Estb. 1882

University of the Punjab

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Need urged to invest in high tech industries
Need urged to invest in high tech industries

LAHORE: (Monday, October 23, 2017): Former Higher Education Commission Chairman and former federal minister Prof Dr Ata-ur-Rehman has said that there was need to invest in high tech biotechnologies, genetic engineering and pharmaceutical sectors to boost country’s economy and for national development. He was addressing the international conference on “Trends and Prospects in Molecular Biosciences” organized by Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (IBB) here on Monday to commemorate the establishment of IBB, which was set up 20 years ago. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir, Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Prof Dr Naeem Khan, founding director IBB Professor Dr. M. Waheed Akhtar, Prof. Dr. Khalid Iqbal, Prof. Dr. Imran H Khan from USA, Vice Chancellor Bacha Khan University KPK Dr SM Saqlain Naqvi, eminent scientists and researchers from abroad and within the country and 450 young scientists including faculty members were participating in the two-day conference.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Ata ur Rehman said that Pakistan must change its priorities and allocate maximum budget and resources to research and development and education. He said that the government and scientists must understand the importance of modern trends in molecular biosciences and new horizons in the field must be explored. He said we must invest in high tech industries as it was the way to bring our country at par with the developed countries. Addressing the ceremony, PU VC Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir said that PU was contributing to uplift country’s economy and playing its role for social development. He said that recently, PU scientists had developed various types of BT cotton seed which would contribute Rs 4 billion dollars to the country’s economy. He said that it would also help poor farmers save Rs20,000 per acre. In his concluding address, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Naeem Khan stressed that R&D should divert national focus on economic potentials offered by biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, molecular biology and genetic engineering for the fields of pharmaceutical sciences, agriculture, biomedical sciences and environment. He said that gene therapy, food security, nanoparticles, genomic disease technologies etc could bring economic revolution in the country. He advised the scientists to ensure the commercialization of applied research so that its benefits should go to the agriculture and health sectors of the country. He gave the example of development of disease resistance, drought tolerant high yielding BT Cotton variety and hepatitis vaccine interferon by the university scientists. Prof Dr Waheed Akhtar said that the IBB was established to fill the long-felt gap in teaching and research in the field of biological sciences in our country. He said that the graduates produced by IBB are well trained and competitive. He highlighted the contributions of biochemistry, molecular biology & biotechnology for human welfare. The conference shall continue till Tuesday.