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The National Assembly Session has been prorogued on Friday, the 22nd October, 2021

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16th meeting of the Standing Committee on Science & Technology
Thursday, 26th August, 2021

16th meeting of the Standing Committee on Science & Technology was held on 26th August, 2021 at 2:00 p.m in Committee Room No.7. Mr. Sajid Mehdi, Chairman presided over the meeting to discuss the various issues pertaining to Ministry of Science & Technology.

The Committee discussed the pros & cons of the following Government & Private members Bills. Some members requested that Committee may not pass the Bills in a haste to remove lacunas and to avoid the possibility of overlapping of the existing legislation. The Committee agreed in principle and deferred the following Bills till its next meeting: -

“The University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020” (Government Bill);

“The National Metrology Institute of Pakistan Bill, 2021” (Government Bill);

“The National University of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2020” (moved by Mr. Riaz Fatyana, MNA);

The Committee highly appreciated the efforts of COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) and National Institute of Electronics (NIE), Islamabad for preparation of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in short span of time. However, some members of the Opposition strongly criticized the introduction of new electoral system in the upcoming General Elections as EVM could have certain loopholes to ensure transparent elections. Moreover, EVM would create complications for common people especially old age villagers as they will not be able operate it. The Committee therefore, directed that Ministry may arrange a meeting with the representatives of all political parties to build a mutual consensus on EVM and to observe the possibility of its improvement as well.

Earlier, Mr. Shibli Faraz, Minster for Science & Technology briefly apprized the Committee that EVM is a user-friendly machine and would help to stop the rigging in future elections. The weather will not affect on it because the chip embedded into EVM is a weather resistant and could be hacked due to its non-connectivity with internet. The total cost of one EVM is Rs.70,000 approximately and would require almost 04-lac EVMs in future General Elections. He requested that opposition may avoid unnecessary criticism and float suggestions to bring improvements in EVM.

The following MNA’s Engr. Usman Khan Taraki, Ch. Shoukat Ali Bhatti, Mr. Abdul Shakoor Shad, Ms. Sobia Kamal Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Malik, Ms. Zaib Jaffar, Dr. Samina Matloob, Mr. Khursheed Ahmed Junejo, Mr. Sikandar Ali Rahoupoto, Mr. Shibli Faraz, Minister for Science and Technology and representatives of Ministery of attended the meeting.