IT reforms to boost development: Atta
ISLAMABAD- Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, said the reforms introduced by the government in IT sector would bring development and retain investors’ confidence. Addressing a conference on “Computerisation of Languages in Pakistan”, organised by Microsoft here, he said major investment was being done by different companies as the country had a world class infrastructure.
He said the companies such as NCR, Compaq, Intel and IBM had invested in the country to promote information technology (IT) and computer usage. He said Microsoft had been involved with India and took various initiatives there by investing millions of dollars for Indian high schools to promote IT and computer sciences. An IT academy was also established by Microsoft in Hyderabad (India) a few years ago, he added.
But there was lack of similar type of incentives by Microsoft in Pakistan. He said Cisco, Oracle and other companies had been contributing and the government desired to see more involvement of Microsoft here.
The minister said he invited Bill Gates last year to Pakistan as he should see himself what was happening in Pakistan in the IT sector. “We can name the whole area of Raiwind campus after Bill Gates,” he said and added that he should see himself the new emerging giant of IT.
Dr Atta said that 25,000 science school teachers would be trained in information technology by the end of current year. At least 150,000 to 200,000 teachers would be trained within the next three years under the IT Training Programme, he said.
“We have also started a major programme for strengthening the area of research in engineering sciences and mathematics,” he said and added in this respect the government was providing grant for PhD students. He said 56 public sector universities were being inter-connected and also with institutions the world over through educational Internet project to share information and research.
There had also been a remarkable achievement in infrastructure development as Internet had been expanded from 29 cities to 580 cities, he said. Internet bandwidth rates had been slashed from US$90,000 per month to $6,000 per month, he added.
Moreover, he said, Internet bandwidth capacity availability had been increased from 30 Mb/s to 400 Mb/s, fibre access expanded from 53 to 200 cities and Software Technology Parks were set up in Karachi, Peshawar and Islamabad. Country Manager, Microsoft Pakistan, Jawwad Rehman also spoke on the occasion.
Source: The News