R &D, capacity building, students’ FYP are central to this alliance
With the aims to expand research and development (R&D) in Information Technology (IT), enhance the skills of students and staff and to strengthen the academia-industry linkage, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between University of Lahore (UOL) and Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) on December 24, 2020.
As per this partnership, both parties will collaborate on research and development exclusively in the I.T. sector, supervision of final year projects (FYP) of Computer Science students and capacity development. The overall goal for this collaboration is to facilitate the students to become job creators as opposed to job seekers.
The MOU was signed by Mr. Kamran Khan (COO, PSCA) and Mr. Ali Qaswar Khaleeq (Acting HoD, CSCL) on behalf of Mr. Awais Raoof (Chairman BOG, UOL) at PSCA Headquarters, Qurban Lines, Lahore.
While remarking about this collaboration, Mr. Khan said: “It is encouraging to see that academic institutions like UOL are coming up to promote R&D in partnership with the industry. The area of IT had been neglected, but I am now happy that we have moved a step in this sector”.
On his part, Mr. Qaswar while expressing his views said that such collaborations are a practical bridge between the academia and industry adding that the industry will utilize the fresh and young minds to bring new ideas on board. He also stressed on getting more of such kind of opportunities for the students to work in professional environment that can enable them to acquire the practical knowledge of the contemporary market trends.
Follow-up meeting held to discuss areas of collaboration
On January 21, 2021, both organizations held a detailed meeting at UOL’s Defense Road Campus to discuss the areas of collaboration and implementation plan. The meeting chaired by Major Gen (R) Obaid Bin Zakria (Vice Chancellor, UOL) was attended among others by officials from PSCA led by Mr. Tariq Malik (Chief Technology Officer, PSCA), team from the Department of Software Engineering led by Dr. Abrar Hussain (Dean of Faculty of Information Technology/Head of the Department of Software Engineering), a team from the Department of Computer Science headed by Dr. Muhammad Atif Chattha (HoD) and officials from CSCL department.
During the meeting, Mr. Zakria emphasized the need for such collaborations as one of the ways in which universities can contribute to the economic growth of the country. He pledged to begin offering technical training courses to enhance the skills of PSCA officials.
Mr. Malik gave a detailed presentation about the key achievements made by PSCA to the general public and expressed commitment to strive for more milestones. He explained how PSCA has utilized technology to ensure the safety of Punjab through the installation of CCTV cameras and deployment of quick response forces in emergency cases.
The PSCA team and the UOL I.T. experts had a detailed discussion regarding the process of conducting the final year projects collaboratively.