Karachi: Syed Aminul Haq, the Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, announced that a partnership has been established with Google to provide 45,000 scholarships, with the potential to increase to 450,000 next year.
According to the state news agency, a minimum of 40% of the Google scholarships will be allocated to women.
The minister made this announcement during his address at the Startups for Industries and IT Exports conference held at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) on Friday.
Syed Aminul Haq mentioned that Google had initially offered only 15,000 scholarships last year, but the number was increased following consultations.
Furthermore, he stated that a building, worth $1.6 million, has been constructed at NED University to support the gaming and animation industry and foster its growth.
The event was attended by various dignitaries, including Zubair Chhaya, the Vice Patron of KATI, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, Chairperson of the Standing Committee Maheen Salman, Former President Saleem-Uz-zaman, Masood Naqi, Razzaq Hashim Paracha, Ehtishamuddin, experts from universities, National Incubation Centers, as well as students, teachers, and start-ups.
Federal Minister Aminul Haque further mentioned that the IT Ministry is working towards the vision for 2050. The investment in Pakistan increased from $75 million in 2020 to $373 million in 2021. Additionally, the Ministry’s efforts led to the elimination of regulatory duty on mobile phones starting from March 30.
He highlighted that soon after assuming office, the Ministry formulated a mobile phone manufacturing policy, which resulted in the establishment of a mobile phone manufacturing industry within a few months.
Syed Aminul Haque emphasized that during his tenure, the number of incubation centers has increased from five to eight in major cities across the country in just three years. The promotion of startups, gaming, and animation is the Ministry’s primary focus.
Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, former chairman of KATI, stated that entrepreneurs and startups are working diligently, and significant investments are not required for startups in today’s scenario. He emphasized the vital role of research and development in the IT sector, highlighting the impressive work being done by startups.
Zubair Chhaya, Deputy Patron of KATI, acknowledged the increase in Pakistan’s IT exports under the leadership of Federal Minister Aminul Haq. IT exports reached $2.6 billion by the end of the previous fiscal year, compared to $1 billion when the minister assumed office. He also mentioned the neighboring country’s IT exports, which stood at $149 billion last year.
In her speech, Mahin Salman emphasized the importance of developing curricula in professional educational institutions that align with industry requirements. She highlighted the shift towards providing professional training tailored to the needs of the present era in consultation with the industry. She noted the successful transformation of projects into operational startups.
Nighat Awan, Senior Vice President of KATI, called for the removal of duties on machinery and IT sector-related products to further expand the industry within the country.