The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft Pakistan launched Imagine Cup 2019 during a ceremony held at the Commission Secretariat on Tuesday.
The ceremony also marked signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between HEC and five universities for collaboration in the functioning of HEC EduTV.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman HEC graced the occasion as chief guest. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Muhammad Asghar, Executive Director HEC, Mr. Abid Zaidi, Country Manager Microsoft, Mr. Mike Yeh, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft, Middle East and a number of Vice Chancellors, faculty members and students were also present.
Imagine Cup is one of Microsoft’s many efforts to transform skill development, nurture budding technologists and foster collaborative and innovative spirit. This global technology competition boasts of several success stories emerging from the competition. It is a vibrant platform to innovate, get recognized and eventually get enabled to bring about a positive change.
Imagine Cup continues to foster innovation among students and enables them to transform their ambitions into reality. The winning team will now represent Pakistan at the upcoming worldwide finals to compete among global teams for a USD $100,000 prize.
Addressing the ceremony, Dr. Banuri underlined that imagination is the real essence of education as well as human life and spirit. “Imagination enables the mankind to design other possible worlds. Imagination is not about technology, but it is all about human beings.” He stressed that imagination and curiosity play a vital role in solving problems and the development and use of technology are pivotal to materialize imaginations.
The Chairman appreciated the NUST SEECS (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) that won the Imagine Cup 2018 national finals. He said the young minds of Pakistan have great potential and imagination skills. “We need your brainpower to solve our problems and transform the challenges facing our country into opportunities,” he emphasized.
Dr. Banuri said that HEC plans to move towards a paperless office. He added that a job portal has been created where the academia, especially universities, can post their jobs and find suitable candidates. Highlighting the importance of Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS), he said a Campus Management System is being evolved to bring all the HEC technology-linked initiatives onto a single platform.
He said Imagine Cup provides youth with education, exposure, and networking opportunity. He said that networking is a part of the partnership between HEC and Microsoft.
In his remarks, Mr. Abid Zaidi said Microsoft strives to bring the right set of tools and technology towards the students so that they can change their work for the better. He observed that Pakistani students are the agents of change and they need the right set of tools to succeed. He stated that as a technology company, Microsoft wants to empower students and enable them to shape the future.
Microsoft Imagine Cup continues to witness strong participation from Pakistan, as well as the world over. Under the Education Transformation Agreement, HEC and Microsoft work in partnership to enable student-centric learning, enhance education with powerful software tools and improve the efﬁciency of education systems.
The agreement is aimed at supporting all communities, enabling them to enjoy the social beneﬁts of a well-educated population. It encompasses training for educators and educational leaders, conducting research for innovations, and building professional communities to ensure that every student has the beneﬁt of a global network of empowered educators. The key strategic aims of this partnership include the transformation of learning and innovation and develop 21st Century Skills and Employability.
On the occasion, HEC signed a MoU with Lahore Garrison College, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Sindh Madrasatul Islam, Karachi, and, University of Gujrat to collaborate in the functioning of HEC EduTV.