Digital signature ensuring online transactions security


ISLAMABAD (APP): Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) is providing more reliable and secured digital system to public through Digital Signature Certificate system under vision of `Digital Pakistan.' The Digital Signature Certificate authenticates identity electronically and provides people a high level of security for online transactions by ensuring absolute privacy of information exchanged using a digital certificate. Highlighting the role and benefits of Digital Signature Certificate System, Deputy Director ECAC, Wajahat Khan on Sunday said Pakistan has been experiencing a challenge to make electronic transactions on a national and international level more secure, more reliable and worldwide acceptable. He said digital transformation is need of the hour, demand for digital transformation is forcing companies, departments and people to change their business/working models and adapt to new market reality. Wajahat Khan said any organization providing e-services to public comes under regulatory framework of ECAC.

 therefore, any organization providing such services are directed to get themselves accredited by Electronic Certification and Accreditation Council (ECAC).

The certificates issued by service providers are the only digital one (certificates) accepted by courts of law, he added.

The ECAC official said, the Council, being fully functional regulatory body has enforcement powers to regulate electronic transactions in public and private sectors and mandated to grant accreditation to approved crypto apparatus and accreditation to any Certificate Service Providers who intends to work as an Accredited Service Provider.

ECAC has accredited National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) and NIFT has been issuing certificates to various banks for purpose of confirming authenticity or integrity or both, of information contained therein, of an electronic document or of an electronic signature in respect of which it is issued.

Replying to a question, he said ECAC has enforcement powers to regulate Electronic transactions in public and private sectors and to provide accreditation of certification service providers.



Sino-Pak biotechnology lab opens


MULTAN (APP): Sino-Pak Agri-Biotechnology Lab introduced at Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) in collaboration with Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences (CAAS) Beijing, has started research process on preparation of top quality cotton genes. The modern lab was established recently, at a cost of Rs 40 million, and for this purpose China assisted Rs 20 million, said Director Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC)-MNSUA, Dr Zulfiqar while talking to APP. However, half of the amount for establishment of the Lab was shared itself by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture. About the objective of building Sino-Pak Agri Biotechnology Lab, Dr Zulfiqar informed that the Lab was introduced to develop top quality cotton genes which could help to counter threat of Pink Bollworms, White Fly and develop virus resistant and heat tolerant cotton varieties. Under the joint venture, a group of Chinese had visited the Lab and shared their expertise, few months back.

Similarly, Pakistani cotton scientists also found opportunities to travel China for grooming their research skills. He further informed that Chinese cotton scientists would visit MNSUA to attended Cotton Conference, scheduled on November 27-28, 2018. Head of Bio Technology Research Institute Beijing Professor Dr Zhang Rui was ensuring complete cooperation to enhance research activities between the both friendly countries.

To a question about what sort of research would be conducted at Sino Pak Agri Biotechnology Lab, the Director ORIC added that it would develop new genes, cloning of the genes, testing of genes, reaction of genes towards friendly pests and some other technical aspects of research would be assessed in the modern lab.



60,331 get training under Digiskills programme


ISLAMABAD (APP): Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications has enrolled 60,331 persons out of 64,332 registered trainees in first batch of `Digiskills Programme,' launched to provide opportunity to gain marketable digital skills. The digital skills can transform them into successful freelancers, employees and entrepreneurs. Official sources on Monday said this programme is also aimed at equipping our youth, freelancers, students, professionals, etc. with knowledge, skills, tools and techniques necessary to seize the opportunities available in online job market places. "Our educated youth, women and others are an immense and mostly untapped resource. This programme realizes that potential so that individuals and their community may reap the benefits and ultimately growth will be represented in a flourishing national economy," the sources said. The sources said first batch of trainees has already been started from August 1 and training courses are available at a user-friendly web portal.

 amid a comprehensive online Learning Management System at all times.

An online mechanism has also been developed to engage trainees and track their performance through intelligent assessment, the sources added.

They said courses are designed by local industry leaders and experts in collaboration with online learning veterans at Virtual University while other execution partners include MCOM and Semiotics. There are a total of seven batches planned under the programme, the first batch is offering courses in Freelancing,

Digital Marketing, e-Commerce Management and Digital Literacy. The upcoming courses include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), AutoCAD, WordPress, QuickBooks, Graphics Design and Creative

Writing. The enrollment for courses under second Batch will start from November 1 this year and training classes for the purpose will commence a month before (December 1, 2018).

Around one million people are planned to be trained under this large scale national training Programme, using technology and comprising seven batches. It merits mentioned here that Pakistan, being fourth largest provider of online freelancers in the world, is earning around $ 500 million to $ 1.3 billion annually as number of online freelancers is increasing with every passing month.

Millions of individuals around the world are tapping into opportunity and earning money while working from comfort of their homes. The digital skills industry, often referred to as online outsourcing, is expected to generate gross service revenue between $ 15 billion and $ 25 billion by 2020.

Most of the work done is for international clients, therefore, money earned by them is brought into the country, mainly as foreign remittances.



River Indus in low flood: FFC


ISLAMABAD (APP): The Federal Flood Commission (FFC) has said that River Indus with rising trend in Kalabagh-Chashma Reach is flowing in low flood while all other main rivers including Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej are flowing normal. According to daily flood situation, FFC report on Sunday, the actual river flows and reservoir elevations indicates that Tarbela Dam has attained its Maximum Conservation Level (MCL) of 1550 feet. Mangla reservoir elevations on the other hand is still 1174.7 feet which 67.3 feet below its MCL of 1242 feet. The combined live storage is 9.074 MAF which is 66.33 percent compared to the existing combined live storage capacity of 13.681 MAF. According to FFD, Lahore, at present Weak Seasonal Low persists over Northern Balochistan and is a source of moist currents which are penetrating into upper parts of Pakistan upto 3000 feet. A fresh Monsoon Low has developed over Northwestern Bay of Bengal (India), it mentioned.  It further added that yesterday yesterday's trough of Westerly Wave over Northeastern Afghanistan today lies over Northern parts of Pakistan.

The FFD, Lahore has predicted scattered thunderstorm and rain with moderate falls at isolated places over upper catchments of Rivers Jhelum Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej besides over Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Gujranwala Divisions of Punjab and also Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar Divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the next 24 hours.

Isolated thunderstorm and rain may also occur over the upper catchment of River Indus besides Lahore and D.G. Khan Divisions of Punjab, Bannu and Kohat Divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the same period, the report said.

The reported further stated that during the next 48 hours wet spell is likely to decrease.