Government planning to set up a Synchrotron facility for multidisciplinary research: Dar

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 1 (APP):Minister for Finance Senator
Muhammad Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday that currently the
government was planning to set up a Synchrotron facility for
multidisciplinary research.

“In addition, we will be pleased to facilitate the establishment of a medium size astronomical telescope in Pakistan for common use of OIC scientists”, Ishaq Dar said while addressing the concluding session of 15th General
Assembly meeting of COMSTECH here at a hotel here.

“IIt was my firm belief that the only way forward for us is to work together as a cohesive team and pool our intellectual and physical resources to build collective competence and capabilities in advanced fields of science and technology,” he added.

“We need to resolve to tap all available financial and
human resources to execute the comprehensive 10 year S&T plan, formulated by COMSTECH, for the future progress and prosperity of our nations”, he remarked.

The Minister said that this was a strategic imperative
for “our survival and progress”.

Ishaq Dar on the occasion re-iterated Pakistan’s
commitment to support COMSTECH in coordinating the collective efforts of the Muslim Ummah to pursue this goal.
This, he said would also help us in the achievement of
the Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon by member
countries of the United Nations.

Ambassador M. Naeem Khan, Assistant Secretary General,
OIC, Iyad Ameen Madani,Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of Islamic Development Bank, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Federal Minister for Science & Technology ambassador,Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, Coordinator General, COMSTECH,Rapporteur General, experts and schientists were also present on the occasion.

Ishaq Dar said that it was indeed a pleasure for him to
be part of the Concluding session of the 15th – General
Assembly of the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and
Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).

“Your good wishes for successful surgery and speedy
recovery for Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were conveyed to him who asked me to convey his sincere thanks to you all”, he remarked.

“We are living in an era where new scientific discoveries and technological advancement continue to transform our lives, in ways not known before, both in terms of their speed and import”, he remarked.

The Finance Minister said that from the industrial revolution “we have moved to the information revolution, which among other aspects, brought with itself unprecedented levels of connectivity between people and nations”.

This, he said has completely transformed the way people
organize their work and interact with each other.

“Today, we stand at the threshold of yet another defining era, where we are experimenting with artificial intelligence, new materials, nano-technologies, 3-D printing,
new transportation systems, inter-stellar travel and new
treatments based on stem cells and the decoding of individual genomes”, he said.

These technological breakthroughs, he said were
anticipated to have a profound impact on the socio-economic scenario.

This, therefore, is the age of both opportunities and
challenges, he remarked.

“With the benefit of hindsight, one can say with a fair
degree of confidence that nations at the forefront of these
scientific and technological breakthroughs would be playing a
leading role in the comity of nations, both in the political
as well as the economic spheres”, he said.

Unfortunately, the Minister said that the Muslim world
has lagged behind discernibly in contributing to these
scientific advancements.

He added that “it is, therefore,imperative that we take
collective cognizance of this situation and come out with
innovative solutions to bridge this deficit”.

“We need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach for
this purpose, where besides laying more emphasis on research and innovation per se, we also need to have a fresh look on the legal frameworks and institutional structures that are responsible for the promotion of science, technology and
innovation, in our respective countries”, he remarked.

In this backdrop, he said that the deliberations held in
this Session of the General Assembly assume special
significance.

It is, therefore, he said was satisfying to note that
COMSTECH has presented the 10 year Plan of Action, for the
Development of Science and Technology in the member states, in this forum.

“I have been told that this Plan has been prepared in
close consultation with eminent scientists from several member states”, he said adding that the Plan envisages undertaking collaborative efforts towards building Scientific and Technological capabilities in member states for meeting basic needs such as clean drinking water, health technologies, energy, agricultural productivity as well as some “big” science projects which are critical for the future advancement of Science and Technology in Member States.

He congratulated COMSTECH on the preparation of this
comprehensive document, which also includes a strategy for its implementation, through mutual collaboration amongst member states.

Ishaq Dar on the occasion announced that under the Ibne-
Haitham Programme, named after the great Muslim scientist,
whose pioneer work laid the foundations of modern optics, an endeavor was being made to increase the mobility of
scientists between OIC member states, through offering
scholarships and research grants to young scientists, who wish to study in Centers of Excellence in OIC states.

This programme, he said was expected to build closer
ties and better relationships between our people in general
and the scientific community in particular and would lead to
knowledge transfer and capacity building of less developed
states.

“With a view to supplement this positive initiative by
COMSTECH, I would like to announce here the award of 100
scholarships per year for students of least developed states
for graduate studies in Pakistan in the fields of science,
agriculture, engineering and medicine”, he remarked.
Pakistan, he said would further offer scholarships for
training of technicians from least developed OIC states in
our training Institutes.

He added that it was his firm belief that the only way
forward for “us is to work together as a cohesive team and
pool our intellectual and physical resources to build
collective competence and capabilities in advanced fields of
science and technology”.

“We need to resolve to tap all available financial and
human resources to execute the comprehensive 10 year S&T plan, formulated by COMSTECH, for the future progress and prosperity of our nations”, he added.

This, he said was a strategic imperative for our survival and progress.