Perhaps what was one of the biggest headlines was the one which featured the recent visit to the famous Silicon Valley by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The Indian premier showed an ambition and intent to meet up with the very top executives of companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. While meeting with these executives, Modi convinced them that India is a lucrative market for them to venture into. His US visit seemed like just an excuse to visit the US. While we see a clear policy by the Indian government to promote innovation and technology, their beloved neighbors to the west, Pakistan are still thinking how they should gear up for a challenge like this.
While India has conveniently positioned themselves as leaders of the I.T. sector around the world, Pakistan has also made noticeable progress despite being plagues by extremely violent terrorist attacks and a particular group or faction which is working hard to keep Pakistan as backwards as possible. Perhaps the most noticeable change came in the form of call center industry which has employed large portion of the literate or English speaking population, allowing them to work and interact with people from around the world. Pakistan also boasts around 150 million mobile subscribers despite having so much poverty.
1 trip to Pakistan and you will literally see everybody on the phone, from the very top right down to the very bottom, it seems everybody is busy on their phones. The new 3g and 4g options made available to the people of Pakistan will open up a new realm, which was earlier only dreamt of. The Pakistani Government led by third time Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, should learn a thing or two from the first timer Narendra Modi and the success that he has had. The Pakistani government needs to set up a better education system and facilities in order to raise education standards and allow Pakistanis to penetrate various areas of the market, where they are currently absent from.
To come close to what India has done in the I.T. sector; Pakistan will need a combined effort by Private and Public sector to give high quality education. Currently the government schools in Pakistan do not provide even half the quality of education provided by the Private sector. Subsequently a very small percentage of people in Pakistan can afford the high costs of sending their children to private schools.
Pakistan needs a collective effort to adjust the electoral process while strengthening national institutions and the judiciary, before they can actually step into developing a digital governing system. The world as we know is changing rapidly, something which was extremely relevant a few years ago acts as nothing more than a relic of its relevance those few years ago. Every passing second is pushing Pakistan back in the I.T. sector and until the government does not fully extend their support to individuals or groups from within the private sector who are working to develop the I.T. Sector in Pakistan, no major change will really take place.
Source: Arab News
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