Pakistani engineers should align their research with social and economic needs of the country, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani on Tuesday.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 71st annual session of the Pakistan Engineering Congress (PEC).
He referred to a quote by Maurice Strong, secretary general of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, that sustainable development was not possible without input from the engineering profession, and said that it was the responsibility of the engineers to work towards improving the conditions of their fellow citizens.
The prime minister observed that research in engineering sector appeared to be disconnected from the developmental needs of the country. “We need to train our engineers to tackle the challenges the country is facing,” he said.
He said the economy was still recovering from the damage done by the October 2005 earthquake and last year’s floods. “Besides the human suffering caused by these disasters, billions of dollars were lost in the damage done to physical infrastructure,” he said.
The global economic recession, energy crisis and the war against terror, the prime minister observed, had further devastated the economy and stunted growth.
He said the rapid growth in population and the accompanying urbanisation would further undermine the state’s ability afford civic amenities for the people.
“We have the sixth largest population in the world and the highest population growth rate among the SAARC countries,” he said. Gillani said that at its current growth rate of 2.03 percent the country’s population was expected to be more 210 million by 2020. This, he said, meant more migrations from villages to cities and increased stress on the environment. Gillani said the resources available to the country were bound to fall short of the needs of such a large population in future.
Gillani said the sessions and workshops at the congress should be used to ponder upon and to propose solutions for these issues. He said engineering education in the country should be designed keeping in mind the needs of present as well as future generations.
“Engineering schools should promote acquisition of latest technologies so that sustainable solutions can be found for country’s economic and social problems,” the prime minister proposed.
Gillani lauded the PEC’s role in promotion of engineering education through the award of scholarships to deserving students. He expressed satisfaction over the fact that the congress had so far published 1,500 papers.
He also congratulated PEC president, Engr Husnain Ahmad, on his election as vice-president of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage for 2011-2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.
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This was to be in place , Is what Aid was all about, not supporting terrorists,So where is the money that was sent?