ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) this year will encourage development of incubators to help entrepreneurs set up and promote their information technology businesses. According to official sources, PSEB will work on projects of human resource development, IT industry development, e-government and infrastructure development.

Under Internship Phase-III programme run by Pakistan Software Export Board, fresh graduates will be groomed by engaging them with software companies so that they can acquire practical skills required by the IT industry.

While under the National ICT Scholarship programme, the target this year is to provide about 400 students with scholarships for 4-year Bachelor’s degree programme in various national universities.

With the help of Software Board, the government has set up Software Technology Parks which may be treated as Tax Free Zones so that they can act as a hub for value-added activities such as multimedia content, animation, computer games and knowledge creation.

In Pakistan, overall IT exports have been consistently low in terms of value as compared to many other countries.

For example, IT exports of Korea were US$ 158.8 billion, Ireland’s exports are expected to reach US$69 billion and India’s IT exports are projected to be US$ 72 billion approximately in year 2013-14. Job creation in ICT sector costs much less as compared to traditional sectors. This has been proven by Turkey, which is an example in this case. In the PSDP 2013-14, an amount of Rs 2.3 billion has been earmarked for IT sector against 37 projects costing Rs. 16.3 billion. In PSDP 2013-14, emphasis on improving the IT infrastructure will continue so that more international IT companies are attracted to undertake business in Pakistan alongside the domestic IT companies.

In this regard, some of the important projects included in PSDP 2013-14 are: Establishment of Pakistan Urdu Internet Registry that will facilitate in developing websites with domain names in Urdu and thus provide a foundation for availability of websites and web content in the national language thus increasing the internet users in Pakistan.

Center of Excellence in Advanced Software Technologies and Open Source will be established to increase the use of open source software technologies within the country. E-governance projects will continue to be the center-piece of information technology initiative. The major e-government projects in 2013-14 include establishment of Federal Government Data Center which envisages to provide physical infrastructure facility for hosting the applications and data services for the public sector at the federal government level.

National Response Center for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) Phase-II plans to establish new forensic facilities at Peshawar and Quetta and disseminate information to make public aware about the cyber crimes and how it can help them.