PILDAT holds dialogue on ‘Technology for Better Governance in Pakistan and India’

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ISLAMABAD, March 7 (APP): The eleventh round of Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue facilitated by PILDAT was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The dialogue focused on the theme of sharing of lessons on “Technology for Better Governance in Pakistan and India”, a press release received here said.
Prominent Pakistani Parliamentarians and experts who participated in the dialogue were Tallal Chaudhry, MNA, PML-N, Dr. Arif Alvi, MNA, PTI, Dr. Murad Rass, MPA Punjab Assembly, PTI, Ms. Azma Bukhari, MPA Punjab Assembly, PML-N, Ayesha Javed, MPA-Punjab Assembly, PML-N, Nabila Hakim Ali, MPA Punjab Assembly, PTI, Mian Mahmood ur Rashid, Leader of the Opposition/MPA Punjab Assembly, PTI, Mahtab Rashdi, MPA Sindh Assembly, PML-F, Syeda Shaila Raza, Deputy Speaker/MPA-Sindh Assembly, PPPP, Dr. Umar Saif, Advisor to Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan/Chairman, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Ali Mazhar, Joint Director (E-Stamping), PITB.
Those who participated in the dialogue included the members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies of Punjab and Sindh alongside experts and media representatives from Pakistan who joined Members of the Indian Parliament from Assam, Haryana and Karnataka and State Legislatures of Delhi and Gujarat besides experts and media representatives from India.
Participants underscored that technology has immense potential to improve governance in Pakistan and India.
They recognised that while tremendous strides have been made across Pakistan and India in using technology for improved governance, there exists a lot of room for sharing of good practices between the two countries.
The participants asserted that while use of technology by governments provided a critical platform to improve the quality of life of citizens, governments must do so while maintaining the security of data and privacy of citizens.
The participants underscored that real changes in structures of governance to guard against corruption and other systemic ills must accompany and complement the use of technology to improve governance.
The participants recommended that governments must seek regular feedback from citizens to assess the real impact of technology in improving governance.
While technology is helping citizens with ease of access to services, one of its key challenges is to engage citizens, especially the youth, as active participants in governance and public policy issues.
The governments must actively encourage individuals, businesses and NGOs to come up with initiatives and interfaces that improve administration and service delivery.
The participants believed that tremendous opportunity for exchange and sharing of information exists between Pakistan and India on a variety of technology-enabled initiatives such as India Stack and Pakistan Stack of particular interest are the models of Benazir Income Support Programme, monitoring of immunisation programmes, Aadhaar authentication (Unique ID), e-procurement, smart cities, e-cloud for citizens, land record management and unified payment interface.
Setting up a knowledge portal between the two countries can be extremely useful in this regard.
Another area of priority for the two countries is to provide necessary and uniform improvements to support technological governance.
Each country has good use of technology implemented in different regions which must be extended nationwide.
Exchange of good practices in this area will also enable the two countries to address the challenges of digital divide in both countries.
The participants resolved to use their abilities and reach within governments, legislatures and media to project the content and recommendations for action as given in the joint statement.