Unabated killing of innovations

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A RECENT United Nations study has revealed that Pakistan has 162 researchers for a million people as compared to 135 in India. This, of course, is an encouraging point on the part of Pakistan, however, when it comes to taking research to a logical and innovative end through patent registration, Pakistan is not even close to its neigbouring state as the latter has five patents for a million people, five times more than the Pakistanis. This wide gap can be linked to various factors particularly Pakistans poor technological infrastructure despite the youth are showing great interest in science and technology. Setting out priorities has always been a dilemma on the part of decision makers who, having shallow approach towards critical issues, never realized the emerging international trends as well as flaws in their policies while drafting future mechanisms. Subsequently, the country has to face the brunt of it. Most recently, a public sector science organisation has awarded billions of rupees to local researchers that got published their research in different disciplines. Of course, the policy of supporting and encouraging researchers in different scientific disciplines is appreciable in the sense that it is necessary to promote a culture of science and technology in the universities and research organizations. However, it raises important questions about the credibility of research that the local researchers are performing to claim high academic and research profiles. Since the advent of impact factor, researchers have entered a race to get their research papers or articles published in international journals, no matter how low ranking these publications have in the world. This kind of publishing in low impact factor journals seems like a “mass production of articles”, of course, compromising the quality of research. This trend is still gaining ground as the government agencies like HEC and PCST are honouring this junk science blindingly and promoting a culture of junk science and research in local universities. It is painful when majority of the Pakistani researchers were noticed offering heavy amounts for the publication of their articles and researches in these low ranked journals. It is just like killing the environment of innovations and jeopardizing the genuine researches of others. At his critical stage, the relevant government departments need to take cognizance of this destructive approach, and especially universities, HEC and PCST immediately must ban the publishing of articles in third world low ranked national and international journals. Such trend has served nothing; the country is in a desperate need of promotion as well as patronage of innovative trends in this field in order to come at par with the Asian states as well as to cultivate the ever rising international market shares.


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