KARACHI – President Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman has said that Pakistani scientists are working in the field of Biosaline Agriculture to grow wheat, maize, rice and other crops by using sea water.
“The country is already suffering from water shortage. Global warming will cause massive droughts within 20 years worldwide. Socio-economic development is no longer dependent on natural resources; knowledge has become the main driving force of world economies.”
He was delivering an online lecture titled “The Thrilling World of Discovery” at Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK).
The National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS), Pakistan and International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences jointly organised the lecture on account of World Science Day for Peace and Development.
The most important Pakistani crops are wheat, sugarcane, cotton, and rice, which together account for more than 75% of the value of total crop output. Pakistan’s largest food crop is wheat.
Prof. Rahman, who is also a former chairman of the Higher Education Commission Pakistan, said that scientists at ICCBS were working day and night on various sciences’ fronts, while research on Biosaline Agriculture was a part of these efforts. He said that the establishment of Jamil-Ur-Rahman Center for Genomic Research at ICCBS-UoK will definitely help the scientists engaged in research work on biosaline agriculture.
He said that the countries like China, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan had realized the phenomenon that the knowledge became the main driving force of world economies and they made great progress. Pakistan needs also to follow the footprints of these countries in term of achieving advancement on the economic front, he said.
“The world has made wonderful progress in the field of science and technology. By using Nanotechnology, bullet proof paper are being made which are stronger than steel. These papers are being used for making bullet proof jackets. In about 10 years, people will all be wearing E-Textiles. , which shows a wondrous of science,” he said.
Prof. Rahman also reminded the audience about the great progress made in the field of science and higher education sector, when he was chairman of HEC and federal minister for science and technology.
“Around 6000 per cent increase was made in Pakistan’s budget of science and technology. Conversely, about 3500 per cent increase was also made in the budget of higher education. Nearly 11,000 scholars were awarded PhD, post-doctoral, split PhD etc degrees. Mostly scholars were sent Europe for higher leaning.