By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Jan 24 - 30, 2000
Amjadullah Khan, Chief Executive of the A. A INFOTECH, Information
Technology, Consulting/ Training Prometric Testing, Software/Hardware. Amjad did his MBA
in marketing from Preston University USA and Graduation in Business Administration from
Southeastern University Washington D.C besides advance courses in the field of Information
Currently he is terribly involved in preparations to introduce some
latest technology which he expects to take the Pakistan market by storm. He declined to
give details about the technology which so far, according to him, has been adopted only by
6 countries around the world.
PAGE: India has left Pakistan much behind
with tremendous growth in the field of Information Technology. India exported software
wroth $3-4 billion last year as compared to $20-$25 million exports from Pakistan. How
Pakistan can grab its share out of the opportunities existing in the international market.
AMJAD: Except a few cosmetic type efforts this
important sector has been criminally neglected by the governments in Pakistan. The
economic managers instead of smelling the coming events in this important technology which
has overwhelmingly takenover the world did not update the curriculae of the universities
and other educational institutions in accordance with the changing times. There were
hardly one or two institutes in the public sector which were imparting and still imparting
outdated computer courses which hardly have any place in the world market. Our national
budget has also been remained ignorant or silent on this subject as allocations for
development of Information Technology is missing in our budgets. Amjad suggested that this
sector needs full patronization of the government beside introducing the subject as a
major in all universities of the country.
PAGE: How do you see the emergence of a large
number of Computer Institute in the private sector.
AMJAD: Yes, ofcourse the private sector Computer
Institutes have mushroomed all over the country, he noded with a bitter smile on his face.
Training standards at these institutes are questionable and need proper inspection to save
people from being deprived of time and money. Instead of doing something positive,
majority of such institutes are literally hoodwinking the poor. The young students
majority of them hail from middle or poor strata of the population are allured by cheaper
packages offered by these institutes for certain courses in computer science. But
practically speaking these institutes have no standards and update knowledge of the market
requirements. When the poor guy comes out of the institute in the hope of getting a
respectable job after spending his precious time for completing the course, he feels that
all his efforts have gone in vain as he gets no response from the market.
This cruel exercise should come to an end now. There is an immediate
need for registration of all IT institutes and software houses to ensure quality of
training imparted to the students.
PAGE: What steps you suggest to restore the
AMJAD: IT department established by the government
should register all software houses and institute which would give an assessment that how
many graduates are available within the country and this would also discourage the cheats
in this field.
A strict check on affiliation of the certificating organizations is
There is a need for appointment of Information Technology Councillors
at government level. These councillors, he said, should be assigned the job of
registration of the operating institutes beside providing update information about the
selection of the field and subject to the institutes and the students. He said that there
is a large majority of our educated womenfolk sitting at home. These women can play an
important role by developing softwares as a free lancers at their homes. Banks and
financial institutions can provide them loans for buying necessary equipment like
computers and allied accessories.
PAGE: What is the current status of
availability of the professionals in this sector.
AMJAD: There is a yawning gap between demand and
supply in Pakistan. Unfortunately the trend of leaving the country to avail attractive job
opportunities has created a vacuum. Although these professionals are a good source of
foreign exchange for the country in the shape of home remittances, yet the absence of
skilled work force within the country may cause stagnant economic growth in Pakistan.
Therefore there should be a balance in retaining and allowing the professionals to leave
PAGE: How can you justify to retain these
professionals within the country in the face of attractive offers available abroad.
only patriotism would not work to stop brain drain we have to improve job opportunities
within the country. He suggested that all banks should have the provision for advancing
and loaning facilities to the IT professionals and students. Like agriculture sector,
financial support is of vital importance for cultivating a crop of IT professionals which
should be made a part of human resource development programme of the country. This
investment would pay back to the nation both locally as well as from external resources,