Hyderabad: Neeraj Mehraj, 17, from Diplo district Tharparkar couldn’t continue his studies due to his father’s death. Despite his penchant for schooling post-matriculation, he had to quit studies and earn a living for his family instead. Bheesham Kewal Ram’s father was a driver in Islamkot and struggled hard to give his children an education. Now, Bheesham wants to excel in the IT field as he believes the future belongs to the IT industry and those not well-versed in the field might lag. Hundreds of aspiring Thari youth like Neeraj and Bheesham poured in on Monday to put their talent and intelligence to test for becoming fellows under the Thar Information Technology Program and get fully-funded scholarships for an Android Development Course. The Thar Foundation in collaboration with the Saylani Welfare Trust has launched Thar Information Technology Program (TITP) whereby selected candidates from District Tharparkar will undertake web and android-apps development courses paid for by the Thar Foundation in full. A set of 819 applications was received through a transparent process, and 530 candidates were shortlisted matching the eligibility criteria. After carrying out the required verification, 302 candidates qualified for the test and were issued admit cards. 291 of 302 candidates appeared in the test which was conducted and invigilated by teams from the Foundation and the Trust. According to Manager Human Resource Thar Foundation, Syed Kamran Hussain, a total of 50 candidates will be selected under the android development training initiative for 18 months. “The classes will be held in Karachi by the qualified IT experts; while all the logistics and accommodation expenses shall be borne by the Thar Foundation,” Hussain said. He said that the eligibility criteria included age bracket of 15 to 20 years, the domicile and CNIC of district Tharparkar and passing of matriculation from a Tharparkar school with at least B grade. “The result of the entry test will be compiled in this week and successful candidates will subsequently be called for interviews and further process to select 50 meritorious candidates,” he added.Published in Daily Times, February 6th 2018.