Pakistan and On Going Challenges
Topic: Pakistan’s Faliure in Applied Science Domain
By AzadPakistan2009 (defence.pk)
There was a time when people imagined the world and they rationalized it with stories of magic and conjurers. In addition to the evolution of society the people started to gather together to rationalize the world around humans. Also with the culture of awakening of mind , people started to observe the world around them and they started to study it with great interest. First there were philosophical studies and later on a branch emerged which focused on None Philosophical Approach for defining the world around us , by rationalization and meaning. They called it “Science” a study of world around us with experimentalism and proof of concept. Applied Science in simple terms the application of theory aspect and a practical application of scientific concept which is theorized. Pakistan has fallen behind the world considerably when it comes to Applied Science, not by choice by due to bad national policies and lack of protection of its local Industries.
Pakistan is almost 73 years old as a nation, and if we observe each of the decades Pakistan has considerably been behind the world in adoption of Technology. Countries such as USA and Europe were building mechanical engines and setting up massive sky scrapers since early 1900’s. All of these advancements were possible due to few main reasons firstly manpower then strong scientific base and solid interest for applying concepts towards application. People such as John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) were willing to invest money into ventures such as Oil exploration, while entrepreneurs such as Ford ventured off to setup manufacturing of engine [ii] and The Wright brothers – Orville and Wilbur in December 17, 1903 created first machine to fly above the ground. Pakistan unlike many examples of the world has traditionally opted to buy it’s technology and inventors are never fully appreciated and cherished for their creativity and ingenuity. Why is it that Pakistan has yet to produce an inventor or research who is credited with a discovery of unique invention. The idea of Pakistani inventing something new, confuses many Pakistanis, whose first remark is always a sense of disbelief. This is swiftly followed by a joke that this can’t possibly be true. We can ask ourselves that: “Where are these Pakistani investors who are willing to invest in a new idea or to be the first to bring a new product to the market which is not yet available in World ?”
If we review back to 60’s and 70’s Pakistan clearly missed the electronic revolution, while Pakistan had a fantastic emerging educated class, yet still they failed to capitalize on the Laborer force’s potential to dominate the electronic segment. In the 80’s an 90’s Pakistan missed out on the Computer Hardware and Computer manufacturing segment , it can be argued that yes not many people understood what computers were however USA have been using Computers since Moon Missions [iii]. Similarly Pakistan was just too late to understand the importance of Computer Chip manufacturing and Electronic gadget craze of 00’s and present. Pakistan’s education system has taught the theoretical aspect of a concept to students over generation but the mechanism does not exists to fully push the student to “create” a new product which is based on the principles learned in universities and schools. Furthermore, there is a lack of industrialization of the concepts.
For Pakistan it has not been helpful that majority of the country’s population is working in Farm Lands , and many a high % does not gets formally education in schools. UNESCO estimates the figure to be around 60% literacy rate [iv] . Due to majority of population working in farms or not valuing education , not enough people are available to research, as many who graduate opt to target becoming Doctors, Engineers or Software Programmers. The remaining educated class focuses on Service sector such as banking or financial segment or Telecommunication. For many people who are asked about their career choices they are driven by the desire of their Parents to study something which will yield a “Job” so the person can make a transition into a married comfortable life. There are not many people who claim they want to get educated in order to “Invent” or “to create”. For most the high cost of invention realization into reality is a factor which stops them from inventing or applying their education towards an application of idea.
Government of Pakistan of course does not have any major programs to promote a massive push towards creating industries with “New” products or technology. The banks are always reluctant to invest in unproven people coming out of university, so there is a general air of mistrust. You have to put your home or property as a “Collateral” in order to secure a business loan. Long story short , the lack of financing needed to help mature a business does not exist in Pakistan. Financing is never an issue for big politicians or people with contacts in Political position. However that benefit does not exists for the everyday Pakistani. That is why we don’t see a Pakistani entrepreneur taking over the market, locally or globally. Availability of financing to youth and young businessmen investing in scientific products is vital in order to promote an environment which helps or nurtures for application of science. Many of the Pakistani government’s initiatives are focused on farmers’ to attain a tractor or farming equipment or fertilizers. There is lack of strategy in order to incubate Business which focuses on researching in the applied science arena.
Pakistan needs to allocate % of their GDP towards growth of individual businesses with financial incentive at early stage and and then follow up financing for continued growth phases for a new organization. Regardless of profits or loss margin, the continued sustained investment is needed in order to build up Applied Science segment, in various fields of society. The mentality needs to shift away from thinking that the businessman will run away with money but trust needs to be constructed so financing is available for Young Businessman to setup and environment where young researchers can implement concept of science.
Note: Original Article Published @: Pakistan Defence Forum