Caretaker Govt Introducing ‘Contract-Based Smartphones Policy’: Minister

Fri Dec 29 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Caretaker IT and Telecommunication Minister Dr. Umar Saif announced on Friday that his ministry, in coordination with telecom stakeholders, will launch a ‘Contract-based Smartphone Policy’ starting January 15, 2024.

This initiative aims to provide people traveling abroad with the latest model phones through easy installment plans, contributing to the economy.

Talking to a private news channel, Dr. Saif emphasized encouraging responsible financial behavior and ensuring the continued expansion of smartphone accessibility. To protect investors from defaults, he suggested measures such as blocking mobile phones and potentially national identity cards of defaulters.

Under this policy, telecom companies can offer smartphones directly to customers through installment plans, particularly benefiting low-income segments in Pakistan and expanding the advantages of mobile broadband.

In response to another question, Dr. Saif announced that from January 7 to 10, his ministry will introduce ‘Standardized Quality Measurement Tests’ across universities in Pakistan to enhance job opportunities for fresh graduates.

In collaboration with various entities, the ministry has made significant decisions to revamp IT education, including partnerships with HEC, the National Computing Accreditation Council, the Examination Testing Council, the Pakistan Software Export Board, and the Pakistan Software Houses Association.

Explaining the program further, Dr. Saif mentioned that students nationwide, numbering between 20,000 to 25,000, who pass the standardized tests will be offered job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program. Funds will be allocated to support special industry courses in universities, preparing students for current industry trends and needs, and increasing trained human resources in the industrial sector.

Dr. Saif underscored the importance of aligning educational institutions with industry requirements and facilitating industry-specific training for human resources. He urged universities to take swift action in introducing high-quality courses in entrepreneurship and exports to further contribute to the country’s economy. —APP

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