Friday, January 27
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Ahsan Iqbal urges academia to promote analytical thinking among youth

ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan organised a ceremony to commemorate and pay tribute to Prof. Stephen Hawking, renowned cosmologist, for his marvellous contributions to science. The ceremony aimed to motivate youth and students to forge commitment to scientific pursuits.

Iqbal, Federal Interior Minister was chief guest on the occasion, while Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, HEC, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, and a large number of Vice Chancellors, Rectors, faculty members and students were also present.

Addressing the gathering, Ahsan Iqbal said Prof. Stephen Hawking was not only a great scientist but also a great human being who, despite suffering from Motor Neuron disease, struggled to make remarkable contribution to science. “Prof. Stephen Hawking has proved that no disability or lack of resources can hinder realization of one’s dreams if one adopts a positive approach and unfaltering will power,” he asserted. He stated that with a strong will power, one can defeat all odds of life, adding that positive energy turns impossible into possible. He urged students to follow Prof. Stephen Hawking as a role model if they face challenges while acquiring education and conducting research.

He said Islam emphasises reflection, enquiry and pursuit of knowledge, adding that the nations which enjoy scientific development are invincible. He observed that the Muslims downfall is caused by their distance from knowledge. Our forefathers led the world in science, he said, as they received guidance from the Holy Quran. He urged the academia to promote critical and analytical thinking among youth and discourage cut-and-paste practices. He advised students to show commitment to solving scientific puzzles, as knowledge creation is a major contribution to the well-being of mankind. He stressed the need for renaissance of the entire Muslim Ummah in terms of promotion of knowledge and research.

The Minister said the Government is committed to development of higher education sector in the country. The higher education budget has constantly been increased in the current Government regime, he stated. He said the Government has prepared a new curriculum for primary standards in view of its aim to promote critical and analytical thinking among students. He added that the curricula of higher classes are also being revisited.

In his welcome address, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said Prof. Stephen Hawking has made great scientific contributions to the ocean of knowledge despite his health sufferings. He affirmed that God has blessed Pakistan with capable youth. “We need to tap the potential of our youth enabling them to contribute to the country’s uplift,” he said. He stated that HEC is committed to providing conducive environment to students, faculty and researchers to make progress in all academic and scientific spheres. “We have to work together in our respective capacities for the development of Pakistan,” he emphasised. He underlined the need for learning from success stories of legends like Prof. Stephen Hawking.

Dr. Qasim Jan, former Vice Chancellor, Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, Prof. Saif Ullah from QAU, Dr. Arshad Bhatti from COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and other notable speakers shed light on the contributions of Prof. Stephen Hawking. They said Prof. Stephen Hawking was a highly decorated scientist as he made worthy contributions to science. They observed that ‘Singularity of Theorems’, ‘Black Hole Evaporation’, and ‘Brief History of the Time’ produced ground-breaking research. They said the research was based on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. They stressed the need for promoting scientific observation skills among science students. They also highlighted the significance of Prof. Stephen’s work in metaphysics.