Renowned writer, academician, and former member of the Sindh Assembly, Mehtab Akbar Rashidi has said that till now science has been used for defense purposes and survival in the world. The practical role of science for peace and welfare is questionable. The country’s education system needs improvement while there is room for scientific research on economic conditions, climate change, and health issues. She said while delivering a special guest address on the theme of “Peace and Development” on the occasion of World Science Day, hosted by the Students Teachers Engagement Program (STEP) of Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam, on Thursday.

She said that nature has given many signs and opportunities for science, when there is a fear of the world running out of energy reserves, then nature has opened the way for solar energy from sunlight and wind energy from the air. She said that the developing countries of the world use science to save themselves and survive, and needs are the causes of inventions, she said that educational institutions are actually centers of research, therefore the government, institutions and all stakeholders must take seriously the issue of education.

Brigadier (R) Aamir Zahid Khan, Regional Director of National University of Modern Languages (NUML) said that the world’s greatest scientific inventions and technologies were made for defense purposes, which later reached the common people. He said that the engine of any vehicle was first prepared for a war tank, while countless things including information technology, wireless, and walkie-talkies were made only for war purposes.

He said that the United States still spends 45 billion dollars on military research, while the United Nations organizations that work for peace in the world also have their own army. He said that in the present era wars have also become privatized and wars are being fought based on scientific equipment and software through private contractors. He emphasized Education should be promoted for peace in the world.

Dr Jan Muhammad Marri, Pro Vice Chancellor, Sindh Agriculture University said in his address that many wars were fought in the world for religion and resources, now these wars are being done on the basis of science. He said that the industrial expansion of developing countries has created problems like climate change and environmental degradation in countries like ours. He said that now education and research should be for peace.

Dr Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director, University Advancement and Financial Assistance said that climate change is a major problem in the world, and a global conference in this regard has started in Egypt, where global issues like food security and climate change will be discussed. He said that Sindh Agriculture University has established an Agricultural Science Society and is now also establishing Science Development Society.

Dr Syeda Eram Shah, a renewed Social Activist said that not even 10% of the problems are being researched in the world, and research is needed in all fields in our country.

Dr Mahmood Mughal, the Consultant to the Vice Chancellor for Media and Heritage said that the Sindh Agriculture University is building an agricultural museum, in which the scientific history of peace and wars will be preserved, including science and research history.

Dean Dr Aijaz Ali Khoharo, Dr Abdul Mubeen Lodhi, Dr Imran Khatri, Wasif Pahwer and others were also present on this occasion.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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