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ISLAMABAD: Dr Umar Saif assumed charge as the caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology, Telecommunication, here on Friday with the determination of taking ICT export from $ 2.62 billion to $ 10-20 billion.

He was sworn in as a member of caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar's cabinet on Thursday. Dr Saif was welcomed and received by Secretary IT Navid Ahmed Shaikh along with other senior officers when he reached the MoITT office on Friday after attending the introductory cabinet meeting. Dr Saif was introduced to all the officers and staff of the ministry, later, he was given a detailed briefing about the completed, ongoing, and future projects of the Ministry of IT.

Addressing the officers of Ministry of Information Technology, Telecommunication, Dr Saif said that as per the Constitution of Pakistan, the responsibilities and powers of the caretaker government are limited, and the main objective is to conduct free and fair general elections in an impartial manner. However, monitoring and caretaking important ministerial affairs is also necessary during this period.

He said, my priorities are full implementation of Digital Pakistan Vision and the stability, and enhancing of IT and Telecommunication sectors. We will take all the stakeholders on board in this regard.

“I am determined to take ICT export from USD 2.62 billion to USD 10 to 20 billion,” Dr Saif added.

He said an increase in ICT exports can contribute to the stability of the country's economy and the provision of decent employment to skilled people, as well as the desire to fully digitise all the government, semi-government departments, and organizations of the country.

It is worth mentioning here that the caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology, Telecommunication & Science and Technology, Dr Saif, is a very well-reputed and known figure in the world of ICT. He is the first Pakistani to receive a PhD in computer science from Cambridge University at the age of 23.

The caretaker federal IT minister has extensive experience in academia, management, consulting, and entrepreneurship in the field of IT. Graduated from the School of Executive Education on Global Leadership and Public Policy.

He has served in several important positions in the country's IT sector. He has also served as chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and vice-chancellor of Information Technology University.

In 2014, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, one of the highest civilian awards of Pakistan, in recognition of his outstanding services to Pakistan. He was the first Pakistani to be included in the World's Top 35 Young Innovators (TR35) in 2011 by MIT Technology Review.

He is also the first Pakistani to receive the Google Faculty Research Award in 2011. He was also selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. Dr Saif received the MIT Technovator Award in 2008, Mark Weiser Award in 2008, IDG CIO Technology Pioneer Award in 2008 and Digital Award from Microsoft Research in 2006. His research papers have received best paper awards at ACM CHI 2013 and IEEE Perco in 2008 and many other international awards.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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