Punjab Governor Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman has said that he is committed to bringing about improvement in higher education sector, tackling the climate change issues and fighting thalassaemia in the province during his stint as the constitutional head of the largest province of the country. During a meeting with senior journalists from the print media at the Governor’s House here on Wednesday, he said he wished to introduce positive changes in the higher education sector as the chancellor of the public sector universities and patron-in-chief of the private sector universities. To a query, he said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government must be credited for increasing the Higher Education Commission (HEC) budget to Rs 120 billion from only Rs 35 billion during its 2013-18 tenure, adding that it improved the research sector in universities. He regretted that the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf cut the HEC budget, adding that education was the key to a bright future of the country. About environment, he said that tackling the climate change issues was a need of the hour and he had asked the vice-chancellors of the universities to introduce measures and strategies to free the country from ill-effects of climate change. He said the universities had also been asked to take measures to fight smog, adding that the Governor’s office would be dedicated to that cause. About the health sector, he said: “We must put up efforts to fight thalassaemia in the province”, adding that a ceremony would be held at Governor’s House in connection with the World Donors Day on June 14. About the single curriculum in educational institutions, Baligh-ur-Rehman said that the spade work in this regard was done by the education ministry during his tenure as the federal education minister, adding that he laid the foundation of transition form “knowledge intensive to value intensive” curriculum. He said the new curriculum, which focused on inculcating character-building in students, and promoting social values and norms, had been introduced in the federal capital schools from class I-V during the PML-N’s previous government, when he was the federal minister. About the Danish School project of the then chief minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, the governor said the project was a revolutionary one, adding that it provided an opportunity to students from the marginalised classes of society to get the best education on a par with the elite schools of the province. He said the project revolutionised lives of students from the poorest families. “I have watched the project very closely since I worked as a political assistant to the chief minister Punjab from 2013 to 2018. Danish Schools provided the best education to these children and produced leaders from the far-flung, deprived areas of the province,” he responded to a query. To a question, he said he stands for the Bahawalpur province personally, but he would toe the party-line on the South Punjab and Bahawalpur provinces, adding that creation of a new province required two-thirds majority in the parliament. He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had presented the bill in the National Assembly but it could not get through in the Senate. about the effectiveness of South Punjab Secretariat, Baligh-ur-Rehman said it had failed to address people’s grievances, adding that it was mere an eyewash. However, he added, improvements could be brought about in the system. To a query, the governor said that he believed in redressing people’s problems without undue delays, adding that he had heard appeals pending with the governor’s office for over a year. He said he had instructed his staff to decide the appeals immediately, regretting that his predecessors had not spared time to decide appeals of the cases on time. about the power crisis, Baligh-ur-Rehman said the PML-N government had overcome the power crisis on war-footing during its previous tenure (2013-18), adding that the current coalition government would also be able to resolve the issue. He said the coalition government of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif would not indulge in blame-game, adding that though the government was forced to take unpopular decision, those would go a long way in improving plight of the common man. On working relationship with the Speaker Punjab Assembly office, the Punjab governor said he had not heard from Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi yet. About the success of the coalition government, he said people had confidence in the PML-N government as it had delivered in the past, adding that the government would be successful in overcoming obstacles.