The Ministry of Information Technology is focused now more than ever to bridge the IT gap between urban and rural areas. For this purpose, the right policies along with the right budget are being set in place.
In the Annual Development Program for the next year, the government has allocated 5,020 million rupees for the IT sector. It comes with a strong emphasis on strengthening human resource and accelerating the growth pace of e-government so that more people have easy access to government services. Pakistan’s e-government model is considered one of the best in the world. It was adapted in 2002, making Pakistan the first SAARC country to do so. The entire purpose of this model is to digitize the entire governance process – applying information and communication technology to assist the government to provide services to the public. Just last year, 13 Pakistan ministries upgraded to the e-government model.
The IT Ministry’s plan to minimize the IT gap revolves around extending cellular and telephone services to 172 unserved areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Ministry also plans to establish five hundred Universal Telecentres (UTCs) for public access to Information and Communication Technology. Furthermore, over 5000 women from underdeveloped areas will be taught computer skills as a part of the Women Digital Empowerment Program. Earlier this month, Ministry of IT also announced that they will be setting up 150 Women Empowerment Centres across the country to teach young girls from under-privileged backgrounds ICT skills.
Some major projects to be undertaken for the promotion of an IT culture include the establishment of Software Technology Park, National Data Centre and work on high-resolution Remote Sensing Satellite to help in disaster management such as flood forecasting and damage assessment.
Source – Pakistan Today