To commemorate the services of two of most prominent and established faculty members at Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS), Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen and Mr. Muhammad Zahid, IAS organized a series of academic excellence initiatives including the workshops, seminar and a panel discussion in the month of June and July 2019. These sessions were designed for PhD students, doctoral faculty members MPhil students and faculty & community education & awareness.
The first workshop of the series; “Writing a Ph.D. Thesis: Research Issues, Challenges and Solutions” was held on Friday, 14th June, 2019. It was attended by doctoral students of Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences (FEMS) and was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Syed Tariq Anwar, Professor of Marketing & International Business at West Texas A&M University. Prof. Tariq spoke about the requirements of doctoral degree in the teaching field, its issues and challenges in the global perspective. He shed some light on the major skills required to write a PhD dissertation i.e. writing skills, scholarly length, teamwork skills, passion, strong work ethics and research skills. Since reviewing the already existing literature is an art in the field of research, it was also discussed at the workshop. He emphasized on the importance of finding relationships in the author’s viewpoints and meaningful contributions of the research. It was also noted that multidisciplinary understanding, critical skills, analytical skills and acceptance of criticism are required for a quality research work. The audience took deep interest in the workshop and had a healthy discussion on the prevailing issues and challenges.
Second workshop of the series; “Journal Metrics and Rankings: Issues, Trends and Strategies” was held on Thursday 20th June, 2019. It was attended by Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Faculty of Arts & Humanities at University of the Punjab and was facilitated by Prof. Dr. Syed Tariq Anwar, Professor of Marketing & International Business at West Texas A&M University. Since the journal metrics are very critical for the researchers and academicians and is a very pressing issue, Prof. Tariq shared few metrics respective to certain fields of study. He was of the view that in Pakistani Universities, only the High Impact Factor Journals are given the due value and prestige. However, Prof. Tariq shared many other journal metrics and explained each one in detail. Some of the journal metrics he shared includes; Impact Factor, EigenFactor, SCImago Journal Rank, hi-index, Expert Survey, Publication Power Approach (PPA), Altmetrics, diamScore, Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP). In his concluding comments, Prof. Tariq Anwar shared that so far, Impact Factor has dominated the area of Journal rankings, however, it is important to understand that there are other metrics available as well. He further shared that journal rankings are useful but can be misleading at times since the ranking system may not be transparent and open. The overall workshop offered participants a healthy food for thought and led to the meaningful discussion among them.
Third and last in the series of academic excellence events was a Panel discussion on: “Quality of Governance in the Age of Complexity”. This event was organized as a follow up of the International Conference on Quality of Life, Education and Health held at University of Central Punjab, Lahore on 13th April 2019. Since the governments around the world are facing the challenges of governing increasingly complex systems with multiple institutions that are interdependent having multiple levels with heterogeneous components, it is important to address issues relating to ensuring quality in various governance arenas. It is the need of the hour that discourse on quality of governance in such complex systems takes into account the nonlinearity in decision making in this global era.
This panel discussion proved to be an endeavor to advance thinking to understand non-linearity, emergence, self-organization and (co-)evolution in complex, political, policy and governance systems and networks in the context of developing countries with specific reference to Pakistan and the role of universities in this direction. The seminar was organized by IAS in collaboration with Lahore School of Management (LSM) and the team Quality of Life, Education and Health (QLEH) International Conference.
The seminar moderation done by Dr. Sidra Irfan – Assistant Professor IAS and Program Coordinator for Masters of Public Administration Program. A warm beginning with recitation of holy verses by Mr. Muhammad Obaida – student of BS, the program was initiated followed by a Keynote by Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Awais (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) – Chairperson International Conference on Quality of Life, Education & Health and Chairman Foundation for Healthcare improvement. Prof. Awais shared his thoughts on quality of governance in present times in Pakistan where he spoke about politics, metaphysics of politics, people and quality of life, culture, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of governance, rule of law and lastly the challenges and way forward. He also shared ten globally used scientific approaches to measure quality of life. The talk by Prof. Awais was followed by a panel discussion that was coordinated by Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jadoon, Former Dean Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences, University of the Punjab. Prof. Jadoon shared an enlightening talk on the topic: Governance in the age of complexity and opened the house for other panelists to share their thoughts on the said topic. The panelists included Dr. Kamran Moosa – Chief Executive Officer PIQC – Institute of Quality, Mr. Aftab Gillani – Senior Joint Director Project Planning & Monitoring – Civil Aviation Authority, Prof. Dr. Ali Sajid (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) – Director Lahore School of Management, and Mr. Kazi Afaq Hossain – Former Federal Secretary, Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Kamran Moosa presented his findings from Malaysian National Quality Monitoring & Improvement Secretariat. Mr. Kazi afaq Hossain shared his experiential learning from his 35 years of service at the Federal government and for inspiration shared the good governance model of Singapore. Prof. Dr. Ali Sajid also spoke about the good governance and shared its core characteristics as offered by UNDP. He compared the results of good and poor governance strategies and its impact on local people. Mr. Aftab Gillani also shared his thoughts on the topic under discussion with performance outcomes.
Converging all the thoughts and concerns shared by all panelists, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal Jadoon summarized the discussion leading to a question and answer session. Scholars, faculty and other members shared their comments and asked question to the panel that were well addressed in the local context of the country Pakistan.
Towards the end, Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen presented a note of thanks to all the panelists and members who contributed and joined for the session. She shared that the present session is conducted in continuation and follow up of the collaborative International Conference on Quality of Life, Education and Health held in April 2019 where Prof. Awais was the chairperson and worked in a team with Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen. Putting things in perspective, Prof. Jabeen elaborated on the significance of trans-disciplinary approach to understanding the dynamics in organizations. She further added that history, context and culture matters while adopting any strategy at administrative level. She added that after looking at the international global practices, we need to find an indigenous localized model of quality of governance and we should look for out of the box solutions for effective results. Concluding her talk, Prof. Jabeen highlighted the humanistic and people centric approach to governance that can play a very important role. In this context, the role of universities was also discussed. Prof. Jabeen shared that IAS has taken the lead in producing researches on complexity in organizations and organizational networks. She appreciated the practice based examples shared by panelists considering them as real gems of wisdom. Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen shared with the audience that IAS is introducing a section of commentary in its Governance & Management Review (GMR) Journal where practitioners can share their experienced based learning and also requested Mr. Kazi Afaq Hossain to be the foremost contributor. This shall increase the utility of the journal adding both theoretical & practical aspects for the readers. She ended her note by sharing her optimism in the talent of Pakistani intellectual human resources.
At the closing, souvenirs were presented as token of appreciation to the panelists and group photo was arranged. The session was attended by faculty members, senior professors and practitioners from academic, civil services, alumni and MPhil & PhD students.