content top

The second edition of Women International Film Festival takes place in Islamabad

The second edition of Women International Film Festival takes place in Islamabad

  Women International Film Festival (WIFF) – an event of remarkable global prestige, was held here at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), with the support of the European Union. The overarching aim of WIFF was to promote amateur filmmakers, and female filmmakers in particular, by building and uniting the next wave of talent and connecting the film community. WIFF aimed to give filmmakers, both male and female, the opportunity to use film as a tool to advocate for gender equality, shed light on gender rights, as well as tell powerful stories of the successes and struggles of both genders. The first day of the event was dedicated toParwaaz – A capacity building Film Lab for amateur filmmakers,centered on “The Art of Cinematic Storytelling”. Participants for Parwaaz film lab underwent a selection process, were shortlisted based on merit and prior experience, and were part of an all-day intensive and interactive film lab. The lab trainers wereMs. Gabrielle Kelly – an Irish filmmaker and global expert on Media Labs, and Ms. Emily Macinnes – a Scottish documentary filmmaker and photographer.     The grandscreening event was held on the second day of the eventwhere13 shortlisted film entries received from around the world, centering on the themes of Women & Child Rights, Inspiring Women, and Gender Equality were showcased, whereby the last theme was open to both male and female filmmakers. Women from around the world, including Tajikistan, India, the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Egypt, besides many from Pakistan, had submitted films that were screened at the event attended by students, policymakers, diplomats, and public figures including politicians, journalists, and human rights activists. The event also featured live performances, discussion panels, and a Q&A session along with prize distributionat the end. A small reception followed. The European Union Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain said: “The European Union is a proud supporter of the Women International Film Festival, as it encourages a dialogue of self-empowerment, creativity, and safe spaces for women. After attending the first edition of the festival last year, it felt natural for the EU to support one of the very few examples of such a festival around the world.” The jurors for WIFF this year included; Ruth Beni (a multi award-winning filmmaker and writer), Hammad Khan (Pakistan’s most defiantly independent filmmakers and the director of “Slackistan”), Samar Minallah Khan (the filmmaker behind the famous documentary “Swara – A Bridge over troubled waters”),Paula Kweskin Weiss (a filmmaker and human rights attorney; producer of Honor Diaries, and award-winning documentary on women’s rights), and JamshedMahmoodRaza (fondly known as Jami – an award-winning film director &founder of Azad Films).After thejurors had concluded their grading and passed...

Read More

Telenor ‘iChamp2’ – successfully delivers digital awareness training to schools across Pakistan

Telenor ‘iChamp2’ – successfully delivers digital awareness training to schools across Pakistan

Telenor Pakistan  launched the latest installment of its flagship program ‘iChamp’, dubbed as ‘iChamp-2’ to leverage internet as an effective learning tool for school children, besides training them on staying safe in the virtual space all the while. The latest installment saw an unprecedented upswing in scale and scope of the program. It will be broadcast on leading electronic channels for widespread awareness. Telenor Pakistan first launched the iChamp program back in 2014 to deliver on its long term pledge to foster a more connected generation. It aims to equip Pakistani students with basic knowledge of mobile and data technology to help them advance and educate themselves for better future prospects. In the 2nd iteration of the program which ran in 2017, Telenor collaborated with Free Basics by Facebook, to provide students free access to an online information portal featuring 17 educational websites through Telenor 4G data connection. In addition, the program trains children on staying safe against instances of cyber bullying, online abuse and harassment through internet. The iChamp2 program has trained over 630,000 students across 1800 schools nationwide, teaching and training them on how they can make effective use of mobile technology to advance their learning skills. It covered schools from Gilgit to Karachi. Over 80 percent of the participating schools were government- run schools that usually lack access to the latest modes of technology. The iChamp-2 competitions will be broadcast on GEO Entertainment and PTV Home for widespread awareness about constructive and safe use of internet. iChamp runs on the idea of hunting an ‘Internet Champion’, who is ready to adopt data and cellular technology for changing their life and also sets aspirations for fellow students and the society. Participants competing for the title will engage in various educational activities using Telenor 4G data and enjoy hands on experience of technology.  Telenor Pakistan will award scholarships to top 12 participants, showcasing exemplary performances. Cash reward of PKR 1 million, PKR 500,000 and 300,000 will be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position holders respectively to fund their studies. Last year six students were selected to receive the scholarship. “Telenor Pakistan has been making relentless efforts to further its long term vision of bringing digital enablement to society.” CEO Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan said. “iChamp program being extension of the same commitment, focuses on the responsible and safe use of  internet for advance learning by accessing thousands of online resources. Following our efforts towards empowering our society and connecting them to what matters most, our relentless commitment continues in the same direction with passion that will help nurture a responsible digital generation.” Telenor Pakistan has a strategic ambition of ushering...

Read More

Momentum ’18-The leading tech and startup conference & exhibition to start next week

Momentum ’18-The leading tech and startup conference  & exhibition to start next week

In continuous efforts to serve the economic development of the nation and to create new platforms for the incumbent youth, Momentum is hosting a Startup conference and exhibition for technological entrepreneurs, on 19th and 20th of February 2018, at Expo Centre, Karachi. The grand affair will be graced by thousands of attendees interacting with more than 300 startups who will showcase their innovative solutions, around 50 practicing professionals and entrepreneurs conducting relevant workshops and seminars on successful startups and survival as an entrepreneur. Furthermore the participating startups will be able to pitch their proposals to more than 20 investors and various representatives from 20 incubators during the 2 day event. Asif Jafri, Founding Member of Momentum said; “It is true that in our developing nation, the factor of risk management plays a crucial role and any new business or startup requires an executable plan. People have innovative ideas but are weak in implementation strategies that results in most startups failing in the initial years. Momentum focuses to bridge the gap under the theme of changing mindsets. We strive to do this by bringing together the experienced and inexperienced to lend a helping hand to the feeble feet of the youth of Pakistan through this platform.” Momentum is a global startup community with a designated purpose of educating, inspiring and connecting entrepreneurs across Pakistan, who develop innovative ideas and work on disruptive technologies to solve problems and create a diverse knowledge platform for the economic growth of Pakistan. The Founder and CEO, Syed Amir Jafri, stated: “The response from the first Momentum Conference has been heartwarming. We received huge appreciation from both the tech fraternity and startups for our efforts. This gave us the encouragement and motivation to ignite the 2nd edition of Momentum conference. Momentum ’18 will be bigger and better this year. We will be hosting notable participants from the tech universe, to name a few: Google, IBM, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have all agreed to play an active role. A few of their delegates from these tech giants will be visiting Pakistan for the very first time. We hope their presence will help enlighten and boost the confidence of our youth to keep on working hard with zeal.” Momentum is a one of a kind integrated platform designed for startups, mentors and advisors, incubators and accelerators, academics, mobile network giants, financial institutions, technological companies and stakeholders in...

Read More

Telenor Pakistan and Gameloft concludes Pakistan’s first mobile racing championship: ‘Asphalt 8 Telenor Cup’

Telenor Pakistan and Gameloft concludes Pakistan’s first mobile racing championship: ‘Asphalt 8 Telenor Cup’

Telenor Pakistan announced the success of Asphalt 8 Telenor Cup, in association with Gameloft, a leader in the development and publishing of mobile games, which recently took place in Lahore.  It was Pakistan’s first time-limited mobile gaming event with Gameloft’s top racing title: Asphalt 8: Airborne, customized exclusively for Telenor’s users in Pakistan. This engaging campaign was executed in two phases: Online and Offline, over 3 weeks through sponsored events inviting the Gameloft and Telenor Pakistan communities to square off on an Asphalt 8: Airborne track. More than 15,000 users participated in the online phase and spent a combined total time of over 70,000 minutes playing at the event. Top 16 players were invited for a face off at the Grand Finale competition in Lahore. After a nail biting contest, Mehtab Hussain, from Rawalpindi won the contest. Hussain won a Samsung S8 smartphone and cash prize of PKR 50,000 from Telenor Pakistan and Gameloft. Other cash prizes included PKR 25,000 for first Runner Up and PKR 15,000 for second Runner Up. Commenting on his success Mehtab Hussain said, “I am extremely thankful to Telenor Pakistan and Gameloft for giving us this opportunity as this was an amazing experience for me. Being part of this tournament has been very exciting and I will look forward to such gaming initiatives in the future as well”. Sharing his thoughts, Nauman Pervez Qureshi, Head of Digital Products, Telenor Pakistan said, “Our partnership with Gameloft is a testament to our commitment to introduce inventive methods of bringing the gaming community together. The Asphalt 8 Telenor Cup allowed local players to showcase their skills and be recognized. The impressive turnout and high engagement levels throughout the tournament signal the presence of a significant mobile gaming community in the country, and Telenor Pakistan will continue to provide such avenues to strengthen the digital ecosystem in this market segment.” Nitin Goel, Country Head, Gameloft, added, “We are extremely delighted to see the enthusiasm with which the participants enjoyed the game throughout the event. More than ever before, this endeavor with Telenor for Pakistan’s first mobile racing tournament has demonstrated our ability to orchestrate in-game brand activations that are innovative and engaging, thanks to our exclusive in-house advertising...

Read More

Senate Committee recognizes contribution of Telecom Sector Highlights need for rationalized taxation

Senate Committee recognizes contribution of Telecom Sector Highlights need for rationalized taxation

The Senate Standing Committee for Information Technology and Telecommunication has recently recognized the contribution of cellular sector of Pakistan and appreciated the investment in the country and job creation opportunities provided by the sector. The committee also raised concerns over high levels of consumer taxation with special reference on giving relief to the masses who are below a certain annual income level, which is not taxable as per prevailing tax laws. The Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology expressed its concerns on high tax deduction on mobile recharge particularly on deduction of advance income tax from majority of subscribers who do not fall under tax net and have no way of claiming the refund.  Senate Committee has directed the FBR and cellular mobile operators to present the recommendations towards a more rationalized tax regime. Mobile penetration and services uptake has already hit the glass ceiling and wouldn’t be able to break this barrier until substantial tax relief is introduced. The taxes inhibit growth, discourage investment and stall services uptake among the masses, and this directly impacts the people of Pakistan to adapt the modern and latest technology. The Telecom Sector suggests abolishment of Advance Income Tax for that majority of telecom subscribers, who do not fall under the tax net and yet have to pay Withholding Tax which that they cannot claim back. In addition the sector recommends harmonization of FED/GST across Federation and all provinces and its rationalization to 16% in line with GST/FED rates applicable on other sectors of the economy. Moreover, sector believes that data tax will not only hamper economic growth in the country but will also adversely impact Government’s initiatives for the proliferation of mobile broadband in Pakistan. Telecom sector strongly recommends abolishment of GST on data services by the provinces. The sector has time and again called for rationalized reduction in taxes that will help ensure affordable services for the masses, which in turn will increase mobile penetration, bring further socioeconomic benefits to Pakistan and will go a long way towards realization of the Government’s ambition of a Digital Pakistan. Pakistan’s cellular sector, since its deregulation, has been at the forefront of introducing innovative services for enabling and empowering people and has played a key role in social and economic advancement. It has made substantial contributions to the welfare of the society and is amongst the largest contributors to the country’s exchequer in terms of direct and indirect taxes. The sector has invested over USD 15B in the economy since deregulation in 2003 and has created over 14,000 direct and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs. The sector is recognized as an enabler for society, bringing greater financial and digital...

Read More

Telenor collaborates with Ministry of IT on “DigiSkills Training Project”

Telenor collaborates with Ministry of IT on  “DigiSkills Training Project”

Telenor Pakistan, country’s leading digital services provider, has partnered with the Virtual University of Pakistan to launch a nationwide digital skill-building program aptly named ‘DigiSkills Training Project’. Under auspices of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom through IGNITE – National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund), the 2 year mega-program aims to train 1 million people in Digital Skills for Freelancing and entrepreneurship using ICTs. The agreement signing took place at the Prime Minister Secretariat in the presence of Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State for IT & Telecommunication Ms. Anusha Rahman – with Telenor Pakistan and Virtual University top management finalizing a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Thoughts were shared on how leveraging the emerging ICT technologies in Pakistan could create a virtual cloud of aspiring workers who are ready to take up online assignments to make a living besides promoting Pakistan as a go-to market for outsourcing of diversified freelance projects. Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest provider of online freelance services with an estimated registered number of freelancers ranging in several hundreds of thousands. Most of the work done is for international clients; therefore the money earned by them is brought into the country mainly in the form of foreign remittances. Pakistan has the potential to increase its share in the freelance industry by folds and resultantly bring in valuable foreign exchange into the country and reduce unemployment. Addressing the event here at the PM Office, the prime minister said his government was committed to support the private sector in its ventures of introducing cutting edge technology and taking the country forward. Prime Minister Abbasi said the government would ensure availability of the broadband across the country and facilitate e-commerce He stressed the need to further work on it and said the entrepreneurship was a unique skill and only the private sector has the ability to take it forward. The Prime Minister said the Digiskills program would equip the youth to get online jobs and earn money in a non-traditional way. He said he has great faith in the youth of the country and expressed confidence that the women would lead in these areas. We have taken major strides toward digital transformation in the country with our ICT partners and this major development widens our scope to optimize new technologies to upskill our youth, “ said Ms. Anusha Rahman, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication.  “DigiSkills combines an ideal mix of partnership between Ignite and Virtual University’s expansive and advanced eLearning platform to further Ministry of IT’s digitization and empowerment goals.  The online freelance market offers a myriad of opportunities to thousands of jobseekers whom we...

Read More
content top