President Alvi describes the IT sector as a factor of change for the country’s economy

LAHORE – President Dr. Arif Alvi has said the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is a game changer for the national economy.

He highlighted the need to generate a paradigm shift in ideas, attitudes, in addition to improving intellectual and innovation capacities among young people.

Addressing the Web 3.0 launch ceremony here at the Punjab Information Technology Board on Friday, he said that speed needed to be picked up to formulate sound policies. He said such policies should not be reversed by any change in government. He emphasized finding out-of-the-box solutions to existing and emerging problems and challenges. He said: “We can earn US$15 billion per year in the IT sector in two or three years.”

The president said: “There is a pressing need for our political, administrative and intellectual capital

to fully focus on artificial intelligence in the public and private sectors while adopting, at a much faster pace than today, technologies such as blockchain, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, cyber security and cyber defense, virtual and augmented reality, and quantum computing to bring service delivery and quality of products and services up to international standards.”

He said that the world was entering the next level of the defense system, which was cyber security and cyber defense, adding that currently the Russia-Ukraine war had amply demonstrated the power of cyber security and cyber defense to cripple the provision of public services and the communication and connectivity of the rival territory.

He said that in terms of generating new and creative ideas, Pakistan was second to none, but the need of the hour was for information and data sources.

Dr. Arif Alvi said that the current level of human resources and technology was not capable of handling the immense amount of data being generated around the world, adding that “It only takes around 80 million trained human resources in the cybernetic field if we are able to train our human resources”. only in this sector. We can overcome the unemployment problem in the country and provide good paying jobs to our youth”.

He said: “This can be achieved by rethinking and resetting our entire education system in a mode that is capable of delivering quality education and skills in the shortest possible time to our youth by using the online and hybrid mode and extending its reach to masses in such a way that no candidate would be denied or denied their right to receive education and skills.”

The president said that the whole world was looking at Pakistan because of our increase in youth; Trained and qualified youth were needed to drive the rapidly developing world of information technology, empowered by artificial intelligence and quantum computers to take the fourth industrial revolution to the next level.

He said: “If we fail to develop this valuable human resource in an accelerated manner, it is feared that the increase in untrained youth will become a burden on the national economy.”

The president said, “We have been producing doctors, engineers and other professionals by wasting scarce domestic resources but unfortunately, this quality and highly educated human resource was exported to other countries, where they contributed immensely to the growth and development of their host countries and to the At the same time, it deprived our country of this precious human resource, resulting in acute shortages in almost all sectors of national life.

He said that it was necessary to reverse this trend by creating favorable conditions in the country for their voluntary retention by promoting online sales and marketing of our human resource talent and products and services, which would eventually improve the current state of our position in the community of Nations.

Dr Alvi said the Prime Minister’s digital skills development program and such programs could be replicated as quickly as possible to exponentially increase the number of qualified professionals and impart digital skills to young people.

He said: “There is a pressing urgency to fully develop our ICT sector and multiply our IT exports by overcoming the shortage of educated and trained human resources, improving the overall ease of doing business and the country’s IT ecosystem, embracing innovation. , and the adoption of policies with a vision of the future”.

The world was moving rapidly toward quantum computing, which was a million times faster than our most advanced existing supercomputers, he added.

He said: “We should establish a board to create a system to undertake research and develop quantum computing and forge alliances and links with R&D institutions for fast-track adoption.”

He said that IT and artificial intelligence could spark a revolution in the healthcare sector by creating chat bots, online and web-based help services, using mainstream and social media to educate masses about the nature and spread of communicable and non-communicable diseases and promote preventive treatment mode to reduce the burden of disease, as Pakistan, with its meager resources, was not in a position to provide curative treatment to its entire population.

The president called for enhanced cooperation and coordination between the federation and its constituent units to sponsor and promote the start-up ecosystem, incorporating the female workforce and the differently-abled into the productive economic stream to make the most of the enormous business opportunities in national, regional and global markets. through physical and online marketing.

He said almost 2.2 million people had already benefited from the Prime Minister’s digital skills development program and such programs could be easily replicated and expanded to increase the number of trained professionals and impart digital skills to Pakistani youth.

CM’s special adviser on information technology, Dr. Arslan Khalid, said Pakistan could overcome its financial problems by focusing on human resource development and the IT sector. He said a reference policy document was being prepared to provide a roadmap for the development of the IT sector, particularly in the Web 3.0 domain.

PITB President Syed Bilal Haider briefed the participants on the achievements of PITB and its role in the development of the country’s IT sector. He said that nearly 500 startups had already gone live.

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