Oct 05 - 11, 2009

The Al-Mighty Allah, Who is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omnipresent, and Infallible, has given us the wisdom to think and transform our environment, extend our life span, create vast interconnected societies and explore the outer space. The recent technological development that has made this possible is the personal computer and this has helped to bring about fundamental economic and social change in the human life.

Just as the steam engine developed in 1869 (UK), and the telephone which developed in 1876 (USA) have created dramatic changes in the way people lived, information technology in the past few decades has also transformed world at a pace that eclipses all innovations before it.

Rapid improvements in information technology are one of the most important factors of worldwide business activities. Nowadays, information technology is engrossing the world of business in rapid speed. Information technology is the combination link or modem of computing and telecommunication to obtain, process, store, and transmit message and information in the form of voice, pictures, words, numbers etc.

Personal computer and telecommunication technology combined together is presently known as information technology in the scientific communities. In a general term, information is a meaningful data, which is relevant, accurate, and up to date and can be used to take action or make decision, whereas technology is the full application or use of science to the immediate solution of practical problems of humans. Information technology provides a means of gaining competitive advantage. It helps the individual to create unique position, from which super value can be delivered.

Information technology is one of the deep-rooted core competencies of professional knowledge and it requires special attention due to its explosive growth and its rapid rate of changes. Information technology has made a visible input on the potentialities of different works of human beings. Information technology has become an essential tool to enable man to have a better control over the environment and to bring about improvement in his day-to-day living. A nation, which acquires necessary skills and expertise in the information technology, enjoys power, confidence, and ability to lead the world in future. The significance of information technology in the 21st century in software engineering will play a vital role in shaping the future of nations. The 21st century is the century of personalized computer (PC). Some of the components, which are necessary to operate a computer, composes of memory unit, RAM and ROM, hard disk, CD and DVD, Software (Microsoft Word, Excel and Power point, etc.). Other essential parts are internet, search engines, database systems, MS Access, LAN, WAN, transmission media, Networking devices, NIC switch hub, Bridge protocols, TCP/IP OSI models etc.

Students studying in the primary, secondary or high schools, colleges and universities have popular opinion to get admission into IT. Today, computers are used in industry, trade, publishing, accounting, graphics, advertisement, movie making and in routine office work. Without IT knowledge, it is difficult rather impossible for young folks to get suitable jobs. The IT institutions are growing very fast like mushrooms. Majority of such institutions are established in small buildings and make all sorts of promises, which are never fulfilled. Many of the institutes are housed in one or two-room premises offering an array of certificates, diplomas, and degree programs.

Presently, Pakistan is producing nearly 5000 IT professionals annually, while neighboring India producing relatively large numbers professionals annually. At present, in IT institutes high standards teaching of visual programs, C++, Visual C, Java scripts, Java Beans, Java Developers, Oracle etc. have been introduced.

E-Banking, E-Commerce

E-Commerce is to build a network of interconnected businesses and environment. This job is mainly for business people. E-commerce teaches means business to business (B2B), business to commerce (B2C), consumers to business (C2B), consumers to consumers (C2C), business to Govt. (B2G), Govt. to business (G2B). In banking sector, the ATM (automated teller machine) transactions are more than 50% of the total e-banking transactions.

Increasing trend of computerizing, networking, and internet helps business and consumers to avail modem with convenience.

Over a decade, Pakistan companies and business community have pumped millions of dollars into IT investments, for procurement of computer hardware, software, and telecommunication equipment from abroad. We can observe this by looking at the impressive growth numbers of Pakistan's economy in general and IT sector's in particular. Business community in Pakistan is investing in their IT department, presumably in the hope of improving their performance, liquidity, profitability, and quality of professional and personal life. The steady adoption of IT has become the source of development of software industry and resulted in unprecedented decline in prices of computer related equipments.

Research and Development harmony is also on increase in scientific organizations. However, there are a very low number of PhD programs due to heavy dependence on foreign scholarships, which left Ph.D. programs in local universities dwarfed and neglected. Everybody wants to have a foreign degree no matter if it may be from countries like Romania and Egypt. At present, Pakistan is producing nearly 50 Ph.D. scholars in science subjects every year, while neighboring country is producing nearly 3000. A report states that only 3500 out of 11000 teachers of 57 public sector universities are Ph.D. while in neighboring India even an Assistant Professor has to have doctorate in philosophy. The report further says that poor higher education during the last 5 decades has drastically affected university and college education. Pakistan is the 6th populated country in the world and at present, only about 3.7% of youth (17-28 yrs) have access to higher education as compared to 68% in Korea of the same age group.

According to survey carried by US National Science Foundation on human resource for Science and Technology in the Asian Region, India is among the six countries (China, India, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan) who are concerned about the adequacy of their supply of scientists and engineers. According to a report published by Pakistan Council of Science and Technology in 1997, the total number of scientists and engineers in the country were around 16,000. There are only 93 people engaged in research per million as compared to 4,100 in Japan.

Following is the list of research and development persons per million population in different countries of the world: Japan (4100), Israel (3722), USA (3687), Germany (2710), France (2060), European Union (2008), India (119), and Pakistan (93).

Pakistan is a country with rich human resources, which constitute the foundation for any major IT and Telecommunication initiative. Its population of more than 170 million includes highly talented people, who have made their mark in various fields, including IT and Telecom. The information technology sector remains a major area of focus for the government, as it plays a key role in the growth of the economy. Today, Pakistan is credited to be one of the fastest growing regions in telecommunications & IT throughout the world.

Pakistan in recent years has made remarkable progress through reforms and the resulting growth of information & communication technology sectors. Pakistan can develop more by investing more money in research development, education, and infrastructure.

In 57 Organization of Islamic Countries, there are 500 universities. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University published record-Academic ranking of world's university and not a single University from Muslim countries was in the top 500. Industrialized countries spend nearly 2.3% of the GDP on R&D, whereas in OIC countries spend only 0.02%. By 2008, 772 individuals and 20 organizations were awarded various Noble Prizes in six different disciplines and some of the countries are: USA (166), UK (112), Germany (94), France (44), Switzerland (25), Russia (21), Canada (19), China (6), Japan (12), Israel (9), India (7), Egypt (4), Pakistan (1), Bangladesh (1), Turkey (1), Iran (1), Palestine (1), Jewish Origin Nationals (53).