ISLAMABAD: Promotion of social sciences, literature and book reading are vital to promote peace and tolerance in the society. Being hub of learning, knowledge and training, should promote culture of dialogue, book reading and academic freedom to inculcate values of responsible citizenship, harmony, co-existence and respect for other ideologies among Pakistani youth. It was stated by the speakers during the National Dialogue tiled “Role of Universities in Promotion of Book Culture” organized by the Inter-University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Pakistan (IUCPSS) at Pak-China Friendship Centre Islamabad on Sunday, says a Press release.
The dialogue was organized in connection with the 9th Annual National Book Festival. The main speakers of the event included Pro Vice Chancellor Shah Abdul Latif University Dr. Yousaf Khushk, Executive Director Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi Nadeem Zafar Siddiqi, senior scholar from Balochistan Dr. Agha Muhammad Nasir, senior research fellow National Institute of Historical and Culture Research Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad Dr. Sajid Awan, columnist & writer Prof. Dr. Zahid Hussain, assistant professor University of Sargodha Dr. Shaid Nawaz and educations Arshad Jabbar Paracha.
NBF Book Ambassador and IUCPSS National Coordinator Murtaza Noor highlighted background and objectives of the dialogue. He shared that in Pakistan total member of universities has been increased to 187 with more than 107 sub campuses and enrollment of more than 1.5 million students.
The speakers suggested use of modern technology and innovative methods to motivate the youth for booking reading and increasing budget allocations for university libraries, establishment of book shops & organizing book fairs by National Book Foundations for provision of books at discounted prices to promote book reading culture at the university campuses.
Dr. Yousaf Khushk was of the view that book review culture could be helpful in promoting book reading culture among varsity students. He also underlined the importance of innovative methods for creation of knowledge instead of only focusing on traditional role of teaching and research.
The speakers of the unanimous of the view that books had a vital role in studies and training but instead taking benefit from this valuable treasure, “we just locked them in cupboards”. They also highlighted the effective role of the faculty in encouraging book reading habits among the university students.
The participants during question answer session recommended revival of literary societies & study circles, promotion of extra-curricular activities, extending library closing hours and effective use of digital libraries in order to encourage reading habits among the youth.