Pakistan's Human Capital

A 12-year-old Pakistani girl is taking advance online classes offered by Stanford University. The youngest Microsoft certified professional is a Pakistani. Young Pakistanis are setting records with straight A's on O level and A level Cambridge courses. These frequent reports offer anecdotal evidence of Pakistan's growing human capital. Such evidence is also supported by data reported by various researchers and organizations.

With nearly 16% of its population in 25-34 years age group having college degrees, Pakistan is well ahead of India and Indonesia, according to Global Education Digest 2009 published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics. UNESCO data also shows that Pakistan's lead is growing with younger age groups.


Source: Global Education Digest
By comparison, a little over 12% of Indians and 9% of Indonesians in 25-34 years age group have completed tertiary education. In 35-44 years age group, 11% of Pakistanis, 9% of Indians and 8% of Indonesians have completed college education. The report shows that 3% of Pakistanis and 1% of Indians have completed tertiary education abroad.

Harvard University researchers Robert Barro and Jhong-wa Lee offer similar insights into educational attainment in Asia and the rest of the world.    As of 2010, there are 380 (vs 327 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis age 15 and above who have never had any formal schooling. Of the remaining 620 (vs 673 Indians) who enrolled in school, 22 (vs 20 Indians) dropped out before finishing primary school, and the remaining 598 (vs 653 Indians) completed it. There are 401 (vs 465 Indians) out of every 1000 Pakistanis who made it to secondary school. 290 (vs 69 Indians) completed secondary school  while 111 (vs. 394 Indians) dropped out. Only 55 (vs 58 Indians)  made it to college out of which 39 (vs 31 Indians) graduated with a degree.


 Another important point to note in Barro-Lee dataset is that Pakistan has been increasing enrollment of students in schools at a faster rate since 1990 than India. In 1990, there were 66.2% of Pakistanis vs 51.6% of Indians who had no schooling. In 2000, there were 60.2% Pakistanis vs 43% Indians with no schooling. In 2010, Pakistan reduced it to 38% vs India's 32.7%.

Pakistan's human capital development has been driven over the years starting with the Green Revolution technologies in 1960s to nuclear development program in 1980s and information and telecom revolution in 2000s.  More recently, there has been growing interest in biotechnology and robotics. Completion of  the first human genome project has spawned more than 200 life sciences departments at Pakistani universities.  US drones have angered and fascinated many in Pakistan to go into robotics at 60 engineering colleges and universities in Pakistan. These revolutions have inspired large numbesr of young Pakistanis to study courses in business and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and swell the ranks of scientists and professionals.

Graduation Day at NEDUET For 1300 Graduates in 2013


Clearly, both India and Pakistan have made significant progress on the education front in the last few decades. However, the Barro-Lee dataset confirms that the two South Asian nations still have a long way to go to catch up with the rapidly developing nations of East Asia and the industrialized world. Huge investments made in higher education during Musharraf years helped hundreds of thousands of students to benefit from the doubling of the number of universities from 71 in 2002 to 137 now. It's now the responsibility of Pakistan's civilian leadership to sustain that momentum.

Faster economic growth requires BOTH skilled manpower and investment of dollars as Pakistanis saw during Musharraf years. Regardless, the growth of human capital is a good thing to build a foundation for Pakistan's future. It'll contribute to economic growth when the security situation improves and FDI returns to Pakistan. The country's large diaspora too will be helpful in accelerating Pakistan's growth and development with money and skills. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

India & Pakistan Comparison Update 2011

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010
 
Eating Grass-The Making of Pakistani Bomb
 
Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices
 

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Daily Times report on State Bank Governor Yaseen Anwar's assessment of Pak economy:

KARACHI: Pakistan’s economy has the ability to navigate through choppy waters and the economic potential this country holds encourage all to become a part of the country’s future.

The Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Yaseen Anwar at Pakistan Navy War College Lahore said while our current economic situation was less than optimal and it was also very far from what might be described as an economic calamity.

Anwar said in 65 years, Pakistan has never gone through an episode of hyperinflation, Pakistan has never defaulted on its international and domestic debts, in fact our economy has grown consistently, but not spectacularly, over the past six decades.

This has been despite periods of international alienation and sanctions, three expensive wars, two hostile fronts, regular political upheaval, social unrest, sharp increases in the price of oil, and much, much more, he added.

State Bank has always ensured that the financial system of the country remains safe and stable. The robustness of our financial system is a direct consequence of the reforms process and the State Bank’s constant vigilance, he said.

There is a lot that can be improved in our financial system. He called for the development of efficient debt markets, even better regulatory and reporting practices and the broadening of the financial sector’s scope to include largely unbanked sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, small and medium enterprises and housing.

‘Despite this wish-list, the fact remains that our financial system is, by design, secure and does not pose any threat to the economy as a whole,’ he added.

The size of Pakistan’s undocumented economy is by some estimates, as large as the formal economy. The informal economy does not file taxes and while it does absorb a significant chunk of the labour force, it also evades corporate and labour laws, he said.

Although close informal relationships do make the economy more resilient, they do so at a cost to the overall economy, by eroding the ambit of the regulators.

He stressed the need for the greater integration of country’s domestic market with global markets but observed it does not mean that we should not have proper controls and mechanisms in place to safeguard our own interests. ‘Greater integration with financial markets will mean that capital will flow more quickly through our borders. It’s definitely something that will boost the national economy, but, as most East Asian countries learned in the 90s, it can be a double-edged sword.

Therefore having some capital controls in place, which reduce the volatility of capital flows, is a necessary regulation in this day and age, Anwar added.

More effective regulation is the need of the hour for our own economy, he said, adding it is an essential part of what is needed today to get the economy on a track for steady and sustainable growth.

He said the government’s footprint in some sectors of the economy was very large and quite negligible in other sectors.

Such divergence is unhealthy. Effective regulation is sorely lacking in other sectors. The tax machinery can be tightened considerably. One of the country’s most challenging problems today is the size of the fiscal deficit-and a large part of the solution lies in increasing our tax base by enacting regulation that encourages tax compliance, and punishes tax evasion, he added.

The government will need to borrow less money from the central bank. Borrowing from the central bank is popularly known as printing money, he said, adding if government borrowing from the central bank falls, inflation will follow suit.

Therefore, better tax collection is a necessary condition for faster economic growth. And for that we need to have more effective tax regulation, he added.

....


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\06\story_6-3-2013_pg5_1
Riaz Haq said…
Here's ET on Freelancer.com launch in Pakistan:

KARACHI: With a self-employment boom and double-digit growth in internet subscriptions, Pakistan has become the third highest user of freelancer.com, the world’s biggest online marketplace in terms of user base, it was revealed at the launch of the website’s local version on Tuesday.

“Pakistan is the third largest country using the website [freelancer.com], closely following India and the United States,” said Adam Byrnes, International Director at freelancer who joined the ceremony through a video call from the company’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

“Pakistani freelancers have already earned more than $13 million from the platform,” he said.

Freelancer’s decision to launch the local website comes on the back of strong growth in subscriptions by Pakistani freelancers. The website presently has 240,000 Pakistani users.

According to a report prepared by freelancer, self-employed Pakistanis surged from 33.3% to 39.9% between 2009 and 2012. The report attributes this surge in subscriptions to the rise in internet use in Pakistan, which saw double-digit growth in the past five years. In terms of internet growth, Pakistan stands second in the Saarc region, the report said.

“I am excited about the launch of freelancer.pk because of the potential Pakistan represents for the platform,” said Byrnes who is responsible for expanding freelancer across the world. “This [Pakistan] is a high value market for employers abroad.”

With more than 30 million internet users, five million plus broadband users and a population approaching 200 million, according to Byrnes, it makes sense to have a presence in Pakistan.

“Going forward, we want to provide self-employment for a billion people, a significant portion of that is going to come from Pakistan,” he said.

Freelancer just hit seven million users globally and 4.2 million projects were facilitated by the website, Muhammad Umer Farooq, company director responsible for managing the freelancer website told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the event.

“An amount of $150 million has been spent so far by users of freelancer.com,” he said, adding they make money by charging commission from both the employers and the freelancers who get projects.

Interestingly, Farooq pointed out, it is not only foreigners hiring Pakistani freelancers, but Pakistani companies are also giving contracts to Pakistani freelancers registered on the website. United States is the top country awarding 38% of total projects on freelancer while Pakistan stands fifth for it awards 4% of the projects.

The idea is to enable rupee transactions for Pakistani members for which the company is in talks with local banks, both Farooq and Byrnes said. “Secondly, we are soon going to have an Urdu version of the website,” Farooq said.

IT and graphic designing (logo design) are the top two categories at freelancer. Freelancers can bid for the projects posted by employers through a simple method, he said. Given that it is one of the top countries on the website, Pakistani freelancers can benefit from exposure to the international job markets – the UK, North America, Australia and Canada.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/516239/pakistan-3rd-highest-user-of-freelancer-as-self-employment-rises/

http://www.freelancer.com/work/paid-freelance-projects-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Top four online outsourcing sites Elance.com, oDesk.com, reelancer.com, and Guru.com report that Pakistan ranks number 3, after US (#1)and India (#2), in terms of freelancers doing outsourced IT work on contract. Bangladesh ranks fourth.

It also shows US, Australia and the UK as the top hiring countries.

All of the above-mentioned websites work in a similar fashion: companies post job requirements on these sites. Next, freelancers or IT-companies offer their skills and price for the project listed on the website. Finally, the company chooses the best type of bid for its job requirements.

http://swproposal.com/Blog/Topic/How_to_work_with_Elance_oDesk_Freelancer_and_Guru
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Daily Telegraph story on Bhutto vs Sharif, the next generation of Pak politicians:

ONE studied at Oxford, the other at Cambridge. Their family rivalry dates back almost 40 years, to when the family of one saw their business empire ravaged by the nationalisation policy of the other.

But what Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have in common is being young, glamorous and heirs to Pakistan's two leading political dynasties. Both will be prominent voices due in general elections due in May.

The poetry-loving Ms Sharif is the daughter of Nawaz Sharif, a wealthy industrialist from the Punjabi city of Lahore, who fell out with Bilawal's late grandfather, Zulfiqar Bhutto, after he nationalised the Sharif businesses as Pakistan's socialist leader in the 1970s.

Himself a two-time prime minister, Mr Sharif is frontrunner to emerge with the largest party and the first crack at forming a coalition after the polls of Pakistan's 80 million voters.

During the campaign, his daughter is acting as one of his chief campaigners and mouthpieces - particularly on women's rights - and is expected to eventually succeed him one day.

"His legacy is beautiful," she told an interviewer last year. "Who would not want to step into those shoes?"

A party insider added: "She has grown very close to her father and you can see her learning from him."

Already on a similar path is Oxford-educated Bilawal, 24, who became the third generation of Bhuttos to lead the Pakistan People's Party after his mother, Benazir, was assassinated in December 2007.

Pakistan's national assembly had only a scattering of members present on Thursday when it quietly dissolved itself at the end of its five-year term. It was a historic moment. If elections go to plan then Pakistan will see the first democratic transition of power in its 65-year history, a period marked by political instability and three military coups.

Bilawal's father, Asif Ali Zardari, has been president of Pakistan since 2008, when he was catapulted into the political limelight after the assassination of his wife, Benazir. She was killed in a suicide attack as she campaigned for a third stint as prime minister.

At 24, he is still too young to stand in elections, but a constituency is waiting for him, reportedly the troubled neighbourhood of Lyari in Karachi, as a twenty-fifth birthday present.
--------
Last year, Hina Rabbani Khar, the country's glamorous foreign minister, was forced to deny she was having an affair with the president's son, a rumour that some claimed was part of a smear campaign run by the military.

Bilawal's fans hope he will restore his mother's party to its traditional compassionate, leftist position, but fear his privileged upbringing and foreign education have disconnected him from ordinary voters. His late mother, they say, would also have made sure he had a firmer grasp of Urdu.

Naheed Khan, who was close to Mrs Bhutto, said Bilawal risked being exposed too early if he was expected to defend his father's unpopular government.

"He has to take a very clear decision, whether he wants to carry his grandfather and grandmother's legacy or he wants to go along with his father and what his father has done in five years," she said.

Whoever wins in elections, one thing seems certain: Pakistan's political dynasties show few signs of fading away.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9934750/Bhutto-vs-Sharif-Oxford-vs-Cambridge-as-Pakistans-young-pretenders-go-head-to-head.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a APP report on a traveling science expo:

Travelling expo on ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’ continues

ISLAMABAD: A two-month travelling exhibition titled ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’ is currently touring Pakistan after its launch on March 7.

French Ambassador to Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud, the Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tahar and the Chairman of the Pakistan Science foundation Prof Dr Manzoor Soomro launched the expo.

The expo is intended to raise awareness among the Pakistani population, especially the young generation, about the importance of access to energy for emerging countries like Pakistan, a statement of the French embassy said.

It explained crucial ideas such as energy efficiency, the science of maximising benefits from energy sources and renewable energy at the local, regional and international levels.

The exhibition consists of 13 free standing panels and 12 interactive experiments dedicated to various themes such as energy and development, climate change and the diversity of energy sources.

The travelling expo is the result of a tripartite partnership, which started five years ago between the French Embassy in Islamabad, the Centre Sciences of Orleans and the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF).

It started in 2008 with the first expo dedicated to ‘Mathematics’, different themes have since then been explored by the partners such as ‘The Environment’ in 2009, ‘Biodiversity’ in 2010 and ‘Chemistry’ in 2012.

This year the exhibition on ‘Energy’ will be presented in six different cities in Pakistan (Islamabad, Muzzafarabad, Peshawar, Gujrat, Larkana and Quetta).


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\24\story_24-3-2013_pg5_10
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News story about a new industrial automation school in Pakistan:

LAHORE: Technology Upgradation and Skill Development Company (TUSDEC) aims at establishing Pakistan Institute of Industrial Automation (PIIA) in order to render a training platform to consummate the shortage of skilled manpower in the local automation industry.



A company spokesperson on Thursday said that a pervasive baseline assessment has revealed the dearth of formally trained workforce for equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, installation and programming of equipment.



The PIIA will not only act as an ordained institute for manpower training but will also steer the planning and implementation of programmable logical controller (PLC) and industrial automation projects in the country. The institute will extend consultation and advisory services acting as an adept solution provider for industrial automation problems faced by the industry. The spokesperson said that PIIA will also substantiate the concept of industrial incubation under which, infrastructural support and consultancy will be extended to the automation equipment manufacturers or suppliers for setting up or upgrade their own labs and production units.



Figures from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reveal that the import of modern machinery and equipment during 2010-11 was worth $6,547 million, which then rose to $7,167 million in 2011-12.



The accelerating figures indicate that the mounting demand of PLC-based systems in Pakistani industry. Besides a large number of factories and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in various sectors are shifting towards programmable logical controllers to manage their operations.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-168011-Tusdec-aims-to-establish-Pakistan-Institute-of-Industrial-Automation
Riaz Haq said…
A recent UNESCO report shows that Pakistan had 162 science and tech researchers per million people in 2009, a 2X increase from from 80 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=5860&BR_Region=40535

By contrast India had 152 S&T researchers per million inhabitants in 2009, up from 136 in 2005.

http://stats.uis.unesco.org/unesco/TableViewer/document.aspx?ReportId=3587&IF_Language=eng&BR_Country=3560&BR_Region=40535
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of a blog post from Scientific American:

Our class was recently asked whether or not we felt particle physics research should receive public funding. The majority of us were opposed, our reasons being that such research has no practical value. An instrument as sophisticated and expensive as a particle collider is surely a waste of a nation’s resources.

So it might come as a surprise that plans to build a synchrotron particle collider in Jordan have received overwhelming support from countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Scientific discovery is not the only goal being pursued. Those involved hope that this installation, appropriately dubbed SESAME (for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East), will open lines of communication between countries that would not normally work together, and possibly inspire peace.

In John Horgan’s The End of War, he argues that war can be eradicated by simply choosing peace. To support his argument he cites Muzafer Sherif’s famous Robbers Cave Experiment, in which twenty-two fifth-grade boys in a camp were divided into two groups, Rattlers and Eagles, and kept apart for a week, each group growing suspicious of the “others.”

When brought together to compete in games, the groups were alarmingly violent toward one another, having been “manipulated into hating and fighting.” However, once the groups were presented with problems that could only be solved by cooperating with one another, the violence ceased, and they eventually became friends. Sherif saw these interactions as evidence that “traditionally hostile groups can overcome their differences if they are bound together by [a common goal].”

This idea inspired Stanford University physicist Herman Winick more than a decade ago to suggest the synchrotron being dismantled in Germany be sent to the Middle East instead of being scrapped. In the same way that the boys in Sherif’s experiment could only rent a movie if everyone contributed money, a project as expensive as SESAME can only be achieved with funding from multiple countries.

As of 2012, Iran, Israel, Jordan and Turkey have agreed to make contributions of $5 million each to fund the project, which will be based in Jordan and is expected to open in 2015. Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority are willing to give $5 million and $2 million respectively, and Egypt and the United States are both considering making contributions. The project has also been donated spare parts from a number of countries following Germany’s example, and has received funding from the European Union (Science Diplomacy).


http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2013/04/08/synchrotron-project-brings-together-unlikely-partners-in-middle-east/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a report on US Davis involvement in develop ag tech in Pakistan:

UC Davis is taking the lead on the graduate education component of an innovative project to modernize agriculture in Pakistan.
The four-year, $30 million Agricultural Innovation Project will work to improve management practices and productivity of the livestock, horticulture and grains grown in Pakistan, in turn improving the economy and creating a brighter future for its people.

"It's a fantastic project," said Jim Hill, associate dean for international programs with the UCD College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "I'm thrilled that UC Davis will head the human capacity development, educating the agricultural leaders Pakistan needs to advance its agriculture sector."

The project was launched recently by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

UCD will receive $5.2 million, $4.5 million of which will fund placing some 14 Pakistani master of science and and doctorate students in U.S. land-grant universities where they are best suited. With its expertise in agriculture, UCD will likely land many of those students.

UCD will also work to improve horticulture production in Pakistan by helping farmers grow more high-quality perennial crops and by creating better postharvest technology. UCD will also help Cooperative Extension specialists in Pakistan develop electronic systems for delivering agricultural information to farmers.

Agriculture is vital to Pakistan's economic development. With more 187 million people, Pakistan is the sixth-most populated country in the world.
"Higher education in agriculture is dismally low in Pakistan and the recent turmoil hasn't helped," Hill said. "Pakistan's agricultural issues are very similar to those in the western United States, such as the impact of climate change on irrigation and other water issues, which is another reason UC Davis is so well suited to provide the agricultural education they need."

In addition to the education component, USAID will sponsor research to encourage adoption of new technologies such as laser land leveling, zero tillage, residue management and introducing short-duration legumes into rice-wheat cropping systems.

UCD and PARC will form a committee in May to select students who will begin graduate studies in the United States as early as 2014.


http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_23125530/uc-davis-leads-education-program-aid-agriculture-pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PakistanToday report on Pak students' competition to build fuel-efficient car:

RAWALPINDI - Top universities from Pakistan unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia at a launch ceremony held at NUST in Rawalpindi. The event has put Pakistani teams on track for the competition at the Sepang F-1 track in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013. There, they will compete with over 130 teams from 16 countries to see whose vehicle can go the farthest on one litre of fuel.
Teams from NUST, UET-Peshawar, UET-Jamshoro, NED, Air University, GIK, PNEC and FAST are registered to compete in the event at Malaysia. Some of these teams were present at the NUST launch event to showcase a range of new and improved vehicles, running on a variety of fuels.
On the occasion, Shell Pakistan Limited Managing Director Omar Sheikh said, “Pakistan and the world face an energy challenge, and Shell is well positioned to help people meet their energy needs through efficient and performance-driven products. Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the dialogue and the solution to our energy challenges.”
A panel of judges from academic, media, industry and government sectors inspected the vehicles at the launch event. Awards were given for Safety to UET-Peshawar for their Prototype vehicle; for the best mileage to NUST for their Urban Concept vehicle; GIK’s prototype vehicle won an award for reducing their ecological footprint the most, while the innovation prize was awarded to UET-Peshawar’s Urban Concept vehicle. Two novelty awards were given to AIR University and HITEC for their out-of-the-box designs.
Major General Obaid Bin Zakria, commandant NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering added, “Today’s event is a chance for Pakistani teams to test their vehicles and ensure they are well-prepared for a tough competition at the Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia this year. The students have already displayed a great deal of drive and creativity in transforming innovative ideas into reality, and we hope they continue to display the same enthusiasm as they represent Pakistan and their universities.”
Pakistan was the first country from the subcontinent to represent teams at the Shell Eco-marathon in Berlin 2009, followed by 20 teams in the 2010 Kuala Lumpur competition, the highest from Asia. In 2012, for the first time, two Pakistani teams were top performers; a team from NED came at fourth position in the Ethanol Prototype category, while a team from NUST came eighth in the Urban Concept gasoline category. In 2013, 13 teams from Pakistan will participate in the Kuala Lumpur event.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/21/news/profit/pakistani-universities-showcase-fuel-efficient-vehicles/
Riaz Haq said…
The latest 2012 IQ data published by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen puts mean IQ of Pakistanis at 84 and of Indians at 82.2, and Bangladeshis at 81.

Each country has big std deviations and large positive outliers.

The highest IQs are reported for East Asia (100+) and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (just over 70).

https://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/intelligence-a-unifying-construct-for-the-social-sciences-richard-lynn-and-tatu-vanhanen.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Nation report on Pakistan's rising research publications in international journals:

Pakistan has witnessed, an impressive 50 per cent increase in the number of research publications during just the last two years, going up from 3939 to 6200 in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

This has been the second highest increase worldwide. Scimago, the world's leading research database, forecast that if this research trend from Pakistan continues, then by 2018, Pakistan will move ahead 26 notches in world ranking, from 43 to 27, and for the first time ever, will cross Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in Asia. Today Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India.
The number of PhD faculty at our public universities has also increased by almost 50%, from 4203 to 6067 in just the last 2 years alone. This is the result of the HEC PhD scholars that have started returning back and joining universities. These scholars are being selected for pursuing studies at leading universities of the academically advanced countries through a well-defined open, transparent and merit based mechanism.
About 10 to 15 scholars are completing their PhDs every week and are being placed by HEC at the universities under Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP). Other HEC incentives include a 0.5 million research grant to every returning scholar. Currently, there are hundreds of fresh foreign PhDs currently inducted into various universities across the country.
The number of PhD students enrolled at the universities has increased by over 40% in just the last one year, from 6937 to 9858 students, while over 28122 students are registered for MPhil/MS, up from 16960, an increase of 65% in just two years.
The increase in the number of PhDs awarded is again very similar, from 628 to 927 in the last 3 years, and will surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join the universities.
Commenting on these developments, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Chairperson HEC said that Universities are the single most important producers of knowledge and research that leads to innovation and entrepreneurship.
By introducing innovation, creativity and interdisciplinary research as a vital component of teaching, and with knowledge exchange programs, the university contributes more directly to the economy and the society than many other institutions in the country.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/24-Jun-2013/pakistan-becomes-major-player-in-world-research

http://www.scimagojr.com/


http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?area=0&category=0&region=all&year=all&order=it&min=0&min_type=it
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Nation report on Pakistan's rising research publications in international journals:

Pakistan has witnessed, an impressive 50 per cent increase in the number of research publications during just the last two years, going up from 3939 to 6200 in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

This has been the second highest increase worldwide. Scimago, the world's leading research database, forecast that if this research trend from Pakistan continues, then by 2018, Pakistan will move ahead 26 notches in world ranking, from 43 to 27, and for the first time ever, will cross Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in Asia. Today Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India.
The number of PhD faculty at our public universities has also increased by almost 50%, from 4203 to 6067 in just the last 2 years alone. This is the result of the HEC PhD scholars that have started returning back and joining universities. These scholars are being selected for pursuing studies at leading universities of the academically advanced countries through a well-defined open, transparent and merit based mechanism.
About 10 to 15 scholars are completing their PhDs every week and are being placed by HEC at the universities under Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP). Other HEC incentives include a 0.5 million research grant to every returning scholar. Currently, there are hundreds of fresh foreign PhDs currently inducted into various universities across the country.
The number of PhD students enrolled at the universities has increased by over 40% in just the last one year, from 6937 to 9858 students, while over 28122 students are registered for MPhil/MS, up from 16960, an increase of 65% in just two years.
The increase in the number of PhDs awarded is again very similar, from 628 to 927 in the last 3 years, and will surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join the universities.
Commenting on these developments, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Chairperson HEC said that Universities are the single most important producers of knowledge and research that leads to innovation and entrepreneurship.
By introducing innovation, creativity and interdisciplinary research as a vital component of teaching, and with knowledge exchange programs, the university contributes more directly to the economy and the society than many other institutions in the country.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/24-Jun-2013/pakistan-becomes-major-player-in-world-research

http://www.scimagojr.com/


http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?area=0&category=0&region=all&year=all&order=it&min=0&min_type=it
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt from Time magazine's story (titled The Original Genius Bar) of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton which captures the history of R&D in America:

Founded in 1930 by Abraham Flexner, an educational theorist, and siblings Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, department-store moguls who provided the initial endowment of $5 million, the institute was meant to counteract a trend in the U.S. toward applied science. Dubbed an "intellectual hotel" by one director, J. Robert Oppenheimer, it was a magnet during World War II for mathematicians and physicists, including Einstein, who were fleeing the Nazis. The early decades of the institute's history, just before and after the war, coincided with a formative period for science in the U.S., when MIT morphed from a technical school into a place for ambitious research and AT&T's Bell Labs invented the transistor. Men like von Neumann, who created game theory, Oppenheimer, the chain-smoking father of the atomic bomb, and Kennan, an architect of U.S. foreign policy toward the Soviet Union during the Cold War, turned the institute into a hub for academics who had a direct line to Washington. When historian George Dyson was growing up there in the 1950s and '60s--his father Freeman Dyson was working on, among other things, a way to propel spacecraft by exploding nuclear bombs beneath them--he recalls, "If you spilled your food at the table, you were going to hit somebody who could go to the telephone and call the President of the United States."

Today the institute employs 28 permanent faculty members in schools of history, math, social science and natural sciences, along with roughly 200 visiting members who are selected for research fellowships of one to five years. Some 80% of the institute's operating expenses are funded by income from its endowment, which has been supplemented since the Bamberger days by donors including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former trustee. (The campus now includes a Bloomberg Hall.) The rest of the operating budget comes from grants from private foundations and the government, mostly the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and NASA. As director, Dijkgraaf answers to a board of trustees that includes former Harvard dean Benedict Gross, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and Google's Eric Schmidt. The chairman of the board is Charles Simonyi, the billionaire philanthropist and former Microsoft executive who became a space tourist in 2007....


http://www.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,2147285,00.html
Riaz Haq said…
In addition to the economic revival, Musharraf focused on social sector as well. Pakistan's HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.


Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent. Going further back to the  decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP,  the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.



Acceleration of HDI growth during Musharraf years was not an accident.  Not only did Musharraf's policies accelerate economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, cut poverty in half and halved the country's total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, his government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. The annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5% - less than the annual subsidy given to the various PSUs including Pakistan Steel and PIA, both of which  continue to sustain huge losses due to patronage-based hiring.


http://vimeo.com/84504051

http://www.riazhaq.com/2014/01/musharraf-accelerated-financial-and.html
Riaz Haq said…
From The News on Global Talent Index:

Pakistan was ranked 54 out of 60 economies in the Global Talent Index (GTI) prepared by Economist Intelligence Unit for 2015 with India occupying the 35th spot - 19 places above Pakistan. Experts cite country’s poor compulsory and university education for the dismal score.

The ranking is based on a score of 1-100 in which demographics have 11.1 percent weight compulsory education 30.8, and university education 22.2 percent, quality of the labor force 22.2 percent, talent environment 11.1 percent, openness 11.1 percent and proclivity to attracting talent 11.1 percent.

United States with a score of 74.5 percent ranks number one Global Talent Index (GTI) – a position it has been enjoying since 2007 and 2011.

Pakistan’s score in GTI 2015 was 30.8 which improvement 3.8 points over its score in GTI 2011. This increase in score has helped Pakistan climb up two positions from 54 to 56.

The GTI 2015 report says that talent remains an important component of countries’ and businesses’ long-term competitiveness. How they develop, attract and retain talent should therefore remain high on the agenda of policymakers and business leaders for the foreseeable future.

The Global Talent Index Report: The Outlook to 2015 seeks to inform their thinking by assessing talent trends around the world on two dimensions: at the international level through a benchmarking index of talent environments in 60 countries

It further pointed out that the US lead is almost one full point (on a 1-10 scale) in 2011 and 2015 over the next best performers. The country’s foremost strengths are the excellence of its universities, the high overall quality of its existing workforce and a meritocratic environment that is relatively unencumbered by restrictive labor regulation.

China rises to 31st place in the GTI in 2015 from 33rd in 2011, but more notable is the five-point improvement in its score – the largest increase in 2015 of any country in the index.

Unsure of the local availability of skilled staff, companies in Asia often recruit individuals with potentials and try to hone their skills. Creativity in overcoming challenges is the most serious shortcoming identified by executives in new and potential hires – most keenly felt in Asia

In demographics, Pakistan’s score was 56 percent, which was lower than 75.8 percent score of India and 72.8 percent of China but higher than 39.6 percent that of United States. In compulsory education, Pakistan obtained a paltry 5.9 percent compared with 81.3 percent by the US, 66.9 percent by China and 30.5 percent by India. Similarly in University education Pakistan’s score was low at 6.7 percent while it’s was 82 percent in US, 32.1 percent in China and 15.7 percent in India.

In quality of labor force Pakistan scored 34.4 percent, India 64.2 percent, China 41.2 percent and the United States 89.6 percent. In ‘talent environment,’ Pakistan’s score was 45.8 percent, India 50.4 percent, China 59.7 percent and the US100 percent. In ‘openness,’ Pakistan’s score of 51.1 percent was much better than US score of 34.1 percent and India’s score of 34.7 percent.

China’s score of 51.5 percent was slightly better than Pakistan under the head of openness. In proclivity to attracting talent Pakistan’s score was 35.8 percent which was higher than 20 percent in China and 29.9 percent in China but it was almost half of the US score of 79.1 percent.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-280240-Pakistan-ranks-54th-in-Global-Talent-Index

http://www.economistinsights.com/sites/default/files/downloads/GTI%20FINAL%20REPORT%205.4.11.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan-born Imran Aftab was traveling in 2004 when an AOL Time Warner colleague posed a rude question.

“Imran, you’re from Pakistan, yet you seem normal,” Aftab recalled. “What is the problem with the rest?”

Aftab, then director of global outsourcing at AOL, spent half an hour explaining that there was more to the millions of Pakistanis than the public perception after the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.

“People see all bad news. I thought, ‘How can I change things even at a small scale through business?’ ”

After that trip, the chemistry major decided to use his knowledge of outsourcing at AOL to start his own business that could make money while also helping his fellow citizens in Pakistan.

The business he created is called 10Pearls, a profitable custom software company based in Herndon, Va., and Pakistan. The company has more than 150 software experts supervised by Aftab’s brother in a 33,000-square-foot office in Karachi. Only about 15 employees work in Herndon.

Aftab creates customized software for all kinds of interfaces, including mobile platforms, kiosks and Web sites. Clients include NVR, Time Warner Cable, Discovery Education, National Geographic and Zubie, a spinoff of Best Buy.

For Zubie, 10Pearls helped develop an Android and Apple application that allows people to see where their cars are located, diagnose auto repair issues and track historical routes.

Although 10Pearls is relatively small, with revenues of less than $10 million, Aftab said it has been profitable since it began 11 years ago making Web pages for handyman businesses.

The company, which Aftab calls a social experiment, reminds me of the “double bottom line” businesses that Washington sports mogul Ted Leonsis espouses. That refers to business that earns profits while accomplishing some social good.

“I see that business causes positive impact,” said Aftab, who makes three visits a year to his native country. “It can change things even at a small scale. Business is a good way for people to learn about each other.”
-----------
“I see that business causes positive impact,” said Aftab, who makes three visits a year to his native country. “It can change things even at a small scale. Business is a good way for people to learn about each other.”

The enterprise isn’t all about altruism.

Pakistan is a good candidate for outsourcing because of its large English-speaking population — 180 million or so — that is tech-savvy, has mathematical skills and whose labor costs are far below that of the United States and other developed countries.

----------
He knew the bigger money was in developing software applications, but he had to build experience first. He quit AOL Time Warner in 2005 and worked as a consultant while he grew 10Pearls.

Bigger contracts started coming in, including one from a big telecommunications firm that needed help. During the Great Recession that started in 2008, business stagnated and 10Pearls pivoted to mobile applications.

“I could see that mobile was going to grow explosively,” he said.

The company’s big break arrived in 2011, when it won a highly competitive contract to build a mobile application for Social Radar, a Washington company started by Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen. A key part of Social Radar’s business is that the app allows users to interact with people in the immediate vicinity.

The deal with Chasen helped establish 10Pearls’ credibility. That led to more and larger mobile app contracts....


http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pakistan-native-tries-to-demystify-his-native-country-with-software-start-up/2014/12/20/c897fc30-8499-11e4-b9b7-b8632ae73d25_story.html
Riaz Haq said…
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has produced 8,161 PhD scholars up till 2012. As many as 10 to 15 scholars are currently completing their degrees each week, HEC Media Project Manager Murtaza Noor said on Tuesday.
As many as 1,039 scholars have completed PhDs in agriculture and veterinary sciences, 1,211 in arts and humanities, 1,692 in biology and medical science, he said. As many as 1,978 scholars have been awarded PhDs in social sciences, 1,810 in physical science, 288 in engineering and technology and 143 in business education.
“Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India,” he said.
The scholars completing their PhDs are placed in different universities under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP), said Noor.

The HEC provides several incentives to these scholars, including a Rs0.5 million research grant to each returning scholar, he said.
“Hundreds of fresh PhDs from foreign universities are being inducted into universities across the country,” Noor said, “The number of PhD faculty in public universities has increased by almost 50 per cent…from 4,203 to 6,067 over the last two years.”
“Scholars are also being sent abroad to pursue studies in leading universities,” said Noor.
The number of PhD students enrolled in universities has increased by over 40 per cent [from 6,937 to 9,858 students] in the past year.
More than 28,122 students are registered for the MPhil/MS. The number of MPhil/MS students has increased by 65 per cent [from 16,960 to 28,122] over the past two years, he said.
The number of PhDs awarded has increased from 628 to 927 in the last three years. The number is expected to surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join universities, Murtaza said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/577780/intellectual-boom-pakistan-is-publishing-more-research-papers-per-capita-than-india/
Riaz Haq said…
Some international students have the right to work here after graduation for two or more years.

“There is a ticking time bomb on post-study work rights visas, which are being seen as the route to a fast track to migration,” Mr Honeywood said. “Numbers out of India have doubled in the past 12 months. They are not rorting the system, but have the perception post-study work rights will lead to permanent residency, and that is totally wrong.”

China remains by far the biggest source of overseas students, with 153,000 in 2014 — almost one-third of all international students. Government data shows several countries in addition to India have seen big spikes in enrolments. They include Nepal, up 27 per cent on 2013, Pakistan, up 16 per cent, Hong Kong, up 22 per cent, The Philippines, up 21 per cent and Taiwan, up 24 per cent. Mr Honeywood said Australia was still in need of an overarching strategy and independent advisory council, much like Tourism Australia, as recommended in a 2012 review by Michael Chaney.

While the government said last year it had accepted all 35 recommendations of the review, no official response has been released and only seven recommendations have been implemented.

Mr Honeywood said there was little or no co-ordination between the various ministries with responsibility for the sector: education, trade, foreign affairs and immigration. “We have this constant issue of federal government departments in splendid isolation making decisions that impact the sector without adequate consultation,” he said.

A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said a draft national strategy was due for release this year. “The government is also planning a number of ministerial roundtables,” he said.


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/foreign-students-bring-in-16bn-to-australia/story-e6frg6n6-1227207034946
Riaz Haq said…
Services Trade Development Council (STDC) during its maiden meeting noted that Pakistan is the fourth largest IT service provider to the overseas clients ranked only behind US, India and Philippines with over 200,000 Pakistani professionals working in this field.
First meeting of the Services Trade Development Council took place in the Ministry of Commerce, which was chaired by the Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Commerce. The Minister said that Ministry of Commerce would put in place the regulatory framework necessary for enhancing the exports of services from Pakistan. The Council will consult the State Bank of Pakistan to devise a suitable mechanism to facilitate these IT professionals to bring the wages of their work to Pakistan directly.
In order to effectively market the Pakistani Technology industry, the Ministry of Commerce will enhance the participation of Pakistani IT companies in the international trade fares and exhibitions. The Government will also take measures to enhance the capacity of the free lancers working from their homes and small offices providing IT services to foreign clients. The Minister said that the Ministry will train its trade officers abroad to effectively market the Pakistani Technology industry.
The meeting also agreed to take necessary steps to enhance tourism especially religious tourism in the country as Pakistan hosts remains of various ancient civilisations and religions for example Indus Valley Civilisation, Gandhara, pertaining to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and other religions. The Council suggested taking measures to enhance intra-SAARC trade of services which is currently very low.
Meeting was also attended by the representative of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Secretary Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, representatives of Pakistan Software Houses Association for Information Technology, Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association, Travel Agents Association of Pakistan, Insurance Association of Pakistan and Constructors Association of Pakistan.

http://nation.com.pk/business/21-Jan-2015/pakistan-ranks-fourth-in-world-as-it-service-provider-to-overseas-clients
Riaz Haq said…
The second meeting of the Scholarship Management Committee, held at the HEC Secretariat on Wednesday, approved the cases of 300 shortlisted students from 11 institutions for Pakistan-US merit and needs based scholarships.

Chairing the meeting, Executive Director HEC Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi appreciated the collaborative efforts made by USAID for the education sector of Pakistan. He appreciated how USAID has supported HEC’s efforts to establish high-class educational centres, to build university-industry-government linkages, and internationally ranked universities, with trained faculties for increased research capacity.

Adviser Research and Development (HEC) Dr. Tariq Mahmood informed the members that the merit and needs based scholarship programme was started in 2004 in collaboration between HEC and USAID, which till date has provided 1,807 scholarships to talented and needy students. “Of these, 1400 students have completed their education and are working at local and multinational companies. In the first scholarship management committee of phase-II, 221 scholarships were awarded to meritorious students,” he said.

He further said, “The programme has been expanded to 31 universities, in the second phase it will help capture youth from low income households, who come under the net of higher education on a wider scale, thus increasing access and providing adequate opportunities to the less privileged youth.”

USAID Director Thomas Le Blanc told the members that the US government is committed to taking necessary steps to ensure that the country comes out of the challenges it faces.

“Under the second phase, the programme would provide financial assistance to approximately 3,000 needy youth in the next five years along with fully funded scholarships to the students of agriculture, medical, business, engineering in top universities of Pakistan. Fifty per cent of the scholarships are reserved for female students,” he said.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/02/12/city/300-students-approved-for-pakistan-usaid-scholarships/
Riaz Haq said…
Four Pakistani and three United States universities will undertake collaborative research under the project of `Centres for Advanced Studies’ (CAS) to harness applied research to find innovative solutions in water, agriculture and energy challenges for Pakistan.

A $127 million US investment is being executed by the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the US-Pakistan Centres for Advanced Studies to support Pakistan’s economic development by strengthening universities.

This was revealed by officials of US Embassy and USAID during a roundtable discussion with media held here on Monday.

Participating universities in this programme include University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and University of California, Davis in agriculture sector and National University of Science and Technology (NUST), University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar and Arizona State University in energy sector.

While Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro and University of Utah will collaborate in water sector.

The participants were informed that the project was structured as three partnerships in the fields of energy, water and agriculture between three US and four Pakistani universities.

Each CAS would form public-private partnerships and interest specific networks by bringing together leaders in academia, government and the business community to identify the applied research solutions in the agriculture, energy and water sectors.

The project would prepare around 1000 graduates for employment in the private and public sectors and provide them opportunities of limited resources or from disadvantaged groups to pursue higher education.

The CAS project would support self-sustaining applied research through an enhanced working relationship between universities and industry-producing graduates and research conducive to Pakistan’s economic growth and raise the quality of faculty.

The project would assist in several areas including providing curricula, financial management, governance, teaching and other reforms to make university education and research more relevant to the needs of industry and government.

The project would help develop scholarship programmes, leading networking activities, developing strong links with private sector and facilitating relevant policy dialogues and reforms.

The meeting was also informed that a high level US delegation and Pakistani government officials would hold inaugural session of the newly established US-Pakistan Education, Science and Technology Working Group on June 3 (Wednesday).

This session would underscore the ongoing long-term cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in the fields of higher education, science and technology.

The officials who spoke during the roundtable included Assistance Coordinator, US Embassy, Brian Aggeler, Counsellor for Economic Affairs, US Embassy, Daniela Ballard, Cultural Affairs Officer, US Embassy, Judith Ravin, Director, USAID Education Officer, Tom LeBlanc and Deputy Director, USAID Education Office, Garth Willis.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/02-Jun-2015/us-pakistani-universities-to-undertake-joint-research
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Population 196,174,380 (July 2014 est.)


Age structure 0-14 years: 33.3% (male 33,595,949/female 31,797,766)
15-24 years: 21.5% (male 21,803,617/female 20,463,184)
25-54 years: 35.7% (male 36,390,119/female 33,632,395)
55-64 years: 5.1% (male 5,008,681/female 5,041,434)
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 3,951,190/female 4,490,045) (2014 est.)


http://www.indexmundi.com/pakistan/demographics_profile.html
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of Pakistan Education Statistics 2013-14 on tertiary education:

College enrollment at 1,086 degree college stage i.e. grades 13 and 14, is 1.336 million.

University enrollment at 161 universities i.e. grade 15 and 16 is 1.595 million.

All post-secondary enrollment from grade 13 to grade 16 is 2.931 million.


http://www.aepam.edu.pk/Files/EducationStatistics/PakistanEducationStatistics2013-14.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14. The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years. In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).


Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2015/07/pakistans-rising-college-enrollment-and.html
Riaz Haq said…
Sixteen-year-old Raffay Ansari is a self-taught programmer. He’s been an iOS developer for over three years and has now graduated into full-stack, meaning he’s comfortable working with a number of different languages as well as both back-end and front-end technologies. The teenage prodigy from Pakistan has earned several thousand dollars freelancing online, coded games that have attracted about 8 million cumulative downloads, and is now on the brink of launching his own start-up....Raffay has Ataxia, which means he has difficulty walking, speaking clearly, writing, reading, and other activities that require fine motor control. Raffay tells Tech in Asia that his muscles continue to weaken, even after his diagnosis over two years ago.

“The disease is more of a gift to me. As I can’t sleep much at night, I utilise the time learning new things instead. People treat me differently and are always willing to help. It’s a huge advantage,” he beams.

------------

The internet became Raffay’s teacher. He taught himself how to code through free online courses, primarily from Code Academy. His parents were initially reluctant to encourage his sudden interest in programming, but warmed up to the idea once they saw his passion for it. By the age of 13, he had successfully bid for and completed his first freelance assignment – coding the iOS game Mr Flap.

Raffay is now on the brink of launching his own start-up, Odyssy, which he describes as a data-driven content management system (CMS) targeted at bloggers and publishers who aren’t very technologically savvy and who don’t want to spend time coding in HTML. He reveals Odyssy is on the brink of closing its seed funding round – $20,000 from an angel investor based out of Islamabad.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/meet-the-16-year-old-self-taught-coder-from-pakistan-115083100538_1.html

https://www.techinasia.com/this-self-taught-coder-probably-has-more-entrepreneurial-experience/
Riaz Haq said…
The (ADB) report ( Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2015) uses a unique data set of education indicators across 67 economies globally, including 23 from developing Asia and the Pacific, to capture key features of basic educational systems.

In most economies, the report states that the enrollment ratios are generally gender neutral, the largest gap is in Pakistan, where the net enrollment ratio in primary education for boys is 9.9 percentage points higher than that for girls, but this gender gap has narrowed significantly from 21.1 percentage points in 2002.

In other economies where enrollment ratios have been in favour of boys in earlier years, the gender gaps have also narrowed, with the advantages slightly reversing in favour of girls in latest years for Bangladesh, Bhutan, Georgia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Developing economies with youth literacy rates below 80% include Afghanistan (47.0%), Bangladesh (79.9%), Bhutan (74.4%), Pakistan (70.8%), and Papua New Guinea (71.2%).

Among the 23 economies that fell short of the 95% mark for completion of last grade of primary school, five economies with the lowest ratios (below 70%) are Nepal (60.4%), India (61.4%), Pakistan (62.2%), Cambodia (64.2%), and Bangladesh (66.2%). However, more economies have improved their expected primary school completion rates, with significant increases of at least 20 percentage points (pp) in Bhutan (48 pp), Cook Islands (30 pp), Cambodia (30 pp), the Lao PDR (41 pp), Mongolia (23 pp), Nepal (25 pp) and Tajikistan (27 pp). Armenia’s latest rate (94.2%) is slightly below 95% and has just fallen slightly from its 1997 baseline rate (96.5%).

As of 2015 (or latest year), all economies in the Asia and Pacific region have under-5 mortality rates of less than 100 deaths per 1,000 live births, with the highest rates in Afghanistan (91), Pakistan (81), and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (67).

Other developing economies with at most 75% of their 1-year-old children immunized against measles are Afghanistan (75%), India (74%), the Marshall Islands (70%), Pakistan (61%), Papua New Guinea (70%), and Timor-Leste (70%).

The prevalence of moderately and severely underweight children under 5 years of age has decreased in 26 of the 31 economies with data for earliest and latest years. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Vietnam have remarkable average annual reductions (of more than 1 percentage point per year) in the prevalence of underweight children since 1990. However, malnutrition remained high in 11 economies of the Asia and Pacific region (at more than 20%), which include the heavily populated economies of India (29.4%), Bangladesh (32.6%), and Pakistan (31.6%).

Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines and Vietnam in Southeast Asia and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Tajikistan have seen rise in HIV prevalence rates since 2001.

Prior to that, economies with a relatively young age structure, such as India and Pakistan, should benefit from a rising share of the working-age population in their total population.

About half the regional economies were in the category of “medium human development,” including India and Indonesia. Bangladesh, the region’s fifth most populous economy, was a new addition to the medium group, while the fourth most populous economy, Pakistan, remained in the “low human development” group, along with five other smaller economies.

In Pakistan, a randomized experiment that provided information on school performance to families in markets with public and private education raised student achievement by 0.11, while reducing private school tuition costs by 17%.

“Private school tuition likely declined because better schools were forced to spend more with little real return to learning outcomes, simply to differentiate themselves enough from competing schools,” the report stated.

http://www.geo.tv/article-201487-Enrollment-ratio-of-primary-schoolchildren-has-improved-ADB

https://openaccess.adb.org/handle/11540/5231
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan ranks among top 10 for #science contribution in #Asia for 1996-2014

http://www.scimagojr.com/countryrank.php?area=0&category=0&region=Asiatic+Region&year=all&order=it&min=0&min_type=it …

pic.twitter.com/L2FYioicdD
Riaz Haq said…
MedCong: Medical corridor between #Pakistan and #China to collaborate in health sciences and serve the poor. #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1024850/medcong-medical-corridor-between-pakistan-and-china-to-serve-the-poor/ …

KARACHI: Medcong will serve as a medical corridor with China that will benefit poor patients in the two countries, said former federal minister and former Higher Education Commission chairperson Prof Attaur Rehman on Friday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the first-ever three-day Pak-China Medical Congress (Medcong). The event, attended by senior medical experts of the two neighbouring countries, was inaugurated by Prof Rehman.

The Medcong, which is jointly being organised by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in collaboration with Chinese Medical Association (CMA), aims at paving the way for a medical corridor between Pakistan and China.

Addressing the ceremony, Prof Rehman said that Pakistan and China have strong high-level collaboration with each other. “The relations between both the countries have been improving day by day in various sectors, including education, research, medical, infrastructure building and other fields,” he said.

Prof Rehman said the establishment of a medical corridor with China will benefit the two countries’ poor patients. Tremendous opportunities exist for the medical students and researchers of the two countries, once provided with a chance to work together, he said.

CMA president Prof Yan Fei Liu said in his speech that Pakistan is magnificent, rich in natural resources and cultural heritage. “This ancient and magical land gave birth to a brilliant civilisation,” he said. “The Pakistani people are kind-hearted, hardworking, talented and courageous with the spirit of perseverance and [are] unyielding.”

According to him, CMA and PMA are going to make coherent efforts to build a Pak-China medical corridor to deepen the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and to seek bilateral exchanges and cooperation in medical education, patient caring, academia exchanges, medical information and experience sharing.

Prof Tipu Sultan, senior doctor and chairperson of the organising committee of Medcong said that China and Pakistan have been dear and close friends since long. “The academic and professional cooperation between the PMA and the CMA will bear great results,” he said.

A 44-member delegation representing the medical fraternity from China, including CMA vice-president and secretary-general Dr Keqin Rao, CMA deputy secretary-general Dr Lingo Lu, CMA international relations department deputy director Qing Long Meng and CMA project manager Weili Zhao are participating in the congress. The delegates, comprising medical experts from Sri Lanka, England and United Arab Emirates, are also participating in the congress along with their counterparts from different parts of Pakistan.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also inked by the PMA and its Chinese counterpart, the CMA, during the congress. Both the PMA and CMA were declared sister concerns under the MoU while the decision to rotate the event every two years in the two countries will also be finalised.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan, #China discuss increased collaboration in #vocational #training & #education #CPEC

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1126642/meeting-pakistan-china-discuss-collaboration-vocational-education/

Pakistan and China have agreed to increase collaboration in the field of vocational education and teacher training programmes.

The agreement came during a meeting between a delegation from China’s Tianjin University of Technology and Education (TUTE) and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema here on Monday.

Cheema briefed the delegation about the working of NAVTTC and its recent initiatives such as establishment of job placement centres for its graduates.

He said the under-construction China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would open new vistas of prosperity and development and would create employment opportunities in Pakistan.

Cheema said the two countries should enhance their collaboration to reboot the TVET system in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
There are 49,000 Pakistani students and 223,000 Indian students studying abroad as of 2011, according to OECD education report.


With rising urban middle class, there is substantial and growing demand in Pakistan from students, parents and employers for private quality higher education, including vocational training, along with a willingness and capacity to pay relatively high tuition and fees, according to the findings of Austrade, an Australian govt agency promoting trade. Private institutions are seeking affiliations with universities abroad to ensure they offer information and training that is of international standards.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2012/05/pak-students-buck-decline-in-australia.html
Riaz Haq said…
Speaking at the ‘Pakistan StartUP Cup’ competition for young entrepreneurs, jointly organised by the U.S Embassy and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), he said that Pakistan and US were working on a ‘knowledge corridor’ under which around 10,000 PhDs from Pakistan will be trained in U.S universities.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/1178264/5g-launched-soon-ahsan-iqbal/


Riaz Haq said…
#US #Pakistan #Knowledge Corridor to send 10,000 scholars to US, the Higher Education Vision 2025 http://bit.ly/2eqvzS8 via @techjuicepk

Reaffirming its commitment towards a developing Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan has announced that an agenda on set of goals to be achieved in the education sector, the Higher Education Vision 2025 will soon be announced and shared with general public.

While addressing an interactive discussion session on the Higher Education Vision 2025, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal announced that the the draft on the Higher Education Vision 2025 is in its final phases and will be shared soon, reported Dawn. Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed were also among the other notable guests who graced the gathering.

Ahsan Iqbal shared the to-be incorporated points with the gathering stating that the emphasis is being pivoted from the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) fields. Stressing over the importance of Arts education, Ahsan Iqbal said that Government will be establishing an academy to promote the study on social sciences across the country.

Mukhtar Ahmed agreed and pointed that HEC already had redesigned its goals in the light of national goals as prescribed in the Vision. Ahsan Iqbal also mentioned that, as part of the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, 10,000 Pakistani scholars will be sent to the United States for higher study in the next 10 years.

The Higher Education Vision 2025 consists of a set of goals which the state will aspire to achieve in coming years through to 2025. The document will give a direction to the government’s efforts in the education sector and will help it remain focused towards the set targets. The reaffirmation of this resolute is necessary as it also helps state in keeping up with the ongoing developments and improvements in the education sector from around the globe.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to start #University of #Technology & Skills Development with #Japan's help in 2017 http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/11/24/city/islamabad/pak-japan-collaboration-university-of-technology-and-skills-development-to-start-functioning-by-2017/ … via @epakistantoday

The first National University of Technology and Skills Development to be established at a cost of Rs 700 million would start functioning by next year.

“The draft law for the establishment of the university would soon be tabled after approval,” Construction Technology Training Institute’s (CTTI) Director, Jamil Ahmed told participants of “Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA) press tour, organised by Embassy of Japan in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Thursday.

He said the draft law was pending with ministry of science and technology after approval from the ministry of law.

Jamil Ahmed informed that the syllabus of the university has already been approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). He said, five degree courses in five disciplines would be taught to the students.

He said that CTTI is strictly following the quota, and 45 percent seats are reserved for Punjab, 20 percent for Sindh, 15 percent for KP, 10 percent for Baluchistan and 10 percent for AJK, FANA and FATA. However he said that people from Baluchistan and Sindh are not coming according to their quota, while Punjab and KP is utilizing their 100 percent quota.

Giving the briefing regarding CTTI established with financial assistance of JICA, he said, more than 28,000 students from across the country had been imparted training of different short and long-terms courses since 1986.

He informed that 265 students from 28 countries had also completed their training from this institute.

The Director said a large number of the students of this institute were working with domestic and international companies after completing their training.

Jamil Ahmed said, spreading over 53.36 acres, the institute offers diplomas in mechanical, civil, automobile and diesel, quantity surveyor to the students of all provinces.

So far, 1,910 students are being imparted training on the equipment provided by the Japanese government.

He said the institute has 86 different types of machinery including dozers, graders, wheel loaders, excavators, truck crane etc which were donated by Japan.

He said, three hostels accommodate around 600 students on nominal charges while a new hostel for 200 students is under construction, however, there is no female stundent in CTTI.

Rebate in fee is offered to the students of backward areas, he added.

He informed that Japan has assisted in expansion and enhancement of this centre in 1995 and 2006, which is worth US$ 50 million.

“It has also extended technical cooperation under which it has assisted with the modification of curriculum and textbook and with provision of latest equipment in order to match modern technology and requirement of the industrial sector,” he added.

He said CTTI has played a leading role among these kinds of institutes by training people, by producing useful engineers, and also by providing third country training program through inviting students from Asian and African countries.

Later, the participants of the tour were taken to different class rooms to meet with the teachers and students.
Riaz Haq said…
#Stanford Study: 6-minute cellphone call improves student enrollment, teacher attendance in #Pakistan. http://stanford.io/2gPRm6Z via @Stanford


Education researchers examining a World Bank community engagement program noted its positive impact, but results varied for boys’ and girls’ schools.


BY MIRIAM WASSERMAN
A brief monthly phone call to school council members in Pakistan can be a relatively low-cost, scalable way to raise elementary-school enrollment – particularly for girls – and spur school improvement, according to a new study co-authored by Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Thomas Dee and alumna Minahil Asim.

In the study, Asim and Dee evaluated the impact of the School Council Mobilization Program, a pilot initiative that took advantage of the widespread ownership of cell phones in rural Pakistan to strengthen citizen oversight of local schools.

“The program cost about $50 per school and it increased enrollment by roughly 12 students in the typical primary school for girls,” Dee said. “The fact that one could drive improvement in such an important outcome at low cost is extraordinarily exciting to me,” added Dee who is also a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

The researchers, who were not involved with the mobilization program and received no outside funding for their study, were impressed by the design of the intervention and decided to examine whether it had any effect.

The school councils were established in the mid-1990s to strengthen school governance. People are often more motivated to improve their local services than central government bureaucrats. But, the performance of the councils had been mixed and it was unclear whether council members were fully aware of their roles.

The councils were made up of a head teacher and prominent individuals in the community – including shopkeepers, clerics and parents – who served for a year. A prior effort to inform council members about their responsibilities through a three-day in-person training that cost about $180 per school had been ineffective.

Simple and low-cost
In contrast, the School Council Mobilization Program used phone calls to provide a targeted, sustained, one-to-one engagement mechanism between the provincial government and school councils. Moreover, it was relatively low-cost and had the potential of being expanded to a larger scale.

The initiative, which was funded by the World Bank, paid a call center to place monthly calls for 17 months to school council members at larger schools in five districts of the Punjab province. On each call, which lasted about six minutes, the same calling agent would inform a member of a specific responsibility such as monitoring attendance, increasing enrollment and school planning. Text messages were also used initially, but were discontinued because many council members were unable to read.

In order to determine whether the call strategy had an impact, Asim and Dee looked at school outcomes before and after the intervention took place. They used comparisons with other schools and with districts where the program was not piloted to distinguish the effects of the intervention from those of other reforms and trends taking place.

They found that, in addition to raising student enrollment by 5.7 percent at the elementary-school level, the program increased teacher attendance by roughly 2 percent and made it more likely that schools had functional facilities such as toilets and water.

---

http://cepa.stanford.edu/content/mobile-phones-civic-engagement-and-school-performance-pakistan

http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/wp16-17-v201610.pdf

Riaz Haq said…
A little “#MIT for #Pakistan” #Technology

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1266461/little-mit-pakistan/


by Umar Saif

This little “MIT for Pakistan” is driven by a culture of research and entrepreneurship. Its main purpose is to advance innovation and research in the areas of science, technology and engineering. We are highly selective in admitting faculty, research staff and students. This year, our student admission rate was only 2.28 per cent. The scholarship programs, both merit and need based, ensure that applicants are admitted solely on the basis of merit, irrespective of their ability to pay university fees. ITU’s main strength is the quality of its tenure-track faculty. Our tenure-track faculty hiring process is driving entirely by the candidate’s potential to conduct world-class research. Faculty members must have a PhD from a top-tier university and proven research credentials.

In the short duration of 3 years, our faculty members have won over Rs700 Million in competitive research grants, published scores of papers in top journals and conferences and made technology that solves local problems in Pakistan. For instance, Dr Mujeebur Rehman has invented a low-cost ventilator to replace the hand-pumped ventilators in hospitals, which could save thousands of lives every year; Dr Tauseef Tauqir has developed a new fan motor that would drastically reduce the energy consumption for fan manufacturers in Gujranwala; Dr Ali Agha has made a speech-based system that enables illiterate people to access Internet services and Dr. Yaqoob Banghash is digitising the historical archives of Punjab. Collaboration between PITB and ITU researchers has helped the Punjab Government in designing an early epidemic warning system for Dengue, reducing the dropout rates in child vaccination programmes in Punjab, Baluchistan and K-P, and devising a data collection platform that underpins mobile applications used by the government of Punjab.

Cambridge results: Record setting year for Pakistanis

With a specific focus on entrepreneurship; we have established a startup incubator, called Plan9 which is jointly run with the PITB. It has graduated over 130 startups and helped bootstrap a culture of tech startups in Pakistan. Plan9 now supports over 17 startup incubators throughout the country. Each faculty members gets one day off every week from university services to work towards the commercialisation of their research projects. In order to establish a credible scientific publication in Pakistan, ITU has licensed MIT’s Technology Review magazine, one of the most credible scientific publications in the world. MIT Technology Review Pakistan is printed every two months and covers technology research, startups and products in Pakistan.

We have just work on a purpose-built campus spread over 183 acres on Barki Road in Lahore. At the same time, we are entering into a partnership with EdX (MIT and Harvard University online course platform) to introduce online learning in our classrooms. I hope our little “MIT for Pakistan” will become a platform to advance scientific research, innovative and entrepreneurship in Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said…
Joint #US-#Pakistan #energy collaboration at #ASU energizes entrepreneurial aspirations 4 #Pakistani scholars

https://asunow.asu.edu/20161223-project-energizes-entrepreneurial-aspirations-pakistani-scholars

A second cohort of Pakistani engineering scholars has completed their entrepreneurship course of study at Arizona State University as part of the USPCAS-E program. In addition to entrepreneurship, the students are also studying engineering and policy in an effort to improve their country’s energy prospects.

U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy is a U.S. Agency for International Development project focused on applied research relevant to Pakistan’s energy needs. The project, which is a partnership between Arizona State University and two leading Pakistani universities, aims to produce skilled graduates in the field of energy.

ASU entrepreneurship professor Kenneth Mulligan said: “The intention of the program is to improve availability of clean, reliable power in Pakistan. Strategic innovation and entrepreneurship provides a pathway for widespread implementation of their innovative technical solutions.

“Pakistan is subject to rolling blackouts that impede stability, progress and business. The problems faced in Pakistan are not easy problems, which is why coming up with solutions that reside outside the box are so critical,” said Mulligan, who has taught and mentored both cohorts so far.

“They get to use causative thinking, systems analysis and technical feasibility to solve complex technical problems in energy generation and distribution. However, this problem-solving approach and skillset is insufficient in the development of innovative and disruptive products and technologies.”
Riaz Haq said…
The (Pakistan) minister (Ahsan Iqbal), while announcing Rs1 billion grants for the University of Swabi said the government is committed to increase access to higher education and for that purpose sub-campuses and virtual campuses of the universities would be established with assistance of Higher Education Commission at district level in the next three years.

He said the government wants that every student irrespective of their financial status get higher education near their homes and no student leaves their education incomplete due to financial constraints.

Quality education and access to higher education is the right of every citizen of Pakistan and the government to fulfill this national obligation has established a network of quality educational institutes to facilitate students, he said.

Iqbal said the past regimes had restricted bilateral relations with US to defense cooperation, but the Nawaz Sharif’s government after coming into power had widened scope of the bilateral relationship with US and laid the foundation of multi dimensional ‘Pak-US Knowledge Corridor’ to bring educational revolution in the country.

Pak-US knowledge corridor is one of the most significant initiatives of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in the entire diplomatic history of Pakistan with the United States. Under the program, as many as 10,000 talented Pakistani scholars would be enrolled in the top US universities in the next 10 years under Pakistan Vision 2025 for transforming the country into knowledge economy essential for sustained development.

In 1998, total number of PhDs in science and technology in the country was 350. The number now increased to 7,500 PhDs whereas 3,000 more PhDs are being produced to cater to the educational and research needs of the country.

Iqbal said the government accorded top priority to human resource development and took measures for increasing higher education budget during the last three and half years to bring educational revolution in the country.

Education budget, for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which was only Rs100 billion between 2010 and 2013, increased to record Rs2,015 billion between 2013 and 2016. As many as Rs1.4 billion budget that was allocated to three mega HEC projects in Khyber Pakthunkhwa in 2010-13 had been enhanced to record Rs11.4 billion for 13 HEC projects in KP.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/178410-No-change-in-CPECs-western-route-minister
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani universities must capitalise on Chinese investment
The $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a huge opportunity to build academic capacity in Pakistan, say Abdur Rehman Cheema and Muhammad Haris

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/pakistani-universities-must-capitalise-on-chinese-investment#survey-answer

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) unveiled by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, is frequently referred to in Pakistan as a potential economic game changer. Now in its first phase of implementation, it will see the Chinese government pump more than $50 billion (£40 billion) into improving transport links and energy cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Hardly any attention has been paid, however, to how this opportunity might be leveraged to build the technological capacity of Pakistan’s universities. And, so far, academics have been conspicuous by their absence from those clamouring for a share of the pie.

There is no question that universities have a lot to offer in terms of economic development. Introduced in the late 1990s, the Triple Helix concept of university-industry-government relationships has transformed the social role of higher education in many developing countries, casting them as central to the transition to a knowledge-based society, whose policies all three players combine to shape. Although it is not easy to implement in countries that lack research universities or global businesses, studies suggest that the approach generally leads to greater scientific productivity, for instance.

Pakistani universities need to capitalise on China’s own desire to shift itself from a symbol of mass production to a knowledge-based economy. They need to align their strategies with Chinese companies’ existing strengths in information technology, railways, manufacturing and energy. And they need to approach both Chinese firms and the Pakistani government to identify the technical skills areas in which the demand for workers can be expected to rise, and implement new diplomas and short courses accordingly.

Networking is also an important tool that can help bring the spheres of government, industry and the academy together. Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission, which regulates all of its universities, should take the lead and help to start this conversation within universities and research centres, incentivising their interaction with existing firms, as well as establishing incubation facilities for new ones on university campuses, including granting them shared access to university facilities.

CPEC also offers an opportunity to address Pakistan’s rampant inequality. In the country’s poorest province, Balochistan, the federal government could help local politicians and tertiary education providers to set up inclusive business incubation centres charged with developing customised, socially useful entrepreneurial approaches. Drawing on the Chinese experience of poverty reduction, such measures could start to build skilled human resources able to contribute to local and national economic development.

For example, developing local expertise in processing copper – which is mined in Balochistan – could help Pakistan to save the cost of importing the metal after the ore is exported to China for refinement.

The Balochistani port of Gwadar, a gateway to the Middle-Eastern and African markets, is one of the nodes of CPEC and will be connected by new road and rail links to the far western Chinese city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang Province. This offers many business opportunities for Pakistani and international businesses, and local universities could both catalyse and benefit from this if they set up business research excellence centres aimed at helping to improve the quality of the goods and services to be exported.

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