Call for adopting latest technologies for fast development
ISLAMABAD: Technological revolution is bringing a paradigm shift in today’s world and if a nation wishes to develop and grow at a fast pace, it has to opt for latest technologies that are creating headways. These views were expressed by Panning Commission’s Governance, Innovation and Reform member Tahir Hijazi in a two-day international workshop titled “Applications of ICTs in Education, Healthcare and Agriculture”
Hosted by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), the event was co-organised by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) and Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT).
The participants of the workshop, belonging to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and COMSATS member states, deliberated upon different ways of building competitiveness amid growing challenges of globalisation and rapid technological advancements.
The workshop had three technical sessions spread over two days covering various applications of ICTs in education, healthcare and agriculture, respectively. Scholars, researchers, subject experts and academicians from Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, Iran, Senegal, Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan and Bangladesh,shared their experiences and expertise in the light of their successful projects and initiatives.
“The government of Pakistan is committed to exploiting potential of various technologies, especially those related to Information and Communications,” Hijazi said.
Addressing the participants at the workshop, COMSATS Executive Director Dr Imtinan Elahi Qureshi noted with satisfaction his organisation’s strong working relations with ISESCO and INIT. Sharing some key aspects of IT revolution the world has experienced in recent years, he believed there were three major aspects to it namely the IT ecosystems, accessibility and the content.
The revolution, he noted, was dominated by the developed countries and the starting point for the developing countries to gain from this revolution would be to contribute to the content element by becoming a part of mega-research projects like those at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
ISESCO Science Director Ismael Abdel Hamid appreciated the support and cooperation of COMSATS in jointly organising a number of international capacity-building events over the years. He considered these events good examples of the South-South cooperation benefiting the common member states of the two organisations. In this context, he made a mention of the success of Regional Consultancy Workshop titled “National Innovation System and Intellectual Property”, held in Morocco in November.
INIT President and CIIT Rector Dr SM Junaid Zaidi noted that the organisers have very wisely chosen the theme of the workshop, which could help improve the socio-economic conditions of the masses. Earlier, an introduction to the event, its various themes, and expected outcomes were touched upon by CIIT Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology Dean Dr Sajjad Mohsin.
The presentations made during the first technical session titled, “ICTs in Education”, focused on ICTs for modern skill acquisition; diffusion of ICTs in early schooling; digital watermarking system for e-Education; monitoring and learning education scenarios in Senegal and persuasive techniques for effective education.
Deliberations on the use of mobile phone technology for healthcare; COMSATS Tele-health project; Tanzanian Tele-health case study; dengue monitoring in Pakistan; as well as psychotherapy through digitisation, were made during the second technical session titled “ICTs in Healthcare”.
While on the second day, the participant of the workshop benefited from technical deliberations focusing on decision-support system for agriculture, digital soil mapping of newly reclaimed areas for agricultural uses in Egypt, irrigation optimisation for improving crop production, use of agriculture research management information system in Bangladesh, as well as the various ICT applications in agriculture in Sudan.
“Inspiration gained from the technical talks and experiences of subject experts, strengthens our resolve in the heterogeneity of the many ways ICTs can be beneficial in education, healthcare and agriculture,” INIT Executive Director Tahir Naeem said.
After highlighting the potential of ICTs in revolutionising various sectors of an economy, the event concluded on December 16 on the note of exploiting the full potential of ICTs in order to improve the day-to-day life of a common man in the developing world.