ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Ch. Fawad said here today the use of modern digital technology was imperative for media advancement.
He was addressing the launching ceremony of Medialab, a private sector venture aimed at identifying, supporting and accelerating early-stage innovative media start-up ideas focused on technology-based innovation in digital media and creating original content, or other digital media products. He said both the electronic and print media should adopt a business model depending on market forces to reduce their dependence on government advertisements. He said the government had added digital media in advertisement tools and one-third of the government advertisements were being allocated to digital media. Chaudhry Fawad said he had asked Facebook to open its office in Pakistan and it was keen to do so. He said the digital media market was expanding in the country but the problem was that money was going abroad and there was a need to tackle that issue. He said that newspapers were closing because the proprietors were unable to change with the passage of time. The advertisement scope for formal media was shrinking and shifting to digital media, he added. The minister urged the media industry to initiate research to know the effects of digital media on the formal media. He said the government had decided to transform the Associated Press of Pakistan into Digital Service of Pakistan.
The government was bringing a framework to regulate web TV, social media, and other media through one platform namely Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA), he said adding that one of the reasons behind the decision to constitute PMRA was that there was no remedy for the workers sacked by media houses. He said that the previous government increased the media budget which added its dependence on public sector advertisements which disturbed the feasibility of many media houses. He said that an Indian company had purchased a Pakistani drama serial for $ 450,000 dollars which were a good omen for local drama industry. He said that with the start of Pakistan Super League this month a major chunk of advertisements would go to sports channels instead of news channels. He said at a time when the government was unable to give subsidy to Hajj pilgrims, it would be impossible for it to take the burden of media and other businesses.
Later, talking to media informally, he said that as soon as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) personnel informed senior Punjab Minister Aleem Khan about his arrest, he immediately sent his resignation to the chief minister, which was a manifestation of culture difference between Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and other political parties. He said that the opposition used to claim that NAB did not arrest anybody from the government side, but now what excuse would it have after the arrest of Aleem Khan. The PTI fully supported the process of accountability and it stood by the national institutions as the strengthening of institutions would strengthen Pakistan, he added. To a question about the issuance of NAB notice to former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said that NAB was doing its job and the government had nothing to do with it.
11K out-of-school kids to be enrolled by Govt.
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Friday said that the government has decided to enroll over 11,000 out-of-school children in the federal capital’s schools by June this year under a drive to raise a number of school goers.
“Over 11,000 out-of-school children belonging to different age groups were identified under the survey conducted by the ministry in Islamabad and the enrollment of around 5,000 was being ensured at this stage,” Shafqat Mahmood said while addressing the launching ceremony of ‘Wish 2 Action’ Project organized by Rahnuma-EPAP.
“We have tried this campaign as a pilot project in the capital city and soon it will be replicated at the national level after its complete success,” the minister remarked. Highlighting the various challenges faced by the education sector, he said collective efforts were required to bring significant improvement in this area. At present, the country was going through a crucial phase but the government would deliver as per the aspiration of its citizens in its tenure, he added.
He said the prime focus was to provide quality education to every child of the country and uniform education policy was being chalked out for the purpose. Other than that, the government was also working out a number of projects to enhance the education standards in the country he said and added that it was striving to scale up literacy rate from 58 percent to at least 70 percent by the end of its five years term in the office.
Contingency plan to cope flood like situation
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration today reviewed protective arrangements against any flood-like situation in the low lying areas of the federal capital.
The formal review was made during a meeting here held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat and was attended among others by representatives of Met department, law enforcement agencies including police and officials from Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Disaster Management Authority and others.
The meeting was told that there has been no threat of flood or massive winds at the moment, however, the district administration has decided to maintain constant vigilance to combat the flood like situation particularly along the banks of river Swan and Korang.
All departments and agencies, according to the ICT source, have been directed to mobilize all possible efforts and resources in a systematic and integrated manner in order to combat any emergency like situation.
It has been decided to conduct the survey of catchment areas in the city and rural areas and take effective protective measures in the wake of rains.
All assistant commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates have been asked to personally visit the areas falling in their respective sub-divisions and identify the down-steams and low attitude areas including slum areas and residence along nullah.
The sub-divisional officers of Rawal Dam and Simly Dam were asked to remain in close coordination with district administration authorities and update regarding variation in altitude of water.
Islamabad to be ‘tobacco free city’ soon: minister
ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mehmood Kiani on Monday said efforts were being made to make federal capital a tobacco free city.
Addressing a ceremony held here to declare National Monument and Lok Virsa Heritage Museum Shakarparian – tobacco free places, the minister said the government had planned several strategies to protect the health of citizens from negative effects of smoking by initiating public awareness drives.
He said along with the government it was also social responsibility of the every countryman to play effective role to discourage use of tobacco in public transport and educational institutions.
He said use of tobacco in public transport was already ban under the laws.
Kiani said the government would not allow anyone to play with the health of country’s youth through sale of tobacco items. He added that strict action would be taken on receiving any such complaint in the federal capital.
The minister said federal capital is the most beautiful city of the world and urged citizens to maintain its beauty. He said as many as 214 places of federal capital had been declared smoke free.
He said Pakistan was included in the list of those 15 countries where the economy had been badly affecting from the burden of health problems. He added that tobacco use was one of the major contributors in damaging the health of people.
Kiani said according to Tobacco Survey-2014, around 14 million adult Pakistanis had been using any form of tobacco. He added that the rate of tobacco use in country’s youth was 10.7 percent.
He said the government had started various activities to protect people from carrying communicable and non communicable disease. He said the government had been paying special focus on protecting youth of the country from use of tobacco.
He added that the government had imposed a ban on sale of open cigarettes in the markets while the size of health warning on cigarette packs had been increased from 50 percent to 60 percent. He added that actions had also been taken against use of sheesha smoking.