President urges varsities to emerge as ‘centres of excellence’ promoting academic, sports  talent

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Staff Reporter

President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday stressed the need for universities to emerge as ‘centres of excellence’ side by side hone talent of their students in academic and co-curricular domains.

Addressing at the launch of ‘Sports and Co-curricular Activities Division’ under the Kamyab Jawan programme at the Higher Education Commission in connection with International Youth Day, the president said promoting healthy activities through sports was fundamental to the physical and social development of youth.

In the past, he said, the schools, colleges and universities with their rich traditions produced several national heroes in sports, who brought laurels to the country.

He lauded the performance of the two Pakistani athletes, who had a near-miss at the recent Tokyo Olympics, and said a proper infrastructure was key to prepare best stuff for the future sporting events.

He said the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was also focusing on the uplift of all segments of society through projects such as Kamyab Jawan and Ehsass, to mainstream them in national development.

The president lauded Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, who despite the limitations of the Constitution’s 18th amendment, was successfully pursuing the government’s agenda of uniform syllabus.

He said PM’s Special Usman Dar had effectively expanded the reach of Kamyab Jawan programme to benefit youth from all provinces, may it in areas of skill development or easy loans for business start-ups.

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood said his ministry was focusing on providing youth a platform to polish their educational and professional skills.

Terming co-curricular activities a significant part of education, he said, the universities could act as a launching pad to promote the talent of their students.

The concept of Markaz Youth programme was based on inter-connecting the talent of youth from across the country, he added.

Rather than brick-and-mortar setups, he said, a combination of faculty, research-oriented environment and quality education was important in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

PM’s Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar said the new Sports and Co-Curricular Activities Division would prove a game-changer towards the empowerment of youth.

He said under the Hunermand Pakistan, around 0.2 million youth had been trained so far in technical and vocational areas.

He said the proposal of launching sports scholarships for university students was under consideration with an aim to prepare heroes of national and international levels.

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