Pakistan stands at 68th position out of 141 countries according to the recently conducted International Innovation Index Survey, as shown in documents from the Ministry of Science and Technology.
There are several reasons for poor innovation in Pakistan which include:
- Historically, allocations for R&D expenditure have always remained low. Currently the allocation is only 0.29% of the GDP which is far below the world average. Most of developed countries spend between 2% – 4% of GDP on R&D.
- A total number of 60,699 Researchers are working in Pakistan with only 10,670 PhDs. This number is very low as compared to developed countries.
- Low standard of science education in schools and colleges due to lack of laboratory facilities and competent science teachers.
- Very low investment by the private sector in Research and Development.
However the Ministry claimed that several steps have been taken for the development of Science and Technology in the country. The current government has given high priority to Science and Technology and it’s evident from the ruling party’s manifesto. Accordingly, Ministry of Science and Technology has devised “Science and Technology Strategy 2014-2018” for rapid development of Science and Technology.
Technology Foresight Studies in Pakistan
Technology foresight studies in 11 areas have been conducted by Ministry of Science and Technology and disseminated among stakeholders. These areas of R&D include Information and 25 Communication Technologies (ICTs), Energy, Industry, Education, Health, Agriculture, Environment, Electronics, Water, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology.
National Research Agenda
National Research Agenda has priority areas and under each priority area, a number of focus areas of research have been identified in line with Pakistan Vision 2025 document of the Government.
Incentives to Scientists/Researchers/Technologists
To encourage Scientists/Researchers/Technologists following steps have been taken by the Present Government:
- Civil Awards in the category of Science & Technology
- President’s Medal for Technology
- Research Productivity Award
- PhD allowance has been increased from Rs.7500/- to Rs.10000/ per month
- Accelerated promotion for the Scientists and Researchers working in R&D organizations of MoST based on product development, registration of patents and Impact Factor publications
- To stop brain drain, a proposal for granting Special Pay Scales for Scientists and Researchers working in R&D organizations of MoST is under consideration