LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said value of information technology to achieve rapid national development is well admitted in the world and with this view in mind the government is keeping promotion of IT among the top priorities.

He was talking to a delegation led by Chairman Pakistan Software Houses Association for Information Technology, Saleem Ghouri, which met him on Friday. Matters regarding promotion of IT and the holding of Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2014 were discussed during the meeting.

He said distribution of over two laptops among the brilliant students of the province is a part of the revolutionary measures adopted by the government to produce a lot of talented and skillful IT experts so that they could contribute to economic progress and help in the service sector.

He said distribution of laptops to the students would remain a permanent feature of the government policies in the future also.

The chief minister said Information Technology University of the country in the public sector has been set up in Lahore for providing IT education to students in addition to Arfa Karim Software Technology Park.

He said that prominent foreign companies associated with IT sector are working at Software Technology Park. He said that the provincial metropolis would be made a hub of information technology. He said that textbooks have been made available online under e-learning programme while the scope of this programme is being further extended.  The chief minister said that work is in progress speedily on the proposed project of Knowledge Park City in Lahore and international IT universities have been invited to set up their campuses in the Knowledge Park City.

He said that Punjab government has built the capacity of various departments and institutions by utilizing IT and digital monitoring system has been introduced. Shahbaz Sharif said that holding of Asia Pacific ICT Award 2014 in Pakistan augurs well and would result in promotion of IT industry in the country.  Saleem Ghouri termed the measures taken by Punjab government for the promotion of IT as exemplary and said it has worked not only to polish talents of students but various services have also become available to citizens online.