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Over the last few decades, Islamic Banking has made significant advances on the global scene with its market share likely to rise to $4 trillion over the next 3-4 years. In Pakistan too, Islamic Banking is making inroads into conventional banking as more Islamic banks become operational. Recognizing the need for human resource development in the expanding field of Islamic Banking, University of Management and Technology has taken the lead in establishing the Institute of Islamic Banking (IIB) at its main campus at Lahore. Under the patronage of Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, Rector UMT, it is a pioneering initiative as the new Institute embarks on an ambitious multidimensional program.

The University of Management and Technology (UMT) is committed to the noble task of dissemination of knowledge for the development of human beings enabling them to undertake divine responsibilities ensuing from their distinguished position as vicegerents (Khalifah) of God on earth. Besides compulsory courses in Islamic Studies at the undergraduate level, UMT also offers graduate courses to students to infuse in them the spirit of dedication for Islamic norms and values so that they not only excel in their worldly profession but also become practicing Muslims. As such, the teaching of Islamic Studies has a special place in the scheme of studies at UMT. Even before getting the university charter, two courses of Islamic Studies (3 credit hours each) were being offered at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) as it was known at the time. The first course titled 'Islam and Personality' focused on the basic teachings of Islam and their role in developing a Muslim personality. The second course called 'Islam, Society and Systems' looked at Islam as a system of social governance offering solutions to contemporary issues and challenges faced by Muslim societies.

The IIB is simultaneously engaged at three major fronts. Its activities and programs are geared towards becoming a leading source of education, research and information in Islamic Banking. At the same time, IIB aims to become a self-sustaining arm of the University by generating substantial revenues through academic programs, consultancy and products sales. In the area of academic programs and research, IIB is offering postgraduate and graduate degree in Islamic Banking and Finance. Moreover, with the participation of several reputed scholars from the Muslim world and elsewhere, IIB has launched a refereed semi-annually journal called Islamic Banking and Finance Review. A new annually published journal titled Issues of Fiqh in Islamic Banking and Finance will be launching soon from this year as well.

In order to fill the gap in trained manpower, IIB also launched online certifications and Executive Development Center (in coordination with UMT UAE campus) for the banking industry. With the cooperation of UMT's Center for Management Development (CMD), these seminars will introduce the participants to the conceptual basis of Islamic Banking and how this can be translated into operational terms in this transition from conventional to Shariah based financial practices. Fully cognizant of the fact that HRD and R&D resources in Islamic Banking are in disarray for lack of a systematic approach, IIB intends to become a world leader in providing one-stop access to academic research, and human resources in Islamic Banking and Finance. To accomplish these goals, IIB has initiated several projects to develop retrospective and current bibliography, glossary, monographs, database, and a digital library on Islamic Banking.

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