By Raja Noor ul Amin
Special Communications Organization (SCO) is a subsidiary of the Ministry of IT, which provides basic and innovative telecom services to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Today, SCO has become the first telecom operator to provide all telecom services in GB, namely Landline (S Phone.) GSM (S.COM Mobile), Internet (S Net/Data) Wireless (CDMA) and 3G/4G services.
SCO’s priorities also include promoting the IT sector in the region, as the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan have immense talent and there are unlimited business opportunities here. Keeping this point in mind, SCO Software Technology Park has been established at Konodas Gilgit for young software experts and IT professionals in the state-of-the-art technology. Surely this important project will be an important milestone for the region to take forward and develop the IT sector. The land and building for this IT Park has been provided by the SCO. This modern IT Park has excellent facilities of backup power, security and OFC data connectivity. SCO Software Technology Park Gilgit includes support from Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).
It may be recalled that Director General SCO Major General Ali Farhan HI (M) had announced the construction of an IT Park at Konodas, Gilgit to promote and develop the information technology sector in the region on the occasion of his last visit to Gilgit-Baltistan. The completion of the IT Park will not only boost the IT sector in the region, but will also help in developing a skilled workforce for GB in the context of CPEC. This park will create an excellent team of software experts in the area who will also be able to provide low cost business services to the local industry.
In the near future, such IT parks will be extended to more districts of GB, under which IT centers will soon be set up in Nasirabad, Hunza, Gahkoch, Ghizar and Skardu, Baltistan. This will also provide opportunities for the youth of these areas to work professionally with regional, national and international multinational companies. Companies working in this IT park will be provided free of cost service in the first year and after that subsidies will be given. This will boost the IT industry of the region.
It is evident that GB has been looking for possible means to become an economic zone in the context of CPEC for the last several years and SCO IT Park GB will be a turning point for the development and advancement of information technology. GB has a key position as the hub of CPEC and a state-of-the-art SCO IT Park will be here to help meet the shortage of well-trained manpower in the IT sector. Similarly, due to the absence of IT parks at GB, young software experts and engineers from these areas had to move to other cities in the country where it was difficult for them to continue their professional career and benefit from them. Now, with the establishment of an IT park in GB will not only alleviate these problems, but will also provide ample employment opportunities in the region, and the people associated with IT here will become self-employed. It will also help reduce unemployment in the region.
In addition, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karakoram International University, work is in full swing to set up incubation centers based on modern technology. This project will enable students here to excel in education and research and they will also have access to an internship training course. Similarly, SCO has a major project in 2016 in the form of SCO Technical Training Institute (STTI) for the people of GB, which was approved by the federal government but unfortunately is plagued by local disruptions. However, it is hoped that work on the project will resume soon and that after the completion the project will give the youth here the opportunity to be skilled.
By the grace of God Almighty, today SCO has been leading the way in providing basic and modern telecom services in GB in 43 years. It is playing a role in promoting information technology and software in these areas.so that every area and every person in the region can make full use of the modern telecom facilities. All these SCO initiatives are aimed at the organization’s aspirations and commitment to the practical and the wishes of the people of the region. Our commitment will continue in the future and we will be able to maintain the trust of the people and our customers in the area through our efforts and service. (Insha Allah)
The contributor is an employee of Special Communications Organization.