ISLAMABAD         -       The Higher Education Commission has awarded 52 Pakistani researchers and scholars for their outstanding work in the spheres of research, innovation and publication statement said on Thursday. 

Dr Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC was chief guest on the occasion, while Dr Anwar-ul-Hassan Gillani, Vice Chancellor University of Haripur was the guest of honour. The ceremony was also attended by Dr Masoom Yasinzai, Rector International Islamic University.

 A statement said that Outstanding Research Awards programme is an initiative to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Pakistani researchers and scholars in research, innovation and publications.

So far, 213 awards have been conferred in six award ceremonies since 2009. The awards are given in four categories i.e. Best Research Paper, Best Young Research Scholar, Best Innovator, and Best Book. Dr Yasinzai informed the gathering that as many as 490 applications were received for the four categories, out of which 52 were selected for these awards. He said that 37 scholars won Best Research Paper Award, eight won the Best Young Research Scholar Award, one scholar clinched the Best Innovator Award while six authors bagged the Best Book Award.

Addressing the audience, Dr Banuri congratulated the award winners and wished them good luck in their future endeavours.

He said HEC is trying to make the higher education system move away from obsession with papers and certificates to obsession with substance. He said that researchers and scholars should focus on substance of their work, as they are the brains of this country. The chairman identified that Pakistan is confronted with a plethora of problems, including energy crisis, water scarcity, housing shortfall, and terrorism. He urged the researchers to come up with solutions to these challenges through their research.

He underlined that HEC has introduced a number of programmes oriented to finding out solution to national problems.

He said that the National Challenge Fund is being launched through which consortia of universities will be able to conduct research on national challenges. Similarly, he added, the Local Challenge Fund has also been designed wherein a university will concentrate on solving problems lying unresolved in its vicinity or neighborhood.

Dr Banuri further said that HEC’s Technology Development Fund is aimed at enhancing collaboration between academia and industry to increase productivity, export and employment.

In his remarks, Dr Gillani said the process of selecting researchers and scholars for Outstanding Research Awards is highly credible, as international and scientific standards are followed to ensure its credibility.