ISLAMABAD-President Dr. Arif Alvi said on Wednesday that educational institutions should pay special attention to the IT education for enabling the country jump the bandwagon of digitization and cyber security for creating job opportunities and meet future challenges.

Addressing International Virtual Conference on Digitalization and Cyber Security organized by Virtual University of Pakistan, the President said there had been tremendous demand of IT graduates in the world and Pakistan, being a youthful country, could fill the gap.

The moot was also addressed by Minister for IT and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq, Secretary IT Shoaib Siddiqui and Rector Virtual University besides IT experts from Pakistan and abroad who deliberated on the modern challenges related to the digitization and cyber security.

President Alvi said Pakistan was arising in the field of IT and it was lucky to have a close collaboration between government and the private sector with both contributing to produce human resource through quality education providing them opportunities in the competitive world.

He said being non-resident sector, the IT sector had also created ample opportunities even for the women to work from home and earn revenue.

The President said though the COVID-19 pandemic had created immense loss to the lives and economies, it has simultaneously dragged the world into a virtual domain creating immense opportunities for Pakistan and many other countries.

Highlighting the modern trends in the field of IT like faster communication, exponentially increased data storage, use of artificial intelligence and modern research in medical and drug, Dr. Arif Alvi said all the modern developments were linked to each other.

“Once we have all these pathways and roads going to everywhere, there is an issue of security those pathways. Imagine there were two incidents of plane crash related to software. Imagine these softwares can be hijacked in all fields. We have seen happening this in hospitals and these matters are very important as far as governments are concerned,” the president remarked.

He said with the improvement of communication technology, there was a need to secure data. He said Pakistan was efficiently protecting its tremendous data related to NADRA, health and telecom sector against the cyber criminals.

The President said that risks involved in the hijacking of security were tremendous which could lead to wars. 

“Cyber espionage and cyber attacks are already happening. There is phobia already building up in the world. Apps are being restricted, are being forced to be sold to reliable handlers… The governments are suspecting other governments for being involved in cyber espionage,” he said.

He said taking advantage of numerous opportunities in health and IT sectors, the country could achieve excellence and serve the world too.  

President Alvi said as Pakistan had successfully handled the COVID-19 pandemic, the efficiency achieved to handle it through technology and educational programmes should be translated in the post-COIVD situation.

The President also called for using capabilities achieved during anti-COVID efforts to impart education and prevention of diseases.