The department of economics was established to form the new department of agricultural economics and economics in the year 1995 on the establishment of the University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi (UAAR). New programs of MSc, economics and MSc (Hons), agricultural economics were prepared and the first time admission was offered in 1996. A year later, MSc, sociology and two years later MSc, anthology was initiated under this department. In the year 2004, department achieved another milestone by offering Ph.D. programs in economics and agricultural economics. This goal was achieved within 10-year of the establishment of the department. During this course of time the curricula was revised and up-graded to incorporate new development in the national and international scenario.
Presently there is only one P-III computer, the computer is mainly used for department official work and is not spare for student research needs, we anticipate 4 to 5 p-iv computers for provision, these computer will be used for student research i.e. entering data, data analysis and preparation of reports.
Projects & Research
The department anticipates that a program in B.Sc (Hons.) will be offered at under graduate level. The preparations are under way and after meeting the codel formalities it will be offered form October 2005.
A project in the field of governance has been submitted to South Asian Economic Research Institutes Network for funding. The project total cost is US$ 30,000.00 and is expected to be decided during 2005.
The future research areas that are targeted for student research includes; poverty, Labour and rural migration, infrastructure development, good governance, trade and environment, food quality and standards, IPRs, etc.
The department emphasis on core areas in student research at M.Sc level. The core areas identifies are WTO regime, farm credit, marketing, profitability at farm level, poultry farming, oil-seed crops, micro credit, women participation and training, soil and water conservation. The thrust of the research is on the socio-economic conditions of barani areas.
Thesis opportunity has been offered to M.Sc economics students. Students are also guided and encouraged to find placements for summer internship program with government departments and NGOs including industry.
Last year Ph.D program was initiated in economics and agri. economics. Currently, one student is enrolled in Ph.D, agriculture economics under HEC indigenous scholarship program. One faculty member is admitted to Ph.D under the same program that is enrolled with another university.
In the beginning of this year, services of an expert faculty in the field of agricultural economics were utilized under HEC foreign faculty hiring program (Reverse Brain-Drain scheme). Another such opportunity is under process.
During this year, the Chairman of the department represented UAAR and Pakistan in the 6th annual meetings of Global Development Network (GDN) held at Senegal, West Africa. A paper was presented on poverty that is caused by the rich countries policies in the poor countries.
The department also function as focal point in WTO related activities including organizing and participating at different forums.
Recently, the department earned a project grant of a Rs. 1.6 million from Pakistan Agriculture Research Council under ALP. The project will start in July and will study the impact of WTO policy on small farmers in the Punjab.
In the year 2000, the department completed a research study for investigating the causes of the farmersâ€™ attitude in consumption of electricity in the Punjab. The project was funded by NEPRA at a total cost of Rs. 0.5 million.
Department News, Events Workshops & Seminars
The department is actively involved in organizing seminars and short courses. For example, in the year 2002, one week short course in WTO regime was offered to in-service officers of government organizations. Eleven officers were trained who came different areas of the country.
A seminar was also organized on rural cooperatives particularly for barani farmers. The Punjab Minister of Agricultural Marketing chaired the seminar and was attended by government officials and farmers. An other seminar was organized in January 2005 by a foreign expert on the topic "Economic Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops (GMOs)".