Plan to convert PM House into varsity shelved.

Byline: Rahul Basharat

ISLAMABAD -- The government has shelved the project of converting Prime Minister House into Islamabad National University due to insufficient funds, The Nation has learnt on Friday.

PM Imran Khan in December last year had announced converting the PM House into Islamabad National University (INU). However, now officials said that the project is halted due to non-availability of funds.

A senior official of Higher Education Commission (HEC) wishing anonymity confirmed that there is no development on converting PM house into INU as HEC has no funds for it.

The HEC has also faced 17 per cent reduction in its allocation for Public Sector Development Programs (PSDP) and Rs29 billion have been allocated for the sector for the fiscal year 2019-20.

According to the PSDP documents, seventeen new schemes have been added to the PSDP but the project of converting PM house into INU is not included in it.

The official said that HEC sector is already facing shortage of funds and it cannot start new project without having sufficient allocations for the INU.

He said that HEC has the priority to complete the existing schemes rather than starting new projects.

'HEC wants to focus on already existing schemes and PM has been conveyed about it,' said the official.

The government had also formed a committee to prepare a draft of converting the PM house into INU while a high-level conference was also held to discuss the project.

Officials said that government had spent around Rs30 million on the conference but now the project has been shelved.

Details said that at initial stages, Institute of Advance Studies was to be established at Islamabad National University (INU). The Institute had to form relevant in-house research teams, which in turn had to engage and collaborate with researchers and research institutions within the country and overseas.

In particular, it had to collaborate with and guide various centres of advanced studies established by HEC in recent years.

Subsequently, in order to sustain and enhance the quality of research programmes, the INU had to initiate PhD programmes in critical fields and focus on using the research...

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