A fund of Rs300 million will be reserved for girls studying Information Technology (IT), Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced on Thursday. He also announced the establishment of an IT centre for women in Islamabad.
The centre, he said, will be named in honour of computer prodigy Arfa Karim, who became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in 2004 and remained so until 2008.
PM Gilani was speaking at an event to mark the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The event, “Women and Girls in ICT”, was organised by the Ministry of Information Technology.
The PM also announced the creation of a venture capital of Rs1 billion, which he believes will encourage innovation, entrepreneurship research and development in the IT industry.
Moreover, 30,000 jobs will be created in the IT sector in 2012 across the country, Gilani said. He pledged that the government will establish IT centres in all union councils across the country.
No doubt, he said, in the last one decade the telecommunications sector of Pakistan has established itself as the national flag-bearer of progress and as one of the biggest contributors to Pakistan’s fiscal growth.
“In fact, Pakistan’s telecommunication and information technology sectors should be considered as our best economic success story, in spite of the severe economic challenges currently faced by our country,” he added.
PM Gilani said, “An active participation of half of the country’s population in national life is imperative to help Pakistan grapple with current challenges.”
IT and Telecom Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said, “I believe that we can harness the power of [information technology] by [focusing on improving] the capacity of women, especially in underdeveloped and rural areas.”
The government, he added, has established more than 1,000 educational and community broadband centres across the country, including some of the remotest areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.