Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated Pakistan first Science and Technology Park at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad aimed at harboring companies and start-ups in agriculture, health, automobiles, smart technologies, and other areas and will act as a link between academia and industries.
Addressing the gathering, the prime minister said that the government is determined to turn Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy and innovation by utilizing energies of youth at proper platforms. He said that increased allocation in the budget for innovative knowledge would be his prime priority despite financial constraints to put the country on the track of development.
He said that Pakistan is the second youngest population in the world, which could do marvels if provided with the right opportunities to excel. He said that the government would replicate more technology parks in the country to involve youth in the domain of innovation. He empathized meritocracy and accountability as vital ingredients of democracy, which he said flourished talent for the country’s benefit.
NUST AS AN INSTITUTION: He said that societies that discouraged merit got ultimately ruined and mentioned the hierarchy of major political parties in the country where leaders were chosen on the basis of hereditary set up rather than merit.he said that Pakistan once a shining nation in the sixties in view of its performance indicators faced a downfall in later decades due to inefficiency of system and institutions.
Imran Khan expressed satisfaction that NUST is progressing as an institution that encouraged research in modern sciences and urged upon students to maximum exploit their potential by challenging themselves in the field of education. He asked them to realize the cycle of struggle and never get disappointed by setbacks in life and always get back to their feet with more courage to deal with challenges.
BIOTECHNOLOGY ZONE: Addressing the gathering, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said that the government is focusing on the sector of innovation, particularly expanding biotechnology in the next 10 years in areas of medicine, herbal and food security. He said that the largest biotechnology zone of South Asia would be set up in Jhelum with an objective to contribute 20-30 percent of exports.
He called the need for a civil-military interface in science and technology for collaboration, where the drone technology used for the military purposes could also be shared for agricultural surveillance. NUST Rector Naveed Zaman said that the launch of the Science and Technology Park is a moment to celebrate collaboration among the government, industries, scientists and leaders of tomorrow for their common goal of achieving innovation.
He mentioned that Pakistan for the first time joined the list of other countries in the region including China with over 400, Iran 43 and India 15 with technology parks. He said that NUST stood 400th in the world ranking, 83rd in Asia, fifth under 50-year-old and first in Pakistan as a quality educational institute.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, State Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior officials also attended the event.