Pakistan’s education system must develop critical thinking, says Chairman Sindh HEC Karachi

The opening ceremony of the HEC Funded Sindh consortium of universities, for the establishment of Business Incubation Centers (BICs) with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, was held on May 28, 2022, at IoBM, Karachi. The Chief Guest was Professor Dr. Tariq Rafi, Chairman of Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC). Invited to this event were the vice-chancellors of various universities, heads of incubation centers of business schools, corporate leaders, and IoBM’s alumni. The consortium was formed in April 2022 by IoBM and is led by Mehran University of Engineering & Technology (MUET). Other member universities are Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) and Dawood University of Engineering & Technology (DUET). It will help the country achieve its goals of sustainability and livelihood and become a seat of learning for the same, not only for Sindh but also for Pakistan. The HEC-recognized consortium will offer capacity-building training programs, and mentorship, and establish industry linkages to selected start-ups. These startups will be incubated in the new Cohort Incubation Program 2022 by IoBM’s Shahjehan S. Karim Incubation Center (SSKIC).

During his address, Mr. Talib Karim, President IoBM said that the consortium is the first such project financed by the HEC. It enables the partner universities to exchange knowledge, and facilities and build resources. IoBM SSKIC has finalized ten start-up ideas that will receive seed money of PKR 500,000 each to build a prototype. He added that IoBM targets nearly 20% of its students to set up their businesses. IoBM Chancellor, Mr. Bashir Janmohammad emphasized that start-ups are the best option for the youth who aspire to become entrepreneurs. He also stressed the need to strengthen the industry-academia linkage. Professor Dr. Faizullah Abbasi, VC, DUET commented that the professors and the industry professionals need to use the same jargon and terminologies to reduce the communication gaps and hence reinforce the industry-academia link. Professor Dr. Rafi emphasized the importance of research conducted in universities. He mentioned that the graduates should remain relevant to the industry to become successful professionals or entrepreneurs. He also called for the universities to encourage the students’ business ideas. The education system must inspire the students to become critical thinkers, he added. Dr. Inamullah Bhatti, Director, ORIC, MUET, presented an overview of the start-ups incubated at MUET. Mr. Mehboob Karim, Advisor to SSKIC, IoBM, presented the roadmap of the consortium. Two start-ups, Creative3D and BridgeCare, that were incubated at the SSKIC, shared their journey and the insights they gained while being incubated. President IoBM presented mementos to the guests.