Under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms has approved Rs. 13 billion for the initial phase of 27 projects of knowledge economy worth Rs. 164 billion. The sum allocated to PSDP for 2019-20 will be used to used in various tech projects including technology university, AI research center, incubation centers for startups and technology marketing export program.
Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms, recently organized a meeting under the chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzeb Durrani in Islamabad. The senate committee was given a briefing by Secretary Planning Development and Reforms on the knowledge economy based projects in the PSDP 2019-20.
Secretary Planning told senate committee that a taskforce on knowledge economy was formed last year in December considering the need to compete in the increasingly competitive world economy. So far, 27 projects have been finalized and these will be taken to PC-I suggest as a result of extensive consultation sessions held with the taskforce.
Among these 27 projects, here are the ones that fall in ICT sector, education and research.
- Establishment of the National Center for Industrial Biotechnology
- Development of the postgraduate centre for artificial intelligence in agriculture and health sciences
- Pak-China University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies
- National centres of research, innovation entrepreneurship in artificial intelligence and allied technologies phase-I
- Advanced skills development through international scholarships with a focus on emerging sciences
- Establishment of the centre for advanced technologies in biomedical materials
- Crime analytics and Smart Policing in Pakistan
- Establishment of SINO-PAK centre for artificial intelligence
- The national expansion plan of NICs including feasibility
- National freelance training program, technology marketing export program including feasibility
- Pilot project for blended e-learning in 500 x schools of the federal capital and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
- Pilot project for STEM teaching grades 8-12.
- National strategic programme for the acquisition of industrial technology.
After the presentation by Secretary Planning, the committee asked about the element of value addition in all the projects and how will they be different from the work being already done in the country. The committee was told that projects will first go through a cost-benefit analysis as well as the innovation and utility element without approving the projects, hence many changes and suggestions can be incorporated.