The issue of modern equipped laboratories ever remained a hot issue at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad but now a state-of-the-art high-tech computational lab is planned to be established with the installation of software worth $16.3 million, Daily Times has learnt reliably. According to the available information, the lab, which is first of its own kind, would be established at the Department of Earth Sciences with the cooperation and funding from the alumni of the department. The lab includes six systems and very expensive software worth of 16.3 million US dollars which would enable market-based research and competitive output. “This initiative is likely to uplift the research standards of the department significantly and is likely to pioneer a new culture of research at the department and the university,” said an official at the varsity. Dr Aamir Ali, who has recently resumed the charge of Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences, confirmed the development and extended his deepest and profound gratitude to the alumni of the department for having stood tall and towering in helping the department and the alma mater. He further reiterated that the establishment of this high tech lab was never possible without the support of the alumni and the Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ali Dr Aamir said that applauded the VC cooperation in entire development. “He is is supportive, appreciative, and resourceful in taking and backing initiatives,” Dr Aamir appreciated. The chairman also lauded the support and hard work of his colleagues who he said are working day in and out in uplifting the academic standards of the department to reclaim the lost glory. Dr Aamir Ali said that he intended to make the department competitive and at par with the market demand and cultivate a culture of rigorous research and stand out academic standards. General Secretary of the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of QAU Dr. Raja Qaiser Ahmed applauded the unrelenting and arduous efforts. He recalled that Dr Aamir Ali is steering a tremendous academic momentum and spearheads the department’s trajectory in becoming the market leader. Besides this, VC Dr Ali said while talking to Daily Times that the QAU and Bir Ventures, USA Limited (IdeaGist) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an aim to establish an Emerging Technology Science Park at QAU that he said is a landmark achievement. He claimed that establishment of Emerging Technology Science park will accelerate the commercialization of knowledge-based products and provide services to academic and research communities through intellectual property developed by the varsity. According to him, the MoU would also help to recognize the mutual interest in the fields of education, training, development, and dissemination of knowledge at local, national, and international level. Meanwhile, while addressing the Vice Chancellors Round Table Conference here at the university the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood highlighted that narratives thrive in universities and educational institutions. “Along with discipline and hostels, issues regarding narratives are also growing in universities,” he said. Over two dozen VCs across the country participated in the conference. The minister said that this was the first conference of its kind being held after the Covid-19 outbreak and hoped that the situation would improve. “There are many facets to extremism and extremism,” he hoped. While further explaining the narratives building, the minister recalled that multiple narratives thrive in universities and educational institutions. Bold statements should be made to counter them. Steps need to be taken to promote tolerance among teachers at the university. The minister also said that universities have other issues including discipline and hostels, there is also this issue of narratives. “An educated person is one who can tolerate the opinion of others and not become an enemy of others by listening to their point of view,” he added. For character building, listening to and tolerating the opinions of others is important and its training is direly needed at universities. Contacts of political parties with student unions do not yield good results. “We are not against the Students Union. We are in the process of clarifying its features,” he suggested.