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Punjab government is spending Rs. 47b on higher education sector. Syed Raza Ali Gillani

Lahore : A three-day long 10th International Conference for Open Source System and Technology (ICOSST-16) has started in the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore from Friday.

The conference has been arranged by UET’s Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Sciences. Researchers and IT scholars from different international universities, besides UET students and faculty members, are attending this conference which is aimed to ponder over different benefits of open source software facility. This year’s conference theme is ‘smart cities.’

Provincial Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani was the chief guest of the inaugural session, who delivered his keynote address on the importance of various facets of IT and how universities’ students can help develop a sustained economy by using innovative techniques. He said that 21st century is knowledge-driven, as information and communication technologies have influenced almost every sphere of life. This has helped the nations to help improve the quality of life of ordinary citizens.

This situation requires that universities should proactively support research and innovation based studies so that the students could well handle the knowledge economy. He maintained that role of the universities in 21st century has been very pivotal.

Universities help a nation in giving it economic vitality, scientific prowess, a broad outline of socio-economic change and global competitiveness, through a culture of innovation and research. He said that Rs.47 billion have been earmarked for the higher education sector in the province and ample funds have been provided to the universities to conduct research in a world-class environment. He observed that the facility of open source software is quite beneficial for the Pakistani IT industry to further use it according to their local needs.

He appreciated that open source software have emerged as a cross-disciplinary paradigm for a large spectrum of computing applications. It helps in keeping control over cost of development and deployment, he added.

The Minister further observed that innovation is beauty of ICT, and added that universities should, therefore, develop creative thinking in their students so that could employ ingenious solutions in the practical field. He asked the students to work hard and stand up to help improve the system to make it more responsive and public friendly.

Earlier, VC UET Dr. Fazal Ahmed Khalid, Director Al-Khwarizmi Institute of Computer Sciences Dr. Waqar Mahmood, Member (finance) PTA Tariq Sultan and international universities’ professors addressed the session and highlighted the importance of open source facility.

Later, the Minister distributed shields among the ICOSST-16 participants.

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