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40 computer chip and design labs to be set up in Pakistan, says Dr Arif Alvi

By Our Correspondent
March 06, 2022

The Usman Institute of Technology University has created Pakistan’s first open source microprocessor and now the country is focusing on making its first quantum lab.

The microprocessor’s creation was sponsored by Google and it has been created in the varsity’s Micro Electronics Research Lab (MERL).

According to President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, by the year 2030 the chip-manufacturing will be a $1.3 billion industry. “In the years to come, the IT sector will be a one-billion-dollar industry itself, for which there will be a need for more than 80 million students,” he said.

In the inauguration ceremony of the microprocessor held on Saturday, the president said the creation of the open source microprocessor by the UIT University’s students and professors was a huge achievement. He said the varsity had tried to bridge a huge gap in the IT industry in Pakistan.

Alvi said that it is very important to make education open source so that everyone can get it. Addressing Chairman Silicon Federation Naveed Sherwani, he said that in Pakistan 40 chips and design labs would be formed. He said that it was his desire that students did not go abroad and it was the state’s responsibility to provide good job opportunities in the country.

The IT industry, he said, is a shining light of Pakistan, and the UIT University is that varsity of Pakistan which, he said, kicked off chip manufacturing in a small room and today has done wonders.

The acting vice chancellor of the varsity, Dr Shoaib Zaidi, said the UIT University had made Pakistan independent in chip-manufacturing. The computer chip, he pointed out, was the most important element of the IT industry.

He shared how the varsity’s two students were selected globally in the Links Foundation’s 2020 programme from among 4,000 students. He announced his varsity would spread the chip-manufacturing in the entire country.

Intel Chip Design Engineer Dr Roomi Naqvi and Chairman Silicon Federation Naveed Sherwani also addressed the ceremony.

“Pakistan waited 70 years to tape out it chip,” Sherwani said, adding that their mission was to teach more than 1,000 students how to prepare the open source chip in Pakistan.

IBA event

The Public Speaking Society (PSS) at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, hosted President Alvi at a panel discussion titled ‘Eastbound – A Talk for Culture Fostering Future’ at Model United Nations IBA Karachi (MUNIK XII).

Inaugurated in 2008, MUNIK is an entirely student-run, non-profit event which provides a platform for young minds to debate on diverse issues from across the globe.

The panel of speakers at the event included President Alvi, IBA Executive Director Dr S Akbar Zaidi, Associate Prof Dr Huma Baqai, and academic Nadia Sayeed. The aim of the session was to discuss the Eastern political landscape and the role played by forums such as MUNIK to encourage discourse about pressing current issues.

Dr Zaidi delivered a welcome address to the president and said that the IBA promoted inclusivity and diversity and students at the institute were given admission on merit. He explained that 25 per cent of the IBA students received some form of financial assistance.

He also apprised the audience about the IBA’s journey from a business school to a multi-disciplinary institute with 5,000 students and around 150 faculty members. Dr Zaidi stressed the importance of dialogue and discourse for peaceful settlements of disputes.

Dr Baqai discussed the current conflicts in the world, particularly the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. She urged the audience to recognise the importance and relevance of international organisations and the role of conferences such as MUNIK XII to teach students crucial skills including negotiations, diplomacy and conflict resolution. She concluded her speech remarking that whereas competition was good, cooperation was better.

President Alvi commended the IBA and the event and spoke in detail on the importance of communication in today’s world. He said one should always remain empathetic towards other’s experiences. Communication was the window to one’s mind, he remarked.

On current political events, he expressed his sympathy for the people of Ukraine, expressing Pakistan’s stance of engaging in dialogue and striving for a peaceful solution to resolve the conflict.

To punctuate his statement, he shared glimpses of historical peace movements with the audience. The president also shared that historically and in the modern world, people of colour had always been treated differently to their western counterparts, citing events such as the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

President Alvi provoked the audience, especially the young delegates, to think over the role of international organisations and how they could be improved by learning crucial lessons from history.

He accentuated the need for morality and humanity to remain at the forefront during international conflicts.

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