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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Alvi calls for developing intellectual resources for sustainable progress

By Our Correspondent
March 21, 2023

President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday stressed the development of intellectual resources for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan on sustainable grounds and said there was enormous potential of promoting innovation in the country.

Promoting innovative ideas, focus on health and education sectors, timely adoption of and adaptation to emerging technologies as well as setting up right priorities and prudent political decision-making were the key to steer the nation onto path of development, the president noted while addressing the National Idea Bank Grand Finale ceremony held at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology Karachi to distribute prizes to winners of the national contest of innovative ideas.

He said that new ideas and innovation played an important role in human evolution and paved the way for the destination of advancement and progress. He added that the development of intellectual resources was vital for the sustainable advancement of the country, besides the development of natural resources.

The country intending to develop always sets health and education as its topmost priorities as a sound healthcare system to ensure the physical and mental well-being of the nation and an all-inclusive and modern education system cater to its requirement for intellectual strength, he observed.

The information technology was the fastest growing sector across the world which encompasses all other sectors of fundamental importance like finance, manufacturing, agriculture, education and health, he said, adding that Pakistan could jump in the fastest- moving development vehicle of IT by promoting ideas of our youth in the IT sector and creating intellectual advantage in IT.

The president said that over 22 million children in Pakistan were out of school while information technology platforms could be utilised to enhance the literacy ratio, particularly for promoting higher education and technical and vocational training.

Currently, services of 3.4 million IT experts were required around the world while 200 billion Internet of Things (IoT) were expected to be available in the IT spectrum in the coming year, Dr Alvi said and noted that Pakistan could acquire a considerable share out of the available opportunities by focusing on the IT sector.

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque, addressing the ceremony, said that the core objective of ‘Ideas Bank’ was to collect innovative ideas.

He said that 60 per cent of 220 million population of the country comprised youth and it was an asset that had to be utilised and promoted by equipping them with modern technologies for expediting the process of national progress.

The IT ministry has started Karachi IT Park project while an MoU has been inked to establish a centre of excellence in Gaming and Animation at the NED University Karachi, he said adding that IT exports from the country has crossed $3 billion and government was determined to further enhance the volume.

Chancellor Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology Javed Anwar said that universities should promote entrepreneurship among their students by nurturing new ideas and concepts and National Idea Bank was a significant step forward in the regard.

Chief Executive Officer Aspire Hassan Syed in his welcome address said that this year over 3,700 ideas were submitted for NIB and out of them 30 ideas were selected by the jury for prizes from a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, automotive and transport, education and learning, health, information technology, manufacturing, natural resources and services.

In the previous year, 2,100 ideas were submitted and of them 18 were selected as winner, he said, adding that 15 start-ups based on the winners’ ideas of 2022 had already begun their operations. President Alvi also distributed prizes among the winners of the National Ideas Bank contest.

4,000 IT graduates

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque has said that the government has launched a unique programme of its kind in the history of Pakistan, in which by combining the talented young generation and global needs world-class training is being provided to 4,000 IT graduates by the Pakistan Software Export Board, Pakistan Software House Association (PASHA) and 21 leading technology companies.

The training programme is funded by the Federal IT Ministry, he said while addressing a TechLift Boot Camp Graduation ceremony at a hotel in Karachi on Monday.

Haque said that Pakistan’s population boasts an enormous potential for young people, with more than two-thirds of the population under 30 years of age. “This demography presents a unique opportunity for growth and development if we can harness their talents and channel them in the right direction.”

In pursuit of the government’s objective to increase IT exports in Pakistan, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has collaborated with both public and private sector stakeholders to set a goal of 100 per cent growth in the coming years. Achieving this target requires skilled youth trained in the latest technology trends to meet the demands of the market.

So, the ministry and PSEB have partnered with PASHA and a consortium of 21 IT companies to launch the Techlift boot camp training programme -- a groundbreaking initiative that brings together the government and the IT industry to uplift Pakistan’s technology sector.

This industry-driven boot camp programme, funded by the government, is specifically designed to provide the latest technology training to the youth, making them competitive in the job market with an impressive 80 per cent employability rate.

The Techlift boot camp programme has a target to train and recruit 4000 eligible graduates for software industry roles. The programme’s international quality curriculum, designed by IT companies, will ensure that trainees are prepared for successful careers in tech.

“The Programme was started in May 2022 and about 1,800 IT graduates successfully completed their training session and awarded certificates while the remaining 2,200 graduates will complete their training by June 2023,” said the minister.