ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) has prepared a draft of the third national policy on science and technology with hopes to incorporate scientific research with economy and industrial development.
Since the formation of PCST in 1961, it has prepared only two national policies on science and technology. The first policy was approved in 1984 and the second in 2012, after a gap of 28 years.
The third policy has been drafted and submitted with different government functionaries at federal and provincial levels for their inputs.
The PCST is mandated to advise the government on the development of science and technology at the national level. The council is involved in policymaking related to science and technology, planning, implementation, and carrying out policy studies.
The PCST also hosts the secretariat of the National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST) which is headed by the prime minister. The NCST takes the major decisions for the development of science and technology in the country.
PCST Sources informed Bol News that a working group comprising different stakeholders, mainly the experts in the field of science and technology, was also formed and the draft was prepared in light of their recommendations.
Some 35-40 different ministries have so far submitted their comments on the draft. Sources said those will be taken into consideration for integration purposes before its formal approval.
The new policy aims to integrate the research in educational institutions in science and technology with the development of the industrial sector as this approach would help in targeted scientific research required in the local environment to boost the national economy.
The policy would help to generate research papers aiming to create a balance of supply and demand of human resource in the industrial sector. It also aims to develop certain skills in science graduates to bring the industrial input at par with the global standards.
Moreover, the draft has also proposed a mechanism of implementation of the new policy.
Meanwhile, it has also been learnt that the fourth meeting of NCST is yet to take place. Earlier, an agenda meeting of the commission was proposed during the tenure of the previous regime but it was not called.
Moreover, the post of head of PCST is still vacant since 2018 and the affairs are running on adhoc basis. Sources said a candidate was selected to run the council after advertisements were published in different newspapers, however, he refused to assume charge due to a lack of incentives.