MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN
Imtiaz H. Gilani
NTC is four years old and still in institutional infancy. However, the initial birth-pangs and teething problems have abated, and we can now chart a clear direction that bolsters technology, strengthens technologists, and benefits Pakistan. It is fortunate that over the last 5 years there is a sudden pivot towards technology as a trade, and technologists as professionals. The sharper focus has brought to surface many festering issues and generated a rational discussion at multiple levels that shall be the harbinger of much needed reforms and course-correction.
Currently engineers and technologists (now recognized as ‘Engineering Technologists’ by International Engineering Alliance) are vying for the same higher BPS posts, often becoming confrontational and adversarial. With the boost new “technology” universities will give this field, it is essential that policies iron out areas of conflict so that engineers and engineering technologists can work seamlessly as essential, and necessary, parts of the engineering profession. Engineers, engineering technologists and engineering technicians are 3 parts of a whole -- albeit with different skills-sets – and become effective when working in tandem. Engineers cannot perform their functions without engineering technologists, and engineering technologists without engineering technicians are incomplete.
Engineers and engineering technologists have different skills-sets that are not replaceable, but as far as employment and upward mobility are concerned, they must have “equivalent” opportunities. A clearly defined career path needs to be developed for engineering technologists, with the same entry-point scale, and similar promotions in a parallel service structure. To actualize this HEC and NTC are working closely with the government for a sustainable policy framework.
For engineering technologists already in the field, we shall endeavor to create a mechanism where their skills-sets are enhanced. Similarly, HEC and NTC shall try to create opportunities for engineering technologists for higher education, after filtering them through an assessment protocol. NTC is working with HEC to offers 200 overseas scholarships for MS and PhD programs in Engineering Technology. Simultaneously, we shall work closely with universities running undergraduate Engineering Technology programs to start MS and PhD Engineering Technology programs after meeting HEC and NTC criteria.
Universities are “factories” where skilled manpower is produced under the vigilant regulatory framework set by HEC and NTC. Touchstone of our success is measured by the quality of the graduates. NTC is focusing on developing curriculum that is in close conformity with standards set by the Sydney Accord, an international regulatory framework for engineering technologists. Becoming a signatory member of the Sydney Accord will take time, but we can benefit from good practices of member countries in designing our programs so that the engineering technologists we produce are of international standards.
And finally, to the engineering technologists, let me say this: NTC was created by HEC for the express purpose of strengthening the engineering technology sector, and look after the welfare of engineering technologists. Together we shall work our way through the historic debris and, by the grace of God, clear the path that puts you -- and socio-economic development of Pakistan -- on a desirable and sustainable upward trajectory. For this I need your support.
Kind regards and God bless you all.