Record amount of Rs70b allocated to HEC: Senate told

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Monday that a record budget of Rs 70- billion has been allocated for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) during the current fiscal year with a special emphasis to the less developed areas.

Concluding discussion on a motion moved by Farhatullah Babar regarding overall performance of HEC, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Balighur Rehman said that Rs 70- billion have been allocated under different schemes for less developed areas including rural Sindh, Southern Punjab, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.

He said the Prime Minister’s Fee Reimbursement Scheme has benefited the students belonging to less developed areas besides laptops have also been provided to the outstanding students all over the country.

He said HEC funds are allocated to the Provinces under Recurring and Development Grants on the basis of the weightage of the professional education being provided in different Higher Education Institutions.

He said under the new initiatives the number of universities has risen to 163 and ten of these universities are among the top three hundred universities of Asia. He said up to last year the total number of publications have reached eight thousand which will further increase in the coming years.

Earlier, taking part in the discussion, members including Farhatullah Babar, Haseeb Khan, Rauf Khan, Ilyas Bilour, Abdul Nabi Bangash and M. Hamza said that a special committee should be constituted to oversee the HEC performance.

They said equal representation from all the provinces should be made in the Committee. They said that the funds of Higher Education should be directly transferred to the provinces.

Speaking on a motion moved by Abdul Haseeb Khan, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said that after the 18th amendment, the health subject has been devolved to the provinces and as a result of this improvement has been seen in Expanded Programme on Immunization. She said the provinces need to make more efforts to make the polio and other such programmes more successful and to achieve the set targets.

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