In the "New Economy", the most important single asset for any nation is the intellectual capital it develops by educating its people well. Investment in education could not be better described than by the words used by the Chinese genius Kuan Chung centuries ago: "If you plan for a year, plant a seed; if for 10 years, plant a tree; if for a 100 years, teach the people. When you sow a seed once, you reap a single harvest; when you teach the people, you will reap a 100 harvests."
Here is a piece by Pakistani scientist Dr. A.Q. Khan that further elaborates on how to develop Pakistan's intellectual capital to make the nation prosper in the new economy:
KRL (Khan Research Lab in Kahuta, Pakistan) used to organize many international conferences on important technological and scientific subjects, usually covering those disciplines that were of direct relevance and importance to them. The aim of such conferences was to gather together a large number of participants from abroad to provide Pakistani scientists and engineers an opportunity to interact with foreign experts, exchange views, seek their guidance and initiate contacts with them for future studies abroad. These conferences covered such varied subjects as vacuum technology, advanced materials, phase transformations, software engineering, fluid dynamics, super conductors, magnetic materials, mechanical vibrations, and biomedical sciences.
It also enabled Pakistani scientists and engineers to present their research papers in the presence of foreign experts, which gave them self-confidence and enabled them to learn from constructive criticism and advice. The conferences attracted professors and experts from countries including Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, China, Egypt, Germany, Holland, India, Japan, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the USA. It was an extremely healthy exercise which, unfortunately, has since been discontinued.
When I started our enrichment program in 1976, and later the weapons program in 1981, I found out that the standard of our graduates was far below that of European graduates. Not only did they lack in basic knowledge, but there was also a severe dearth of self-confidence. I selected those I considered to be the best for my initial team and, thanks to their dedication and willingness to learn, we managed to complete the program in a relatively short span of time.
I still vividly remember how, during one of the interviews, we ran into a cocky physicist who was all out to impress us with his brilliant educational record, having secured first position every time and being on the Honor Roll in the M.Sc. physics programme at the Government College, Lahore. I just listened while my colleagues did the questioning. At the end I asked him to show graphically the linear relationship between two quantities. I was shocked by the fact that he was unable to do so. I then asked him how he would determine by a simple experiment whether or not a small piece of wire was a conductor or a semi-conductor. Again we drew a blank.
Years later, there was an annual get-together of old Ravians where I was invited as chief guest. The late Dr Arif (advisor to the late Chief Minister Wyne), the late Mr Hanif Ramay (a former chief minister), Mr Majid Nizami and other Ravians paid tributes to their Alma Mater, claiming that the affairs of Pakistan were being run by Ravians. I could not help remarking that Pakistan's condition in all spheres did not speak highly of their performance.
While studying in Germany, Holland and Belgium, we visited many industrial units and other universities to broaden our vision. In my case, I visited such industries and institutes in Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, England, Austria, Italy, Sweden and Denmark and gained invaluable knowledge and experience from it.
I would like to do justice to the graduates of the various institutions by stressing that the fault was (and is) not theirs. It is the outdated system and lack of facilities that hold them back and prevent them from becoming well-equipped and well-informed. During one of the conferences mentioned above, a British professor asked what the monthly fee at a public university was. When informed what this nominal amount was, he quipped: "Well, you can see that from the end-product."
One serious defect in our educational system in general, and our scientific and technological education in particular, is that most of it is based on rote learning. Also, facilities are inadequate. For the greater part, studies consist of memorizing the answers to question papers of the past five years without any attempt to encourage comprehension of the subject. After graduating from this system, students have not fully developed their natural talents. The high school exam is a tough nut to crack because of the number of subjects. As one proceeds into higher education it becomes relatively easier because the subject matter is more limited.
This has resulted in a number of cases of fake high school certificates followed by genuine B.A. and B.Sc. degrees. After an M.Sc. degree from a Pakistani university, studying abroad for a Ph.D. becomes a question of time and some effort. In most cases the supervisor and other doctoral students help, especially if the student is from a Third World country. A Ph.D. degree is obtained while acquiring a lot of knowledge on a very limited subject. Since the foundation was weak to start off with, subsequent building blocks cannot be expected to be solid and strong.
In order to overcome this deficiency, we had initiated a novel program at KRL. We recruited the best B.Sc. degree holders available and then sent them to the UK to study at good universities to obtain B.Sc.(Hons.) degrees in various disciplines. This basic grounding gave them the solid foundation required. Some were allowed to continue for an M.Sc. degree, came back, worked for a few years and were then again allowed to go for Ph.D. work.
Although this was somewhat costly in financial terms, these engineers and scientists turned out to be great assets to us. They were not only competent, but did not hesitate in taking initiatives. The principle behind this was taken from my own experiences. I had gone to Germany after completing my B.Sc. I obtained a thorough grounding for five years before earning an M.Sc. Technology and then went on to complete a doctor of engineering degree. It was this solid base that later enabled me to handle the most difficult and complicated enrichment and missile programmes.
Coming back to engineering education, I would like to point out that engineering is a diverse, wide-ranging profession offering challenging careers in a wide range of areas. One should realise that, within any area of engineering, professional engineers are involved in a wide range of different activities such as design, research, development, production and marketing. Only engineers with good qualities, abilities, skills and initiative to a high level of technical expertise can cope with such a challenge.
A very serious shortcoming in the development of the capabilities of our engineers is the absence of industrial training during their studies. When I went to Berlin, it was compulsory to have at least six months of practical industrial training before joining the university. In my particular case, I had spent three months at Siemens in Karachi and then six months in Germany, working during the day and learning German in the evening, as all courses were taught in German. Having acquired that practical experience even before starting my studies was an invaluable asset.
Unfortunately, this practice is not followed in Pakistan as most industries don't offer such facilities. Our government should make such practical experience compulsory too, either before starting studies or during the course of the studies. I have heard that this is indeed the practice at some universities, but I was unable to confirm it. For both scientists and engineers there are always challenges to face and to solve, laws of nature to be determined and items of use to humankind to be invented and produced. Some of the things that are of daily use in our life now seemed impossible a generation ago. This was aptly expressed by Robert H Goddard in these words: "It is difficult to say what is impossible for the dream of yesterday, is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."
Investment in education could not be better described than by the words used by the Chinese genius Kuan Chung centuries ago: "If you plan for a year, plant a seed; if for 10 years, plant a tree; if for a 100 years, teach the people. When you sow a seed once, you reap a single harvest; when you teach the people, you will reap a 100 harvests."
In my last article I had mentioned the invaluable advice given by the great Muslim scholar Yaqub Ibn Ishaq al-Kundi, that one should not be ashamed to ask questions to determine the truth and to acknowledge this fact without any hesitation.
Teaching Facts Versus Reasoning
Venture Investing in China, India and Pakistan
Improving Higher Education in Pakistan
Jinnah's Pakistan Booms Amidst Doom and Gloom
Pakistani Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley
Intellectual Capital Performance of Lahore Listed Companies
Pakistan: Sciencewatch Rising Star 2009
ASI: Creating intellectual capital, changing the climate of opinion
Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan
Another howler. This one from the guy who did some seminal research in plagiarizing :-)
Riaz this reader is beginning to wonder if you have a political axe to grind.
Do you know what plagiarize means? Do you know when the original nuclear technology was developed and where? It was America's Manhattan Project under Oppenheimer.
By your definition of plagiarism, every scientist in every country that has developed nuclear capability after the US is guilty of plagiarism.
Every scientist and engineer today that develops any thing stands on the shoulders of giants before us.
"Political ax" you say? I think you have that ax to grind, not me. Because you brought the politics into a non-political discussion.
Do you know what plagiarize means?
I think I do.
Wait - maybe "plagiarize" is too mild a term. The appropriate word is theft.
I think you have that ax to grind, not me. Because you brought the politics into a non-political discussion.
Using AQ Khan's opinions to make a point begs the obvious question of credibility of the source. If you're going to shove that under the carpet there's no meaningful discussion to be had on the subject matter itself.
You say, "Wait - maybe "plagiarize" is too mild a term. The appropriate word is theft. "
This allegation of theft has been applied to Britain, France, Russia and China when they developed their nuclear technology. In fact, Oppenheimer was accused of transferring technology to America's enemies. This is nothing but racism that assumes that others are incapable of developing anything on their own.
Read "India's Nuclear Bomb" by Perkovich in which the author talks about the intolerant pride of the Brahman caste that first "dismissed" and then was "shocked" to learn that Pakistan had extensive nuclear and delivery capabilities. In all likelihood, BJP would not have proceeded with testing the bomb, had they known that Pakistan was equally capable and serious about maintaining deterrence that would neutralize India's conventional superiority.
Its shameful that you had to mention AQ Khan as an example.I am stunned at your audacity to argue for this guy.Much as you argue that-every country has involved in theft-you shall not have any excuse if you support the fact this guy had made the world unsafe by running nuclear walmart!!!!There is a limit to national pride and there is limit for religious insanity when you stoop to support this evil fellow.Unbelievable!!!!!
(By the way Pakistan is not India or Britain in its credibility or stability-try to look to compare with some religious nation with "islamic" credentials).
You argue, "Its shameful that you had to mention AQ Khan as an example.I am stunned at your audacity to argue for this guy"
I can sense your emotions are running high.
Dr. AQ Khan is a highly controversial figure. His sins of nuclear proliferation for personal enrichment are unforgivable. But his contribution to Pakistan's security must not be overlooked.
If Pakistan lacked the nuclear arsenal and the missiles it now has thanks to AQ Khan, India would have absolutely devastated Pakistan in the wake of Mumbai.
Let's not lose sight of the man's contribution to Pakistan as we excoriate him for his personal failings.
India would have been punished by international community if it even thinks of using nuclear weapons-no excuses.No question of tolerating nuclear indiscipline.This is not about India and pakistan -this is about lack of values due to which this rogue Khan bought himself down!.
You say, "India would have been punished by international community if it even thinks of using nuclear weapons-no excuses."
India, with its superiority in numbers and conventional weapons, would not need to resort to nukes to destroy Pakistan.
The only thing that deters it is the fear of Pak nukes. This fear has prevented wars in 2001/2 and again in 2008/9.
Riaz - You know the art of attracting these super bigots ;-) Anything that prevents these fanatics from expanding on their desire to be a regional bully becomes rogue and eveil, be it AQ Khan, Army, ISI, or Taliban.
Khan does have valid points - He points to some weakness in Pakistani education system that I have also noticed (and experienced). European students certainly have a better "engineering sense" and are more practical compared to local kids. Although, student involved in Co-Op programs here do better in their profession. I think if opportunities are provided, Pakistani students will also do well. The main problem that Pakistani students face is the lack of role models in the universities they graduate from.
There are big differences between the American and European model. German model, for example, has heavy emphasis on industrial training. And yet, the world's top universities are in the US and the biggest innovations have come from America in the last century.
I think the more basic question is the emphasis on scientific reasoning versus learning facts. As Dr. Khan points out, Pakistanis are brought up with rote learning. That has to change to make them better in the fields of Science and Technology.
I would like to correct that its not Pak's nukes that deter India after Mumbai.
That is ridiculous..its not a one way street..the nukes I mean.Pak has clearly defined thresholds..India was deterred by Pak's using ballistic missiles armed with conventional warheads targeting economic targets in Gujarat,Bombay etc.This problem is being fixed with rapid theater ABM testing and deployment.. Did you read about a news story that the 1990 China's nuclear test was for testing a pak nuke device?
Jadev says "I would like to correct that its not Pak's nukes that deter India after Mumbai."
Jadev is the currently serving PM and president of Bharat and he also holds key positions with RSS, VHP, BJP, Bajrang Dal....LeT, RAW
Just google Jews Vs. Muslim, it will give a complete picture of the intellectual development of the islamic world. Probably pakistan and iran could contribute 100% of the islamic number where as all other can be categorized into two :
1. Rich GCC nation enjoying the wealth of oil in support of usa
2. Poor countries like sudan, somalia, afghanistan fighting and dying in the name of islam.
You could ask the development of pakistani intellectual capital to the taliban who has already moved into swat and further moving inside.
Pakistan has been rated a ‘Rising Star’ in research multiple times over the last couple of years by ScienceWatch.com, a Thompson Reuters website which tracks trends and performance in research by analyzing its database of scientific papers and citations. The ‘Rising Star’ rankings are published every two months to acknowledge new entrants, by identifying the scientists, institutions, countries, and journals which have shown the largest percentage increase in total citations. In the May issue of the ratings, Pakistan was named a ‘rising star’ in two areas, ‘Materials Science’ and ‘Plant & Animal Science’. Amongst other countries of the region, Bangladesh was also listed as a rising star in ‘Computer Science’ and ‘Pharmacology & Toxicology’. Iran was named in four categories, and Qatar and UAE in one category each.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has been named in these ratings recently. In fact, Pakistan’s record has been very consistent since March 2008, the earliest ratings that are available on the website. Here’s a listing of Pakistan’s mention in the ‘rising star’ ratings:
* March 2008: Engineering, Mathematics
* May 2008: Materials Science
* July 2008: Engineering
* September 2008: Computer Science, Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics, Plant and Animal Sciences (5 areas!)
* November 2008: Engineering
* January 2009: Computer Science
* March 2009: Computer Science
* May 2009: Materials Science, Plants and Animal Sciences
* July 2009: None
Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, the country’s top university in terms of the number of publications per year, has also been recognized as a ‘rising star’ institution, in Jan 2009 and July 2008 issues, both times in the area of ‘Engineering’.
The ratings are based on the largest percentage increase and not the absolute numbers, and therefore, cannot be used to quantify research productivity in absolute terms. However, they definitely demonstrate the trend of a substantial increase in international publications from Pakistan compared to previous years. It is very healthy that a number of different areas are covered in these past two years, showing an across the board enhancement of research productivity.
While there has been a lot of debate on the effectiveness of HEC’s reforms in higher education, at least one thing is clear: the increased emphasis on research, largely due to HEC’s programs, has started to bear fruit. These are hard numbers here, based on data by the company that maintains the largest scientific citation index in the world, and cannot be easily refuted by the nay-sayers.
Here is a NY Times story on how China is luring top Chinese-American scientists from US:
BEIJING — Scientists in the United States were not overly surprised in 2008 when the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland awarded a $10 million research grant to a Princeton University molecular biologist, Shi Yigong.
Dr. Shi’s cell studies had already opened a new line of research into cancer treatment. At Princeton, his laboratory occupied an entire floor and had a $2 million annual budget.
----------------------------“He was one of our stars,” Robert H. Austin, a Princeton physics professor, said by telephone. “I thought it was completely crazy.”
China’s leaders do not. Determined to reverse the drain of top talent that accompanied its opening to the outside world over the past three decades, they are using their now ample financial resources — and a dollop of national pride — to entice scientists and scholars home.
The West, and the United States in particular, remain more attractive places for many Chinese scholars to study and do research. But the return of Dr. Shi and some other high-profile scientists is a sign that China is succeeding more quickly than many experts expected at narrowing the gap that separates it from technologically advanced nations.
China’s spending on research and development has steadily increased for a decade and now amounts to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product. The United States devotes 2.7 percent of its G.D.P. to research and development, but China’s share is far higher than that of most other developing countries.
Quantity is not quality, and despite its huge investment, China still struggles in many areas of science and technology. No Chinese-born scientist has ever been awarded a Nobel Prize for research conducted in mainland China, although several have received one for work done in the West. While climbing, China ranked only 10th in the number of patents granted in the United States in 2008.
Chinese students continue to leave in droves. Nearly 180,000 left in 2008, almost 25 percent more than in 2007, as more families were able to pay overseas tuition. For every four students who left in the past decade, only one returned, Chinese government statistics show. Those who obtained science or engineering doctorates from American universities were among the least likely to return.
Recently, though, China has begun to exert a reverse pull. In the past three years, renowned scientists like Dr. Shi have begun to trickle back. And they are returning with a mission: to shake up China’s scientific culture of cronyism and mediocrity, often cited as its biggest impediment to scientific achievement.
They are lured by their patriotism, their desire to serve as catalysts for change and their belief that the Chinese government will back them.
“I felt I owed China something,” said Dr. Shi, 42, who is described by Tsinghua students as caring and intensely driven. “In the United States, everything is more or less set up. Whatever I do here, the impact is probably tenfold, or a hundredfold.”
He and others like him left the United States with fewer regrets than some Americans might assume. While he was courted by a clutch of top American universities and rose swiftly through Princeton’s academic ranks, Dr. Shi said he believed many Asians confronted a glass ceiling in the United States.
Here's a story about the security situation affecting foreign universities plans in Pakistan:
New Delhi — Nine foreign universities that had agreed to set up engineering schools in Pakistan — with their own faculties and administrators — have now decided not to do so because they are leery of the worsening security situation and political uncertainty in the country, a daily newspaper in Pakistan reported, citing an unnamed spokesman of President Pervez Musharraf.
The foreign universities’ professors and other officials are unwilling to move to Pakistan despite very attractive remunerations offered by the Pakistan government, which plans to spend $4-billion on the nine projects with universities in Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and South Korea. The foreign universities may also have changed their minds, another newspaper said, because they are finding it difficult to arrange for the many professors needed to staff the new institutions, some of which Pakistan has already begun to build.
In March Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission refuted rumors that plans to open the universities had been deferred or canceled, and said that they would start classes this year, as scheduled. “Foreign faculty has also concerns regarding the security situation in the country, but we are constantly in contact with them, they did not refuse to land in the country, and the project is on the track,” Sohail Naqvi, the commission’s executive director, was quoted as saying.
In 2002 Pakistan began an ambitious program to reform its higher-education system by setting up the commission, which has since created programs to enroll more students in Ph.D. programs in Pakistan and abroad, to hire foreign faculty members, to establish new universities throughout the country, and to collaborate with foreign partners to open engineering schools. The reforms have been controversial.
A local newspaper this month quoted an unnamed Ministry of Education official as saying that control of the commission would be handed over to the education ministry, rather than report directly to the president. —Shailaja Neelakantan
Here are a few excerpts from a piece by Prof William Easterly published in Foreign Policy Magazine:
"We found that there was a remarkably strong association between countries with the most advanced technology in 1500 and countries with the highest per capita income today. Europe already had steel, printed books, and oceangoing ships then, while large parts of Africa did not yet have writing or the wheel. Britain had all 24 of our sample technologies in 1500. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga had none of them. But technology also travels. North America, Australia, and New Zealand had among the world's most backward technology in 1500; today, they are among the wealthiest regions on Earth, reflecting the principle that it's the people who matter, not the places. As migration has transformed parts of the world that were nearly empty in the Middle Ages, technology has migrated with them. "
"OF COURSE, IN SOCIAL SCIENCE, no generalization is universal. The most important counterexample is China, which in 1500 had plow cultivation, printing, paper, books, firearms, the compass, iron, and steel, and yet failed to emulate Europe's Industrial Revolution in the centuries that followed. Scholars have argued that autocratic Chinese emperors killed off technological progress for domestic political reasons. For example, one Ming emperor banned long-distance oceanic exploration for fear of foreign influence threatening his power, after Chinese ships had already reached East Africa in 1422."
"This gives us a hint as to how political formation affects development: Fragmented Europe did not have any one autocrat who could kill off technological innovation, and the constant threats of living in a hostile neighborhood spurred the advancement of military technology. And because borders were relatively open around 1500, the reality that citizens could leave for more advanced places -- the forerunner of today's "brain drain" -- kept alive the spirit of innovation. "
"Most importantly, what the history of technology tells us is that the blank-slate theory is a myth. Top-down development programs simply don't work. In fact, the principal beneficiaries of Western largesse today -- African autocrats and dysfunctional regimes -- are themselves the main obstacles to development. If there's anything that "must be done" to spur future development, it's to create the conditions necessary to empower the ordinary individuals who will create new and unforeseen technologies out of old ones. There's a Thomas Edison born every minute. We just have to help them turn the lights on."
The fundamental problems in South Asia are very different from problems in the West.
Solution to South Asian problems can not be found by aping the West...and original thinking is required to find such solutions.
Take individual liberties and rights for example.
The biggest beneficiaries of such rights are those few who have the power to enforce such rights for themselves through the use of the courts and the state apparatus, usually at the expense of the society at large. This situation leads to growing inequalities, and greater poverty for the majority.
Similarly, the western style capitalist economy encourages unrestrained growth in consumption...something that Asian nations with their massive populations and rapidly depleting natural resources can simply not afford.
No amount of cheap widget manufacturing, computer code writing and low-cost BPO services can solve these problems.
There is an estimate that it would take five times the resources of the planet earth for the rest the world to live as Americans do today.
What we need is to acknowledge that the developing world can not achieve the same standards of living as the OECD nations have without catastrophic destruction of the planet.
So what is the alternative? How do the Asians and the Africans achieve reasonable standards of living without destroying the planet? What political and economic system is needed to ensure equitable sharing of rapidly depleting resources of the earth?
These are the kinds of questions that need to be explored and answered by Asian intellectuals now.
Dear Riaz Haq shahab ,at this time country need your services & your un matched experiences why your are away from country border & just only writing about the defects of the nation ,come & establish think tank as you are experiences last 30 decades in USA ,come & provide a plate form for intellectual who can solve issues of this country in a meaning full manner .We need you and your experience to establish think tank .
Come & share your experience with us .
Thank you & Best regards,
Muhammad ahmed khan
Dawn report on two young Pakistani girls who won Intel Science Award:
LOS ANGELES: Young Pakistani students used Nanotechnology to clean polluted water and won Third Place Grand Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the United States.
An announcement here on Saturday said that Ambreen Bibi and Mehwish Ghafoor of Islamabad won a Third Place Grand Award in the field of Environmental Sciences.
It said that they received the award and $ 1,000 for developing a treatment that utilizes nanotechnology to make polluted water drinkable.
Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff from Lafayette, California were awarded the top prize. They received $ 75,000 and the Gordon E. Moore Award for developing a potentially more effective and less expensive cancer treatment that places tin metal near a tumor before radiation therapy.
Taylor Wilson from Reno, Nevada, was named an Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award winner and received $50,000. Taylor developed one of the lowest dose and highest sensitivity interrogation systems for countering nuclear terrorism.
‘We champion the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because we believe that math and science are imperative for innovation’, said Naveed Siraj, Country Manager, Intel Pakistan.
‘This global competition features youth trying to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through science’.
This year more than 1,500 young entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists were selected to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school science research competition.
While Pakistan fares badly, ranking 103 on a list of 125 nations, on CII-INSEAD Global Index of Innovation for 2011, it is included among the top 10 countries for the Innovation Efficiency sub-Index. These countries are Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, China, Pakistan, Moldova, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, India, and Bangladesh.
This places Pakistan in 4th place on CII-Insead's Global innovation efficiency sub-index, 5 places ahead of India in 9th place, according to Economic Times of India:
India has improved its ranking in the global Innovation Efficiency Index to 9th position in 2011 from 101th last year on factors like political stability, R&D, market and business sophistication, according to a study.
Surprisingly, Pakistan was placed ahead of India at 4th position, the CII-INSEAD study said.
However, India has slipped on its ranking in the Global Innovation Index to 62nd position out of 125 countries in 2011 from 56th last year while Switzerland was at the top,
It said that a lot of Indian talent is returning home to the country and the youth in urban India are now more global than ever, "and they are quite in tune with new technologies, even ahead of the curve in many cases, as early adapters".
"Multinational corporations are making large investments in R&D outside of their headquarter countries, setting up R&D sites in low-cost emerging countries such as China and India to access global talent and take advantage of their proximity to target markets," the report said.
Indian major players such as Tata, Godrej, and Mahindras are shifting their focus towards the rapidly expanding middle-income group of customers by coming up with frugal innovations, keeping in mind the price sensitivity of Indian consumers, it said.
Here's a recent Op Ed titled "The Real War With India" by HEC chair Javaid Leghari published in Newsweek Pakistan:
It’s hit an all-time low. Pakistan’s commitment to the higher education sector has been scaled back by 10 percent at the same time that India has raised its higher-education budget by 25 percent. This reduction is in addition to the 40 percent cut imposed last year. This shortsightedness imperils economic growth by stunting prospects of a viable middle class.
India has a population six times the size of Pakistan’s. Its GDP, at $1.8 trillion, is 10 times larger than ours. Its growth rate is 8.5 percent, ours is 2.4 percent. Its value-added exports, at $250 billion, are more than ours by a factor of 15; and its FDI, at $26 billion per year, dwarfs ours by a factor of 22. India is set to surpass Japan to become the world’s third largest economy by 2014. This has all been made possible, in no small measure, because of India’s human capital. Pakistan needs to take a leaf out of their book to realize the possible.
The World Bank identifies several key factors to achieve and sustain economic growth: education, a skilled workforce, information and communication technologies, and innovation. These are the veritable pillars of a knowledge economy. Likewise, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 lists higher education and training, technology readiness, and innovation as essential for competitiveness.
Catching up to the rest of the world must start now. And there is much ground to cover. For Pakistanis between the ages of 17 and 23, access to higher education is at 5.1 percent—one of the lowest in the world. (India is at 12.2 percent and aiming for 30 percent by 2020.) Pakistan has 132 universities for a population of 180 million and a student population of about 1.1 million. India has 504 universities with an enrollment of over 15 million (its enrolment target is 40 million by 2020). Pakistan has approved funding for two new universities. Over the next five years, India will have established 29 universities and 40 other institutes. Pakistan can today produce about 700 Ph.D.s every year (up from a dismal 200 in 2002) while India can produce 8,900 and China some 50,000.
Here's a piece by Pakistan Link editor on Beaconhouse schools in its recent issue:
ABC’s Nightline program sometime back was as usual a pack of distortions about a country that remains steadfast in its support for the US. Entitled ‘The most dangerous country in the world,’ the program focused on the emotional outbursts of a diehard segment of Pakistan society and the fulminations of misguided pacifists known for their opposition to Pakistan’s nuclear program. It conveniently ignored the country’s march in different fields and the progressive nature of Pakistan society. It was a willful and wanton attempt to smear the image of Pakistan.
Yet, there was one positive comment that seemed to have unwittingly slipped from Ted Koppel’s lashing tongue: Some of the world’s best schools are in Pakistan! As the compliment was paid - grudgingly or ungrudgingly - the ABC camera panned across a classroom full of young boys and girls. Their uniforms looked familiar. Was it a Beaconhouse School chapter? I was not sure. Yet the compliment - ‘some of the world’s best schools are in Pakistan’ - reechoed in my ears, and justifiably so. My own son, Jahanzeb, had studied at the PECHS Chapter of Beaconhouse. He was later to win a full university scholarship and excel in studies on migration to the US, thanks to the excellent school education he had received in Pakistan.
Blissfully, the Beaconhouse School System has seen a marked growth in recent years. Its branches dot the country’s landscape and their number is fast multiplying. Founded by Mrs.Nasreen Kasuri and Mian Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri, the System is the largest private network of schools with 40,000 students This wholesome trend testifies to the fact that private schools today play a complementary, nay, catalytic role in strengthening the education sector in Pakistan. They have a chain reaction effect and in this enterprise Beaconhouse’s example stands out, thanks to the painstaking strivings of Mrs. Kasuri who has been at the helm of the School System since its inception.
A write-up in Pakistan Link this year furnished a fresh proof of Beaconhouse’s sustained growth: “With the largest private network of schools in Asia, it was only a matter of time before the Beaconhouse School System was ready to take the quantum leap into the higher education sector. The Beaconhouse National University Foundation (BNUF) has been recently established with the express purpose of setting up the Beaconhouse National University at Lahore.”
A big donor is giving $50 million to Stanford to help promote innovation and entrepreneurship for alleviating poverty in the developing world. Here are some excerpts from a Mercury News story:
A Silicon Valley venture capitalist has donated $100 million to Stanford University's Graduate School of Business to establish a new institute to promote entrepreneurship in developing countries and eventually alleviate poverty.
Robert King, along with his wife, Dorothy, also gave a second gift to the entire university, $50 million in matching funds to encourage more donations to Stanford. The couple's gift is the second-largest publicly disclosed single donation to the school, behind a $400 million donation in 2001 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
"The institute will be about sponsoring and creating entrepreneurial activity in developing economies," said Robert King, 76, who founded Peninsula Capital in Menlo Park. "Stanford is in an absolutely leading position to do that."
The Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies will be devoted to research, education and on-the-ground support to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow their businesses. Students and faculty will travel abroad to help businesses overcome obstacles to growth. The institute also will provide formal courses for entrepreneurs and nonprofit employees overseas.
The Kings say the inspiration for their philanthropy grew from hosting foreign students while they attended Stanford, a more than four-decade experience that underscored the importance of the link between education and entrepreneurship. It also led to a successful investment by Robert King, who provided seed money for China's giant search engine, Baidu, after he met the company's co-founders, Eric Xu and Robin Li, through one of the couple's home-stay students more than a decade ago.
"If anyone knows the value of encouraging entrepreneurship in the developing world, it's Bob King," Li said in an email statement. "Bob took a big chance on Baidu in our earliest days, investing in a Chinese search engine at a time when China's Internet was still in its infancy. I'm sure that this generous endowment will help create some great business leaders in the developing world."
The institute will build on work Stanford students and faculty already are engaged in through a collaboration of the business school and the university's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design in which products and business models are created for the developing world.
One venture to emerge from this work is d.light, a company creating products for people without access to reliable electricity. The institute will dispatch students and faculty members to work with overseas businesses and NGOs, or nongovernment organizations, identified as having great promise by other organizations.
"If their research is focused on Guatemala, we will send them there," Lee said.
The university is beginning the process to hire three tenure-track professors to fill research positions in the institute. They will join four current Stanford professors, Saloner said.
The Kings, who are active philanthropists, also founded the Thrive Foundation for Youth, which supports research on youth development and organizations that work with young people.
Whys is India not a scientific power, asks an Op Ed in The Hindu:
.....It is the robustness of scientific research and innovation that sets apart great powers from the mediocre ones.
We have good scientists, but why has India not produced outstanding scientists who make path-breaking discoveries that will make the world sit up and take notice? Should we continue to be satisfied with tweaking borrowed technologies? Is reverse engineering an innovative phenomenon?
All debates about scientific research inevitably end up zeroing in on the deficiencies of our educational system as the root cause of the abysmal record in scientific research. This is only part of the story.
A nation's culture — belief systems, values, attitudes — plays a significant role in determining the quality of scientific research. The Oriental attitudes differ from the Occidental values in many respects. Asian societies are basically collectivist, that is, the collective good of society ranks higher than individual happiness and achievements. People do not ask what they can do for their country; they are always asking what the country will do for them. They look up to the state for guidance, leadership and direction. There is no burning individual ambition to excel and achieve something new.
In the West, individuals try to achieve their potential through their own efforts, aided and facilitated by enabling laws and institutions. Self-reliance is the key objective of life. An independent life requires a free and questioning mindset that takes nothing for granted and constantly challenges conventional wisdom. Children are encouraged to push the frontiers of knowledge by self-examination and open-minded enquiry. It is only a sceptical and dissenting mind that often thinks out of the box to explore new vistas of knowledge.
Collectivism promotes conformism and deference to authority whether it is parents, elders, teachers or the government. It is heresy to question established values and customs.
We pass on our passivity and uncritical attitudes to our children. No wonder, the educational system encourages rote learning and unquestioning acceptance of what is taught in the classrooms and stated in the textbooks. How can we expect our children to suddenly develop an enquiring and inquisitive attitude when they have been brought up in a milieu that discourages ‘disruptive' thoughts?
India and China were once advanced nations before foreign rule drained their resources and sapped their willpower and scientific traditions. Cultures tend to become conservative and defensive when subjected to long spells of colonial exploitation.
Indians are great believers in destiny. But our tradition does not frown upon free will and individual excellence. We must realise that our ability for free action remains unhampered despite what destiny may hold in store for us.
Fear of failure
Another flaw in our culture that prevents individual excellence is the fear of failure. The stigma associated with failure makes our children risk-averse while choosing their courses and careers.
Scientific research is a long-drawn war on received wisdom that requires many battles before it can be won. Science was not built in a day. Some of the battles can end in defeat. In the West, they celebrate failure as a stepping stone to success.
Educational reforms must be preceded by mental deconditioning of parents, teachers, educationists and policymakers — throwing away the cobwebs of uncritical submissiveness to conventional knowledge. Let us bring up a generation that will not hesitate to ask inconvenient questions. This generation will be the torch-bearer of a scientific revolution that will unleash cutting-edge research to make the Nobel Prize committee sit up and take notice....
Here's Dr. Ataur Rahman's Op Ed in The News on building Pakistan's knowledge economy:
Agriculture represents the backbone of our economy. It can serve as a launching pad for transition to a knowledge economy, as it has a huge potential for revenue generation. But that can happen only if agricultural practices are carried out on scientific lines and use of technology maximised. The four major crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane. They contribute about 37 percent of the total agricultural income and about nine percent to the GDP of Pakistan.
Wheat is the most important crop of Pakistan, with the largest acreage. It contributes about three percent to the GDP. The national average yield is about 2.7 tons per hectare, whereas in Egypt the yields are 6.44 tons per hectare and in European countries such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom they are above seven tons per hectare. We presently produce about Rs220 billion worth of wheat. If we can boost our yields to match those of Egypt, it can generate another Rs350 billion, allowing us to systematically pay off the national debt and make available funding for health and education.
However, the government has been reluctant to invest in research, water reservoirs and dams and extension services so that the country continues to suffer. Some progressive farmers in irrigated areas have been able to obtain yields of 6-8 tons per hectare but they are very much a minority. In rain-fed areas the yields are normally between 0.5 tons to 1.3 tons per hectare, depending on the region and amount of rainfall. In irrigated areas the yields are normally higher, in the range of 2.5 tons to 3.0 tons per hectare. Improved semi-dwarf cultivars that are available in Pakistan can afford a yield of wheat between 6-8 tons per hectare. It is possible to increase the yields substantially with better extension services, judicious use of fertilisers and pesticides, and greater access of water from storage reservoirs and dams that need to be constructed.
Cotton represents an important fibre crop of Pakistan that generates about Rs250 billion to the national economy, and contributing about two percent to the national GDP. Pakistan is the fourth-largest producer of cotton in the world, but it is ranked at 10th in the world in terms of yields. The use of plant biotechnology can help to develop better cotton varieties. Bt cotton produces a pesticide internally and safeguards the plant against chewing insects. The yields of Pakistani seed cotton and cotton fibre are both about half those of China. A doubling of cotton yields is doable and it can add another Rs250 billion to the national economy.
The failed system of democracy in Pakistan is strongly supported by Western governments. It serves Western interests as it leads to docile and submissive leaders who serve their foreign masters loyally. The stranglehold of the feudal system thrives with no priority given to education. More than parliamentarians have forged degrees and the degrees of another 250 are suspect. The Supreme Court decision of verification of their degrees is flouted and ignored by the Election Commission. The bigger the crook, the more respect he is given by the government and the biggest crooks are conferred the highest civil awards. The economy has nosedived and we are today ranked among the bottom six countries of the world in terms of our expenditure on education.
Here's Russian analyst Anatol Karlin on India's prospects and its comparison with China:
It is not a secret to longtime readers of this blog that I rate India’s prospects far more pessimistically than I do China’s. My main reason is I do not share the delusion that democracy is a panacea and that whatever advantage in this sphere India has is more than outweighed by China’s lead in any number of other areas ranging from infrastructure and fiscal sustainability to child malnutrition and corruption. However, one of the biggest and certainly most critical gaps is in educational attainment, which is the most important component of human capital – the key factor underlying all productivity increases and longterm economic growth. China’s literacy rate is 96%, whereas Indian literacy is still far from universal at just 74%.
The big problem, until recently, was that there was no internationalized student testing data for either China or India. (There was data for cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai, but it was not very useful because they are hardly representative of China). An alternative approach was to compare national IQ’s, in which China usually scored 100-105 and India scored in the low 80′s. But this method has methodological flaws because the IQ tests aren’t consistent across countries. (This, incidentally, also makes this approach a punching bag for PC enforcers who can’t bear to entertain the possibility of differing IQ’s across national and ethnic groups).
Many Indians like to see themselves as equal competitors to China, and are encouraged in their endeavour by gushing Western editorials and Tom Friedman drones who praise their few islands of programming prowess – in reality, much of which is actually pretty low-level stuff – and widespread knowledge of the English language (which makes India a good destination for call centers but not much else), while ignoring the various aspects of Indian life – the caste system, malnutrition, stupendously bad schools – that are holding them back. The low quality of Indians human capital reveals the “demographic dividend” that India is supposed to enjoy in the coming decades as the wild fantasies of what Sailer rightly calls ”Davos Man craziness at its craziest.” A large cohort of young people is worse than useless when most of them are functionally illiterate and innumerate; instead of fostering well-compensated jobs that drive productivity forwards, they will form reservoirs of poverty and potential instability.
Instead of buying into their own rhetoric of a “India shining”, Indians would be better served by focusing on the nitty gritty of bringing childhood malnutrition DOWN to Sub-Saharan African levels, achieving the life expectancy of late Maoist China, and moving up at least to the level of a Mexico or Moldova in numeracy and science skills. Because as long as India’s human capital remains at the bottom of the global league tables so will the prosperity of its citizens....
Here are excerpts of an article by Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman published in Pakistan Herald:
On July 23, 2006, an article was published in the leading daily Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, titled “Pak threat to Indian science.” It was reported that Prof C N R Rao (chairman of the Indian prime minister’s Scientific Advisory Council), had made a detailed presentation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the rapid strides that Pakistan was making in the higher education sector after the establishment of the Higher Education Commission in October 2002 and my appointment as its first chairman. The article began with the sentence “Pakistan may soon join China in giving India serious competition in science.”
Serious apprehensions were expressed before the Indian prime minister at the rapid progress being made by Pakistan in the higher education and science sectors, first under the ministry of science and technology after my appointment as the federal minister of science and technology of Pakistan in 2000, and later under the Higher Education Commission. It was stressed during the presentation to the Indian prime minister that if India did not take urgent measures to upgrade its own higher education sector, Pakistan would soon take the lead in key areas of higher education, science and technology.
Something remarkable happened in Pakistan during the short period from 2000 to 2008 that rang alarm bells in India. It also drew unmitigated praise from neutral international experts. Three independent and authoritative reports, praising the outstanding performance of the HEC, were published by the World Bank, Usaid and the British Council. Pakistan won several international awards for the revolutionary changes in the higher education sector brought about under the leadership of the writer. The Austrian government conferred its high civil award “Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeischen am Bande” (2007) on the writer for transforming the Higher Education sector in Pakistan. The TWAS (Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Italy) Award for Institutional Development was conferred on the writer at the academy’s 11th general conference in October 2009.
Prof Michael Rode, the chairman of the United Nations Commission on Science, Technology and Development and presently heading a Network of European and Asian Universities (ASIA-UNINET), wrote: “The progress made was breathtaking and has put Pakistan ahead of comparable countries in numerous aspects. The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology has closely monitored the development in Pakistan in the past years, coming to the unanimous conclusion that (the) policy and programme is a ‘best-practice’ example for developing countries aiming at building their human resources and establishing an innovative, technology-based economy.”
Pakistan was poised to make a major breakthrough in transitioning from a low value-added agricultural economy to a knowledge economy. Alas, corrupt politicians with forged degrees plotted to destroy this wonderful institution where all decisions were merit-based, a trait unacceptable to many in power. A government notification was issued on Nov 30, 2010, to fragment the HEC and distribute the pieces. At this point I intervened. It was on my appeal to it that the Supreme Court declared the fragmentation of the HEC to be unconstitutional. The development budget of the HEC has, however, been slashed by 50 percent and most development programmes in universities have come to a grinding halt.
The Indian government need not have worried. We Pakistanis, alas, know how to destroy our own institutions.
Pak threat to Indian science
Pakistan may soon join China in giving India serious competition in science. “Science is a lucrative profession in Pakistan. It has tripled the salaries of its scientists in the last few years.” says Prof C.N.R. Rao, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council.
In a presentation to the Prime Minister, Rao has asked for a separate salary mechanism for scientists. The present pay structure, he says, is such that “no young technical person worth his salt would want to work for the Government or public sector”.
He adds, “You needn’t give scientists private sector salaries, but you could make their lives better, by say, giving them a free house.”
Giving his own example, he says, “I have been getting a secretary’s salary for the last 35 years. But I have earned enough through various awards.
But I can raise a voice for those who aren’t getting their due.” Last year, Rao won the prestigious Dan David Award, from which he created a scholarship fund. So far, he has donated Rs 50 lakh for scholarship purposes.
The crisis gripping Indian science seems to be hydra-headed. “None of our institutes of higher learning are comparable with Harvard or Berkeley,” points out Rao. The IITs, he says, need to improve their performance: a faculty of 350 produces only about 50 PhD scholars a year. “That’s one PhD per 5-6 faculty members,” says the anguished Professor.
Rao fears that India’s contribution to world science would plummet to 1-1.5 per cent if we don’t act fast. At present, India’s contribution is less than three per cent. China’s is 12 per cent.
“We should not be at the bottom of the pile. When I started off in the field of scientific research at 17-and-a-half, I had thought that India would go on to become a top science country. But now, 55 years later, only a few individuals have made it to the top grade,” he laments.
Here's a Daily Times report on a traveling exhibit to promote chemistry learning in Pakistan:
The International Traveling Expo ‘It’s all about Chemistry’ opened at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on Wednesday.
Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with the embassy of France in Islamabad and Scientific, Technical, Industrial and Cultural Centre (CCSTI), France has arranged the Expo, prepared by Centre Sciences-France, UNESCO and partners, for providing a first-hand picture of the role of chemistry in daily life to students and general public.
The Expo is aimed at increasing the interest of young people in Chemistry and to generate enthusiasm among students for take chemistry as a subject of their studies.
The expo started its journey in Pakistan from Karachi in January and after travelling through Tandojam, Khairpur, DG Khan, Multan, Lahore, Mansehra, Peshawar and Swat has reached Islamabad from where it would travel to Sibbi and conclude in Quetta.
Study of Chemistry is critical in addressing challenges such as global climate change, in providing sustainable sources of clean water, food energy and in well-being of people.
The science of chemistry and its applications produce medicines, fuels, metals and virtually all other manufactured products.
PSF Chairman Prof Dr Manzoor Soomro inaugurated the 3-day Expo while French Attache for Cooperation Gilles Angles, AIOU Faculty of Sciences Dean Prof Dr Noshad Khan and AIOU Chemistry Department’s Chairperson Prof Dr Naghmana Rashid were also present on this occasion.
The displays of the expo include Black and White Chemistry, Molecules in Action, Nature Returns with a bang, Intelligent Textiles-Dress Intelligently, Dress Usefully, Materials that Heal Automatically, Oil-bases or Water-based paint, Pure air at home, What’s Going on in my saucepan, Town Water or field Water, Experts against Fraud, When Art and Science Meet, Molecular Motors, Bio-fuels for Green Driving and Responsible Farming etc.
Dr Manzoor Soomro highlighted the PSF programmes and activities for promotion of science in the country for mental developmental of the nation and socio-economic development of the country.
He said PSF’s subsidiary organisation Pakistan Museum of Natural History is playing an important role in imparting education on natural sciences through informal means.
He appreciated French embassy for its cooperation to PSF in its different programmes as well as providing opportunity of higher education to students of far flung areas of Pakistan through its scholarships programme...
Here's a Daily Times story on higher education growth in Pakistan:
Shaikh also highlighted the performance and achievements of government during last 10 years. He said that there are 71 universities in Pakistan in 2002, but in last 10 years, 66 new universities have been added in Pakistan. Previously, female enrolment was 37 percent, now it is 45 percent. Previously, numbers of PhDs were 1,500, now 10,000 new students have been enrolled in PhD, added the minister. He also mentioned that federal government has spent Rs 160 billion on promotion of higher education in the country. The federal minister said that federal government has transferred additional Rs 800 billion to provinces during the last four years to enable the provinces to provide their population best social services like health education. He also advised students to be proud and loyal Pakistanis. Shaikh said that it is a great day for the degree holding students, so they must thank their parents and teachers. He also assured that the government is doing every effort for the promotion of education sector in Pakistan.
In a recent book "Abundance", author Peter Diamandis argues that that advanced science is becoming much more accessible to a wider number of people through movements such as the world-wide DIY movement spurred by better low-cost tools and technologies for things such as "bio-hacking" and development of artificial intelligence. It's no longer an exclusive preserve of a few elite scientists in multi-million dollar labs.
Here's a News Op Ed by Dr. Javaid Laghari of Pakistan's Higher Education Commission:
Universities in Pakistan have rapidly morphed into their new role as producers of knowledge and research that lead to innovation and entrepreneurship, create employment, and be prime builders of a knowledge economy.
As per the Education Policy 2008, the HEC targets to increase accessibility to higher education from the current 8 percent to 15 percent by 2020, which translates into an increase in university enrolment from 1m to 2.3m. This is a major challenge tied to the funding situation. However, to achieve the best results effectively, in addition to establishing new campuses, the HEC is focusing on the use of educational technologies and through the recently established directorates of distance education.
Faculty development programmes are the mainstay of the HEC. With over 7500 scholars currently pursuing their PhD degrees both within and outside the country, and an additional 2,200 having graduated and placed at universities and other organisations, it is estimated that with the projected growth in universities, at least 16,000 ‘additional’ PhD faculty will be required by 2020.
This will raise the percentage of the PhD faculty from the current 22 percent to 40 percent. Simultaneously, the standards for faculty appointment will become stringent. Starting in 2014, all lecturer appointments will require a MPhil/MS degree, and from 2016, all assistant professors and above will require a PhD degree.
There has been a significant growth in the number and quality of the PhDs awarded. The number of PhDs awarded per year has increased to over 850 in 2011, with significantly higher standards. It is estimated that over 2400 PhDs will be awarded in 2020, which will give Pakistan the same competitive advantage in research and innovation as is available to China, India, Turkey and Malaysia.
The number of research publications out of Pakistan has gone up by 50 percent in the last two years alone. Scimago, an independent database, has projected that Pakistan will have the second-highest growth in the Asiatic region, moving up 16 notches from the current worldwide ranking of 43 to 27.
Offices of innovation, research and commercialisation, centres of advanced study and research in energy, food security, and water resource, incubators and technology parks are being established to link research and innovation with industry.
This is already beginning to pay off, as today more than six Pakistani universities are ranked among the top 300 universities of the world, while there were none a few years ago. By 2015, we expect at least 10 universities to be in the top 300, with one in the top 100.
All HEC reforms are becoming the envy of other countries in the region. While Turkey already has a similar commission, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are in the process of replicating the HEC model, and India is going a step further and establishing a supra-HEC with far-reaching consequences to position itself as a regional leader.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report indicators on higher education and training, technology readiness and innovation are showing a consistent improvement over the last three years for Pakistan, much more than many other countries, which is clear proof that higher education reforms are paying off.
Pakistan has achieved critical mass and reached a point of take-off. For this phenomenal growth to continue, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to support and further strengthen the HEC as a national institution and protect its autonomy. If this momentum continues for another 10 years, Pakistan is certain to become a global player through a flourishing knowledge economy and a highly literate population.
It takes at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers with relevant training and skills to have a nuclear weapons program, according to a 1968 UN study...."a United Nations study conservatively estimates that at least 500 scientists and 1300 engineers are needed to develop and maintain warhead production facilities, and an additional 19,000 personnel (more than 5000 of them scientists and engineers) are required to produce delivery vehicles of the intermediate ballistic missile variety"
There's a recent book titled "Eating Grass: The Making of the Pakistani Bomb" by Feroz Khan to understand the basic fact that Pak nuclear weapons program has been a great catalyst for building national human capital and industrial base in the country.
Since 1990s, Pak has built two indigenous nuclear reactors at Khushab entirely on its own. Two more are under construction now.
As to nuclear power plants, Pakistan will find a way to generate more energy from various sources...the current PAEC plan is to build 8,800 MW nuclear power plants capacity by 2030.
Here's Daily Times on US-Pak cooperation in human capital development:
* Grant to help researchers turn their research into commercially viable projects with private sector partners
* Symposium on ‘Economic Growth through Technology Transfer’ kicks off
ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador Richard Olson has announced new funding for Pakistani researchers during the first Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Programme Symposium on “Economic Growth through Technology Transfer”, which started at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) on Thursday.
The two-day symposium is being jointly organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), US Department of State, US Agency for International Development and US National Academy of Sciences. The main objective of this academic activity was to introduce concepts of technology transfer and foster new interactions between research projects and the private sector, enhancing translation of research across these domains.
The participants included principal investigators, private sector, government representatives and universities. Delivering the keynote address, Ambassador Olson said that international science and technology cooperation is essential in addressing global challenges. Examples of research cooperation that can improve lives include more efficient water treatment to conserve and reuse wastewater; systems that rapidly detect deadly, drug-resistant tuberculosis; and solar water-heating systems for remote, rural areas, he said.
Ambassador Olson explained several other ways that the United States promotes scientific cooperation with Pakistan. He also announced new funding for Pakistani researchers to turn their research into commercially viable projects with private sector partners. This year’s Pakistan-US Science and Technology Symposium mark the 10-year anniversary of the Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement and highlights a new focus on economic growth through scientific cooperation.
The two-day symposium brings together American and Pakistani researchers, universities, research institutions, government officials, and entrepreneurs to help build partnerships between researchers and private sector. The sessions include hands-on workshops on establishing private sector partnerships, intellectual property, and how to “sell” a business idea to potential investors. Earlier in the inauguration session, HEC Member Dr Nasser Ali Khan informed that over the last decade, the United States and Pakistan have jointly contributed $38 million to fund 73 Pakistani-US scientist-led research projects among 40 different institutes and universities in both countries. He also shed light over the decade-long achievements of higher education sector.
The Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Programme will sponsor two competitive seed grant programmes in 2013: “Innovate! and Collaborate”. Under these programmes, researchers can apply for seed grants of up to $15,000 starting in summer 2013. Application details will be available in summer 2013. HEC chairperson Dr Javaid R Laghari, Ministry of Science and Technology Secretary Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, National University of Science and Technology Islamabad Rector Engr Muhammad Asghar and University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan were also present on the occasion.
Here's a Daily Times report on AI and Robotics education in Pakistan:
ISLAMABAD: Robotics as a discipline of science and technology is being taught at the graduate and post-graduate levels by more than 60 universities of Engineering Science and Technology in Pakistan, official sources told Daily Times here on Saturday.
The research and development (R&D) in advanced fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence has also been undertaken by some of laboratories established in the R&D institutes and universities in Pakistan. The official in the Ministry of Science and Technology claimed that there is a technical group engaged in development of automation of industrial processes at the National Institute of Electronics (NIE), Islamabad. The group has developed Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), which are used in automatic industrial controls.
The Centre for Intelligent Machines and Robotics (IMR) at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology has a Research Group, which is undertaking research related to robotics, computer vision and machine learning. The IMR Research Group is conducting basic and applied research in robotics technologies relevant to industrial and societal tasks; the robotics technology in Pakistan has the potential role in boosting the productivity and competitiveness. The researchers at CIIT are working for projects on visual guided robotic systems for use in surgery, navigation control, mapping and geometric representation of environmental parameters.
National Engineering Robotics Contest (NERC) is an inter universities robotics competition held annually since 2005 at the NUST. The contest is organised by HEC, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers Project with more than 60 Pakistani universities participating in the event, and aims to train individuals for engineering services in Pakistan, and cash prizes are awarded to the winners.
NERC 2011 held at the College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME), Rawalpindi from June 28 to July 2. Many universities like FAST, GIKI, LUMS, CASE and UET Lahore participated in the event, where students were encouraged to design, develop and programme their respective robots.
R&D projects on Tele-Surgical Training Robot and Simulators and Development of Intelligent Robotic Wheelchairs are being undertaken by NUST funded by ICT R&D Fund.
International workshops and seminars for knowledge sharing and events at national level for talent hunt among youth in the fields of robotics have been organised regularly at NUST. Specialisation in robotics is a popular choice for students going abroad to study under various scholarships schemes for research and PhD. This field offers job opportunities, and robotics engineers can apply their mastery in diverse fields like modern warfare, surgery, nano-technology and space-exploration.
The official claimed that developing a robot comes with the goal of finding a solution to the problem. Along with the technical know-how, interest in research is essential. This field has promising opportunities, with no boundaries and will continue to grow with the advancement of science and technology in the near future.
Top four online outsourcing sites Elance.com, oDesk.com, reelancer.com, and Guru.com report that Pakistan ranks number 3, after US (#1)and India (#2), in terms of freelancers doing outsourced IT work on contract. Bangladesh ranks fourth.
It also shows US, Australia and the UK as the top hiring countries.
All of the above-mentioned websites work in a similar fashion: companies post job requirements on these sites. Next, freelancers or IT-companies offer their skills and price for the project listed on the website. Finally, the company chooses the best type of bid for its job requirements.
Here's a Daily Times report on graduation at Rawalpindi's Arid University which specializes in promoting in farming on rain-fed land:
1580 students were awarded degrees, while 39 were decorated with medals in the 14th convocation of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) here on Thursday.
28 graduates got gold medals, seven silver medals, four bronze medals, while 14 students got PhD degrees. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Director, Higher Education Commission was the guest of the day while His Excellency Choongjoo Choi, Ambassador of South Korea was the Guest of Honor. Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of PMAS-AAUR was the chief guest on the occasion.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Director, Higher Education Commission, said in his address that the Universities’ faculties have great potential and HEC is trying its best to provide all opportunities to facilitate them. He said HEC would continuously support institutions of higher learning. Dr. Mukhtar congratulated the graduates and expressed the views that the students are the future of Pakistan and “can make Pakistan prosper through the art of education andtechnology. It is the dire need of the time to promote education at higher level in the country and universities are source of creation of new dimensions in the field of research &knowledge.” He emphasized that students must contribute for the development of country. He also lauded the efforts of the University administration for research based education.
Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, PMAS-AAUR in his address said that University stood 7th in HEC ranking out of a 116 universities of Pakistan whereas among agriculture universities PMAS-AAUR achieved 2nd position. He further said that last year the university started two new degree programs BS Forestry and Ph.D. Computer Science, in addition to this various short-term training courses were also arranged for the farmers of the area to strengthen the ties between the university and the community at large. Dr. Ahmad also asked the gathering to create favourable environment for research, brace cooperation with national and international R & D organisations. While sharing the future plan, Vice Chancellor said the university administration is going to establish a new Faculty of Agriculture Engineering and Pak-Korea Capacity Building Centre for Agriculture & Livestock Technology with the help of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The total cost of the project is US $ 3.5 million, he concluded.
His Excellency Choongjoo Choi, Ambassador of South Korea, offered assurances that the Korean Embassy would do its best to enhance the development of Pakistan. While discussing agriculture and livestock he said that these are the backbone of a country and students must play their role in the agricultural development of Pakistan.
Here's a PakistanToday report on Pak students' competition to build fuel-efficient car:
RAWALPINDI - Top universities from Pakistan unveiled their hand-built fuel-efficient vehicles for the Shell Eco-marathon Asia at a launch ceremony held at NUST in Rawalpindi. The event has put Pakistani teams on track for the competition at the Sepang F-1 track in Kuala Lumpur in July 2013. There, they will compete with over 130 teams from 16 countries to see whose vehicle can go the farthest on one litre of fuel.
Teams from NUST, UET-Peshawar, UET-Jamshoro, NED, Air University, GIK, PNEC and FAST are registered to compete in the event at Malaysia. Some of these teams were present at the NUST launch event to showcase a range of new and improved vehicles, running on a variety of fuels.
On the occasion, Shell Pakistan Limited Managing Director Omar Sheikh said, “Pakistan and the world face an energy challenge, and Shell is well positioned to help people meet their energy needs through efficient and performance-driven products. Competitions like the Shell Eco-marathon are opportunities for students to be a part of the dialogue and the solution to our energy challenges.”
A panel of judges from academic, media, industry and government sectors inspected the vehicles at the launch event. Awards were given for Safety to UET-Peshawar for their Prototype vehicle; for the best mileage to NUST for their Urban Concept vehicle; GIK’s prototype vehicle won an award for reducing their ecological footprint the most, while the innovation prize was awarded to UET-Peshawar’s Urban Concept vehicle. Two novelty awards were given to AIR University and HITEC for their out-of-the-box designs.
Major General Obaid Bin Zakria, commandant NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering added, “Today’s event is a chance for Pakistani teams to test their vehicles and ensure they are well-prepared for a tough competition at the Shell Eco-marathon in Malaysia this year. The students have already displayed a great deal of drive and creativity in transforming innovative ideas into reality, and we hope they continue to display the same enthusiasm as they represent Pakistan and their universities.”
Pakistan was the first country from the subcontinent to represent teams at the Shell Eco-marathon in Berlin 2009, followed by 20 teams in the 2010 Kuala Lumpur competition, the highest from Asia. In 2012, for the first time, two Pakistani teams were top performers; a team from NED came at fourth position in the Ethanol Prototype category, while a team from NUST came eighth in the Urban Concept gasoline category. In 2013, 13 teams from Pakistan will participate in the Kuala Lumpur event.
Here's a NY Times story on college degrees in America:
Last year, 33.5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 24.7 percent in 1995, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 1975, the share was 21.9 percent. The number of two-year college degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates has also risen recently.
The increases appear to be driven both by a sharp rise in college enrollment and by an improvement among colleges in graduating students. The trends could bring good news in future years, economists say, as more Americans become qualified for higher-paying jobs as the economy recovers.
College attendance has increased in the past decade partly because of the new types of jobs that have been created in the digital age, which have increased the wage gap between degree holders and everyone else. The recent recession, which pushed more workers of all ages to take shelter on college campuses while the job market was poor, has also played a role.
“Basically, I was just barely getting by, and I didn’t like my job, and I wanted to do something that wasn’t living dollar to dollar,” said Sarah O’Doherty, 24, a former nail salon receptionist who will graduate next month from the County College of Morris in New Jersey with a degree in respiratory therapy. “After I had my son, I wanted to do something I felt passionate about, to have a career.”
The attainment of bachelor’s degrees has risen much faster for young women in the past decade than for young men. It has also risen among young whites, blacks and Hispanics, though relatively little among Asians, who already had the highest rate of college completion. The share of people with a college degree also varies tremendously by state, with 48.1 percent of people ages 25 to 34 in Massachusetts holding a bachelor’s degree, but just 20.4 percent in Nevada, according to the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a research and development center founded to improve management at colleges
The unemployment rate for graduates of four-year colleges between the ages of 25 and 34 was 3.3 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For high school graduates in the same age group who had not attended college, it was 11.8 percent.
Today’s premium for college degrees is caused partly by increasing selectiveness among employers about whom they hire and screening based on education even for positions that do not require higher skills. But jobs themselves have changed, too.
“Think about jobs 15 years ago that didn’t need any college education,” said Sandy Baum, a senior fellow at the George Washington University Graduate School of Education. Many of them now do, she added.
“Maybe you don’t need a bachelor’s to change bedpans,” Ms. Baum said, “but today if you’re an auto mechanic, you really have to understand computers and other technical things.”
Here's a Nation report on Pakistan's rising research publications in international journals:
Pakistan has witnessed, an impressive 50 per cent increase in the number of research publications during just the last two years, going up from 3939 to 6200 in the higher education sector of Pakistan.
This has been the second highest increase worldwide. Scimago, the world's leading research database, forecast that if this research trend from Pakistan continues, then by 2018, Pakistan will move ahead 26 notches in world ranking, from 43 to 27, and for the first time ever, will cross Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in Asia. Today Pakistan is publishing more research papers per capita than India.
The number of PhD faculty at our public universities has also increased by almost 50%, from 4203 to 6067 in just the last 2 years alone. This is the result of the HEC PhD scholars that have started returning back and joining universities. These scholars are being selected for pursuing studies at leading universities of the academically advanced countries through a well-defined open, transparent and merit based mechanism.
About 10 to 15 scholars are completing their PhDs every week and are being placed by HEC at the universities under Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs Programme (IPFP). Other HEC incentives include a 0.5 million research grant to every returning scholar. Currently, there are hundreds of fresh foreign PhDs currently inducted into various universities across the country.
The number of PhD students enrolled at the universities has increased by over 40% in just the last one year, from 6937 to 9858 students, while over 28122 students are registered for MPhil/MS, up from 16960, an increase of 65% in just two years.
The increase in the number of PhDs awarded is again very similar, from 628 to 927 in the last 3 years, and will surge exponentially in the future as more PhD faculty and students join the universities.
Commenting on these developments, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari Chairperson HEC said that Universities are the single most important producers of knowledge and research that leads to innovation and entrepreneurship.
By introducing innovation, creativity and interdisciplinary research as a vital component of teaching, and with knowledge exchange programs, the university contributes more directly to the economy and the society than many other institutions in the country.
Here's an excerpt from Time magazine's story (titled The Original Genius Bar) of the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton which captures the history of R&D in America:
Founded in 1930 by Abraham Flexner, an educational theorist, and siblings Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, department-store moguls who provided the initial endowment of $5 million, the institute was meant to counteract a trend in the U.S. toward applied science. Dubbed an "intellectual hotel" by one director, J. Robert Oppenheimer, it was a magnet during World War II for mathematicians and physicists, including Einstein, who were fleeing the Nazis. The early decades of the institute's history, just before and after the war, coincided with a formative period for science in the U.S., when MIT morphed from a technical school into a place for ambitious research and AT&T's Bell Labs invented the transistor. Men like von Neumann, who created game theory, Oppenheimer, the chain-smoking father of the atomic bomb, and Kennan, an architect of U.S. foreign policy toward the Soviet Union during the Cold War, turned the institute into a hub for academics who had a direct line to Washington. When historian George Dyson was growing up there in the 1950s and '60s--his father Freeman Dyson was working on, among other things, a way to propel spacecraft by exploding nuclear bombs beneath them--he recalls, "If you spilled your food at the table, you were going to hit somebody who could go to the telephone and call the President of the United States."
Today the institute employs 28 permanent faculty members in schools of history, math, social science and natural sciences, along with roughly 200 visiting members who are selected for research fellowships of one to five years. Some 80% of the institute's operating expenses are funded by income from its endowment, which has been supplemented since the Bamberger days by donors including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former trustee. (The campus now includes a Bloomberg Hall.) The rest of the operating budget comes from grants from private foundations and the government, mostly the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and NASA. As director, Dijkgraaf answers to a board of trustees that includes former Harvard dean Benedict Gross, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein and Google's Eric Schmidt. The chairman of the board is Charles Simonyi, the billionaire philanthropist and former Microsoft executive who became a space tourist in 2007....
Here's a Nation news story on Knowledge Hub in Karachi:
KARACHI - First time in the history of country, Latif Ebrahim Jamal National Science Information Center (LEJNSIC), Karachi University (KU), is going to start an open learning program, named ‘LEJ Knowledge HUB’, in Pakistan and globally as well.
These views were expressed by former HEC chairman Prof Attaur Rahman while speaking at a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Friday.
“Pakistan is now among the first in the world to initiate a learning platform which includes integrated courses from various major world sources for ready accessibility, structured mentoring and assessment system,” he added.
He said the programme has potential to change the entire landscape of higher education in Pakistan and the developing world.
Chairman Husein Ebrahim Jamal Foundation Mr Aziz Latif Jamal and Director International Center for Chemical, Biological Sciences (ICCBS-KU) Prof Iqbal Chaudhary were also present on the occasion.
Prof Attaur Rahman said that the vision of the program was to provide an interface for the researchers and reputed institutions from around the world to collaborate, share and enhance their knowledge. An easily accessible treasure chest of unending information is being made available to students, faculty and researchers alike, he maintained.
The entire programme is led by our most celebrated scientist and global leader in education, Prof Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman as a monumental service to the nation and the world at large. Talking about his federal minister ship, he said that the first major steps to enter into the new IT age were taken in Pakistan when I (Prof Atta) was the Federal Minister of Science & Technology in 2000-2002.
“Internet access was confined to only 29 cities till early 2,000. It was rapidly expanded to cover 2,000 cities, towns and villages during the next two years. Fiber was expanded from 40 cities to over a 1000 cities and towns. Bandwidth had been priced ridiculously high till then ---$ 87,000 per month for a 2 MB line per month. The rapid improvements in the IT infra-structure allowed me later as Chairman Higher Education Commission to use them for the benefit of the higher education sector,” he held.
“In the year 2001, a satellite was placed in space (PakSat 1) and a couple of transponders were set aside for distance learning courses of the Virtual University that we established in Lahore. Today the Virtual University provides quality education to over 100,000 students and has teaching programs across Pakistan and abroad,” he maintained.
Dr Atta said that the inaugural ceremony of the LEJ Knowledge HUB will be held at Sindh Governor House on December 12, when the 4-day 14th Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants, Spices and Other Natural Products (ASOMPS) will also be concluded; President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain will inaugurate the country’s great knowledge resource.”
Aziz Latif Jamal said: “LatifEbrahim Jamal National Science Information Center (LEJNSIC) has been serving as a hub of information dissemination and focal center of the Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) since 2008, led and supervised by Attaur Rahman and Prof Iqbal Choudhary.
Talking about the significance of the Asian Symposium, Prof Iqbal Choudhary said that a special session is dedicated to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ASOMPS, which started in 1960 from Peshawar (Pakistan). Moreover, some plenary and keynote lectures will be also arranged through video conferencing.
“The program will consist of plenary lectures, keynote lectures, session lectures and poster presentations. Each session will address a theme topic within the area of Medicinal Plants and other Related Natural Products. Special events will be arranged to ensure a lively interaction between scientists and students of natural product chemistry,” he opined....
In addition to the economic revival, Musharraf focused on social sector as well. Pakistan's HDI grew an average rate of 2.7% per year under President Musharraf from 2000 to 2007, and then its pace slowed to 0.7% per year in 2008 to 2012 under elected politicians, according to the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World”.
Overall, Pakistan's human development score rose by 18.9% during Musharraf years and increased just 3.4% under elected leadership since 2008. The news on the human development front got even worse in the last three years, with HDI growth slowing down as low as 0.59% — a paltry average annual increase of under 0.20 per cent. Going further back to the decade of 1990s when the civilian leadership of the country alternated between PML (N) and PPP, the increase in Pakistan's HDI was 9.3% from 1990 to 2000, less than half of the HDI gain of 18.9% on Musharraf's watch from 2000 to 2007.
Acceleration of HDI growth during Musharraf years was not an accident. Not only did Musharraf's policies accelerate economic growth, helped create 13 million new jobs, cut poverty in half and halved the country's total debt burden in the period from 2000 to 2007, his government also ensured significant investment and focus on education and health care. The annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. In 2011, a Pakistani government commission on education found that public funding for education has been cut from 2.5% of GDP in 2007 to just 1.5% - less than the annual subsidy given to the various PSUs including Pakistan Steel and PIA, both of which continue to sustain huge losses due to patronage-based hiring.
Around 10,000 Pakistani students will be awarded scholarships to study in different universities of Europe in the year 2015 by the European Union Education Foundation (EUEF). The first entries to the programme will be from Sindh, The Express Tribune has learnt.
“We are waiting for the final proposal from the provincial [Sindh] government,” revealed the EUEF director of scholarships programme, Yvonne Hunter. “The government is interested [this time] and I hope the plan will materialise soon.”
During her visit to Karachi last week, Hunter explained that the EUEF was established to promote higher education in developing countries. “Our aim is help in community development through self-sufficiency in the education sector by providing students from developing countries easy access to higher studies in Europe.”
The scholarship programme is not new to Pakistan. According to Azfar Bukhari who is the project manager and media co-ordinator for EUEF, they had tried to launch the programme two years ago but had been unsuccessful. “This time, however, the government is more interested,” said Bukhari hopefully.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hunter said that her team has been assured of full cooperation by the Sindh government to make the programme a success. “Apart from the Sindh government, the government of Balochistan as well as the federal government are keen to participate,” she said. “In Pakistan, everything is very easily politicised so we want to ensure our efforts are not used as part of an electoral campaign by some political party.”
In response to a query regarding the level of interference and assistance required of the government, Hunter said: “Of course we need their assistance, but not at the cost of transparency and credibility.” She maintained that the government will only be brought on as stakeholders if they assure the EUEF of unbiased work. “We want to make the programme a success without making it controversial.”
According to the director, the foundation will award scholarships to up to 10,000 eligible students every year. These scholarships will be honoured in universities and colleges already affiliated with the EUEF across Europe. “Not to forget these scholarships will be valid till the end of the study programme, not just for the first term.”
The students will be given ample choice to select from both graduate and postgraduate degrees and higher national diplomas. The eligibility to apply to the programme is HSC or GCE A level, without a gap of more than a year during the candidate’s regular studies.
The applicants have to appear for a simple aptitude test that will be conducted by the National Testing Service. This is to test basic knowledge and English language skills. The first 10,000 high scorers will be awarded the scholarships. “We have kept the selection procedure simple and transparent to avoid any controversies. We want to accommodate as many students as possible.” Hunter explained.
According to the EUEF office bearers, the programme aims to enable Pakistani students to study abroad so that they can gain exposure of developed countries making them less vulnerable to volatile issues in their home country. “We are offering 10,000 scholarships every year for the next five years, which makes it 50,000 by the culmination of our project.” The programme will ultimately provide Pakistan with 50,000 highly skilled professionals by the time it concludes.
#China Set to Lead the World in Intellectual Property by Surpassing #US, #Japan #Patent Filings in 2017
ALEX FREW MCMILLAN
Who says nothing original comes out of China?
Within two years, my adopted home nation is set to surpass the United States in terms of the number of patents its citizens seek, according to newly released data. Already, two Chinese companies lead the world in seeking to protect their intellectual property.
Telecommunications- and networking-equipment maker ZTE (ZTCOY) , based in Shenzhen just across the mainland border from me here in Hong Kong, last year zoomed past its crosstown rival, the telecommunications- and networking-equipment maker Huawei Technologies, as the biggest filer of international patents in the world.
Yes, as a nation the United States took top spot for the 39th straight year running, making up 24.3% of the 233,000 patent applications filed in 2016 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2016.
Japan was next in line, accounting for 19.4% of the filings, and China came in third with 18.5% of the total. For corporate filers, Qualcomm (QCOM) ranked next after the Shenzhen telecom suppliers, with Mitsubishi Electric (MIELY) and LG Electronics (LPL) after that. As a result, Asia accounts for just under half, 47%, of all patent filings around the world.
Digital communications and computer technology are the leading fields for patent protection, with total patent requests for all industries up 7.3% over the previous year. All the figures are coming courtesy the World Intellectual Property Organization. The group just released 2016 stats on patents, trademarks and industrial designs.
On a nation-by-nation basis, it's China -- so often a source of counterfeiting and fakes -- that is driving the growth. The Middle Kingdom's filings rose 44% in 2016 and it has posted double-digit growth in patents every year since 2002. It's a dramatic shift for a nation that wasn't invited to trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as much because it couldn't abide by its intellectual-property protections as any political considerations.
"China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," the director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, said in announcing the results.
No doubt about it, China has a long history of imitation that verges on forgery. Its artists were encouraged to copy the works of the masters for years before attempting anything so daring as a creation of their own. Confucian society prizes traditional values and deference to elders. And under the Communist Party, it's best to toe the party line rather than get too many upstart ideas about various freedoms.
But China is changing at a pace that is unheralded in modern society. After Deng Xiaoping creaked the door to its walled-off economy open in 1979, promising "Socialism with Chinese characteristics," the country hasn't missed a beat. It has leaped from an agricultural economy of peasants right through an industrial revolution that lasted decades, not centuries, and on into a post-industrial world, at least on the east coast.
Capitalism with Chinese characteristics is more like it. China is communist in party only, and its leaders would frankly prefer if everyone stuck to the business of making money rather than thinking too closely about who they would like to see in charge.
In "The Way of the Knife", Mark Mazzetti says the CIA proposed using Blackwater to kill Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan in 2001 during a meeting with Dick Cheney.
Blackwater's Erik Prince said in an interview with Vanity Fair, "If it went bad, we weren't expecting the chief station, the ambassador or anyone to bail us out".
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