THE subject of digital Pakistan has been receiving constant attention in the media after its inauguration by the prime minister on Dec 5.
The head of Digital Pakistan, Tania Aidrus, who was later also notified as special assistant to the prime minister has time and again tried to dispel the negative perceptions about DP through electronic and social media. However there seem to be elements who are trying to create negative perception and controversies about the initiative.
I was overwhelmed by a TV show in which the anchor invited Ms Airdrus and put very pertinent questions to her in a polite manner. The show gave her the opportunity to explain the achievement of DP in detail which was necessary for the public’s understanding. The fact remains that we are a country of over 200 million people but have lagged behind in digital technology.
I suggest that the achievements of DP should be frequently highlighted on the media to dispel the negative perception publicized by its detratctors.
Once again hats off to Ms Aidrus for sacrificing her career in Google and embarking on this difficult but noble cause of helping her country in digitisation.
THE government’s innovation for a digital Pakistan is without any doubt very substantial — encircling infrastructure, e-governance, fin-tech, digital skills, training, innovation and entrepreneurship. A horde of mobile applications for assistance of citizens have also been launched in this regard.
The digitisation will help in providing jobs to youth and stimulate their creative abilities. But how many of us are actually able to take advantage of such ventures?
The answer is quite depressing, as people are unaware or illiterate in this regard especially unfamiliar to digital media. For example, the beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme continue to be taken advantage of by middlemen who exploit their illiteracy.
I believe that the government should focus on providing digital media education to the masses by either developing online forums, seminars, workshops or by making it a part of the curriculum from primary classes. More learning portals like DigiSkills would help in this regard, or give hands on trainings through National Vocational and Technical Training Commission programmes. It is only then that the country will truly reap the benefits of the digital era.
Zara Adalat Raja
Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2020