Innovation a fundamental driver to achieve prosperity: Ahsan Iqbal

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APP23-11 ISLAMABAD: December 11 - Interior Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal in a group photograph during inauguration ceremony of five-day International Trans-Eurasia Information Network Annual NOC Workshop 2017 in collaboration with Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) at the Commission Secretariat. APP photo by Irfan Mahmood

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP):Minister for Interior, Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said creativity and innovation were fundamental drivers of progress and no country could afford to ignore them.
“We are living in a very competitive world and being categorized as least efficient innovator, which is a very serious challenge,” he said this while addressing an International Annual Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TIEN) NOC Workshop-2017 here at Higher Education Commission Auditorium.
The workshop, being held from December 11-15, is organized by Pakistan Education & Research Network (PERN) in collaboration with Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) in order to enhance skills of network engineers and network security capabilities staff.
The workshop is being attended by participants from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Ahsan Iqbal, who is also Minister for Planning Development and Reforms said, this is a century of innovations and only those nations are progressing well who have equipped themselves with weapons of knowledge and technology.
He said standards of development had changed and now the development of a country depended upon a few things. “We need to enhance our production capacity and improve our standard continuously. We need to introduce knowledge and information revolution in the country and introduce innovations in all sectors,” he said.
The Minister said Pakistan has huge potential to get place among top 10 economies of the world for which “We need to conduct research on modern technology.”
He said after successful launch of 3G and 4G technology, the government plans to test 5G services in the country soon.
The government, he said, is establishing centres of excellence for artificial intelligence, cyber security, big data, cloud computing and robots.
He said that digital Pakistan was aimed at equipping the young generation with modern technology to ensure its effective usage and added that with the provision of 3G and 4G, Pakistan has become the fourth largest freelancing country.
He said many other countries expressed their interest in becoming part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a sign of great change.
“We must put Pakistan on the road to wealth with the help of all areas and segments of the country,” the Minister said. However, it is only possible when we have competitiveness.
In his brief address, Chairman HEC, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, emphasized the need for promotion of constructive sciences, which lead to welfare of mankind. “Let’s work together for the well-being of humanity,” he underlined.
He appreciated the present government for approving the highest number of projects in higher education by doubling HEC budget during last few years. On the occasion, Director APAN, Nimal Ratnayke said Asia Pacific Advanced Network coordinates activities related to network technologies, services, and applications among its members and with its peer international organisations.
APAN is also a key driver in promoting and facilitating network-enabled research and education activities. These include research collaboration, knowledge discovery and sharing, tele-health and natural disaster mitigation.
On the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal inaugurated Events Registration Portal of HEC to provide updates regarding different events. A large number of Information Technology experts and students attended the inaugural ceremony.