LAHORE: The Punjab government on Monday launched a Web 3.0 portal to become the first province in the country to introduce the third generation of the World Wide Web.

A special web portal (web3.punjab.gov.pk) was launched for the registration of Web 3.0 contributors including researchers, scientists and IT industry experts. National and international companies working with Web 3.0 technology will also be able to submit their valuable feedback through the portal.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi constituted a committee on the adoption of Web 3.0 in the province led by Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari and Punjab Information Technology (IT) Minister Dr Arslan Khalid held its meeting at Arfa Software Technology Park.

The world is moving towards the third generation of the web i.e. Web 3.0.

It started with web 1.0 (1990–2004) which is referred to as “read-only Web”, web 2.0 (2005-2014) referred to as “participative social” and web 3.0 (2015-onward) as “read, write, execute Web”. Web 3.0 is the third iteration of the internet that combines a bouquet of disruptive technologies such as Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Cloud, Edge, Internet of Things, Geolocation tech & 5G etc. It runs on an AI-based analytics layer for data-driven insights. The underlying Blockchain technology enables trust and provides the next level of data security. In short, Web 1.0 introduced a new platform for digital content, and Web 2.0 gave us user-driven content & feedback, Web 3.0 represents more personalized content backed by most modern technologies.

The features of Web 3.0 would help create a faster, richer, more secure, and more robust internet. This would transform the way we engage in the digital world in the following ways: Eliminating middlemen and intermediaries: Web 3.0 will enable us to interact with any individual or machine in the world, without having to pass through fee-charging middlemen. Societies can become more efficient in reducing rent-seeking third parties, and returning this value directly back to the users and suppliers in a network. This shift could enable a whole new wave of previously unimaginable businesses and business models.

Mr Leghari said the complete adoption of Web 3.0 would create jobs leading to economic growth and a rise in GDP.

“Tourism, education, government services, retail and real estate will be the main beneficiaries of the new technology,” he added.

Punjab IT Minister Dr Khalid remarked that the technologies like Blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. are the backbone of Web 3.0 and afford more personalization and security to internet users around the globe. “Adoption of Web 3.0 in the province will facilitate more interactivity between different users and websites enabling them to access content from multiple sources at the same time, without having to leave the website they are surfing at any point in time,” he said.

PITB Chairman Mr Haider was very optimistic about the development and stated, “Web 3.0 will enable PITB to buy lounges in Metaverse to hold meetings/sign agreements. Citizens would be able to use Metaverse to interact with the government.”

He added that with the support of the SBP in adopting the Web 3.0 ecosystem, payments could also be made in the form of NFTs.

PITB DG e-Governance Sajid Latif gave a comprehensive presentation on TORs, the constitution of sub-committees, a proposal for the addition of co-opted members, a tentative roadmap and a brief introduction to the Web 3.0 portal.

Under Web 3.0, avenues in ‘new economy, ‘tech R&D’ will be explored and a pool of new talent will be created that can be part of the Web 3.0 ecosystem.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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