The Pakistan-US bilateral science cooperation programme will give away US$2.116 million for development in such sectors as agriculture, livestock, food security, health, education, water, renewable energy, telemedicine, wastewater and sewage treatment. Some 2,000 colleges and universities across Pakistan are expected to benefit from this monetary support fund, in particular for research projects and networking between educational institutions.
The purpose is to improve living standards of the people through development in these long-awaited areas, which will contribute in the socio-economic betterment of Pakistan. Often there is no transparency in foreign funds that Pakistan receives. It will be practical to actually maintain a thorough check on where, when and how the finances are being spent. The agreement was signed in 2003 between Pakistan and the U.S. to cooperate in science and technology.
Since then, around 70 joint projects have been undertaken according to Higher Education Commission (HEC). USAID is closely working with the HEC in research area to help develop Pakistan and enhance its international standings. According to Prof. Pervez Hoodbhoy, education budget is mostly spent on administrative expenditures which make for a less portion left to research. Experts believe that this U.S. funding has brought positive change in research capacity in Pakistani educational institutions.
Often too much focus is put on the higher education because of scope of scientific research at this level, but it is equally important to grant research funds to support innovative science exhibitions to primary and secondary education too. Also, it will be helpful to see exchange programmes for researchers, scientists and students between Pakistan and the U.S. as it will bring together brilliant minds and provide for a great learning experience. Actual cooperation also exists in initiating such ventures too, where intelligent human resources are also shared.