The Government of Balochistan, and world’s second largest IT firm Oracle Systems, signed an MOU for imparting advanced international level training to the Information Technology (IT) Professionals of Balochistan Province in Islamabd Thursday.
The MoU signing was witnessed by the Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, and His Excellency, Ambassador Richard Olson, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Pakistan. The PDWP of P&D Department, Government of Balochistan, has already approved the project worth $ 1 million (Rs 10 crore) and funds have been earmarked for speedy execution of the project in the Current Fiscal Year. The MOU was signed by the Director General for Information Technology Mr. Khalid Sherdil and the Managing Director of Oracle Ahsen Jawed. Chief Secretary Balochistan Saif Ullah Chatha was also present at the occasion.
It is noteworthy that in October 2014, Ambassador Richard Olson had personally led an IT Trade Mission from Pakistan to the United States to promote bilateral collaboration in IT sector between the two countries. Consequently, the Balochistan Government embarked upon a Human Resource Development strategy to impart state of the art training in various fields to its professionals. The USA Ambassador ensured full commitment of his country towards the development of Human Resources in the province.
In existing program, International Certifications in Oracle Database, Java Enterprise programming, and Cisco Networking, would be awarded to qualified persons. Oracle and Cisco Systems would set up state of the art teaching labs in Quetta to train 800 students in 44 batches in the first phase, through National and International visiting trainers. The project would be expanded to other districts of Balochistan, whereby 2,400 students would be trained in subsequent phases in collaboration with the public and private Universities. Oracle University would conduct examination of the students and award its Diplomas, followed by independent Prometric testing for International Certification.
Project compensates all the testing costs of passing-students, and also commits free laptops for students graduating with honors. Upon passing of exam and after ensuring biometric based attendance throughout the course, qualified students would also be given a stipend of Rs. 5,000. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, Oracle and Cisco would also provide free of charge technical capacity building to Balochistan Government employees.
Balochistan has earmarked around 5% of its PSDP budget towards the development of IT in the province, largest such contribution amongst any province. Under the visionary leadership of its Chief Minister, it is also the first province which has approved the Safe City Project, which is already launched at an estimated cost of US$ 20 million without resorting to any loans from donors. Balochistan Civil Secretariat is the first Secretariat in Pakistan to have implemented complete Bio-metric based attendance of all the secretariat employees, with live attendance monitoring directly by the Chief Minister and Chief Secretary through Fiber Optic Network. This measure is ensuring that the public service delivery to the population is efficiently conducted.