Exclusive interview with new team of IEEEP Karachi Center by Engineering Post
IEEEP is a non-commercial entity, working specifically for the dissemination of knowledge and bridging the gap between academia and industry. Recently a new team of professional engineers have been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the day to day activities of IEEEP Karachi Centre. These people have 150 years of business and corporate experience in different capacities between them.
The new team comprises of Engr. Khalid Pervez who has been entrusted with the charge of center Chairman, Engr. Ishtiaqul Haque will be working as Vice Chairman, Engr. Munis Siddiqui has been selected as Honorary Secretary, Engr. Muhammad Riaz Chaudhry will be the Finance Secretary and Engr. Imran Zafar will be serving as the Honorary Joint Secretary in the team.
Engineering Post organized an exclusive virtual interview on Zoom, where all the new leadership of IEEEP Karachi center was present, to get their insights about the future endeavors of IEEEP as well as other engineering related Matters.
Engr. Khalid Pervez Chairman IEEEP Karachi center in his initial remarks said that the primary objective of IEEEP has always been the dissemination of knowledge. In this regard Multi-topic symposium and Student seminar is arranged every year. Even during lockdown of 2020 the symposium and seminars were arranged in a Hybrid manner (Physically and virtually). IEEEP is also working on different factors which can help increase the membership of the forum so that engineers can be involved in events at a national level. “In addition to these responsibilities IEEEP should also be involved in Electricity related issues on a government level for guidance” added Engr. Khalid Pervez.
Honorary Secretary, Engr. Munis Siddiqui while elaborating on steps being undertaken to increase membership said “The enrollment forms have been digitalized and online payments are accepted to make the process easier,” he said. He further added that COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for everyone regarding the utility and convenience of online forums and virtual events. “The goal of IEEEP Karachi is not just to increase memberships but to ensure active participation as well which can be achieved through online events,” he added. To ensure maximum online participation of the members all digital forums are being utilized. A YouTube channel has also been set up by IEEEP Karachi center for sharing informative videos and engaging members.
Vice Chairman Engr. Ishtiaqul Haque suggested that it is high time that the role of academia is increased in order to bridge the gap between industry and academia. “The PEC and other regulatory authorities should also look into updating the engineering curriculum according to the modern standards so that the young engineers are aware of the latest technologies being used in the market” he said.
All the participants agreed on the fact that we need to adapt to the current situation of lockdowns and COVID-19 until things take a turn for the better and Expo centers, which are currently converted into makeshift vaccination centers, resume working as usual.
During the conversation a very important point of using Made in Pakistan products was raised. Engr. Muhammad Riaz Chaudhry who is working as the Finance Secretary of IEEEP Karachi while commenting on the matter said that due to the increased tax and duties, the imported products are becoming increasingly expensive for the normal consumer. This is creating a vacuum which can be filled by the local industry if they provide quality products in the country. “People have been apprehensive about local products in the market due to inferior quality. If our industry starts focusing on producing high quality products they can flourish exponentially in this environment” he said.
While talking about the future scope of Engineers in Pakistan Engr. Imran Zafar the Honorary Joint Secretary of IEEEP Karachi center said that we always hear people say that the number of jobless engineers is increasing in the market. What people don’t understand is that the standards of new engineers are not what they once used to be “It is my personal experience that many times while interviewing young engineers we have to reject them solely due to their incompetence,” he said. While the participants were discussing this point the most important reasons which came to light were,
1. Private engineering universities having total disregard for merit producing hundreds of engineers every year and
2. The outdated curriculum being taught at engineering universities is poles apart from the current practices in the industry. Moreover he said that it is the need of time to ensure that vocational training centers are revived all across the country to produce skilled personnel
At the end of the session Engr. Khalid Pervez Chairman IEEEP Karachi center while giving his concluding remarks, provided some very valuable suggestions for the engineering industry of Pakistan.
- First and foremost the HEC and Engineering council need to step up and work on updating the engineering curriculum on a priority basis to secure the future of Engineers in Pakistan.
- The Engineering Development Board should become proactive in its role of development of engineering sector.
- The government needs to change its stance towards the engineering community. Currently the government’s focus is on controlling the engineering sector. A paradigm shift is required here so that it moves from a controlling to a more supportive role.
- A very important factor which is overlooked when foreign investors are involved is that Pakistan may not have the capability to provide technologically high end products but the engineering services of Pakistan are second to none. It should be mandatory for all foreign investors to acquire Engineering industry services, consultancy and other services from the local firms of the country.
- The engineering sector needs to focus on technology transfer as well as joint ventures with foreign companies to form a symbiotic relationship which can be beneficial for both parties over time. A recent joint venture to a Chinese ceramics company with Time ceramics in Pakistan is a wonderful example of such a venture.
- The trend of internship programs currently running in Pakistan need to be curbed and should be replaced with apprenticeship programs like they older times. The internship programs are for lack of a better word useless and fail to provide any true value for the student academically or professionally.