KARACHI - Dr Faizullah Abbasi, Vice Chancellor of Dawood University of Engineering and Technology, has said that there is a big digital divide between developed and under developed countries of the world and that can be bridged by providing equal opportunities to people of all classes in every sphere of life.

Addressing a seminar held on “Digital Divide: New form of Discrimination” organised by Department of Computer Science of Sindh Madressatul Islam University at its auditorium Dr Abbasi said that the developed countries were well prepared for the Information Revolution, while were not. This is why it created gap specially urban and rural areas and even in the new and old generations of our society.

Tracing the historical evolution of science and technology Dr Abbasi said Bronze Age invented usage of bronze and copper, thereafter Iron Age came, that explored iron ore and founded it usage. But the industrial revolution of the 19th century brought fundamental changes in the world societies that transformed agriculture societies into industrial societies and created job opportunities for people, which resulted huge migration from rural to urban areas. “Now the revolution of Information Technology has created a different situation from the Industrial Revolution as a large number of people are losing their jobs in this new age,” he observed. He added that the information technology has not been evolved in a proper way in our country that is why it has created a divide in the society.

He also said that there is no much talk on IT or digital technology in the West like us, because people of the West are practicising all IT products in their daily life.

He also appreciated administrative and intellectual abilities of Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of SMIU, who has been his student as well as colleague at Mehran Engineering University, Jamshoro. Dr Shaikh, VC SMIU, in his speech said in our society there were privileged and under-privileged classes, this was why there was an uneven development in every sector of our society. He said the privileged class has always retained its status and power by getting best of the best education for their children from abroad, and ignored the children of poor people of his/her constituency.

He further said that now there is a divide between computer literate and non computer literate people. At the same time there is a huge gap between rural and urban areas of the country also. Therefore, the government should bridge this gap by providing equal educational opportunities to rural and urban children.

Dr Shaikh also appreciated the students of SMIU who delivered their thought provoking speeches on the subject by highlighting each and every aspect of the digital divide in the country and also on the global level. The VC announced one thousand rupees as a cash prize for each student who participated in the seminar. Earlier, Prof Dr Safeeullah Soomro, Dean of the Department of Computer Science welcomed the guests, while the students of SMIU Fahad Patel, Kanwal Iqbal, Atif Fayaz, Arslan Riaz, Jareer Anas, Qirat Rasheed, Kanwal Fatima, Sidra Habib and Waqas Jamil delivered their speeches on the occasion.

Dr Faizullah Abbasi on behalf of Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh also gave away cash prizes to the students who had participated in the seminar held last week.