President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday emphasized on virtual education to increase enrollment of students without extra spending on infrastructure. Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for construction of academic block of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University and Federal Medical College, he said virtual education was of immense importance and Pakistan needed a large number of information technology and medical graduates and attention should be given to this aspect of education. He said the nations make progress with spending in education and health. “I believe in virtual education and have immense interest in information technology.” He said in Pakistan, every year 26000 youth become IT graduates which was less as compared to the neighbouring country. He said in the 1970s and 1990s a huge number of medical graduates left the country and the country could not get benefit from their abilities. He said Pakistan needed nurses and other paramedical staff and they should not be sent abroad. In the past a large number of students went abroad for higher education and many of them did not return, he noted. He said the human resources of the country should be prepared for meeting needs of the country. The president said in a period of 20 years, the number of doctors had doubled while the number of dentists had also increased manifold. The President stressed on improving quality of education and achieving higher ranking for the educational institutions. He observed that the process of reforms should continue to improve the medical education. Medical professionals should remain connected to the society and should work for the poor, he continued. Dr Alvi said Pakistan effectively handled the coronavirus pandemic and the medical professionals gave sacrifices of life for saving people from the deadly virus. The vaccination for coronavirus disease trained paramedical staff for tackling infectious diseases, he added. He underlined the need for taking steps for reducing the disease of hepatitis. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan told about the steps being taken to improve governance in the medical institutions. He said the new project would lead the medical profession into a new era. The proposed upgraded facilities will enhance the teaching and research capacity of the university. The objective of the project was to enroll 1000 under and post graduate students and produce 300 PhDs. The project would help in publishing about 1000 research papers and in holding 250 local clinical trials for creating local data about pharmacological effects of drugs. It would promote research culture in the medical profession and will have a simulation lab facility. Higher Education Commission had financed the project to be completed in three years. Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said, effective steps were being taken by the government for the economic development of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and for the prosperity of its people. The president expressed these views in a meeting with President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. President Alvi said AJK had the immense potential for tourism, for which the government was taking effective steps. He said special attention was being paid to the promotion of tourism in the country. He said Pakistan was effectively raising the issue of Kashmir at every forum and categorically rejected India’s unilateral move on August 5, 2019. The president said Pakistan would continue to support Kashmiris till their right to self-determination was achieved. He said as per the United Nations resolutions, the Kashmir issue was the only guarantee of peace in the region. He mentioned that India was erasing the cultural heritage of Muslims and the region was under threat of prime minister Narendra Modi’s extremist policies.