The Ministry of Science and Technology has demanded allocation of Rs3.6 billion for the financial year 2019-20 for 49th Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).The demand was presented during Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology meeting which held today in parliament house with chair Senator Mushtaq Ahmed.The Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms has given an indication of Rs3.07 billion rupees for 33 projects. This allocation is almost double than previous year’s allocation which was 1.48 billion rupees. The Committee, however, noted that even this amount is not enough and the science and technology sector needs to be put on priority.Senators Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Nuzhat Sadiq, Kamran Michael, Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Gul Bashra, Secretary Science and Technology, representatives from HEC, PEC, NTC and other organizations attended the meeting. The committee was also given compliance status on committee’s earlier recommendations regarding low Research & Development budgets of attached departments, poor departmental structures, ineffective in-house inquiries, capacity issues, industry linkages, pay packages and regularization of contractual employees.Regarding the public petition of a Professional Engineering Technologist regarding clarification of the term Professional Engineering Works the Committee heard the petitioners as well as the HEC, PEC and NTC. The Committee directed HEC to resolve the problems faced by B-Tech graduates and formulate a clear policy in consultation with all those involved.The Committee also hailed the successful safeguard of country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the recent tensions with India. The Committee was of the view that this success on one hand has been possible due to the valour of our forces and at the same time it owes a great deal to investing in science and technology. The Committee appreciated and paid tribute to the experts and scientists who have given this country the nuclear and missile technology.Published in Daily Times, March 15th 2019.