Dr. Mohammad Reza Taheri
12 September 2011
Globalization is an international phenomenon which came into being only decades ago. Although it is a new trend, it has been expanded to the farthermost parts of the world. Globalization and its aspects have been a matter of debate among many scholars. Obviously, behind the emergence of globalization we can sense economic elements.
Anyhow, the issue that frequently occurs to the minds of concerned people like social scientists is whether globalization is beneficial to developing world? Antony Gidnz, a sociologist holds a realistic view. He believes globalization is a real and important phenomenon, at the same time, he points out some probable risks that may arise out of this phenomenon for developing countries.
Globalization has changed traditional communication into electronic communication. By electronic communication or online communication, we do not mean the mere transformation of the news and information rather we mean the means that can change our life composition to a great extent. Let’s take example of Nelson Mandala’s picture, which is more familiar to us than our nearby neighbor’s face.
Today, money is transferred through electronic devices or through what is known as e-commerce transactions. Bank managers and company managers like other investors can transfer large amount of funds from one part of the world to other part just by pressing a button of computer. Science and development of electronic devices has extended the commercial transactions to more than one trillion $ in the world’s markets daily.
When we say that fast and efficient communications are vital for developing world, we mean lack of enough information in this regard would lead to unsuitable communications. Information can be suitable and useful only when accompanied by modern technology. Furthermore, information technology is vital for other dimensions of life such as cultural and political. The first communicative satellite has been sent to space 30 years ago and at present (1999) more than 200 satellites are in space which transferring the data and information.
Today, with the help of such facilities remote parts of the world immediately can contact each other. Globalization has transformed this world into a global village, a place where dominated by information technology. Development in information technology has brought a considerable number of computer applications into tertiary production sector and created many new services in the first world.
Hence, the developing world must equip itself with such technology and science; this is to promote its economic and political knowledge to such an extent so that reach a sustainable development. By sustainable development we mean, a development that can satisfy the needs of present generation without having any harmful effect on the welfare of the next generation. In reality, such improvements and developments depends on effective cooperation and coordination of people.
We must do our best to promote our nations economically, to reach the social standards, and to take care of the environment. These are our main ambitions that made us gather here and share our views in this seminar. We all know that the developed countries relatively have reached ‘development.’ We use the word ‘relatively” it is because no country in the world so far has achieved her absolute development, because there are plenty of problems in developed countries too which can be regarded as signs of backwardness. And, why the phrase ‘developed’ is used for such countries then? Because when we compare a developed state like Japan with an undeveloped state like Afghanistan, huge differences are visible.
My point is to say that though we use the term development, ‘development’ is a normative phenomenon. Anyway, let’s suppose that countries are like cars. We can imagine that poor and backward countries are like old and outdated cars which suffer from various problems and their parts do not suit each other properly, while developed countries are like those new and updated cars that a perfect harmony and compatibility is regarded. In new cars passengers are secure and safe, but the old cars may even breakdown in every possible time.
In this particular example, drivers of such outdated cars usually do not take care and drive ignorantly, but in new cars situation is totally different, in better words, drivers are regardful and cautious. Therefore, such and such reasons such as lack of administration are among the causes that extended the gap between the poor and the rich nations. In order to lessen this gap, poor or third world countries should be aware of how to solve these matters in a complicated world, and must take the necessary measures.
The first step is to study all those trends and policies that have been implemented by developed countries, and then follow them one by one, if suitable. Of course, this is the responsibility of universities and scientific centers, because every revolution or movement starts from educational institutions. Universities and research institutes are the main centers for knowledge; in this direction much is done in America namely by giving contracting research projects to the universities.
This involvement is a kind of unique characteristic of university life in America, whereas universities of third world countries or even that of developing states usually lagging far behind in this regard. Thus, science and technology are available but scholars and scientists must realize and implement them in their own countries. Just as garages are able to fix the broken cars, in the same manner universities and educational institutions have to cure the poor nations and enhance their knowledge and science so as to overcome the problems and prevent future problems otherwise this may hinder them from prosperity.
As mentioned earlier, this modern world has become like a global village. For instance, an individual easily can have whole the world in his/her bedroom just by buying a set of computer and Internet connection. Therefore, today, governments particularly those of undeveloped countries cannot follow their own old and fanatical policies, which have hitherto restricted their subjects and banned them from emancipation. Due to improvements in science and technology many of such limitations willy-nilly will be abolished.
Those dictators with their way of dictatorship who are ruling for many years can sense the danger, because they realize that development in science and technology have become a reality that threatens their personal interest. In fact, they will be left only with one choice i.e. to leave power and surrender themselves to those talented personalities who may create such an environment that may finally lead to a sustainable development.
Today, there is no other way for developing countries, but to learn and enhance their science and technology or to increase their information technology if they wish to achieve sustainable development. Let’s not forget that for such a development universities and educational institutions are the key factors. Today, in this seminar, different scholars represent their respective universities and research centers and many of them present their lectures here, to have an exchange of views. It goes without saying that establishment of this seminar is for exchanging information technology for sustainable development.
Therefore, university of Sistan and Balochistan of Iran lay emphasis on such seminars. Actually, this university with the attendance of its honorable chancellor along with the delegation played active cooperation in the previous seminars, which held in Tehran and Islamabad. Particular geographical situation of our country Iran among member countries and her jointly boundary position with other Islamic countries has motivated Iran to take part and continue its further participation in this field.
Hereupon, the university of Sistan and Balochistan of Iran has taken the initiative and has established a research center about anthropology of Indian sub continent. This act itself can be a good and effective way for the recognition of human being and utilization of their talents for the sake of development. For its expansion, we need the cooperation of participated countries which are present here especially countries of Indian sub continent. The university of Sistan and Balochistan determine to expand further this research center both in its respective field and other related grounds. This activity is included as a part of seminars’ aims.
Therefore, it is suggested that all member countries should take the necessary steps, meaning that each of them can work on a particular field towards progress of science and technology for the sake of sustainable development. Experts and specialists can work on various issues, and then in the end may let each other know of the results. This trend is called as collective of expertise towards development. Our president, Khatemi, has emphasized that Islamic states must equip themselves with the modern technology as soon as possible. This would create enough capability and state of competition in the world of technology.
Hereby, Sistan and Balochistan University is planning to follow the policies of president Khatemi as far as possible. This university suggests that for a better exchange of views, the best solution is to set up some committees in every member country for sharing and exchanging of information and cooperation. Based on this idea each university can study information technology and other technical activities of one another.
Furthermore, along with a better degree of understanding and unity, these universities may take part and equip themselves with other fields of technology and share such data and information with their governments, organizations, and private sector, and guide them to utilize information and create a situation for motivation to pursue a concrete movement towards development. Certainly, this can promise us a good future for our respective nations.
In the meantime, this university (university of Sistan and Balochistan of Iran) with its assurance of highest esteems respectfully announces her heartiest congratulations to the great scientist professor Abdolsalam (Fagid) the holder of Noble Award. This university on her part tries to grant this man’s wishes regarding development in science and technology.
International Seminar: COMMISSION ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH (COMSATS) 1999. Dr. Mohammad Reza Taheri, Islamabad, Pakistan 1999.
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