UNDP and NUST held roundtable conference on human development
The National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Islamabad office held a Roundtable on Human Development at its Islamabad campus.
The Roundtable was attended by the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, the Secretaries of the Planning & Development Division and Ministry of Human Rights, Director of the Human Development Report Office of the UNDP in New York and the Country Director of the UNDP. The roundtable was also attended by the representatives of various UN bodies, international financial institutions, academics, researcher, former federal ministers, Rector NUST and students of the Business School of the NUST.
The purpose of the Roundtable was to sensitize the government, policy makers, academics, development partners and others as to the importance of human development. The Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission highlighted the salient features of the new growth framework and pointed out that the new framework is based on four pillars, that is, quality of governance, vibrant markets, creative cities and youth and community. He said that when we put together these four elements we set in motion the dynamics of growth.
Rector NUST, Engr. Muhammad Asghar highlighted the role of higher education in economic development. He argued that innovation requires knowledge and knowledge can be provided by the universities, therefore, investment in education including higher education is the key to our success. Rector NUST appreciated the role of the Planning Commission in supporting higher education in Pakistan.
Dr. Khalid Malik, Director, UNDP Human Development Report Office, presented a comparative analysis of human development in the region. He pointed out that social policies are as important as economic policies and that poverty and inequality should be at the center of development policy in Pakistan. He encouraged the formation of a consortium for academia to intensify the conversation around human development.
Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan, the Principal & Dean of NUST Business School emphasized upon investing in people. He argued that given the age structure of Pakistan’s population where 50 percent are below the age of 20 years, Pakistan has no option but to invest in people, particularly the young population to make them productive citizen of the country and reap the benefits of demographic transition for five decades.
Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka, the Country Director of the UNDP said that the economic crises and natural disasters impact development. He presented the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the district and provincial levels with an emphasis on inequalities across regions and among social segments.
Dr. Vaqar Ahmed of the SDPI , while appreciating the human development initiative pointed to the need to take a deeper look at deprivations of areas left behind and stressed on local area growth strategies.
Dr. M. Akram Sheikh, the former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission announced plans to set up human development studies at the business school at NUST. The purpose for setting up this centre at NUST is to conduct quality research on the various aspects of human development.
An Annual Conference will be held on human development under the auspicious of the newly established NUST Human Development Studies Centre where scholars will be presenting their papers on human development. It has been further agreed that Annual Human Development Awards will be given to those scholars who have contributed to the fields of human development.
For further information and media assistance, please contact, Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP Pakistan