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    Finally a good news from pakistan:

    This is a right investment. It will take time to show results. But that is the way to go.

    from Nation.

    IT budget raised to reverse 'criminal negligence'
    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan, lagging badly in the Information technology (IT) race, has approved a 15-fold increase in its science and technology budget to reverse the 'criminal negligence' of past rulers, a government minister said.
    Science and Technology Minister Attaur Rehman told Reuters in a weekend interview that the IT budget would be raised to 15.7 billion rupees in fiscal 2000/2001. 'From 110 million rupees we are going to 15.7 billion. Can you imagine, this is a tremendous quantum jump,' said Rehman whose ministry unveiled a draft IT policy on Saturday. Rehman said Pakistan was determined to reverse past neglect and use technology as a vehicle of development.
    'This criminal neglect has left us 100 to 150 years behind... We may have had cosmetic improvement in certain things but we are still very far behind and for this we have to use the communication technology to leapfrog into the modern times. 'Fortunately, this can be done within a span of 10 to 15 years,' said Rehman, a well-known Pakistani scientist who runs a chemistry institute in Karachi. Pakistan has limped into the IT race that is sweeping the world with global e-commerce projected to grow to $1.4 trillion in the next two years from an estimated $70 billion at present.
    Rehman said software exports were projected to have a global market of $485 billion in the next two years and if Pakistan could only grab one percent of that market, it would translate into $5 billion, double its total development budget. With a meagre few million dollars of software exports a year, Pakistan also seriously trails India in the IT field but Rehman said the government was determined to steer the country out of decades of inertia. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TO TRANSFORM ECONOMY
    'It is for the first time that such a major injection of funds will go in this important area, and I am confident that this will help to transform our economy and help to rid us from the stranglehold of foreign debt,' Rehman said.
    Cash-strapped Pakistan's foreign debt is estimated at $38 billion and due to a severe resource crunch, Islamabad faces extreme difficulty servicing that debt.
    Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz, a former banker and chosen by military ruler General Pervez Musharraf to steer the economy back on track, is seeking crucial International Monetary Fund help.
    Rehman said 10 years of serious and dedicated hard work could transform the country and its ailing economy. 'I am confident that Pakistan can do it provided they don't keep going round and round in circles. There are things which successive governments must take on in a uniform manner. 'We can't keep on changing policies every few years and start the programmes all over,' he said.
    EDUCATION VITAL
    Rehman said about four billion rupees of the 15.7 billion would be spent on human resource development and education, without which there could be no development.
    'We took up a holistic view of things. When I formulated the science and technology programme I said you cannot prop up science and technology in isolation from education ... mostly people think in grooves, I said that is absolute nonsense. You can't talk of science and technology in isolation to education.'
    'But everything is buzzing, so I am confident and enthusiastic that this interia which was due to criminal negligence of the vital area of education and science and technology will now go and we will at last be embarked on progress,' he said.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    They could also think of networking of professionals in Indian way. See http://www.fortune.com/fortune/2000/05/15/ind2.html

    #2
    More crimnal is the ignorance of mass education in Pak! That has the highest priority. We can earn 100b$/year under full literacy rate under present circumstances.

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    Sarfraz Khan

    Comment


      #3
      ZZ thanks for posting this here.

      This is indeed a very good step, and definitely about time too. With ’right’ ppl talking about it on all levels this ’new’ profession can become a hit within no time. And since basic IT education doesn’t take that much time, ppl will start seeing results very soon, which will further encourage more and more to join. It will definitely be interesting to see how things develop in this sector.

      Atif,
      Mass education is only possible when ppl’s basic needs are covered – and for that we need money, and to get some money we need to move, and since current time’s securest profession is in IT it’s safest to move in that direction.

      Mass education is the key for mass development, but lets take one step at a time, shall we. This is a great step, and should be backed by all of us. Besides it’s often governments fault that ppl aren’t literate, but ppl have to be interested as well, they have to see the benefits of education. I have seen too many examples of kids especially boys, totally ignoring school, cuz they’ve heard that they won’t get a job anyway. What can any government do to this? We can of course force them – but that’s luxury at this time. We can’t afford to keep waiting.

      Comment


        #4
        Excellent measure of course! Its in line with all the other excellent desisions this government has made... thank God for Musharraf!

        Comment


          #5
          Saba,

          I do not agree with your clichématic approach to the education problems. I think in our situation we should be more creative and informal to take a giant leap and brush off backwardness and illitracy.

          I'd suggest to the government to make and enforce and ordnance that every literate person in Pak must educate at least 10 people to the primary level with special emphasis on females because keeping a girl illitrate in the long term is much more costlier than one can imagine. They should chalkout a plan and start today with whatever resources we have and and keep looking for the ways for its enhancements.

          Logic is that if you want to climb a ladder, you start from the first tred, and not at the middle or at the top. Thats makes you falling easy. How you can expect someone to become a doctor when he hasn't done primary?

          Do not engage in baseless policies! To build something for a longer time, you need a good foundation. Look at pyramids.

          Its a great discrimination to support only a small group and ignore the other majority. If I was in Pak, I could have sued the whole government as being discriminatory. LOL

          ------------------
          Sarfraz Khan

          Comment


            #6
            Right, Sabah!
            IT is more imp at this stage than educational reforms. It will get you quick money for the development

            Comment


              #7
              People while I agree that the huge increase in spending announced by the government is very welcome, I also take Atif's point about a mass literacy campaign being an absolute neccessity. The World Bank has estimated that 41% of the people of Pakistan are literate - hence despite our lousy 'democratic' governments, great strides in litercay levels have been accomplished albeit at a very slow pace.

              We must initiate a mass literacy campaign in parallel with encouraging the IT revolution in Pakistan - not just pour money into a mass IT campaign and neglect mass literacy.

              If we do this (the same is I think true for India and other developing countries)we are at the risk of creating a deeply divided society between those who are 'literate' AND understand the IT world (and have better access to it) and those who are illeterate (and do not have access to the IT world)AND don't understand it.

              [This message has been edited by kmailik (edited May 09, 2000).]

              [This message has been edited by kmailik (edited May 09, 2000).]

              [This message has been edited by kmailik (edited May 09, 2000).]

              Comment


                #8
                By only supporting IT group will create an enormous gap between the highly informed and not-at-all informed. When you go to your doctor, you should know what he is talking about.

                Investing in mass education is 1000 times more profitable than a few quick dollars earned by the ITers.

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                Sarfraz Khan

                Comment


                  #9
                  Atif,
                  I’m not denying the importance of mass education – let me explain what I mean, if I’m hungry, I’ll probably ask for roti and not for a book, if don’t I’m a great person! Most of our ppl in Pak don’t have enough to meet the basic daily needs. So if you tell a father of a poor family that you’ll take his child and put him/her in school, without making sure that the family can function without the help of that child, and on top of that he has to pay for that! I don’t think that he’ll be your biggest fan. Plus we do not have enough to start such huge org. right now. It would be great if we could safe the drought victims with our current budget.

                  Therefore right now we need money, we need to sell, for that we have to use what we already have, meaning the already educated ppl, we can polish them (give them IT related education) and the first team will be ready. That will not only give us results but will also be great source of encouragement for the following generations.

                  You’re right in saying that mass education is the correct path, but that is luxury considering our economy right now.

                  Kamailik
                  >>If we do this (the same is I think true for India and other developing countries)we are at the risk of creating a deeply divided society between those who are 'literate' AND understand the IT world (and have better access to it) and those who are illeterate (and do not have access to the IT world)AND don't understand it. <<

                  Agreed, that there will be a gap, but we’re used to that anyway. Na seriously, there better be a gap then no gap at all, meaning we all stay where we are now. As for mass education, many organizations are working on that, dunno how many of them are actually doing something, but that’s something that one can easily find out – so perhaps we should stop waiting and join such org’s. and do our part.

                  Ps. Have you checked the thread by outlaw on general forum about CAI? Perhaps you would like to check it out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Yeah Saba, you should be right too. Its not your fault. We are a product of an unjustified society.

                    Anyway, I was trying to figure out how we keep ignoring people standing in line for more than ½ a century and support whole heartedly few ITers who joined the line yesterday.

                    Now we have some 10 million deprived of schools. Every year we get some 3-4 million newcomers in our society. So you can count now. Every day of ignorance -- we have to pay a higher price later.

                    Sure, we will have more drought if we don't teach our folk how to manage food and water.

                    There are one million cases pending in our courts. Nobody realizes to modify it. We are champions in rhetoric.

                    My position is to point out and not to enforce. And I'm not going to thread water anymore.

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                    Sarfraz Khan

                    [This message has been edited by Atif Khan (edited May 11, 2000).]

                    Comment

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