(20th September, 2014) Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed announced the funding of 60 technological companies from universities to address the immediate needs of IT industry. He emphasized that each company has to achieve a legal status with faculty and student involvement for funding.
President (Pakistan Institute of Entrepreneurship, PIE) Mr. Tahir Mahmood Chaudhary appreciated the announcement and offered his full support for new startups of all the attendees. While addressing the attendance of approximate 145 from academia and industry on ‘Software Freedom Day’ Celebration, an event by Open Source Foundation of Pakistan (OSFP) and HEC, the Chairman acknowledged the importance and need of Open Source software development not only to cut the cost but to bring in the desired freedom of alteration on as and when required basis. He further added that a huge proportionate of industry has already adopted the Open Source software instead of proprietary ones.
Managing Director Pakistan Software Export Board Mr. Asim S Husain mentioned the role of PSEB in promoting Open Source in Pakistan. He also mentioned that he will provide full support to OSFP in future to train more IT professionals to use Open Source software in Pakistan.
Software Freedom Day is celebrated annually on the same day around world in different countries and cities. For the first time ever, Pakistan Open Source Foundation (OSFP) and HEC organized it here in Pakistan at the main auditorium of HEC.
Event mastered by Mr. Sohaib Saleem (Riphah Institute of Systems Engineering, RISE) was all lined up with key note speeches addressing ‘antipiracy’ and ‘freedom of creation’ from top academicians and industry professionals representing NADRA, NayaTel, NADRA NTL, PSEB, CASE, CARE, RISE and DHA Suffa University Karachi.
The event was also addressed by Mr. Noor Ud Din Bakai famously known as the father of IT and Telecom in Pakistan.
Mr. Salim M. Rafik, Director General NADRA said in his keynote speech that if the world, even our neighboring countries, are producing useful applications in the form of Android or iOS Apps through Open Source why can’t we do it? We should use it to create applications for women and children to bring them in the bigger equation of economic stability and eventual self-sustainability.
CEO of NayaTel, Mr. Wahaj us Siraj said, lack of education and its implementation is the real problem we are facing now a days. We need to be aware as a nation about the alternatives present especially in the form of Open Source platform hence avoiding the piracy issue as well.
Dr. Athar Mehboob from Suffa University flew specially from Karachi to attend this auspicious event and recorded as saying that Open Source platform can be used to develop student management to financial best performing application with equal or even best features than the typical proprietary software with hefty price tags.
Key notes speeches were followed by an interactive panel discussion with chairman P@SHA, President Computer Society of Pakistan & PIE, Dean MCS, FAST-NU Associate Prof. and HEC Director General IT as panelists duly moderated by Mr. Babar Zahoor, Founder of Open Source Foundation of Pakistan (OSFP).