A Global Village
Indeed information techNology has brought a revolution Not only in the computer techNology but also, in all aspects of life. The concept of dissemination of information can become an asset for underdeveloped regions of the world including rural communities. Globalization however, will be a demanding factor for both developed and underdeveloped regions; if proper infrastructure is Not in place. Therefore, it is essential that developed countries play their role for this massive development. Though it is Not an easy task but imagine the opportunities when companies from developed regions will be able to deliver their goods without any hindrance and will be able to reach the masses one on one. New markets will open up, health care could be delivered and similarly education could be provided to all at an affordable cost. Relating this vision into practical terms may seem like a dream, since it requires access of techNology to the underdeveloped masses where living day to day is an effort, where monthly wages for a family is lower than a days wage of an individual in the developed regions. Where the per capita income of a family is lower than yearly gas bill of a family in the developed region. The developed nations are spending huge resources to improve their communication networks so that they can reach new markets and be able to deliver more at a less cost and time; but it is a dilemma that the new markets they want to reach are devoid of any resources, the communities have No means to accept this new techNology since they have to think more about sustaining their families and that they do Not have eNough means or literacy to use this techNology. However, this gloomy scenario can be diffused with careful planning and co-ordination among the private sectors of the developed and developing nations. Although this will Not be an easy task, since most of the developing nations use top down planning, and the private sector is usually Not invited into any development activity. Here the international agencies can play their part by developing such forums, which can enable the response and concerns of various actors in this development scenario, and by fostering productive bonds between these private sector groups, and educational institutions to increase literacy and eventually eradicate poverty. The exploration of such a multi-disciplinary approach, and using it as a means for socio-ecoNomic change will require an educational system that could address issues in realistic terms, thus the objectives of PLANWEL are to promote education and research in underdeveloped regions such that quality education could reach underprivileged masses globally. Here the role of distance learning through the use of Internet is an opportunity for underdeveloped countries to prepare themselves for the new millennium's TechNology Based Communities. This has Now become possible through the concept of Virtual University. Coming to the question of virtual university, yes they have Now become reality as we can refer to few; California Virtual University, Western GoverNors University and the African Virtual University, but these are reality only for the developed nations where individuals can afford computers and the infrastructure is in place; but unfortunately, in Pakistan the underprivileged masses are still living under miserable conditions. Even if the infrastructure is developed; individuals will Not be able to afford computers or the line rents. PLANWEL believes that in order to make the Planwel Virtual University POP's (Point Of Presence) a reality for globalization of education it is essential to open up delivery (POP's - Point Of Presence) in each and every community of underdeveloped nation with the help of local private sector. These (POP's - Point Of Presence) will act as catalyst for development and diffusing disparity. In reality the Planwel Virtual University POP's will host researchers and Professors from around the world; while the (POP's - Point Of Presence) will be their classrooms all over the developing world. These researchers/professors can be part of the Panel from around the world so it will be a true virtual forum, disseminating their kNowledge through the (POP's - Point Of Presence) around the GLOBE. This is what PLANWEL'S goal is; "Taking TechNology To The People" This eventually would cater for research and development on the Internet infrastructure in the underdeveloped regions. Once this system has been tested then this could be replicated in the region in health care and various other sectors. Which in turn could be quite affordable at that point; since just as an example a panel of top surgeons from around the world can provide life saving operating instructions to a local surgeon in some remote health center in a third world country. This project is tailored to underprivileged regions of the world, and will prepare the communities for the new millennium's TechNology Based Communities. These POP's (Point of Presence) could be maintained and operated by local communities while at the same time can be used for various other Information TechNology related services like telemedicine, e-commerce, telebanking etc. In return providing needed facilities and generating money. Thus these POP's (Point of Presence) will be the true reflection of PLANWEL's vision for: "Building TechNology Based Communities" Further, these POP's (Point of Presence) will serve as the new community centers of the new millennium. Where at one end it will be the gateway to the world by providing choices and opportunities to the remote and desolate communities; on the other it will induce sense of community delivering a message: "TechNology For The People And Run By The People".
These POP's are being maintained and operated by local communities while at the same time being used for various other Information TechNology related services like telemedicine, e-commerce, telebanking etc. In return providing needed facilities and generating money. These centers are the true reflection of PLANWEL's vision for "BUILDING TECHNoLOGY BASED COMMUNITEIS¨. These POP's are the new community centers of the new millenium. Where at one end these act as the gateway to the world by providing choices and opportunities to the remote and desolate communities; on the other it is inducing sense of community delivering a message "FOR THE PEOPLE AND RUN BY THE PEOPLE¨. This magnet of development THE "POP's" itself will induce eNough movement to bring the needed changes for socio-ecoNomic improvements.
This project is the out come of the vision of PLANWEL's President Dr. Qamrun Nisa. She has been motivated by her 25 years social work for raising living conditions of the impoverished families particularly women in Pakistan. She in the capacity of Ex-Chai
POPs (Point of Presence) Centers will be the new community centers of the millennium. Where at one end it will be the gateway to the world by providing choices, opportunities, affordable education, telemedicine and income source to the remote and desolate communities while on the other end it will induce sense of community delivering a message: "FOR THE PEOPLE AND RUN BY THE PEOPLE".