Govt to invest in human capital for knowledge-based economy: Asad

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar Monday said that the government was committed to invest more in human capital for execution of ‘˜Knowledge Economy’ for promotion of innovative economic structure on modern lines. The government desires to bridge the gap between academia and industry by creating linkages and connectivity, while addressing the National Seminar on Knowledge Economy, The path to speedy and High-Quality Growth, organized by NUST Institute of Peace and Policy Studies.
Among others, Senior Scientist and Chairman Knowledge Economy, Task-force Prof, Dr Atta- ur -Rehaman and Head of digital Pakistan’ initiative, Tania Aidrus were also present on the occasion. The minister said that the government had already doubled the allocation of HEC and this year, the commission had acquired additional Rs20 billion for meeting expenditure to enhance the capacity of the institution. He said that seeking Knowledge was a moral obligation in our religion and our holy book Quran gives us lesson to read and understand the universe for betterment of humanity.
He added that real message of Islam was knowledge and education, adding that factor of production was very important to move towards induction of knowledge based economy. ‘We need sustainable research and promotion of innovation in society for addressing the real issues of our society through the modern technical intervention’ he said. He informed the gathering that country was now on the way to build different infrastructure project, including Bhasaha Dam and said that now the country needed more experts to complete different infrastructural projects.
He said the government had initiated 10 year strategic plan for Knowledge Platform for creating the Academia and Industries linkage to execute the modern and innovative techniques for economic growth in the country. He said that Priority of the government was to enhance the research capabilities to achieve the competitiveness for meeting the challenges the country had been country facing.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Scientist and Former Chairman Higher Education Commission Prof, Dr Atta- ur ‘“Rehaman said that technical and innovative manpower was consider the backbone of any nation and currently ‘we are facing the challenge of hi-tech manpower to come out from the huge challenge at economic front.’ He said that the developed nations were spending $100 trillion on innovation and modern technology and ‘we need to exploit this opportunity in country’s favor.’ He said that ‘we are investing on higher education but basic education is facing major issues in the country’ . He said that there was need to enhance manufacturing capacity for promoting exports of hi- technology.
He added that Islamic world needed innovation and technology development to cope with existing challenges to compete in the world. He said that ‘there is need to have tax-free platform for the promotion of innovations and value addition of industrial products for sustainable economic growth.’
He said that Agriculture, mineral and hi- tech was top priority of the government for promoting knowledge based economy in the country. Head of digital Pakistan’ initiative, Tania Aidrus informed that country was having potential of $ 8 billion in digital economy to promote the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMES) for employment generation.