The vice chancellor of the University of Karachi, Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, inaugurated the Sino-Pakistan Hybrid Rice Research Centre (SPHRRC) at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), KU, on Wednesday.
The audience was informed that it was first of its kind centre in the country and had been set up at a cost of Rs150 million on the premises of the country’s leading research establishment of the ICCBS.
“The research centre has state-of-the-art research facilities, including NMR spectroscopes, plant tissue culture technology, genomics and greenhouses.” The curtain-opening ceremony was attended by ICCBS Patron-in-Chief Professor Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, Consul General of China in Karachi Wang Yu, China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI) of Hangzhou’s Director General Professor Dr Cheng Shihua and ICCBS Director Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary.
The provincial governor, Mohammad Zubair, who had consented to be the chief guest in the opening ceremony, could not attend the event due to some reasons. Meanwhile, speaking at the inaugural ceremony of SPHRRC, held at the Professor Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, ICCBS, the varsity’s VC said that Pakistan needed to make a massive investment in science and technology for a long period to entertain the desired progress.
He maintained that substantial development of any country or nation was associated with the true commitment of its leadership and enormous investment. “China is an excellent example, which made an unbelievable progress in a limited time.”
He observed that true promise and vision of Chinese leadership, as well as huge investment, got China on the top among the developed countries. Earlier, Professor Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said that Pakistan had 100 million young people (below the age of 20) in its total population, which needed to be educated and trained.
He pointed out that natural resources had lost their importance and been replaced by quality human resources that contributed towards high-tech industrial development. Talking about the drastic cut in the higher education budget, he said that the finance ministry had slashed the development budget of all universities of Pakistan by more than 60 percent.
He said the government had left the universities of Pakistan in a shocking state of disarray by reducing the budget. He observed that for any country there were four pillars of progress, including high quality education, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and vision and strategy of leadership
Chinese Consul General Wang Yu said that Pakistan was famous for its high quality rice, while China was great importer of high quality Pakistani rice. Talking about the hybrid rice centre, he observed that the ICCBS owned highly qualified scholars and state-of-the-art research equipment.