Pakistan's Research Output Growth Among the World's Fastest in 2018

Pakistan is one of the world's top two countries where the research output rose the fastest in 2018, according to Nature Magazine. The publication reports that the "global production of scientific papers hit an all-time high this year...with emerging economies rising fastest".

Countries With Biggest Rises in Research Output. Source: Nature

Research Output:

Pakistan ranked first or second depending on whether one accepts the text or the graphic (above) published by Nature.  The text says Egypt had 21% growth while the graph shows Pakistan with 21% growth. Here's an excerpt of the text: "Emerging economies showed some of the largest increases in research output in 2018, according to estimates from the publishing-services company Clarivate Analytics. Egypt and Pakistan topped the list in percentage terms, with rises of 21% and 15.9%, respectively. ...China’s publications rose by about 15%, and India, Brazil, Mexico and Iran all saw their output grow by more than 8% compared with 2017".

Scientific Output:

Pakistan's quality-adjusted scientific output (Weighted Functional Count) as reported in Nature Index has doubled from 18.03 in 2013 to 37.28 in 2017. Pakistan's global ranking has improved from 53 in 2013 to 40 in 2017. In the same period, India's WFC has increased from 850.97 in 2013 to 935.44 in 2017. India's global ranking has improved from 13 in 2013 to 11 in 2017.

Top 10 Pakistan Institutions in Scientific Output. Source: Nature Index
Pakistan's Global Ranking:

Pakistan ranks 40 among 161 countries for quality adjusted scientific output for year 2017 as reported by Nature Index 2018.  Pakistan ranks 40 with quality-adjusted scientific output of 37.28. India ranks 11 with 935. Malaysia ranks 61 with 6.73 and Indonesia ranks 63 with 6.41. Bangladesh ranks 100 with 0.81. Sri Lanka ranks 84 with 1.36. US leads with almost 15,800, followed by China's 7,500, Germany 3,800, UK 3,100 and Japan 2,700.

Nature Index:

The Nature Index is a database of author affiliation information collated from research articles published in an independently selected group of 82 high-quality science journals. The database is compiled by Nature Research. The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration at the institutional, national and regional level.

The Nature Index includes primary research articles published in a group of high-quality science journals. The journals included in the Nature Index are selected by a panel of active scientists, independently of Nature Research. The selection process reflects researchers’ perceptions of journal quality, rather than using quantitative measures such as Impact Factor. It is intended that the list of journals amounts to a reasonably consensual upper echelon of journals in the natural sciences and includes both multidisciplinary journals and some of the most highly selective journals within the main disciplines of the natural sciences. The journals included in the Nature Index represent less than 1% of the journals covering natural sciences in the Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) but account for close to 30% of total citations to natural science journals.

Pakistan vs BRICS:

In a report titled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall", author Lulian Herciu says that Pakistan’s scientific productivity has quadrupled, from approximately 2,000 articles per year in 2006 to more than 9,000 articles in 2015. During this time, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Pakistan-based authors increased tenfold, from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.

Top Asian Universities:

British ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has recently ranked 23 Pakistani universities among the top 500 Asian universities for 2019, up from 16 in 2018.  Other South Asian universities figuring in the QS top universities report are 75 from India, 6 from Bangladesh and 4 from Sri Lanka.

In terms of the number of universities ranking in Asia's top 500, Pakistan with its 23 universities ranks second in South Asia and 7th among 17 Asian nations topped by China with 112, Japan 89, India 75, South Korea 57, Taiwan 36, Malaysia 26, Pakistan 23, Indonesia 22, Thailand 19, Philippines 8, Hong Kong 7, Vietnam 7, Bangladesh 6, Sri Lanka 4, Singapore 3, Macao 2 and Brunei 2.

Summary:

Pakistan is among the world's top two countries where the research output rose the fastest in 2018. Pakistan's quality-adjusted scientific output (WFC) as reported in Nature Index has doubled from 18.03 in 2013 to 37.28 in 2017. Pakistan's global ranking has improved from 53 in 2013 to 40 in 2017.  Pakistan ranks 40 with quality-adjusted scientific output of 37.28. India ranks 11 with 935. Malaysia ranks 61 with 6.73 and Indonesia ranks 63 with 6.41. Bangladesh ranks 100 with 0.81. Sri Lanka ranks 84 with 1.36.  In a report titled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall", author Lulian Herciu says that Pakistan’s scientific productivity has quadrupled, from approximately 2,000 articles per year in 2006 to more than 9,000 articles in 2015. During this time, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Pakistan-based authors increased tenfold, from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.   British ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has recently ranked 23 Pakistani universities among the top 500 Asian universities for 2019, up from 16 in 2018.

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Science festival inspires students in rural Pakistan


https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/science-festival-inspires-students-in-rural-pakistan-1.60991206


With their vibrant scientific models and stimulating explanations, students from the historical city of Thatta, in Pakistan’s Sindh province, not only displayed their talent but also fascinated visitors at the first ever Laar Science Festival.

More than 7,000 students from over 50 regional schools and colleges participated in the two-day (Dec 14-15) festival at Thatta’s Sports Complex.

A large number of teachers, entrepreneurs, science specialists and government officials also attended the event including Dr Nawaz Sogho, Deputy Commissioner of Thatta, Senator Sassui Palijo from Thatta district, Sindh’s Minister of Science and Technology Taimur Talpur.

Admiring the talent of local students in science and technology, minister Talpur promised to establish science centres in the region to groom young scientists.

“It’s amazing to see the scientific spirit in the ancient city of Thatta famous for its archaeological, cultural sites and the seat of three successive dynasties,” said Junaid Ahmad Dahar, CEO of Sindh Education Alliance.

He agreed with most of the visitors that the high level of participation by the students was a clear indication of their interest in utilising everyday science to work towards solving issues in their towns and cities.

Organised by Thar Education Alliance (TEA), Campaignistan, and Laar Education Campaign with the support of District Government of Thatta, the festival reached rural students who would not typically have the chance to attend science and technology events.

The science fest promoted a culture of inquiry and hands-on learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) subjects.

“We started this journey of organising science festivals from Tharparkar back in February 2018, and continuing this campaign for quality education in Pakistan” remarked Partab Shivani, CEO Thar Education Alliance and organiser of the event.

The theme of the event was ‘climate change’ to raise awareness on the issue as Pakistan has been ranked 7 on the list of climate vulnerable countries. To raise public awareness on the effects of climate change, the event was held in Sindh province, which is vulnerable to increased intensity of extreme weather events such as frequent floods and droughts.

Young scientists exhibited projects on solar panels, windmills, water purification, offering innovative solutions to climate change.

A project by Nimra Memon, a Grade 12 student at Concept School, Thatta, was highly acclaimed at the festival as well as on social media where her video received appreciation from Climate Change Adviser Malik Amin Aslam.

“The festival in my hometown Thatta has enhanced my interest in science and encouraged me to work on solutions to climate change and aware the people of Laar on the issue.”

After explaining the phenomenon and impact of global warming, she asked the visitors: “If it is not the time to talk about climate change, then when will be the right time?”

Campaignistan CEO Farhad Ahmad Jarral said: “We live in a digital age, where there is need to connect online and offline to bring change in the education discourse. The festival was appreciated by thousands online and sparked interest among students in other regions of Pakistan when the pictures and videos of students of Thatta were shared online.”
Riaz Haq said…
These 19 developments shaped Pakistan's economic future in 2018

https://www.dawn.com/news/1452810

Overall, 2018 saw Pakistan's economy buckle under increasing pressure, with decreasing foreign exchange reserves, increasing trade deficit, circular debt as well as foreign loans taking a toll on macroeconomic health.

As a result, the economy suffered while resources were diverted to handling power crises, import bills, and other issues. The country's foreign exchange reserves also remained under pressure.

Given that this was an election year, the outgoing PML-N government presented a populist budget, considerably slashing income tax slabs which put a further burden on the economy.

After Islamabad witnessed a regime change, the newly elected government increased taxes on utilities and luxury goods to mitigate the deficit. Side by side, a significant depreciation in the value of local currency also played a role in increasing inflation.

Meanwhile, friendly countries came forward to rescue the country's economy. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) provided a lifeline of $3 billion each to maintain foreign exchange reserves.

The KSA additionally provided a deferred payment facility of $3bn, while the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development financed eight development projects in Pakistan with a total value of AED1.5bn, including AED931 million in grants.

During the first half of the year, a tax amnesty scheme was launched for foreign asset holders. During the outgoing year, stricter regulations were imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan on asset inflows and outflows.

The central bank also raised its policy (target) rate by 150 basis points (bps) to 10 per cent near the end of the year.

Here's a look at the major developments on the economic front throughout the year.

1. America suspends entire security aid to Pakistan

2. EU renews GSP+ scheme for two years

3. Tax amnesty scheme

4. Reduced taxation under reforms

5. Chinese tech giant Alibaba breaks into Pakistani market by acquiring Daraz

6. Pakistan placed on FATF 'grey list' despite diplomatic efforts to avert decision

7. In farewell budget, govt showers businesses with incentives

8. Rupee falls 5.7pc against dollar in interbank trade

9. First tax recovery made under Panama Papers investigation

10. PM Khan forms 18-member Economic Advisory Council

11. Saudi Arabia pledges $6bn package to Pakistan

12. PM forms Council of Business Leaders

13. Rupee sees further plunge as volatility sweeps financial markets

14. SBP raises key lending rate by 150 basis points to 10pc

15. Pakistan’s ‘Doing Business’ ranking up 11 notches

16. China agrees to almost double its imports from Pakistan

17. Rs82bn plan launched to reduce rural poverty

18. UAE pledges $3bn to boost Pakistan's liquidity, reserves

19. ‘Mini-budget’ planned as IMF, govt still differ
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s digital revolution is happening faster than you think


https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/pakistan-s-digital-revolution-is-happening-faster-than-you-think/

The digital power of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is slowly unfolding and shaping into a whole new area of opportunity.

When the BRI took global centre stage in 2013, most conversations revolved around traditional infrastructure: building roads, railways, power sources and linking borders. However, the digital awakening that BRI brings, and the associated development of human capital and innovation, is much more powerful.

The global map is being altered at a much faster rate than anticipated due to the disruption created by digital infrastructure, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. Further digital and technological disruption is now set to mend fractures in society – leading to improved living conditions and enhanced economic empowerment.

This disruption has given new life to e-commerce and the start-up scene in BRI countries. In light of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, it is extremely important that economies grow in all areas, overcoming challenges and making investment in human capital and innovation. Resilience and agility are key.

Looking at the South Asian region, some of the traditional deterrents to growth have been inadequate transport facilities, patchy power supplies and lack of financial inclusion. As we have seen in the past, industrial revolutions take their time to reach developing countries but the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been quick to reach all corners of the world.

Billions of dollars of investment are bridging the infrastructure and power supply gap while improving technology – the goal is to look past the problems that have hindered the road to progress in countries along the BRI.

The flagship project of the BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a major collaboration between China and Pakistan, has been rapidly progressing and the impact of the project can be seen in the lives of Pakistani people, as reflected in an improving human development index.

Pakistan, which is emerging from many years of the war on terror, is now on a decent path to progress, with economic growth of 5.8% and improved investor confidence. At the World Economic Forum in 2017, Ebay’s chief executive, Devin Wenig, highlighted Pakistan as one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world. In 2018, Alibaba bought Pakistan’s largest e-commerce platform, Daraz.pk.

Growth is being accelerated by other major investments in power and connectivity infrastructure, technology and digital infrastructure. Ant Financial Services, China’s biggest online payment service provider, recently bought a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank, in a deal that valued the Pakistani bank at $410 million.

Irfan Wahab, chief executive of Telenor Pakistan, called the deal a “game changer”; while Eric Jing, chief executive of Ant Financial, said it would provide “inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low-cost and efficient way to a largely unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan”.

This kind of investment will benefit from the significant demographic dividend in Pakistan, targeting the largely unbanked young population, and providing not only financial inclusion but also a base on which to build digital businesses.

What the country needs now is to improve its position on the innovation and financial inclusion indices, currently at 89 and 75 respectively, on the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2018.



CPEC is creating the atmosphere for investments like this, which improve connectivity with infrastructure and digital advances. The prospects for getting more benefits out of the project have improved further with the change of government in Pakistan. By providing more transparency in CPEC deals, the government of Pakistan is ensuring a safe investment that will not lead the country into danger.

Riaz Haq said…
Only 10 #Indian and 6 #Pakistani #researchers on list of world’s 4,000 top #scientists. #science #technology #engineering #Mathematics http://toi.in/F8PqjY14/a24gk https://hcr.clarivate.com/#freeText%3Dpakistan


Indian science is a study in contrasts. With its vast population and rapidly expanding economy, the country has ramped up scientific production at an impressive rate. India started the twenty-first century well behind Russia, France, Italy and Canada in terms of yearly publications and it now leads them all by healthy margins. It is quickly closing in on Japan.


Despite those gains, India is not yet a major player in world science. Its publications generate fewer citations on average than do those of other science-focused nations, including other emerging countries such as Brazil and China. Relative to its size, India has very few scientists; many Indian-born researchers leave for positions abroad and very few foreign scientists settle in India. The country invests a scant portion of its economy in research and development (R&D), and it produces relatively few patents per capita compared with other nations.

https://www.nature.com/news/india-by-the-numbers-1.17519
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan researchers claim producing low-cost artificial #skin. A team of #doctors, #biologists and #microbiologists has produced cloned #biological skin at a laboratory in #Lahore. They claim it is higher quality than produced in #US, #Europe.
https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Researchers-in-Pakistan-We-can-manufacture-low-cost-artificial-skin-588236

The University of Health Sciences has formally requested recognition of its artificial human skin from the country’s Drug Regulatory Authority, and the process is expected to be completed soon.

“We have signed an agreement with the representative body of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA),” Akram said. “A consortium of 20 large companies will manufacture the skin and related medications. We have made sure it will be available at low cost. Also, companies will export it globally.”

Haseeb Khan, a representative of the PPMA, confirmed that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the University of Health Sciences to produce the human skin locally.

“We have placed an order to import advanced machinery from Canada and Spain,” Khan told The Media Line. “We have agreed to produce artificial human skin, the pupil of the human eye, and cells of kidneys in Pakistan according to international standards.”

According to Dr. Rauf Ahmed, a renowned microbiologist in Pakistan who played a vital role in producing the skin, its quality is better than that of skin manufactured in the US and Europe.

“It took local doctors only eight days to prepare a single draft of artificial biological skin,” Ahmed told The Media Line. “Some chemicals and chemical substances are used during the preparation. They are less expensive in Pakistan as compared to the US and EU. That’s why we have managed to keep the costs low.”

Dr. Yasmin Rashid, the provincial health minister, called the production of cloned biological skin by local doctors a “landmark achievement.”

“Pakistan spent millions of dollars on the import of human skin annually,” Rashid told The Media Line. “Now it will be available in Pakistan at low cost.”

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