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WE ARE PROMOTING EDUCATION IN SCIENCE AS THE DRIVING FORCE OF CHANGE: AHSAN IQBAL

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ISLAMABAD:(APS) March 30, 2015;“We are lagging behind in science despite repeated emphasis of the principles of research and enquiry in Quran for the mankind to observe the spirit of science in the universe”, said the Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof. Ahsan Iqbal while addressing at workshop on “Dual Use of Education” which was jointly organized by Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Quaid -i-Azam University today. The pros and cons of dual use of education in science were discussed to highlight and alleviate the chances of potential abuse of biotechnologies and promote a safe and secure scientific culture in Pakistan.

The Federal Minister attributed the 7th century boom of scientific enquiry and discoveries with the then Islamic civilizations of Baghdad, Basra, Muslim ruled Spain etc. Commenting on crisis of coherence in the Muslim World he said, “The Muslim countries should compete on research and innovation in science rather than increasing defense budgets for sectarian strife to regain the past glory in the world”.

“In order to weaken the sectarian, chauvinistic and obscurantist mindset and produce healthy generation, the government has set up the National Curriculum Council which will not only promote creative thinking but will also have check upon misplaced notions and hatred breeding material against any religion, class or culture”, he added.

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Acknowledging the importance and commercial value of scientific education, Federal Minister said, “Rs. 5 billion Technology Development Fund has been established to fund industry & agriculture related Research for PhD scholars for promoting innovation. Rs. 1 billion will be allocated for this project during the upcoming fiscal year 2015-16.

He said, “The Science Talent farming Scheme is one of our government’s initiatives through which we are looking forward to produce 500 top science talents every year having capacity of breakthrough technology and research. These top 500 science high school students will be groomed in phases as the world class scientists, technologists and IT entrepreneurs through well structured and well planned science talent program”. He directed Pakistan Academy of Sciences to assist the government in setting framework for the selection and training of such talented lot in Pakistan.

“Vision 2025 is a document which is imbued with the spirit of learning and innovation. We will encourage education in science and technologies of electronics, bio-technologies, computer, manmade material and technologies etc as the drivers of change in Pakistan. The government is committed to bring change by investing in our youth”, he added.

Highlighting the paradox between knowledge paradigm and production paradigm of our youth, he said, “We cannot boast of having 500 PhDs in textile industry out of our 7000 PhDs in science despite the fact that 65% of our exports are related with textiles industry”.

The workshop was attended by Chairman HEC, President of PAS and other eminent scientists of Pakistan. It ended with award distribution ceremony among eminent scientists and other science students in various fields.

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