A country’s progress depends on many factors; research and development is one such field. And talking of research, biotechnology is the fastest growing industry throughout the world. It has an amazing potential to change the fate of any country. This field is totally based on research and finding new techniques to develop merchandise using less costly substitutes. All the developed countries have already adopted this and they have been able to produce lots of products. These products are then exported, generating trillions of dollars of profit.

India and China accepted this field as a ‘Game changer’ and now their biotechnology sector is expected to achieve very high revenue. In Pakistan, Dr Atta-ur-Rehman the former Chairperson HEC, constituted a National Commission for Biotechnology in 2006 to bring Pakistan to the frontline of the field, but unfortunately, the former government closed the commission in 2009 and transferred all the funds allocated for the research and labs to other less worthy projects.

Many universities in Pakistan have initiated biotechnology programs and thousands of students are currently enrolled in these programs. But regrettably, Pakistan is the only country where no proper mechanism exists to provide patronage to biotechnology. If same situation continues, then thousands of students’ future will also be compromised.

I’ll again request PM Nawaz Sharif to release funds for more biotechnology labs and reopen the commission. By setting up research labs and institutions on an urgent basis, a lot can be achieved. Allocation of special funds for the universities to establish necessary labs for research should also be a priority.

ABDUL WADOOD RAJA,

Rawalpindi, December 22.