Riphah Institute of Public Policy (RIPP) in collaborating with University of Sialkot (USKT), Institute of Research Promotion (IRP) and MALI Communiqué, organized a policy seminar on Branding Pakistan as Innovative Country: the Role of Media. In his welcoming address Dr Rashid Aftab: Director RIPP highlighted the significance of the seminar and showed complete confidence that such gatherings will make a ripple but these ripples will make a huge difference in times yet to come. Sharing his thoughts at the seminar Prof Dr Nasim Ahmed, Vice Chancellor UVAS, said that we late to start such dialogue, but better than never. He endorsed the utmost need of developing techno-media sector in Pakistan and assured full support of UVAS for the promotion of S&T through media. Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhry, Coordinator General COMSTECH highly appreciated the theme of the seminar. Prof Iqbal Choudhry admitted that we are way behind in embedding science in our social fabric and that requires persistent and motivated effort. He told the audience that COMSTECH is determined to train 1000 master trainers on Science Communication and Science Journalism, from countries ofOrganization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 2022. He generously offered the organizers of the seminar to come up with nominations and displayed his utmost support in any effort to connect S&T and media of Pakistan.
A prominent Canadian professor communication Dr John Shiga delivered his presentation regarding opportunities and challenges. Dr Shiga mentioned categorically that Covid-19 has doubled our responsibility to maintain the trust of general public on scientific inquiry. Dr M Ali Hamza, faculty member at UVAS Business School and Director MALI Communiqué said that Pakistan needs to develop an S&T loving narrative that will influence our positive impression to the rest of the world. In his recommendations he asked PEMRA to enforce media outlets to dedicate 1 hours for S&T updates, and that is simply possible if Federal Ministers of S&T and Information& Broadcasting collaborate. He also suggested that Govt. ads be given to S&T based content on TV programs and write-ups, local research funding agencies add a budgetary head as “Public Awareness Campaign”, Virtual university must extend its services to universities for S&T based quality content production on subsidized rates, and start-up like MALI communiqué must be encouraged. While sharing his thoughts Mr Salman Abid, seasoned analyst of PTV, asked the scientists to approach media personnel’s and put in an extra effort to engage with media related persons.
In his presentation, Director Center for Innovation and Competitive Studies (CICS)USKT Mr Rahmat-Ullah proposed an ‘Entrepreneurial Model of Information Ministry for Innovative Pakistan’, “Information Ministry of Pakistan has to take some bold steps to make Naya Pakistan”, he said. Mr Aleem Ahmed the /Editor in-Chief Global Science, urged the scientists and media experts to expedite the effort of S&T promotion. Mr Khurram Elahi from PIDE spoke in support of developing S&T culture in Pakistan. The seminar was concluded on vote thanks by Ms Rukhshanda Saleem from CISC-USKT.