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> Launching Ceremony Of Parliamentary Internship Programme For Senate
Launching Ceremony Of Parliamentary Internship Programme For Senate
February 28, 2005
Best Western, Islamabad

Fact Sheet for PIP |
Launching Ceremony Of PIP | 

Chairman Senate Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro said that Senate and its committees welcome the initiation of parliamentary internship programme implemented by PILDAT and supported by USAID. Parliamentary internship programme fulfils a very crucial need of research support to Senate Committees and we welcome the fresh perspective and research aptitude of selected interns, he added. “Sky is the limit if you work hard, ask questions in the right manner and indulge yourself in research,” he advised selected interns while adding that these interns may be considered for permanent research posts at the Senate Secretariat.


Chairman Senate was talking at the launching ceremony of Parliamentary Internship Programme for Senate which is being implemented by PILDAT under the financial support provided by USAID. Interns have been selected from across Pakistan to serve with Committees of the Senate for duration of two to three months while they will be paid a stipend of Rs. 7000 a month. Various committee chairs of Senate and other Senators were present at the launching ceremony including selected interns, Secretary and other staff of the Senate Secretariat.


Earlier, addressing the launching ceremony, Ms. Julie Koenen Grant, Senior Governance Advisor of USAID said that USAID was very pleased to offer support for this programme under its project of Strengthening National and Provincial Legislative Governance. She praised the efforts and organisation of the programme by PILDAT. Objective behind the programme is to provide research support to the committees of the Senate, she said. “While USAID will be happy to support the programme of internship for the duration of its current project, it will be ideal that secretariats of Parliament and provincial assemblies, based on their own needs, allocate adequate funds to support this and other research support programmes for strengthening their institutions,” she added.


Introducing the programme and its objectives, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director of PILDAT said that PILDAT, in association with the Senate Secretariat, supported by USAID is launching this programme. 30 interns have been placed with the committees of the Senate while some of these interns constitute the IT & Research Pool to assist committees in developing their websites and creating interfaces. Performance of interns will be evaluated monthly while as part of their internship, they will be required to write a 5000 words research report, he added. Mr. Mehboob emphasised that a transparent and thorough selection process based on merit has been followed to select interns. HEC-recognised academic institutions from across the country were requested to nominate their talented and recently-passed-out students (who obtained degree of 16-years of education or above in the last two years) to apply for Internship Programme. Based on the Academic Department Head’s first evaluation of application, an evaluation was carried out by PILDAT, followed by a final evaluation and interviews by a Selection Committee comprising chairs of Senate Committees, Veteran Academician, Representative of Senate Secretariat and PILDAT. He explained that PILDAT has prepared a detailed Manual of the Parliamentary Internship Programme covering every detail and aspect of the Programme copies of which are distributed to interns, senate committee chairs and secretariat.


Parliamentary Internship Programme is an internationally accepted and practiced programme and major universities/academic institutions and Legislatures of developed democracies of North America, Europe, Australia and part of Asia practice this. As a Pilot Project of Parliamentary Internship Programme, from June – August 2004, a total 35 students from HEC-recognised academic institutions from across Pakistan were selected and placed as interns with the Standing Committees of the National Assembly and Punjab Provincial Assembly. The current programme for Senate placed 30 interns with committees and departments of Senate from March 01, 2005 to May 2005.


Earlier an orientation programme was held for selected interns. Senator Anwar Bhinder was the keynote speaker at the orientation while Secretary Senate Raja Muhammed Amin and Joint Secretary Senate Mr. Iftikharullah Babar gave interns an overview of Senate and working of its committee system. Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT, presented a step-by-step overview of the Manual developed for this programme. The panel also answered questions of interns regarding the structure, duration and functioning of various aspects of the programme.





(From left to right) Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob addressing the interns at the orientation ceremony while Mr. Azhar Khan, Deputy Secretary Senate, Senator Anwar Bhinder, Chairman Senate Committee on Government Assurances, Raja Mohammed Amin, Secretary Senate, Mr. Iftikharullah Babar, Joint Secretary Senate and Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director PILDAT look on.


(From right to left) Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Ms. Julie Koenen-Grant, Senior Governance Advisor USAID, Raja Mohammed Amin, Secretary Senate, Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro, Chairman Senate, Mr. Iftikharullah Babar, Joint Secretary Senate and Mr. Sigurd C. Hanson, Country Director World Vision at the launching ceremony.


Chairman Senate Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro addressing the interns at the launching ceremony.


Group Photo of Selected interns with Chairman Senate and Committee Chairs of Senate after the launching ceremony.