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Pakistan's Scientific Output Doubles in 5 Years

Pakistan's quality-adjusted scientific output (Weighted Functional Count) as reported in Nature Index has doubled from 18.03 in 2013 to 37.28 in 2017. Pakistan's global ranking has improved from 53 in 2013 to 40 in 2017. In the same period, India's WFC has increased from 850.97 in 2013 to 935.44 in 2017. India's global ranking has improved from 13 in 2013 to 11 in 2017.

Top 10 Pakistan Institutions in Scientific Output. Source: Nature I...

Pakistan's Global Ranking:

Pakistan ranks 40 among 161 countries for quality adjusted scientific output for year 2017 as reported by Nature Index 2018.  Pakistan ranks 40 with quality-adjusted scientific output of 37.28. India ranks 11 with 935. Malaysia ranks 61 with 6.73 and Indonesia ranks 63 with 6.41. Bangladesh ranks 100 with 0.81. Sri Lanka ranks 84 with 1.36. US leads with almost 15,800, followed by China's 7,500, Germany 3,800, UK 3,100 and Japan 2,700.

Nature Index:

The Nature Index is a database of author affiliation information collated from research articles published in an independently selected group of 82 high-quality science journals. The database is compiled by Nature Research. The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration at the institutional, national and regional level.

The Nature Index includes primary research articles published in a group of high-quality science journals. The journals included in the Nature Index are selected by a panel of active scientists, independently of Nature Research. The selection process reflects researchers’ perceptions of journal quality, rather than using quantitative measures such as Impact Factor. It is intended that the list of journals amounts to a reasonably consensual upper echelon of journals in the natural sciences and includes both multidisciplinary journals and some of the most highly selective journals within the main disciplines of the natural sciences. The journals included in the Nature Index represent less than 1% of the journals covering natural sciences in the Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) but account for close to 30% of total citations to natural science journals.

Pakistan vs BRICS:

In a report titled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall", author Lulian Herciu says that Pakistan’s scientific productivity has quadrupled, from approximately 2,000 articles per year in 2006 to more than 9,000 articles in 2015. During this time, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Pakistan-based authors increased tenfold, from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.

Top Asian Universities:

British ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has recently ranked 23 Pakistani universities among the top 500 Asian universities for 2019, up from 16 in 2018.  Other South Asian universities figuring in the QS top universities report are 75 from India, 6 from Bangladesh and 4 from Sri Lanka.

In terms of the number of universities ranking in Asia's top 500, Pakistan with its 23 universities ranks second in South Asia and 7th among 17 Asian nations topped by China with 112, Japan 89, India 75, South Korea 57, Taiwan 36, Malaysia 26, Pakistan 23, Indonesia 22, Thailand 19, Philippines 8, Hong Kong 7, Vietnam 7, Bangladesh 6, Sri Lanka 4, Singapore 3, Macao 2 and Brunei 2.

Summary:

Pakistan's quality-adjusted scientific output (WFC) as reported in Nature Index has doubled from 18.03 in 2013 to 37.28 in 2017. Pakistan's global ranking has improved from 53 in 2013 to 40 in 2017.  Pakistan ranks 40 with quality-adjusted scientific output of 37.28. India ranks 11 with 935. Malaysia ranks 61 with 6.73 and Indonesia ranks 63 with 6.41. Bangladesh ranks 100 with 0.81. Sri Lanka ranks 84 with 1.36.  In a report titled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall", author Lulian Herciu says that Pakistan’s scientific productivity has quadrupled, from approximately 2,000 articles per year in 2006 to more than 9,000 articles in 2015. During this time, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Pakistan-based authors increased tenfold, from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.   British ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has recently ranked 23 Pakistani universities among the top 500 Asian universities for 2019, up from 16 in 2018.

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Views: 48

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2018 at 7:36am

From Athar Osama in Pakistan:

The ECNEC Meeting chaired by FM Asad Umar approved Pakistan Space Center (PSC) worth about PKR 30 billion today. This will be a high tech facility to build satellites in Pakistan in collaboration with China and will transfer this important technology to Pakistan. This is the single largest investment in civilian scientific and technological capability - about 15 years worth of development budget for Ministry of Science and Technology.

Taking note of our recommendations ECNEC asked SUPARCO to produce a concrete plan for transfer of technology and development of downstream vendor industry to support future satellite development activity and a commercial plan for developing satellites for other countries. Space Vision 2047 dictates that Pakistan will spend roughly $1.5-2 billion in satellite development over the next 20-25 years and a lot of this money (and capability) should go to the private sector to enable them to compete globally in high technology exports.

This is an extremely important step and is in line with the National Framework on Civilian Spillovers of Defense and Strategic R&D that we've been developing at the Planning Commission for the last year or so. It was heartening to see support from several ministers including Asad Umar, Razak Dawood, and Ishrat Hussain to add this important element to our National Space Vision 2047. Right from the beginning of ECNEC, somehow local capacity development featured as a very important point in the discussions on all projects. Overall a good day that makes over year and a half of pain and hardwork with our partners in SUPARCO and other defense agencies worthwhile! :)

This and PAF's NGFA project, if done right, could be game changers for development of critical scientific and technological capability in the private sector over the next decade or two.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 16, 2018 at 7:57am

#Google's Lars Anthonisen, head of large customer marketing: #Pakistan is fast emerging "digital-first country". Pakistan will "produce one of the largest #digital audiences in the world" and is, therefore, a growing market for foreign #investors. https://www.dawn.com/news/1445982/google-lists-5-reasons-that-make-...

Google's Head of Large Customer Marketing, South Asia, Lars Anthonisen believes Pakistan, that he describes as a fast emerging "digital-first country", will prove to be a good investment for entrepreneurs around the world.

Anthonisen believes that Pakistan is on its way to "produce one of the largest digital audiences in the world" and is, therefore, a growing market for foreign investors.

He listed five reasons for companies to expand their digital campaigns to Pakistan in a blog post he wrote for Think with Google, a platform that hosts expert analysis for e-commerce and digital branding in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fast-growing population
According to Anthonisen, Pakistan's fast-growing population means that it has an increasing number of people that go online every day.

He also refers to growing urbanisation in the country, where 40 per cent of total households live in cities. The rate of urbanisation in Pakistan is higher than that of India, which means there are more "potential customers".

SME-driven economy
Anthonisen says that Pakistan's economy — expected to be the fourth fastest growing economy in the world by the year 2030 — is largely driven by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Around 90 per cent of the businesses in Pakistan are SMEs that have a 40 per cent share in the country's gross domestic product.

Increasing number of smartphone users
Pakistan has a sizeable online population due to decreasing smartphone prices and cheap data packages. About 59 million people in Pakistan use smartphones, out of which 83 per cent have Android devices, Anthonisen says. As smartphone prices continue to drop, the number of users is likely to increase.

Also read: 3G and 4G mobile internet users cross 30m milestone

As data prices are "some of the cheapest... in the world", the usage of mobile apps, like YouTube, is increasing.

Internet penetration at a 'tipping point'
Even though internet penetration in Pakistan stands at 22 per cent, Anthonisen claims that digital consumption in the country is on the rise. Currently, there are 4.46 million internet users in the country. He cites the increase in YouTube watch time as an example of increasing digital consumption. The video platform has witnessed a 60 per cent increase in its watch time over the past three years.

Exclusive: The CPEC plan for Pakistan’s digital future

China's investment
According to Anthonisen, the Chinese-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme is China's largest investment in a foreign country. One of the projects of that are part of CPEC is the laying of 820 kilometres of fibre-optic cable, that will connect more Pakistanis to the digital world.

Anthonisen advises businesses to "leave a mark" on Pakistan's growing online market to grab the "endless opportunities that it can offer to investors.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 15, 2018 at 6:27pm

Pakistan steps forward in astronomy and space sciences

https://www.dawn.com/news/1434638

Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), which is often criticised by Pakistani scientific community for not being on par with its Indian or Chinese counterparts, sent two satellites in space from a launching facility in China this July.

A surprise as it may be, one of the satellites launched the PakTES-1A, which was indigenously designed and developed by Pakistani engineers. Primarily aimed at remote sensing, the satellite is providing promising results, meeting or even exceeding expectations, a senior official of Suparco says.

Talking about the development phase of the satellite, the official says that it was a tough task to complete it on time because the launch date had already been fixed and a delay of not even a day could be afforded.

“The other satellite, PRSS-1, developed by China and Pakistan in collaboration, was due to launch on July 9, and PakTES-1A had to be co-launched, thus the Pakistani engineers worked day and night to have it ready by then,” he says.

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There are currently astronomy societies in Pakistan’s cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. These societies were started and are being operated by amateur astronomers — enthusiasts who have little to no professional education in astronomy but are guided by their love for the universe.

Biggest telescope
Founded in 2008, the Karachi Astronomers Society is a society that is known for owning one of the biggest private telescopes in Pakistan. Chaired by a retired combat pilot of Pakistan Air Force Khalid Marwat, the society organises star parties for the public at different public places of the city, and sometimes the group also ventures out to dark skies for having a better view of the skies as compared to the massively light-polluted skies of the city of the lights.

The society has an 18-inch diameter telescope which is a prized possession of the society’s chairman Mr Marwat. Apart from that, Mehdi Hussain, former president of the society and an IT expert by profession, has built an astronomical observatory at his home’s rooftop. Named Kaastrodome (Karachi Astronomical Dome) the observatory is fitted with a 12-inch diameter telescope. The dome was built locally in Karachi and was supervised and funded privately by Mr Hussain and his brother Akbar Hussain, who also shares the same interest.

Karachi also is home to Pakistan’s biggest telescope, a 24-inch diameter telescope that is owned by astronomy enthusiast Naveed Merchant. This telescope is bigger than any other private or public telescope in Pakistan.

Recently, the society gained much attention after a photograph of the Moon by one of its members, Talha Zia, made it to NASA’s website Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

Mr Zia’s photograph was the first from Pakistan to make it to the prestigious listing of carefully selected astrophotos from around the world. 150 kilometres to the north of Karachi, the city of Hyderabad has its own astronomy society, the Hyderabad Astronomical Society.

The now-dormant society was founded by a group of students of Isra University including Amjad Nizamani and Zeeshan Ahmed on the eve of World Space Week 2011. This was the first-ever session on astronomy in the city and gained much media attention. The society also collaborated with Suparco to organise observing sessions at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) in Jamshoro, a city next to Hyderabad for the World Space Week 2012.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 15, 2018 at 7:38pm

THE TRANSFER OF DUAL-USE OUTER SPACE
TECHNOLOGIES: CONFRONTATION OR COOPERATION?

http://www.unige.ch/cyberdocuments/theses2001/GaspariniP/these.pdf

The right of any State to develop outer space technologies, be they launching capabilities, orbiting
satellites, planetary probes, or ground-based equipment, is, in principle, unquestionable. In practice,
however, problems arise when technology development approaches the very fine line between civil
and military application, largely because most the technologies can be used for dual military and civil
purposes. This dichotomy has raised a series of political, military, and other concerns which affect the
transfer of outer space technologies in different ways, and particularly between established and
emerging space-competent States. Accordingly, for many years several States have sought ways and
means to curb the transfer of specific dual-use outer space technologies, particularly launcher
technology, while still allowing some transfer of these technologies for civil use. 
---------

Then come the States in Category III. These are countries which are still acquiring basic, qualified
outer space technologies, some with the aim of joining the ranks of EtSC States and indeed becoming
suppliers of technologies and services before the end of the century. Argentina, Brazil, India, Israel,
and Pakistan can be identified as belonging to Category III and, to a lesser extent, other States such as
South Africa could also be included as discussed below. Category IV of outer space competence
covers States, such as Indonesia and South Korea, which have announced their intention to initiate
outer space activity sometime in the future. Also assignable to this Category States which have no
intention of manufacturing systems or sub-systems, but wish to access derivative services. 

---------

There have been two major changes to Pakistan’s space institutions since 1961. One
was the replacement of the Committee in 1981 by the semi-autonomous Space and Upper
Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). The other was the creation of the Space
Research Council (SRC) and its subordinate body, the Executive Committee of the Space
Research Council (ECSRC). While SRC is responsible for developing guidelines and
supervising Pakistan’s space programme, it is SUPARCO that ensures the application of 
Pakistani sounding-rocket programme was the construction of a vehicle using a mixture of indigenous
and imported technology, the latter originating mostly from NASA, CNES, and BNSC [British
National Space Centre] in the early 1960s.166 For example, the first Pakistani sounding-rocket, the
REHBAR-I, was launched from its Flight Test Range (FTR) at Sonmiani on 7 June 1962.167 The
construction of the SUPARCO Plant in 1968168 provided Pakistan with facilities for building
sounding-rockets and instrumentation for rocket-borne and ground-based applications. The first
reported Pakistani-built sounding-rocket, a two-stage solid-propellant rocket named REHNUMA-1,
was launched in 1969 from the FTR. This rocket was capable of carrying a 35-kg payload up to 160
km. A heavier version, although also a two-stage solid-propellant vehicle, the SHAHPAR, boosted
Pakistani sounding-rocket capability to a 55-kg payload up to 450 km.

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