STAFF REPORT LHR: As a step forward towards promoting information technology in the province, the Punjab government has recently signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the worlds renowned IT companies.
Under the MoUs, the American company Microsoft will train students in internet based self-employment methods, Cisco will set up Cisco Network Academy while through Huawei Company, besides infrastructure development of information and communication technology, various training facilities will also be provided in the province. Similarly, through Oracle, students will be provided training in oracle technology and certification facility. Teradata will establish the most modern development centre in the Arfa Software Technology Park which will result in generation of job opportunities to 200 persons.
The MoUs were signed at the Arfa Software Technology Park in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Chairman Planning and Development, Provincial Secretaries, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), representatives of IT companies and computer experts. MoUs were signed by Chairman PITB Dr. Umar Saif on behalf of the Punjab government while Chief Executive Officers of IT companies.
According to details, the Transworld Company will provide fiber optic link at Arfa Software Park while through Wateen, free of cost Wi-Fi internet facility will be provided to the students in educational institutions throughout the province. These agreements are aimed at transforming IT sector in accordance with the international standard and providing access to Pakistani students to different computer programmes of world reputed companies, said Chairman PITB Dr Umar Saif while talking to media on the occasion.
As a result of these projects, he said, modern experts will become available to Pakistan in IT sector, job opportunities will be provided to the youth and also help in setting up of new software houses of computer technology.
Besides, a two-day E-Governance Exhibition was also held at the Arfa Software Technology Park setting guidelines for using information technology to streamline governance and citizen services provided by various departments, and soliciting public feedback to improve such services.
As many as 42 software projects completed jointly with various departments of the provincial government were displayed in the exhibition which are playing an effective role in good governance, transparency and providing assistance to citizens.
More than 1,500 registered guests from different backgrounds including students and professionals attended the exhibition. Those witnessing the exhibition had an opportunity of direct discussion with project managers of various departments on this occasion. Modern software projects displayed in the exhibition included diseases surveillance system, centralized blood bank system and high court case management system.
Speaking on this occasion Punjab Information Technology Board chairman said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had not only encouraged full utilisation of information technology for ensuring cooperation of government departments to the citizens without any hindrance but also took practical steps for its use. He said the CM had appreciated the performance of PITB and termed it a milestone with regard to good governance.
Under these MoUs, the Pakistani youth will get opportunities of learning modern software programming in information and communication technology sectors.
He also informed that the Punjab government is launching an e-employment scheme with the cooperation of Microsoft for 1.25 lakh students who have received laptops. Under this project, various techniques of earning livelihood will be imparted to the students through internet, he added.
He said that the 21st century is the century of technology and modern inventions in which the developed nations are reaching the heights of progress through development of human resources.

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