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HEC plans social sciences research council

hec The plan was announced at the first ‘National Showcasing of Thematic Research in Social Sciences, regarding research projects awarded by HEC under Thematic Research Grants Programme. The event was organised by Higher Education Commission (HEC). Speaking on the occasion, HEC Executive Director Dr. Raza Bhatti appreciated the efforts of researchers and encouraged them to seriously address, through their research, the social challenges facing society. He said that under the Thematic Research Grants Programme, HEC encourages creative and talented faculty members to work on areas that could lead to development of Pakistan. Such encouragement not only helps address the key issues challenging Pakistan but also provides solutions to the prevailing challenges. He said the Thematic Research Programme in Social Sciences aims to discourage the on-going brain drain and utilize the innovative thinking of researchers. The success of Thematic Research Programme has paved the way for increase in the grant which is now Rs90.00 million programme for the current fiscal year (2015-16). In the fiscal year 2014-15, a total 129 research proposals had been received from the universities and degree awarding institutions whereas after scrutiny by experts committee, 20 research projects worth Rs75.5 million were recommended. In his opening remarks, HEC Director General Academics Fida Hussain said that HEC has been playing an important role in improving the quality of teaching and developing research culture with special emphasis on social sciences. “Realising the need for ensuring the concept of knowledge economy in its true sense, it initiated different incentivized programmes in universities to motivate and encourage the potential researchers in almost all disciplines. Besides promoting research culture in science and technology, HEC has also concentrated on promoting research culture in social sciences,” he said. The research themes included Security Challenges in Pakistan; Pakistani Society: Tradition and Change; Balancing Global and Local Needs: Geo-political Economy; Education Policy, Leadership and Management for the 21st Century; and Governance and Development. The symposium was attended by scholars, researchers and students from the Social Sciences departments of various universities. Ten studies were shared at the forum. Professor Dr. Anila Kamal from Quaid-i-Azam University presented her research entitled ‘Post Traumatic Growth among Youth Exposed to a Natural Disaster: Identifying, Mediating and Moderating Factors between Traumatic Events Post-traumatic Growth.’ The study identified the psychological, demographic and environmental correlates of post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth among the flood-affectees. Dr. Bushra Akram from Department of Psychology, University of Gujrat, presented a research focusing on the ‘Social, Psychological and Economic Determinants of Intolerance and Violence in Pakistan.’ The result of analysis of data collected from household from Punjab showed that intolerance and violence are more learnt and socially constructed behaviours. Dr. Fauzia Maqsood from University of Gujrat, presented a survey entitled ‘Anthropometric Study of Elderly in District Gujrat.’ “The Role of Media in Protecting and Promoting Human Trafficking in Pakistan” was showcased on the occasion by Professor Dr. Masrur Alam Khan from Ripha International University. Professor Nelofer Halai of Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, conducted a research on ‘Science Classroom Research for Inquiry Process in Teaching.’ Her findings showed that inquiry had a positive impact on students learning and attitude toward science. Schools are willing to support inquiry in science if appropriate resources are provided. Professor Dr. Mir Afzal Tajik, Aga Khan University Chitral, researched the role of Pakistani media in promoting cultural diversity and pluralism in Chitral. Scholars, academics, vice chancellors who attended the show casing expressed enthusiasm for the advent of such a forum and hoped that regular meetings would enhance the scope of research in the media.–The News ]]>

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