QAU young pro­fes­sor’s book wins HEC award 2013-14

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES -

ZUBAIR QURESHI ISLAMABAD—An Ox­ford Univer­sity Press Pak­istan (OUP) pub­li­ca­tion “Old World Em­pires: Cul­tures of Power and Gov­er­nance in Eurasia” writ­ten by Il­han Niaz, was judged the win­ner of the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion’s (HEC) na­tional award for ‘Best Book Pub­li­ca­tion in So­cial Sciences, 20132014’, to be awarded this year.

Il­han Niaz, born on 10 Oc­to­ber 1980, is a pro­fes­sor of his­tory at Quaid-e-Azam Univer­sity. He is win­ner of the first Karachi Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val (KLF) Award for best non­fic­tion in English in 2011 and the win­ner of the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan’s (HEC-P) Best Book Pub­li­ca­tion in So­cial Sciences, Arts and Hu­man­i­ties of 2010 Award. Niaz has com­pleted his post grad­u­a­tion from Quaid-i-Azam Univer­sity, Islamabad. He did his MSc in his­tory in 2003, M.Phil in 2004 and his PhD in 2009.

The PhD the­sis be­came the ba­sis for his sec­ond book which won the KLF Award and the HEC Best Book Pub­li­ca­tion Award. He has been pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Royal Asi­atic So­ci­ety, www.for­eignaf­, and other lead­ing in­ter­na­tional pub­li­ca­tions.

The book un­der dis­cus­sion is an his­tor­i­cal sur­vey of the ori­gins, devel­op­ment, and na­ture of state power in Eurasia. It cov­ers sev­eral his­tor­i­cal monar­chies and au­toc­ra­cies and pro­vides an in­sight of how the rulers of by­gone days re­sorted to in­trigues, co­er­cion, tor­ture, and com­plete obe­di­ence from their rel­a­tives, sub­or­di­nates, and sub­jects in or­der to have ab­so­lute con­trol over all mat­ters of gov­er­nance.

The HEC awards were in­sti­tuted in 2006. The com­mis­sion, re­spon­si­ble for for­mu­lat­ing the higher ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy of the coun­try, con­fers the award each year on a pub­li­ca­tion for its orig­i­nal­ity; value to the aca­demic com­mu­nity and pol­icy mak­ers; and con­tri­bu­tion to fur­ther ad­vance­ment of knowl­edge through the qual­ity of em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence, re­search, and new in­sights pro­vided by the book.

The pre­vi­ous HEC awards in the so­cial sciences cat­e­gory have also been given to books pub­lished by OUP: The Charis­matic Leader: Quaid-i-Azam Mo­ham­mad Ali Jin­nah and the Cre­ation of Pak­istan by Sikan­dar Hayat won the 2008-9 award; The Cul­ture of Power and Gov­er­nance of Pak­istan 1947– 2008 by Il­han Niaz won the 2010 award; Wavell and the Dy­ing Days of the Raj: Bri­tain’s Penul­ti­mate Viceroy in India by Muham­mad Iqbal Chawla won the 2011 award; and Em­pire in Re­treat: The Story of India’s Par­ti­tion by Rabia Umar Ali won the 2012 award.

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