Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has spent Rs. 1.665 billion on the promotion of research and development activities since 2013-14.
It is aimed at technological development for higher growth rates and improving standards of living in the country.
Of the total, the Ministry spent Rs 1379.95 million during the last four years on development budget expenditure and Rs 284.811 million on non-development budget expenditure.
According to a data issued by the Ministry on Monday revealed that during year 2013-14, Rs. 611.926 million was spent on development budget expenditure and Rs.18.285 million on non-development budget expenditure.
Similarly, during year 2014-15, the Ministry spent Rs. 251.499 million on development budget expenditure and Rs. 29.361 million on non-development budget expenditure.
The year 2015-16 witnessed spending of Rs. 220.370 million on development budget expenditure and Rs. 41.056 million on non-development budget expenditure.
The Ministry spent Rs. 492.264 million during 2016-17 which included Rs. 296.155 million development budget expenditure and Rs. 196.109 million non-development budget expenditure.
When contacted, official sources said Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) is national focal point and enabling arm of the government for planning, coordinating and directing efforts; to initiate and launch scientific and technological programs and projects as per national agenda.
The Ministry has adopted three-pronged strategy for promotion of Science and Technology that includes investment in R & D in specific areas, Human Resource Development/Capacity Building and National Outreach Programmes.
The sources said the Ministry focuses on promotion of scientific culture in the country and serves national S&T needs through R&D for developing products, technologies and processes to facilitate industry.
The Ministry’s R&D programmes are mainly implemented by its Organizations and Universities working in areas of Agriculture, Biotechnology, Building Materials, Chemical Technology, Environmental Studies, Electrical & Electronics, Engineering, Food Technology, Glass & Ceramics, Human Resource Development, Herbal Medicines, Leather, Materials Sciences, Medical Technology, Minerals, Metrology & Standards, Metallurgy, Nano-Technology, Ocean Resources, Pesticides & Herbicides, Pharmaceuticals, Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Strategic Chemicals, Renewable Energy, Textiles, Water Sector etc.
The Organizations of the Ministry also render testing and analysis services to industrial sector and other clients while these are also actively engaged in elevating technical human resource and S&T capacity building through holding, participating and sponsoring participation in international conferences, seminars, symposiums, workshops etc.
Regarding academic activities, the two Universities i.e. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) are providing graduate and post graduate studies in the fields of Information Technology, Engineering and various other emerging science and technology fields.
Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) is offering bachelor degree in Industrial Electronics at its Karachi Center and Associate Engineer/Diploma courses through its Precision Mechanics and Instrument Technology Centers across the country.
National Institute of Electronics provides hands on training to more than 700 internees/students of universities/institutions in fields of Electronics and IT to promote Knowledge Based Economy.
Pakistan Science Foundation as per its mandate undertakes popularization of science and promotion of basic and fundamental research in universities and other institutions on scientific problems relevant to socio-economic development of the country.
The Foundation encourages scientific societies by providing financial assistance to hold their regular conferences, meetings and publications of scientific journals in various disciplines.
The sources said young students are encouraged under Inventions & Innovations Programme of the Foundation for developing prototype and processes in their final year research projects.—APP