Pakistan desperately needs to focus on R and D at university level: Dr. Jamil

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DSCN1444_optWhat was the approach behind inception of Abysan University?

JAMIL AHMAD: The Abysan educational institution was founded in 1998. Muhammad Imranullah, the founder of the institution, was basically an industrialist. He quit the business desperately feeling that he was not getting trained human resources, so he decided to set up an institute to train the relevant manpower to run his industry. Presently, the institute is offering various technical diplomas such as electrical and mechanical. In 2005, he applied for getting the university status for his institute. The HEC awarded this status in 2007 and later in 2009 it became the degree awarding institute. The university has two campuses – Peshawar and Islamabad. Muhammad Imranullah is the founder and chancellor of the university.

What are the current programmes being offered in the university?

These programmes being offered at undergraduate and post graduate levels included Engineering, Computer Science, Pharmacy, Microbiology, Management Sciences, Social Sciences (including education). The first batch of undergraduate students will graduate by the end of March 2013.

What is the broad title of the university and what are the main educational priorities?

The University mainly focuses on Engineering and Computer Sciences (ICT). We are planning to include new engineering disciplines i.e Electronics and Civil Engineering by Dec 2014. Currently prevailing power crises issue will be addressed in the electrical Department.

How many PhD you have in the faculty?

The total faculty strength is 110 including 20 PhD holders (in both Peshawar and Islamabad campus) making a ratio of 20 per cent. It is aims to increase this ratio upto 35 per cent. Currently the 90 per cent faculty has 18 years of education i.e. M.Phil and PhD degrees.

Recently HEC has changed rule about the compulsory teaching of Urdu at B.Sc. and Pharamcy level, what is your point of view about that?

I personally think that languages should be taught to students as it will create unity amongst different provinces. Understanding the language will increase the overall understanding of the subject taught. In my point of view optional languages should be included in course curriculum, as these courses will increase the overall understanding will have a positive effect.

Is language course is must in Education Department in the Abysan University.

HEC should not take much freedom in its hand. In Western world, universities guide the societies but in Pakistan society guides universities as they offer courses demanded by the society. Universities in Pakistan have started offering courses demanded by the public and having high demand in terms of job market. Problems like power crisis and energy management issues should be addressed as they are the prevailing big issues for the country as no energy audit system is present here.

Do you have any R and D project funded by the government of Pakistan?

Currently we have submitted two proposals in the National ICT RandD Fund for funding. One is about the use of signatures on mobile application, which if approved, will help banks and NADRA, while the second one is on robotics. In this project, robots will test the mobile working whether it is properly manufactured or not; they will test the final product on different parameters. The project is need based and is the requirement of a US company.

What are the other R and D activities of the university?

Our Islamabad campus will focus more on the research activities; Peshawar campus will mostly concentrate on the teaching side as there are less opportunities of quality education available in Peshawar. In Islamabad we have liaised with two companies – Renyzm (pvt) Ltd and Pure Push – working on mobile applications. The mobile application will display still image during a video. The basic aim of this collaboration is to promote the entrepreneurship amongst the students. In Abysan University, students have to carry out two internships for their career development. First internship will be at the end of 2nd year of Bachelors to familiarize students with industry environment and the second internship is in the third university year during which they will be trained to take up independent projects. According to my point of view, the university is nothing without research and development. Worlds leading universities like Oxford and Cambridge are famous because of their research output.

Why is there no Rand D in electrical sector?

Ranzim Pvt Limited located inside the campus is focusing on electrical systems and we also plan to launch the incubator sector on gaming in Peshawar. In this project we will employ our graduates. There is a big scope of computer gaming systems. We have already organized a workshop on computer gaming software and a competition amongst students. Currently we are focusing on two broad avenues – gaming and medical technology. I hold specialization in the TB and artificial intelligence. Another area on which we are currently working in the Medical Technology is de-blurring as images produced by MRI and CT scans when transferred to computer get blurred. We are working to obtain a relatively clear image. For this purpose we have liaised with Shifa International Hospital. We have already published one research paper on it and in future we aim to develop a data base of about 100,000 images. In developed countries these kinds of data base are already present and available to public on payment. This data base is usually generated by universities with the help of student groups. We are focusing more on applied research by engaging companies in our research as it will be the big honor for a small university to engage big companies in research. “Science Park” of Waarcik University could be a model for us where the park is currently hosting many companies.

Why was the concept of entrepreneurship not initiated earlier in Pakistan while all the valued technologies around the world are developed in the universities of developed world?

Pakistan is far behind in producing the efficient patents as compared to international patents produced. The patents produced in Pakistan are too weak and do not serve the purpose. In US during 1890 they were thinking to close down the patent office. According to them, there is no room for new inventions. Unfortunately, in Pakistan there is no patent office even after 100 years.

How can science and technology play role in changing the way of life of common man?

It is unarguable to say that SandT can change the life of a common man and there is no second opinion in this fact. The problem with our nation is the focus on the bigger solutions like nuclear energy rather than exploiting simple solutions. Solar energy can be utilized better by redesigning the solar cell. First, we should identify our problems and concentrate on the “transfer technology”, e.g. the western world has already evolved solutions to the everyday issues. We can use the same solutions and adopt them as per local conditions. Science and Technology should have a manufacturing base. In current circumstances it will be impossible for major countries like US to survive without having an efficient S and T base. For Pakistan, this manufacturing base is important as it will open new avenues of employments.

We should not be disappointed at any stage; our country has a huge potential. Everything is possible to attain while living in Pakistan. Students have two main qualities and they are eager and respectful and are ready to take any challenge. These qualities can be exploited for attaining economic prosperity. We should try to remain positive and focused in finding solutions to our own problems.


Published in: Volume 04 Issue 05

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