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President confers award on five scientists

ISLAMABAD, Aug 19: President Pervez Musharraf has conferred the President's Medal for Technology on five scientists.

The newly constituted medal awarded for the first time to encourage technological innovation in the country. The gold medal, given as part of the Civil Awards on the occasion of the Independence Day, includes a certificate and cash prize of Rs 100,000.

Nominations were invited from research organisations, universities and ministries. Scientists were selected by a committee of the Ministry of Science and Technology from 51 nominations after careful consideration of the achievements of the candidates.

These include Dr Muhammad Sarwar Khan of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for his work on chloroplast biotechnology for the development of Greencane-TM seedlings, which can lead to commercialisation of a new sugarcane species in 3-5 year rather than 15-20 years that are otherwise required. Dr Mazhar Mehmood of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has been awarded for his work on corrosion-resistant nano-crystalline alloys.

Dr Ghulam Habib of NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, has been given award for his work on animal-feed technology. He developed mulberry-based feed blocks for improving the livestock productivity in the mountainous areas of Chitral.

Muhammad Javed Iqbal of PCSIR laboratories, Lahore, has been awarded for his work on the development of strategic chemicals for the defence sector. Prof Dr Najma Sultana of the University of Karachi has been given award for her work on Pharmaceutical Sciences with five patents to her credit. The awards conferred by the president will be given by Nouraiz Shakoor Khan, Minister for Science and Technology, at a special investiture ceremony soon. The news
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