Govt urged to focus on youth for sustainable economic growth


ISLAMABAD (INP): President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Amir Waheed has called upon the government to focus on youth development for achieving sustainable economic growth of the country. He said that youth was the greatest asset of the country, but they needed conducive policies and environment to unleash their potential for economic development of Pakistan. He said as per recent report of UNDP, Pakistan was one of the youngest countries in the world as 64 percent of its total population was below 30 years of age. He said with better policies and enabling environment youth could be transformed into a great dividend for the country, but if left unattended, this youth bulge could become a big burden on the economy. He said the same report highlighted that Pakistan was spending far less on education as its current net enrolment growth rate was just 0.92 percent that would take another 60 years to reach the target of zero out of school children.

He stressed that the government should allocate sufficient budget to education for better development of youth.

He said government should provide soft loans to youngsters for business startups and focus on their skills development to make them productive human resource. He said youth should be provided latest technical and vocational trainings to trigger industrial growth in the country.

Muhammad Naveed Malik, senior vice president and Nisar Mirza, vice president, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that due to lack of skilled manpower, many engineers and technicians were coming from China to work in CPEC projects.

They said that government should focus on required trainings and skills development of youth so that maximum youth could get jobs in CPEC projects that would reduce unemployment in the country.

They were of the view that if youth was left undeveloped, it would become tools for anti-social elements that bring harmful consequences for the country.

They urged that the government should make youth development top priority of its agenda so that equipped with better education and skills, our youngsters could drive the country towards fast economic development.




Balochistan to get better broadband  services

ISLAMABAD (APP): Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication is fully committed to provide telecom, broadband and ultra-high frequency internet services to Baluchistan to bring this nation on path of Technology evolution and prosperity. Ministry of IT has started projects for Baluchistan worth Rs 26 billion to provide the 3G service to the people of province to connect the unconnected. In the history of IT of Pakistan this to biggest investment, that is for Baluchistan, which aim to target hundreds of villages to connect with 3G service. Ministry official told APP, an un-served population of about 196,177, covering 269 un-served mauzas and an un-served area of 39,434 sq kms will get modern broadband facilities through this project. The project would cover Awaran, Jhal Jao and Mashkai tehsils/sub-tehsils of Awaran district and Bela, Lakhra, Liari, Uthal, Dureji, Hub, Sonmiani and Kanraj of Lasbel district, he added.

Due to the provision of 3G services in Baluchistan, other services like careem would be started in Baluchistan which is a great achievement of Ministry of Information Technology.

He said, Ministry had taken Balochistan as a priority to provide telecom services and these services will include the provision of both voice and data facilities under 3G licenses.

The telecom sector is the most important one for speedy development particularly for rural areas. 1.5percent of telecom licensed companies contribute to the country's revenue through the USF.

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Among the telecom operators of Pakistan, Ufone was able to win the most from the 12 projects.

Ufone has been awarded projects worth Rs 14.2 billion in various cities of the province which includes Sibi, Kalat, Khuzdar, Chagai, Awaran, Kharan-Washuk and Dera Bugti districts.

Government is making all out efforts to introduce 5G technology in Pakistan by 2020 to bring it at par with Developed economies in term of technology advancements.



MOIT nurtures companies through NICs


ISLAMABAD (APP): Ministry of information Technology and Telecommunication has established National incubation centers across the country with the mission to discover, groom, and develop high-growth, high-impact companies. The National Incubation Center (NIC) is an Incubator and accelerator designed to promote and support Pakistani entrepreneurs and startups that are funded by the Ministry of IT & Telecom through the National ICT R&D fund. Pakistan's first largest NIC at Islamabad is up and running, under the public-private partnership providing a comprehensive eco system for startups, incubators and accelerators. While NIC Lahore has been established at LUMS ,MOS IT Mrs Anusha Rahman has inaugurated in Dec 2017. After the successful launch of NIC Peshawar, NIC Karachi is LMKT's second venture into the national incubation space. The Karachi incubation center is projected to start operations in the second quarter of 2018. Ignite - The Technology Fund has awarded the LUMS a project worth PKR 560 million to set-up the NIC in Quetta.

NIC Quetta is the last of the 5 regional NICs that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom is funding through Ignite for the promotion of entrepreneurship in the country.       

For establishment of Information Technology park cost estimate for first phase is USD 88.25 million for which loan agreement has been signed.

According to economic survey of Pakistan released by Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail , a new state of the art IT Park in Islamabad is being established under financing from Korea Exim bank through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), spreading over an area of 47.7 acres of land.

The Software Technology Parks (STPs) are a major factor in facilitating the IT companies and play a major role in the development of the IT industry.

The construction of IT Park will be undertaken in two phases on 14.9 acres of land is expected that design and construction of IT Park will be completed by 2020.

Ministry of IT & Telecom is in process of planning, for undertaking the feasibility study, to establish such state of the art technology parks in the cities of Lahore and Karachi.



PARC recommends 32 hybrid seed varieties of maize

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on Maize, Sorghum, Fodder and other cereals of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council recommended 32 new maize hybrids varieties and one sorghum, one millet and one oat variety for commercial cultivation in Pakistan. The National Coordinator on Maize, Sorghum, Fodder and other Cereals of PARC has said that a total of 41 proposals including 38 maize hybrids and OPVs, one sorghum, one millet and one oat variety were presented by the private seed companies and public research institutions for VEC recommendation.  The VEC recommended thirty maize Hybrids and two maize OPVs, one sorghum, one millet and one oat variety for commercial cultivation in the country.  The meeting was presided over by Dr. Muhammad Anjum Ali, Member Plant Sciences Division PARC which was attended by technical members from NARS system and private seed companies.

While presiding over the meeting, Dr Anjum appreciated the role of private seed companies and public sector scientist for taking interest in research and development of maize, sorghum, millet and fodder crops.

SOPs for maize, sorghum, fodder and other cereals were presented to VEC participant in VEC meeting in order to minimize the error and stream line VEC activities.

SOP, standards for different types of corn varieties, quality parameters, industrial demands, quarantine and other issues related to corn improvement and transparency in NUYT data collection and presentation were discussed in detail in the meeting.

The members of VEC also appreciated the role of private seed companies for taking interest in rice research and development and working in close collaboration with public sector.