The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan and Huawei Technologies held the closing ceremony of HEC-Huawei ICT Skill Competition 2017 here at the Commission Secretariat. The ceremony marked the announcement of winners of the national round of competition.
As many as 7000 students from around 50 Pakistani universities registered themselves for the competition; however 3000 students participated in the first round. One hundred and fifty students appeared in the national round. Six Pakistani students including Ayaz Ahmed, University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore; Malik Noor Muhammad, National University of Sciences & Technology, Islamabad; Mr. Shahid, Lahore Garrison University; Shamim Iqbal, Virtual University; Zubair Malik, UET, Lahore; and Fatima Rashid, UET, Lahore won the national competition. The winners have qualified for Final Huawei Middle East ICT Competition to be held in China.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Interior Minister was chief guest and Mr. Yao Jiang, Ambassador-Designate of China to Pakistan was the guest of honour on the occasion. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC, Mr. Xua Man, Vice President Huawei Middle East, Vice Chancellors, faculty members and a large number of students were also present.
Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said the world has entered the fourth industrial revolution based on digital technologies. “We have to embrace this revolution and prepare our youth to keep pace with the world,” he added. He observed that no country can make progress without scientific and technological development. He underlined that the Government is committed to digital empowerment of Pakistani youth and, for this purpose, various remarkable initiatives have been taken. He informed the audience that Pakistan is set to adopt 5G technology as soon as it is launched.
Referring to Pakistan Vision 2025, the Minister said the Government is determined to bring Pakistan in 25 major economies of the world by 2025. He underscored the importance of economic development for overall progress of a country. “The 21st century is about evolving economic ideologies instead of political ideologies, as development of a nation hinges upon its economic progress,” he maintained. He stressed the need for peace, political stability and continuity of policies in order to live up to the targets set under Vision 2025. He sustained that achievements of Pakistani youth need to be highlighted to project a soft image of the country.
Comparing Pakistan with other countries, he emphasized the need for focus on promotion of higher education and innovations in the country. He said the country needs scientists, scholars and technologies, adding that the 21st century is the century of competitions. He said the Government has launched Pak-US Knowledge Corridor, Pak-UK Knowledge Gateway and a number of academic programs with the cooperation of HEC to realize the dream of making Pakistan a knowledge economy.
Describing background of HEC-Huawei strategic partnership, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said the bilateral collaboration that started in 2006 helped Pakistan have its own ICT setup. “Now we have one of the best ICT infrastructures of the region,” he affirmed. He said Huawei has taken different ICT initiatives jointly with HEC including establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN), ICT R&D Centre and Cloud Data Centre. He maintained that HEC is executing the Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme in letter and spirit and ‘Laptop for All’ program is also on the cards.
Congratulating the winners of Huawei ICT Skill Competition 2017, he said, “it is heartening that the score of Pakistani students has reached 99 as compared to average scores in the competitions in other countries.” He said 10 years of HEC and Huawei partnership have witnessed enhanced collaborative endeavors aimed at the technological empowerment of youth. He said the Smart University Project will encompass the entire country in the next one and a half year, adding that Smart Classroom Project is also making rapid progress. He revealed that academia has a vital role in the socio-economic development of a country.
In his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador-designate said the global economy depends upon development of ICT. This is why, he added, the development of ICT is a pivotal element of nations life. He admired the students who have won the competition and wished them good luck in the final competition in China. He said Pakistan and China enjoy cordial relations and the two countries are committed to working together to cope with future challenges.