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Friday, April 7, 2017

Motivations for Knowledge Society Initiative

1940 – Radio address of H.R.H Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan-III directed to our region.
1946 – Establishment of D.J. Schools and D.J. Hostel in Gilgit in 1949 and SKH in 1967.
1957 – to date: AKDN facilitation through various agencies/institutions.
2001 – Key Note speech: Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan; Washington D.C., USA, 22 April 2001 - Centenary Celebration Meeting, Association of American Universities - Making a Difference: Reflections on Shared Problems, Shared Opportunities and Shared Responsibilities in International Higher Education (Washington D.C., USA)
2001 – Establishment through unified efforts, by Association of American Universities [especially MIT, STANFORD and HARDVARD] in promoting MOOCs/OPEN EDUCATION.
2010 – Establishment of 14 excellent centers through government schools in all districts of GB by PDCN.

2013 – Individual efforts to establish “idea demonstration projects” in Hunza as “life long learning/Telemedicine” centers – including activation of the center located in Government Model High School Karimabad established by PDCN and appeal for mass participation as an essential step towards a better future.

1.      Integration of outernet makes every home a world class university. For a demonstration you can visit the model project at my residence in Hunza.
2.    TARGETS FOR AKRSP/LSOs:         
a.     TARGET ONE: In twenty five years’ time span, improve the economic conditions so that populations in Northern areas and Chitral can meet the ever increasing costs of health and education and also become SELF SUSTAINING.
b.    TARGET TWO. Groom indigenous leadership capable of establishing democracy, (pre-requisite for meritocracy and pluralism) and also capable of planning for a better quality of life for their future without external inputs.
c.     TARGET THREE: Facilitate establishment of Knowledge Society in the Program Area (included in 2003).
3.     “I think I am fortunate to be able to talk to you about serious issues and for you to understand to position the Jamat correctly for the next decades where I would like the Jamat to be, Insha-Allah, in the world in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years.”  13 December 2008
4.    The conviction that home-grown intellectual leadership of exceptional caliber is the best driver of society’s future development, and that many developing country education systems are too engulfed by poverty and numbers to develop their talented young people - hence the KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY INITIATIVE.
5.     March towards global leadership will involve following steps:
a.      ENERGY: 100-MW in next 20-years through proposed “HUNZA POWER SUPPLY COMPANY” – A joint ownership of all HUNZUKUTZ through their LSOs – idea demonstrator project working in KHURUKUSHAL KHAN since September 2013.
b.     HR:    Through LIFELONG LEARNING CENTERS/OPEN UNIVERSITIES, first one – SASLLC/OPEN UNIVERSITY– already in operation in Government Model High School Karimabad.
1)          STEPS:
a)      Determine your aptitude through an ON-LINE course – Example on this link: AptitudeTest Online Course.
b)      Choose a subject/specialty out of the 25,516 courses through SASLLC, example link: CONSORTIUM.
c)      Download the COACHING material and go for your specialty.
d)      For details of the ROAD-MAP go through the post on this link:
6.   Extracts from the Minutes of the Meeting of His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili council for Pakistan held on March 29th and 30th, 2003 at Conference Hall, PindiJamatkhana premises, Rawalpindi-Islamabad.
(presided by Brig Hisamullah Beg)
Responding to an observation IW told the house that Ismailis working with AKRSP are very old and not seems to fit into new system and that is why others are more in numbers and in percentage.
Brig Beg observed that a transparent competitive procedure is likely to result in selection of 90 percent Ismailis in different positions and advocated a blatant meritocratic competition and opined that such a course would not face serious challenges from pressure groups as faced previously and also in the present process. This assessment was not shared by many and accordingly it was proposed that the council should diagnose the reasons for lack of competence among Ismailis in coming up to standards and chalk out a road map for the future.
To this a discussion went on amongst the members as to why AKDN institutions are not getting good Ismailis. Sharing her viewpoint, Laila Dossa, a member NC said that we don't want to pay well and do not know how to retain them, the fellow joins the institution as if he is serving the cause and then feels squeezed and leaves quietly.
Wrapping up the subject AP said it's good to consider merit as criteria but we also need to consider the Ismaili constituency. We need to keep balance keep both merit and Ismaili. If we are not able to find Ismailis competent enough we should train them to be qualified on merit. He also proposed to form a committee to address the subject and requested LD to come up with recommendations.
Higher Education and Scholarships: We have realized in the March meeting that Ismaili candidates do not dominate on merit for job opportunities in AKDN. Competitive human resources can be developed only through access to higher education and proper stress for the same in award of scholarship and loans. My proposals for "Facilitation in accessing higher education" is through re-course to "distance learning" proposal as an immediate short-term measure. We recall the keynote address delivered by our Mawla to the MIT two years back and recent policy announcement by MIT. MIT wants to initiate a global revolution in education and towards the same making the course material available free on the internet. Mawla's directions to AKU-IED and the university of Central Asia are well known to the leadership. The GOP IT policy gives the shape of things emerging in Pakistan.
We need to adopt this cost-effective and feasible solution in all our institutional policies at almost every local council/ VO/ the Jamat Khana and AKDN offices at all levels. Requirement for AKU is to facilitate asynchronous transmissions directly from the satellites to the centers within the limits of already purchased bandwidth.
As regards to the scholarships I will illustrate my point by a chart which indicates a distribution of scholarships during Five years which has been extracted from the databases recently released by the AKES. This shows out of 72 scholarship (between 1995 - 2000), 47 having been allotted in Karachi, 4 in Sind, 3 in Punjab, 5 in NWFP, 8 in NA and 2 in Chitral. We need to reassess the HR needs of these regions and set specific targets in numbers as well as specialties. I would like the leaders to come up with recommendations on this or alternate proposal, which we may give to the AKDN.
NOTE: As a result the change in appointment policy took place. On this occasion AKRSP was expected to include a third target “Facilitate establishment of Knowledge Societies” in addition to the two laid down at the time of launching of the institution.

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