ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (APP): The Central Development Working Party (CWDP) on Monday approved six projects worth Rs 47 billion for the youth of the country.

The meeting of the CDWP was held here, under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal.

“Our approach is grounded in the provision of mentorship and upskilling opportunities to youth which we believe are critical for their employment prospects,” said the Minister for Planning, Professor Ahsan Iqbal while chairing the meeting.

The forum approved the Prime Minister’s Youth Laptop Scheme (Phase-III) at the cost of Rs 146.162 million.

Under the program, the youth will be given laptops while continuing the old project initiative by the Pakistan Muslim League PML-N government in its previous tenure. Investment in youth has been realized in many emerging economies as a long-term investment for a prosperous future of the nation which is based on the demographic dividend.

Pakistan has also realized its strengths of having a large number of young people who are to be transformed into a skilled and educated workforce to have its share proportionate to the global economy. During the meeting, the Minister directed the relevant stakeholder to reorganize the technical committee to ensure the good quality of the laptops keeping in view the requirements of the students.

The investment in youth education to have an educated and skilled workforce available to support the country’s economy, or even beyond, to provide a skilled workforce to countries that are scarce of young and energetic skilled workforce.

Similarly, the forum also approved a project of Overseas Scholarships for MS/M.Phil leading to PhD in selected fields (Phase-III), at the cost of Rs 22.214 billion in order to provide opportunities to the students.  

Under the Program, 75 Scholarships (40 PhD and 35 MS) under 75th National Independence Scholarships will be awarded to the students and HEC will be the sponsoring agency of this project. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has granted NOC to undertake Undergraduate Degree Programs in the leading Engineering Technologies i.e., to name a few (Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical, Chemical, IT).

“The goal of the youth internship program is to increase the marketability, employability and work-readiness of educated youth; break down their barriers to entry in the labor market and accelerate their school-to-work transition”, said Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

Prime Minister’s National Award and Prime Minister’s Youth Development Center (YDC) at the cost of Rs 897.554 million were among the projects which were approved by the forum. The project Prime Minister’s National Award in the long run over the years will help in improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the country.

The federal government will finance this project through block allocation budgetary support of the Prime Minister Youth Program. The Prime Minister’s National Innovation Award (PMNIA), an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Youth Program, is being executed by the HEC. This execution will help nurture innovative minds and make it possible for aspiring youth of the country to showcase their innovative skills.

Similarly, YDC will help in establishing an undergraduate student office wherein services related to undergraduate policy 2020 and other services related to Youth Development will be offered. The forum also approved the Provision of Higher Education Opportunities for Students of Balochistan, FATA at the cost of Rs 8.66335 billion. The concept of the project is based on the provision of higher education opportunities to students from Balochistan and erstwhile FATA through enrolling them in HEC recognized Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and supporting them by paying their tuition fee and other living expenses.

The revival of undergraduate scholarships for the students of Balochistan and former FATA will strengthen national harmony and integration, said Member Social Sector and Devolution at Planning Commission, RafiUllah Kakar while highlighted the project. The scholarships will be awarded in every field of study subject to selection as per population. The project will provide access to 5000 students (5000 Undergraduate 4–5-year BS program) from Balochistan and erstwhile FATA to the quality education system.

The CDWP also approved Prime Minister ‘Ba-Salahiyat Naujawan’ Internship Program, initiated by the Ministry of Planning Commission at the cost Rs 4.73 billion. Under this program, the Ministry of Planning Commission will award paid internships for a duration of six months to all eligible applicants who qualify for the program through a competitive selection criterion.

Following their selection, the Ministry will facilitate the placement of interns in positions relevant to their skills and industry in host organizations spanning across the public, private and development sectors.

The interns will receive a stipend of RS 25,000/month. A total of 30,000 internships will be awarded through the one-year program. Upon the successful completion of their internship, interns will be awarded an internship certificate by their host organization and by the Ministry.

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