A group of PNS Executive Council members paid a visit to Pak-Austria Fachhochschule-Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (PAF-IAST), located in Haripur District of Hazara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on 17th Oct. 2021. The group led by Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, President PNS, included; Dr. Muhammad Tahir Khaleeq, Vice President; Dr. Muhammad Mohsin, General Secretary; Mr. Ghulam Sarwar, Finance Secretary; and two Executive Members, Dr. Niaz Ahmad and Mr. Waqar Ahmad Butt. Wide ranging topics of mutual interest were discussed in a meeting with the honourable Rector, Dr. Muhammad Mujahid, who was accompanied by two of his senior colleagues, Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, Project Director (former Vice Chancellor Hazara University) and Dr. Sharifullah Khan, Dean of the Faculty of Electrical, Computer, IT and Design (FECID).

In a power-point presentation by Dr. Sharifullah Khan, some of the unique features of this institute of higher learning were highlighted. The PAF-IAST had started its first intake of students in a spacious, newly built, state-of-the-art campus with scenic views ofgreen hills alongside Mang Dam Lake. A very high merit for admissions is being maintained to induct talented students from all provinces of Pakistan as well as from abroad. The syllabi adopted for the 18 graduate and undergraduate programmes spread in multiple teaching departments are at par with Austrian and Chinese universities, which are collaborating with PAF-IAST in its educational and research programmes. The prime focus of the Institute is to produce highly skilled professionals who are ready to take up challenging jobs in industry after graduation, because of the rigorous pedagogy, hands-on training and a semester-long internship in various industrial units. Along with teaching departments, a number of specialized research centers have been established to cater for world-class research and development. 

The areas of research are chosen in such a way that these are in sync with degree programmes, and serve the needs of Pakistan for its future economic growth. Thus, Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnolgy, Mineral Resources, Transportation/Railways, and Food are the target technologies for research and innovation in different Centres of Excellence. The teaching faculty is highly qualified, with almost all having doctorate degrees from abroad, the class-rooms have internet connected smart boards, and labs are equipped with best possible training apparatus.

Dr. Imtinan Qureshi, congratulated the university administration for their meticulous planning and hard work spanning several years under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, former Chairman Higher Education Commission, in order to make the vision of an international level technical university come true. He offered the whole-hearted support of Pakistan Nuclear Society towards their ambitious future plans and pointed out the enormous potential of using nuclear techniques in industries related to agriculture, food preservation, sterilization, minerals, medical diagnostics, and polymeric materials. Noting that the Society has over 1000 professionals as its members, with unique skill sets owing to their exposure to advanced technologies required for various national defense programmes, they can be of immense value to the Institute as resource persons.

It was agreed by both sides that close interactivity will be maintained between them and joint academic activities will be conducted as and when feasible. The meeting was followed by a tour of the academic blocks, auditoriums, high-performance computer facility, laboratories and other infrastructure of the Institute.