STAFF REPORT KHI: Pakistan has become a fertile country for research as more than 8,000 papers by the countrys researchers were published in the international journals this year. This is a huge step up from the 500 research papers that were produced in the year 2000, before the establishment of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

“The amount of research emanating from Pakistan had been growing by 20 per cent each year,” said Dr Attaur Rehman, former chairman HEC, while speaking at the recently held two-day national symposium on microbiology as chief guest. The symposium was arranged by the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology (FUUAST), in collaboration with the HEC.

Prof. Seher Afshan, Assistant Professor at FUUASTs Microbiology Department, said on the occasion that aim of the event was to spread awareness about the importance and applications of microbiology in our daily lives. There are many areas where such knowledge can help us answer everyday questions on health and hygiene, including prevention from diseases, she maintained.

The event attracted scholars from prestigious public and private institutions, including National University of Science and Technologys (NUST), Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Karachi University, National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and Punjab University, Lahore.

Prof. Afshan said that for scientific disciplines such as microbiology, students get tired of being cooped up in classrooms and fed theory – they should get hands-on practice, but public-sector institutions have a long way to go.

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