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Dr. Jawid Ahmad Baktash

Why Research and ICT Projects are important in Afghanistan?

Eighteen years ago in 2000 Afghanistan had just handy post services and there were no telecommunication facilities in the Afghanistan. After the emergence of new chapter in the telecom selector in 2002 once the first ever telecommunication operator AWCC (Afghan wireless Communication Company) was permitted to deliver mobile services the telecommunication and ICT division has perceived a huge and incredible growth. There was a fast development in infrastructure, policy for ICT in the state now the telecommunication sector is the largest income producing segments in Afghanistan.

According to United State and Afghan government officials’ ICT is seen one of the success sector in the Afghanistan. The U.S agency for international development reported that this sector generated about $1.81 billion revenues to the government in 2013 and it employs about 130,000 Afghans. The government provide mobile services to nearly 90 percent population of the country, the department of the state estimated that the ICT would generate additional $1 billion per year to the national budget of the country in next decade by information transit tariffs and services providing. The ICT has become a key enabler forthe Afghan government and expanded it services to the citizens.

In the early life of the new government in 2001, the ICT sector of the country was in bad situation in fact, there were nothing about ICT services for citizens. Around total of $2 billion has been invested in the ICT sector of the country because of that today 85 percent land of Afghanistan is covered by phone. More than 20 million people around 80-90 percent Afghans has access to mobile services across the country. An over-all of 95000 jobs has been created and today 20 thousand Afghans working for five telecom companies in the country. Around 100 internet service providers’ ISPs provide internet services for the citizens. Now Afghanistan is connected to Tajikistan, Iran, Pakistan, and other neighbor international countries through fiber optic network. Afghan government proposed many e-government projects for public services, a strategy is created for electronic-government and the e-government resources center is established in MCIT.

Afghanistan telecom market has four mobile operators (AWCC, Roshan, MTN, and Etisalat) companies and two fixed line carriers Afghan telecom and Wasel telecom that provide mobile services to the citizens. These telecom operators invested about $1.5 billion in the country that results today 20 million 80-90 percent Afghans have access to mobile and telephone services across the country. The fast growing competition in telecom industry of the country pave the way for cheaper and improved quality services for citizens in a low cost. In 2003, the cost for calling was very high for example, the rate for one minute was around $0.36 in 2003 but now it is $0.05 in 2018 it shows the rate for mobile services is very cheaper from last decade.

Internet services is penetrating across the country the growth of internet and data services is slower compared to mobile services. Mostly the DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) internet services provided to citizens in major cities of Afghanistan by Afghan Telecom Corporation. In 2006 there were estimated 200,000 internet customers and there were 23 Internet Services Providers (ISP) but now there is greater than 2 million internet users and about 100 ISP in Afghanistan.

The major internet service providers that provide internet services are Neda-telecom, Insta-telecom, Rana Technologies, and some other. In the four telecom companies similarly deliver mobile (GPRS/EDGE)internet services to the citizens in the coverage zone. Afghan telecom is the largest internet provision supplier in the Afghanistan using fiber optic the ISP provide internet services to almost all the government departments and agencies.

Why research is important in Afghanistan?

The primary reason for research is to illuminate activity, to demonstrate a theory, and to contribute to developing knowledge in a field. Thus, the research should look to contextualize its discoveries inside the bigger collection of research. Research should consistently be of high quality so as to deliver information that is pertinent outside of the research setting. Moreover, the consequences of one’s investigation may have suggestions for arrangement and future undertaking usage. One issue that regularly torment progress in worldwide wellbeing is the moderate interpretation of investigation into training. Frequently, a gap exists between the individuals who conduct research and the individuals who are situated to implement the exploration discoveries.

The hidden issue is that “the creation of proof is composed institutionally with high centralize mechanisms, while the utilization of that science is exceptionally decentralized. This social separation wins since researchers are progressively situated to the worldwide crowds of different researchers for which they distribute than to the necessities of experts, policy makers, or the local public.

Thus, as researcher, it is basic to find a way to overcome this boundary. Publishing conducted studies might be one initial step to make one’s research known to the worldwide network. Other proactive measures can be taken to empower the uptake of proof based intervention. For example, one can introduce his/her research discoveries at different scenes, for example, by joining different seminars, conferences. Besides, one can send the consequences of the research to nearby authorities, local officials, and community leaders.

The fundamental significance is to create knowledge that can be applied outside a research setting. Research additionally shapes the establishment of program improvement and policies everywhere around the universe. It likewise tackles specific existing issues of concern. Research is significant in light of the fact that we can become familiar with things, individuals, and occasions. In doing research, we can settle on smart decisions. It is essential to society since it enables us to find increasingly more that may make our lives simpler, progressively agreeable and more secure. It presents more data for the observation. This takes into consideration upgrades dependent on more noteworthy information and study. It is significant. It urges interdisciplinary ways to deal with discover an answer for issues and to make new revelations. It is a fundamental element for improvement and in this manner fills in as a methods for quick monetary advancement. Some important points about need of research is stated below.

To provides the basis for government policies

It Helps in solving various operational and planning problems of business and industry

Research helps in problem-solving

It is useful to students, professionals, philosophers, literary men, analysts, and intellectuals.

To find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered so far.

Aims at advancing systematic knowledge and formulating basic theories about the forces influencing the relation between groups as well as those acting on personality development and is an adjustment with individuals.

Try to improve tools of analysis or to test these against the complex human behavior and institutions.

To understand social life and thereby to gain a greater measure of control over social behavior.

To provide an educational program in the accumulated knowledge of group dynamics, in skills of research, in techniques of training leaders and in social action.

To discover new facts & verify and test old facts through the test.

To analyze their sequences, inter-relationships, and explanations which are derived within an appropriate theoretical frame of reference?

To develop new scientific tools, concepts, and theories which would facilitate the reliable and valid study of human behavior in decision making?

Research helps in portraying accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group in the organization and leads to organization redesign, and design of strategies of development.

Research may be used to determine the frequency with which a certain thing occurs or with which it is associated with something else.

It helps in testing a hypothesis or a causal relationship between variables to determine the cause and effect impacts.

The primary goal of the research, immediate or distant, is to understand the organizational culture, social life, social environment, decision-making processes etc and thereby gain a greater measure of control over human behavior in the organization and social context.

To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it. The Academic object of research is the acquisition of knowledge and it is the thirst for knowledge coupled with curiosity that has been the guiding force behind a rich variety of research work independent of any material incentive.

Speech for Readers

Research is conducted to identify problems or to find answers to ‘uncertainties’. Studies are conducted because there is uncertainty about a phenomenon that either has, or has not occurred. Research also aims to use the best method to solve problems, whether or not experiments are conducted. The most important product that should be highlighted is that the results of research should benefit the community. Research is defined as an inclusive approach to Research and Innovation (R&I), to ensure that social actors work together during the whole research and innovation process. It aims to better align both the process and out-comes of R&I, with the values, needs and expectations of Afghanistan society. In doing so, it fosters the creativity and innovativeness of Afghans societies to tackle the grand society challenges that lie before them, while at the same time proactively addressing potential side effects.

An essential success factor for every innovation is the innovation culture in a country. Ministries and Educational Institutes play the key role here. If they see themselves as coaches, transfer decision-making authority, give regular feedback and value the ideas of their employees and students, the motivation of the employees and students become the innovative ability of the country increases significantly.

Research and Innovation is a primary need for our country, Afghanistan. Communities should be formed and trained. Afghanistan government should pay attention and invest in this critical domain.

The writer is Dr. Jawid Ahmad Baktash, General Director of R&D, Innovation and Science, MCIT, Associate Professor at faculty of Computer Science, Kabul University.

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