Digital Pakistan: PTI government launches new initiatives

Digital Pakistan: PTI government launches new initiatives

ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is in process of formulating a central procurement plan for federal government's e-readiness in terms of ICT infrastructure, a key element for digitization.

The first ever digital policy of Pakistan envisions the country to become a strategic enabler for an accelerated digitization eco-system to expand knowledge-based economy and spur socio-economic growth.

Official sources while highlighting steps being taken by the government to uplift industry on Sunday said Task force on IT and Telecom has been constituted to suggest specific interventions in policies and regulations while committee have been constituted to finalize recommendations to Federal Cabinet for renewal of Cellular Mobile Licenses.

Around 81,119 persons are being imparted training under a phased-wise Digiskills Programme, launched to train one million youth, freelancers, etc to provide opportunity to gain marketable digital skills.

The on-going programme of the Ministry is also aimed at training youth with knowledge, skills, tools & techniques necessary to seize opportunities available internationally on online market places as well as locally to earn a decent living.

Moreover, the sources said Device Identification, Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) has been introduced by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to curtail counterfeit mobile market and discourage mobile theft.

All stakeholders have been facilitated in revision of policies, to enable import of used mobile phones and prevention of smuggling.

Similarly, the sources said the un-served and under-served areas of the country are being provided state-of-the-art telecommunication and broadband services (2G/3G) through Universal Service Fund (USF).

Additional under-served areas, identified by the Ministry have been recently approved by Federal Cabinet for provision of Next Generation Mobile Services.

Another initiative is Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Girls which is an endeavour to spur socio-economic uplift by enhancing employability potential of girls in Pakistan. This project will help in making over 110,000 girl students "Computer Literate" studying in Islamabad's schools and bringing them at part with students elsewhere in the world.

Also, 144 Women Empowerment Centers have been provided with ICT Model Labs. Through this program over 5,000 girls will be trained annually at state-of-the-art computer labs under coaching and training programme of Microsoft. Over 10,000 girls have benefited from this program so far.

The Ministry is also working on new projects for maximum economic impact through collaboration, digitization, research and innovation in new emerging technologies within the ICT and other socio-economic sectors.

The government was also planning for development of IT zones, software technology parks at major cities, and to finance research & development activities, entrepreneurship and innovation.