ISLAMABAD: Pakistani students have emerged as champions of the Huawei ICT Competition Middle East 2020, winning top two coveted spots.

The team of three Pakistani students – Kalim Ullah (MS IT SEECS-NUST), Maria Aftab (MS IT, SEECS-NUST) and Asadullah (Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro) – won first place in the competition in the Middle East category of the tech contest and qualified for the final global competition.

More than 15,000 students and 440 universities from all over the world participated in the event held virtually this year.

The final leg included 13 teams from 27 universities in which the Pakistan’s team emerged victorious, winning prizes that include $20,000 prize money, Huawei MateBook laptops, smartphones and also a chance to join Huawei Pakistan.

The winning students are from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro.

The victory has enthused the team to secure a position in the global final as well.

The member of the winning team, Kalim Ullah, said it was an exciting and “incredibly proud” moment for Pakistan. “It is a huge honour to represent Pakistan in the esteemed competition and to bring glory to our country” said Kalim, a Master’s degree student at NUST Islamabad majoring in Networks, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence.

The students were glad that the Chinese tech giant offered them an immersive learning opportunity during the coronavirus period that affected the global education system.

“It was a unique experience as we witnessed the power of distance learning in its fullest form during the pandemic.” For Maria too, learning was the most important aspect of the contest that came along with “generous monetary benefits.”

Thousands of students from Pakistan applied for the highly competitive tech contest but Huawei selected the top 500, the official statement said.

“The list was further narrowed down to 150 students” who were offered free training and virtual classes during the preliminary round.

Finally, the best 30 students from Pakistan were finalised for the final national round and shortlisted the top six for the Huawei ICT Middle East competition, Asadullah explained, adding that “we were among the six lucky Pakistanis selected for the regional contest”.

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