LAHORE, April 28: Punjab government on Saturday signed different Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with the world renowned IT companies for enhancing mutual cooperation in information technology sector.
The MoU signing ceremony held at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and senior officials of provincial government and representatives of IT companies and computer experts, a handout said.
Punjab Information Technology Board head Dr Umar Saif signed the MoUs on behalf of Punjab government.
Under the MoUs, Microsoft will train students in internet-based self-employment methods, Cisco will set up Cisco Network Academy while through Hawaway Company will provide various training facilities to students in the province.
Similarly, through Oracle, students will be trained in oracle technology and get certification facility. Teradata will establish the most modern development centre in the technology park which will result in generation of job opportunities for 200 people.
A company, Transworld, will provide fiber optic link at the 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 the local IT sector in accordance with international standards and providing access to Pakistani students to different computer programmes of reputed companies.
As a result of these projects, IT experts will be available to Pakistan job opportunities will be created and new software houses will be established.
Addressing the function, the chief minister said the Punjab government, besides setting up computer labs in 4,286 schools and distributing laptops among talented students on merit, had made possible access of youth to international computer companies.
Similarly, he said, Pakistani youth would get opportunities of learning modern software programming in information and communication technology sectors which would result in development of local IT industry.
The chief minister said Punjab government was launching an ‘e-employment scheme’ with the cooperation of Microsoft for the students who have received laptops. Under this project, he said, various techniques of earning livelihood would be imparted to the students through internet.
He said free Wi-Fi facility was being provided to the students in educational institutions. Similarly, Pakistani students would get awareness about the latest research and changing trends relating to their subjects and would be in constant contact with the world of knowledge.
He said the IT culture had been promoted in educational institutions through the laptop scheme, adding that ‘nefarious designs’ of those criticising the initiative had been foiled.
The CM said the IT agreements were a reflection the foreign firms’ confidence in Punjab government.
Shahbaz Sharif said Punjab government had completed 42 IT projects in 18 different departments which were directly benefiting the masses. He said Intelligent Transport System was being introduced in Lahore for controlling traffic through computer technology. He asked Pakistani IT companies to work hard for getting their share in the international market and adopt new trends of research so that Pakistan could become a new IT hub in South Asia.
The chief minister distributed leadership awards among secretaries of provincial departments and police officers who had completed IT projects. PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif and representatives of IT companies also spoke on the occasion.
Later, the chief minister inspected Punjab e-government exhibition and visited the stalls set up there.
Meanwhile, addressing the inaugural ceremony of a traffic management website prepared by a CAR4U, the chief minister said a suitable site has been selected on Lahore Ring Road for setting up the most modern IT university of the country, to be set up with the collaboration of Turkey’s Middle East Technical University.
The first campus of the varsity would be set up at Arfa Software Technology Park, he said. The new varsity would set new standards in Pakistan with regard to providing international-level education in computer and other science subjects, he said.
The chief minister said the Punjab government was setting up Daanish Technical University for providing international standard computer education to Pakistani youth.
He said availability of IT experts would not only help Pakistan improve the infrastructure for good governance but also bring foreign exchange in the country.