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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Raheela Nazir

News Xinhua Asia Pacific

Published Date: Dec 20, 2019

Spotlight: Pakistan’s 1st metro train under CPEC to revitalize economy, transportation system: experts

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — Pakistani experts are of the view that the country’s first-ever mass rapid urban transit train under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help Pakistan to revitalize its economy and transportation system while mitigating environmental woes.
Pakistan inaugurated the test run of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) last week in Lahore, the capital city of the country’s eastern Punjab province. The project is funded by the Export-Import Bank of China as part of CPEC, and is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2020, according to Pakistani officials.
In a conversation with Xinhua, Zafar Mahmood, professor of economics at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, said that the project would contribute towards Pakistan’s transportation industry Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ultimately the national GDP.
It will, directly and indirectly, create many business and employment opportunities in Lahore which is the second most populous city of Pakistan, with a population of over 10 million, he said.
"Fast connectivity is extremely important to become efficient and competitive. The OLMT and other metro projects will make the city efficient in the provision of services by increasing time efficiency and hence reduction in financial costs," Mahmood added.
He said transportation is a big issue in the city due to the lack of public transport facilities, and most of the day residents have to wait for long hours to reach workplaces and other destinations, and go back home, which is hazardous for health and social life.
"The project will be a hallmark in the transport industry of Pakistan by providing state of the art technology and facilities to Pakistan and its citizens," the expert said, adding that its success will attract other foreign investors to come to the country not only in the transport sector but also in other sectors of the economy.
A total of 27 sets of energy-saving electric trains, each consisting of five fully air-conditioned carriages, will operate between 26 stations, General Manager of the Punjab Masstransit Authority Uzair Shah said during the test run ceremony of the OLMT on Dec. 10.
The train service is expected to handle about 250,000 passengers daily when fully operational, according to the official, adding that three rail lines including the OLMT under Lahore Metro master plan are expected to carry half a million passengers a day by 2025 after completion.
Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute of Pakistan, told Xinhua that Pakistan’s economy requires significant transport and logistics uplift to improve mass transit and movement of goods, and the OLMT will be an important step in this direction.
"There will be some transfer of technology, know-how and management practices in the transport sector," Ahmed said, adding that the experience gained by Pakistani engineers and support staff from the OLMT would put them on the learning curve to be used in similar projects in the future.
"Pakistani engineers learned much from the Karakoram Highway and other infrastructural projects in the country implemented with Chinese assistance, which enabled Pakistan to launch many other projects on the basis of experience gained from earlier projects," he added.
The OLMT is expected to provide fast and much better transport facilities to the commuters, who will soon see less traffic pressure on the roads. Diversion of traffic from existing road networks will improve the condition of existing roads and apparatus, ultimately saving for the exchequer, the economist said.
Farzana Yasmin, a Pakistani scholar undertaking environmental and urbanism research at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, said that an efficient mass transit system was indispensable to meet the commuters’ needs and for Pakistan’s inclusive and smart cities to achieve sustainable development goals.
"The newly launched train service will reduce associated time delays, fuel consumption, conflicts and accidents, air pollution and noise. Smooth flow of traffic will also help in lesser wear and tear of vehicles," Yasmin told Xinhua.
She said with the metro train service, there will be a potential decrease in carbon emission and exhaust of vehicles that will help to deal with the on-going smog issue and noise pollution in Lahore.
"The project will also improve the image of Pakistan in the eyes of the world when foreign tourists visit Lahore and avail this facility," she added.