Centre unveils Prime Minister’s Youth Development Package worth Rs150 billion

Islamabad-The Federal government has formally unveiled the Prime Minister’s Youth Development Package worth Rs150 billion. 
Under the umbrella of PM’s Youth Development Initiatives, 15 programmes were launched by the Federal Planning Development and Special Initiatives Minister Ahsan Iqbal during a ceremony held on Tuesday. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Youth Affairs Shiza Fatima, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and students from across the country attended the ceremony.     
The 15 youth development initiatives include 60,000 internships, technical and vocational trainings for 100,000 youth, 100,000 laptops, 5,000 scholarships for students of Balochistan and former FATA, 1,000 PhD scholarships at top 100 universities in the US, 75 scholarships at top 25 universities of the world, 21 university campuses in remote districts, 250 sports complexes, youth peace and development student councils in 80 universities, 75 leadership awards, 500 innovation grants, Rasta grants for research, 12 Seerat chairs, seven centres of excellence and uplift of 20 poorest districts of Pakistan.
“The two-third of the country’s population is based on young people who must be empowered through education and skills so that they can contribute for the socio-economic development of the country,” said the planning minister in his remarks while addressing the participants. The minister said that Pakistan will cater the youth bulge till 2050 and it is essential to utilise their abilities so that they can perform for the country’s economic growth.
Prime Minister’s Ba-ikhtiyar Naujawan Internship Programme is Pakistan’s largest internship programme aimed at the economic empowerment of youth. This internship will help in addressing the critical entry barriers to market and enhance employability. Under this programme, 60,000 paid internships will be given to young graduates across Pakistan.  In order to eradicate the deprivation of Balochistan which remained neglected in the past, the government initiated a scholarships programme for the students of Balochistan, and ex-FATA. Under this programme, 5,000 scholarships will be given to the students of Balochistan and ex-FATA to pursue their higher education in respective fields, remarked the minister. 
It is noted that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the government has started a project to uplift the 20 poorest districts of the country and Rs40 billion has been earmarked for this purpose. The minister also took oath from Young Peace Development Corps (YPDC) who were attached to the country’s various universities. The key objective of YPDC is for young people to come together, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects that promote peace and address root causes of conflict and violence in their communities. Earlier, speaking on the occasion, SAPM on Youth Affairs Shazia Fatima said that the government is committed to provide a conducive and enabling environment to the country’s youth so that they can be empowered and perform for the country’s socio-economic growth.

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