The Central Development Working Party (CDWP), in a meeting today, is likely to formally approve many projects of National development including a project of Rs 26.69 billion worth of PhD scholarships, construction of 20 dams in Balochistan, and the establishment of AJK Women University. Under a major move, various sub-campuses of public sector universities will also be established at the district level.
The Central Development Working Party will hold a meeting with Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms to give tacit approval to the commencement of a number of mega projects. It is actually a long list and includes various projects from the education sector, poverty alleviation, power generation, infrastructure development, and information technology.
The Central Development Working Party is a clearing committee which approves various projects after thoroughly analyzing them technical, financial, and economic perspective. It is located at Planning and Development Division, Islamabad.
The provision of Rs 26.69 billion worth of PhD scholarships under US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor (Phase-I) will also be approved. US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor is a joint program of Pakistan and US and is set to generate about 10,000 PhDs in coming ten years. The scholarship project will be implemented by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC). Pakistan has been promoting higher education greatly, Lahore Knowledge Park is another such project directed at producing 11,200 PhDs. These type of projects could prove to be pivotal in transforming education sector of Pakistan and are direly needed, a recent report mentioned that no Pakistani university made it to the World’s top 500.
The committee will also approve a Rs 777 million project for enhancement of training facilities at the Construction Technology Training Institute (CTTI), Islamabad. The construction and establishment of the AJK Women University in Bagh, AJK costing Rs 886.6 million is also on cards. Various sub-campuses of public sector universities will be established at the district level and a budget of Rs 4.587 billion has duly been allocated.
Among other funds for development of certain educational facilities at universities across Pakistan include a Rs 1.16 billion fund for the main campus of University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, a Rs 820.6 million fund for the Peshawar University, and a Rs 588.8 million fund for development of an Institute of Biotechnology at Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan. The Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) will also see some major investments for development and expansion of educational facilities.
For exploring further various opportunities of funding from international sponsors for Pakistan Audit & Accounts Academy, Lahore, a project of Rs 568.2 million will also be presented for approval.
These projects are surely of major nature and seem to be a part of government’s plan to develop Pakistan as outlined in Vision 2025. Late in last month, Ahsan Iqbal had pointed that the Vision 2025 provided a road map for sustainable development of the country. He mentioned that US-Pakistan relations have gone far from mere strategic partnerships, now the US is actively collaborating in social, and economic development of Pakistan. USAID recently granted $20million to UET Peshawar for research in Pakistan’s energy sector and a US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy was also recently launched at NUST. The US also plans to establish an IT park in Hyderabad.