Govt to strengthen Pakistan Council for Science, Technology

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Science and technology (MoST) is strengthening Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) in terms of human and financial resources and technical facilities, and establishment of a cell within PCST, wholly dedicated to deal with NCST matters is also in consideration.

PCST is acting as a secretariat of NCST, scientific data collection centre, and Science and Technology (S&T) policy advice think tank, encouraging high performance in S&T workers through cash awards, promoting international cooperation and publishing reports and reviews on the state of S&T in Pakistan, official sources told APP, here today.

The role assigned to PCST is indeed highly relevant and enormously significant, he added.
The human and financial sources put at the disposal of PCST, however, do not match with the achievements expected from this organization, sources told.

“Both of these organizations need to adequately strengthened on urgent basis in order to enable them to perform their functions efficiently and effectively”.

At the provincial level,he said, the existence of full-fledged S&T departments is very important, adding the major part of productive activity in industrial and agriculture sector is necessary at the provincial level.

The execution of development projects as well as the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources is mainly the responsibility of the provinces, sources added.

Official said “Moreover the results of Research and Development (R&D) effort especially in the fields of agriculture, health and industry have to be utilized by different agencies of the Provincial Governments”.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has already set up a Department of Science and Technology, an example to be emulated by other Provincial Governments, he stated.
NCST was created under a Resolution of the Ministry of Science and Technology with Gazette Notification of April 1984, as a part of the implementation of the National S&T Policy (1984).

It was envisaged that it would be the apex decision making and coordinating agency for S&T in the country, to “provide leadership and overall guidance in the development of a strong, well-integrated system of science and technology and its deployment for rapid socio-economic progress”.

Uptill now, NCST has not been able to achieve what was desired of it, however, potentially it is a very useful forum for giving direction and increasing volume of science and technology effort in the country, sources lamented.

Official said achievements (significant improvement in the S&T status, especially in IT and Higher Education) as result of the 2nd meeting of NCST indicate that how effective the Commission can be if properly utilized. NCST is a wonderful forum for coordination of intercministerial and inter-provincial S&T programmes and integration of S&T into the other sectors of economy.

Its membership includes representation from all sectors of economy at the highest level with Ministers for Finance, Agriculture, Industries, and Education as its members along with provincial Ministers for S&T and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.

“Heads of all major R&D organizations in various fields and representatives of industry are also its members. Therefore, there is an urgent need to re-activate NCST”.