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.

Human Resources

    4. Human Resources

    21. Development of human resources is the most important aspect of any science and tech-nology policy, as without an adequate number of well trained scientific and technical man-power at all levels (i.e. researchers and techni-cians) any investment in buildings and equip-ment would be counterproductive. While the technically advanced nations have researchers in the range of 2,000 to 5,000 per million popu-lation, Pakistan has only 162[ ]. The position of the technician level manpower is similarly inadequate i.e. 64 technicians per million[ ], as compared to 1500-2500 in advanced countries. In order to address the issue of creating an S&T workforce, which is well-qualified, appropri-ately trained, motivated, disciplined, quality conscious and endowed with a strong sense of responsibility towards their assignments, it is necessary to take a holistic view of all phases of human intellectual development. Scientific training essentially starts right from the cradle when the child starts picking up the cause - ef-fect relationships. The process should trans-form into a scientific attitude, whereby ra-tional and analytical approach becomes a habit of mind. Coupled with ethical standards, such as honesty, truth, consciousness of ones rights and obligations, and respect for law; a body of people can naturally grow to become a strong, prosperous, civilized society. Therefore, ST&I policy has to prescribe measures that influ-ence the growth of a child right from home and through the entire ensuing life as a responsible and productive citizen.

    22. In the following sections, the overall scheme of education and training of all catego-ries of people at all stages of life is considered, with separate sections on S&T service struc-tures, working conditions and motivational measures for their optimal performance. Creat-ing a mind-set in which innovation and assimi-lation of technology occurs naturally and any achievements in this respect are revered by the society, is a task that would have to be imple-mented through a variety of means over a pe-riod of decades. The social status and financial

    rewards attached with any field of activity are the natural attractors for manpower build-up in that sphere. The opportunities provided and incentives given to selected individuals with inherent aptitude, level of intelligence and abilities would inevitably create a large pool of required manpower out of a huge young pop-ulation group, which in Pakistan is at a level of about 50% below the age of 20.

    4.1 Education and Training

    23. The present policy endorses the vision

    adopted in the National Education Policy - 2009; states our education system must provide quality education to our children and youth to enable them to realize their individual potential and contribute to development of so-ciety and nation, creating a sense of Pakistani nationhood, the concepts of tolerance, social justice, democracy, their regional and local cul-ture and history based on the basic ideology enunciated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It also takes note of the observations made in the said policy document (part of para 34). On the Education Develop-ment Index, which combines all educational access measures, Pakistan lies at the bottom with Bangladesh and is considerably lower than Sri Lanka. A similar picture emerges from the gross enrollment ratios that combine all education sectors and by the adult literacy rate measures. To address specific aspects of each phase of education, learning and special trainings, this category is further divided into different groups as discussed in the following subsections.

    4.1.1 General Education of Sciences

    24. Scientific and technical talent has to be nurtured from a very young age. Starting from the primary school, where the pupils need to be introduced to study of nature, through the secondary school, where more emphasis is needed on doing science rather than learn-ing science through passive absorption of in-formation. At the end of school education the students should have a basic understanding of science and how its principles affect their daily

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    lives, instead of the current rote learning and reproduction in the examinations. The Univer-sity education has to be geared towards pro-ducing confident, capable and creative gradu-ates.

    Primary level

    25. The evaluation of the current situation in the primary level education category has been reported by the National Education Policy - 2009 in the following words. Despite some progress in recent years access rates remain low,., Net Enrollment Ratio [NER] at 66% for primary education are the lowest com-pared to the selected reference countries. The survival rate to Grade 5 is 72%. Of most con-cern are the facilities available to young pupil and the quality of education imparted, espe-cially with reference to science, environment, sanitation and social responsibility. A child who is unaware of the significance of personal hygiene, cleanliness of environment in home, school and public places, responsible use of re-sources such as water and electricity, is most likely to behave like an illiterate in spite of the certificates of qualifications indicating other-wise. The States responsibility in this connec-tion is to provide sufficient number of schools with adequate facilities, enough teachers who know the significance of the foundational role played by them in creating future citizens of Pakistan, and syllabi that encourage and en-hance natural curiosity of young minds.

    26. Some of the policy elements for early S&T education are listed below:

    i. The syllabi for science at junior school lev-els will be reviewed in consultation with the federal and provincial education or-ganizations / departments. The focus of the syllabi will be to initiate thinking proc-ess among students and create interest in things around them and help understand these on scientific basis. To ensure this, curricula development committee will be constituted at provincial/regional lev-els headed by the faculty members of the higher education institutions in the prov-

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    ince/region and selected teachers from junior and senior schools. Ministry of Sci-ence and Technology in collaboration with the federal and provincial education or-ganizations / departments will organize a review of these curricula by foreign ex-perts.

    ii. Ministry of Science and Technology in col-laboration with the federal and provincial education organizations / departments will develop a training programme for junior school teachers on how to teach sci-ence. In the initial phase, master trainers will be trained at the education depart-ments of the national universities by ar-ranging the national and foreign resource persons. In the second phase, the master trainers will be assigned the responsibili-ties to train the school teachers at the dis-trict level. The training will be open to all junior school teachers and will be manda-tory.

    iii. In schools, students will be encouraged to participate in the creative activities rel-evant to science and their work will be displayed in the class rooms to give them confidence. At school level, an exhibition will be arranged annually showing the creative work of the students. Provincial Education Departments will ensure avail-ability of funds for provision of necessary items and material for this purpose.

    iv. A visit to nearby science museum and an institution of higher education for the students will be arranged once in a year to generate sustained interest among the school students.

    v. Availability of small story books written in a manner to demonstrate some scientific aspect of every day life will also create in-terest among students. Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with Na-tional Book Foundation may help either to encourage writing of new books by the lo-cal authors or to re-publish/translate the already available books.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 13

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    vi. While noting that almost one-third of primary school age children remain out of school, the National Education Policy has a target of 100% enrollment by 2015. The additional emphasis that ST&I policy should provide is that the students should have imbibed the qualities of inquisitive-ness, cleanliness and discipline.

    27. The minimal actions required to imple-ment this policy are as follows:

    Policy Actions:

    A9. Review of syllabi for science at primary level with emphasis accorded to devel-opment of creative thinking and prob-lem solving skills.

    A10. Enhancement of teachers skills and ap-proaches concerning how to teach sci-ence.

    A11. Motivational programmes for students to engage in creative activities.

    A12. Schemes for invoking interest in science and acquisition of relevant knowledge at the very early age.

    Secondary and Higher Secondary Education

    28. At the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, the students develop interests or otherwise in scientifi c disciplines depending on how scientifi c subjects are taught and the level of interest that these studies generate. In the National Education Policy, 2009 it is not-ed that, the secondary and higher secondary school system prepares young people for life. It has two important roles in this respect; in pro-viding skills to the labour market, as many stu-dents leave formal schooling at this time, and start providing input to the tertiary system. The system does not provide an adequate base for both these functions. The disadvantage of the rural area at the secondary level GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) is rather large: (48% urban versus 22% rural in both 2005-06 and 2007-08). This is also the period when students make de-cisions about their career choices. This decision

    is infl uenced by:

    i. The natural interest of the student in a par-ticular subject/fi eld.

    ii. The prospects of a good career with a sal-ary that would provide reasonable fi nan-cial security to them and their families.

    iii. The quality of teaching faculty, while a good teacher can inspire a student, a bad or indifferent teacher can actually drive a student away from a particular subject.

    29. In order to attract the best students, it is imperative that careers in science and technol-ogy, especially teaching and research, are made as attractive as other subjects such as business administration. While the Tenure Track system introduced recently by HEC in public sector universities has succeeded in attracting stu-dents to a career in teaching, the BPS system of salaries prevalent in the public sector R&D organizations has failed to attract good quality manpower to a career in research. The avail-ability of well-equipped science laboratories and libraries is a prerequisite for science teach-ing at this level.

    30. For improving the quality of teaching, the in-service training of college teachers should focus not only on their knowledge of the sub-ject but also on the methods of transferring that knowledge to their students. Further, sci-ence based extra-curricular activities in college would also keep the interest of students alive in a career in S&T rather than business admin-istration, or other subjects. On the average, science teachers in colleges spend more time on teaching than their colleagues in humani-ties or social sciences. It is, therefore, justifi ed that they should receive an additional Science Teaching Allowance as compared to their col-leagues.

    31. The policy elements required at this level of education are:

    i. The curricula for science subjects at sec-ondary and higher secondary levels will be developed in consultation with the federal

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    and provincial education organizations / departments. To ensure that curricula are at par with any developed countries, con-sultation of foreign subject specialists will be acquired.

    ii. The low-availability of qualified and trained science teachers is the major con-straint for imparting quality science edu-cation in schools. The problem is more pronounced in schools situated in rural and remote localities. The available sci-ence teachers prefer to stay in urban areas mainly due to opportunities for private coaching of students after school hours. To overcome the shortage of qualified teach-ers, the science teaching profession needs to be made more attractive for the youth through better service structures. Intro-duction of science teaching allowance equivalent to 50% of the basic salary may help to attract more youth to adopt science teaching. Similarly, teachers working in rural and remote areas need to be compen-sated with allowance to the same tune.

    iii. Capacity development programmes for science teachers will help refresh their knowledge and learn new teaching meth-ods. For this purpose, basic sciences de-partments and the education departments of the selected universities will be moti-vated to initiate short professional devel-opment courses for science teachers in summer and winter vacations. Ministry of Science and Technology will frame a com-prehensive training programme in con-sultation with the federal and provincial education organizations / departments and local universities. Foreign training programme for science teachers will also be initiated in collaboration with Higher Education Commission and foreign part-ners such as US Education Foundation, AusAID etc.

    iv. It has been observed that most of the sec-ondary and higher secondary schools do not posses adequate and good quality laboratory facilities. There are no hands-

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    on experimentation facilities for students. The provincial education departments will ensure modest funding for provision of scientific instruments and consumables. Ministry of Science and Technology will develop minimum requirement for labo-ratories in the science subjects to help pro-vincial departments to establish such labs. Ministry of Science and Technology may initiate one-time grants for development of lab facilities in remote and less devel-oped areas.

    v. Presently, there is no mechanism for help-ing students to make decision about the choice of their careers in science. The en-trance in higher secondary level educa-tion is a crucial period for the students to decide their educational path which ul-timately leads to their future careers. In the cosmopolitan environment, the urban students have more exposure to the infor-mation and are networked as compared to students in remote areas. Establishment of student counseling offices at district level and the periodic visits of the coun-seling staff to secondary schools will help the students to select appropriate science disciplines, keeping in view the students natural interest in a particular field, pros-pects of a good career, job opportunities, and financial security etc.

    vi. The universities and higher education in-stitutions need to come forward to help local communities to promote education. Universities usually have qualified faculty in various science disciplines who may help in improving standard of science teaching at school level. Their involvement in curricula development, teachers train-ing, establishing lab facilities, delivering lectures at schools on specific topics, invit-ing school students to visit university and science labs will help impart quality edu-cation and inspire the students. The dona-tion of relatively outdated IT equipment such as projectors, multimedia, computers and lab equipment to schools will provide

    National ST&I Policy 2012 15

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    better utilization of these items rather than dumping.

    32. Some of The proposed actions are:

    Policy Actions:

    A13. Development of the curricula at sec-ondary and higher secondary levels in such a manner as to increase interest in science and technology among the stu-dents.

    A14. Ensuring the availability of qualifi ed and trained teachers at secondary and higher secondary schools for teaching of science subjects.

    A15. Provision of fully equipped science lab-oratories at schools to demonstrate the curricula related experiments.

    A16. Devising counseling programme for students to help select the science sub-ject more appropriate to their aptitude.

    University Education

    33. By joining a university degree programme a student is already committed to pursue a cho-sen career. At that stage, it is the responsibility of the University to prepare the students for their intended job markets. Specifi cally, in sci-entifi c and engineering disciplines, a university graduate must have a pedagogical command on the subject, and also developed creativity, innovation and problem-solving traits.

    34. Our universities need to function as cent-ers for creation of new knowledge and not just as degree awarding institutions. Besides pro-ducing competent engineers, doctors, archi-tects etc. for the job market, the universities need to produce research scientists capable of working at the leading edge of science. Univer-sity students design and innovation skills will be polished by providing industrial exposure through industrial trainings that will help them better understand the industrial processes and will provide a fi rm base for research. The Uni-versities/Institutes of higher learning will be

    encouraged to actively participate in the tech-nology parks in order to develop skills related to product design, invention, innovation, ad-aptation, and technological reproduction. The programmes and initiatives of the Higher Edu-cation Commission for the production of high-level manpower, both locally and in foreign universities, are expected to yield dividends in the shape of availability of a large number of PhDs in the near future. This will help to alleviate the present acute shortage of good quality S&T manpower both in the universi-ties and research organizations. However, the current stress on quantity should increasingly be replaced by emphasis on quality. Further, at present, the doctoral programmes are random and lack long-term commitment, as they are being implemented as development projects. These should gradually be replaced by a Na-tional PhD Scholarship Programme to cater for an assured and regular supply of highly trained manpower. In addition to a local com-ponent, this programme should have a foreign component for training of scientists in new and emerging fi elds where the local capacity needs to be built or strengthened. Mechanisms for lifelong learning and in-service continuation of education should also be strengthened.

    35. While the research organizations will also benefi t from the manpower trained under HEC programmes, the relatively large public sector R&D organizations, such as PARC, PCSIR etc. should have their own, targeted programmes for HRD as per their own requirements. This would ideally be in the shape of PhD scholar-ships for new entrants as well as postdoctoral training in specifi c, pre-determined areas for their existing employees. This approach, adopt-ed in the early years of establishment of PAEC, provided a relatively large body of well-trained manpower that was used not only for PAEC, but also for establishing other institutions such as Quaid-e-Azam University, KRL, NESCOM etc. A mega project Strengthening of HRD in MoST and its Organizations- Development of 400 PhDs submitted by PCSIR has already been approved by ECNEC in February 2008 with cost of Rs. 2898.98 million and 08 years

    16 National ST&I Policy 2012

    duration. The Project has provision for the de-velopment of 400 PhDs and 200 Post Doctoral Fellowship for S&T organizations. The project has not been launched yet and should be im-plemented at high priority.

    36. The Higher Education system should be in line with the worldwide paradigm shift from Teaching to Learning, programmes of study ensuring maximal absorption of subject matter by the students. Changing innovation processes and evolution of the relative contri-bution made by the private and public sectors have emphasized the need for strong industry-university linkages, allowing both sectors to interact and collaborate on joint projects. High-er education sector is a major force for innova-tion. Universities and colleges through local, regional, national and international partner-ships must share their expertise and facilities to support socio-economic regeneration and growth. Movement in the global knowledge-society would require universities to develop into diverse, self-analytical and adaptable en-terprises. Only a sector that is actively engaged in meeting the needs of its stakeholders would be adequately prepared to respond to the ac-celerated pace of change the global markets would inevitably undergo in the 21st century.

    37. Policy initiatives that need to be taken to make higher education well aligned with the national productivity and innovation are given below:

    i. Presently, 5.1% of the youth between the age of 17-23 years have access to higher education in Pakistan. A good percent-age of students start their educational programmes in the engineering and sci-ence disciplines but very few end up with higher degrees and choose careers in sci-entific research. Most of the universities function as degree awarding institutions rather than centres for creation of new knowledge. There is a need to expand the access to higher education to fully capi-talize the potential of our predominantly young population. As targeted in National Education Policy 2009, steps shall be taken

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    to raise enrolment in higher education sec-tor from existing 4.7% to 10% by 2015 and 15% by 2020. Investment in higher educa-tion shall be increased to 20% of the educa-tion budget along with an enhancement of the total education budget to 7% of GDP. [National Education Policy, 2009].

    ii. Higher Education Commission has initi-ated the human resource development programme by sending scholars in techno-logically advanced countries for PhD pro-grammes and also developed the indige-nous capacity of the national universities by encouraging the scholars to enroll in research degrees locally. Presently, about 10,000 scholars are enrolled in PhD degree programmes both within the country and abroad. The human resource develop-ment programme needs to be continued through the provision of scholarships. A split research degree programme (2 years in local university and 2 years in foreign university) or dual degree programme with full local tuition will be encouraged.

    iii. Ministry of Science and Technology and Higher Education Commission will help develop specialized laboratories in re-search and education institutions around a cluster of professionals like the Korean and Japanese model in which each senior researcher has his/her own specialized lab and a group of researchers.

    iv. Higher Education Commission has launched digital library programme which provides access to 75,000 number of elec-tronic content. The access will be provided to all the research and scientific organiza-tions to better utilize the facilities.

    v. An attractive career will be offered to the scientists and engineers by offering Spe-cial Pay Scales or Tenure Track System in research and educational institutions. The promotion formula for the scientists and engineers will be based on the weightings of research publications, patents, length of service etc. and scientists and engineers

    National ST&I Policy 2012 17

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    will be categorized as S1, S2 . and E1, E2 . after achieving a predefi ned quantita-tive levels. The remuneration of the scien-tists and engineers will be fi xed according to the categories.

    vi. Expatriate Pakistani engineers and scien-tists working abroad will be encouraged to work in national research and educational institutions. An attractive salary package will be offered along with the research fa-cilities for these professionals.

    vii. Scientists and engineers will be encour-aged by awarding prizes for their achieve-ments annually. A list covering all the scientifi c disciplines ranging from natural sciences to physical sciences will be de-veloped to encourage professionals in all scientifi c disciplines, e.g. Natural Sciences Prize, Technological Invention Prize, Sci-ence and Technology Progress Prize, and International Science and Technology Co-operation Prize.

    viii. A balance between the basic and applied research will be developed to help encour-age the creation of new knowledge and marketable technologies.

    ix. Techno-entrepreneurship is lacking in national research and educational institu-tions at present. The main constraint in its development is tendency of the individual and private sector to be reluctant to take the risk. This can be promoted by shar-ing the risk. Technology Incubation and Business Development centres in research and educational institutions will be set up to promote the applied research and also provide a platform for the young entrepre-neurs.

    38. Some of the practical measures to realize these objectives are as follows:

    Policy Actions:

    A17. Access to scientifi c, engineering and technical higher education to be in-creased by enhancing the existing facili-

    ties and establishing new institutions.

    A18. The quality of education to be enhanced through provision of qualifi ed faculty, up-gradation of labs, and access to sci-entifi c information.

    A19. Attracting talented students with an aptitude for research by providing as-sured career opportunities in academia, industry and other sectors.

    A20. Development of mechanism for linkage and mobility of professionals among the academia, industry and research institu-tions.

    A21. Promotion of applied research through technology incubation and business de-velopment centres at educational and research institutions.

    4.1.2 Technical and Vocational Educa-tion

    39. Qualifi ed technicians constitute the back-bone of industrial production and services, needed for home and offi ce appliances. The Na-tional skills strategy (2009-2013) document has correctly identifi ed the contemporary trends for the demand of skilled labour shaped by

    (i) changes in existing technologies and emer-gence of new ones, (ii) emergence of globalized markets, (iii) increasing international competi-tion, (iv) the necessity to attract Foreign Direct Investment, and (v) new modes of manufactur-ing, business models and marketing strategies.

    40. Unfortunately, the Technical and Vo-cational education is the weakest link in the S&T manpower chain. According to UNESCO (2007) estimates Pakistan has 64 technicians per million population, while this fi gure for the technically advanced countries is in the range of 1500 to 2500. There are currently only 255,636[ ] enrolled students across 3,125[5] technical and vocational education and train-ing institutes in Pakistan. Despite the estab-lishment of TEVTA in Punjab and NAVTEC at the Centre, the national requirement of techni-cally trained personnel cannot be adequately

    18 National ST&I Policy 2012

    met. The recent initiative by NAVTEC of crash programmes for vocational training is a step in the right direction and needs to be pursued more vigorously with increased outreach. The programmes of NAVTEC, TEVTA and simi-lar agencies in other provinces need to be en-hanced manifold in order to meet the national requirement as well as preparing trained man-power for employment abroad.

    41. The successful example of the Pak-Swiss Training Centre of PCSIR at Karachi, which imparts training in precision mechanics and whose graduates are in high demand in the in-dustrial sector was a good example of demand driven skill development. More centers for training in other trades such as forging, casting, metal working etc. also need to be established. If combined with a formal apprenticeship pro-gramme in the local industrial sector, this pro-gramme would go a long way towards solving the problem of non-availability of technically competent manpower. The PCSIR has now established similar Precision System Training Centres at Lahore, Peshawar & Quetta and a Cast Metal & Foundry Technology Centre at Daska which are in operation.

    42. The lack of trained technical manpower for the operation and maintenance of major laboratory equipment, such as electron micro-scopes, spectrometers, gas chromatographs etc. is a major problem for universities and research establishments. This not only involves consid-erable expenditure on repair by the suppliers, but also causes disruption in the research work due to longer than necessary down time of the equipment. To address this issue, technical universities such as NUST, CIIT, GIK Institute and the Universities of Engineering and Tech-nology should initiate specialized courses on the operation and maintenance of major labo-ratory equipment. The technicians produced by these universities, who would be able to operate and use the equipment for analytical work as well as maintain and repair them as and when necessary, would be in great de-mand in the research institutions and universi-ties. PCSIR has established Repair Centres at

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    Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar & Islamabad. These Centres are equipped with necessary repair/ diagnostic gadgets but unfortunately these are not fully utilized due to lack of interaction with universities. A programme started by PCST to provide funds for purchase of relatively less expensive spare parts by any laboratory in the country, turned out to be a useful exercise be-cause in most cases very high value equipment was lying idle because of replacement of minor components.

    43. The following observations made in the National Skills Strategy (2009-2013) are worth noting and relevant recommendations must be supported by the national ST&I system. In Pakistan unfortunately, employers play a negligible role in influencing what is taught in TVET institutes. Because of weak institutional linkages with the industry, training is designed around skills and knowledge that are not nec-essarily relevant to the market.

    To provide the essential link between indus-try and government, it is proposed to estab-lish sector-specific Industry Advisory Groups (IAG). Each IAG will be represented by mem-bers of large, medium and small industry, in-cluding all sub-industries that fall within the category, international employers, employees and civil society. Their primary responsibili-ties will be to carry out periodic sector surveys, identify skills needed in their sectors, indicate new and emerging areas and occupations and determine and update competency standards for workers.

    Staff training institutes will be strengthened in terms of equipment and variety and quality of courses. Where possible, staff training insti-tutes will be linked with centres of excellence to ensure the provision of current, relevant training courses and master trainers.

    4.1.3 In-service Training

    44. Learning is a continuous process and the training or re-training of the employees is an essential activity in a dynamic organization. As noted in the National Skills Strategy document

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    In the South Asian region the incidence of in-service training is very low. Amongst the four larger South Asian economies, Pakistan has the lowest incidence of in-service training i.e. at 8%. Major reasons for low in-service training in Pakistan are low demand for training, high turnover rate of workers and limited fi nancial resources. Small and medium sized fi rms in particular, cannot afford to train their staff and both the fi rm and their workers, remain there-fore, at a disadvantage. [The National Skills Strategy, 2009-2013].

    45. There are two complementary aspects for the success of upgrading the qualifi cations or skills of employees engaged by an establish-ment. First and foremost is the availability of opportunities. A progressive administration has to recognize that their employees would be more productive, if they are able to acquire new knowledge and technical know-how. The placement of desirous candidates, provision of required study training leave and any fi nancial compensation that may be needed for under-taking the training would encourage the em-ployees to enhance their qualifi cations.

    The second requirement is that the employees should themselves be motivated for the ad-vancement of their careers. The administration may use such incentives as pay hikes, promo-tions or award of honoraria for the efforts un-dertaken by the employees to upgrade their educational levels.

    4.1.4 Non-formal Education and Train-ing

    46. The fragmentation of educational system in public / private and English- medium / Ur-du-medium with a variety of standards rang-ing from open sky classes to posh class-rooms, is further aggravated by the presence of a Ma-drassah system providing exclusively reli-gious education. At the critical mental devel-opment stage of below 10 years old students, the lack of understanding about the physical world based on laws of nature, which are not at all contradictory to the religious teachings, ultimately results in stunted growth of men-

    tal faculties. The ensuing social problems are manifested in the form of extremism and lack of absorption in the mainstream job market. A science teaching package covering the basics of mathematics and natural sciences could be de-veloped and integrated into Madrassah educa-tion system, apart from providing opportuni-ties to learn a specifi c trade of economic worth.

    47. In our society, technical training process of youngsters outside any educational frame-work also exists. The informal Ustaad sys-tem, through which our mechanics, plumbers, welders, electricians etc. are trained in the pri-vate sector, needs to be recognized and institu-tionalized. The workshops, where the appren-tices are currently learning their trade, could be recognized and registered with the Provin-cial Technical Boards as Authorized Training Establishments. The apprentices would also be registered with the Technical Boards and may be required to attend school one day per week. They would receive a certifi cate of profi ciency in their trade after demonstrating their skill in a practical examination. The certifi cation would enhance the chances of employment of the suc-cessful apprentices both in the local as well as the foreign labour markets.

    48. The training programmes focusing on vo-cational training or enhancing skills through for-mal or informal mechanism would be enforced through a number of actions listed below:

    Policy Actions:

    A22. Expansion of the network of technical training facilities.

    A23. Standardization of the training pro-grammes to bring them at par with the internationally recognized qualifi ca-tions.

    A24. Regulation of the Madrassh Education system and Ustaad system of skill de-velopment.

    A25. The programmes under National Skill Strategy Policy to be integrated into S&T development system.

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    4.2 Service Conditions and Incentives teria in most cases do not exist or not followed.

    for Scientific and Technical Man-power

    49 In order to ensure that the investment made by the Government in establishing the S&T infrastructure and the training of the S&T manpower is used productively, it is neces-sary to provide a conducive environment and favorable working conditions to the scientists and technologists working in the research es-tablishments. The introduction of the perform-ance-based Tenure Track salary system in the public sector universities has solved the prob-lem of low emoluments of the faculty. Similar-ly, the Special Pay Scales system prevalent in the strategic research organizations and recent-ly introduced in PARC has, to a large extent, reduced the sense of dissatisfaction among the scientists and technologists working in these organizations. However, the BPS salary system prevailing in the organizations of the Ministry of Science and Technology and other public sector research organizations has failed to at-tract and retain good quality S&T manpower in these organizations. In addition to the brain drain to foreign countries, an internal brain drain is taking place, where the more capable scientists are being attracted to the universities and the strategic research organizations. Even fresh graduates, recruited after a lengthy se-lection procedure, either do not join or leave a few months after joining for a better-paying job in universities or the strategic R&D organiza-tions. This state of affairs is highlighted by the fact that 33% of the posts in BPS-17 to BPS-22 in the organizations of the Ministry are vacant. To address this problem it is imperative that uni-form, market-competitive pay scales be intro-duced in all S&T Organizations of the country.

    50. The bulk of public-sector non-strategic R&D is being undertaken by various organiza-tions under the control of Ministry of Science and Technology. Apart from low salaries and insufficient research facilities, there is also a weakness in their governance. Often, the na-ture of assignments and job description is not well-defined. The selection and promotion cri-

    Most of the organizations do not have their service rules, training procedures and medi-cal reimbursement regulations. The R&D or-ganizations under MoST need autonomy, good governance, uniform rules and regulations and strict efficiency criteria for career advancement of scientific workers. Another point of concern is the overburdening of these organizations with administrative and financial staff which creates hindrance rather than helping scientists in the matters that are the responsibility of the organizations, resulting in the wastage of sci-entists precious time. The international norm for ancillary staff is typically of the order of 20%, whereas in MoST organizations it is usu-ally of the order of 40-50%.

    51. The heads of the organizations, besides being capable scientists, need to be good man-agers and administrators with the ability to guide and lead a team of researchers. They need to have the requisite vision and resource-fulness to steer the organization towards the achievement of its objectives. The emoluments of the heads of organizations, therefore, need to commensurate with the job requirements. As the current salary packages in BPS-21 or BPS-22 have failed to attract capable persons, the approval of salary packages in the MP scales or equivalent is a welcome step to attract right candidates. The Prime Minister has also approved the summary of Special Pay Scale to attract the energetic scientists and the case is now in Ministry of Finance for final action.

    52. Apart from low salary, the lack of promo-tions and career advancement opportunities are major factors in the demoralization of the scientists working in the public sector research organizations. This is mainly due to the small size of the majority of the organizations, which severely limits the opportunities for career ad-vancement. To address this issue, the organiza-tions under the Ministry of Science and Tech-nology should form a single cadre for their employees to facilitate the lateral movement of employees whose promotion might otherwise be blocked.

    National ST&I Policy 2012 21

    Human Resources

    53. PCST report entitled Proposed Service Structure and Technical Pay Scales for Or-ganizations under the Ministry of Science and Technology (March, 2006) recommends the adoption of a performance based service struc-ture and pay scales similar to the SPS pay pack-ages of the strategic R&D organizations. The proposed system, which is designed along the lines of the Tenure Track system of the public sector universities, permits, inter alia, acceler-ated promotions based on performance rather than seniority-cum-fi tness, upgradation of posts etc. to avoid frustration of the younger scientists due to lack of promotion.

    54. The reformation of employment system for S&T careers will be undertaken through following measures:

    Policy Actions:

    A26. Creation of a single scientifi c and engi-neering cadre for all employees of MoST organizations on the basis of SPS pay scales.

    A27. Granting of autonomy to the S&T or-ganizations under Ministry of Science and Technology and adoption of uni-form rules, and regulations with per-formance based promotion criteria.

    4.3 Motivational Measures

    55. The achievement of excellence by an indi-vidual is greatly helped by a social milieu that bestows honours and awards for outstanding performance. In the absence of tangible re-wards for extraordinary effort, there is often little motivation to achieve more than minimal satisfactory output. Motivational measures can take several forms, some of which may be the following:

    i. Highlighting the achievements of individ-ual scientists/engineers to create an image of public respectability.

    ii. Bestowing civil awards and cash prizes for contributions that are deemed useful for the society.

    iii. Constituting special national awards for individuals and organizations that make important contributions towards the progress of science and technology.

    iv. Awards for specifi c groups such as best design of an indigenous product, innova-tive commercialization, invention of a sig-nifi cant economic worth, and so on.

    v. Boosting creativity by helping scientists with patent registration process and shar-ing the profi ts of commercialized products with the inventor.

    56. The following actions would be taken to implement motivational measures and popu-larization of science:

    Policy Actions:

    A28. Enlarging the scope of prizes and awards for individuals and organiza-tions making important contributions towards S&T development and public awareness of their achievements.

    A29. Helping scientists in the process of pat-ent registration and sharing profi ts of commercialized products.

    4.4 Science Popularization

    57. The public perception of science and how it affects the progress of a society is rather murky, due to negligible media coverage. Sci-ence and Technology are at best understood to be alien entities, penetrating our society through commercial ventures, benefi ting mul-tinational companies and in some cases even harming local cultural values.

    This perception needs to chang through re-alization that the science and technology is a product of imaginative thought process; it has no regional or ethnic bias. Anyone, anywhere, with a rational mind can probe the secrets of nature and fi nd answers that can be used for human welfare. The students always like the subjects which they fi nd interesting. Nothing can be more inspiring than the awareness of

    22 National ST&I Policy 2012

    the secrets of vast universe around us, or the evolution of a fantastic variety of life-forms, or the ability to control matter at atomic level. If a teacher is able to ignite the sense of wonder and curiosity in a student, rather than asking for memorizing arcane scientifi c theories with-out comprehending their essence, the purpose of making science popular will be amply ful-fi lled. The role of PSF in this respect has to be strengthened and its outreach enhanced sig-nifi cantly.

    58. The minimal actions envisaged to strengthen science popularization schemes are:

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Need Assessment of S&T Human Resources for Driving Innovation and Achieving Vision 2025 (N.A.H.R)......

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STI Voice Newsletter

Science, Technology, Innovation,STI Voice, Volume 3, 2017 is now available for our readers. Click this link for further details and to download Newsletter.

Establishment of Pensioner's Cell at PCST

PCST has established Pensioner's Cell under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Aslam Tahir, CRO (PCST) for dealing with issues of pension. Click here for further details.

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