A meeting between Secretary BISP Mr. Omar Hamid Khan and Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was held in the office of Chairman HEC. Senior officials of BISP and HEC were also present in the meeting. In the opening remarks, Secretary BISP stated that BISP, being the country’s premier social safety net programme and already in collaboration with Harvard University and MIT, encourages researchers to use multi-dimensional NSER data for their research especially related to Social Safety Net (SSN) programmes. The research collaboration of BISP and other universities would link youth with various BISP programs and its different data sets. BISP Research Wing would facilitate them in designing policy oriented research.
Secretary BISP proposed that as scholarships are awarded every year for direct Ph. D programs by HEC, it can fund 5 to 7 scholarships annually for students who want to do research on BISP, at national or international level. BISP would help and support research students throughout their research by providing them office space, free of cost data access and 2 years of Internship.
Chairman HEC welcomed this initiative of BISP and assured his full cooperation to facilitate and share this information with all universities for research collaboration with BISP. He said that the fields indentified by BISP’s Research Wing would provide a new scope of study and would be helpful for Ph. D students. He ensured that HEC would connect BISP with HEC Library of Publications, 60 Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) and 20 Business Incubation Centers established at different universities leading to platform for knowledge sharing and graduation of BISP beneficiaries out of poverty. The two sides also discussed BISP’s idea of establishing a think tank- BISP Research Incubation Cell (BRIC) - on Social Protection comprising of members from around the world for poverty reduction in Pakistan. HEC agreed to help BISP in approaching universities and research centers in Pakistan and in the US, Europe and rest of the World for this purpose.
The two sides agreed to work out the details of the further collaboration in short as well as long term through a working group including members from both of the organizations. In short term, HEC would offer fellowships and thematic grants to the scholars who were interested to work on BISP and in long term, BISP and HEC would collaborate for establishment of platform for knowledge sharing and graduation of BISP beneficiaries out of poverty.