COUNT THE UNCOUNTED
The Egalitarians Society of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) held a panel discussion on “Count the Uncounted – Lost faces in the census ‘17” at the IoBM Auditorium on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Invited as guests were Mr. Mehtab S. Karim, Vice Chancellor, Malir University of Science and Technology; Senator Saeed Ghani, Dr. Naeem uz Zafar, Chief Economist, Government of Sindh and Dr. Shahida Wizarat, Dean CESD, IoBM. Also present on this occasion were Mr. Talib S. Karim, President IoBM, Ms. Sabina Mohsin, Executive Director, Admissions, Administration and Finance and Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Dean CBM and CES. Ms. Sabina Mohsin presented shields to distinguished guest participants. Mr. Muhammad Zubair, Faculty Advisor Egalitarians Society coordinated this program.
Mr. Talib S. Karim welcomed esteemed panelists during his address and shared that Pakistan’s census figures following the 2017 census were less than expected and that initiatives must be taken to arrive at close to exact figures for the government to plan its various policies. While speaking at the occasion, Mr. Mehtab S. Karim elucidated upon the importance of census for a country’s social and economic progress and that evidence-based planning is only possible if the government knows the country’s correct population. He further said that Pakistan’s government conducted the census in 2017, nineteen years after it was last conducted in 1998, which shows that those at the helms of affairs want to keep the status quo unchanged.
Senator Saeed Ghani opined that political leaders do not judge the adverse impact of delaying a census and that such census when conducted at a timely basis, provides the government with ample data to allocate funds among provinces and in conducting each provinces’ economic and budgetary planning. Dr. Naeem uz Zafar, emphasized upon the significance of conducting a census, that it is a tool of highlighting transparency in a country’s population and for showing the number immigrants and residents in towns, cities, and provinces. He said that the government of Pakistan had the opportunity to make the 2017 census a participative and transparent affair but it could not truly capitalize upon.
While addressing the audience, Dr. Shahida Wizarat viewed that political economy issues have delayed census in Pakistan and in miscounting the current population. She was pleased to know that Mr. Mehtab S. Karim was addressing the case of rectifying the population of Sindh and called for choosing such local advisors in completing this rectification process who will evaluate census data for each province with honesty and without prejudice. Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, during the closing remarks, suggested the faculty of economics and statistics at IoBM to give students assignments pertaining to finding an estimated population of various areas of Karachi and rest of Pakistan using various statistical software. He further said that the students should have been looking at standard operating procedures of conducting a census and based on the information, the students along with faculty, must be guiding the concerned authorities accumulating such data.