ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives has accelerated the process of implementing the five key youth development initiatives announced by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday.
“Empowering disadvantaged youth by dramatically increasing education, training and employability opportunities is critical for Pakistan’s future,” the minister said after the launch of the initiatives. The five “Youth Development Initiatives” were launched to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence Day. The five key initiatives include 200,000 internships for young engineers, upliftment of Pakistan’s 20 impoverished districts, establishment of 250 mini sports complexes, creation of the Pakistan Innovation Fund and 75 national scholarship schemes for the best talent. “Only by privatizing the state’s investment in youth can we turn Pakistan’s youth bulge from a liability into an asset,” Professor Ahsan Iqbal said, while emphasizing the importance of these initiatives.
Under the National Development Internship Program, 20,000 young engineers will be hired in PSDP-funded projects to improve their skills and employability. The program provides paid on-the-job training for young graduates in various fields. Similarly, the upliftment of Pakistan’s 20 poorest districts is the minister’s second key initiative. Under this program, the 20 poor districts of the country in particular, Balochistan and FATA will be built and a package of Rs 40 billion has been allocated this year. As part of Youth Development Initiatives, construction of mini sports complexes is also a major step aimed at increasing youth sports facilities and Rs 1000 million has been allocated in PSDP 2022-23 for this project, said said the Minister, while emphasizing the importance of the initiative.
Pakistan Innovation Fund to be established and the objectives of the project include: preparing a framework for an effective innovation policy for the country, including the identification of factors that lead to positive and effective innovative regulatory processes. In this regard, an innovation support project has also been launched under the PSDP 2022-23 for which Rs 10 billion has been allocated.
The fifth initiative is the 75 National Top Talent Scholarship Program, which provides Pakistani students with masters and doctoral degrees from the top 50 universities in the world. In this regard, Rs 4.7b has been allocated to encourage and prepare talented students from low-income families who aspire for higher education but cannot apply for admission to top universities due to a lack of financial resources.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif appreciated the minister for taking this great initiative and asked him to expand such projects across the country. I assure you of my full support to fund such projects that truly empower young people, he concluded.