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Saturday May 18, 2024

Tania Aidrus joins Digital Pakistan project, yet again

IT ministry notifies tech expert's appointment as convener of Digital Pakistan committee headed by state minister

By Web Desk
April 24, 2024
Former Google executive and Digital Pakistan head Tania Aidrus speaking in this still taken from a video. — Instagram/@tania.aidrus
Former Google executive and Digital Pakistan head Tania Aidrus speaking in this still taken from a video. — Instagram/@tania.aidrus

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's administration has appointed former Google executive Tania Aidrus for its digitisation project — Digital Pakistan — which she previously headed in December 2019 from July 2020 during the rule of ousted premier Imran Khan.

Tania Aidrus, a former Chief of Staff and Head of Strategic Initiatives on the Next Billion Users (NBU) team at the US tech giant, was appointed as "convener" of the Digital Pakistan committee following the premier's approval, a notification issued by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication read.

According to the ministry, the committee will be headed by the federal state minister for IT, whereas, the secretary of the IT ministry was also included in the team.

The committee would compile recommendations for the country’s ambitious project pursuing digitisation infrastructure in various sectors in line with modern technologies and innovations, besides ensuring transparency and ease in government processes.

Aidrus spent more than half her life outside Pakistan, studying at the world's best schools and working at the forefront of the global tech industry before being approached by the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) administration aiming to uplift government processes matching the global standards of the digital age.

She holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a BSc from Brandeis University.

Prior to her appointment as a Google executive, Tania co-founded a mobile health diagnosis company called ClickDiagnostics which connected rural patients in emerging markets to doctors around the world.

The tech expert was also inducted into the federal cabinet led by ex-PM Khan in 2019 as special assistant to the prime minister, however, she faced an unceremonious exit from the PM’s House in July 2022 due to her Canadian nationality which she mentioned in her resignation and a post on X.

Some reports also suggested that one more reason for her departure was establishing a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which also sparked a debate on conflict of interest.