around 54000 points in government’s tenure”, he said.

On current political situation, he said that in democratic societies all power ultimately resides with people who are governed and it is very unfortunate that none of our Prime Minister in the country’s history of 70 years could complete their term. “Continuity and consistency of policies and stability of government is essential for national development”, he added. “Our leader followed court’s order immediately and ensured smooth transition after the verdict so that political stability is maintained; irrespective of the fact that there were no corruption charges against him”.

Minister said that government is placing great emphasis on higher education and research and their tenure has seen the budget for higher education institutions more than doubled from Rs 41 bn to Rs. 100 bn. The overall public spending on education has also risen phenomenally from Rs. 550 bn to around 900 bn budgeted for the current year. “We have set up National Curriculum Council for review and revision of curriculum on international standards; we have developed National Curriculum Framework and approved Minimum Education Standards for the first time in the country; new curriculum for pre-primary to class 5 has been finalized while upto class 12 will be developed by end of the year”, he said. He said that the new curriculum will encourage analytical and critical thinking and will also focus on ethical training and character building.

Earlier Director NUCES, Dr. Arshad Ali Shahid welcomed the Minister and apprised him of the University’s achievements. He said that Islamabad campus alone has produced around 4500 graduates and 26 PhDs so far. He further said that University places huge emphasis on conducting quality research and that candidates routinely collaborate with international institutions and foreign experts for their research work. Rector NUCES Dr. Amir Muhammad said in addition to formal education, the University also promotes qualities of high moral and character values among students.

The National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences (NUCES or FAST-NU) is the first multi-campus private sector university set up under the Federal Charter with headquarters at Islamabad and campuses at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Faisalabad. The University offers undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Business Administration, and Mathematics.