Naveed Aman Khan
Multibillion dollars worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a long-term multidimensional project. This gigantic project has opened new avenues of industrial and agricultural development based on scientific and technological advancement. Chinese recent development is based on its dependence and shift to science and latest technology. China remained underdeveloped during the time of usage of conventional ways and means of development in different sectors but by the time it shifted conventional ways to the modern it started glorifying. After becoming nuclear power China marched ahead like a great power of the world in its real sense. Actually China doesn’t believe in fantasy or imagination; it believes in Science only. This belief is a key to its glory. In the fields of Science and Technology we are far behind China. Recently, Premier IK shuffled federal cabinet. The former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting is given ministry of Science and Technology as punishment keeping in mind that this ministry is far less lucrative and important. This approach determines our priorities. Undoubtedly ministry of science and Technology has never been first ranking ministry in Pakistan. This is why successive Pakistani governments could never transform itself from conservative level to the modern and scientific level. Pakistan even in the 21st Century is unable to resolve matter of sighting of Moon for the month of Ramadan and Eid but China now will offer customised data services for disaster prevention through its Fengyun meteorological satellites for more countries along the Belt and Road. The services will be provided based on the results of a survey of 81 countries. By the end of April, 22 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Libya and Sudan had responded to the survey. All of the respondents want to install the application software platforms of the Fengyun satellites for weather forecasting as well as climate and environment monitoring. They also want a range of services, especially in monitoring rainfall, droughts, dust storms, heavy fog and lightning, in addition to training courses on Fengyun meteorological satellite data analysis, remote sensing applications and data collection. Such advance technology will enable Pakistan to combat weather and flood calamities. Many countries along the Belt and Road have high mountains, deserts, oceans and a lack of accurate meteorological information. The number of meteorological disasters in the regions is more than double the global average. Real time disaster monitoring by meteorological satellites could provide these countries with a scientific basis for disaster prevention and reduction. Weather-related disasters such as typhoons pose a threat to life and property. Tracking their path could help local authorities decide how to proceed with evacuations. In addition to real time monitoring, the China Meteorological Administration set up the Emergency Support Mechanism for international users of Fengyun satellites last April, which covers disaster prevention and mitigation. So far, fifteen countries including Iran and Mongolia have registered as users of the mechanism. The mechanism can switch the on-duty satellite to a quick scan mode focusing on areas required by users when they are hit by disasters. During disasters, Fengyun satellites can scan as often as every five or six minutes. The China Meteorological Administration could send users cloud images and products via satellites and public clouds. For instance two months back China provided a remote sensing monitor report on flooding in Iran via Fengyun. The analysis estimated the coverage and terrain characteristics of the flooded area, which greatly assisted the country’s evacuation efforts. China has launched seventeen Fengyun series meteorological satellites of which seven are currently operational. The World Meteorological Organisation has included China’s Fengyun series of meteorological satellites as a major element of its global Earth observation system. Pakistan will have to leave conventional ways and means to attain compatible glory.
China has decided to reshape its development depending upon latest technological advancement no matter it is defence matter or civilian development. Pakistan will have to empower its SPARCO. Unfortunately all the successive governments have been ignoring importance of SPARCO and Meteorological Department for the better future of the country. Scientific research has never been our priority number one that is why we could not achieve momentum of technologically advance nations. Research-based education has never been encouraged in Pakistan. Very few students qualify for their higher scientific education abroad. When they complete their academic qualification they don’t come back to Pakistan because here they don’t find opportunities to serve their homeland. While in countries like China research-based education in encouraged in all the academic institutions. Around five hundred top research based varsities are providing most modern research-based education to the Chinese students. China has prepared its youth for its future. We need to learn lesson from the developed nations.