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Pakistan Lacks Applied Research for Tech Development, Economic Prosperity, PSF Chief Admits

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LAHORE– Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Prof Dr Shahid Mahmood Baig on Saturday laid stress on applied research, saying that around 95 percent research done in Pakistan was basic research which didn’t play direct role in the past technological development and economic prosperity of the country.

“All over the world research started from basic, but over the decades, developed countries have moved away from basic to applied research. However, in Pakistan, we started focusing on research very late, but it’s high time for our universities and faculty to shift their focus to applied research,” the chairman said this addressing the academic and administrative heads during his visit to the Government College University Lahore.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi and the University’s science and technology Deans were also present on the occasion.

Prof. Shahid Baig said that there is a realization in government and bureaucracy that the role of science and technology in resolving economic, social and environmental problems is crucial; attaining scientific knowledge and appropriate technologies was a key to achieve economic prosperity.

Moreover, he said that our researchers should use novel and integrated approaches that fully enrich existing and new scientific knowledge. He proudly said that ventilators developed from the funding of Pakistan Science Foundation have reduced their cost to one fifth; the same ventilator that was imported at the cost Rs. 6.5 million, is now being built locally in less that Rs. 1.5 million.

The chairman PSF said that the foundation is supporting COVID19 related research projects on war footings and if any researcher has a potential, and project or research idea, should contact him directly.

He said that he was appointed few months ago but he has made clear he could not deliver without the increase in resources and funding for research projects. He pledged to ensure that there is no delay in the approval of research projects at the foundation after his appointment.

Prof. Shahid Baig said our industry lacked confidence on local researchers and faculty, so they all had to work hard collectively and individually to win back their confidence.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Zaidi said that the GCU faculty had been doing good quality research despite the scarcity of resources. He hoped that this meeting with the PSF chairman would help GCU’s faculty in understanding the criteria, procedures and technicalities to get research projects funded from the Pakistan Science Foundation and other donor agencies.

He appreciated the meritorious appointment of Prof. Shahid Baig in the Pakistan Science Foundation and briefed the participants about his life story of hard work and other achievements.

Later, Prof. Shahid Baig responded the queries of GCU faculty and told them about the different research funding available in Pakistan.— PRESS RELEASE