President for accelerating digital transformation of governance systems

PESHAWAR: President Dr Arif Alvi has called for further accelerating the pace of digital transformation of governance systems by equipping the bureaucracy with relevant tools and skills to put the country on the fast-track of socio-economic development and efficient service delivery.

He said a specialized cadre of bureaucracy could be raised to help governments speed-up their digital transformation journey and facilitate in the digitalization of government services and business processes. The President expressed these views during a briefing on projects related to the digital transformation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), at Governor House, Peshawar, on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by the KP Minister for Science and Technology and IT, Food and Youth Affairs, Mr Muhammad Atif Khan, and senior officials of the KP Information Technology Board. During the meeting, the President highlighted the need to digitalize all aspects of governance by introducing e-governance at all levels of the Government, adding that access to Information Technology (IT) and basic IT infrastructure should be further improved throughout the country.

He said digitalization of government business would ensure efficient and efficacious service delivery, besides helping reduce financial pilferages and leakages. He urged the need to produce market-ready employable graduates by equipping them with marketable and in-demand skills through professional degrees as well as 2-year associate degrees.

The President said that partnerships and collaborations among academia, industry and governments should be actively encouraged and pursued to produce market-ready skilled graduates and get them placements in the industry, which would help fulfil the market demand for skilled professionals.

He said technical and vocational programmes and institutes needed to be strengthened and revitalized for youth’s skill development as it would help provide gainful employment to youth. The President underlined the need for more skill-development programmes on the pattern of Prime Minister’s digiskills program, adding that almost 2.4 million people from different academic programmes had benefitted from this online digital skill development programme.

He said online and virtual education could help enhance the number of graduates, who could be provided additional training of 3-6 months to make them ready as per market’s needs. He said IT and digitalization had opened up new avenues for businesses and commercial activity and now companies and people in remote areas could offer their services online in international markets.

Dr Arif Alvi said that steps should be taken to improve the internet connectivity and basic IT infrastructure in the country to fully benefit from emerging business opportunities. He said youth, particularly women, could offer their services online while working from home and earn foreign exchange for the country and improve their families’ socio-economic status.

The officials of KP Information Technology Board briefed the President about different initiatives for the digital transformation of the province. It was highlighted that two incubation centres had been established in KP and $500,000 had been disbursed to start-ups, which would help in strengthening the start-up ecosystem in KP.

It was further informed that 100,000 had been trained under the KP Youth Empowerment Programme and Employable Digital Skills initiative of the government, besides providing internship opportunities to KP’s youth and women in industry.

It was also informed that AI-based Pilot Safe City project and Paperless File Management System in DC office had been initiated in Mardan, which could be replicated in other districts of the province for better service delivery. The President appreciated the digital transformation initiatives of KP government and emphasized the need to further speed-up efforts in this regard.