A meeting of the Senate Standing on Science and Technology was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen here at Parliament House on Thursday.
At the outset, Chairman Pakistan Scientific Foundation (PSF) Dr. Shahid Mehmood Baig informed the Committee about the working and performance of the PSF during last 5 years. He said that the major functions of Pakistan Scientific Foundation are to grant awards, fellowships, special scientific surveys, maintain a National register of highly qualified and talented scientists of Pakistan and establishment of scientific and technological information dissemination centers, science centers and museums as well. However, while deliberating on the organizational structure of PSF, Chairman Committee directed the Chairman PSF to provide details of members of Board of Trustees and Executive Committee in the next meeting. The Committee recommended to ensure the quota of provinces in upcoming recruitments and compensating the previous disparity. The Committee also asked the Ministry to show verified domiciles of the employees working on the quota of Baluchistan in PSF.
Furthermore, Chairman PSF told the Committee that one of main goal of PSF is Science Popularization and for that purpose PSF has launched “Science Caravans (Mobile Science Labs)” which visits different public schools and colleges across the Country and also conduct “Organize Popular Science Lectures” in different parts of the Country. Chairman Committee Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen demanded details of Science Caravan in the next Meeting.
Deliberating on the research support projects of PSF, Dr. Shahid Mehmood Baig told the Committee that in the last five years Pakistan Scientific Foundation has received 5616 project proposals and 258 are new funded projects, as of right now,177 projects has been completed. PSF has also funded 394 Ph.D/M.Phil research projects, 348 research publications and 12 patent filed in these five years under the umbrella of PSF. Chairman Committee was of opinion that, Baluchistan holds 43.6 p.c. of the total area of Pakistan and is rich of minerals resources like coal, gold, copper, oil natural gas as well. In Baluchistan, there is an ample opportunity of research and research based projects must be initiated in Baluchistan which helps the locality of that area in their livelihood, he stressed. Senator Afnan Ullah Khan noted that the 12 patent has been filed in last five years and which is very low as compared to other Countries. Patent is major revenue earning arena and more work should be done in this field, he further suggested.
Discussing the Budget of PSF, Chairman PSF apprised the Committee that 73 p.c. of the total budget has spent on non-development work and 23 p.c. plus the development budget of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), which amounts to 745 Million rupees, has spent on Development work. Senator Afnan Ullah Khan was of view that the budget of PSF for research and development is too little and how can one thinks of competing with developed countries with merely spending 74 crore on research and development.
The meeting was attended by Senator Fawzia Arshad, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Senator Muhammmad Hamuyun Mohmand,Senator Naseema Ehsan,Senator Sana Jamali, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, Secretary for Ministry of Science and Technology Humaira Ahmed, Chairman Pakistan Scientific Foundation (PSF) Dr.Shahid Mehmood Baig and senior officers of Ministry of Science and Technology as well.