Thrust Areas

    8. Thrust Areas

    8.1 Metrology, Standards, Testing and Quality (MSTQ)

    90. Recognizing the need of a viable MSTQ system to meet the requirements of globaliza-tion of trade as well as ensuring the quality of goods in the local market, Pakistan has set up a nascent MSTQ system with three organiza-tions, namely Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), National Physical and Standards Laboratory (NPSL) and Paki-stan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) as its components. The PNAC has achieved Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with International Laboratory Accreditation Coop-eration (ILAC) and Asia Pacifi c Laboratory Ac-creditation Cooperation (APLAC).

    91. A comprehensive document prepared by PNAC entitled, National Quality Policy and Action Plan 2004, encompasses all quality related issues, such as; creation of quality envi-ronment, infrastructure development, quality control and quality assurance, technology up-gradation, consumer rights, awareness raising and human resource development. With an over-all budget layout of Rs.10Billion and well-defi ned time-based targets, the envisaged plan should have transformed the quality environ-ment in the country. However, the implemen-tation cell proposed under the Action Plan has partially achieved the objectives of the policy. With the termination of the project in Decem-ber 2010, the implementation cell has become redundant. There is considerably more work that needs to be done under this programme, which can be either undertaken as uncomplet-ed targets of the Action Plan 2004 or through the approval of a Revised Action Plan for 2011-2015.

    92. The creation of PSQCA in 1996 and the enactment of PSQCA act in 2000, was based on the realization that the standardization (devel-opment of standards and conformity assess-ment) plays a key role in the industrial progress and prosperity of a country. The participation of both public and private sectors in stand-

    ardization activities is essential for enhancing Pakistans competitiveness in international trade. Whereas, it is necessary to strengthen the national standardization infrastructure, a concerted effort to create awareness in R&D or-ganizations/universities/general public about the role of standardization in economic growth would be required.

    93. System needs to be revamped to remove remaining contradictions and weaknesses making it more effective. The steps envisaged for this purpose are:

    Policy Actions:

    A51. Setting up NPSL as the National Metrol-ogy Organization as a separate entity, independent of PCSIR (subject to the en-actment of a single cadre for employees of scientifi c organizations under MoST).

    A52. Strengthening PNAC and PSQCA in terms of manpower and infrastructure in order to enhance their roles of ac-creditation and standardization, respec-tively.

    A53. Restructuring PSQCA and redefi ning its functions to remove jurisdictional overlap with the functions of NPSL and PNAC through amendments in the PSQCA Act.

    A54. Increasing the number of mandatory standards manifold from its current fi g-ure of 85. These standards should also be enforced on imported goods to pre-vent the local market being fl ooded by sub-standard goods of foreign origin.

    A55. Harmonizing federal and provincial laws to ensure that the same standards are uniformly applicable throughout the country.

    A56. Involving the provincial setups in the enforcement of Pakistan Standards and strengthening them adequately for this purpose.

    A57. Increasing the number of ISO/IEC

    38 National ST&I Policy 2012

    17025 accredited laboratories and cer-tifi cation/inspection bodies in various sectors in the country to facilitate the availability of internationally accept-able accreditation to the exporters, and launching of new accreditation schemes on ISO/IEC 17024, ISO/IEC 17043, Product Certifi cate ISO/IEC Guide 65 and PS 4996:2010 for Halal Certifi cate.

    8.2 Environment

    94. Application of science and technology is essential for addressing the prevalent problems of environmental degradation. At present, we are in the habit of looking towards the techno-logically advanced nations for the solution to our environmental problems. However, ap-propriate application of simple technologies, either developed indigenously or adapted, can solve the majority of these problems. For exam-ple, the water fi ltration plant designed and de-veloped by PCRWR for the removal of arsenic from water is a simple but effective solution. These plants, which can be easily manufac-tured locally, can be used for removing other types of water contamination using the appro-priate medium. Standard water fi ltration units for community and individual families have to be developed and commercialized. Simi-larly, the hospital waste incinerator, developed by PCSIR and successfully commercialized through a private sector partner, is another example of local technology being used for solving local problems. The organizations of the Ministry of Science and Technology are in a position to develop technologies for solving other environmental problems. The Ministry of Climate Change and the Ministry of Science & Technology should team up to study and solve the various environmental problems. This should be combined with stricter and more effective enforcement of the national environ-mental laws, so that the environmental prob-lems can be effectively dealt with. Support for Environment related projects at national level may be available through various international agencies such as Global Environment Facility (GEF). Other opportunities of international co-

    Thrust Areas

    operation and funding for transition to energy effi cient technologies exist under Bali Action Plan for Technology Development, the Cancun Technology Mechanism, Clean Development Mechanism, Adaptation Fund etc.

    95. The Ministry of Science and Technology will join hands with the Ministry of Climate Change to undertake actions listed below:

    Policy Actions:

    A58. Development of cost effective sewage treatment plants.

    A59. Development of Industry-specifi c bio-technological waste-water treatment processes.

    A60. Power generation through incineration of solid waste.

    A61. Development of catalytic converters for retrofi tting vehicles for minimizing the emission problems.

    A62. Assistance in meeting the objectives of Environment Policy 2005, which inter alia, aim to:

    i. Phase out sulfur from diesel and fur-nace oil.

    ii. Establish cleaner production centers and promote cleaner production tech-niques and practices.

    iii. Provide alternate sources of energy, like piped natural gas, Liquefi ed Petroleum Gas (LPG), solar energy and micro-hydel power stations, to the local inhab-itants to reduce the pressure on natural forest, and to substitute fi rewood in the upland ecosystems.

    iv. Promote the use of ozone friendly tech-nologies; and phase out the use of ozone depleting substances in line with the provisions of the Montreal Protocol.

    v. Promote recycling of agricultural prod-ucts associated with livestock produc-tion and use of livestock sector as an

    National ST&I Policy 2012 39

    Thrust Areas

    outlet for recycling of appropriate ur-ban waste.

    vi. Introduce adequate animal waste man-agement system in peri-urban dairy col-onies.

    8.3 Health and Pharmaceuticals

    96. The pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan comprises national and multinational com-panies. Presently, there are about 400[ ] phar-maceutical manufacturing companies includ-ing 25[6] multinationals, which meet around 70%[4] of the countrys requirement. The in-vestment in the industry is around Rs.3 billion annually. The value of pharmaceutical sold in 2007 was US$ 1.4 billion.

    97. Whereas, Pakistan has attained a high de-gree of self-suffi ciency in the formulation and packaging of fi nished pharmaceutical prod-ucts, the manufacturing of basic ingredients is still limited and most of the active ingredients are imported. Research in the development of drugs is at a nascent stage. The Panjwani Cen-tre for Drug Development established recently at HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry (Uni-versity of Karachi) is the fi rst institution dedi-cated for research in this fi eld.

    98. R&D in the sector of active ingredients (generic formula), quality herbal medicines, alternate medicines, biopharmaceuticals, bio-logicals and vaccines for both humans as well as animals is vital and needs to be strength-ened. For this purpose international assistance in the capacity building of R&D organizations in this sector needs to be actively pursued. Up-grading the existing quality testing laborato-ries and setting up new ones in the vicinity of manufacturing clusters would cater for quality assurance of the drugs. Procedures for better linkages / collaboration between R&D institu-tions and the industry, particularly involving multinationals, need to be streamlined. Simi-larly, coordination between Ministry of Science and Technology and the federal and provincial health organizations / departments, in other areas requiring R&D for effective health deliv-

    ery system and self-reliance in all Medicare as-pects is envisaged under STI Policy.

    99. An encouraging development in this con-nection is that PCSIR has signed an MoU with Chinese Academy of Sciences to help Medici-nal Botanic Centre, PCSIR Peshawar to acquire the status of a WHO recognized Centre for Herbal Medicine. However, the technical train-ing/ capacity building and exchange of expert visits component is suspended due to fi nancial constraint / support by Federal Government. In view of the lower costs, proven effectiveness and social acceptability of local herbal medi-cines, this option for public health-care needs strong state patronage.

    100. Research in the production of vaccines is of critical importance. As the EPI vaccines are being provided free of cost by UNICEF through a grant from GAVI, research in this fi eld may not appear to be a priority area. However, to meet the growing requirement of vaccines for adults and to ensure vaccine security in case of denial due to a change in the geopolitical sce-nario, Pakistan should be in a position to pro-duce its own vaccines. Besides the upgradation of the vaccine production facility at the Nation-al Institute of Health to meet the WHO GMP standards, setting up of other GMP-compliant manufacturing facilities in the public as well as the private sector should be encouraged. The production of animal and poultry vaccines in the public sector, e.g. at the Veterinary Re-search Institute, Lahore and Poultry Research Centre Karachi needs to be increased manifold for meeting the total requirements of the coun-try.

    101. The steps to be taken for improving indig-enous capacity in health and pharmaceutical sector are listed below:

    Policy Actions:

    A63. Development of R&D capacity for pro-ducing active drug components and up-gradation of drug quality testing labora-tories.

    40 National ST&I Policy 2012

    A64. Necessary steps for PCSIR, Peshawar to be WHO recognized Herbal Medicine Centre.

    A65. Establishment of new facilities for vac-cines production and manufacturing of medical instrumentation and diagnostic equipment for local needs as well as ex-port purposes.

    8.4 Energy

    102. In order to overcome the current ener-gy crisis and to ensure energy security of the country on a sustainable basis, the emergency measures being undertaken at present need to be supplemented by vigorous R&D efforts, especially for reducing the dependence on im-ported oil and increasing the share of other sources such as nuclear, renewable and coal in the energy mix of the country. The vast depos-its of lignite coal (175 Bt) in the Tharparker Dis-trict of Sindh province spread over an area of more than 9000 square kilometers are the most suitable for Coal Gasifi cation. With a combined system of gas and steam turbines, the effi ciency of electricity production from coal gas can be as high as 60%. Apart from the production of cheap electricity (< Rs. 6 per unit as compared Rs. 9-12 per unit with furnace oil plant), there are a number of by-products of high economic value that can be extracted by chemical-reproc-essing of the synthetic gas, such as fertilizers, plastics, diesel etc. While efforts are underway to utilize this enormous energy source, all S&T organizations with relevant experience have an obligation to undertake R&D for the most effective, environment friendly and economi-cal utilization of Thar coal. The presence of brackish underground water covering coal de-posits is a challenge as well as an opportunity. If cheap energy is available on-site, the water treatment plants can generate enough water to convert the desert into arable land.

    103. The Policy for Development of Renewable Energy for Power Generation (2006) formulat-ed by Alternate Energy Development Board of Pakistan envisages increase in the deployment of renewable energy technologies (RETs) in Pa-

    Thrust Areas

    kistan so that RE (solar, wind, biomass, tidal, geothermal etc.) provides a minimum of 9,700 MW by 2030 and helps ensure universal access to electricity in all regions of the country. Ac-cording to the Policy document this objective would be achieved through a number of meas-ures including the facilitation of the establish-ment of domestic RETs manufacturing base. Facilities and manpower available in PCRET can be utilized to achieve the stated target.

    104. Other sources of energy that need further efforts to enhance their share of energy-mix are hydel and Nuclear power. The Ministry of Water and Power and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, respectively, are the agencies re-sponsible for development in this sector. The total hydropower potential in the country is close to 57,000 MW whereas, the current in-stalled capacity is only 6464 MW. Apart from the on-going projects of 1505 MW[ ], other fea-sible projects can generate upto 24000 MW. The PAEC envisages to produce 8800 MW by year 2030 through nuclear power reactors. Howev-er, the coordination of the overall energy pro-duction efforts in the country and creating syn-ergies among various R&D fora are necessary for achieving self-suffi ciency in this sector.

    105. Considering the variety of stake-holders and broad spectrum of technologies involved in energy production, the S&T policy objective would be achieved through following meas-ures:

    Policy Actions:

    A66. Harmonizing the efforts made in the en-ergy sector by different Ministries, de-partments and research centres by cre-ating an Energy Council with heads of relevant organizations. The Council will be entrusted to advise on priority areas for R&D and management of resources and to fi ll the gaps.

    A67. Acquisition of technology for building nuclear power reactors through R&D as well as transfer of technology agree-ments.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 41

    Thrust Areas

    A68. Constituting R&D task force for devel-oping processes to convert Coal and Coal gas for environment-friendly en-ergy productions and their conversion to economically useful products.

    A69. Development of pilot projects and their large-scale dissemination based on ex-isting technologies such as solar water heaters, biogas plants, photovoltaic etc.

    A70. Announcement of incentives (e.g. tax holiday) to the private sector for the manufacturing of renewable energy products, components and systems, such as solar thermal power system components, wind energy technology components, biogas plants etc.

    A71. Creation of a Renewable Energy Fund for research into the development of new RE technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell, Fresnel mirrors and low-cost/ high-effi ciency photovoltaic panels.

    A72 Ensure utilization of alternative energy sources and get adequate allocation for actualization of provincial projects/ plans.

    8.5 Biotechnology and Genetic Engi-neering

    106. As a cross cutting fi eld, biotechnology has applications in agriculture, medicine, en-ergy, environment and industry. In Pakistan there are 26 institutions engaged in education and research in biotechnology and genetic en-gineering. However, limited resources, inad-equate stock of trained manpower and lack of proper coordination among the institutions are some of the reasons why this sector has not been developed to its full potential.

    107. A National Commission on Biotechnol-ogy was established in 2001 to streamline and promote research in this vital sector and during the last few years over Rs. one billion have been invested on R&D in this priority area through various projects approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Higher Edu-

    cation Commission (HEC). A variety of Bt Cot-ton developed by the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) has been approved by the Punjab Seed Council and is ready for plantation in the fi eld.

    108. To promote the R&D as well as commer-cial aspects of biotechnology in the country, increased government support is required for promulgation of biotechnology legislation, de-fi ning standards in accordance with interna-tional practices and in establishing technology incubators and biotech parks in public sector in major cities of Pakistan. International coopera-tion for capacity building in this area through joint research projects needs to be actively pur-sued.

    109. The Ministry of Science and Technology may assist in the adoption and implementation of National Biotechnology and Genetic Engi-neering Policy and Action Plan, proposed by the defunct National Commission on Biotech-nology, which has not been approved so far.

    110. Considering that biotechnology has the greatest potential of transforming the way the human communities will lead their lives in fu-ture, it is considered necessary to adopt follow-ing steps:

    Policy Actions:

    A73. Re-establishment of National Commis-sion on Biotechnology and charging it with the task of coordinating nation-wide research programmes in different areas where biotechnology can be ap-plied.

    A74. Reviewing the draft of National Bio-technology and Genetic Engineering Policy and Action Plan and implement-ing it with the support of relevant or-ganizations.

    A75. Enacting biotechnology related legisla-tions.

    A76. Establishment of biotechnology incuba-tion centers.

    42 National ST&I Policy 2012

    8.6 Agriculture and Livestock

    111. Despite contributing 20-25% of the GDP and being the mainstay of our economy, it has not been possible for one reason or the other, to exploit the livestock and agricultural sector to its full potential. Significantly lower average yields of crops, persistent decrease in the quan-tity as well as the quality of water available for irrigation, high cost of fertilizers, limited avail-ability of quality certified seeds, weak pest management and large post harvest losses are only some of the factors limiting the growth of this critical sector. Today about 30-35 million[ ] people in rural areas are engaged in raising livestock and about a third of their income is generated from selling livestock products. Still Pakistan is spending a significant amount of foreign exchange on the import of food grains, meat and dairy products. Also, WTO agree-ments (especially, Agreement on Agricultural, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), and Sanitary and Phyto-sani-tary Measures) pose serious challenges to this sector. Pakistan has great potential to export Halal Food all over the world provided that there is a strong certification and quality con-trol system within the country to address the issues related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) under WTO obligations.

    112. The initiatives of PARC and provincial networks of R&D organizations in genetic modification leading to higher yields and pest resistance in major crops and improvement of livestock traits (disease/heat resistance, high meat / milk yield), establishment of seed test-ing and production facilities and R&D efforts to minimize post-harvest losses need to be in-tensified. Special measures are required to ad-dress the post harvesting losses of fruits and grains, increasing the storage capacity and im-proving packing & transportation facilities to enhance the shelf-life and quality of food. The recent concrete measures by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, through federal and provincial R&D organizations, for the development of the livestock sector, like ca-

    Thrust Areas

    pacity building of institutions involved in ani-mal breeding, up-gradation of animal health laboratories and establishment of Livestock and Dairy Development Board with greater participation of private sector are steps in the right direction.

    113. To ensure food security for the country on a sustainable basis, some of the research areas requiring increased attention are the use of ge-netic engineering for a quantum jump in crop yields, development of crop varieties suitable for arid and semi-arid regions, development of quality, disease-free seeds and identification of new sources of resistance against major pests of various crops. The use of remote sensing tech-nology for crop surveys, pest surveillance and monitoring of the irrigation system is required to obtain advance warning of any impending crisis. Development of on-site food processing technologies would help in reducing post har-vest losses. Research efforts are also required in breeding disease resistant poultry birds and development of vaccines for protection against diseases like avian flu etc. To sustain our poul-try industry, the farming needs to be done on more scientific basis using modern produc-tion/protection technologies. Similar efforts are required in case of fisheries. Inland fish farming including farming in brackish water also needs to be developed on a priority basis.

    114. Better coordination between Federal and Provincial agricultural R&D establishments is necessary in order to avoid duplication and wastage of energy and resources. Modalities for a more efficient and fruitful interaction be-tween end users and R&D institutions have to be worked out. Recent climatic changes as a re-sult of global warming are already having an effect on the crop cycles. This interrelated shift-ing of weather pattern and crop cycles needs careful consideration and analysis for dealing with the problem in a timely manner.

    115. The critical dependence of Pakistans economy on agricultural sector necessitates a policy geared towards self-sufficiency in all types of food commodities and edible oils, as well as enhanced exports of Pakistani produce.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 43

    Thrust Areas

    Some essential steps required in this respect are:

    Policy Actions:

    A77. Development of genetic modifi cation expertise for producing high yield/pest resistant crops.

    A78. Using new technologies such as remote sensing, laser land-leveling, bio-ferti-lizers and solar tube-wells for enhance-ment of effi ciency in the sector of farm produce.

    A79. Producing, preserving and processing fruits and vegetables that satisfy food-chain requirements of the international market.

    A80. Establishing facilities for producing quality controlled Halal food for Mus-lim consumers in different parts of the world.

    A81. Supporting schemes for modern tech-niques in poultry, livestock and fi sh farming.

    8.7 Water

    116. Pakistan possesses worlds largest irriga-tion system commonly called the Indus Basin Irrigation system. Water Resources of Paki-stan consists mainly of rainfall, rivers, glaciers, groundwater etc. Pakistans estimated current per capita water availability of around 1,066 M3 places it in the high water stress catego-ry. Due to increased demand of water for irri-gation, industry and public use, the per capita water availability will be further reduced to

    858 M3 by 2025.

    117. Pakistan is facing a serious water problem today and the gap between demand and sup-ply seems to be widening. Currently, over 35 percent of Pakistans population does not have access to safe drinking water. The quality of drinking water supply is poor, with bacterial contamination, arsenic, fl uoride and nitrate be-ing the factors of major concern. The vast ma-

    jority of the population does not have access to safe drinking water, due to which incidence of water-borne diseases is increasing rapidly. High population growth rate, urbanization, industrialization and new environmental con-straints are aggravating the problem. It has been estimated that water, sanitation and hy-giene related diseases cost Pakistans economy about Rs.112 billion per year, in terms of health costs and lost earning.

    118. Appropriate legislation is required to en-sure compliance with the Pakistan Standards for drinking water by individuals and institu-tions. Serious research efforts to develop and test simple technologies for sustainable availa-bility of safe drinking water are required on an urgent basis. The project for establishing water treatment plants in all union councils is still un-der implementation and needs to be expedited on a fast track basis. Development of inexpen-sive desalination techniques for converting the brackish groundwater into safe drinking water needs to be pursued urgetly. Already devel-oped inexpensive desalination technologies for converting brackish groundwater into safe drinking water need to be promoted and trans-ferred to end users.

    119. The sustainability of agriculture depends on the judicious use of water and management of water resources. Serious research efforts are required for the development of water conser-vation technologies, taking the local climatic conditions, soil properties, social norms and economic situation into account. It is worth mentioning that a substantial amount of water (31.48 MAF) escapes into the Arabian Sea. Cur-rent canal water distribution is wasteful as 60-65% of the water available at the canal head is lost due to seepage, evaporation-transpiration, theft, poor operation and maintenance etc, be-fore it reaches root-zone in the intended farm-ers fi eld, resulting in low crop-productivity per unit of water. In this regard, NARC, PCRWR and other Provincial irrigation departments have developed the techniques like trickle, drip irrigation etc, by which water can be con-served. These techniques need to be promoted

    44 National ST&I Policy 2012

    for utilization by farmers. In Arid zones, our agriculture is totally reliant on rainwater. There is an urgent need to develop and promote rain-water harvesting techniques. To minimize the water loss in canals, NESPAK have concreted the canals of Punjab. Other provinces should follow suit. Promulgation of the Water Con-servation Act and relevant standards to foster water conservation has to be pursued vigor-ously. R&D organizations need to undertake concerted efforts for research in inter-related areas of water resource management; develop-ment and management of groundwater; assess-ment and mitigation of desertifi cation; impact of climate change on water availability; saline agriculture and disposal and re-use of saline water. There is also an urgent need to develop a modus operandi for transferring the results of R&D to the end users.

    120. The National Water Policy has been ap-proved by the Cabinet in September 2009. The policy is aimed at achieving, inter alia, the tar-get to provide safe drinking water to 93% of the population by 2015 thereby raising the cur-rent coverage by almost 30% for the existing population and ensuring that the additional population is also provided access. The Min-istry of Science and Technology should assist all relevant agencies for the achievement of these goals. Pakistan Environmental Protec-tion Council (PEPC) headed by Prime Minis-ter of Pakistan has recently approved National Drinking Water Standards. EPAs have been mandated for the enforcement of standards; however, EPAs do not have capacity/capabil-ity to address the issue of drinking water con-tamination all over the country. Not only the drinking water but surface water i.e. rivers, dams and canals are also badly contaminated due to municipal, agricultural & industrial solid / liquid waste. Majority of industries and municipalities do not have treatment facilities. One of the issues is local manufacturing/ in-stallation of treatment plants to cut down the high price of imported plants. Cooperation among different departments at national, pro-vincial and district level is required to achieve the desired goals.

    Thrust Areas

    121. In light of the existing precarious nature of water resources and critical dependence of the national economy on sustainable availabil-ity of water for domestic, agricultural and com-mercial use, the actions to be put in place are:

    Policy Actions:

    A82. Providing help and support for the im-plementation of National Water Policy

    2009 and National Drinking Water Standards.

    A83. Completion of projects for establish-ing water treatment plants in all union councils.

    84. Implementation of water conservation technologies and assistance in the prom-ulgation of the Water Conservation Act.

    A85. Development of inexpensive techniques for water desalination and purifi cation for domestic use, and treatment of waste water.

    8.8 Minerals

    122. Although, Pakistan is generally regarded as being rich in mineral resources, the devel-opment of these resources has been limited to some quarries producing industrial minerals of limestone, rock salt, marble, gypsum and a modest amount of coal for power generation. There has been very limited exploration using modern management, adequate capital and proper technical know how, with the result that mineral exploitation contributes less than 1% of GDP at present.

    123. In order to fully harness the available potential, the implementation of the National Minerals Policy that was formulated in 1995 with the objective to facilitate private invest-ment in mineral development, needs to be se-riously pursued. There is a need to work out ways and means for the involvement of mul-tinationals and removal of all barriers in this regard. While encouraging foreign capital and technology, it is also necessary to ensure the national interest through well-considered con-

    National ST&I Policy 2012 45

    Thrust Areas

    tract negotiations. The export of unprocessed ore is to be avoided at all costs, since the by-products, such as gold in Cu ore, and other precious rare-earths are lost without any ac-counting.

    124. Long-term efforts are required for map-ping and interpreting the geology of the re-lated areas; setting standards for and under-taking contracted aeromagnetic, geo-chemical and airborne radiometric surveys; conducting national mapping programmes of the earths gravitational and magnetic fi elds. Expertise on the nature and origin of national mineral deposits including the development of inno-vative exploration guidelines, techniques and technologies and providing expert knowledge and information on natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and magnetic storms in related areas also needs to be developed. Serious R&D efforts are required to develop cost effi cient and clean coal technologies for harnessing the huge reserves of coal (175 BT in Thar only) for use in the power sector.

    125. In support of relevant national and pro-vincial departments and agencies responsible for harnessing Pakistani minerals including coal, ore and gas, the following actions would be carried out:

    Policy Actions:

    A86. Provision of support for the implemen-tation of National Minerals Policy 1995.

    A87. Undertaking R&D work for utilizing the full potential of coal reserves.

    A88. Development of technologies for processing different indigenous ores to extract products of high commercial value.

    8.9 Ocean Resources

    126. Pakistan, with a relatively long coastline of about 1000 km, has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 240,000 sq. km. in which it has exclusive control over all the living and non-living resources of the ocean. Another more

    than 50,000 sq. km. of seabed with the non-living resources beneath it is expected to be-come available with the successful processing of the case for the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, 1982). In order to utilize the resources of the sea in a sustainable manner, it is essential to map the available resources through oceano-graphic, bathymetric seafl oor classifi cation (habitat mapping) and high resolution seismic surveys. Programmes for the mapping of bio-resources as well as the geo-resources need to be initiated as soon as possible to take stock of these resources. For these purposes two ocea-nographic research vessels one for working in coastal areas and the other for surveys in deep waters are required. Pakistan also needs to develop capacity in the areas of mining of the seabed, for utilizing the minerals, e.g. man-ganese nodules, lying on the seabed. The Ant-arctic programme, which has been dormant for some time also needs to be re-initiated. Capacity building of the National Institute of Oceanography in the areas of mapping of tidal energy potential, bathymetry, high resolution marine acoustics, integrated coastal zone man-agement, aquaculture, monitoring of marine pollution etc. is necessary for it to carry out its mandate effectively and effi ciently.

    127. Marine Scientifi c Research in the Arabi-an Sea has found evidence of the presence of large quantity of gas hydrates in the offshore areas of Makran Coast. Target oriented explo-ration activities are required to be conducted to quantify and map the expected potential of this huge source of natural methane gas as well as Oil and Gas resources in maritime areas of Pakistan with close cooperation and support of Private Sector including Oil & Gas Industry. In general, the exploration and exploitation of Pa-kistan maritime areas has to be pursued more vigorously to meet the future challenges of en-ergy demand.

    128. Pakistans long coastline is the source of income to thousands of fi shermen. Pakistan has a well established fi sheries industry that

    46 National ST&I Policy 2012

    is suffering due to lack of fi nancial resources. This situation needs to remedied through coor-dinated efforts.

    129. In order to fully utilize ocean resources, some of the required actions are:

    Policy Actions:

    A89. Mapping of oceanic resources in the maritime Exclusive Economic Zone as well as under seabed for assessing the potential of their utilization.

    A90. Exploitation of tidal energy potential and sea-based minerals such as manga-nese nodules and gas hydrates.

    A91. Development of sea-based aquaculture and fi shery industry.

    8.10 Electronics

    130. As the worlds largest industrial sector and most lucrative consumer market with an annual turnover of US$ 1.5 trillion (in year 2004) [ ], electronics needs special attention. Pakistan has not been able to establish a viable industrial base in this sector, as the share of electronics in the countrys manufacturing sector is only 3%. Efforts are therefore needed, for developing this sector for meeting the countrys require-ment in industrial, defence and consumer elec-tronics. Development of automation controllers for the automation of the local industry, CNC controllers and PC-based controllers for CNC machines etc. would help boost industrial pro-duction as well as improving the quality of the products. Setting up of Electronics Facilitation Centres with modern electronics design and quality assurance laboratories, expert services for design and prototyping as well as high-tech SMT machines for assembly of printed circuit boards (PCBs) would facilitate the industry in the production of internationally competitive products in terms of price and quality. Such facilitation centres should be set up in the fed-eral and the provincial capitals to support the local electronics industry through economy of scale, supply of parts, sub-assemblies and kits

    Thrust Areas

    at competitive prices compared to those being imported. The National Institute of Electronics (NIE) could be developed into the Electronics Facilitation Centre at Islamabad.

    131. The requisite actions based on the policy of utilizing full potential of modern electronics industry are as follows:

    Policy Actions:

    A92. Launching of specifi c programmes for the automation of local industry.

    A93. Setting-up Electronics Facilitation Cen-tres for providing advice, training and services to support production of elec-tronics goods and electronics-based equipment.

    8.11 Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs )

    132. ICTs have emerged as the major factor of growth and development in modern world. The ICT capabilities of a country can greatly af-fect its capacity of innovation and global com-petitiveness leading to improvement of socio-economic development prospects.

    133. In Pakistan, ICT sector has seen a promi-nent growth during the last two decades. Paki-stani ICT and Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) companies have shown growth rate of 30-40%. Some of these companies have been represented at various international events. Pakistan has jumped 11 places, from 98 to 87, according to the rankings of the Global Information Technology Report 2009-2010 re-leased by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

    134. Similarly the tele-density has increased from 4.3% in 2002-2003 to 65.4% in 2010, with 108.9 million phones including; 102.7 million cellular subscribers of 5 GSM Operators (Mo-bilink, Zong, Ufone, Warid, Telenor), 3.4 mil-lion fi xed lines, 2.7 million Wireless Local Loop and 1.0 million broadband subscribers. Cur-rently, the IT and Telecom Sector is one of the major source of Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan. The ICT industry size in the country

    National ST&I Policy 2012 47

    Thrust Areas

    is estimated to be USD 2.8 billion[8] and total IT/ITES exports have been valued at USD 1.4 billion[ ].

    135. The key institutions involved in promo-tion and facilitation of IT and Telecom Sector in the country include different organizations and user-groups. However, on an institution-alized basis, the following organizations are responsible for ICT development:

    i. The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) is re-sponsible for developing policies for IT and telecommunications.

    ii. National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) caters for government communica-tions and acts as an alternative support for the operators entering the market.

    iii. The Universal Service Fund (USF), Minis-try of Information Technology and Tele-communications is responsible for telecom development in the under-developed are-as via subsidies from a contributed Fund.

    iv. The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) oversees IT growth and export.

    v. National ICT R&D Fund, Information Technology and Telecommunications sup-ports research relevant to ICTs.

    136. In addition, there are several active trade bodies having strong interest in the develop-ment of ICTs. These include:

    i. Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA)

    ii. Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK)

    iii. Computer Society of Pakistan (CSP)

    iv. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Com-merce and Industry (FPCCI)

    137. It is evident that ICTs are playing a leading role in accelerating economic growth and pro-moting sustainable development. Pakistan has made a signifi cant leap and will continue to do

    so if forward-looking initiatives are taken well in time. Some of the proposed measures are:

    Policy Actions:

    A94. Support for the implementation of the National IT Policy and Action Plan.

    A95. Establishment of public ICT Industrial Parks.

    (There are number of existing IT / ICTs parks but the proposed ICT industrial parks will consist of many national level sub-parks and technical support bases, including; microelectronics industry, software industry export base, software industry base, semiconductor lighting (light emitting diode LED) base, infor-mation security base, IC design indus-try base, electronic information industry base, IC design park, multimedia in-dustry park, multimedia valley, digital media industry park, international out-sourcing park, opto-electronics indus-trial park, panel display industry base & support software parks).

    A96. Deploying ICT across sectors to im-prove the sectoral growth, e.g. SMEs to be encouraged to use ICTs for improve-ment of their competitiveness.

    A97. Supporting e-commerce and e-govern-ance applications

    (Many countries in Asia are taking ad-vantage of e-commerce through open-ing of economies, which is essential for promoting competition and diffusion of internet technologies).

    A98. Encouraging entrepreneurial activi-ties such as offshore low-cost Business Processing Centres.

    A99. Promoting open source software.

    (The establishment of a central body is recommended to develop and monitor a standard, free open source software that can be implemented in all public offi c-

    48 National ST&I Policy 2012

    es and educational institutes. This will help in saving handsome amount that is being given against purchase of an-nual licenses. In this regard, Indonesias model can be adopted. Indonesia has more than 90% of Govt. offi ces on lo-cally maintained open source software).

    A100. Sharing of ICTs resources to meet large volume computing

    (There is a need to introduce and sup-port shared ICT services (like web plat-forms against security threats, infor-mation portals, development of street views) and provide large volume com-puting services (by installing super computers for public use by large entre-preneurs / multinationals). Service can be provided on rental basis to ensure sustainability of the service).

    A101. Offering ICT-related fi nancial incentives (tax holidays / introduction of special tax rates for software exporters etc.).

    A102. Establishment of the citizen-centered e-state and development of the frame-work for customer-friendly business-to-consumer and business-to-business services.

    A103. Making further improvements in liber-alization of telecommunications market, well-functioning regulatory environ-ment and high-level national education in ICTs.

    8.12 Space Technology

    138. The use of outer space has enormously increased since the launch of sputnik in 1957. Some of the most critical communication sys-tems such as GPS, air traffi c control, internet, banking etc., all depend on the use of satellites. The classical use of imagery from outer space has been a source of intelligence as well as en-vironmental assessment. The natural resources management and environment monitoring can be done most effectively using remote sensing data on the agricultural land use, hydrology,

    Thrust Areas

    and mineralogy. Satellite-aided search and res-cue operations on land, sea and air are now a common occurrence. Similarly, the monitoring of climate changes with meteorological sat-ellites can help prevent losses due to natural disasters. Important applications in disease control and health services can be delivered through space based satellites.

    139. Currently, there are about 3000 satellites of various types orbiting the earth, belonging to different space-faring nations, the most domi-nant of which is the United States of America. Realizing the importance of space capabilities for economic and defense advantage, India is spending about US$ 650M per year on its Indi-an Space Research Organization, employing a work force of over 16000 personnel. Pakistans efforts in this area have not been impressive. In spite of the fact that SUPARCO was estab-lished as early as 1961, only two indigenous satellites BADAR 1 and BADAR 2 have been launched. Earlier Pakistan had one leased sat-ellite in geostationary orbit to meet its telecom-munication requirements. In 2011, this satellite was replaced by PAKSAT1R. Pakistan has to enhance its space technology signifi cantly in order to preserve its security, and to meet en-vironmental, communications and commercial requirements. The establishment of an Institute of Space Technology (IST) in 2002 was a major step forward. The funding of both SUPARCO and IST must be enhanced to preserve critical national interests in upper space.

    140. In recognition of the crucial role that space technology can play in the defense, ag-riculture, communications, and disaster relief, the following actions are envisaged:

    Policy Actions:

    A104. Launching of a coordinated effort by all relevant R&D and higher education institutions to develop indigenous sat-ellites and expertise pertaining to space technology.

    A105. Setting-up institutional linkages of MoST with SUPARCO and IST.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 49

    Thrust Areas

    8.13 Materials Science

    141. Materials science plays a signifi cant role in the economic progress of a country and con-tributes directly towards the growth of the in-dustrial sector, particularly; ceramics, plastics, metallurgy, aerospace, telecommunications, transportation, electronics, micro and optoe-lectronics, energy, healthcare, computing, con-sumer goods, and construction. The relevance of materials science with modern technological developments needs to be underscored. It is necessary to provide highly trained manpower in this fi eld in order to meet the present as well as future needs of the country.

    142. The worlds focus of research is currently on engineering smart materials. These include piezoelectric, electrostrictive, magnetostric-tive, electrochromic and rheological materi-als, hydrogels, shape memory alloys, sensors etc. Composites are another type of materials, which are made from two or more constituent materials having signifi cantly different physi-cal or chemical properties. These are fi nding popularity in high-performance products due to their lightness and strength, such as aero-space components, cars, bicycles etc. Graph-ene, which is one of the strongest materials ever tested with a breaking strength 200 times greater than steel for equal thickness, is also

    under spotlight and is fi nding applications in the form of single molecule gas detection, graphene nanoribbons, graphene transistors etc.

    143. Modern materials science has become a multidisciplinary area and hence requires strong linkages among physicists, chemists, bi-ologists, engineers, mathematicians and com-puter scientists. Greater emphasis is needed on developing fundamental understanding of materials science (tailoring materials in order to acquire the desired properties and to meet the requirements of specifi c applications), its applications and product development, as well as utilization of advance analytical, synthe-sis and processing techniques, and computer modeling. Like China (which is controlling 97 percent of the worlds rare earth element mar-

    ket), Pakistan needs to develop a strong base of research in rare earth elements/alloys, which are considered as critical components of the high technology products. Some of the emerg-ing applications of smart materials are in tex-tiles, coatings, electronics, sensors etc.

    144. There is a need of conducting research on all classes of materials including hard and soft materials, metals, inter-metallics, organic and inorganic semiconductors, polymers, com-posite materials, biomedical materials, and vitreous materials. Priority should be given to materials synthesis for prevailing ambient conditions of Pakistan and characterization techniques in order to understand and defi ne the properties of materials. It is necessary that the latest equipment and research facilities are made available to the researchers.

    145. Although, there are various universities in Pakistan offering Masters and PhD level courses in the fi eld of materials science, as well as various laboratories in the same fi eld are operational, there is a need of establishing a number of research institutes for materials sci-ence at the national level, each specializing in one or multi-dimensional areas. These centers must act as an interface between the academic institutions and the industry. Establishment of more departments in universities/R&D insti-tutions/laboratories in Pakistan dealing with the same fi eld is also needed in order to achieve the desired level of expertise/competence.

    146. The existing gap in developing a strong base of materials science research would be plugged with the following actions:

    Policy Action:

    A106. Establishment of a National Materials Science Research Institute with a cen-tralized supercomputing facility for computational materials science or con-densed matter physics.

    8.14 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

    147. Nanoscience deals with the study of mat-

    50 National ST&I Policy 2012

    ter at nanoscale, i.e., one billionth of a meter, and nanotechnology is the ability to fabricate devices at this scale for applications. Matter having size of a few nanometers has large sur-face to volume ratio, thus the surface properties dominate over the bulk properties, resulting in altered material behavior. Materials at such small scales are also dominated by quantum effects. This gives a unique opportunity to sci-entists and engineers to develop applications based on the novel quantum properties. Nan-otechnology has been labeled as enabling tech-nology creating new applications in medicine, energy, industry, foods and consumer goods.

    148. The developed as well as some of the de-veloping countries have realized the potential of nanotechnology and have invested heavily in setting up specialized centres of excellences in various disciplines of nanoscience and na-notechnology. These countries have launched National Nanotechnology Initiatives (NNI) to develop and harness the potential of nano-science and nanotechnology. The United States was the fi rst one to do so. Now almost all devel-oped countries have their own NNIs. Among Muslim countries, Iran has paid special atten-tion by setting up a Nanotechnology Initiative Council in 2003, which is currently working di-rectly under the Vice President for Science and Technology. Iran has attained 14th position in the world with respect to nanotechnology products. The US investment in nanotechnol-ogy has crossed USD 7Billion and total World investment has crossed USD 20Billion. It is es-timated that by 2015, 18% of the total consumer products will have one or the other kind of na-notechnology involved in it. The total expected revenues by 2015 are estimated to be around 2.5 trillion dollars. This would be in nanoma-terials, devices and tools. Currently, over 600 fi rms in more than 25 countries are involved in producing more than 1000 such products. The number of patents awarded each year has al-ready crossed the 3000 mark.

    149. The countries at the forefront of nano-science and technology are USA, Japan, Ger-many, South Korea, Taiwan, China and UK.

    Thrust Areas

    Other countries close to catching up are Rus-sia, France and Israel. India has also invested heavily in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The objectives of Indian Nano Mission are to promote basic research, establish interna-tional collaboration, conceive projects with pri-vate-public collaboration and human resource development in nanotechnology. They have established 3 institutes of nanoscience and na-notechnology, 7 centres of nanoscience & na-notechnology and 11 clusters of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

    150. In Pakistan, the situation is rather dismal. Pakistan is lagging behind despite having a good infrastructure. Certain pockets of exper-tise exist because of the earlier funding by HEC and MoST but these are scattered. A National Commission on Nano-Science and Technology (NCNST) constituted in 2003 is now defunct. It is high time to revitalize the Commission with a task to develop the National Nanotechnol-ogy Initiative and bring all the stake holders in public and private sector on board to develop a roadmap for these technologies. The resources must be pooled to address the problems of the country in energy, environment, and health. In-stitutes of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies need to be developed and equipped with the state of the art equipment. The private sector must be asked to contribute in the research fund-ing of the projects directly or indirectly related to industry (on the lines of ICT R&D Fund).

    Policy Actions:

    A107. Revival of National Commission on Na-no-Science and Technology for launch-ing of National Nanotechnology Initia-tive.

    A108. Setting up of National Institutes of Na-noscience and Nanotechnology to de-velop projects with private - public part-nership.

    A109. Enhancing the capabilities of the existing laboratories to develop nano-technolo-gy products and train manpower with relevant expertise.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 51

    Thrust Areas

    A110. Setting up a research fund for develop-ing products using nanotechnology and their commercialization.

    8.15 Lasers & Photonics

    151. Lasers have been put to extensive use in almost every fi eld of human activity including defense, energy, communications and informa-tion processing, data storage, entertainment, manufacturing and materials processing (cut-ting, shaping, drilling, welding, surface hard-ening), micro-machining, catalyzing chemical processes, environmental monitoring and re-mote sensing, therapeutics medicine, surgery, cosmetic and medical technology, analytical and forensic science, biosciences, printing, bar-code reading, and in other basic scientifi c as well as industrial research. This list is expected to grow further in the future as new applica-tions are discovered. In fact, no other scientifi c discovery of the 20th century has demonstrat-ed so many varied and exciting applications as laser has.

    152. Compared to developed countries, Pa-kistan is far behind in developing and adopt-ing laser technology (specialized education, indigenous production of lasers and their use, related instrumentation and R&D). Due to the extensive range of applications, international manufacturers of Lasers and Optics have a yearly turnover of several tens of billions of dollars. However, like many other domains, access to some laser sources and specialized parts is usually denied. It is therefore, neces-sary to develop indigenous expertise irrespec-tive of the cost considerations. Though some work has been initiated in strategic organiza-tions on fabrication of some parts of lasers on a limited scale, reliable operation of laser systems remains a challenge. This necessitates a major initiative for establishment of an independent Institute of Lasers and Photonics outside the strategic organizations. The primary focus, in the beginning, could be on capacity building in terms of training and producing highly skilled manpower (scientists, engineers and technolo-gists) together with development of facilities

    leading to design and fabrication of prototype laser systems, optical components, and some related instrumentation. Additionally, creating awareness about laser technology in the pub-lic and promotion of use of lasers in our local industry should be part of the mission of this Institute. Finally, carrying out internationally competitive and relevant applied and basic research to stay up to date with new develop-ments in this important fi eld and its evolving applications, and to transfer its benefi ts to the country should be the ultimate focus. Publish-ing research and technical reports, journal and conference papers, and securing intellectual property rights through patents, should be the key performance measures. Organizing work-shops, conferences, training courses and public lectures should also be a part of the mission of this institute.

    Policy Action:

    A111. Setting up of an Institute for Lasers and Photonics as part of a National Pro-gramme on Lasers and Photonics with the following goals in view:

    i. Educational and Training Programmes

    ii. Technology Transfer along with Indig-enous R&D

    iii. High Quality and Relevant Basic and Applied Research

    iv. Business Development and Outreach for Industrial Partnerships

    v. Public Awareness Drive

    vi. Workshops & Conferences

    8.16 Engineering Sector

    153. The engineering disciplines have a broad range covering all facets of social and economic activities. The engineers are rightly regarded as builders of nations, since the engineering prod-ucts and services are the most tangible objects of development activity. Industrialized coun-tries depend on their engineers to earn foreign exchange that increases national wealth and

    52 National ST&I Policy 2012

    enables governments to provide civic facilities to its citizens. Engineering products are also the ones where the role of technology is most obvi-ous. The prosperity of any country is strongly dependent on the robustness of its engineering and production sectors. Pakistan is endowed with a large pool of young manpower which is hard-working and talented as evidenced by their performance in international labour mar-ket. The existing industrial infrastructure in the country has enormous potential of export earn-ing, but is marred by multifarious problems of management, innovation, energy supplies, un-favorable local and international regulations, high interest rates etc.

    154. A joint study by Higher Education Com-mission and Pakistan Institute of Develop-ment Economics (PIDE), initiated in 2003, has thoroughly analyzed the industrial capacity of the country and proposed direction for the future developments. The document is enti-tled Technology-based Industrial Vision and Strategy for Pakistans Socio Economic De-velopment (2003). As noted in the preface of this report, it is based on in-depth analyses of major productive sectors of the economy, the

    Thrust Areas

    report identifi es key issues and challenges, sets out strategic objectives and targets, and spells out detailed action plan to realize the desired goals. Some of the sectors that have been cov-ered are Agriculture, Textiles, Leather Indus-tries, Materials, Chemical Process Industry, Engineering goods, Electronics, Energy, Tel-ecommunications, Information Technology, Construction and Housing and Transport.

    155. Considering that the document men-tioned in the above para is a result of the ef-forts of a large number of Pakistani experts in different fi elds over a period of two years, the ST&I management system should ensure that the recommendations made in the report are implemented. The following action is envis-aged in this respect.

    Policy Action:

    A112. Help and support for the implementa-tion of the proposals documented in the joint reports of HEC and PIDE, entitled Technology-based Industrial Vision and Strategy for Pakistans Socio-eco-nomic Development, 2003.

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