LAHORE: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has stressed upon strong liaison between educational institutions and the industry so that students could be imparted education according to market needs.Addressing the convocation of University of Engineering and Technology (UET) here on Saturday, he said, “Our focus should shift from general education to technical knowledge. As a nation, we need to give priority to technical education as well as research and innovation.”Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, State Minister for Education Ghulam Farid Khathia, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Gul Muhammad Jakhhrani and VC Muhammad Akram Khan were also present at the convocation.The Prime Minister said global economic and social architecture was undergoing evolution in the wake of recent global recession, which caught the world unawares, as new forces had cropped up that would have huge bearing on the world system. “The uniqueness of challenges posed to the international political and economic order demands a creative response and innovative approaches as a way out of our predicaments.
No country can find an honourable place in the comity of nations unless it is strong internally and this strength comes from its institutions and quality of governance,” he said.Gilani said, “Two ways are open to us; either we become proactive and embrace the challenge head-on with a win-win mindset or allow forces of change to defeat us. However, the first route requires us to make ‘out of box’ decisions and reset our national priorities in line with contemporary challenges to keep pace with developments around the world. Doing so will mean taking difficult and unpopular decisions; this is what, I think, a leadership is all about,” he added.The PM said that successive governments failed to give due importance to institution-building and preferred to compromise on long-term interests of the nation for the sake of short-term political gains.“However, the our democratic government decided to resolve fundamental problems that afflicted our policy,” he said, adding that the passage of the 18th Amendment heralded a new beginning for the nation, reviving the original character of the Constitution and strengthening national institutions. “It will enure good governance. The abolition of the concurrent list and devolution of its subjects to the provinces will make Pakistan a strong federation and eliminate duplication of functions and wastage of resources by accelerating the delivery of services at grass-roots level,” he added.
Gilani said, “I do not say that all age-old problems will be resolved in a flash. However, I can assure you that the system will be capable of addressing governance issues with the passage of time.”The Prime Minister said only those nations had reached the zenith of development who based their growth on knowledge, research and creativity and countries which acquired knowledge in fields of science, engineering and technology were economic rulers of the present time, asserting that without significant advancement in the fields, it was not possible to be among the advanced nations.To survive in today’s knowledge-driven competitive world, he said, nations and individuals must work single-mindedly with utmost devotion. Total commitment is vital to reach the top of any profession, he added.Gilani hailed that the UET had increased enrolment and upgraded postgraduate programmes, which was imperative to meet the ever growing need for quality researchers through doctoral programmes.“It is a matter of satisfaction that UET has been responding well to needs of the industry by producing skilled workforce,” he said, adding, “I appreciate the university’s initiative for setting up new campuses closer to industrial sites. This will ensure greater interaction between the university and the industry and provide indigenous solutions to our problems besides contributing towards the advancement of technology.”The Prime Minister advised the graduating students to work with commitment and dedication and make optimism the hallmark of their life – App