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Event Title :
Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications held at Parliament House
Published Date :
Sep 12,2018

The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications was held on Wednesday. Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the meeting was attended by Senator Abdul R. Malik, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar, Senator Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq and senior officers from the Ministry of IT along with all concerned and the FIA.
The meeting commenced with dua (prayer) for Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and the Committee expressed condolences and sympathy to the family. Thereafter, CEO IGNITE, briefed the Committee about mandate, functioning, achievements and fund position. He informed the Committee that Government of Pakistan, through Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act 1996 (amended 2006), mandated that 0.5 percent of the gross adjusted revenue generated by all telecom service providers would be utilized for research and development activities in information and telecommunication technologies with a vision to transform Pakistan’s economy into a knowledge based economy by promoting efficient, sustainable and effective ICT initiatives. To realize this vision, IGNITE (formerly National ICT R&D Fund) was created in 2006 as non-profit company under Section 42 of The Companies Act, 2017 (repealed Companies Ordinance, 1984) and is now a Company Limited by Guarantee. 
It was revealed that a total of 143 projects worth approximately PKR 2.37 billion have been approved since its inception.  Evaluated by experts, these projects have the potential to create marketable products and services. The Committee was further informed that key verticals supported through these projects include health, education, energy, security and agriculture. In addition to these, IGNITE launched a large scale Digital Skills (Digi Skills) Training Program to train 1 million people across the country over a period of two years.  Chairperson Committee Rubina Khalid lauded the efforts of IGNITE and said that it is a good initiative that must be replicated in schools. 
The Committee recommended that IGNITE must be given the opportunity to give a detailed presentation on its successfully executed projects, funding and present status of projects underway. It was also recommended that students who have been working with IGNITE on various projects may be invited in the next meeting as well. 

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