Special Discussion on World Science Day for Peace and Development

Guest Prof. Dr. Shahid Mahmood Baig, Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation and Engr. Farid Bakhtiyar, Senior Research Officer, Pakistan Council for Science & Technology. Listen Here

First Industrial National Innovation Survey (FINIS) Launched in Pakistan (Read More.......)

Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST); an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Science and Technology mandated to advice the government on science, technology and innovation policy issues, has launched the First Industrial National Innovation Survey (FINIS) in the country.

National Commission for Science & Technology

Decision of 2nd Meeting of NCST



Agenda Item: Human Resource Development

a) The promising Universities, Institutes, or Centres, which are able to provide M.Phil/Ph.D level training programmes be strengthened and brought to international level for training Ph.D. level scientific and technological manpower in critical fields of Science and Technology. Ten such institutions be selected for the purpose.

b) A scheme be launched to invite 25 renowned expatriate Pakistani scientists and Technologists settled in USA, Canada and Europe, etc. to Pakistan each year, for a period of 3 months to 1 year.

c) A scheme be launched to invite 25 senior foreign academicians and experts in Science and Technology from advanced western countries for one to two years duration to work in R&D institutions and universities in Pakistan, each year.

d) A national programme of producing about 300 Ph.Ds annually in important fields of Science and Technology at Pakistani Universities, Institutes and Centres be launched. The Universities be supported to develop/ upgrade their facilities in terms of equipment, consumables, books, etc.

e) A limited number of 100 permanent faculty members of universities or scientists and technologists of research institutions in public sector be sent to institutions in advanced Western Countries for training at M.S/ Ph.D. levels each year.

f) A scheme should be introduced for 6-12 months postdoctoral level training of 100 Pakistani scientists annually in suitable institutions abroad in priority areas related to national needs.

g) Existing Polytechnic Colleges be strengthened and more training Institutes/ Centres be established on the pattern of Pak-Swiss Training Institute to meet the requirement of skilled manpower in the new and emerging high-tech fields.

h-1) A system of contractual appointments should be introduced whereby the scientists and technologists including those retired with higher caliber are inducted on a temporary contract basis with a much higher salary structure for 3 years tenure (extendable), and their research productivity is independently assessed by an international level panel of referees before their tenures are renewed or permanency granted.

h-2) The salaries of Ph.D level scientists / technologists should be brought at par with those prevailing in industry/ commerce so as to attract the brightest students to opt for careers in various scientific and technological fields.

i) Educational Research and Curriculum Development be given high priority in order to develop high standards of education and training.


Agenda Item: Upgradation of R&D Infrastructure and Launching of R&D Programmes

- Upgradation of R&D Infrastructure

a) The existing R&D organizations and S&T departments of Universities, Institutes, Centers shall be critically examined and rationalized, and their infrastructure updated to the International level to conduct meaningful R&D. This will stimulate key development sectors for enhanced productivity and rapid economic growth.

b) Facilities shall be develop at suitable locations for manufacturing, repair and maintenance of laboratory equipment indigenously to support research and development on sustained basis.

c) The R&D component of the recurring grants of R&D Organizations, S&T Department of Universities, Institutes and Centers be enhanced by 3-4 fold.

d) Strengthening of Laboratories & Libraries of Science Department of Universities, Degree awarding Colleges, Centres of Excellence.

- Launching of R&D Programmes

a) Food and Agriculture: (i) Development of high yield, disease resistant and stress-tolerant crop varieties; (ii) Development of biological pest control methods; (iii) Development and commercialization of food processing and preservation techniques; (iv) Controlling water logging and salinity; (v) Development of methods for increasing efficiency of the irrigation systems.

b) Energy: (i) Energy resources assessment, Exploration and exploitation, (ii) Utilization of indigenous low quality coal, (iii) Development and adaptation of renewable energy resources, viz. solar, wind and other alternative technologies, (iv) Energy efficiency improvement and conservation, (vi) Adoption of environmental control technologies, etc.

c) Health: (i) Development of cheaper, safer and efficient methods for the control of communicable and epidemic diseases, (ii) Acquiring of modern techniques for diagnosis and treatment (iii) Carrying out a national nutrition survey for assessment of the problems of malnutrition in different sections of the society and in different areas of the country; (iv) Developing cheaper and effective methods for purification of water resources and safe disposal of municipal and industrial wastes, etc.

d) Electronics: (i) Silicon technology, (ii) Design and development of communication satellite/ancillary ground equipment; (iii) Optical instruments, (iv) establishment of electronics parks for promotion of the electronics industry, etc.

e) Biotechnology: (i) Production of transgenic plants containing useful monogenic traits, (ii) Development of insect/virus resistance in corps, (iii) Nutritional quality improvement in rice and chickpea; (iv) Development of microbial fertilizers, (v) Studies of mechanisms of pathogenesis, resistance to drugs and genetic susceptibility/resistance of the host, (vi) Plant tissue culture for micro-propagation of banana, peach, coconut, date-palm etc., production of mini-tuber in potato, and large-scale forestation, (vii) Floriculture technology of mini-tuber in potato, and large-scale forestation, (vii) Floriculture technology, (viii) Tapping of plant resources of Pakistan for the isolation of those drugs which are in international demand by the pharmaceutical industry, (ix) Biological control of pests, (x) Human DNA typing including micro-satellites, Y-chromosome polymorphism and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis of various Pakistani populations form the clinical, evolutionary and forensic points of view, etc.

f) Pharmaceuticals: (i) Conversion of molasses to citric acid, alcohol etc. (ii) Use of indigenous medicinal plants for the manufacture of ingredients of modern medicines which are presently imported from abroad (such as codeine, morphine etc.), (iii) production of pharmaceuticals from slaughter house wastes (for example insulin, oxytocin, pituitary extracts, plasma substitute etc.), (iv) Production of inorganic chemicals such as magnesium tri-silicate, aluminum hydroxide, ferrous salts, kaolin etc, (v) Production of 20 essential drugs identified by UNIDO based on imported intermediate, etc.

g) Textiles: (i) Improvement in fabric quality and improvement in the technology of finishing, dyeing, printing and finishing to ensure the correct finishing shrinkage control and uniformity in the finishing processes, (ii) Textile designing and its higher reproducibility, (iii) Textile marketing etc.

h) New Materials: (i) Foundation grade pig iron, (ii) Electrical, surgical and other alloy steels, (iii) Ferrous alloys, (iv) Refined copper and its alloys, (v) Aluminum and its alloys, (vi)Composite materials including ceramics and polymers, and (vii) Rare earth metal, (viii) Technology for DRI processes for sponge iron, power metallurgy, vacuum metallurgy, foundry and casting technology, composite materials such as glass fibers and carbon fibers, etc.

i) Engineering: (i) Design and development, (ii) Production processes and systems, (iii) Automation, CAD/CAM, and Robotics, (iv) Use of New Materials, (v) Reverse engineering and Deletion, (vi) Modernization and updating, (vii) Quality control, etc.

j) Ocean Resources: (i) Studies in aquaculture including fish and prawn culture, (ii) Coastal and offshore ecosystems, (iii) Productivity studies in europhic and oligotrophic oceanic environments, (iv) Marine biotechnology, geology/geophysics, (v) Physical and chemical oceanography, (vi) Drugs from marine organisms, (vii) Production of industrial materials including alginic acid, chitin, chitosan, poultry feed, gelatins, etc.

k) Defence: (i) Automated guidance systems, up-gradation of radars, warning receivers and EW equipment on existing air-crafts; (ii) Defence equipment technology for aircraft and ship building, systems analysis and integration, rocket and missiles, radars and micro-electronics, arms and ammunition, automotive vehicles, (iii) Materials and chemical technology, (iv) Electrical and Electronic technology, etc.


Agenda Item: Information Technology

- Human Resource Development

a) Ph.D / Masters / Bachelor / Intermediate programs in Information Technology be launched in local and foreign universities of repute.

b) Distance Learning Centers be established in 10 cities of Pakistan and IT course be offered in remote areas and other towns and cities of Pakistan through distance learning using the existing facilities of Allma Iqbal Open University, Pakistan Television, etc.

c) Retraining Centers of IT for unemployed or under-employed engineers, scientists and other professionals be set up, country wide.

d) Specialized Training Centers for training of Trainers be set up in 4-5 major cities and spread in other cities of Pakistan.

e) Internet and Internet infrastructure be provided to all universities of Pakistan and later to colleges and R&D organizations in the public sector.

f) A Scholarships / Qarz-e-Hasna Scheme launched at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels for bright students for studying Computer Sciences, Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

g) Computer Literacy (Computers, Networks, Software, training) be promoted at school level throughout Pakistan to let IT education seep down to children.

h) National Testing Agency be established for standardized testing and certification of IT professionals.

i) Four Information Technology Institutes (ITIs) be setup one each in Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan in selected universities.

j) A Scheme for introduction to other segments of Information Technology (Tele-Medicine-Health, Large Data base creation, GIS projects for mapping) be launched.

k) A Scheme for retraining government employees in Software purchases, allowances, etc. be launched.

- Development of Enabling Infrastructure

a) Software Technology Parks be established in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in the first phase and later in all major cities of Pakistan.

b) Data Network Centers be established in Karachi, Lahore as in Islamabad, where the current operation be expanded and at least in other 10 major cities, in phases.

c) Community Internet Centers be setup in various cities of Pakistan and gradually to District and Tehsil level to bring IT facilities and training to the people at grass roots level.

- Marketing Support for Pakistani Software Companies

a) Series of IT seminars may be conducted countrywide to raise awareness and create interest in students and the business community so that IT can become a mainstream activity in the country.

b) Participation in Major international IT trade fairs, holding IT conferences overseas and IT trade shows in Pakistan be supported to promote IT exports.

c) Overseas marketing offices be established in strategic locations like Singapore, Silicon Valley, USA, etc.

d) A Scheme for the development of Software in Urdu and regional languages be launched.

e) A Scheme for triggering off local data entry and Blue collar IT activity be launched.

- Regulatory Framework

a) A venture Capital Seed Fund with public-private partnership be established to promote IT related industry in the country.

b) A Fund for development and production of IT and communication products be created to boost electrical and IT related hardware manufacturing Industry in Pakistan, etc. be established.

c) E-Commerce pilot project for facilitation, training and core infrastructure be launched.

d) E-Government pilot projects at two Ministries and the office of the Chief Executive of Pakistan be launched.

e) Legislation drafting for IT related issues be undertaken.


Agenda Item: Restructuring of R&D Organizations

- Legal Framework

a) At a minimum those R&D Organizations established under Resolutions be converted under Act(s) and certain measure of uniformity be introduced.

b) The Boards of Governors of many R&D organizations need to be reconstituted to have primarily the Scientists and Technologists with balanced representation of public and private sector. The numbers should not be so large as to make the Governing Bodies unwieldy and unmanageable.

c) The main level of external control over R&D organizations frequently used by the Government is the policy direction issued to them. To curtail frequent Government interference under Policy directions it is desirable that the term Policy and its parameters be clearly defined in the law and not left to arbitrary misuse by the Government/ Ministries.

d) Many of the laws under which R&D organizations are functioning were legislated many years ago. Some of them are old and outdated. All these laws need to be reviewed Keeping in view model legislation in other suitable countries as well as Legislation of organizations like PAEC, KRL, and PSF, etc.

- Administrative Measures

a) The Heads of Organizations should be appointed by the Board of Governors through transparent open competition.

b) Once appointed, the Heads of Organizations should have the authority to hire and fire, promote and transfer, etc. in accordance with the provisions of the Acts, Rules and Regulations.

c) To avoid stagnation and frustration at the management/ policy levels inter-institution transfer may be introduced. Inter-institution transfers should be made at levels where management of R&D and technology are the primary tasks rather than direct participation in operational research.

d) Where necessary for special projects, the Head of Organization must have the authority to fill in a professional gap by making contract appointments on terms and conditions to be approved by the Board of Governors/ Executive Committee.

e) Uniform service conditions, financial benefits and other facilities be introduced in all R&D organizations on priority basis.

f) A system of tenure track appointments may be experimented with. Initially a two track policy where existing incumbents may choose a tenure appointment or a tenure track appointment, which would facilitate transition.

- Structural Changes

a) Most R&D organizations do not have short/medium term business plans let alone long term plans. These business plans should be made obligatory for all institutes. Within the business plans the maximum emphasis should be on meeting the end-users requirements.

b) A major weakness with our R&D organizations is poor ability to prepare and approve projects. Many projects are undertaken without clear reference to socio-economic needs, availability of funds, and caliber of the available team to deliver, or time framework for completion of the research effort. All R&D organizations should have a system of Research Advisory Committees and a project selection system, which would approximate that adopted by PSF for evaluation and funding of research projects.

c) Schemes relating exclusively to R&D should not be referred to Planning Division and approval should rest with the Ministry/ Organization concerned.

d) Scientists generally are unsuited to commerce and marketing. Each R&D organizations should therefore have a Marketing Cell. If this would mean necessary expansion, the STEDEC could be strengthened to meet the Marketing needs of all the other organizations. A much closer interface between STEDEC and R&D organizations would need to be developed.

e) Approval for all trips abroad including training, workshops, symposia, seminars, etc., which are fully foreign funded or where the budget and funds are both available should be delegated to the Head of R&D organization and where a number of organizations are involved, the Secretary of the Ministry/ Division may decide.

f) The R&D resources available in the country presently are spread thinly and there is a lot of duplication. A concerted effort to consolidate, reduce duplication and share available resources through a pooling mechanism/ common workshops should be assigned priority on the recommendations of the ECNCST.

g) To reduce public sector risk and encourage interface with the Industry, Government should enter into Joint R&D ventures with the private sector contributing 30 to 50% of the cost, which may be raised gradually to 80%.

- Financial

a) Grants to R&D organizations should be non-lapsable. Insistence on the 30th June deadline frequently results in irresponsible expenditure and wastage of funds particularly against releases made at the fag end of the financial year.

b) Within non-development budget grants the distinction between establishment and –non-establishment should be eliminated. The Head of organizations should have the complete powers of re-appropriation within the budget. This would additionally be an incentive to reduce establishment costs.

c) All earnings by R&D Organizations should be retained by them. Those organizations which do well by way of generating funds should be rewarded through the incentive of matching grants equivalent to the amount earned.

d) Releases to R&D organizations and Universities should be on a six monthly basis or at a minimum quarterly basis. Monthly releases to R&D organizations involve them in endless red tap-ism.

e) Import of equipment and consumables for R&D organizations and Universities should be exempted from levy of Custom duties and other taxes.


Agenda Item: Technology Development and Industrialization

a) Technology Development Fund (TDF), which is already in the pipeline be set up immediately.

b) A Technology Venture Capital Company (TVCC) should be established for providing risk capital to new industrial projects launched on the basis of indigenous scientific developments.

c) Technology Cluster Centers be established to provide training, consultancy, products development and quality improvement testing facilities, etc. services to support the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the fields such as; (i) Surgical goods, (ii) Fans, (iii) Industrial electronics, (iv) Leather goods, (v) Linen and garments, etc.

d) Modern Industrial Parks to promote triangular linkage among Government, Industry and Research for technology development be established along potential Universities/Institutes.

e) Various technologies shall be developed and commercialized on contract basis in National Technology Priority areas, viz (i) Manufacturing Engineering, (ii) Chemicals-based manufacturing including cement, sugar, paper and pharmaceutical, (iii) Biotechnology and agro-based industries with emphasis on utilization of agricultural wastes, (iv) Textile with particular emphasis on fabrication of textile machinery, (v) Leather manufacturing, (vi) Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials based Industries, (vii) Coal, Solar Wind and Hydro-energy, (viii) Electronics, (ix) Information and Communications, (x) Engineering Goods, (xi) Environment, (xii) Health Technologies, (xiii) Space Technology, (xiv) Transformation Technology, (xv) Farm Machinery, (xvi) Marine Technology, (xvii) Conventional and Computerized Manufacturing Tech-nology, (xviii) Automobile Technology.

f) The Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality (MSTQ) infrastructure should be established through operationalization of NAC; strengthening of Pakistan Standard and Quality Institute, National Physical Standard Laboratory and National Quality Assurance Council and launching quality awareness raising programs.

g) Industrial analytical centres should be established at ten existing R&D Institutions of Pakistan. These should include centres in the fields of textiles, pharmaceuticals chemicals, leather, agriculture, poultry and livestock, agro-chemicals, mining and oil exploration, and high technologies.

h) Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) be strengthened to establish Technology Database service for nationwide dissemination of Industrial and Technical information.


Agenda Item: Strengthening of Policy Co-ordination and Management Structure

a) The Minister for Science and Technology be given representation in ECC and ECNEC.

b) The MoST be strengthened to play its due role as a focal point for processing, funding and monitoring of S&T development projects and coordinating with other concerned Federal Ministries and Provincial S&T Departments.

c) The PCST be strengthened to perform its functions of the Secretariat to NCST and ECNCST effectively.

d) Departments of Science and Technology and Science and Technology Councils be established in all the Provinces of Pakistan to promote S&T effort in the Provinces in an organized manner and coordinate it with such effort at the national level. Each Province be provided some financial assistance annually to strengthen its system and provide critical inputs in important S&T programs through an Experts Committee.


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