Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal asked the universities to take rapid action to start new courses in entrepreneurship and exports for students which would help boost the economy of the country.

He was speaking at the two-day 19th International Conference on ‘Frontiers of Information Technology’ (FIT-2022) organized by COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) here.

Speaking on the occasion, the federal minister highlighted the importance of Information Technology in today’s era, especially for the economic growth of Pakistan.

Ahsan Iqbal also shared the seven-point framework for universities, academic excellence, research and innovation, social community service, technology enablement, corporate governance, industry-academia linkage and quality of products.

Sharing his observations, Executive Director COMSATS, Ambassador Dr Mohammed Nafees Zakaria speaking at the opening ceremony lauded the efforts of FIT organizers for providing an esteemed platform to researchers, scientists, and industry practitioners from across the world to present their cutting-edge research as well as sharing latest industry insights.

He mentioned that COMSATS lays its emphasis on building indigenous capacity and competence in emerging sciences and technologies. Moreover, efforts are being made by the Commission to bring the dividends of technological advancements in the areas of education, health, and energy to a large cross-section of the population, particularly of the Member States.

Co-Founder and CEO KnowlEDGE Streams (Private) Ltd. Pakistan, Dr S Sohail H Naqvi delivered a keynote address to the participating technical experts, students and dignitaries.

In his address titled “Bridging the Academia-Industry Divide”, Dr Naqvi highlighted the importance of Bridging the Academia-Industry Divide and presented several initiatives which have led to novel solutions in present-day Pakistan. He emphasized on the key steps to follow for successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Rector CUI, Prof Dr Muhammad Tabassum Afzal, in his welcome address appreciated the support extended by the government in promoting research and development.

He said that Pakistan was in a dearth of high-performance computing infrastructure and there was a need to realize the economic potential of Information Technology through better training and resource management.

Prof Afzal said that the dearth of dollars confronted by the economy can be easily cured by encouraging IT related exports and technology-based startups.

Speakers from France, Netherlands, China, Ireland, Portugal, UK, USA and Pakistan are participating in the two-day conference organized by COMSATS University Islamabad in COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad.

The two days conference will comprise a series of invited talks as part of its technical program while a PhD symposium will provide an opportunity for PhD scholar to present their ongoing research to gather feedback from industry experts.

The last day of the conference will feature a panel discussion on the theme “Make in Pakistan: Need Assessment for a Strong Policy to Strengthen Indigenization”.

The conference is the 19th Annual event organized by COMSATS University consecutively in the last two decades and boasts of a very competitive acceptance rate among IT circles in Pakistan.

The conference has been fostering new areas of IT since its inception and has this year captured the attention of experts in Software Engineering, Pattern Recognition, Image and Natural Language Processing, Data Science, Water Informatics, Smart Grid, Energy and Electronics, Signal Processing and Cyber Security among others.

Related: More universities indispensable for access to higher education: Ahsan Iqbal

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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