Message From Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellor

The KIU occupies a worldwide unique position at the junction of worlds' greatest mountain ranges including the Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindu Kush. These mountain ranges serve as a unique laboratory for natural sciences. I have an honor of being one of the leading geoscientists in the country for past two decades and my entire research spanning 32 years has remained focused on this region. This is reflected in my book entitled "Tectonics of Nanga Parbat Syntaxis and Western Himalayas" published by Geological Society London. Additionally, I have published ~ 200 research publications and two colored geological maps on this region. Under prevailing geopolitical situation whereby the tourism industry has come to stand still, irrigation channels feeding the meager agricultural resources are fast drying up due to glacier retreat in response to climate change and trade with China is at standstill due to inaccessibility across the Attaabad Lake; KIU is the only light of hope for the population of the region. KIU can contribute to knowledge economy through skill development and focus on improving livelihood. Whereas the traditional subjects like numerical/computer sciences, economics, and business/public administration already offered at the KIU need to be continued, KIU needs to focus on its strength i.e. natural resources. Student population at KIU needs to be equipped with skills that can help them utilize their natural resources in a sustainable way not only to generate livelihood but to improve socioeconomic conditions of the population. Just an example, the traditional panning for placer gold in Indus River sand can serve as an unending source of livelihood for thousands of unemployed families provided the local knowledge is combined with scientific knowledge. Scientific mining techniques for gemstones and building stones, exploration knowledge for metallic and rare-earth minerals needs to be the focus of the KIU professional training. On the energy side, small-scale (village or household scale) power turbines and exploitation of geothermal resources are badly neglected that can revolutionize lifestyles for generations. Medicinal plants are another area where a lot of livelihoods can be generated through local knowledge combined with scientific research. In this context, the KIU needs to focus on natural/social sciences and engineering specific to the natural mountain environment. These may include Glaciology, water resources management, hydrology, arid-agriculture and irrigation, engineering (geological, geophysical, Geotechnical, environmental and water resource), physical geography, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, forestry, high-altitude flora/fauna, tourism/hospitality industry, Central Asia history, natural hazards, disaster risk reduction and climate change studies. My joining the KIU is purely strategical. I am committed to change the entire outlook of the university to make it a center of excellence in mountain areas' development to ensure its role in community uplift and prosperity. In this context, I appeal to the students, faculty, and people of Gilgit-Baltistan to extend me their full support. On my behalf, I promise that from now on every admission, induction and appointment at the KIU will be purely based on merit and performance. Let's together strive for making KIU a truly international university.

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