By Mirza Abdul Aleem Baig

THE RAPID expansion of science and technology started about 300 years ago in the 17th century. Since then science has built up an extensive body of knowledge about the world and about the history of man, the earth, the solar system and the universe. Science and technology are crucial to the development prospects of developing countries in two different ways. First, science and technology can provide tools that help alleviate the specific problems that afflict many poor countries and delay their development prospects, such as disease, lake of infrastructure (information, transport, energy, etc.). Second, science and technology are central to the dynamics of economic development itself. Economically successful countries are those able to turn technical innovation into economic productivity. Successful technology transfer from developed countries to developing countries can improve the life and economic growth as technology transfer is the process of sharing of knowledge, skills, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments and accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit technology. At the same time, technology transfer is not a process that characterizes a stage in the development of the Third World but, it occurs constantly in the First World as-well. In theory, technology transfer is closely related to the diffusion of innovations.

The inclination of developed countries to facilitate access to and transfer of technology to developing countries is reflected in a number of international agreements. These agreements identify that technology transfer to developing countries is important to facilitate their integration into the global economy, and meet their international obligations and commitments. They also recognize that technology transfer is important in facilitating the creation of a sound and viable technological base in developing countries. Since the time of the independence in 1947, science and technology in Pakistan has seen many ups and downs throughout its history because Pakistan inherited very few folks those were capable of scientific development and technological research. But, in the past few decades, Pakistan has made noticeable progress in technological development. The existing institutional skeleton for Science and Technology in Pakistan comprises governmental and non-governmental institutions. In 1964, the Scientific and Technological Research Division was established for coordination and implementation of national science and technology policy, and to promotion of research and utilization of the results for coordination of utilization of scientific and technological manpower.

The technology transfer is an important issue and key component of economic and social development of developing nations. The successful implementation of technology depends not only on good technical specifications, but also on the right social, political, and institutional environment. The existing type and capacity of educational institutes in developing countries are not sufficient. Educational institutions in developing countries should be provided with modern computer and information technologies (ICT) facilities to enable hands-on practical training and special attention should also be paid to on-the-job training. The training of technologists and operators which forms the basis for the implementation of a new technology has to be given a high priority.

It is obvious that the technology transfer from the developed countries to developing countries is not a straightforward mechanism. Keeping in view the importance of problems relevant to the technology transfer, many developing countries have established institutions for public support. The situation demands that the government of Pakistan must establish institutions, with proper technical manpower to deal with the problems relevant to foreign technology transfer. The institutions may facilitate the local industry and other technology users in the following ways:

•  Locating the proper information sources of foreign technologies.

•  Facilitating industrial sector in pricing the international technology.

•  Establishing a complete coordination between technology venders and users.

•  Conducting research studies for technology transfer in various sectors.

•  Making proper arrangements for assessment and evaluation of technology in terms of its effect on environment and society.

On the basis of the above arguments, it is important that for successful technology transfer there is an urgent need for the establishment of some institutions with appropriate policy across Pakistan to deal with various aspects of technology transfer to maintain scientific growth in country.

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