Digital Pakistan is by far the best initiative by any government to date. Though, Ex-CM Punjab Mr Shebaz tried to Digitize the PATWARI system back during his tenure. It wasn’t successful in the end. The current initiative is, however, on a much bigger level.
What is the Digital Pakistan project in a nutshell?
Let me put is simple for you, the government aims at removing the use of PAPER from all the institutions. Mobile and Web applications are going to replace paperwork. All the records kept in paper files will be transferred to digital storage.
That’s the idea. When we go deep into the details, you will know that there is much more to it then saving paper costs and digitizing the records.
The building blocks of this project.
The project consists of four major building blocks. These blocks are later sub-divided into more categories. Let’s have a look at the major ones first.
1- Access and Connectivity:
Access to the internet is one of the major building blocks of Digital Pakistan. The moto is Roti, Kapra, Makan and Internet. That sounds cool, Man!
This phase will be dealing with improving the coverage of telecom companies including PTCL. More areas will have access to the 3G and 4G networks.
2- Digital Infrastructure:
This is one of the most important phases for the common citizens of Pakistan. This includes online payment gateways and similar facilities for the AWAM to minimize human efforts.
This is the BOMB, guys. This is where each and every bureaucrat will intervene and would want to influence the Digital Pakistan project. Confused why so? Read the lines below. Just read what is going to change.
i- Land records, registrations, transfers and retention orders will be online. No more PATWARIs or WADERAs will be able to curb your rights.
ii- Applying for any government document, visas, domiciles, birth certificates, driving license, car registrations, new gas or electricity connections and the list goes on. No more “Lambiiiiiiiii linessss” and bribing Clerks to process your files.
iii- Read this one, you will love it. JOBS will be posted online and the process will be based on online announcements of vacancies, offer letters, joining dates and more. I am waiting for this to happen. “Pakki NOKRI chahye bhai”
iv- My personal best facility would be the ONLINE FIR that is already in effect in KPK. No more bribing the SHOs or the Muharrers. Just log in to the Police portal and lodge an FIR request. The requests and responses are monitored by a department that supersedes all the powers of local police stations. Imagine, just imagine!
4- Digital Skills and Trainings:
I am in the IT industry and I know how important this is. Students from these so-called famous universities could not clear simple interviews after their 24 to 30 years of education.
Digital Pakistan will enforce better education standards focusing on IT. I think a lot of “6 months complete course” institutes are going to face some trouble as well. They are ripping the students off and are not delivering any experts to the industry.
5- Entrepreneurship Trends:
A study shows that 90% of the IT startups in Pakistan fail, mainly because of a lack of planning and experience. Why wouldn’t they, we do not have a single course on entrepreneurship in any university, any degree. We do not have any government department that advises entrepreneurs and listens to their grievances.
This is going to improve. I am looking at high-budget tech startups in Pakistan in the next few years. I am talking about billion-dollar companies.
Let me share my personal experiences. I have seen about 15 startups that emerged from within my company. They thought they know where to get projects/clients from (Online Freelancing Sites) and that they have the programming skills too. They failed miserably and most members of those startups are jobless as well. In my opinion, they had some of the skills but they did not have the “Business Acumen“.
What’s in it for the Youth? Jobs? Business?
This is more like a prediction rather than an announcement. Digital Pakistan is going to generate more than a million jobs in the coming few years.
Every 50-year-old Government employee expects three 25-year-old experts to overtake the position. Where this seems an impossible situation, the opportunity lies just beneath the essence. Digital Pakistan is not only going to create jobs in the Public sector but also in the private sector. This is where the game begins. Most of these Tech companies will be working with the government and would be bound by the law to offer security and a handsome salary to its employees. Just as it happens in the WEST.
Some Amazing People Associated with Digital Pakistan
Tania Adrius is one of the amazing people associated with this project. She worked with Google as a senior executive. In her latest speech, she thanked Jahangir Tareen ‘The man for crisis‘, for persuading her to join this initiative. We all know Jahangir Tareen is a magnet for gyms such as Tania.
How can a common citizen support this project?
A common citizen can do a lot to help PM Imran Khan and the government to successfully digitize Pakistan. Here is what I think we can do.
i- Acquire skills and then educate others. Modern IT skills are also one of the building blocks of this project.
ii- Politically support them if there is a strike against this project. Such as there was when Medical Reform Bill was announced.
iii- Digitize your businesses and avoid using the old methods of accounting. This way, the trend will keep growing.
The role of women in Digital Pakistan
Women have to play an important role for any movement or initiative to succeed. This project has a special need for female IT experts. Dozens of departments where women did not feel comfortable working would now be open to them. The slogan of equal opportunity will actually become real.
In order for this project to succeed, the women have to step up and prove themselves in IT. We need more heroes like Arfa Careem. We need our Malalas to raise their voices and join the venture.
More to come with Digital Pakistan
I have decided to keep this post updated. Every news related to the latest initiatives under the Digital Pakistan project will be posted here. If you are interested, click the subscribe button to get the latest updates.