ISLAMABAD: The government, in the current fiscal year, has allocated development funds worth Rs100 million for a Science Talent Hunt Farming Scheme under which the brightest 500 students will be selected from all over the country at the matriculation level, and nurtured and supported all the way to PhDs.
“This scheme will produce another noble laureate like Professor Abdus Salam one day,” said Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid at the World Science Day for Peace and Development event at Pakistan Sciences Foundation (PSF) on Monday.
The theme for this year was ‘Quality Science Education — ensuring a sustainable future for all’. He said that Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of an educated and technologically advanced Pakistan is especially relevant today when developments in science and globalisation have clearly brought out the need for a knowledge-based economy. “Dr Salam would also often emphasise the need to enhance expenditure on basic science for the development of a country’s technology infrastructure,” he commented.
Science stalls featuring various items from different schools of the capital were also displayed at the event which included ways to heal wounds through coffee, security alarms and production of wind energy.
Muhammad Mujtaba, a student with the model of a mini fan mounted above a stand was explaining to visitors how energy is produced through wind. His class fellows would use an air blower to make the fan move. “The moving fan converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power,” he said while briefing the minister, pointing towards the bulb which glowed after a few seconds.
A group of girls briefed the minister about how text is transformed into audio form with software developed by them.
Recognising the importance of quality education for a secure future for the coming generations, the minister said the goal of Vision 2025 and New Growth Framework was for Pakistan to be “innovative, productive and an enterprising nation.”
The minister apprised that in this year’s public sector development programme, funds have been allocated for a number of existing new schemes with far-reaching impact, including Rs1 billion for National Human Development Endowment and Rs500 million for Technology Development Fund.
PSF Chairman Dr Khalil Ahmed Ibupoto expressed that an educated population could only guarantee a healthy society and as per today’s need where science has its roots everywhere we should keep it as our foremost priority.
Dr Anwarul Hassan Gilani and Dr Asghari Maqsood were awarded the Dr ZA Hashmi Gold Medal for their progress in PSF-funded research projects at the event. Moreover, students with extraordinary performances in the 23rd Annual Essay and Poster Competition were awarded medals and certificates.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.