The Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology on Wednesday recommended the Task Force of the ministry to work on development of Reko Dig and Space Technology projects.
The Committee meeting was chaired by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and discussed the developing of an ecosystem which will contribute to the promotion and glamorization of Science and Technology in the country. It was briefed in detail by the Task Force of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) regarding of progress on on-going projects.
Development of Reko Dig – Certain Measures Need to be Taken
The meeting was attended by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, and senior officers from the Ministry of Science and Technology, NUST, NIE, PEC, PSF along with all concerned.
The committee asked that why the ministry is not working on Riko Diq project. If you work on this project, it would give immense benefits to the whole country, the committee observed.
Chairman committee said that the army was called in everywhere when there is any natural disaster in the country and even in the toxic gas problem occurred in Karachi. It was the scientists’ job was to research the poisonous gas, said chairman committee, adding that the Ministry should have acted quickly on this issue.
The committee was briefed on Talent Farming Scheme. Only the government and remote areas should be trained in the Science Talent Farming Scheme project, the committee recommended, adding that it should be ensured that private schools are not included in the project. Public school students have very few opportunities, said Chairman, adding that the work of the Pakistan Science Foundation is the polarization of science.
The meeting also took a detailed review of role and responsibilities of Pakistan Science Foundation and its contribution towards the promotion of Science in the country. The Committee was informed that PSF was established by the Government of Pakistan on 30th June, 1973 under the Act of the National Assembly as a premier organization for the promotion of science and technology in the country.
During the years of its existence, the Foundation has built up the necessary infrastructure to perform its basic role to support creative scientific workers build national capability in science and technology and spread awareness about the scope of science and technology in society; especially students. PSF is currently focussing on informal ways to disseminate scientific information among the youth with programs such as the Science Caravan equipped with a mobile lab, Science Talent Farming Scheme for students pursuing their studies at college level with additional interventions, Annual intra/inter-boards Science Essay and Poster Competitions.
Development of Reko Dig – A Committee to Look after the Project
Participation of young students at international scientific forums, poplar science lectures on current scientific themes and commemoration of World Science Day for Peace and Development and science awareness through mass media are other activities that has been on the agenda of the Foundation. A summer program is also held for which 300 students were selected last year.
The Committee was informed that all of these students were recruited from different government schools all over Pakistan. The Committee, stressed that the Foundation must focus on government schools and must ensure that students from government institutions are preferred to the rest, especially on international forums.
Mushtaq Ahmed Khan was of the view that the Foundation must focus on documentaries and dramas, that would promote the scope of Science and Technology in Pakistan. Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, recommended that the Foundation must focus on success stories and a data base of students must be maintained. The Committee recommended that measures must be taken towards the protection of intellectual property rights.
Deliberating over the Task Force of MoST regarding progress of on-going projects the Committee was informed that the Task Force is currently working on six projects such as Pak University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies (PUEET), Advanced Skills Development through International Scholarships, Indigenous Raw Material Assessment For Supply Chain of Li ion Battery and Prototype Development in Pakistan, Establishment of a Center For Artificial Intelligence in Health Sciences, Establishment of Facilities for Industrial Production of Nanomaterials in Latif Ebrahim Jamal Nanotechnology Center, Establishment of Center for Advanced Technologies in Biomedical Materials.