Focus on S&T

ONE cannot overemphasize the importance of science and technology in the modern era but it is unfortunate that the Muslim countries still lag behind in this field from the European countries and other developed world. On average, the Muslim countries spend less than 0.5 per cent of their GDP on research and development, compared with five times that in developed economies.
For building indigenous capability in science and technology, the Muslim countries had established COMSTECH in 1981 and over the years, the organization has done some great work but we understand that still a lot more needs to be done at this platform to claim its role in Science. Talking to outgoing Coordinator of COMSTECH Dr Shaukat Hameed in the federal capital on Monday, President Mamnoon Hussain very rightly emphasized for greater cooperation amongst the Islamic countries in the field of Science and Technology. Though COMSTECH is related to natural and physical sciences but the President also suggested for the establishment of a Social Sciences Department in it. Indeed ever-since assuming the office, President Mamnoon Hussain has always been at the forefront in promoting the cause of education which undoubtedly is important if we want to move forward on the path of development. Focus on Science and Technology is important if we really want to end reliance on the outside world. The fact of the matter is that the Muslim scientists made great contributions in knowledge creation and innovation in the past but today it is lamentable that Muslim countries are facing science crisis and the reason is our neglect. There are now several studies which admit that Muslim scientists developed to a high degree of perfection in the arts of textiles, ceramics and metallurgy. In fact, there is no dearth of resources and funds in many Muslim countries. What is only required is political will and focus on their end. The OIC had held its first Science Summit in Kazakhstan last year and we expect that the recommendations reached there will also be implemented in letter and in spirit. Muslim countries have a large youth population; a situation that imposes more challenges but also offers greater opportunities. By investing in the youth and adopting a unified and coordinated approach, the Muslim countries can make a mark on the world map and revive their old glory.

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