A report published in this newspaper depicts the sorry state of affairs in the Science Ministry currently being run by the Federal Minister Muhammad Azam Khan Swati. The charge against him is that he is poking his nose into virtually every affair, creating roadblocks in the way of smooth functioning of various departments within the Ministrys purview. Majority of them are being run without qualified professionals. It comes as a shock to know that seven of the 15 departments are without their heads. Reportedly, some individuals on higher positions have been hired but on an ad-hoc basis. In other words the scourge of cronyism and favouritism is the order of the day. The Ministry has proved no different than its counterparts, notorious for their culture of corruption and mediocrity. No wonder, Pakistan has turned into an institutional graveyard. It bears pointing out that the National Institute of Oceanography, Pakistan Council for Science and Technology and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources are just some of the important organisations, which have been hit hard by the Ministrys callous neglect. The red tapism that is plaguing the Ministry should be gotten rid of. Reportedly, it did receive applications for the vacant slots but they continue to lie in cold storage. Given the significance of organisations like the National Institute of Oceanography, the Ministry must set its house in order. All these departments ought to be supplied with qualified staff including capable engineers and scientists. One had wished that the Minister, who appears to be quite a learned man, holding degrees from foreign universities would leave no stone unturned in bringing in the best talent. His lukewarm attitude towards his own Ministry is only grist to the mill of those who contend that our leaders are always engaged in a battle for political survival rather than good governance and public service.