Dr. Nasser Ali KhanSocial Sciences Expo-2016 would prove as great milestone in promoting Social Sciences in Pakistan. In Pakistan during last many years, disciplines related to science, technology, engineering have received the majority of investment and support from government, universities, etc., while these subjects are no doubt important, the importance of social sciences should not be ignored.

These views were expressed by Chairman Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences and Vice Chancellor University of Haripur Dr. Nasser Ali Khan while talking to ‘The News’. Dr. Nasser Ali Khan is renowned social scientist who has been contributing for promotion of higher education and social sciences for last many years. He also remained chairman of National Committee on Development of Social Sciences constituted by Higher Education Commission Pakistan.

He informed that realising the importance of social sciences for Pakistani society and Asia, the Inter University Consortium and Jang Group would organise Asia‘s first ever Social Sciences Expo on 24-25 February, 2016 at Pak-China Friendship Centre Islamabad. An organising committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Ihsan Ali, Vice Chancellor Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, has been extensively working to finalise all the related arrangements. So far, we have received very positive response from all the stakeholders. He said that this mega activity would provide an opportunity to bring academicians, policymakers, parliamentarians, diplomats, government officials, professionals and young scholars on one platform to highlight the importance of social sciences and showcase achievements in these subjects.

While sharing the main activities of the two days expo, he stated that two days international conference, parliamentary forum, scholars forum, diplomats forum, book festival and tourism pavilions would also be part of the expo. Different organisations and universities would also display their stalls related to their activities and programmes. In order to encourage the participation of youth, various activities including workshops and competitions have been chalked out.

Commenting on contribution of Inter University Consortium, he said after extensive discussions, Pakistan’s first ever roadmap for strengthening social sciences has been launched at Gwadar. The consortium is working closely with government, international community, partner organisations and media groups to undertake collaborative steps for the socio-economic development of country. He further said that it is matter of great proud for us that recognising the contribution of the consortium, Centre for Civic Education Pakistan has honoured us with Civic Education Award 2016.

Highlighting the importance of social sciences, he said that social sciences focus on the study of society and the relationship among individuals within society. Social scientists are involved with solving many of the world’s biggest issues, such as violent crime, alternative energy, and cyber security. They have had profound effects on every part of society.

“It is clear that social science is of immense importance to societies around the world, however, there still is much work to be done to increase the level of support that they receive,” he added.

In order to formulate effective solutions for society and to understand the implications of those solutions, a mix of both natural and social sciences will be required. Social science is already increasingly engaged in collaborative cross-disciplinary work in diverse fields such as engineering, medicine, computing, biology, and mathematics. It is clear that no subject area can stand alone, walled off from the outside, and that social science can play an important role in all fields.

Teaching of humanities and social sciences can promote the culture of peace in addition to psychological effects by addressing the following implications: Humanities and social sciences courses need to be taught to promote understanding of moderate and cultured society at all levels of education, through cultural exchanges and youth volunteer work.

He said that without continuous support and investment in higher education sector, no country could make headways. It has been observed by other experts that high-quality education ensures the development of an enlightened and humane consciousness which can promote values of peace, tolerance and co-existence in the society. A university is not mere a place for vocational training but a habitation for acquiring the power of clear thinking and developing humane values. He emphasised close inside and outside country collaborations, networking and supplementing one another’s efforts for improving the state of social sciences in Pakistan. (Courtesy The News International)