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Ideas to improve R&D in Pakistan

Al_Muhannad

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Agreed 100% with everything that you have said. I wouldn't have dreamed of being where I am either. I had imagined working in NESCOM or something after undergrad. I could've never afforded US education on my own.
I also got a job with The Boys (if you know whom I mean). But did not take it due to restrictions that come with it like going abroad for PhD/etc.
That person is a bliss for Pak. Anyway, brother! struggle is common thing in Pakis. Alhamdulilah, I am at a good palce right now. Though, less terrifying things happened to me comapred to you and JamD, but the struggle is real. However, I got lucky most of the times. Are you from IST?
Nope. But I was in the same geographical area.
That person is a bliss for Pak. Anyway, brother! struggle is common thing in Pakis. Alhamdulilah, I am at a good palce right now. Though, less terrifying things happened to me comapred to you and JamD, but the struggle is real. However, I got lucky most of the times. Are you from IST?
I just finished giving a motivation lecture to my indian flatmate how is worried about finance & MS studies in general.
 

R Wing

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Apkay moon main ghee shakar mithai halwa or siwaiyan.

I got mine in the US. The system here is very different and built on trust of the universities, departments, and professors. So really not even the university, not even the department, but my advisor decided what I needed to finish my PhD. I know that system cannot work in Pakistan. The only requirement was that my committee needed to have one member from outside of the aerospace engineering department. That could be from the mechanical engineering department next door or as far as the US Navy or Boeing, up to me.

Are you back in Pakistan?

Would you be willing to take a drastic pay cut to work on projects of national significance IF the rest of the incentives were aligned well (e.g., job security, no micromanagement by small minded uniformed uncles, healthy autonomy, openness to daring ideas of innovation, etc.)?

My theory is that we can still get a lot of good people contributing to defense/intel R&D despite much lower pays than the private sector (and much, much, much lower pays than anything abroad) IF and only IF we make the other things right. Many people disagree with me and feel that the financial incentives are the most important --- but our own story of going nuclear disagrees with this contention. Money is important, but not everything, especially if one is getting enough to lead a dignified lifestyle (nobody is promising luxury) and has opportunities to earn on the side, e.g., through guest or adjunct lectureships.
 

Sinnerman108

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You are trying to solve the problem backwards.
The primary impetus to all activity is financial.
They came up with quantum mechanics, when they were trying to make a light bulb that wouldn't shine bright enough even with a larger current.

What Pakistan needs, is a free financial policy not skewed by the feudal lords.
That is when there will be industrial need for products that perform better and that is what will drive innovation, which will in turn drive RnD and subsequently education.

Any attempt to subsidize , will only lead to lethargic low quality stuff that we see anyway.

There are too many examples around you, and you can see they all failed.

We all agree that very little research and development is done in Pakistan, and I was thinking how we could improve that. I had a few ideas I wanted to share with you and get your thoughts.

1. Regulation - We need regulation that ties the university status of each university to research. There should not be any universities in our country not creating PHD students. There perhaps should be a percentage of the intake that should be going onto PHD studies, although this must be kept very small, we want to encourage quality not quantity.

2. Funding. Govt must be willing to fund cost of living of phD students in STEM subjects or the type of research we consider required to national interest. Students and professors should be able to put together funding requests and state why they think thier work is beneficial to society and why society should cover their cost of living.. This could also cover arts, but it will cover it in a level proportional to national requirement, not on desires of students.

3. University-industry links. I want to see this in three areas.

a. Govt should give tax refunds of 50% of any amount a business contributes to a university for research and development. So if Malik Riaz gives 10 billion pkr to a university for research, then he can expect 5 billion refunded from his taxes. There should be checks and balances to ensure this money goes into phd costs, not towards university profits, or buying land and building hostels and gyms.

b. I'd like to see industry work in collaboration with universities to do their own research. If your company wants to do research, work with university professors. The work could be part funded by you, part funded by the university, and if they can make a case for it, govt could contribute up to 20% of the cost. It'd be win win for the universities who get part funded research, the companies who get part funded research and the state who gets r&D on the cheap.

c. Employability scores for university graduates on a course by course basis. Also industry approval of courses or faculties. This would encourage universities to revise their content and keep it relevant. it would also mean students could have a better idea of the quality of the education they're paying for, because ultimately they want it to lead to employment and finally it would benefit companies because they would have graduates who are more capable of hitting the ground running.

I could do a whole other topic on employability of graduates and the future of higher education and industry, but for now this is what i want to focus on.

What do you think?
 

JamD

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Mar 26, 2015
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Are you back in Pakistan?

Would you be willing to take a drastic pay cut to work on projects of national significance IF the rest of the incentives were aligned well (e.g., job security, no micromanagement by small minded uniformed uncles, healthy autonomy, openness to daring ideas of innovation, etc.)?

My theory is that we can still get a lot of good people contributing to defense/intel R&D despite much lower pays than the private sector (and much, much, much lower pays than anything abroad) IF and only IF we make the other things right. Many people disagree with me and feel that the financial incentives are the most important --- but our own story of going nuclear disagrees with this contention. Money is important, but not everything, especially if one is getting enough to lead a dignified lifestyle (nobody is promising luxury) and has opportunities to earn on the side, e.g., through guest or adjunct lectureships.
Nope. My flags are accurate.
 

Pak Nationalist

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This is going to sound stupid, but from TV i understand that in some countries research has to be peer reviewed and then "signed off" in some western countries? Is this correct? If that is the case, then does this happen with Pakistani researchers and does that not act as a quality gate against poor research?
Every research that makes its way to journals (peer-reviewed), has to be peer-reviewed for its scientific value. Otherwise, it does not get published. It is the same everywhere. Any Pakistani researcher wanting to get published in a journal of his/her area of research would send the manuscript of his/her research to be peer-reviewed and if it passes the peer-review process, only then does the research get published in that journal. Scientific journals have scientists in concerned areas who judge the merit (scientific) of their peer's submission.
 

Bilal Khan (Quwa)

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Just realized that Bilal is our closest relatable to India's Pravin Sawhney (unless there is someone ex-mil I do not know). I like QUWA's content, and learned a lot from it. I used to think why we need F16s if we got JF17s. Did not know anything about MTOW, and other capabilities. And my this journey would not be complete if we did not mention the Indians- ever present with their usual bawaseer.
I had to double-check to make sure I didn't confuse Sawhney with Arnab Goswami. For a second I thought, "wait, I did all this work, and I only got as far as Goswami, wth?"
 

khansaheeb

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R&D is a gamble and Pakistan doesn't have the money to be gambling. Should first stabilize then think about R&D.
There is theoretical research and applied research. Both need to be heavily invested in and the the researchers are nurtured from kindergarten from the age of 3. Tech them curiosity, problem solving, logic, team work and discipline from an early age and maintain that momentum to adulthood and you will have super researchers. However, Pakistan's current focus should be on applied research in defense, energy, education and economics, everything will follow.
 

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