KARACHI - All political parties of the country are urged to include promotion of science and technology and education on priority basis in their political agenda because prosperous economy is linked with the progress of these sectors.

Pakistan has disgracefully lesser education budget. Energy crises and shortage of food are the major challenges for the country.

These views were expressed by prominent scientists of the country while delivering speeches at the inaugural ceremony of the two-day National Science Conference held at International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University. The event was organised by Pakistan Academy of Science (PAS).

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman Dr Ansar Pervez, KU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, former chairman Higher Education Commission and president PAS, Prof Dr Attaur Rehman, ICCBS Director Prof Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, PAS General Secretary Karachi Chapter Prof Dr Bina Siddqiui, Dr Abdul Jabbar and Dr Sonia Siddiqui also spoke on the occasion.

Dr Ansar Pervez said the prosperity of any country was now gauged with the per capita income and per capita energy. Currently Pakistan has $1370 per capita income. Various small countries in the world have made swift progress while Pakistan stands still. National scientists and researchers must play their role for the progress of science in the country.

Dr Atta said the basic aim of science was to help humanity as science can eradicate poverty in the country. The primary education, particularly, is completely neglected in the country. “Pakistan is terribly backward in the world in terms of making investment in the education sector. Pakistan ranked eight from bottom to top in the list of countries which are making investment in this important sector. Scientists and researchers of this country must stand to fight for science, for future of the country and for future of the new generation. Media is required to play its due role in promotion of science in the country. He pointed out that science journalism is not as stronger as it should be.”

He informed the participants that a number of challenges are need to be addressed. “Firstly, the PAS must serve as a think tank to provide our policy makers with scholarly documents regarding the steps that need to be taken in various critically important sectors including energy, biotechnology, engineering, water management and others. This process has already been initiated by me,” he added.

Prof Dr Qaiser said progress in science and technology was the only way to bring the country on the path of development. Pakistan is facing the challenges of energy crises and food shortage. He pointed out that during the last six decades, the population of Pakistan increased remarkably but the food resources are as limited as they were in the past. Biotechnology is the way that can help the country to produce crops on large scale so that food scarcity could be removed.