Punjab Government foresees IT as a vehicle for renovating the province into a knowledge-based, economically vibrant, democratic and inclusive society. The primary vision of the government of Punjab is to become one of the top e-governed, IT-enabled and e-literate province. In addition, they also aim to become the preferred destination for worldwide IT businesses and a chief supplier of skipped IT human resource. Keeping these visions in the mind, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has put up the first draft for the Punjab IT policy 2016 up for the public consultation.
Chairman of PITB Dr. Umar Saif acknowledged the utmost need for a detailed policy on IT. Moreover, he also had resolved to announce the same for Punjab at the 2nd PITB roundtable conference in April 2016. The project of PITB, TechHub Connect was also mandated with the task of drafting the policy.
At the time of formulation stage, a three-pronged strategy was adopted. The notion of this strategy was to ensure that the policy-making process is inclusive. For the same, 20 focus group discussions took place across the country. The step brought together members of the academia, IT industry, government departments, manufacturing sector as well as other relevant stakeholders for the transparent process and to make it inclusive to the core.
Besides focus group discussions, over 50 individual consultation meetings were also held during the process. The idea behind the meetings was to look for input from experts in the relevant fields especially in budding disciplines like IoT, big data, cloud computing etc.
In addition, young and highly qualified individuals at both national and international level with an experience of policy research were engaged to categorize domestic challenges, opportunities, global trends and threats. Furthermore, the policy documents from over 25 countries were also reviewed during the policy formulation process.
While commenting on the prospect, Dr. Umar Saif said:
“Information Technology is critical to the establishment of sustainable and progressive knowledge-based economies. Through this draft of Punjab IT Policy 2016, the government of Punjab has recognized Information Technology as the backbone of socio-economic progress in the province and resolved to facilitate its adoption in all facets of everyday life. We have made the draft available for public consultation and comments on our website, to make the process as inclusive and transparent as possible. I invite all concerned to read the document and provide us with their invaluable feedback”
You can access the first draft of Punjab IT Policy 2016 at http://www.policy.pitb.gov.pk
It is worth mentioning that the document would also be discussed in depth by key stakeholders at the 3rd PITB Roundtable Conference to be held on 25th October, 2016.