President Dr Arif Alvi Friday said rapid innovations and advancements had been made in science and technology in the world and a paradigm shift was imperative in our engineering disciplines, scientific concepts and analytical thinking for sustainable economic growth and prosperity of the country. He was addressing a function of students and faculty members of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Peshawar after inauguration of state-of-the art Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security Laboratory at the premier engineering university of Pakistan. The president said science and engineering technologies were making an advancement with fast pace in world and importance of virtual and online education system increased manifold in the wake of emerging challenges. “If we want to compete with world and regional countries, we need to encourage virtual and online education,” he said. Dr Arif Alvi said the developing countries were also making rapid progress because of science and technologies and Pakistan had all the resources to become a developed country by bringing the necessary innovations and advancements in the science and technologies disciplines. “We need a major paradigm shift in our analytical thinking, basic scientific concepts and engineering disciplines in order to achieve new heights of progress and development besides coping with the modern days’ challenges.” To achieve these key objectives, he said the role of Universities of Science and Technologies (UETs) was vital to prepare youth on modern scientific education lines and inculcate the required educational and vocational skills in students so that they could effectively shoulders future responsibilities and significantly contribute in national building process. The President said Pakistan required quality engineers, architects and IT professionals and great responsibilities rest on UETs academia to produce quality manpower including IT professionals to cater the markets’ demands and future’s responsibilities in effective way. He said students were the future of Pakistan and urged them to fully concentrate on their education and take full advantage of the excellent learning environment and available facilities at UET Peshawar. Dr Arif Alvi while eulogizing the services of UET Peshawar in promotion of quality education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said quality research in all engineering disciplines was imperative for provision of better services to people besides helping policymakers for formation of future strategies on basis of authentic statistical data. He directed UET Peshawar to increase enrolment of IT students and prepare IT specialists keeping in view of the increased role of computer and IT in Govt and private sectors. Dr Iftikhar Hussain, Vice Chancellor UET Peshawar, in his welcome address appraised the President about achievements of the university and the facilities being provided to students. He said about 30 donors organizations including Govt of Pakistan under its Ehsas scholarship program was providing around Rs 100 million fund per year for scholarship of the students, which was highly praised worthy. Earlier, upon arrival at UET Peshawar, Vice Chancellor Dr Iftikhar Husain welcomed the President.