ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said the National Endowment Scholarships for Talent (NEST) would be gradually increased from the existing 5.2 to 25 billion rupees to support merit-based studies.
Addressing a scholarship award ceremony, the minister said the programme has been launched on the pattern of Punjab Education Endowment Fund under which 150,000 students are receiving scholarship.
The minister said a major programme launched by the present government is US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, which would produce ten thousand PhDs. He said the programme has been initiated to afford opportunity to students to pursue higher and research based education in quality institutions of the United States.
The minister said one million laptops have been distributed under Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme purely on merit.
Ahsan Iqbal said a National Science Talent Farming Scheme is also being implemented under which 300 children are provided scholarship to pursue education in quality institutions upto Ph.D.
He said campuses of universities are also being set up in every districts. This would ensure access to higher education by students of backward and far flung areas.
Ahsan Iqbal said Vision-2025 lays special emphasis on education as knowledge is foundation for sustained progress and development. He said scholarships under NEST have been awarded through a transparent and merit-based process.