Science Talent Farming Scheme - 2016

ISLAMABAD (July 20, 2016): Construction of National Science School building and allied facilities will begin soon as after my hectic efforts the Punjab Government has offered land in an educational city in Lahore free of cost, said Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain.

He addressing the Launching Ceremony and Orientation Session of National Talent Farming Scheme (STFS) at a local Hotel on July 20, 2016. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman PSF and STFS Project Director Mr. Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi were also present. The Ceremony was attended by first batch of STFS 300 students, STFS Management, and Heads of S&T organizations.

The S&T Minister said although there was a budget allocation for cost of land in FY 2015-16, due to my personal intervention, the CM Punjab has provided the land free of cost. He said that most important aspect of STFS is establishment of the "National Science School" that will be a boarding school having facilities on the pattern of Cadet Colleges for the continuous support and grooming of the capable students having aptitude towards science education. After the establishment of the "National Science School" the selection of the students will be made on regular basis from 8th Class which presently is being done after Matric.

Rana Tanveer Hussain said that S&T sector’s development needs hefty allocation of budget for R&D and without it national targets could not be achieved.

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, said that since inception of this scheme he had been associated with it, as it is part of Pakistan Vision 2025. He expressed his satisfaction over translating the vision in to a reality. “It is like a dream coming true when I look at the young students sitting in front of me and ready to start their journey in the world of science," He added.

He said that in today’s modern world, when the entire world is converting into a global village, every country is indulging itself in the never ending race of inventions and innovations by investing more and more towards capacity building of its individuals. The countries with huge natural resources have been compelled to go at secondary positions by the drivers of the new world, which are equipped with skilled and scientific human capital, he said, adding, that is why the term of “knowledge based economy” has been coined.

The dream of knowledge based economy can only be achieved when the human resource base of a country is developed on scientific lines and there is an abundant skilled manpower in the country, Ahsan Iqbal said. The skilled manpower and productive human resource can be produced through a purposeful science education both at secondary and tertiary levels, he maitnained.

Federal S&T Secretary Fazal Abbas Maken said the extraordinary development in science and technology during the last two centuries has made the science education a necessity and with technology evolving every minute, there is a dire need to develop skilled manpower to cope up with the latest trends.

He said in this backdrop, the initiative of STFS is a step in the right direction. “This scheme is an endeavor to popularize science among the young generation, to motivate them to adapt science as their career and to invite the students towards “Learning by Doing” instead of “Rote Learning”, the Federal Secretary said.

Fazal Abbas Maken said this initiative of the government as part of Vision 2025 is also in consonance with the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (ST&I) 2012 which presents a roadmap of aims and objectives under the areas of socio-economic development, human resource development, R&D infrastructure, and promotion of ST&I in the society.

PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf in a presentation gave in antroduction of STFS, rational behind this scheme. He said that “Knowledge based Economy” was need of the hour while education in general and scientific education in particular were drivers of such economies. Dr. Ashraf said that number of researchers in Pakistan as compared to other countries is very low, which is main reason that the country is lagging behind in the field of S&T as compared to other countries.

He also presented a survey report about science labs of schools in the country. He said that only four percent girls and seven percent boys schools have fully equipped labs. He said this project will help in improving the R&D needs by producing quality researchers. He said that to improve the status of science and technology in the country we have to focus on improving science education at school level. Mr. Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi, Project Director, in his address gave salient features of the project.

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