Govt Reduces ICT R&D Fund Scholarships

In a bid to help National ICT R&D Fund to balance out its funding, the number of Prime Minister’s National ICT R&D scholarship program (PMNICTSP) has decreased to 165 from 500.

However, the move would deprive many talented youth of the opportunities to polish their skills and in curbing unemployment.

According to the documents available, Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) has discussed the program at length, in view of mandate of the R&D Fund Company and resolved the following:

Proposed program design

The program will be executed according to the parameters, criteria and guidelines provided in the attached policy document. Overall, proposed program design and its proposed changes as compared to earlier program are summarized below:

Proposed number of scholarships

Considering the need of scholarship program and disproportion of funding in HRD and R&D programs in previous years, National ICT R&D Fund can offer limited number of scholarships for the forthcoming fall 2016 intake. It will give the access to deserving, talented youth of Pakistan to quality education and also help National ICT R&D Fund to balance out its funding in both HRD and R&D initiatives.

Accordingly 165 fully funded four-year undergraduate degree scholarships in ICT related disciplines will be offered in fall 2016 intake to deserving talented youth of Pakistan (including AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan) in HEC recognized universities of Pakistan.

Project duration

The PMNICTSP program is proposed to be a one-year intake program starting from fall 2016 intake; batch will be graduating in July 2020.

Proposal of special quota for female students:

Based on the past 5-year experience 9.7% female students normally secure scholarships every year on merit. As directed by the board in its 41st meeting, 15 (10%) additional seats can be allocated for female students. Total cost will rise up to 290 million for 150 scholarships.

In 2007 National ICT R&D Fund executed a comprehensive outreach scholarship program, 6100 students from all over Pakistan were trained in phase-I in problem-solving skills. 700 teachers were trained for imparting training in modern pedagogical techniques for this phase.

In the phase-II of OSP 2007, 390 students were offered scholarships worth Rs.545 million on merit. These students were offered scholarships in the top ranking ICT related universities (FAST-NU, GIKI and NUST-IT) of Pakistan.

The program was approved by ECNEC in February 2008 for five years (2007-2011), as per parameters of the approved PC-1, for the total budget of Rs 2,414.84 million. In the year 2008, total number of scholarships was increased to 550, with a total of 11 universities participating in the program. A total of upto Rs 440 million worth of scholarships were offered on merit.

In the year 2009, the total number of scholarships was increased to 737, with a total of 10 universities participating in the program. A total of up to Rs.560 million worth of scholarships were offered on merit. In the year 2010, 580 scholarships were offered, with a total of 10 universities participating in the program. A total of up to Rs.464 million worth of scholarships were awarded on merit.

Prime Minister’s National ICT scholarship program 2011 (PMNICTSP 2011) has been executed in two parts i.e. fall intake 2011 and spring intake 2012. 729 scholarships were offered under fall intake program, with a total of 19 universities participating in the program. A total of up to Rs.610 million worth of scholarships were awarded on merit. 189 more scholarships were offered to the qualified candidates under PMNICTSP.

Prime Minister’s National ICT scholarship program was initiated in 2007 with the objective to provide access to the deserving talented youth of rural/ non-metropolitan and marginalized areas of Pakistan (including AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan) to high-quality ICT education available in the country.

So far two phases of the program have been offered; Phase-I was launched in 2007, whereas Phase-II of the program was initiated in 2012 for 3 years. Last intake of students was in 2014 and it shall conclude in 2018 once this batch completes its 4 years undergraduate study.

Program summary for the years 2007-2011 is stated below.

Total Budget (Rs-MillionPSDP shareNational ICT R&D FundScholarships offered (Nos)
2414.8410361378.843178

Actual Funds Received is Rs 270 million

Program summary for the years 2012-14 is stated below.

Total Budget (Rs-MillionNational ICT R&D FundScholarships offered (Nos)
199519951586

Overall achievement (2007-14)

PrincipalsTeachersStudentsScholarships offered (Nos)
7212845493264761