Information and Communication Technology development in Pakistan


[dateline 2013] [work of 4 x officers]
Increasing use of Information and Communication Technology in development of various sectors requires competitive Human Resource Development based on Information Technology Industry occupation matrix and productive government – industry – academia linkage, which is wanting in Pakistan


Human resources development (HRD) has been defined as empowering people by fostering the contributory capacities that they can bring to the improvement of their own quality of life and that of their families, communities, enterprises and societies. [1]The ‘new growth theory’ links economic backwardness to low labor efficiency and training, deficient supplies of entrepreneurship and slow growth in knowledge. The countries that have surged ahead, on the other hand, are characterized by high level of human capital accumulation where the educated labour force has raised the level of output and the rate of growth over a sustained period of time. [2] Currently, the singular definition of Information Technology (IT) is that “In its broadest sense an IT job involves the creation, storage, exchange and/or use of information through technological means. More specifically, it encompasses occupations that require designing and developing software and hardware systems; providing technical support for computer and peripheral systems; and creating and managing network systems and databases.
Two separate definitions of IT workers have been adopted: core IT workers and IT-related occupations. The former includes four occupations that are deemed critical in the development of information technology and are also at the centre of the IT skill shortage issues – computer scientists, computer engineers, systems analysts and computer programmers.The latter includes 22 occupations that utilize IT intensively or are closely related to the IT industry such as computer system managers, database administrators and computer equipment operators etc.[3]
According to the World Bank there are three main components of economic growth with their contributions in percentage respectively; Human Capital -64%, Physical Capital – 16% and Natural Capital – 20%. It recommends that designing and implementation of effective HR policies must be considered as an essential investment on HR community and not as expenditure. Per-capital investment in human capital development in regional countries of the world in US$ is determined as; Pakistan- 10, India- 31, Indonesia- 54, Malaysia- 150 and South Korea- 160. [4]
Comparison of select Asia Pacific countries including Pakistan in respect of HRD in IT and broad recommendations to arrest the situation has been taken from the UN report of the Conference in Seoul in 2000[5]. In the regional context China facesserious shortage of qualified IT personnel and improvement in public education with technical training and continuing education for the employees, provided or supported by enterprises is the panacea for this issue. India is able to cater to IT industry’s needs for its export and domestic market growth projections take the benefits of IT to the masses. Indian government’s initiatives to strengthen IT education at various levels, including in schools and private sector playing a significant role in IT education prepares it not only cater to the domestic needs of IT professionals, but also to address the demand in other countries.
Indonesia has developed IT-oriented education facilities. The rapid development of the IT sector has prompted the setting up of several private institutions to develop HR for IT, though quality standards need to be improved. Kyrgyzstan needs to develop a national policy on HRD for IT needs. Malaysia’s ICT policy has been determined by a shift from using ICT as an enabler to developing ICT as a sector. [6]
In Republic of Korea the supply of new IT workers is not expected to match the increasing demand, resulting in substantial skills shortage. The Government of the Republic of Korea has responded to this challenge by investing heavily in human resources development for IT.
The regional review paper on management of HRD for IT, presented in the Conference, noted that the countries in the Asia-Pacific region are uniquely placed to bridge the global gap in HR for IT, provided systematic planning and action are undertaken to create the requisite human resources in the region. It also identified some critical problems – such as non-availability of qualified trainers and teachers, lack of adequate infrastructure and access to educational materials – as serious impediments towards achieving this end. [7]



Pakistan is the 7th most populous country in the world and its literacy rate places it at 113 in 120 countries. [8] It is 146th on Human Development Index amongst 187 countries.[9] In comparison, Malaysia is at 58th, Thailand 74th, Sri Lanka 99th, China 104th and India 127th. [10] The process of computerization in Pakistan started in 1957, when a company named ‘Packages Ltd.” started using computer for its work. The first private software company, “Systems Private Limited” was established in Lahore in 1977 followed by liberalization of imports of the hardware and software imports in 1985. IT revolution occurred in the early 1990s as Internet Service Providers started internet services. On the turn of the century the government gave a lot of emphasis to IT Sector. New IT educational institutes were opened, professionals were hired to impart IT training in universities, seminars, forums, exhibitions and competitions were arranged and computer science was introduced as a subject in elementary and secondary education. [11]
Initially the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) was responsible for the ‘subject’ of IT but in Nov 2002 a separate ministry for Information Technology (MoIT) was created.  Many other departments/ institutions like Electronic Government Directorate, Pakistan Computer Bureau, Pakistan Software Export Board, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Computer Society of Pakistan, Pakistan Software Houses Association etc. are working side by side the Ministry of Information Technology. [12]
Pakistan’s first IT policy [13], reportedly drafted by Dr S M Junaid Zaidi[14], was announced as “IT Policy and Action Plan 2000” by the Ministry of Science and Technology on 18 Aug 2000. With regards to Human Resource Development, the policy lays down the ‘strategies’ and ‘action plan’. The strategies focus on the development of large pool of skilled manpower, both for local and export needs through comprehensive plan for education and HRD in IT, including through collaboration under Public-Private Partnership, to meet the present and future requirements.


The Action Plan on HRD, where implementation of projects was made the responsibility of MoIT, is abridged as below:-
i.          Training of Blue Collar IT Workers.
ii.          Establishment of National Accreditation Council and Testing Service.
iii.          Scholarships and Qarz-e-Hasna Scheme for students.
iv.          Internet for public sector Universities with intraband connecting all educational institutions (public and private) with centralized data warehouse containing teaching etc;
v.          Faculty Training and establishment of Faculty Chairs.
vi.          Hiring of Faculty from Abroad – for accredited Universities and on market salaries.
vii.          Strengthening and Capacity Building at IT Institutes and Universities.
viii.          IT Labs at major public and private sector universities, colleges, government training institutes and schools.
ix.          Short courses for data entry and other low-tech jobs.
x.          Computer Literacy of Government Officers.
xi.          Computer Literacy for all University Graduates.
xii.          Micro Credit Facilities for the purchase of computers and telecom equipment to help set up small software hatcheries and to develop computer education to the general public.


A document indicating progress on UN website indicates that 7 new IT Universities are being established and a Virtual University with expected 50,000 students in three years time is being set up. Furthermore 30 public sector degree-awarding institutes have been provided funds to start IT programs and to increase the intake of Bachelors and Masters candidates in IT. Faculty of international caliber is invited to join local universities. Scholarships have been awarded for Bachelors and Masters courses in IT and Computer Science. The selection of the students is based on merit. A follow-on project is in the pipeline that will expand this scheme to accommodate a much larger number of students. 12000 school teachers will be trained within one year in a joint program with INTEL and several projects have been launched to impart this type of training. These include the training of 20,000 government employees in basic IT education, 500 doctors and 200 graduates in Medical Transcription, 1000 Java Developers etc. Projects for training high level IT professionals (Ph.D.s) in the best national universities and abroad are under process. [15] On the other side of the spectrum, in 2013 the number of IT personnel / analysts going abroad is 11,872 out of the total overseas employment of 6.923 M which comes to a measely 0.17 %. However, the increase over the last ten years is from 379 to 11,872 and comes to 3200 %. [16]
In 2012 the Government of Pakistan came up with draft of ‘National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy’[17] which covers six basic social pillars of economy, culture, human resources, infrastructure, legislative reforms, and regional integration. Additionally, the document covers seven thematic focus areas. These are education, agriculture, health and disaster management, governance, empowerment (gender perspective), and multilingualism and localization of content.[18] The draft has been shared with all stakeholders for consensus.
IT or ICT is a subject NOT devolved to the provinces under the 18thamendment reforms package. Article 70(4) of the Constitution determines the Fourth Schedule wherein the Federal Legislative List Part II in its Item 7 (National planning and national economic coordination including planning and coordination of scientific and technological research) and Item 12 (Standards in institutions for higher education and research, scientific and technical institutions) retains these subjects with the Federal Government.
During the research process, in addition to research through the documents available on the world wide web, interviews, both in person and on telephone were held with the following resource persons (some of them more in detailed than others) and data was obtained through email too:
1.               Mr Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Federal Secretary MoIT
2.               Dr Umer Saif, Chairman Punjab IT Board
3.               Mr Parvez Ahmad Seehar, Secretary IT Sindh
4.               Mr Zafar Iqbal, Secretary IT KP
5.               Mr Akhtar Muhammad Kakar, Secretary IT Baluchistan (Response awaited)
6.               Mr Sajid Latif, DG e-Government, Punjab IT Board
7.               Ms Raana Ahmed, Member IT FBR (former Chairman PITB)
8.               Mr Muhammad Aamir Malik, Member IT, MoIT
9.               Dr Arshad Ali, Principal School of Engineering & Computer Sciences, NUST
10.            Dr Izhar Hussain, Registrar COMSATS
11.            Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, Pro-Rector GIKI Swabi
12.            Mr Asfar Manzoor, Vice President (Business), Mobilink
13.            Mr Saifur Rehman Abbasi, Manager HR NADRA – visiting faculty FAST
14.            Dr Zafar Iqbal, Director FAST
15.            Capt. Saqib Zafar (Ret), Participant 14thSMC, former Secretary IT Baluchistan
16.            P@SHA (through email)
17.            Mr Rahim Bakhsh Channa, DG HEC
18.            Students of IT and computer operators


Points coming out of this interaction with regard to efforts of Government sector and other information gathered as research are:-
1.     Ministry of IT states that it maintains regular contact with the IT industry stakeholders including companies, software developers, universities as well as provinces. However, this fact was not corroborated by any of these ‘stakeholders’. The MoIT further presents that financial subsidy has been provided to IT companiesfor 698 apprentices. Similarly, MoIT placed 5500 graduate interns with the IT companies 90% of these interns were subsequently hired by the IT companies thereby making the program a tremendous success. Over 80,000 government officials have also been provided training.
2.     Government of Punjab deals with subject of IT through the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) established in 1999. The initiatives launched by the Board include, amongst others, MIS for Maintenance of Agri-Machinery, Agriculture Marketing Information Service, Online College Admissions System, e-Governance in shape of Citizen Contact Centre, Citizen Feedback Model, Motor Transport Management Information System,Punjab Health Line, Model Police Stations, database of livestock farmers, computerization of Transport Department etc. Services include citizen services and bank office applications. [19] The IT Training Academy being established will offer 6 courses and the Microsoft Innovation Centre will work with the academic community, local software companies, entrepreneurs and startups, to allow them to test, pilot and embed the latest technologies in their products and solutions, enabling them to compete in the global economy by developing solutions made in Punjab. The Plan-9 Tech Incubator, the first in Pakistan, is designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial, product-oriented IT companies.
3.     Government of KP has established an IT Excellence Centre to provide opportunities of IT Training and Capacity building to select IT Graduates of public and private sector Universities in (i) Web Applications, (ii) Business Applications, (iii) Network Management, (iv) Project Management – the last one for government employees only. [20] It is in the process of framing a comprehensive ‘IT Policy’ and an ‘IT Master Plan 2013-18’ with five components that help define an ecosystem that covers government, citizen services, business, ICT Literacy and Research & Development.
4.     Government of Sindh is working to establish and drive the eco-system required for the growth of the IT industry and to promote ICT by addressing IT services, IT skills and capacity building, IT infrastructure and IT global image. Projects include Hospital Management Information System for Civil Hospital, Karachi, establishment of video conferencing system in Sindh government offices, biometric identification electronic system in government offices, introduction of e-policing system, development of Arfa Kareem IT city (in process) on a 200-acre and IT training for capacity building of government employees.  Call Centres training for jobless graduates and under graduates and IT awareness centres for communities living in slums are also in process. [21]
5.     Government of Baluchistan has a draft IT Policy since 2008 which concentrates on HRD, Infrastructure, software and hardware industry development and incentives for hardware development enterprizes. Interaction with Capt Saqib Zafar (Retd), a participant who has remained Secretary IT Baluchistan revealed that the province has state of the art IT University, the government has established 6 IT information and facilitation centres in various districts and a video conferencing system in the public sector to communicate efficiently over long distances in the province.
6.     In FATA the ‘FATA Information Technology Policy 2012’ has been approved by the Governor and stands notified. The policy essentials are to establish a modern, efficient and cost-effective IT infrastructure in FATA that provides equitable access to national and international markets, develop  high  quality human resource and extensive pool of trained IT manpower at all levels to meet local and regional demand, launch an e-Government program to promote widespread use of IT applications in government organizations, enable FATA government Institutions to act as facilitators and enablers, providing maximum opportunities to the private sector to lead the thrust in development of IT, provide  business  incentives  for  local and national investors  to ensure  the  development  of  FATA’s  IT  sector through an Information Technology Advisory Council are also part of it. [22]The Action Plan 2013, in HRD, contains ICT Centers for un-employed FATA Graduates, Training Centers for Government Employees, ICT Higher Learning Institution, Recruitment & Training of IT Teachers, ICT Scholarship and Internship Program and extension of Virtual University Campus in All Agency HQs.
7.     The Provinces were of the opinion that while the subject of IT has not been devolved still there is no productive coordination between them and the Federal Government. While no province has an IT Policy per se, their efforts are not in consonance with national policy.
8.     The Provinces reported that ‘appetite’ of the market for human resource requirement has never been checked and there is even no survey mechanism for that. While internationally the view is that there is no perfect method for forecasting the work force demand, especially in IT, the availability of suitable data is a precondition for applying the methods based on past trends to forecast the future. There should have been a survey mechanism in place which repeated itself every 3-5 years to assess market requirements for skilled IT HR.
9.     The IT direction of PITB is based on e-Governance, citizen services, Industry Support and IT Education, a pattern exactly followed in the Indian state of Bihar through its ‘Information and Communication Technology Policy 2012’. However, Bihar has a written document which is much more comprehensive and has the objectives of (1) Human and Intellectual Capital Resources, (2) Employment, (3) IT Infrastructure, (4) e-Governance, (5) Investment, (6) Environment and (7) Regulation. It aims to bridge the digital divide, which separates citizen in urban areas from those in rural areas by delivering on-line services to every citizen. [23] Government of Andhra Pardesh has started eSeva providing a wide spectrum of citizen-friendly services that will save citizens the bother of running around various departments. Services include payment of utility bills, Certificates and licenses, registrations, transport, ATMs etc. [24]
10.  While we have no formal arrangement India has a ‘National Policy on Information and Communication Technology in School Education’ under its Department of School Education and Literacy Ministry of Human Resource Development which includes a Computer Literacy And Studies in Schools (CLASS) program based on exclusive ICT curriculum at that level with evaluations by their Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education. More importantly it has an ICT program for children with special needs, which includes software and tools to facilitate their access like screen readers, braille readers etc. [25]In Pakistan, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has an e-Academia ICT strategy which encourages and empowers institutions of higher learning with strong ICT infrastructure within the campuses and interconnecting them through a high speed backbone of Pakistan Education and Research network (PERN). [26]


Industry Overview& Private Sector
According to Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), we are fast becoming the destination of choice for a significant number of international IT companies looking to relocate their operations offshore. The ready availability of skilled professionals, an appropriate IT infrastructure, and affordable rates for connectivity results in considerable time and cost-savings for entrepreneurs. Pakistan’s IT industry’s global share is estimated at US$2.8 billion. A skilled workforce of 110,000 English-speaking IT professionals is present in the economy, of which 24,000 are engaged in exports. There are nearly 1500 companies whereas seven multinational companies have ‘Development Centers’ in Pakistan. Software developments range from Mobile, Gaming & Animation Industry to financial software industries especially in financial services technology industry. [27]Increasing number of foreign IT companies have chosen Pakistan for their outsourcing operations due to, amongst others, incentives of 100% ownership of equity, Income Tax exemption till 2016, 100% repatriation of profits, Seven years’ tax holiday for venture capital funds etc. It is, however, ironic that sector eligibility under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy approved by the Economic Coordination Committee Pakistan does not provide for partnership in the IT sector. [28]The Board of Investment website reports that in its annual ‘Doing Business’ report the World Bank recognized Pakistan as 107th in rank in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ classification and 98th in ‘starting a business’ classification of the world countries. [29]
P@SHA, the Pakistan Software Houses Association puts the estimated size of IT Industry in Pakistan at US$2 billion with the largest members grossing 15-25 million dollars in revenues, and receiving 100 million dollar valuations. Software and services sector has seen a growth of 39% with around half of this growth is coming from foreign, software and high end services projects. The growth of employment of professionals in 41 % and PASHA’s current membership exceeds 370. The critical question raised by PASHA is that with the probable growth this year between 28 – 50%, would there will be enough skilled HR to staff demand and office space available next year.[30]Women represent 14% of the IT workforce and 13% of IT managers, numbers which coincide with the national average women labor force. Companies in the Education, Internet Services and Oil & Gas (Energy) industries seem most conducive to female IT employees. Maria Umar, Chairperson of Women Digital League, a virtual firm which provides digital services to non-formal businesswomen so that a vast women force which is otherwise dormant is mobilized states that women are discouraged from working outside or face problems in finding work opportunities. With women in Pakistan making 50% of the population and 59% of them between the age of 18 and 27 are educated this is one sizable chunk of work-force we are not paying attention to. [31]
According to HEC data around 125 Universities are producing 500,000 graduates per year[32] while around 5000 IT Graduates come out per year from the around 50 public and private sector Universities teaching IT. Total IT professionals in Pakistan are estimated at around 75000 out of which 3000 are employed in ‘government and defence’, 50,000 in SECP registered companies, 2000 in Banks and DFIs, 3000 in Universities, 12000 in IT Industry and 5000 in schools and colleges. [33]With the demand in the IT sector for 36,000 workers in 2014 and increasing to 39,000 in 2015 [34] the education system is running in deficit. The most important phenomenon is the flight of mid level IT experts abroad and the lack of investment in hardware development in Pakistan.
Available firm-level evidence indicates that the use of ICTs by businesses has a positive effect on labour productivity also in low-income countries.[35]


The Government – Academia – Industry triangle
India’s success in IT, science, engineering and biotechnology apart from its agricultural commodities is due to cohort action of its industrialists with academicians as well as the governmental legislations as the driving force and its good academia-industry linkage. It produces graduates skilled for industry and works on projects to solve for industrial problems, provides consultancy to industry and gets sponsors from the industry for its high-tech research. Thailand’s biotechnology based revival of shrimp and sugar industry are leading examples of academia-industry linkage. China, among other Asian counterparts, not only holds strong belief on academia industry linkage strategy but is leading in this strategic game. Malaysia and Singapore have also realized the importance of academia-industry linkages and implemented them in their niche products like electronics, engineering and petrochemicals.
Governmental policies to develop an effective linkage across various institutes/industries in Pakistan are lacking. Political contemplation for academia-industry linkage is of major concern, besides realization of its importance to industrialists and academicians. [36]
One of the areas considered strength of Pakistan’s economy but effected due to absence of this coordination is Agriculture. ICT can empower farmers, rationalise supply chains, improve productivity, facilitate research and development and promote information sharing on agricultural farm extension technologies, market prices, weather information etc, all of which can enhance food security. India’s network of internet-connected kiosks, known as e-Choupals, serves the soybean, cotton, tobacco, and shrimp farmers in its procurement network enabling farmers to get up-to-date weather reports, local and international produce prices and also to buy agricultural inputs and consumer goods for daily use.[37]


Globally competitive Pakistan through Human Resource Development in Information Technology


Develop an efficient, capable and effective HR capable of meeting the challenges of IT in all sectors, nationally and internationally and promote productive government – academia – industry linkages
1.     Integration between the Government, Academia and Industry for HR development on need assessment basis
2.     Creation of an IT culture through universalization of quality IT education and its incorporation in the public and private sector
3.     Enhance IT enabled services for employment generation by raising the level of output and growth through IT based human capital accumulation
Over-arching – Short Term
1.      Establishment of a Government – Academia – Industry Council comprising actual practitioners from all sectors to frame a linkage program between enterprise and universities, and encouraging higher education institutions to form independent linkages with private enterprises (Within the available financial resources – by MoIT);
2.      Establishment of a “National Innovation System” to facilitate high-tech research under which patenting and licensing regulation will be devised (Within the available financial resources – by MoIT);
3.      Permanent placement of HRD in IT as agenda item of Council of Common Interests and National Economic Council for optimum coordination between the federal government and the provinces and sharing of best practices amongst the provinces (No financial implications – by Federal Government);
4.         Carry out ‘appetite’ assessment of international and national market for IT HRD for deployment in Industry, Services sector, export as HR asset and value chain addition (Financed through public private partnershipTrade and Commerce Ministry, Chambers of Commerce, IT Boards, Software development houses and foreign missions of Pakistan abroad).


Over-arching – Long term
1.      Allocation of funds through the Government – Academia – Industry Council to areas of research of priority and policies for the public research institutes to ensure the development of commercially viable product (prioritization within the existing educational and R&D budget within the federal and provincial governments and public private partnership – MoIT) ;
2.      In order to alley the concern of Industry sector against probable diffusion of advantage with sharing of research, a “National Innovation System” will devise, and regularly update, a specialized patenting and licensing regulation to facilitate high-tech research. Patenting policies and product licensing play a very important role in technology transfer from universities to industries keeping intact the Intellectual Property Rights for both the partners and promote academia-industry collaborations (Only administrative implications – by MoIT);
3.      Establishment of Technology Incubation Centers and Parks within the universities to translate the ideas into marketable product and promote the collaboration of industries and Academia. Since these centers provide an important hub for consultancy and knowledge sharing to industrialists, Government to speed up the process of establishing these centers and invest money on priority basis. A perfect example is the Arfa Kareem Software Technology Park in Lahore which provides academic and research environment with government presence under one roof (from existing allocation by the Federal and Provincial Governments for this purpose and public private partnership – by MoIT, IT Departments of Provinces, IT Boards and private sector);
4.      Strengthen the industry and encourage it to establish in-house R&D units where professors and scholars engage in research activities. Model industries can be established with strong academia-industry linkage (public private partnership where government acts as catalyst and coordinator – by the Council)
5.         ‘Industry-occupation matrix’, to be carried out every five years to provide direction to capacity builders of IT for development of human capital where required (Financed through public private partnershipTrade and Commerce Ministry, Chambers of Commerce, IT Boards, Software development houses and foreign missions of Pakistan abroad).


IT Education – Short term
1.               Declare IT Education compulsory from the Elementary School till Higher Education level to create a ‘tech savvy’ generation. Its actual implementation would be phased out in 15 years (Financial implications limited as all provinces already have running programs to provide IT labs and training in each school and college through own resources and donors intervention – by Federal Government – for Islamabad and FATA, and provincial governments for their jurisdiction);
2.               Policy for implementation of IT education in three stratas – basic education at the school and college level as well as blue collared labour, advanced software and hardware packages at the higher education level with elevated expertize for IT professionals and a customized and specialized training (by the Industry itself) for highly complex defence, energy, atomic and petroleum etc industry including post doctorate education (Less financial more administrative implications in the short term – by Government, academia and industry);
3.               Boosting awareness of IT Careers through ‘career councilors’ at College and Higher Education level to provide guidance to students with regard to orientation of their future career enabling them to become productive HR. The Councilors will also ensure that the future proposed training for a student will be skill based to enable her or him to utilize maximum potential (minor financial implications as existing faculty will be detailed with short capacity building – by public and private sector education institutions and their regulatory authorities);
4.               Purposeful activation of the National Accreditation Council on IT education and expansion of its scope to all provinces, other areas as well as all forms of IT education in public as well as private sector (Proper structuring and activation of the Council already provided for in the 2000 policy through administrative support – MoIT, HEC);
5.               Introduction of subsidized IT education through scholarships and internships to provide an equity and merit based opportunity to every student to excel irrespective of financial and economic background (prioritization of existing financial implications in the public sector programs as well as corporate sector responsibility by the private sector institutions – by MoIT, HEC, provincial Departments and private sector);
6.               Introduction of laptops at the higher education and tablets at Elementary School and college level containing soft copies of course books and reference material – link this with digital libraries in rural schools based on solar power backed Computers. Strengthen the initiative of outreach in rural areas through development of high-quality interactive teaching material (Financial viability through already running programs of the provincial governments – by MoIT and Provincial IT Departments and through utilization of Universal Service Fund);
7.               Enhancement of pedagogy skills in IT faculty at all levels to enhance their capacity, level of skills and improve teaching methodology (financed from the existing training programs through re-orientation alone – by MoIT, Education Departments of the Provinces and HEC).

IT Education – Long term


1.     Phase wise (15 years) implementation of compulsory IT Education from the Elementary School till Higher Education level (Financial implications limited as all provinces already have running programs to provide IT labs and training in each school and college through own resources and donors intervention – by Federal Government – for Islamabad and FATA, and provincial governments for their jurisdiction);
2.     Impart IT education in three stratas – basic education at the school and college level as well as blue collared labour, advanced software and hardware packages at the higher education level with elevated expertize for IT professionals and a customized and specialized training (by the Industry itself) for highly complex defence, energy, atomic and petroleum etc industry including post doctorate education (administrative and moduler re-oriendation of the existing programs – by MoIT, provincial governments and HEC in collaboration with the private sector);
3.     Development of a uniform curriculum based on market need assessment and its regular up-dation based on the feedback of the industry, trainees and the market including the export market for HR in IT (minor financial implications as the market need assessment is already covered under separate proposal – by MoIT and HEC in collaboration with the provincial governments and the private sector educational institutions);
4.     Increase in the capacity of higher education institutions to absorb more students in IT related subjects including the increase in the number of IT Universities (allocation of budget for the remaining 3 Universities in the public sector as envisaged in the IT Policy of 2000 – by Federal Government – High Risk);
5.     Introduction of soft student loans for distance learning programs such as Masters in IT etc from expensive local and foreign Universities to be re-paid after employment (allocation of resources from youth programs, corporate sector responsibility initiatives and Banks where government becomes the guarantor – by MoIT, private sector, donors and HEC);
6.     Introduction of Special Incentives Package for select IT academicians to regress their exodus to Industry due to the pay difference (allocation of additional funds to Higher Education Institutions – by Federal Government – High Risk);


IT Industry – Short Term


1.     Inclusion of IT in the sectors of Public Private Partnership in the Pakistan PPP Policy approved by the ECC (No financial Implications – by Federal Government);
2.     Ensure investment both in IT Services and IT Enabled Services which are human intensive services for employment generation – These include Agriculture, medical transcription, tele-medicine, database processing, digital content development and animation, back office operations, financial services and call centres etc;
3.     Development of an IT Training Industry through liberalization of education sector with suitable safeguards through the Accreditation Council (administrative implications – by MoIT, HEC and provincial governments) ;
4.     Train blue and white collar IT labour and experts for industries based on technology, agriculture and the services sector with special emphasis on women capacity building, especially in rural areas (by re-orientation and coordination of existing programs and strengthening of fibre optics and internet coverage in rural areas – by MoIT, Provincial Government and, NGOs);
5.     Grant incentives and subsidies to Software industry in shape of office space, power, incubation opportunities etc (allocations in the existing programs of provinces – MoIT and Provincial Governments);
6.     Ensure ‘Single Window Operation’ for investors in IT through a time and cost efficient clearance and approval setup (administrative measures – Federal and Provincial Governments);
7.     Establish a ‘Venture Fund’ for IT firms especially those owned by females or disabled and / or employing females and disabled in majority. The Venture Fund to also be utilized to support ventures which provide employment to 25 plus IT workers (special package under gender mainstreaming – by contribution through basket funding from MoIT, UN and donor organizations, provincial governments, NGOs and private sector especially Women Bank and Women Chamber of Commerces);


IT Industry – Long term


1.     Ensure investment both in IT Services and IT Enabled Services which are human intensive services for employment generation – These include Agriculture, medical transcription, tele-medicine, database processing, digital content development and animation, back office operations, financial services and call centres etc. ;
2.     Train blue and white collar IT labour and experts for industries based on technology, agriculture and the services sector with special emphasis on women capacity building, especially in rural areas (by re-orientation and coordination of existing programs and strengthening of fibre optics and internet coverage in rural areas – by MoIT, Provincial Government and, NGOs);
3.     Patronize and support the IT software industry through further incentives and introduce manufacturing in IT hardware industry including laptops and tablets competitive with the Chinese to create inland market for Pakistani origin Electronic Hardware Manufacturing Units (extension of tax rebate beyond 2016 and purchase of local made IT equipment at the rudimentary level by the public sector – MoIT, Federal Government and the Provincial Government);
e-Governance based on IT HR – Short term


1.     Business Processes Re-engineering in public sector organizations based on a culture of IT to improve meaningful public responsiveness and internal efficiency (Administrative re-alignment – MoIT, federal and provincial public sector organizations);
2.     Compulsory IT qualification/proficiency for employment in Government and improvement of IT proficiency in existing employees through regular capacity building for enhancement of existing skills as well as inculcation of new ones Administrative re-alignment – MoIT, federal and provincial public sector organizations;
3.     Compulsory IT modules in all mandatory trainings for promotion (Administrative re-alignment – MoIT, federal and provincial public sector organizations);


e-Governance based on IT HR – Long Term


1.     Business Processes Re-engineering in public sector organizations based on a culture of IT to improve meaningful public responsiveness and internal efficiency Administrative re-alignment – MoIT, federal and provincial public sector organizations;
2.     Compulsory IT qualification/proficiency for employment in Government and improvement of IT proficiency in existing employees through regular capacity building for enhancement of existing skills as well as inculcation of new ones (Administrative re-alignment – MoIT, federal and provincial public sector organizations.


Key Performance Indicators
Performance Indicators
Current Position
Establishment of Government – Academia – Industry Council (Yes/No)
Establishment of National Innovation System (Yes/No)
Permanent placement of IT as agenda item for CCI and NEC (Yes/No)
Assessment of Industry-occupation matrix (no of enterprises per year)
 Establishment of Technology Incubators (number)
Establishment of IT Parks (number)
Declaration of IT Education as Compulsory (Yes/No)
Provision of Laptops to students (number)
Provision of tablets to students (number)
Phase wise implementation of compulsory IT education (level / years)
Elementary – 15
College – 7
Higher Education – 3
Capacity of Higher Education institutes of IT Graduates (graduates per year)
Establishment of IT Universities (number)
Soft loans for rural students for MIT (number of students per year)
Special package for IT academia (%age)
Tax rebate for IT (year in AD)
Single window operation for investors (Yes/No)
Venture fund for women IT entrepreneurs (Yes/No)




[1]United Nations Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination Human Resources Development, accessed on 4 Dec 2013
[2] Husain, Ishrat, Education, Employment And Economic Development In Pakistan, accessed on 5 Dec 2013
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