Senate Standing Committee for National Heritage and Culture Division held a meeting on March 9, 2023 to review the performance of departments under the management of National Heritage and Culture Division i.e. Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex, Urdu Science Board and Shakir Ali Museum in Lahore. The meeting was held in Committee Room No. 3 of Aiwan-e-Iqbal Lahore. The meeting was chaired by Chairman Senate Standing Committee, Senator Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan. The secretary of the Senate Standing Committee was Senator Farzana Khan.
In the meeting Senator Irfan-ul-Haque Siddiqui, Senator Atta-Ur-Rehman, Senator Keshoo Bai, Secretary National Heritage and Culture Division Ms. Fareena Mazhar, Director Iqbal Academy Pakistan Prof. Dr. Baseera Ambareen, Director General of National Language Promotion Department Dr. Rashid Hameed, Director General of Pakistan National Council of Arts Ayub Jamali, Administrator Aiwan-e-Iqbal Mr. Anjum Waheed and officers of attached departments also participated.
Senator Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan said that more funds will be provided to promote the activities of Iqbal Academy Pakistan so that the message of Allama Muhammad Iqbal can reach the common man. He further said that the merger of Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex with Iqbal Academy Pakistan is expected soon, which will make Iqbal Academy financially and administratively stable and promote Iqbal’s thought further.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui said that Iqbal Academy Pakistan should ensure the publication of Urdu translation of Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s Persian poetry and encourage new Iqbal scholars. Senator Atta-Ur-Rehman said that more research work on Allama Muhammad Iqbal should also come out and for this academic purpose the services of Iqbal experts should be taken.
Director Iqbal Academy Pakistan Dr. Baseera Ambareen informed about the detailed performance of the departments of the Academy. She said that the Academy has published more than 70 books, magazines and brochures in the last three years. Two research journals, Iqbaliyat (Urdu) and Iqbal Review (English) are published by the Academy to encourage research on the thought of Allama Iqbal. The publication of these journals, which were stalled earlier, has also been revived and soon their issues will be included in the list of HEC journals.
Apart from this, the Academy’s about ten-year-old Presidential Iqbal Award process has also been completed and revived and is now being given regularly every year. When the Academy's sales center was on McLeod Road, contacts at the Academy's main office and scholars visiting the Academy had difficulty in obtaining the Academy's publications. Now this sales center of the Academy has been shifted to Aiwan Iqbal, which has improved the performance of the sales department.
During the Corona epidemics, the Academy did not suspend its activities, but the public relations department of the Academy provided a platform for online lectures to national and international Iqbal scholars, especially young scholars - from primary level to university level students. Competitions on Kalam-e-Iqbal were organized among the students and visits of educational delegations were also made. National and international conferences and seminars were held across the country on Iqbal’s thoughts and aspects. Special events were also organized regarding Pakistan Day. For the promotion of Iqbal’s thought, the memorandum of understanding agreements were implemented not only with educational institutions across the country but also with other countries.
The IT department of the Academy has received frequent visitors on the official websites of Iqbal Academy i.e. www.allamaiqbal.com and Iqbal cyber library. More than 1500 videos on thought of Iqbal are currently available on the Academy’s YouTube channel, while more than 2000 posts on Iqbal’s poetry, thought and other aspects of Iqbal have been shared on social media (WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook). . Iqbal Academy has also released the mobile application and websites of Kalyat Iqbal Urdu, through which the search for poems and verses in Kalam Iqbal Urdu is within the reach of every scholar. The Standing Committee highly appreciated the performance of Iqbal Academy Pakistan.