ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Monday urged the need to adopt new technologies to cope with the economic inequalities of the world.

The minister said this at inaugural ceremony to mark Higher Education Commission (HEC) Event Registration Portal and signing of a document of understanding (DoU) to technologically promote telemedicine.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan said the world was standing on the threshold of fourth industrial revolution being driven by digital technology.

“The way we are living today will be transformed through this revolution, as the new digital paradigms are setting new haves and have-nots,” he added.

He stressed the need for embracing the new revolution to keep pace with the world. Pointing out the major challenge being faced by the world in form of rising inequality, he urged the need for preparations to adopt new technologies to cope with this menace.  He maintained that the new developments will create a plethora of opportunities for researchers.

The minister hoped that universities will play a leading role in adopting the new industrial revolution by equipping the country’s youth. He said the government was committed to providing resources for promotion of higher education.

Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed shed light on the journey of HEC since its inception in 2002. He said the higher education sector of Pakistan had witnessed remarkable development in the last 15 years, adding that Pakistan had one of the best ICT set-ups of the region now.

He said that HEC had realised the dream of connecting university through fast and effective technologies by launching PERN III. He informed the audience about the plans to set up centers of excellence in artificial intelligence, big data and cyber security with the cooperation of HEC. He assured that HEC was committed to facilitating the universities for the welfare of society and the socio-economic uplift of the country.

The DoU was signed between Dr Masroor Iqbal from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) and Dr Iqbal Chaudhry from Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Research Institute of Chemistry, Karachi for executing this programme under Virtual Education Project Pakistan. The DoU is aimed at promoting telemedicine through the latest technologies. HEC has provided its video conferencing facility to connect PIEAS teaching under TESP.