Good day to you all.
Here’s the fourth installment of our Weekly Tech Trends Review through which we endeavour to provide you with a concise overview of prominent tech trends, happenings and events from around the world, primarily focused within Pakistan.
We eagerly look forward to your suggestions, critique and feedback. Happy reading!
Period covered: 14-20 September, 2019
1.ITCN ASIA IT & TELECOM SHOW CONCLUDES ITS 19th EDITION
Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd in association with Federal Ministry of IT & Telecom (Pakistan) organised the 19th ITCN Asia IT & Telecom Show in Karachi from 17-19 Septgember 2019. The event witnessed participation by more than 60,000 visitors and exhibits by 500 brands representing 25 countries.
Summits held during included topics as diverse as Artifical Intelligence (AI), IT Minister’s innovative entrepreneurial scheme and Cyber Security. The organisers have been hosting this expo successfully since its inception in 2001.
During the event, Federal Minister of IT and Telecom Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that the government is making efforts to establish a regulatory authority which can improve the standard of education and skills developments related to IT in local universities.
2. SUPREME COURT LAUNCHES REVAMPED WEBSITE AND E-COURT PORTAL
This Thursday, Chief Justice of Pakistan the Honourable Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa in the presence of lawyers and judges launched a portal which links to a revised/upgraded version of SCP’s website including the addition of “e-court/video link” facility.
The initiative reached its successful conclusion through rigorous collaboration between the Supreme Court IT Committee and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). The video link facility will help connect the principal seat with its four branch registries.
The revamped website also features a case/ judgment lookup facility through advanced search parameters for ease of reference.
3. TAX RETURNS MANAGEMENT FROM HOME
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has launched a new application “Tax Asaan” which will enable citizens to file their tax returns through the convenience of their Android and iOS smartphones. Special facilities include hassle-free submission of due tax through mobile banking, sales tax registration and online verification of active taxpayers list, Point of Sale (POS) invoices, etc.
Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to use the app.
4. FUNDING GIRLS’ EDUCATION THROUGH CAREEM RIDES
Careem Pakistan and Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF) have teamed up to advance girls’ education under the banner ‘Taaleem hogi aam, har bayti ke naam’. An MoU has been signed through which Careem will facilitate fundraising for the initiative through a new car type titled “Build Pakistan”. Apart from revenue portions from these rides, Careem users will be able to donate their Careem Reward points to the cause.
5. EGYPTIAN TRANSPORT STARTUP ENTERS PAKISTAN
Egyptian-origin transport technology startup “Swvl” has announced expansion in twin cities Islamabad and Rawalpindi by the first week of October. CEO Mostafa Kandil said that their app will enable customers to reserve and pay for buses travelling along fixed, defined routes. It was also revealed that the company will maintain a round-the-clock engineering team in Karachi. Swvl’s entry into Pakistan is its second international foray, after Kenya.
6. LOCALLY-CAPABLE IT VENDORS IGNORED AT THE EXPENSE OF BILLIONS
Speaking at the 17th e-banking conference in Karachi, Chairman of Pakistan Software House Association (P@SHA) Syed Ahmed highlighted that Pakistan continues to import expensive IT equipment/solutions and bypasses certain local vendors who have the capability to deliver equally-effective solutions. He said that the country loses billions each month because of these overtures.
In the same event, Naeem Zamindar, Adviser for Digital Transformation at the World Bank revealed the forum’s plan to host a summit of 20 key stakeholders in Pakistan in October to discuss the way forward in digital transformation.
7. METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES APP
National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC) at Pakistan Meterological Department (PMD) has launched its unique weather app where citizens will be able to access real-time weather updates, forecasts and also various weather-related updates for farmers and tourists.
The app is in initial stages of testing and was formally launched by Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan recently. We encourage you to share positive critique and feedback with the team if you find anything that requires improvement!
8. YOUTUBE TOUGHENS CRITERIA TO EARN VERIFICATION BADGES
Google has increased its eligibility criteria for content creators who wish to earn a verification badge. Presently, securing 100,000 subscribers automatically enables channel owners to get the badge but now YouTube will ask for “clear proof of authenticity“. Those users who have already received badges but do not meet YouTube’s new criteria will had their badges removed on Thursday.
9. FACEBOOK CONTINUES TO FACE THE HEAT
A report by Casey Newton for TheVerge reveals the toughening legal battles Mark Zuckerberg has to face to restore his company’s global credibility. Attorneys General in eight US states including Washington D.C. announced an anti-trust investigation apart from similar ongoing investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department and House Judiciary Committee.
As if privacy issues weren’t enough, the US Senate’s Banking Committee has also begun scrutinising Facebook’s plan to launch its own cryptocurrency ‘Libra‘. If you’ve followed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, you’ll understand well the pressure mounting on Facebook to ensure complete transparency and responsibility on issues related to individual data ownership/management.
10. FRENCH GOVERNMENT ACCUMULATES BILLIONS FOR LOCAL TECH STARTUPS
The French government of President Emmanuel Macron has gathered €5bn worth of capital from institutional investors for investments in tech companies till 2022 to boost its tech ecosystem. Some of the prominent investors successfully tapped by Macron government include Axa, Natixis, Aviva and Allianz. Cédric O, France’s Minister for the Digital Economy, shared the government’s vision to make France “the leading ecosystem in Europe”. The move follows prior decisions by the Macron government to cut down on taxes and fast-track business visas for foreigners.
That’s all from this weekend’s tech trends roundup from PakWired. Have a great week ahead!