The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed the need for improving the education standards at the universities and other institutions of higher education in order to cope with the challenges of the modern age. “We need to equip our students with the education of modern sciences and technologies to prepare them to rise up and meet the future challenges head-on”, he asserted while addressing a conference of vice-chancellors of the public sector universities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir here at the Kashmir House on Wednesday. He observed that Pakistan and Azad Kashmir have made great strides in the field of education in the last seven decades despite unfavourable conditions. “The students graduating from our educational institutions have become nuclear scientists, world-renowned economist, entrepreneurs and top diplomats and had brought laurels to our country,” President Khan said He, however, said, “We must educate our students in consonance with the requirements of the new environment and situations, and should introduce the technologies which will altogether change our lifestyle in future. We should transform our students from traditional education to applied knowledge so that they, on completion of their studies, should be able to play their role for the development of the country and prosperity of the society.” The state president said it is heartening to note that universities are constantly conducting job fairs and other programmes to connect students with the markets. He added that instead of rote learning, the students should be encouraged to develop the essence of understanding, comprehension, curiosity and quest. Masood while describing the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) as a model in terms of education and training, and said that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through his training had raised people like Caliph Omar (RA) who are quoted throughout the world even today because of their brilliance and wisdom. Earlier on the special invitation, Chairman AJK Public Service Commission Air Marshal (retd) Masood Akhtar gave a very informative presentation on the training of faculty and introduction of the new education methodologies in higher education institutions. The conference was attended by Vice-Chancellor AJK University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Prof. Dr Mohammad Kalim Abbasi, Vice-Chancellor Mirpur University of Science and Technology, Prof Dr Maqsood Ahmed, Vice-Chancellor University of Poonch Prof Dr Mohammad Rasool Jan, Vice-Chancellor University of Kotli Prof. Dr Dilnawaz Ahmed Gardezi and Vice-Chancellor of the Women’s University Bagh Prof. Dr Abdul Hameed.