KARACHI - Federal Minister for Education, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarni, on Friday said that the new 'national educational policy would be approved in the next meeting of the federal cabinet. Financial crunch is the major hurdle in setting up new public universities in the over-populated city of the country, although the government is planning to construct news varsities in the city. He expressed these notions while talking to journalists after the closing ceremony of 5-day thematic workshop in frontier technologies on Enhanced Production on Recombinant Bio-molecules of Commercial Importance, held at Dr A Q Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), Karachi University. The workshop was jointly organised by the (KIBGE) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) and COMSTECH. To a query, he said that three provinces, including Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, had send their recommendations on the national educational policy, while it was expected that NWFP would send its recommendations on Monday. There is no obstacle in the restoration of students unions in the country, he said. Earlier in his closing speech, he said, keeping in view the importance of science, his government was taking concrete steps through National Commission on Biotechnology, such steps would restore confidence and support for the biotech research and industry. He said that the intensification of agriculture had led to serious health and environmental issues resultantly the world had to face the problems like severe salinity, misuse of pesticide and degradation of natural resources. It is therefore, not surprising to witness the ever-increasing opposition of further biotechnological applications, especially those arising from genetically modification of microbial, plant and animal cells. In order to establish the real need for all types of biotechnology, it is required developing countries to realise three major climatic zones, as temperate zones of the developed world, tropical zones of developing countries as well as the arid zones of developing countries. This is a fact that over 90 percent of biotechnological research and development are underway in the temperate zones of our world. Health, poverty and starvation are the most serious problems of the developing countries. He said people were the real wealth of any nation; we have not been able to create an environment in which people may develop their full potential and lead productive lives in accordance with their needs and interests. I am absolutely hopeful that that our present biotechnological knowledge will be able to abolish the health and poverty problems, with the reduction or even eradication of starvation in arid zones, using genetically modified agriculture. It should therefore be possible to create an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive and creative lives; in accordance with their needs and interests. Since most of the biotechnology research and development is concentrated in the temperate climatic zones, a closer cooperation has to occur to facilitate adaptation of old and newly developed technologies to the appropriate climatic zone, and the local environment. If industry, science base, consumers and pressure groups work together, we can help ensure that the sector fulfils its potential to improve the quality of life in our country, he said. The closing ceremony was also attended and addressed by KU Vice chancellor, Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Dean, Faculty of Science Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Director General KIBGE Prof Syed Irtifaq, Prof Dr Muhammad Waheed Akhtar of School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab and Co-Director KIBGE Prof Dr Abid Azhar.