Saturday, August 7, 2010

University Research IV:Bio-sciences

Only if our science universities could engage in R&D in the bio-digestion process,and work in unison with the stake-holders and end-users ,they would be doing a lot of good for every body.Let us go into a few small technical details.Bio-digestion processes are used in sewerage treatment, municipal solid waste treatment and a lot of food and Pharma industries. Most of the sewerage processing plants I have visited do not work or work very in efficiently.The problem is that various kinds of anti-bacterial matter is also generated in the process which slows down and degenerates the process.Often the material characteristics of the waste to be processed varies .Hence processes inputs and parameters cannot be standardized as is done in carefully controlled chemical industry.Active monitoring of bio-digestion process is required which manpower and know-how is often not available.

As a result we find that unprocessed waste water is utilized for plantation and nurseries.I normally spot DHA Karachi's trucks distributing untreated sewerage.although DHA has many sewerage treatment plants.DHA Golf Club is also suppled with this kind of untreated sewerage from a nearby sewerage treatment plant , creating mosquito problems for the Club,its members and personnel and in future would also affect nearby residents.Fortunately there isn't much residential development around.This is the situation in a posh locality.

Similarly other organic solid wastes remain putrefying giving away often unbearable stinks and stench.Food and vegetable wastes around and in food streets and markets.All such waste can be profitably processed.Universities R&D can play an important and useful role:solving the problem,earning money,enriching academic life materially and emotionally.

Not that our people, faculty and scientists are not capable.We have such capable people like Dr.Anwar Naseem and Dr.Kausar Abdullah and others.Infact NIBGE has in the past made and even marketed some relevant bio-products out of these processes.We need a country wide systematic R&D system in our universities which is not parasitic. What is the use of R&D that is perpetually dependent on government,and comes up with show piece projects and output or generates some scientific papers which are published internationally add to the personal scores of a few elite scientists. We have belabored this point elsewhere and earlier.

Surely governments and not only federal government may have to provide some seed money or a portion of resources.But such public funding should be done on the basis of its applicability and usefulness of the country and not just to enable a few to earn academic laurels.Interaction and linking with the industry and end-users is a must for installing a useful and self-sustaining R&D process in our universities.

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