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HEC, Microsoft Organize National Final for Imagine Cup 2016

ISLAMABAD: The National Final for Imagine Cup 2016 was organized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft at the Commission Secretariat on Wednesday. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC was chief guest on the occasion. Mr. Nadeem A. Malik, Country Head, Microsoft Pakistan and Mr. Anwar Amjad, Director General (IT) HEC were also present.

Imagine Cup is a global student technology programme and competition that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.

This year there were over 100 projects from universities across the country. A total of 187 students participated in various kinds of projects that have been broadly placed in Gaming, Innovation and World Citizenship.

The contest in Innovation was clinched by team from Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Sahiwal comprising Ms. Nida Karim, Mr. Sohaib Hanif and Mr. Umairullah. The team from National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST), Faisalabad including Mr. Roger Nazir and Mr. Usman Khan topped the World Citizenship category, while Mr. Kasra Zunnayyer from University of Karachi won the Gaming competition. The winner teams will participate in world semi-finals to be held online.

HEC has been working with Microsoft for the last seven years to execute Imagine Cup in Pakistan and, the participation in this competition has been phenomenal. Over the last seven years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup. Pakistan left its mark on the competition as well, boasting a large number of student registrations in Imagine Cup over the past four years, with submission of more than 500 projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC stressed the need for increase in the number of projects developed in various parts of the country. He emphasized that both Microsoft and HEC should set targets while evolving ideas followed by a strong strategy for effective materialization of their ideas. Recalling the Imagine Cup final 2008-09 in Egypt in which he participated as a judge, he said the activity is developing spirit of competition among the youth.

The Country Head Microsoft lauded HEC’s support for Microsoft and its commitment to promote literacy of technology among the youth.

Each year, the Imagine Cup National Finals are held globally, and during the past five years, teams from NUST SEECS, FAST, UET Lahore & GIKI have had an opportunity to display and showcase their solutions on the premier stage that is Imagine Cup. The quality of winning solutions has also been steadily increasing, highlighted by the fact that Pakistani teams came in Top 10 in the past couple of years.

HEC and Microsoft conducted regional finals in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, with teams from Quetta and Peshawar joining online. Regional final Judges included technology leaders and innovators from Industry, nominated by Microsoft and faculty from academia, nominated by HEC. A total of 14 teams qualified for the National Final.

Teams were invited to present their solution at either of the three locations, or they can join remotely via Skype. Out of the 100+ projects this year, 17 projects were received from the South Region, including a project from Quetta, and the students were invited to present their solutions at Microsoft Innovation Center, Karachi. Similarly, 56 projects were judged at Microsoft Innovation Center Lahore, and 27 projects were judged at Microsoft Islamabad.

Staff Report

Picture’s Caption: Mr. Nadeem Malik, Country Head, Microsoft Pakistan presents award to a winning team of the Imagine Cup 2016 at a ceremony held at HEC Islamabad on Wednesday. Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC is also present.