President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday said to avail tremendous opportunities offered by the world in the field of technology and data, the best option for Pakistan was to produce efficient human resource through short-term degree programmes. The president, in this regard, urged the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to expand the scope of two-year associate degree programmes, particularly in information technology, to meet the global demand for qualified and skilled youth. Addressing here at the 13th convocation of COMSATS University, the president said the country’s huge youth bulge, if familiarized with information technology through associate degrees, could be turned into a productive workforce in lesser time. The president emphasized bridging the ‘technological gap’ between the decision-makers and the emerging market needs and called for the formulation of policies in line with the changing era of knowledge. He also stressed the need for hybrid training programmes to ensure bringing more students into the fold of digitalization. Dr Alvi encouraged the graduates to explore the domain of startups and asked them to take a giant leap to maximum benefit from the venture capitals. He said the knowledge without empathy for mankind had no significance and called upon the youth to contribute towards Pakistan by practicing positivity with integrity and morality. Rector COMSATS University Prof Dr Muhammad Tabassum Afzal said, ranked among the country’s five best universities, the institution had been recognized as a hub of knowledge and research offering over hundred degree programmes. He mentioned that the COMSATS had produced around 82,000 graduates so far and soon would be opening up a campus in Quetta, besides others in Kot Addu and Kohat in the pipeline. The president, earlier flanked by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz, awarded medals to the distinguished graduates for achieving top positions in their respective disciplines.