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Youth and Social Exclusion in the Information Society Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by AZEEM SAJJAD, Pakistan May 19, 2007
Human Rights , Education , Technology   Opinions
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Youth and Social Exclusion in the Information Society Youth and Social Exclusion in the Information Society
Tale of Two Worlds: Keeping Pace with a Moving Target

(Azeem Sajjad)
(Project Manager-National ICT R&D Fund, Ministry of IT)

In today’s world the concepts of social interaction are redefining with development of new ideas and technologies. Young people are the future work force and earliest adopters of ICTs as well as having a powerful force for change. Youth is in fact the recipient of the policies so their voice should be properly propagated to people involved in the design and evaluation of youth related programs, strategies or policies. Youth every where are faced with the challenges of attempting to broaden their horizons and become global citizens, yet their infrastructure in not accommodating their desire and need. This is necessary to value the input of juvenile and communities in creating and implementing plans for tailored change in an atmosphere of consensus. There must be some framework, building upon existing good practices to identify where changes are required and helping young people to identify strengths and weaknesses in service provisions. The ICT vision and strategy should also focus on young people and not only just technology. For this to happen, it is important to develop both the ICT vision and strategy with the involvement of youth. The information age has modified the working, learning and social conditions for young people. Barriers once evident through time and space are now blurred and new networks of interaction have been came into account. More often it is the younger generations who feel more comfortable using ICTs to further expand their knowledge and information. The new wave of Information Society has provided young people with the tools to explore world otherwise unknown to them.

Social Exclusion occurs when some groups or individuals of society are left vulnerable and are unable to achieve their privileges among other citizens. ICTs make remote and underdeveloped areas of the world globally accessible. Information Society allow for a specialized education and possible employment for those who are under privileged groups. The influence of information age on education, culture, business, government, law, any many more issues is not a trend that is going unnoticed. In developing countries the knowledge and digital chasm exist not only between ethnic communities, but also between rural and urban areas, men and women, the educated and illiterate, rich and poor, high and low income groups, young and old, able bodied and handicapped. It is important to take measures to assist disadvantaged groups in order to get rid of socio-economic inequities. Education, age, gender, poverty, and politics are some of the factors that can lead or decrease social exclusion. In fact, this is caused by imbalance of power and resources and to mitigate it there needs organization against its causes such as corruption, political oppression, ignorance and racism. Information society have powerful platform for organizing against social exclusion and having potential for defending the collective social interest, reducing poverty, promoting social justice and to prevent or reverse the negative impacts of globalization processes on socio-economic development. People all over the globe are beginning to realize that in order to effectively participate in the global marketplace; they need access to the global communications network. Global information society is evolving at faster speed and there is a need to encourage all stakeholders to do their part to connect young people and to create a truly open, inclusive and development oriented information society.

The new ferociously competitive knowledge-based society offers great possibilities for reducing social exclusion, both by creating the economic conditions for greater prosperity and by opening up new ways of participating in society. The emergence of new information and communication technologies constitutes an exceptional opportunity, provided that the risk of creating an ever-widening gap between those who are Information rich and who are Information poor. Knowledge and Information has been more vital factors of our society while emergence of Information Society. Emergence of ICTs in daily life will change our economic, social and culture lives. No doubt ICTs can be used to break-up monopolies of knowledge, by creating new methodologies and connecting with new communities, in fact neo-communities. The vital thing in this regard is to control the reach, in-fact to spread the spectrum of reach to different vulnerable groups. ICTs can provide key resources while accessing news, entertainment, jobs hunting, distance learning or e-learning, virtual teamwork, telework and in different government services like telecenters etc. In developing countries the factor of affordability, lack of local content, lack of technical training, lack of relevant tools, lack of knowledge, rural poverty, lack of regulatory and legal framework are the range of factors involved. Economic growth and social cohesion are mutually reinforcing. It is a precondition for better economic performance that we create a society with greater social cohesion and less exclusion. This technological revolution has made some waves, and even has the largest international body, the United Nations studying and analyzing its impact. ICT’s have led to an Information Society in which the possibilities are endless, but not necessarily without complications or consequences.

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Writer Profile


I am Azeem Sajjad and I a, from Pakistan and was born in Lahore, Pakistan and live there for a long time. I studied there upto Masters. I did Masters of Computer Sciences from Hamdard University in 1999 - 2001 after B.Sc. with double Mathmetics and Statistics. For polishing my managerial skills after getting sufficient technical experience, I persued Commonwealth learning International MBA Executive in 2005.

Although I started my career from working in my university as Software Engineer, where afterwords promoted as Snr. Software Engineer and Assistant IT Manager. I worked there for around five years in different roles. I enjoyed working there by learning technical as well as by interacting with people from diverse groups.

Afterwords, I joined Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited [PTCL] as Assistant Manager, Billing and Mediation in Sep 2005. While working with PTCL in islamabad has opened a new dimension in my life and It totaly changed even my daily routine or lifestyle. As I had to move from my hometown to Islamabad capital territory. It was a pleasant experience while working for PTCL, which continued till Dec 2006.

Currently I am working in Ministry of IT, IT and Telecom Division, Govt. of Pakistan since 1st Jan 2007 as Project Manager(R&D Fund).
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