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Minister for Planning and Development inaugurates three centers to produce world-class researchers at QAU

Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal inaugurated three centers including Pakistan China Joint Research Centre on Earth Sciences, Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Material and Emerging Sciences and the Center of Excellence for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CE-CPEC) at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad. These Higher Education Commission (HEC)-sponsored centers, approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP), were formally launched during a ceremony held at the QAU.

Speaking at the occasion, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the centers would play a key role in producing world-class researchers. He said these projects remained pending for the last four years but the incumbent government ensured their launch. The minister said Pakistan China Joint Research Centres would play a vital role in producing researchers who would prove to be beneficial in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

During his address at the ceremony, Prof. Dr. Niaz Ahmed Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University, expressed gratitude to the government and Chinese counterparts for recognizing and approving the concept of the research centers. The Vice-Chancellor briefed the audience about the research centers. He said the establishment of the Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Materials and Emerging Sciences, will serve as a national scientific facility dedicated to advanced nanosciences research. While the Center of Excellence for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CE-CPEC) will function as an independent Policy Think Tank focused on CPEC. This center’s primary research areas will include Chinese investments, sectoral development in Pakistan, and integration with the Chinese market. It will also research economic governance policies, practices, and capacity issues related to CPEC.

The third research center, the China-Pakistan Joint Research Centre (CPJRC), aims to advance knowledge in Earth Sciences. Its research will focus on earth science issues in the joint areas of the Himalayan, Hindu Kush, and Karakorum mountains.

“These research centers mark a significant milestone in the pursuit of knowledge and collaboration between nations, and they are poised to make valuable contributions to various fields of research,” said the Vice-Chancellor. The ceremony was attended by a large number of faculty, staff, students, diplomats, and government officials.