Islamabad August 18 2023: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology, Telecommunication, Science & Technology Dr Umar Saif on Friday expressed his commitment to propel the IT exports beyond $10 billion and lead a nationwide digitalization effort.
Addressing the ministry officers after assuming the charge, he said,” My priorities are to fully implement the Digital Pakistan Vision and further promoting the of IT (information technology) & telecommunication sectors. We will take all the stakeholders on board in this regard.”
The minister said increase in the ICT exports could help stabilise the economy and in the provision of decent employments to skilled people, as well as the desire to fully digitize all the government and semi-government departments, and organizations of the country.
Earlier on his arrival at the ministry, Dr Umar Saif, who took oath as minister on Thursday, was received by Secretary IT Navid Ahmed Shaikh along with other senior officers. He was introduced to all the officers and staff of the ministry. Later he was given a detailed briefing about the completed, ongoing, and future projects of the IT Ministry.
Dr Umar Saif said as per the Constitution of Pakistan, the responsibilities and powers of the caretaker government were limited, as its main objective was to conduct free, fair and impartial general elections. However, monitoring and taking care of the important ministerial affairs were also necessary during the period, he added.
Dr Umar Saif is a very well-reputed and known figure in the world of ICT. He is the first Pakistani to receive a PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge University at the age of 23. He is also graduated from the School of Executive Education on Global Leadership and Public Policy.
The IT minister has an extensive experience in academia, management, consulting, and entrepreneurship in the field of IT.
He has served in several important positions in the country’s IT sector. He has also served as Chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University.
In 2014, he was awarded Sitara Imtiaz, one of the highest civilian awards of Pakistan, in recognition of his outstanding services for the country. He is the first Pakistani to be included in the World’s Top 35 Young Innovators (TR35) in 2011 by MIT Technology Review. He is also the first Pakistani to receive the Google Faculty Research Award in 2011.
He was also selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. Dr Saif received the MIT Technovator Award in 2008, Mark Weiser Award in 2008, IDG CIO Technology Pioneer Award in 2008 and Digital Award from Microsoft Research in 2006. His research papers have received best paper awards at ACM CHI 2013 and IEEE Perco in 2008 and many other international awards.