UNFORTUNATELY, Pakistani universities lack original, unique and quality research, for there is no authentic research culture present in the country. There is no denying the fact that original and creative research plays a pivotal role in the progress of a country. Wherever there is a culture of innovation and research, we see excellence in economy, good governance, rule of law, accountability, and human and social development with a focus on better education and vibrant institutions.

Quality research is prerequisite for every nation to grow, socially, politically and economically. No one can deny the fact that education system of the country does not encourage critical thinking, creativity, reasoning, innovation and basic knowledge of creative research.

Why does research produced in our universities lack original ideas and uniqueness? A cursory glance through the theses produced at graduate and postgraduate levels is enough to be sure about the extremely poor quality of research. In many, if not most, cases, such theses are merely an outcome of the paraphrasing of work already done by someone else. Also, students take a model of a thesis that has already been accepted, and replicate it in their own contexts. This practice drags them to intellectual dishonesty and laziness.

Poor research supervision, ineffective thesis evaluation and unscrupulous research landscape are prevalent in the country. C.R Kothari in his book, Research Methodology: Methods and Techniques, states: “Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge.”

One can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. We must teach research methodology courses and its practicability at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Last but not least, the state should give priority to research and all public universities and other stakeholders should revisit their courses. They must develop research knowledge and skills instead of wasting their time on outdated syllabi, poorly structured teaching and assessment policies.

Zakir Ullah
Mardan

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2022

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