Govt Approves National Science, Technology & Innovation Policy

The federal cabinet has approved the Science, Technology & Innovation Policy-2021, formulated by the Ministry of Science & Technology (S&T), to cater to the needs facing different sectors of the country.

It is to note that this is the country’s third S&T policy since its independence, as the first national S&T policy was approved in 1984 and the second policy was introduced in 2012. The previous two policies faced implementation issues and failed to produce desired results.

The Ministry of S&T formulated the new policy to meet the challenges of the new era, especially in view of the change in the country’s socio-economic dynamics owing to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other projects, the scientific innovations, and the new emerging technologies.

The new policy emphasizes the need for addressing the challenges facing various sectors. It covers the basic needs of human beings and the economic growth and development through capacity building by promoting technologies.

The policy calls for establishing smart cities in phases. As per the policy, these smart cities will employ emerging technologies to provide a healthy lifestyle to the citizens by ensuring e-governance, modern security systems, efficient transport systems, green energy, and sustainable infrastructure development, etc.

The new policy also encompasses establishing a data center at the ministry level to be utilized by policymakers, researchers, scientists, students, government agencies, and industry, etc. It suggests measures to remove disparities in pays and allowances among scientists working in different organizations.

The policy outlines measures for producing skilled technology workers and executives in addition to promoting indigenous development of products. It promotes entrepreneurship and envisages establishing and strengthening national standardization, quality, and accreditation systems.

According to the new policy, steps will be taken for adoption and exploitation of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D printing, AR/VR, smart robotics, blockchain, biotechnology, intelligent vehicle, nanotechnology, materials science, big data/data-mining, green technologies, space technologies, ICT, and e-textiles, etc. It also calls for establishing an emerging technology fund (ETF). It also emphasizes the need for cooperation with other countries in the field of science and technology and technology transfer.

An effective implementation framework will be evolved, as per the policy. Besides, a steering committee, a policy implementation and monitoring advisory board, and a policy implementation unit within the Ministry and the inter-ministerial and government level will also be set up under the policy.



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