ISLAMABAD: Gains from science and technology should grow exponentially to benefit nations, especially through commercialisation of research, Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said on Sunday.

“Pakistan and other developing countries need to make concerted efforts in this regard to aid their development process,” he said while sharing his views about key matters relating to S&T-led national development, during a visit to the Secretariat of Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats), Islamabad.

During the meeting, senior officials from the ministry were briefed about Comsats and its role towards scientific development as an intergovernmental organisation.

The briefing thoroughly introduced Comsats as an international organisation focused on S&T-led development.

The delegation was informed about Comsats’ mandate and mission, statutory bodies and forums, engagements of the secretariat, flagship projects, international programmes and activities, outreach mechanisms and publications. Post briefing discussions focused on bringing efficacy and efficiency in Comsats’ programmes and operations. In this context, matters related to establishment, administration and finances received greater attention.

Ministry officials briefed about Comsats, its role towards scientific development

An overview of Comsats’ financial position was given by the director finance. He made recommendations to improve the current position of Comsats.

The case of Comsats Internet Services (CIS), established in 1996 was also discussed and ministry officials expressed the need to take radical measures in order to improve the internet service. The recommendations also addressed improving the financial control mechanism at CIS.

Pakistan, as a member state, has been the biggest beneficiary of Comsats’ programmes and activities especially because the organisation’s secretariat is based in the country.

Moreover, it was hoped that scientific organisations under the Ministry of S&T would extend their support for Comsats while also benefiting from its international links.

Receptive of the input from Comsats’ officials, the federal minister and federal secretary appreciated the commission’s role as an IGO and expressed the need to re-think strategies for achieving Comsats’ international mandate and gave prudent advice on key matters.

Mr Faraz hoped to see the commission’s activities, aligned with the national development agenda of Pakistan in addition to finding innovative solutions to national challenges.

Dr Akhtar Nazir, who also chairs one of Comsats’ statutory organs in his ex-officio capacity, noted that international S&T organisations including those based in Pakistan had a long way to go when it comes to adapting to the needs of the 21st century.

He hoped Comsats was cognisant of this need and would take steps in this direction in the coming years.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021

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