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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi, on Thursday, while calling for promotion of information technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual learning, said the future development of the nations was linked with the swift adoption of modern technology, said a press release.

The President, while addressing the Pakistan Innovate Conference and National Idea Bank Grand Finale, also emphasised bridging the technology gap and advised the youth to ensure positive use of the social media.

He said the artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution were the bases for future development of the nations. The President urged the universities to multiply the number of their enrolment to feed the local as well as the international market.

Referring to the available modern tools such as Zoom and others, the President said in modern era, the massive knowledge and data existed in clouds accessible to all even beyond human consumption.

Even, he said the digital information tools were also challenging the formal educational structures as currently, everyone could get education while being at home. Even 80 percent dentistry could be learnt virtually, he added.

The President said the development in this hi-tech era did not require any huge investment rather small startups could outshine the giants. He said though Pakistan had lagged behind the race of technology, however, the country could join the league by nurturing ideas coming through the National Ideas Bank.

Citing Pakistan’s youth bulge, the President said many countries wanted to absorb tech graduates from the market which necessitated the universities to increase the number of their students. He said by 2030, the world would need around 80 million cyber security experts for it being a subject of modern day warfare.

He said in the past, Pakistan had lost around 95 percent expert minds like doctors and engineers to other countries in absence of the institutions to absorb them. President Alvi earlier distributed cash prizes and shields among 18 toppers of the competition who were short-listed from 21,000 aspirants in six categories including education, e-commerce, agriculture, natural resources and construction.

He said the technology had also made it easier for the people to sell their products as the whole international market was accessible to them. He said in modern world everything involved artificial intelligence, and asked the youngsters not to be shy of modifying the existing ideas.

Referring to Pakistan’s success story of handling the COVID-19, the President said the country maintained balance between lives and livelihood on the basis of data analysis and compassion towards the needy. Calling fake news a threat to the society, the President urged the youth to ignore fake social media messages to help build a mature society.

Appreciating the efforts of the National Idea Bank, the President said no one could deter a nation from progress if it foresaw the future trends and needs. Chief Architect of National Idea Bank Dr Azam Arastu appreciated President Alvi for taking the initiative of the Ideas Bank as the first phase had reached completion.

He also thanked Sir Syed University for being host of the competition which was judged by 300 judges from Pakistan, US, UK, Canada and the Middle East. Chancellor of Sir Syed University, Javed Anwar said in the next phase, the venture capitalists would be convinced to fund the ideas for their execution as well as marketing.

He said in 2021, venture capitalists had invested around $315 million in Pakistan as the country was rich with immense opportunities and potential. He said in absence of the required investment, many ideas of the youth remained unutilised; however the forums like National Ideas Bank would fill the gap.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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