First Virtual University to start functioning from February -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

First Virtual University to start functioning from February

LAHORE- Federal Minister for Science and Technology Atta-ur-Rehman has said that the first Virtual University of the country will be functional from February 2002.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony of Habib Rafique Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd, he said this university would help a lot in expanding distance-learning facility on reasonable cost. He also said the government is also going to start a separate TV channel for IT education and case in this regard will be submitted to the cabinet for final approval during next three weeks.

Atta said that the highest speed of Internet expansion is only in Pakistan, which are even more than the pace of Internet expansion in the developed countries. He said that the Internet facility has so far been provided in 540 cities and towns of the country and efforts are underway to increase the quality and speed of Internet, besides reducing its cost.

The minister said that the Government has asked Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to provide incentives to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) so that they can further reduce Internet tariff.

He said that the government has recently made an agreement with a multinational computer manufacturing company under which around 50,000 second hand branded computers costing $100 dollars for each computer will be imported for the training of school teachers and students.

He said that the government is considering a project under which it will provide financial assistance for industrial automation. The industries, which want to improve their efficiency by computerization of their units, only need to get hardware and infrastructure facilities and government will bear the cost of software in this regard.

The minister said that the government would also provide financial assistance to those software houses that want to improve their quality by getting ISO-9000 certification. He said that the federal government is going to launch web sites of its all ministries. He also said that the Chief Executive has accorded permission to his ministry for issuing accreditation to the IT institutions. He said that the federal government is also starting a project for the improvement of communication facilities in remote areas of Balochistan and Sindh. He said that Pakistan is trying its best to send its first satellite before April 2003.

Dr Atta also said that September 11 incidents have changed scenario and around 50 IT experts having directorate degree in lT from America have informed the Pakistani government that they are going back to their homeland.

Later, talking to newsmen he said that he has taken up the problems of visa issuance, education facilities and problems of students with the Pak ambassador in USA.

To another question, he said that he has no concern with the issue of arrest of nuclear scientists of the country. To another question, he said that the decision of reducing the bandwidth rates would be taken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Muhammad Afzal, Chief Executive Officer of Habib Rafiq Technologies Pvt. Limited and Habib Ahmad, Chairman of the HRTPL also addressed the ceremony.

Source: Business Recorder