United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Planning and Development Department (P&DD)– Government of the Punjab in collaboration with Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) – University of the Punjab conducted an information session and a discussion forum on UNDP Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Punjab. Mr. Asad Ejaz Butt – Economic Policy Analyst at UNDP/P&DD gave a detailed presentation on Critical Role of Public Sector Universities in implementation of the SDGs agenda. Mr. Asad spoke about the SDG agenda, institutional structure, progress in Punjab so far, role of universities and potential areas of engagement including various challenges and competitions for students, internships, work opportunities, SDG modules to be included in coursework and specifically joint publications and research journals. Mr. Shoeb Iqbal Syed – Project Manager of the MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) for SDGs Project in Punjab, talked about the SDG units. The house was opened to the audience for sharing their concerns and remarks about the initiative of engaging universities in implementation of SDGs. The questions were taken by the panel including Mr. Muhammad Zahid – Incharge Dircetor IAS, Mr, Shoeb Iqbal – Provincial Project Manager P&DD and Asad Ejaz Butt – Economic Policy Analyst UNDP/P&DD. Seminar was attended by Public Management and Administration students of graduate and post graduate level. Faculty members from IAS, CEES PU and UCP also joined.
Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen – Vice Chancellor – University of the Punjab – Dean Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences (FEMS) and Director Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) graced the event with her kind presence. While presenting the closing address, she acknowledged the initiative and efforts by UNDP and P&DD of creating an open forum to discuss challenges and involve academia to collaborate for research purposes that ultimately leads to the solutions of societal problems. Prof. Dr. Nasira Jabeen also proposed of initiating doctoral research projects on SDGs theme in large interest of community development. She appreciated the slogan of UNDP/P&DD “Leaving No one Behind” and making it an inclusive program for all. Mr. Shoeb Iqbal thanked the worthy Vice Chancellor for her time and recognition. As a token of thanks, the guest speakers were presented IAS souvenirs and flowers by the worthy Vice Chancellor followed by a memorable group photograph. Over a cup of tea, more avenues of collaboration among UNPD/P&DD and University of the Punjab were discussed. IAS and PU plans to strengthen the liaison through various joint projects in near future.