Promoting Diffusion of ICTs
and Associated Systems in OIC Member States
When we compare the magnitude of paradigm shift of world from agro base economy to technology driven economy we find the Muslim world far behind in adapting with new trends and keeping the matters up to the mark as compared to the rest of the world.
Research and development is the soul of the Technology based sustainable economies today. So a continuous and large share of expenditures must be allocated for R&D. Developed and Developing countries fully concede this need and make their policies accordingly. In Muslim World the scenario is a little different, as the share of OIC countries in total expenditure of the word on R&D is just 1.8%. Islamic world is lagging behind in infrastructure development, falling short of planning, failing in utilizing the scarce resources and capitalizing on a few opportunities to establish a culture of R&D.
The data available about the Human Resource employed in R&D of OIC states show a very depressing picture with an average of 649 per million people as compare to the world with average 2532 per million. Moreover gander segregation is also evident with the share of 26% women to men, where world has more than 29% at average.
Research and development must have the pivotal importance in future policy making and high preference in governmental spending if Islamic world wants to compete the world of 21st century. At present OIC states are spending around 0.4% of their GDP on R&D on the other hand rest of the world is having 2% of GDP as average spending in the same field. When we analyze the Muslim states we can feel a lot of discrimination in spending, as a few have a large share and many are totally dependent on foreign investment in R&D with zero contribution towards research and development. In OIC Summit 2005 a program was developed as “OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action to meet the Challenges Facing the Muslim Ummah in 21st Century” in which it was decided to make efforts to elevate the gross domestic expenditure on science and technology to an average of 1%, and so far only one country exceeds the figure according to the studies by UNESCO.
In Higher Technical Education sector and Innovations, again a deemed picture is portrayed by statistics. In knowledge index, Innovation Index and Knowledge Economy Index the rankings of Muslim countries do not worth mention except two or three of them.
According to the World Development Bank statistics, the High Technology Exports of Islamic world is just 4.3% of world market, with population of one sixth. Again segregation and inconsistency can be observed here as well. Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey are the major share holders in this field and rest are far behind.
The remedy of said short coming is, to channelize the resources and make efforts to fill aforementioned gap. Invest in technical higher education and especially in Information and Communication Technology. Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology is Putting its efforts to rapid up the growth in the field of Science and Technology especially in Information Technology sector
Under the patronage of Network a fund has already been established. The objective of this initiative is to promote diffusion of ICTs and associated systems in OIC Member States.
To achieve said goal INIT under this program invites the demonstration projects from member Network States, coherent with the objective. Those projects got facilitated by the fund which implies the innovative strategies with cost effective approach to address social, technological and academic issues in harmonized manner. Projects could be for capacity building, content development, process re-engineering and inculcation of IT in system.
The fund release is subject to the representation in its formulation, execution and delivery of interest parties from at least more than one economic section of society. Projects contributing towards the growth of experience and information through their implementation, testing the innovative and advance approaches and finding the adaptable ways to response the issues are encouraged. They will be proved afterward a great help for improving the program and service delivery in various geographical locations.
Proposals on the structured format are been invited from among member states after public solicitation of project and fund releases as not more than US$8,000/- or half of the total probable cost of project (whichever is less). This has to be done pursuant to the decision of general body of INIT regarding the subject program.
Following are some of the sponsored activities in two Islamic States.
- 2-Day First International Workshop on Curricula Development and Optimization in Business Administration, April 13-14, 2006, Islamabad, Pakistan.
- Five (5) Day OIC, COMSTECH Workshop on Bioinformatics: Current Progress and Practical Application at Baku, Azerbaijan, June 23-28, 2008.
- 1st South Asian International Conference – SAICON 2008, at Murree, Pakistan, November 12-14, 2008.
- Six (6) Day International conference on Topology and its Applications, July 4-10, 2011, Islamabad, Pakistan.
- 2nd South Asian International Conference – SAICON 2012, Murree, Pakistan, December 5-7, 2012.
- 4th South Asian International Conference – SAICON 2013, Murree, Pakistan, December 4-6, 2013.