Syed Aminul Haq, the Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, announced that a partnership has been established with Google to provide 45,000 scholarships, with the aim of increasing the number to 450,000 next year.
According to the state news agency, at least 40 percent of the scholarships from Google will be reserved for women. Minister Haq made this announcement while addressing the Startups for Industries and IT Exports conference held at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) on Friday.
He mentioned that Google had initially offered 15,000 scholarships last year, but the number was increased after consultations. The Minister also highlighted the construction of a building dedicated to gaming and animation at NED University, costing $1.6 million, which aims to further support and nurture this industry’s growth.
The event saw the participation of various notable individuals, including Zubair Chhaya (KATI Vice Patron), Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Nighat Awan (Senior Vice President), Maheen Salman (Chairperson of Standing Committee), Saleem-Uz-zaman (Former President), Masood Naqi, Razzaq Hashim Paracha, Ehtishamuddin, experts from universities, National Incubation Centers, students, teachers, and start-ups.
Minister Aminul Haq further emphasized that the Ministry of Information Technology is working towards a vision for 2050. He highlighted the increase in investment in Pakistan from $75 million in 2020 to $373 million in 2021. Furthermore, he mentioned the Ministry’s efforts in abolishing regulatory duties on mobile devices starting from March 30.
The Federal IT Minister stated that upon assuming his role, he promptly devised a policy for mobile phone manufacturing, leading to the establishment of a mobile phone manufacturing industry within a few months.
Syed Aminul Haq also noted that during his tenure, the number of incubation centers in major cities increased from five to eight in three years. The focus remains on promoting startups, gaming, and animation within the country.
Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, the former chairman of KATI, acknowledged the hard work of entrepreneurs and startups, emphasizing that huge investments are no longer necessary for startups. He stressed the importance of research and development in the IT sector and praised the valuable contributions made by startups to the industry.
Zubair Chhaya, Deputy Patron of KATI, welcomed the increase in Pakistan’s IT exports, which rose from $1 billion to $2.6 billion by the end of the last fiscal year. He also highlighted that neighboring countries recorded exports of $149 billion during the same period.