The Senate was informed on Tuesday that Higher Education Commission (HEC) has awarded 687 scholarships for Ph.D during 2015-16.       

Minister of State for Education Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman told the House during question hour that scholarships include 415 foreign and 272 local with an amount of over 558 million rupees in various disciplines.          

He said majority of the scholars return to Pakistan after completion of their studies abroad; however, action is taken against those who do not return to serve their country. He said HEC has a programme under which guaranteed jobs are provided to Ph.D holders on their return to Pakistan.

Replying to a question, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi told the House that Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Republic of Korea, Bahrain and Kuwait to send skilled and unskilled labour to these countries. He said the government is actively pursuing the case of Pakistani workers in Saudi Arabia and hopefully their salaries will be released next month.        

To another question, Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman informed the House that government is providing technical and vocational training to fifty thousand youth under Prime Minister's Youth Skill Development Programme. He said this programme is being run in 333 public and private institutions across the country. He said the skilled youth will be ready to take on CPEC specific jobs.

The Senate today adopted substitution of sub-rule (3) of rule 187 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012 that a Committee may hold Public Hearing for seeking input from the public at large or any relevant stakeholder and may also invite or summon any person or member having special knowledge to give an expert opinion or give evidence in relation to any matter under its consideration. The amendment was moved by Leader of House Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and Mushahid Hussain Syed.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz laid before the House report of Committee on FATA Reforms, 2016.         

The chair referred the report to Committee on the Whole.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that a summary has been sent to the Prime Minister for regularization of 200 contractual employees of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources.

The House resumed discussion on the President's address to the Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

Taking part in the debate, Taj Haider said the government should take steps to bring investment in the country. He said there should be more industrialization to make the country self-reliant and create job opportunities.

Siraj-ul-Haq said country cannot make progress without rule of law. He said nobody has been punished who broke the Constitution. He said the government should constraint on provision of health and other facilities to the people. He said the government should improve its performance in all fields.

Mushahidullah Khan said those sitting in glass houses should refrain from pelting stones on others. He said previous governments have broken all records of corruption but they are now pointing fingers towards PML-N government. He said PPP has failed to serve the people in Sindh. He said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has desired to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is an evidence of Pakistan's foreign policy under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said PPP is in habit of criticizing good performance of PML-N government in Punjab, but does not seem ready to serve the masses in Sindh, where it has been in power for the last eight years.           

The House was adjourned due to lack of quorum and will meet again tomorrow afternoon at 3:30.

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