ISLAMABAD (APP) - Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira Sunday emphasized the need for utilizing talents of youth in order to make the country self-reliant in all fields. He said the talent of our youth is in no way less than that of other countries but the need is to provide them an appropriate platform to show their potential. The Minister said while addressing the closing ceremony of a two-day 8th All Pakistan National Software Competition 2009 (NasCon-09) organised here by National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU). Qamar Zaman Kaira said, Pakistan is facing challenges and the main threat to our country is extremism and terrorism which we have to fight to ensure peace and development in our country. He said our country has great potential in the fields of business, science and technology and added we can do wonders for our economy and make our country self-reliant by utilizing the potential the youth and implementing suitable policies to promote the development of the upcoming fields. He said Pakistani scientists have proved that they are the best in the world and have knowledge, expertise and experience in research to do what scientists of the most advanced countries can do. We should modernise our economic, trade, and business enterprises so that the entrepreneurs are able to timely anticipate and promptly react to external and internal changes, the Minister said. He said such type of events offer a wide variety of fields for excelling students to test their skills and help bring out the confidence, innovative nature, competitive spirit and polish hidden skills which might have gone unnoticed otherwise. Such events and competitions also encourage the youth and are especially helpful to accomplish our desire to act as more dependable, respectable, technically developed and self-sufficient nation of the 21st century, he added. He congratulated the faculty and students for successfully organizing the NASCON and hoped the present event will ensure that young scientists and software engineers are up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in their respective fields. Qamar Zaman Kaira said the distinguishing feature of this event is also that industry professionals are invited as judges to evaluate and advise on the projects developed by the university students. This will greatly help strengthen the bonds of interaction between the university and the industry for a more relevant, useful, and updated interaction. On the occasion, Rector of FAST University, Dr. Amir Muhammad said essentially this event provides the corporate sector an opportunity to judge how endowed and competitive the upcoming generation is, managing to attract them by setting higher goals. He said research and development is the area which has not really been the focus of our national priorities. He said FAST-NU is focussing on applied research which can make a significant difference to our national productivity. He said NasCon-09 comprised various creative, technological, and business competitions at all-Pakistan level which included competitions in engineering, information technology, business and multimedia. The competitions included Robotics, Hardware Projects, Engineering Problem Solving, Dynamic Programming, Software Projects, Computer Graphics, Business Plan, Harvard Case Simulation, Declamation Competition, Quiz and Music/Video. More than 40 prestigious universities and institutes from all over Pakistan participated in this IT, Engineering and Business extravaganza. Dean, Dr. Ayub Alvi, in his address said NaSCon has now become a part of the traditions of this university. This year, more than 600 students from different universities from all over the country have taken part in this years exhibition and competition. Associate Dean Dr. Waseem Ikram, Dr. Mazhar Hussain and Professor Arif Khattak were also present on the occasion. Later, Qamar Zaman Kaira gave away the prizes to the winners.The Rector presented shield to the chief guest.