Balochistan: opportunities in the IT sector

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Naseebullah Khan
The Digital policy, 2021 by the government of Balochistan envisages to provide internet facilities in all districts and villages of the province, to encourage digital economy, to ensure digital technology in all government institutions for service delivery, to create new jobs in the IT industry, to support digital literacy in all levels of schools, to provide Information technology training to the youth, t attract private sector in IT industry, to create a digital hub for the promotion of IT companies, to establish software technology parks (STPs) along with IT parks, to allocate a minimum 5 percent of the budget for IT and e_governance, and to ensure laws about cyber security.The same ambitions were highlighted in the Draft of information technology policy 2008 of the government of Balochistan. But at present, the major points with their implementation of the 2021 policy and draft of 2008 are confined to papers only. Although some ITTC, ITTI, training centres, some CCTV surveillance systems have been installed still a long way to go. Neither ample budget allocation has been provided nor the fundamentals of the plan have been accommodated. At present 60 pc area of the province has no internet facility. Whereas in the top ten districts of Pakistan which are lacking with the highest susceptibility scores, seven are in Balochistan. 1.3 percent of libraries in schools have IT facilities. A huge digital divide has a leg behind the IT industry. The 2021 policy lacks focusing on artificial intelligence, automation, and robotic system. Balochistan is a big market for mobile phones and computers. According to PTA 19.13, pc people in the province use internet mobile. Every basic accessory even a chip of computer and a Mike of mobile is imported from other provinces. Moreover, the IT industry can provide huge employment to the people in the private sector. For this, provided that, the government initiates small-scale training programs for the common people of the province concerning hardware of mobile and computer. Unfortunately, this lacks. This doesn’t need long-term planning, even a one-year training monthly throughout the province will be more than enough. Apart from this, the same programs can be started at schools, colleges, and even in Universities. This will provide skills to the students, who can even start their small business after completing their studies. If they don’t get the job, as we have seen in the province where 27000 students graduate annually, but only 2 thousand get jobs.Unfortunately, these are missing in the policy and even are not in the priority. At a time when the world is occupying space through innovation and technology, the people of the marginalized Balochistan are living in the Medieval ages