DR. I.H. USMANI AND THE EARLY DAYS OF THE PAEC

S. A. Hasnain

Abstract


Combining a scientific background with the power of a senior civil servant, Dr. I.H. Usmani laid a sound foundation of the atomic energy programme in Pakistan. First he developed top quality manpower. He recruited the best graduates of Pakistani universities, arranged their training at world famous universities and nuclear establishments. Next, he established the case for nuclear power. Feasibility studies concluded that electric power needs 40 years hence could not be met by conventional sources. Only nuclear power could fill the gap. International competition led to the Karachi Nuclear Power Project, which began producing electric power in1972. Meanwhile Atomic Energy Centres at Lahore and Dacca and PAEC‟s premier research establishment, PINSTECH, conducted manpower development and R&D on radiation applications. An architectural masterpiece, PINSTECH earned a reputation for its high quality research. Dr. Usmani motivated the PAEC officers as well as staff to produce their very best. In return, he rewarded them with generous service conditions. He demonstrated that the gap between science and technology could be bridged by versatile scientists who could quickly acquire new skills with the help of modern information facilities. Successful administrative reforms in PAEC were emulated by universities and science establishments in the country.

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Dr. S.A. Hasnain is a former Director, PINSTECH and Director General, National Institute of Electronics and presently Member Advisory Committee, PNRA.


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