President Alvi terms Information Technology (IT) sector game-changer for country’s economy | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

President Alvi terms Information Technology (IT) sector game-changer for country’s economy

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE    –    President Dr Arif Alvi has said that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is a game-chang­er for the national economy.

He stressed the need to bring about a paradigm shift in ideas, attitudes besides improving intellectual and innovation abilities among the youth.

Addressing the launching ceremony of Web 3.0 here at the Punjab Information Tech­nology Board here on Friday, he said that there was a need to accelerate speed manifold for making solid policies. He said such policies should not be rolled back by any change in government. He stressed finding out-of-the-box so­lutions to the existing and emerging issues and chal­lenges. He said: “We can earn US$15 billion per year in the IT sector in two to three years”.

The president said: “There is a pressing need for our political, administrative and intellectual capital

to fully focus on artifi­cial intelligence in public and private sectors while adopting a much faster pace than the current one, tech­nologies such as blockchain, cloud computing, internet of things, cyber security and cy­ber defence, virtual and aug­mented reality and quantum computing to bring delivery of services and quality of products and services at par with the international stan­dards.”

He said that the world was entering into the next level of defence system, which was cyber security and cy­ber defence, adding that cur­rently Russia-Ukraine war had amply demonstrated the power of cyber security and cyber defence to paralyse the public services delivery and communication and connec­tivity of the rivals territory.

He said in terms of gener­ating new and creative ideas, Pakistan was second to none, but the need of the hour was information and data sources.

Dr Arif Alvi said the cur­rent level of human resourc­es and technology was un­able to handle the immense data being generated around the world, adding that “Around 80 million trained human resource is required only in the cyber field if we are able to train our human resource in this sector alone. We can overcome the unem­ployment issue in the coun­try and provide high paying jobs to our youth”.

He said: “This can be achieved by rethinking and resetting our entire educa­tion system in a mode, which is capable of providing qual­ity education and skills in shortest possible time to our youth by the use of online and hybrid mode and by ex­tending its reach to masses in such a manner that no candidate was refused or denied his right to get educa­tion and skills.”

The president said that the entire world was looking to­wards Pakistan because of our youth bulge; trained and skilled youth was needed to fuel the rapidly developing world of Information Tech­nology, empowered by arti­ficial intelligence and quan­tum computers to leapfrog in the fourth industrial revolu­tion to the next level.

He said, “If we failed to develop this precious human resource in an accelerated manner, it is feared that the untrained youth bulge will become a burden on the na­tional economy.”

The president said: “We have been producing doc­tors, engineers and other professional by spending scarce national resources but, unfortunately, these highly educated and quality human resource was export­ed to other countries, where they contributed immensely to growth and development of their host countries and at the same time deprived our country of this precious hu­man resource resulting in an acute shortage in almost all sector of national life”.

He said this trend needed to be reversed by creating enabling conditions in the country for their willing re­tention by promoting online sale and marketing of the tal­ent of our human resource and products and services, which would eventually im­prove current status of our standing in the comity of the nations.

Dr Alvi said that Prime Minister’s digital skills de­velopment programme and such programmes could be replicated as fast as possible to exponentially increase the number of skilled profes­sionals and imparting digital skills to the youth.

He said: “There is a press­ing urgency to fully develop our ICT sector and multiply our IT exports by overcom­ing the dearth of educated and trained human resourc­es, improving the overall ease of doing business and the IT eco-system of the country, embracing innova­tion, and adopting forward looking policies”.

The world was fast moving toward quantum computing which were million times faster than our existing most advance super computers, he added.

He said, “We should set up a board to create a system to take up research and devel­op quantum computing and forging alliances and linkag­es with the R&D institutions for its adopting on fast-track basis.”

He said that the IT and artificial intelligence could bring about revolution in the health sector by creat­ing chat bots, online and web based-help services, using conventional and social me­dia to educate masses re­garding nature and spread of communicable and non-communication diseases and promoting preventive mode of treatment to reduce the disease burden as Pakistan, with its scarce resources, was not in a position to pro­vide curative treatment to its entire population.

The president called for improving cooperation and coordination among the federation and its constitu­ent units to patronise and promote start-up ecosys­tem, bringing women work­force and differently-abled persons into productive economic stream to fully ex­ploit the enormous business opportunities in national, regional and global markets through physical and online marketing.

He said that almost 2.2 million people had already benefited from the Prime Minister’s digital skills de­velopment programme and such programmes could be replicated and expanded easily to increase the num­ber of skilled professionals and imparting digital skills to Pakistani youth.

Special Advisor to CM on Information Technology Dr Arslan Khalid said that Paki­stan could overcome its fi­nancial problems by focusing on human resource develop­ment and IT sector. He said that a reference policy docu­ment was being prepared to provide a roadmap for the development of the IT sector, particularly in the Web 3.0 domain.

Chairman PITB Syed Bilal Haider briefed the partici­pants about the achieve­ments of the PITB, and its role in the development of the country’s IT sector. He said that almost 500 startups had already started functioning.

Source: The Nation

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