In a move that would help spur the already booming development of IT content, Pakistan has beaten off competition from regional countries to bag World Bank’s contract for setting up a research lab for mobile software development including apps, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Pakistan Software Export Board – the agency tasked with the implementation of the project – has not made any official announcement, however, a well informed official told the Express Tribune that World Bank approved $380,000 in grants to Pakistan in November 2011 for a two-year project, mLab South Asia, to be set up in Lahore.
World Bank’s division InfoDev planned to establish five mobile software development research labs across the world including one in the Saarc region, the official said. India and Sri Lanka were also shortlisted for the region but Pakistan was picked as the final destination.
The business plan focuses on combining arts and science schools under the umbrella of PSEB. “We proposed that we will bring these two communities together for content-based applications,” a PSEB official who requested anonymity. “Our plan inspired them and we won the grant to set up the lab, he added.
PSEB is leading the project while Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, National College of Arts, and University of Engineering and Technology (UET) are among the implementation partners, the official said. The lab will be setup at UET, he added.
The purpose of the project is to establish mobile labs as specialised business incubators supporting mobile technology entrepreneurs, application developers and innovators, said infoDev Senior Communications Officer Angela Bekkers in an e-mail.
Bekkers said the grant comes from a Finland-financed trust fund, managed by infoDev, a global partnership programme in the World Bank. InfoDev’s mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable and inclusive growth, she added.
The blue print of the project is ready, according to PSEB official, and WB has already released the first year installment of $240,000 to PSEB earlier this year. The paper work is complete, courses have been designed, events have been planned for tech and art people, he said. The project will be executed after PSEB disburses funds to implementation partners. Pakistan Software Export Board did not respond to email queries sent by The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.
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Pakistan Zindaaah Baaad....................
This is such a great news.
One thing we in India have common with Pakistan - If the govt. let's us alone and provides some degree of peace, law & order - then private citizens of both our countries are capable of pushing this region to the best one in the world.
Hope our leaders have sense to see peace and progress is the only way forward. Not religion, not corruption.
$380,000; seriously??? Getting excited about this should only help highlight the pathetic state of the nation.
hahahaha....give me a break man!! you just said Pakistan IT turnover in 35 billion dollars....where you got this figure?? do you know how much is 35 billion dollar?? or you are trying to say 35 million dollar?? Comparison of Pakistani IT with Indian IT sector is a mere joke....TCS itself is 50 times bigger than whole Pakistani IT sector.....so be humble and take forward the Pakistani IT in near future.....
@....: While i partially your comments, don't say that Indians always start the mud slinging...If you would like, go and check on how many news items commentators dragged India unnecessarily..one example news item--"Bangladesh to seek reversal of Asia cup results".. Go and see the various comments..So don't claim ignorance..Even in this news item just look at comments by "Fighter"..Perhaps your advice of "Stay grounded" applies more to your compatriots..
That said, see how many Indians commented here that they don't welcome Arjun's comments..I too don't agree with him...it's rude but can't fault him fully..Some of you folks bring the worst out of us..
@antanu g: For God's sake don't pretend to be an Indian spoil our name by your ignorant comments..You've been exposed many times over and yet don't give up don't you?...If you are an Indian, reading newspapers which most Bengalis do (like you claim to be one), you won't be asking for examples..I don't wanna waste my time here..you yourself can search and get it.
Btw, you are yet to post your address as promised by you sometime ago..
Look who's talking..Though i don't subscribe to Arjun's comment, many of you folks (including you) are not saints either..I've seen many of your comments that are as provocative as it can get dragging India on unrelated news items..So get a life dude..also, see other Indians' comments chiding Arjun..Can we expect the same from Pakistani commentators?? tht's a bit too much to ask for right?
I am Indian and I congratulate my Paki brothers. I encourage you to capitalize on your talent pool and grow it more and more. there is plenty for everyone. A Pakistan filled with creative minds will be a good neighbor to have. Much better than a Pakistan filled with jobless, brainwashed zombie jihadis, which is no better than an army of Orcs. That is the genuine Indian perspective, including that of our government.
@Arjun:You are quite impressed by the Infosys story, the story is very impressive but apart from the money they make there is another thing which one is impressed by that is the HUMILITY of its founder Mr N R Narayanamurthy.
This reminds me of when Pakistan rented a used satellite that only worked part of the time. Musharraf went on to claim that with the "launching" of Paksat, Pakistani scientists were now ahead of Indian scientists....yes..a country that hasn't launched as much as a tennis ball is ahead of a country that has launched multiple satellites.
Wow! 380K is a lot of money for Pakistanis. They invested 100K to plan and execute 9/11 and reaped about $23 billion in return from the US. With 380K, they will be able to get roughly about $80 billion dollars in return. I can understand why the entire pakistan is rejoicing this contract.
To improve upon the absurdity of the title..The news is not yet confirmed .
"Pakistan Software Export Board – the agency tasked with the implementation of the project – has not made any official announcement, however, a well informed official told the Express Tribune that World Bank approved $380,000 in grants to Pakistan in November 2011 for a two-year project, mLab South Asia, to be set up in Lahore"
The Grant was made in November 2011..We are in March 2012. Someone please inform me if the news is now confirmed !
Yeah..that's right..a country that exports 62 billion $ of IT a year and Is home to companies like Infosys that are worth almost as much as the entire pakistani stock exchange are insecure.
Great news! Most definitely there is an abundance of creative talent in Pakistan.
@Ak: and who are the top Pakistani Honchos you are talking about? i have heard of none. There are some in finance laundering and hiding Pakistan Army's money. Other than that i have seen none!!
35 Billion what? where did you get the figure from? Your musharaff?
@A2Z: whatever quality the Indians are successful that is the bottom line and billions and billions earning. Their economy i do not know how much larger!! More than 10 times for sure. So why crow about what a mere Indian professor earns in 6 months in US? we are making ourselves a fool by talking like this is some great thing. And it is a GRANT for God's sake!! in effect alms. There is no CONTRACT. Don't we know the difference between a Grant and a contract? get some life.
@Optimist: lol....just read out comments from rest of the indians...generalization is the worst thing on earth
See how insecure your Indians are?? . Are you guys really that big in IT that you portray? Even if you are, you must have the smallest hearts!!!
Accept the fact. We have lost to India already in the tech sector.
Pakistani entreprenur hasno electronic modes of payment collection Paypal, Internet Merchant Accounts etc. No Access to viable software park. Karachi has zero Software park which would spur growth. Banks feel more secure lending to a failing textile mill then to a software venture.
with this in mind i think we really did need the begging bowl filed with $380K!!!
It would make the PSEB look important.
what a shame!
If this could keep Pakistanis from receiving terror training then congratulations.
Now this is a welcome news. A healthy competition like this brings progress to common people rather than arms race which only fills pockets of greedy ministers. @Arjun : sorry dude, but your comment reflects your insecurity and does not reflect the sentiments of many Indians who had the opportunity to work with Pakistani engineers. Surely these guys are talented too. Respect the competition rather than being boastful. Hope you have heard and understood the story of the hare and the tortoise.
@Pakistani Spot on....
@bharat: A voice of reason at last! Indeed, This is the only route to peace. @arjun: perverts? Given the amount of time you (an Indian) spends on a Pakistani paper, are you in fact a voyeur? And doesn't that make you a pervert? Just saying.
Congratulations Pakistani brothers and sisters!
Indian here. I have worked with both Indians and Pakistanis in IT. Both are smart, clever and driven. Love to see our neighboring country come up as well!!
Pakistanis should think big to succeed. To understand what is big, it's important to know what is small. Whoever came up with this headline obviously doesn't have that understanding.
@Sinclair: I don't think you can build a platform with the small amount of money involved. This is money for developing mobile applications.
@Arjun: Please relax the whole world knows about the Indian IT industry. Are you on this page to win enemies? If so you are doing a great job.
We have this great nack of converting even a happy moment into a boxing match
Those who are trying to belittle the amount don't know what a PRESTIGIOUS client looks on your CV and how it opens big doors. . It is better to get $380,000 from the World Bank project than $38 Billion from, say, governement of Uganda. . Another thing, if India is so big (headed), why was it even in the bidding process for such a small amount?
@arjun: Seniors advice that If you have nothing good to say, you keep the mouth shut. Would you be good enough to give examples of your heroics? Secondly why are you even bringing india in here? why you and rest of Indians always have to bring india in every Pakistan related topic. aren't you over the fact that we are separate nations?
Pakistan's population is 10th time small the size of Indian pop, yet you still brag about some achievements you have made. If you have made keep it to yourself and be happy, we will be happy too. We are happy of our own. This thing of comparing is gotta stop. If it wasn't for the rough times in recent history of Pakistan, We would be far far ahead.
Coming again to your rant, the fact you lost even mediocre 380,000 dollars contract (in your words) means you aren't even worth this mediocrity.
Comparing a lab setup with contract with world cup for some software development is childish to say the least
Arjun, do you think Pakistanis sent letters to Indian newspapers when our economy growth was 6% for DECADES and India's was 3% ??? Come on yaar, get some class with 'all that money' you have.
Wonderful news.We should welcome and support any person/institution that is trying to make things better for their fellow human beings. Best wishes to my Pakistani friends.
i think u shud read sumthin like "all numbers in thousands" on top right of the tables
That's great news!
That's great, best of luck all of u...
@Fighter: Get the facts clear. http://www.pakalumni.com/profiles/blogs/1119293:BlogPost:65918
Mr. Farooq Baloch, nice article. the headline is misleading and unintentionally comes off as petty. It has taken a positive step into something negative and that is all our 'fans' need.
380K? That somehow represents a win over the Indian IT industry?
@Yash: fully agreed with u...
@arjun: situation is very different and you should not compare....also give one example of so called 1-10 billion dollars project (IT) in india.would you?
This is excellent news! Congrats to al who worked to win this project. I specially want to acknowledge and congratulate Zia Imran, MD, PSEB, who worked on this very creative proposal and eventually came away with success! Thanks Zia!
I think most Indians reading this should congratulate Pakistanis for this .Its a step in the right direction. If both India and Pakistan produce more educated people, problems cease to exist.
Pakistanis should know that most Indians would be happy to see you succeed and prosper. Poverty and illiterate people on both sides would simply resort to war with weapons or war with words.
No educated person on both sides will try that approach now.
India is improving very fast and we will increase per capita over a long period .like 15-20 years.
Hopefully by then , Pakistan being a smaller country will also become relatively developed.
The consequence is peace.
Throwing trinkets without satisfying deeper problems. I can buy it. As a graduate of one of the art schools mentioned above, sadly, it's the same operational strategy that the art schools have used for decades - provide students with enough technical training to fill in market niches: the education that art students get is little better than vocational training. What I would really like to know are the education plans that have been drawn up, and the level to which this money is going to go into the education that our kids are getting.
I find it laughable how they call it a 'lab' when there's obviously no serious research on their agenda (given the PSEB's excellent record of producing internationally stringent research). Money needs to be put into the basics of university art and science education, which is woefully inadequate, rather than into these short term two bit ventures.
@arjun: I have just comment for u..... Loser!!
pakistanis should take a non competitive view , indians too - this is a step forward for pak IT industy
The amount is not as important as the trend . Pakistan continue on this path well done
hey arjun...man...although being an indian i think ur comment is pretty rude...yes there are a few discriminators but still...u shud not have a problem with them rejoicing....rather try congratulating them...
wat ur telling pakistanis right now...the chinese can say more or less similar things for us...
punch other people only when attacked....
Very good news. We are desperate to listen good news from our country. This time we have to be very carefull while casting our votes, please think 100 times before casting the vote. Our vote can bring change only. It is our duty to tell other people that who to choose this time and I personally think, we should give at least one chance to Imran Khan and PTI.
@Fighter Bro, I am not here to fight with you and feel this is a great development for Pakistan, but I must correct your figures.
Indian IT Industry: $ 64 Bn (2008) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informationtechnologyin_India
Pakistani IT Industry: $ 2.8 Bn (2008) Soruce: http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/10/pakistans-28-billion-it-industry.html
@Fighter: When facts are not on your side, just invent your own facts. :-). Very unethical and immoral but very convenient. Right?
From the headlines, I thought it was some big project. But then when I saw the a money involved, I knew this was an optimistic piece. $380,000 over two years is peanuts. Individual sofware developers make more than that per year in some companies. Why think small?
Congrats guys for winning this. Even if it is insignificant in terms of value but it is good that there other aspects of the country that are positive.
Pakistan’s: approx 35 billon. India’s: approx 50 billion. I think we are doing pretty good compared to our size and resources. Plus while india is primarily a service based industry, pakistan is doing more cutting edge research for product development. In us and europe u would find that indians out number it professionals from other countries, but while indians work mostly at a lower strata, pakistanis head the top posts and help shaping world’s it market. If we can bring back some of those talents back to pakistan we make cross the it turnover in excess of 100 billion.
I am interested in finding out the source of your numbers. They don't look right. Also being part of the industry myself, I can say that what you have written is not right. Silicon valley is dominated by ICs - Indians and Chinese! Many of the start ups are owned by Indians and Chinese.
Some of the most cutting edge technology development happens in India these days - from animation companies to technology research centers are based in India. Of course low end IT and ITES is also part of the mix but this was the starting point in 80s and 90s, companies have moved up the value chain since then and offer services from high end consulting/product development to low value, high volume support services.
its not about the money, everything is not about money! it does represents the talent we have in Pakistan! Being successful with such limited about of resources!!
Shabaash Pakistan !!!!
@Fighter: are you sleeping man ?
Good move Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB). Pakistani also have an un-exhausted software development talent. It needs to be utilized which PSEB is striving for. Well done PSEB.
The amount is small but its first few drops of rain. Hard work is the key.
This Is great News, It has proven that we are head to head in IT with our neighbors and we are best it at.
@arjun: I suggest you to be humble and see how Pakistanis reciprocate. We are already engrossed in our plethora of petty issues to care about Indians. Its when Indians decide to stop by to demean us and the reaction begins!!!!!! broken pride only brings out the worst in people! If you talk with young Pakistanis its all about how can we learn from the Indians never do we say we are better. small gestures go a long way :) Have a nice day.
It is very small minded of some Indians here to point out the amount (38k) to belittle this. And I say this as an Indian.
380K. Lots of money-> rich pakistan-> beat india-> happy pakistanis.
@Patrik: Pakistan's: approx 35 billon. India's: approx 50 billion. I think we are doing pretty good compared to our size and resources. Plus while india is primarily a service based industry, pakistan is doing more cutting edge research for product development. In us and europe u would find that indians out number it professionals from other countries, but while indians work mostly at a lower strata, pakistanis head the top posts and help shaping world's it market. If we can bring back some of those talents back to pakistan we make cross the it turnover in excess of 100 billion.
@....: tHATS EXACTLY what I was saying buddy...it is not me...but those perverts who talk such insanely about India without knowing it invites and is a home for every religion and has 1 billion to worry about....otherwise my words were not meant to be such....you are right !
This nothing Indian is biggest and bestest in the world.
@Straight Fire: quite contrary. Pakistanis are very innovative and work best in creative environments. We are not the 9-5 types and if you observe the young educated kids coming up all of them have some hobby apart from their work like blogging, theater, music or photography etc to let their creative side out. They just need a stable environment and good source of income. @arjun: for a country which has been in a state of war for the last ten years, we are doing a darn good job but of course there is sooo much more hard work to be done!!. If you want to demean the baby steps being taken by our nation to satisfy your ego, please go ahead! It only reflects your state of mind! And those 'perverts' which talk about your poverty only resort to it after reaching their breaking point with you Indians going on and on and on and on about how great India is, everybody is happy there and milk and honey flows through the streets. Both countries have problems, my suggestion to you is to always stay grounded no matter how rich or successful you become!
$380,000...a fortune indeed;)
@arjun...The IT industry is booming in Pakistan. This grant is just $0.38m. Netsol Pakistan's reported profit for half year upto 31 December 2011 is $9.99 million. The focus is not £380,000 but securing the contract. I have lot of Indian friends and know very well about the strucutre of your so called 1st and 2nd tier colleges. So instead of showing your hatered its better to digest this news with cool head.
We Pakistanis should not go overboard; just remain humble, and work, work, and work as Quaid-i-Azam said.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, but Pakistan is not in the same league as Hindustan. Bharatis are light years ahead. Tata Consultancy, Infosys, etc. too many success stories with multi-year contracts in billions. Indian universities churning out Ph.D.s in CS, EE ... in thousands.
We will have to work SEVEN days a week, TWENTY FOUR hours a days to catch up in 15 to 20 years. Stop wasting time on politics or religion.
Shameful and disgusting remarks from OIT (Obsessed Intian Trolls)
This nation lacks innovators and only contains labors ...
What about the soul of Pakistan sold to the Chinese? 6 Chinese restaurants now operating in Islamabad.
Good news for Pakistan. Does any one know how big Pakistani IT sector is in turnover ?
Pakistanis keep pointing poverty in India (some perverts) and now you see people celebrating the 380,000 dollar contracts. The contracts India gets are in 1-10 billions. Just a gentle slap for those perverts who need to know the reality.. This is less than a lab set set in 2nd tier Indian Colleges. Somebody needs to do some research....
Good news for Pakistan. The details in the article seem to be a recitation than researched facts. Can the author clarify whether this project is for developing a platform for mobile applications? Or mobile applications themselves?
Go Pakistanis, dikha do duniya ko
where are those guys who do not believe "unnamed officials"..??
anyway....great news for pakistan...congratulations!!!
Wah.... Yeh hai mera Pakistan!! Awesome
It's good though the headline of beating off India and Sri anka is a bit laughable as this $380K WB project is no yardstick by any measure.
This is great news. Made my day. It is about time Pakistani civilans I hope get contracts like these.You need brains to develop mobile apps and Pakistan does have a large talent pool.