PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government through Science & Technology and Information Technology Department has signed agreements with the various institutions/ organizations for five important Information Technology initiatives based projects including Establishment of Citizen Facilitation Centres, Nano Degree Program for imparting digital skills to the youth, Paperless Government Program, Establishment of Digital City Haripur and Science & Technology Museum Mardan.
These projects would be completed at a total estimated cost of Rs.6 billion. The step is an important development towards digital transformation in the province.
The contract signing ceremony was held here on Wednesday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan as chief guest whereas provincial cabinet members Muhammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakai, Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Anwar Zeb, Akbar Ayub, Mohibullah, Chief Secretary Dr. Shehzad Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, representatives from concerned partner organizations and officials of concerned departments attended the ceremony.
In order to establish Citizen Facilitation Centres in the province, an agreement was signed with NADRA through which Citizen Facilitation Centres would be established at seven divisional headquarters of the province in the first phase and extended to other districts in the next phase. This project would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.1 billion aimed at providing various civic facilities to citizens under one roof. The citizens would also get those services through web portal and mobile app as well.
The second agreement was signed with Udacity, a renowned organization to launch a Nano degree program to impart digital skills to the youth. This would be the first ever and unique program of its kind in Pakistan under which Nano Degrees would be provided to 400 youth of the province. A digital economy and skills centre would be established at Mardan for the purpose.
In the ceremony, an agreement has also been signed with NETSOL to implement the Paperless Government Program of the provincial government. The Paperless Government Program is a major step towards Digital Governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a first of its kind in Pakistan. Under the project, extensive business process review has already been carried out and 170 processes of all 32 administrative departments have been identified for digitization.
A Document Workflow Management System will be developed to make the communication and the file system exchanged with the government departments and among departments paperless. The implementation of this project will certainly ensure transparency; improve efficiency and accountability in the provincial departments.
Similarly, an agreement was signed with NLC for establishing Pakistan Digital City as the first special technology zone of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the first purpose built STZs of Pakistan. The digital city would be established in Haripur spanning an area of 87 Kanal which would create more than 20,000 direct, indirect and induced high-tech jobs in the province.
The aim of establishing the Digital City is to facilitate IT industries, promote business of ICTs and software companies, encourage innovations and entrepreneurship and to capitalize on the immense job creations potential of ICTs. The important technologies to be transferred immediately and introduced under the program include high-tech manufacturing, artificial intelligence, Quantum Computing, Cyber Physical System and Cyber Security.
In order to promote Science, Technology and Innovation in the province, an agreement was signed with GSK to establish Science & Technology Museum in Mardan which will serve as catalyst to promote Science & Technology and provide further exposure and knowledge to the society through diverse channels. The Museum would be established at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 billion which will function to promote interest in Scientific learning and be engaged in the creative process to nurture the next generation of scientists in the province. This would also prove to be a milestone towards knowledge based economy in the province.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister said that the provincial government has taken many initiatives including the E-Summary System pertaining to E-Governance focusing extensively on using ICT for the efficient delivery of services. “We will convert the PTI chairman’s vision regarding Digital Pakistan into reality through Digital Transformation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, he said and added that in accordance with the vision of Digital Pakistan, the provincial government was going all out to facilitate the citizens and set a standardized foundation for transparency, efficiency and corruption free quality services delivery.
He said that Citizens Facilitation Centres, Pakistan Digital City and other initiatives envisioned the Digital Transformation to improve the citizen’s quality of life and economic wellbeing by ensuring the availability of modern, affordable and reliable digital services.