The legislators have approved the bill for establishment of University of Gwadar in Balochistan Assembly on Saturday. The chairperson of this session of Balochistan Assembly was Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Musa Khel. Provincial minister for Information Zahoor Buledi told the press that budget of Rs one billion rupees has been approved by the federal government.
The University of Gwadar has major importance due to its relation with China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. As mentioned by official website of CPEC project, “Chinese side will identify a leading Chinese university for collaboration with University of Gwadar on marine & maritime related subjects along with other disciplines”.
In Pakistan, University Of Karachi, Lasbela University Of Agriculture, Water And Marine Sciences, Uthal, National Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Science and Technology, Bahria University and Pakistan Marine Academy (PMA) are providing Post graduate programmes and courses related marine and maritime related subjects.
Marine biology is a subject related to study of the ocean. Its study has a huge importance in well being of human life, marine biology deals with researches on oceans and what benefits can be taken from sea resources. Though, biological oceanography is not much explored field of education in Pakistan. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) was established in 1981 at Karachi.
The NIO Pakistan has head offices in Clifton Karachi, with three sub-stations at Gwadar, Sonmiani and Ghora Bari. The department is mainly concerned with research in north Arabian Sea related to modifications in our climate, offer numerous living and non-living resources and other Oceanographic research.
Under CPEC project Pakistan completed first ever Pakistan-China joint research expedition in northern Indian Ocean. The University of Gwadar will play a huge role in developing the subject of biological oceanography in Pakistan. Pakistan’s neighboring countries like China and India have excelled in the field; they already have a number of institutes related to marine studies and courses.
In this regard, CPEC project is proving to be an investor in less explored fields of Pakistan. As concluded by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Pakistan,” Pakistan coast is about 990 Km long extending from Indian border in the east to the Iranian border in the west. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Pakistan is about 240,000 sq. km, with additional continental shelf area of about 50,000 sq. km. As such, the total maritime zone of Pakistan is over 30% of the land area. This region is characterized by distinctive oceanic phenomena, that produces rich fisheries, mineral, and hydrocarbon resource”.
If this 30% or so maritime zone area is utilized, there is a capacity of developing this field in Pakistan. This can provide many employment opportunities as well as resources for utilization to help boost Pakistan’s falling economy. Presently 30 scientists are involved with NIO researches, whereas 26 of these have been trained and studied abroad.
Pakistan geographical position has a lot of potential to make it a self-reliant economy. But that can only be achieved through development and improvement in Pakistan’s educational system, the establishment of University of Gwadar will prove to be a major breakthrough in this regard.