Smart Village Project Initiated Throughout Pakistan
The Federal Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications has inaugurated a ‘Smart Village’ initiative in four provinces, including Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Gilgit-Baltistan, through the Universal Service Fund (USF).
The project will be funded and technically supported by the International Telecommunication Union and Huawei Technologies Pakistan, said a news release issued here on Wednesday.
The initiative would establish a center in a backward village with contemporary amenities where residents will not only be taught how to use IT facilities but also encouraged to incorporate them into their daily lives.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque inaugurated the ceremony. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, the Federal Secretary for Information Technology and Telecommunications, as well as Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, the CEO of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Dr. Ismail Shah, the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Area Representative for Southeast Asia, and Mark Meng, the CEO of Huawei, attended the event.
Syed Amin Ul Haque, speaking on the occasion, stated, “The Smart Village initiative is another step toward fulfilling Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital Pakistan.” He explained that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications was collaborating with ITU and Huawei through USF to digitally transform remote and rural communities by connecting and empowering them with better access to a range of digital services in the areas of health, education, commerce, and livelihood.
The initiative emphasizes a whole-of-government strategy and encourages cross-sector collaboration and multi-stakeholder involvement in order to increase cost-effectiveness and resource sharing while providing services to residents. At first, Islamabad, Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan would each have one Smart Village.
The minister stated that the National Information Technology Board (NITB) has developed over 30 mobile applications, government online portals, and websites connected to public services. The benefits of these applications can be availed by the general public only when they access them. The results of the actions taken under the Digital Pakistan Vision are starting to appear, he added. We have started the first e-cabinet, working on E-Parliament, E-Office and Internet Voting also.
He praised the USF, ITU, and Huawei teams and pledged his support for the project’s implementation. He also stated that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications would continue to pursue more tough and productive initiatives in the future to promote IT and Telecommunications services.
Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, CEO of USF, remarked at the event that the Smart Village initiative is in line with USF’s objective to empower underserved areas. This collaboration will allow USF, ITU, and Huawei to work together to achieve their goals.