ISLAMABAD, July 16: Vice chancellors of nine universities demanded the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to award scholarships on merit, with special focus on social sciences, which would have a direct impact on the socio-economic development of the country.

Resultantly, the proportion of social sciences in local and foreign scholarships would increase.

This was stated during a meeting of heads of member institutions of Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS), which is the first of its kind inter university alliance formed by nine leading universities of Pakistan.

They also demanded that the education budget be increased to 4 per cent of the GDP, ensuring continuous funding to higher education sector in Pakistan so that the pace of progress and development in this important sector may not suffer.

The vice chancellors were of the view that without continuous financial support, it will not be possible to improve the state of social sciences in Pakistan which has suffered continuous neglect in the past.

The heads of inter university consortium have also decided to establish social sciences labs in their respective institutions so that young scholars can get first hand experience and thus contribute towards the betterment of society.

The heads of inter university consortium have also decided to introduce a course on community services at their respective institutions, undertaking collaborative programs — preservation of local culture/heritage — for promoting a soft image of Pakistan. In the pipeline an international conference on International Social Sciences is being planned.

They have also decided to establish Pakistan Council of Social Sciences Research (PCSSR) to promote social sciences research in Pakistan.

This council will act as a hub for promotion of social sciences and research in the development sector.

The status of the council will be autonomous and will work under the supervision of Board of Directors and an Advisory Board, comprising renowned and experienced social scientists from academia, civil society and R&D organisations.

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