Universities have to teach,it is often argued, and the under-grad ones cannot possibly undertake research due to the teaching load. This may be only partly correct.Good teaching requires some participation in research and even if it is limited to observation and experimentation.Also as mentioned earlier,all research may not be on- frontiers and elegant high level.Collection of data,identifying wastages ,studying quality issues , studying material substitution possibilities and a simple unashamed assistance in copying foreign imported products to our local industry and entrepreneurs is all worthy and valuable R&d.Japanese did it earlier followed by Korea and now Chinese are doing the same.Certainly Graduate programmes,esp,of Phd would be more helpful.To a varying degree most public sector universities have initiated Grad pro-grammes already.
Unfortunately such research as has been described earlier has been derided by idle and talkative,chattering class teachers and professors.In some cases it has been opposed tooth and nail by university administrations.It is widely known that an otherwise reasonable and efficient Vice Chancellor of an engineering university almost auctioned a useful peace of power equipment donated to the university by some business party.Justification given was,it is an unnecessary diversion from "genuine" teaching.What were the actual reason or factors? But it is not too much out of the realms of possibilities.I would encourage the readers to post their feedback on it.
On the other hand among the engineering universities,NUST has probably the most active interest in applied and useful R&D. They are the most progressive and open ,blessed by a stable leadership,institutional support and an optimal location.They have come closest to the scale economies and have ventured into technology incubators and consultancy.Pakistan's defence sector alone can be a good market and customer for their R&D.Bio-medical and communications requirements of the sector can provide enough of business,activity and funds.NUST is a part of Ministry of Science and Technology.Active consideration should be given to merge one or two R&D institutions controlled by the MOST on the lines and under the rationale of my previous essays on the subject and are available in this blog.