National IT Policy In The Making

An email has been circulating on some technical groups which requests input from all stakeholders about Pakistan’s upcoming IT policy. The attachment with the mail has the text as shown below. This is quite a way to gather input. Many have expressed their concerns about the process and the lack of clear context and missing information about the process. I found the questions to be very open-ended and it is unclear how the input will be filtered and used. Perhaps the policy makers should read some of the blogs to get an idea of what they need to support these tech savvy folks. Anyway, this is one way to provide your say – who knows someone may even read it.

Government of Pakistan has initiated a broad based consultative process to formulate National IT Policy for the next five years. In order to make a realistic and practical policy the Government intends to involve all the stakeholders in this consultative process. Kindly send your comments to asaeed at moitt.gov.pk latest by 31st of July 2008. You can post your comments as well on virtual group at http://www.nidu. gov.pk/forum

You are kindly requested to give your inputs which may not be restricted only to the following questions:

  • What opportunities are available in national and international markets which can be availed by having right policies in place for the promotion of IT Sector of Pakistan?
  • What steps are required and what quantifiable targets can be set in the policy for IT sector to:
  • Increase IT Exports
  • Stimulate Local industry
  • Support local entrepreneurship
  • Develop Human Resource
  • Improve IT infrastructure
  • Integrate IT education
  • Enhance e-services
  • Promote e-commerce
  • Explore innovative digital opportunities
  • What impediments are to be removed to have a better business environment in Pakistan in IT sector?
  • What steps are to be taken for the overall promotion of IT sector and IT Businesses in Pakistan?

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5 Comments

  • There is a common misperception in Pakistan that India’s IT success is the result of Indian government’s grand vision and smart policies. Based on my knowledge of the situation, nothing could be further from the truth. The Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have succeeded in promoting IT in India, in spite of the government, not because of it. It was their own desire to improve profits by taking advantage of India’s lower costs and availability of skilled engineers and programmers. The essential role the Indian government played started back in the 1950s with the establishment if IITs which have produced a lot of very good engineers and technologists. If the Pakistani government wants to help he IT sector or any other sector, they must focus on improving education in Pakistan.

  • Riaz Haq, you have a very valid point. But let me add something to your point regarding first the Education improvement in Pakistan. Thanks to Dr Atta-ur-Rehman (really a great man in my view) we got numerous Universities and thousands of graduating Pakistani men and women every year, with more going abroad for higher studies and some even managing Phds.
    But in general there is this big issue, every time I post an advert on Rozee for job, I have to go through scores of useless CVs and when I interview I need to look at morons sitting right across my desk. It often makes me wonder if we are already short of “the skilled labor”!

    Maybe if Govt needs to do something now regarding education, maybe they should work more on Primary and Secondary education – so that at least we can have a student enrolling in BSc course who knows what is the meaning of having a LOGIC!

    Anyway to the other point of Indians helping the industry rather than Govt doing so. Very true! expat Indians are the one who have totally changed the face of India globally through their tireless efforts! India was the first country to have an IT outsourced project back in 70s when Tata’s Information Systems unit made a project for an American hospital. Even then Govt had no input and even 30 years down the line Govt of India had little or no Input at all!

    Today in Pakistan sadly, Govt is trying to do something about what it knows nothing (the circulation mechanism of the above cited email might be taken as exhibit-A for that matter) and sadly Pakistani exapts are busy complaining how bad Pakistan is doing rather than trying to bring in something valuable…

  • For those interested in learning about the role of India’s governments in promoting business and industry, I recommend watching the Bollywood movie “Guru” that shows the travails of Dhirubhai Ambani, the great but illiterate entrepreneur and industrialist who created the Reliance Group behemoth. Two of his billionaire sons, Mukesh and Anil, are now among the top 5 richest people in the world. The movie might not be totally accurate, but it does capture the essence of India’s socialist government’s anti-business attitudes. For others, who sing the praises of India’s democracy, I would suggest “Sarkar Raj” that portrays the Godfather-like criminal, murderous behavior of India’s powerful politicians.

  • This shows how serious our gov. is towards IT. A general questions email, how are they planning to bring to bring any improvement… huh

  • I just tried the url above but could not connected :(

    I personally feel that we need to focus on two items desperately

    – Integrate IT education with industry
    – Improve level of ethics amongst IT professionals. I guess the whole society is struggling in this area … IT professionals being part of it …

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