There are two federal ministries in the government of Pakistan that have great relevance in their names and also occupy a similar sector to an extent. These are Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
As the name of both ministries is referred with the technology sector, most of the people confuse them to be the same entities. However, both of these have a separate agenda and responsibilities. The key difference between these ministries can be understood by the fact that Ministry of Science and Technology leads the developmental programs and innovations in science that may include research in other relevant fields like Microbiology, Atomic Energy or Space. Whereas, the Ministry of IT and Telecom as obvious from the name, is primarily focused on IT & Telecom related services, startups incubation, and “projects aimed at economic development of the country”.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications is a Cabinet-level ministry of the Government of Pakistan concerned with Information Technology and Telecommunications. This means that Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui former MQM leader, who was appointed as Minister of IT and Telecom by PM Imran Khan, is also the member of the federal cabinet.
MoITT is the center of interest and enabling arm of the Government of Pakistan for planning, coordinating and directing efforts to launch Information Technology and Telecommunications programs and projects aimed at economic development of the country. MoITT comprises of various organizations and institutes to perform its job including Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), and Ignite National Technology Fund.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Science and Technology established in 1972 during the reign of Zulfiqar Bhutto, is the national focal ministry and Govt’s enabling arm for planning, coordination and directing efforts to initiate scientific and technological programs in the country. Fawad Chaudry is the newly appointed federal minister of MoST.
MoST is working on the national agenda to have a sound and sustainable science and technological research base for socio-economic development of the country. The priority areas of work for the ministry include Human-Resource Development, Transfer of Technology from R&D Institutions and Universities to Industry, Food & Agriculture, Analytical Centers for Industrial Analysis, Industrialization, Health, Electronics, Ocean Resources, New Materials, Biotechnology, Textiles, and Pharmaceuticals.