ISLAMABAD - Scientists, industrialists, government representatives, policy-makers, technologists, foreign and local scholars have gathered from across the country at a two-day seminar aiming to establish linkages between effective policies and strategies and creation of employment for science students. The seminar titled Policies and strategies for successful implementation of employment generation programmes in renewable energies, biotechnology, agriculture, environment and ICTs started on Tuesday. The COMSTECH in collaboration with the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) has organised the event. Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, Advisor on Science and Technology Planning Commission of Pakistan, was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the seminar. Addressing the gathering, he said mono-disciplinary research had gone in the background and we needed inter-disciplinary research. Emphasizing the need to develop indigenous technology and sharing his experience at Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission he said, We had complete control on nuclear technology and it was an indigenous technology. There was not a single thing that we were not able to do which other nuclear states were capable of doing. Dr Ishfaq Ahmad opined that the problem that the research organisations had been facing was that their goals were not so well defined. Inclination towards the production of value added products could only lead to employment generation. In agriculture, employment will come beyond the farmland. Cotton should not be sold as cotton. Forestry and glaciology are other important areas, which has been neglected in our country. Prof Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, COMSTECH Coordinator General, was of the view, Pakistan needs active industry-university linkage to accommodate science graduates who are national asset which should not be wasted. Provide them opportunities here or they will simply leave the country to seek better opportunities. Suggesting to establish centers of excellence and technology hubs in the universities, he remarked that market driven education is essential. We should have investment in education sector at all levels. And just producing quality manpower is also not enough, technology parks should be established for employment generation and a merit based system needs to be developed to benefit deserving people. Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, COMSATS Executive Director, speaking on the occasion said in industrialised countries, the state of the national economy is invariably judged by the rate of inflation and the current rate of unemployment. The availability of authentic data serves a key element of corrective measures wherever needed. In Pakistan, the matters are worse because often the data is unavailable or unreliable. A major part of the economic activity is informal, unregulated and undocumented. In principle, it is a matter of concern for the policy-makers to see how the nations work force is usefully employed. However, the academic community and intelligentsia bear the responsibility to do the needful analytical work and come out with viable solutions that the authorities concerned can take up for implementation. Talking about the plight of unemployed youth, he said, to be unemployed is not simply a matter of losing money to support oneself or ones family, it goes even beyond to the level where a person suffers from inferiority complex and becomes a social liability. Unemployment is a social stigma that erodes self-respect, degrades social standing and degenerates human psyche, sometimes leading to anarchistic behaviour, as evidenced by the case histories of some suspected terrorists.