Twenty-four hour Television channel for Science and Technology in offing
ISLAMABAD- A television channel with the 24-hour uninterrupted transmission dedicated to issues of science and technology would go on air by the end of the current year, said Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Atta-ur-Rehman.
Speaking on the occasion of the launching of IBM’s Advanced Career Education Services in Islamabad, the minister said the TV channel would be run by the government to target the far-flung areas of the country as part of its distance learning programme.
Dilating on the steps already taken by the ministry for promotion of distance learning, the Minister said the Pakistan Television (PTV) had already agreed to give three hours of its time for promotion of science and technology education.
However, the minister said, the officials concerned were now preparing the contents of the programmes. As soon as the programmes were prepared, they would be aired across the nation, he added. The Minister said the Shaheen TV would also allocate six hours for science and technology from March 23.
About the foreign exchange earning capacity of the IT professionals, the minister said at least 35,000 IT professionals needed to be trained every year to earn $ 1 billion per annum. He said the quantity of IT professionals and the quality of their education would determine Pakistan’s share in the rapidly growing international IT market.
Taking stock of the progress in the development of e-commerce in the banking sector of the country, the minister said the progress had been slow and the benchmarks set by the ministry had not been complied with by the national banks so far.
He said: “I have written a letter to the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan asking him to impose the strictest of penalties on banks which do not comply with the instructions of the ministry to implement proposals for a paperless government and e-commerce.”
About the plans for expanding the coverage of Internet services throughout the country, the minister said that 73 Internet cafes would be established at the four major airports of the country by March 23. He said 330 towns and cities had already been provided lnternet connectivity, and the Internet rates would be further slashed as soon as the submarine cable was linked with Pakistan.
Earlier, the country general manager of IBM, Hamayun Bashir in his speech urged the minister to take steps for the absorption of IT professionals in different institutions of the country. He proposed that banks and large corporations should spend on developing infrastructure for promotion of IT within the organisations so that the graduating students of IT could be absorbed. He said: “The country needs to increase its share of GDP investment in IT from Rs 200 million to Rs 400 million per annum.”
Source: The News