Monday, August 9, 2010

University Research X :the way forward

What to do. A strategic performance review of all the RDIs should be undertaken.The ones with no prospects should be closed down.Some may be merged with existing nearby public universities or be encouraged to open graduate teaching and research programmes ,where feasible.Others may be allowed to continue but with a mission,vision and a business plan and associated annual performance monitoring.For business as usual is not acceptable anymore to the people of Pakistan, as problems and sufferings increase.

A National Research Agenda keeping in view the research needs and the potential and capabilities of the existing RDIs should be prepared with a five year plan.This has not been done before and is not easy but can be accomplished through collaboration with industry and possibly with the assistance of external consultants.Funding requirements are to be estimated based on this agenda.Also the strategic performance review undertaken in the context of this agenda.

Annual Business Plan & Reporting system must be initiated.It should not be a routine narrative. Annual targets must be negotiated with the representatives of the RDIs in a realistic but rigorous manner and Annul Performance Review based on the previously negotiated targets be undertaken regularly. This rigor will pass down the organisations and would help fight complacency and laxity.Personal ACRs should also be written in the context of the business plan. Initially a mid of the road approach should be taken,not too tight and not too lax.

All of the above is not unique.It is routinely done else where.Khulla Khata and happy joy-ride must go.It would improve and enrich the lives of the scientists in the research institutions, materially,socially and morally. An efficiency and performance based system reduces the role of servility and sycophancy and also eliminates arbitrariness and ruthlessness of the administrators.Thus good and hard working scientists need not worry and oppose such innovations.I am sure they would not.

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