Meeting Held To Evaluate Technology Centers of Excellence

Minister of planning, development, and special initiatives, presided over a meeting to assess effectiveness of local technology centers of excellence.

Meeting Held To Evaluate Technology Centers of Excellence

The minister of planning, development, and special initiatives, presided over a meeting on Tuesday to assess the effectiveness of the local technology centers of excellence. He stated at the meeting that, in order to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution, four Centers of Excellence were established in 2017–18.

The creation of a Center of Excellence, along with robotics, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other technologies, was done to get ready for the fourth industrial revolution. According to minister, a strong partnership between research institutions and industry is essential for the future. We started work on the center of excellence for Nano and space technology, but the succeeding PTI government showed coldness towards it, and no progress was seen during the previous government.

The government is supporting the centers of excellence financially and administratively despite its limited resources, the minister claimed.

The Minister hoped that technology hubs would make the nation well-known by developing websites like Google and Facebook. He stated that technology centers of excellence work with Central Asian and Gulf states, adding that they “will play a key role in preparing the country for the digital revolution.”

He claimed that in order to meet the new demands, advancement and accessibility in contemporary scientific fields are essential. Another meeting was held here to review local projects, and it was also presided over by the federal minister for planning. Attending the meeting were the Secretary of the Ministry of Planning, the Chief Economist, Planning Commission members, and project directors.

The meeting discussed the current state of the 5E Framework, Outlook 2035, the internship program, and special plans for the 20 most backward districts, in addition to the special measures taken for the rehabilitation of flood-affected areas.

In principle, the meeting decided to adopt a process for effectively obtaining private sector feedback on PC-1 and feasibility reports submitted by provincial governments and federal ministries for Ministry of Planning approval.

According to the minister, expert and private sector input is crucial for the development and successful completion of high-quality national projects. He suggested that PC-1 include a separate section specifically for expert opinions.

He stated, “As a champion of reforms, the Ministry of Planning has a sizable volunteer team of experts of national and international standards,” and added that it is necessary to switch the planning and PC-1 approval process for federal projects to a fully automated system. In order to automate all internal planning, consultation, issuance, and execution phases, the minister added that the Ministry of Planning should hire a Chief Technology Officer.