Pakistan makes headway in research

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  • Jumps from 43 to 16 in the rank given by int’l evaluation company
  • Rs 2.5b allocated for research over past five years

Pakistan has moved 16 notches, from number 43 to 27, in the rank given by Scimago, an independent research organisation and an international evaluation and ranking platform which analyses scientific outputs of institutions and countries and monitors over 30,000 journals and is considered one of the most credible databases in the world of research.

The output of research in Pakistan moving up 16 notches, which is the second highest increase worldwide, is primarily due to the innovative higher education policies and reforms undertaken by the government of Pakistan through HEC.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) has allocated Rs2.507 billion for different programmes of public sector universities for research purpose over the past five years.

Giving details of the programmes, official sources reportedly said that under National Research Programme for Universities (NRPU), the total funds allocated to Public Sector Universities for research purpose during the last five years (Fiscal Year 2008-09 to date) are Rs 2.233 billion.

Under International Strategic Partnerships in Research and Education (INSPIRE), the HEC in collaboration with British Council Pakistan had launched the Higher Education Partnership INSPIRE Program on May 10, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2010-11.

As per terms agreed upon between British Council Pakistan and HEC, funding for strategic partnership from HEC was Rs200,000 per year. The project time frame was three years. Total amount allocated as HEC share for three years INSPIRE program was Rs 0.068 billion.

Total sixteen projects from different universities were supported under the subject programme.

Phase 4 of the programme is approved from PSDP and Phase 5 from recurring budget of HEC. The unutilised amount mentioned in the column for Phase 4 and Phase 5 of the programme is under the process of utilisation.

Under provision of grant to Public Sector Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions for maintenance/up-gradation of scientific equipment, total amount allocated was Rs 70,521,348.

To ensure the proper utilisation of said funds for research purposes, annual report of each case undergoes a process of rigorous peer review from HEC designated focal persons who are eminent scientists and scholars of said subject and on recommendation of these focal persons next instalment of the project is released.

The impact of research funding is visible from the unprecedented rise in internationally indexed research publications emanating from Higher Education Institutes in Pakistan.