Author: Tufail Dawar
The world each year invests billions of dollars in Research and Development (R & D) sectors. Developed countries linked their research work with concerned industries, where verbal ideas shaped into tangible assets for the nation’s prosperity and growth.
On a broad spectrum, authentic research needs plenty of time and funded projects, because financial dependency dilutes the ideas of the research scholars. In addition, in 2018 the 46th elected President Joe Biden United States announced 2.7 trillion dollars for research and development projects. Similarly, China, UK, Japan, Russia and Germany is the lagging countries who spend billions of dollars on their R & D sectors. Unfortunately, Pakistani research scholars facing multiple challenges to bring theory into practice in the R & D sector. No doubt, that research is more expensive and it is very difficult to manage research types of equipment in minimum resources. Almost, there are 174 Public universities under the registration of the Higher Education Commission. The recent QS ranking Pakistani Universities such as Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad (QAU), NUST, LUMS and Punjab University Lahore secured a position among the top 500 world ranking; based on the research and academic score of the university.
Furthermore, funded projects shield the research scholars from the financial burden at home, because innovative ideas and financial burden at home are not going parallel to each other. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the investment in R & D sectors falls every year with different trajectories. One of them is that university research work is not directly linked with the concerned industries. There is a chasm between universities and industries. Similarly, the world’s top-ranked universities Harvard of America, Oxford in England, and Peking of China lined their research work with industries, where they give financial support to the research scholars and facilitate them in instrumentation and characterization of samples to get desirable results.
Additionally, Pakistan is facing poor governance and administration over the research grants which create more social and psychological problems for R & D sectors. It is very difficult to publish a high-impact factor research article, patent, and idea under such kind of fragile research policies. The HEC funds for research are not properly utilized. The research scholars think about their work in a very stressful environment. Every year Pakistani Ph.D. scholars in the mid of their degree left departments to foreign countries because the developed countries support them financially. This will have very lethal consequences in a long run for our HEC and R & D sectors. Ultimately, one must ask: what the does “quality” of higher education? Equivalently, how many ones differentiate between Higher Education (HE) institutions on the basis of quality? This then translates into measuring “real access” to higher education and separating it from mere enrollment. Of course, judging quality is always controversial.
Research in any professional field, Mathematics or Physics, molecular biology or engineering, economics or archaeology defies a unique, precise and definition.
An exploratory definition might be that research is the discovery of new and interesting phenomena, creation of concepts that have explanatory or predictive power, making of the new and useful invention and processes, etc. For quality research, the industrial link with universities is very important. The success of research is judged by its importance. For research of an applied nature, the impact can be measured by its effect upon industrial or academic production, jobs created, rise in company stock, etc. The number and the type of patents that follow from the research give an important indicator of success. Furthermore, for academic research, only the specialist in the exact field can be entrusted with the evaluation. Of all imperfect measure, the least imperfect one is to count the number of citations in refereed journals. In a nutshell, corporations of research scholars and industries will give a bright future to Pakistan R & D sectors. No doubt, M.S, and Ph.D. scholars have multiple ideas, and industries have funded projects, where they can collaborate with each other for the prosperity and growth of the nation. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Technology with the collaboration of Higher Education Commission Pakistan, and the Pakistan Academy of Science and Social Sciences to ensure the link between Universities and Industries in every province of Pakistan for quality research.
The writer is the M.Phil Scholar at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad Pakistan.