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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Golden Jubilee Celebration of 50 years of Pakistan Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, Islamabad (P.C.S.I.R.) (2003-4)

Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) was established in 1953 under the Societies Act 1860. The nation's premier Research and Development organization was formally inaugurated on 10th April 1953 by the then Governor General of Pakistan, Ghulam Mohammad. PCSIR was shifted in 1964 from the Ministry of Industries to a full-fledged newly created Science and Technology Research Division. This was in recognition of the urgent and imperative need for the exploitation of the nation's natural resources for the development of industry, and the potential the organization had shown during the short period of its existence. A major policy decision was again taken in 1973, when around PCSIR was created the Ministry of Science & Technology. Present legal framework to the organization is provided by the PCSIR Act of 1973, passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan.Over the years, the primary target of PCSIR scientists has remained the development of low cost technologies attracting the attention of small and medium level entrepreneurs (SMEs), since this class of investors is internationally recognized to be the backbone of economies in developing countries. The number of technical processes developed for such SMEs is well over a thousand. A survey carried out in the 1990s indicated that out of 484 technical processes developed until 1990, the number leased out to SMEs stood at 367. These were estimated to an annual turn over of Rs. 612 million to the national economy, which in terms of foreign exchange savings amounted to Rs. 7 billion. The spinoffs, such as job creation and downstream industries, remain unaccounted for within the scope of this survey. In addition to these technical processes, the organization's scientists have obtained about 300 patents and contributed more than 4500 research publications in national and international journals.
In the domain of human resource development, the number of Ph.D. and M.Sc. research theses supervision is, respectively, well over a hundred and a thousand, PCSIR is also running its own degree awarding Institute of Industrial Electronics Engineering (IIEE) and diploma level Pak Swiss Training Centre (PSTC). The number of graduates and trainees from IIEE is around one thousand. About 2000 students have additionally received diplomas and certificates in different industrial technologies and the same number were awarded short-term certificates.During the last two years, PCSIR has developed 226 processes, obtained 23 technological patents, published 325 Scientific Papers, arranged 20 Training Courses, provide research and supervision facilities to 50 Scientists for M.Phil/Ph.D degrees, served more than 5000 Industries and repaired 2000 equipment worth the replacement cost of Rs. 2.5 billion. 18 Projects of national importance amounting to Rs. 650 million received approval in 2001-2002 from Government of Pakistan, 6 out of which have been already completed, while 4 are expected to be completed during the current financial year. PCSIR has established Analytical Centres in its laboratories at Karachi, Lahore and lslamabad to extend support the local Industries for analysis of their raw materials, finish products and wastes, which is a requirement for ISO certification and WTO obligations. These centres have necessary infrastructure in terms of equipment and manpower for environmental assessment and other monitoring, including analysis of goods for export/import purposes. Among the specific recognition accorded to PCSIR in this domain are by Saudi Arabian Standards Organizations, Japanese Ministry of Health, ISO-9001 and has been recommended for award of ISO-17025. This facility is being used by importers and exporters for the quality certification of products in large numbers, which on a daily basis ranges between 80-100 at each PCSIR laboratory located in different parts of the country.Realizing the wide application of rubber products in the country, a new centre has been established at the Karachi unit of PCSIR for the development and testing of rubber and allied products. For meeting the equipment needs of universities/R&D organizations, PCSIR has embarked upon the production of low cost laboratory equipment, such as pH meter, UV visible spectrophotometer, Incubators, Oven, furnaces, Shakers, etc., at Karachi and Lahore laboratories. In the area of environmental protection, PCSIR has established, in collaboration with a private entrepreneur, facilities for manufacturing of hospital waste incinerator having the capacity of destroying 100-200 kg waste per hour. Under the programme, PCSIR plans to fabricate 56 incinerators during the next 2 years. PCSIR is also helping local industries for designing and setting up to waste water treatment plants.
PCSIR future vision includes the development of technological centres in different disciplines in various parts of the country and creation of effective linkages between industry and PCSIR. The vision is proposed to be achieved through two projects, namely, upgrading of Minerals and Metallurgy Research Centre to the level of Technology Institute of Pakistan on Minerals and Material sand PCSIR-Industrial Linkage Programme recommended by CDWP for ECNEC approval. Completion of these important national projects will meet the needs of the local industry for ISO certification and WTO obligations.Among the most important futuristic initiatives for the commercialization of technologies, PCSIR is planning to take a bold decision of setting up a variant version of Technology Business Incubators (TBIs). Through these TBIs, PCSIR is aiming at popularization of its technologies in an innovative approach. These TBIs will function as pilot plants for the demonstration of technological processes developed by its scientists. These are anticipated to attract venture capital form SMEs in a science and technology cooperative mode. The approach is being designed to attract such SMEs who have either shy of investing in technologies or do not have sufficient venture capital resources of their own. On successful completion of this endeavour, PCSIR hopes to spearhead a new wave of small and cottage scale industrial entrepreneurship in the country. This will create a large volume of job opportunities, generate several spin-off industries, and make a boastful contribution to the growth of national economy. Date of Issue (March 31, 2003)