M Qasim Jan obtained BSc Hons (Peshawar, 1964), MS (Oregon, 1967), PhD (London, 1977) degrees, and was awarded Honorary DSc by King’s College London (2009) and Leicester University, UK (2013). He became a lecturer in the University of Peshawar in 1968, Professor in 1983, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Geology in 1988, and Dean of the Faculty of Science in Feb 1997. In 1994-95, he was a visiting Professor at the University of Oregon, USA. He has availed prestigious fellowships/scholarships (Royal Society, Fulbright, British NERC, US NSF, British Council, USAID) and paid academic visits to many institutions. He has traveled extensively and delivered invited talks in Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia.
He has carried out extensive geological investigations of the Himalaya-Karakoram of Pakistan, with emphasis on crust-building processes. His studies have contributed to 1) better understanding of the geodynamics of NW Himalaya, 2) petrologic and tectonic evolution of the lower and middle continental crust in general and Kohistan arc in particular, 3) chemical mineralogy of chromite occurrences in Pakistan, 4) publication of the seminal book “Geology and Tectonics of Pakistan”, 5) compilation of the first reconnaissance geological map of northern Pakistan, and 6) provision of a broad data base useful in research, planning and mineral industry. He participated actively in several national and international research projects, has published 183 papers and 113 short communications, edited nine special volumes on the geology of the Himalaya of Pakistan, and co-authored four books.
MQ Jan is/was a member of governing bodies of many local and international institutions, peer-review committees, and editorial boards of journals. He served as VC, Peshawar Univ. (Oct 1997-Dec 2000), founder VC of Sarhad Univ., Peshawar (Jul 2001-Jan 2004), and VC of QAU Islamabad (Oct. 2005-Feb 2010). In 2004, he was titled as Distinguished National Professor by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, and in 2010 Emeritus Prof in NCE Geology. Jan is affiliated to many learned bodies/professional societies, and is a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Islamic World Academy of Sciences, Pak. Acad. of Sciences (PAS), Pak. Acad. of Geological Sciences, Nepal Geological Society (Honorary), and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain & Ireland (Emeritus). He was Vice President (2011-2014) and Secretary General (SG) (2007-2010) of PAS, SG of the Assoc. of the Academies of Sciences in Asia (2009-2012), Chairman of Himalayan Regional Committee of the International Lithosphere Program (1998-2004), and Co-Chair of the (international) Solar Radiation Governance Management Initiative (2017-2018). Currently, he is Adviser, OIC Standing Committee on S&T Cooperation (COMSTECH), Islamabad and the President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences.
In addition to heavy involvement in teaching and research, as senior Professor and Director, Dr. Jan played an important role in developing an academic institution of international reputation in Geology. As VC, his responsibilities have included the overall administration, P&D, HRD, fiscal management, and enhancement of academic and research activities of the universities he headed. He has received many awards and honours: Pak Civil Awards HI (2010), SI (1999), TI (1994), and Presidential award Izaz-e-Fazeelat (1993); ISESCO Prize in S&T for contributions in Geology (2010); Gold medals from PAS (1980, 1997); Ministry of S&T award for outstanding research publication (1996); National Book Foundation awards–Best book-authorship (Natural Sciences, 1995-97 period), Scientist of the Year (1990), Earth Scientist of the Year (1986); and Distinguished Scientist of the Year award (2009) from PAS.