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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has directed Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) to get input from all key concerned stakeholders on proposed establishment of National Institute of Intelligence and Security Studies (NIISS), well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

The Federal Education & Professional Training Division had informed the Cabinet that NIISS was planned to be a flagship institution to prepare personnel for senior positions of intelligence community who would provide intellectual input to Government departments and decision makers for policy formulation.

NIISS would be established in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. A suitable piece of land had been earmarked on the premises of Quaid-e-Azam University for NIISS building. Temporary facility for initiating class room activities may also be provided.

Presently the country has a number of training institutes to groom the practitioners, however there is a gap in educational development of National Intelligence Community, creating a room to introduce new discipline of ‘Intelligence and Security Studies’ at undergraduate, graduate and post graduate levels to enhance knowledge about different strands of intelligence.

An appetite for such higher education exists among services and Intelligence Community. To bridge this gap, it was planned to establish NIISS to educate the national Intelligence Community to play its role effectively.

The Secretary Defence had proposed establishment of such an Institute. The idea was also presented before the Syndicate (supreme statutory body) of Quaid-e-Azam University and which was approved in its 180th meeting held on September 24, 2021. The Vice Chancellor, Quaid-e-Azam University was proposed to be the Chairman Board of Governors of the said Institute.

The NIISS intended to offer the following degree programs: (i) four-year BS ISS (Bachelor of Science Intelligence and Security Studies) Degree with majors in Intelligence & Security Studies, and Cyber Technology; (ii) two-year MS ISS (Master of Science Intelligence and Security Studies) Degree with majors in Intelligence & Security Studies and Cyber Technology; (iii) the degree work to consist systematic research and thesis describing research work, specifically directed at the division of major subject the scholar had chosen; and (iv) Post Graduate Diplomas, and Certificates. Short duration courses (two semester and single semester duration) facilitating the in-service IC to improve their knowledge base and accumulate credit hours to pursue further studies would also be launched.

Section (3) of the Centres of Excellence Act, 1974 states that “As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, the Federal Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, establish a Centre of Excellence in a University specified in the notification”.

During discussion, the Minister for Federal Education requested that the word ‘Intelligence’ may be omitted from the name of the institute. A member pointed out that the subject of Intelligence was not taught at the Bachelors level anywhere in the world and there were only a handful of universities which offered this discipline at the Masters level.

Furthermore, an Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies already existed in QAU, thus establishment of the proposed institute would be duplication. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security flagged that National Security Division was not consulted in the matter.

The source said, in light of observations, the Cabinet decided to defer the agenda item, with the directions that further deliberations and consultations with stakeholders be undertaken.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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