President Arif Alvi while addressing the inaugural session of conference said that Pakistan should focus on educating its human resource keeping in view the scope of employment and future needs of the market for taking full advantage of digital revolution.
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) organizes three day 22nd Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 3rd to 5th December 2019 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is “Sustainable Development in a Digital Society”.
President said that Fourth Industrial Revolution has started making information and communication technology an integral part of routine life like never before.
He added In view of gearing up for future challenges the Presidential Initiative for Artificial Intelligence and Computing had been started to train the youth to effectively utilize technology for their personal good as well as for the collective interest of the country’s economy and society.
He mentioned the importance of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare provision, agriculture, and waste reduction in industrial and commercial operations.
The president urged the private sector, universities and independent researchers to bridge the communication gap of policies and implementation to enable Pakistan face the coming revolution confidently. Improve teaching standards to produce the educated people, who were really good for the country’s development.
The president said no one including the governments were powerful enough to undo the challenges of digital age to the society and exemplified the Facebook, which had become influential even more than the governments.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said Ehsaas was a multi-sector and multi-component program encompassing 130 programs and policy initiatives. It was a government-run program with the involvement of 34 federal ministries and departments besides the private sector also contributing in its execution.
She said a digital online education system through mobile phones would be introduced to facilitate the people in far flung areas is part of digital revolution.
she added that the prime minister had recently approved a policy under which 70 million women would be transferred cash assistance through their mobile wallet.
SDPI Executive Director Abid Sulehri said the conference attended by delegates from 18 countries would divulge upon multiple angles of digital age such as financial inclusion, taxation, governance, women entrepreneurship and youth, food security, health, artificial intelligence, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and use of social media in highlighting important issues like the Kashmir crisis.
He mentioned that impact of digital revolution on politics including Twitter diplomacy and possibilities of sudden technological shift into harsh situations would also come under discussion.
SDPI Board of Directors Chairperson Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said about 30 concurrent sessions of the conference would look at how digital technologies were contributing to environmental, economic, cultural and political inclusiveness, and cooperation, besides sharing research and best practices.
Former Board of Investment chairman Haroon Sharif said digitization was a topic relevant to everyday life and required effective policy making addressing its pros and cons.