Dr Atta calls for investment in technology based items
KARACHI- Investments should be made in technology-based items if Pakistan has to move forward and witness development, because such investment would increase the gross domestic product, (GDP) of Pakistan.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahrnan said this in his address at the Convocation 2001 of the NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi. Sindh Governor Muhammadmian Soomro and NED Vice-Chancellor Engr Abul Kalam were also present on the occasion.
The GDP of Pakistan is, at present $60 billion, which is too small, and hence we are not truly independent. The minister said total GDP of 57 Islamic countries was 1200 billion US dollars despite having 70 percent of the world’s oil reserves.
The minister disclosed that the GDP of other Western countries was: France, 1500 billion dollars; Germany, 2000 billion dollars; and Japan 2500 billion dollars.
The Minister said that GDP of Islamic countries was a fourth of these Western countries and this was because they (the West) had educated their people and made investment in technology-based items.
He said for this purpose a programme had been launched for the progress of science and technology in the fields of agriculture, education, health, and other major fields.
The federal minister underlined the need for investment in high technology and claimed, ” this is the field where the big money lies.”
Atta-ur-Rehman said due to the various concessions provided to investors of high technology in Pakistan that is zero percent duty on software export and other relief in the last four weeks the major companies abroad have announced an investment of Rs 12 billion for Pakistan, which was a big achievement, he added.
He said Education had been greatly neglected in this country and disclosed that in Tokyo alone there were 120 Universities and in all the Islamic countries put together, there were 370 universities, which was very unfortunate, he maintained.
He further disclosed that seven information technology universities are being set up this year. Referring to the strength of PhDs in Pakistan he said there are about 50 to 60 of them in number here, and in India there were about 5000 and not only this he said according to his information in Pakistan there are only two PhDs in the field engineering.
He said now a major programme had been launched to produce more PhDs and for this purpose Rs 500,000 grant would be released for every student. This money could be utilised for research-based programmes.
The minister said that the venues of information technology have got a lot of scope and this year transaction to the tune of 70 billion dollars took place in the world.
He said was also very rapidly moving in IT and for this purpose the access to internet has been made very easy for the people and said that the Internet access is now m 325 towns, villages and cities of the country.
Sindh Governor Muhammadmian Soomro who is also the Chancellor earlier opened the Convocation 2001 of NED Engineering University Karachi and gave away the gold medals and certificates to the meritorious students attaining first class position in different technologies.
Vice-Chancellor Abul Kalam conferred degrees upon the students who graduated in various disciplines of engineering.
Source: The News