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Pakistan Invests Rs 1.1 billion in Artificial Intelligence Project

The government of Pakistan is ready to invest Rs1.1 billion on an Artificial Intelligence project. This AI project is planned for a period of 3 years.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) will supervise this project. HEC has selected six universities that will do research in Artificial Intelligence sector by creating nine labs. All universities are selected from the public sector.

In 2017 an engineers group gave a suggestion to HEC that an expression of interest is taken from universities all over Pakistan having a CS program with at least a W-rating and recognized by National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC).

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The proposal was to select 50 top universities, based on the criteria of their faculty quality, infrastructure quality, and industry-academia collaborations.

The engineers proposed that once the universities are selected, focused streams of CS with AI as the center can be started. The funding of the students will be done for four years. Their selection will be as per their results in FSc or equivalent.

Not only the students will be funded but also the faculty salaries should be raised so that high-quality work is produced. Furthermore, the proposal to give each university Rs10 million for the Ph.D. qualified professors and Rs5 million for MS qualified faculty.

Also, it was suggested that in order to develop state of the art artificial intelligence lab each university will be given Rs10 million. So the first year the total investment will be around Rs3.25 billion. But the Planning Commission has just approved Rs1.1 billion for the whole project for three years.

National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Dr. Yasir Ayaz has been appointed as the head of this mega AI project by HEC. Dr. Ayaz feels that it is a good initiative that the government has taken, realizing the utmost important of AI.