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Pakistan: Site allocated for ‘IIT like institute’ turned into “Bakra Mandi,” former VC expresses dismay

He expressed amazement that everyone was so arrogant about Pakistan's higher education system, despite the fact that not a single university in Pakistan is listed among the world's top 700.

Pakistani academician Dr. Umar Saif, formerly the vice-chancellor of the Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore, has highlighted concerns over the nation’s educational system. Dr Saif posted an image on Twitter showing how an institute that was supposed to be similar to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has been turned into a Bakra Mandi (Goat market).

Sharing a couple of images of the site, Dr Saif wrote, “In 2013, we set out to build a little MIT for Pakistan. It had all the ingredients of becoming the equivalent of IIT in India… and today, the site marked for its campus has been turned into a Bakra Mandi.”

Dr Saif also works as an advisor for the United Nations Development Programme in Pakistan. He claims that despite having been allocated for the Information Technology University’s main campus, a miniature version of MIT for Pakistan, the property has now been turned into a parking lot and a goat-sellers’ market, shattering any hopes for infrastructure development in Pakistan.

Saif also shared a link to an article in The Express Tribune written by him and titled, “A little MIT for Pakistan.” Saif described in the piece how he hoped to develop a research institution for technology in Pakistan that would replicate the academic framework of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Saif, a former MIT professor, has claimed that he tried everything to persuade Pakistan’s governing class of the significance of such a university, but failed. He expressed amazement that everyone was so arrogant about Pakistan’s higher education system, despite the fact that not a single university in Pakistan is listed among the world’s top 700.

Several higher education institutions in Pakistan are reportedly in danger of closing as a result of the government’s decrease in regular funding. Pakistan’s public-sector institutions are in a precarious situation as a result of the drastic budget reductions for higher education made by consecutive governments.

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OpIndia Staff
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