STAFF REPORT IBD: International manufacturers of Lasers and Optics have a yearly turnover of several tens of billions of dollars, but Pakistan is far behind in developing and adopting laser technology in specialized education indigenous production of lasers and their use. Lasers have been put to extensive use in almost every field of human activity including defense, energy, communications and information processing, data storage, entertainment, manufacturing and material processing.
“Though some work has been initiated in strategic organizations on fabrication of some parts of lasers on a limited scale, reliable operation of laser systems still remains a challenge,” said Chairperson Pakistan Council of Science and Technology (PCST) Dr. Mudasar Asrar, while talking to media here.
Laser is used in microc-machining, catalyzing chemical processes, environmental monitoring and remote sensing, therapeutics medicine, surgery, cosmetic and medical technology, analytical and forensic science, biosciences, printing, barcode reading, and in other basic scientific as well as industrial research.
“This necessitates a major initiative for establishment of an independent Institute of Lasers and Photonics outside the strategic organizations,” he maintained.
Dr. Mudasar said the primary focus, in the beginning, could be on capacity building in terms of training and producing highly skilled manpower together with development of facilities leading to design and fabrication of prototype laser systems, optical components, and some related instrumentation.