Archive for March, 2009

Living in a digital Mess

Living in this era of “technology” one happens to come across several bizarre scenarios, which simply do not make any sense. Internet is the rule of law in this era and most up to date professionals in computers happen to be engineers in Pakistan. Almost everyone knows that the job postings are mostly announced online, in fact many smart people would join the online hiring portals and the mailing lists to stay abreast of these opening, yet most of our engineers appear totally naïve when it comes to maintaining of mailing lists. In this entire college, full of engineers, we hardly have any mailing lists (yahoo groups etc) of which all the students of a class are part of.

Working with the officer in-charge placement office I have had a good deal of experience of the total chaos we have in our college. Seeing from this end of the world my fellow engineers seem to be living in a world almost a decade back! Yes its true. Let us be specific in quoting examples. I have been trying to ask the students from various disciplines to work on improving their yahoo groups. Now most of the classes have separate groups for separate sections: seems like they live in close clan societies! Groups are configured not to accept mails from the non-members, making it impossible to mail them any urgent news regarding some job opening.

Most interesting scenario is that the mailing list of 27 computers is the most flawed of all! Mails sent to their yahoo group address simply get lost in the communication network backbone or maybe routers all over have been configured not to forward mails from placement office to 27 Computers!

Its not really the group of 27 Computers in serious trouble, the Mechanical 27 hasn’t really been able to bring all the class fellows on one single group: seems like they aren’t much interested in useful mails. The only well organized groups are of 27 Mechatronics and 27 Electrical: both having almost all the class on-board. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone gets the mails! The email address of 27 Mechatronics group seems too tedious to get hold of. You have to see every time if you have entered all the scores (“-“) correctly. So we are left alone with 27 Electrical’s yahoo group. Phew! we have a one living example. No problems registered with 27 Electrical’s group. All information gets through “unharmed” or without being “bounced back”.

The dimensions of this digital mess extend much beyond. The traditional flow of information from the Cadet Battalion is still through the Staff (reminds me of postmen). News regarding the closing of college due to strikes or else the news of the start of semester is conveyed through the “traditional-old-fashioned- IONs”. Emails seem to be a thing of next century here! Most funny situation occurs when I ask my fellow SNS about the change of uniform to summer uniform and they tell me they don’t know it: I end up informing them that Army has taken off sweaters. Gosh! Do these college appointments do anything worthwhile or not is a separate issue but at-least the cadet battalion can do us a lot of favor by passing on info to our “representatives”:@

Welcome to the world with digital-divide. We have technology but we don’t know how to use it or even worst of all do not want to use it! Those who feel hurt with this mail and want to bring a difference are most welcome to contact the writer and we can help bridge the digital divide through the ICT and Entrepreneurship Club.



Ofok Scholarships – World Networkers Program‏

Ofok Scholarship Program

World Networkers Program

Under the umbrella of Ofok Human Development Initiative, Ofok NGO respectfully lunches the World Networkers Program, offering 500CCNA course scholarship to youth worldwide from the Cisco Networking Academy.

According to analyst firm IDC, demand for IT in the Middle East is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16.9 percent till 2009. According to current trends, the demand for qualified network engineers far exceeds the supply. Ofok NGO is lunching the World Networkers Program is a step toward narrowing this gap through providing well-skilled networkers to the global market. The WNP Scholarships will be awarded to 250 international applicants especially from the developing, least developed countries and countries in transition who wish to complete their tertiary education in the communication technologies (CNAP) and related fields.while the other 250 will be from the Egyptian applicants (check eligibility and selection criteria section).

WNP includes IT – Essentials and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) courses from Cisco Networking Academy, that will be delivered will Blended Distance Learning BDL – Check CCNA BDL VLE Guidelines.

WNP Training Program will be in many Language

Eligibility and Selection Criteria:
Applicants should be:
1. Aged between 18 – 25 years old.
2. Good in English.
3. Undergraduate or graduate student.
Ofok NGO take in consideration that most of the awarded applicants must be from the Developing and Least Developed Countries without any discrimination based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or marital status.

Application form submission is open from 14 March 2009
Application form submission deadline 1May 2009
Selection Exams 21 March
For more information and submit an application please visit

Comprehensive List of Leadership Blogs

Comprehensive List of Leadership Blogs

(post from Atif Mumtaz’s Blog)
I cam across this list recently while surfing the web for some relevant content. Here is a list of 100 blogs on leadership ranging from, youth, gender and religious, development and management of leadership skills. Check it out, you might find something of interest in there. I know I did.

How many countries are really participating in One Laptop Per Child? Do you know? Does Nicholas Negroponte know? I only know that the definition of “participation” is rather loose right about now.

On one end of the spectrum, we have Australia, where two laptops somehow mean a pilot. On another end we have Pakistan, a country that really has need as Farrukh Ansari says in an OLPC News comment:

Could anyone tell me that how i can get this laptop for my kids, they are keen to use it, but as i live in Karachi, Pakistan, how i can get it. Please, someone help me to find the way to get it.


Well Nicholas Negroponte says Farrukh will soon be in luck:

We are talking to the Philippines and Pakistan – I’m convinced that’s going to happen.

Dr. Negroponte has reason for optimism. He has the commitment of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz. According to an APP news article from November 29, 2006:

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Wednesday the government will consider the feasibility for making low-cost laptop computers available to school going children in Pakistan. 

He was talking to Nicholas Negroponte, who is the head of the MIT Media Laboratory and Chairman of a non-profit organization called One-Laptop-Per-Child (OLPC), which promotes the production of laptops for children at low rates.

The Prime Minister asked the Ministry of IT and Telecom to form a committee to look into the feasibility of such an initiative.

read more

ITU: Future of ICTs video contest


I just published another competition announcement in my blog –

This time it is a video competition ran by the ITU with a deadline on March 31. You can get your ideas heard and perhaps even to go to the upcoming World Telecommunication Policy Forum in April. Currently there seems to be very few submissions and little time left, so I think anyone who participates has good chances.

It could be great to hear if anyone chooses to participate.

Good luck!

Technology for Social Good

Welcome everyone!

The Orientation of the ICTE Club will start at ECR tomorrow (20th March) 0945 hrs followed by the lecture by CEO BrightSpyre Atif Mumtaz on “Technology for social Good”

The lecture will focus on the following areas:

  • What is Social Entrepreneurship
  • What are the characteristics
  • What are the challenges and 
  • Examples of Social Entrepreneurial projects

VENUE: ECR LAB Computer department

The SEED Initiative (Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development) has recently launched its call for proposals for the 4th edition of the ”2009 SEED Awards for entrepreneurship in sustainable development”.

This award welcomes innovative ideas from any group in a developing country or country in transition worldwide, which is working in partnership with others to generate environmental and social benefits in an entrepreneurial way. The award consists of support services, worth up to $40,000, to help Award Winners to scale-up. The Award Ceremony will take place in New York, U.S.A. in May 2009. The deadline for submission is 16th March 2009.

More details.

Atif Mumtaz biography

The first lecture of ICTEC is to be delivered by Mr. Atif Mumtaz. So let’s get to know him first:

Atif Mumtaz is a Pakistani entrepreneur promoting ICT technologies in the developing countries. He is one of the fellows at Reuters Digital Vision Program at Stanford University. Mr. Mumtaz has previously worked with COMSATS and United Nations. He is currently CEO BrightSpyre. 

Achievments :-

  • Co-founder BrightSpyre – Pakistan’s Largest Job Hunting Portal.
  • Co-founder Personforce – International Online Hiring Solutions.
  • Founder of Cogilent Solutions – Internet Startup.
  • Co-founder Tele-healthcare -Tele-healthcare technological solutions for disaster hit areas.
  • Received “Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004” from Shell.
  • Received ” Young Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, 2007″ from DHL.

Specialities :-
Startups, Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Social Networking, Mobile SN Solutions, HR based web portals.

Technical Abilities :-
Technical Skills: PHP/Perl, PostgreSQL, MySQL, CSS, Javascript among others

In Mr.Mumtaz’s own words “I am an entrepreneur, a poet and an avid cricket fan who sometimes plays in the local cricket league.”

Further Link:

Welcome to ICTEC

Welcome to ICT&E Club. This is a very unique club at EME College. Kindly see the pages with details on club to know in detail.

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