Sunday, August 28, 2016

Students Guidance Centre set up at SSUET

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has established a Students Guidance Centre to facilitate the future engineers. 

“Guidance and counselling of students is an integral component of the educational mission of the university as they promote the personal, social, educational and career development of all students,” Siraj Khilji, Honorary Advisor of the Counselling and Guidance centre of the Career Planning department, remarked. 

According to him the focus of career counseling is generally on issues, such as career exploration, career change, personal career development and other career related issues and it supports individuals in understanding their situations, so as to take the issues towards solutions. 

 “The main functions of the department are to explore career options and guide the students broadening their horizon to choose the field of their work, to guide the students in writing cover letter techniques, resume writing and prepare them to face up interviews confidently besides guiding the students in finding best and most efficient method of searching for employment, helping them in strengthening skills and supporting them in professional development by giving personalized counselling to all graduates and advising them to enhance their skills by getting extra short qualifications and certifications, which will enrich their employability,” he explained. 

“In order to create new jobs/internship opportunities, we have started contacting employers to induct our students in their Internship and hiring programmes,” the SSUET official added. 

“Those having passed out from the SSUET are our assets as they are serving the country at many key posts. Keeping in view their positions in job markets we have reached some of them to guide the SSUET students about growing industries and job opportunities and career options they have in job market. Positive response has been received from the alumni,” Siraj Khilji stated 

“We are also utilizing social media as an online platform to help and promote the SSUET students to a wider audience, and avail more opportunities of updating the students with different growing industries and their promising opportunities, appraising the students of values of professionalism, which are not found in management books and also identifying different career options which are parallel to engineering profession and are adoptable by an engineer,” he concluded.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Presidential awards for AKU faculty

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain has conferred prestigious awards on two senior professors at the Aga Khan University (AKU) in recognition of their outstanding services to the profession.

Professor Syed Ather Enam, Chair of the Department of Surgery at AKU, has been awarded Pakistan’s third highest civilian award, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, for his work in the field of medicine. 

Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the University, has been honoured with a Pride of Performance Award for his contributions to healthcare education.

The announcement was made on Independence Day, August 14, 2016, where the President conferred awards on a number of Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals for demonstrating excellence in their respective fields. 

Speaking about the awards, Farhat Abbas, Dean of the Medical College at AKU, said: “Throughout their careers, Dr Enam and Dr Bhutta have upheld the highest standards in their respective fields. A generation of surgeons and researchers has honed their skills under their supervision and are making an impact in their chosen fields of service. I congratulate them both on this richly deserved honour.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

PLISJ latest issue highlights intellectual honesty

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The third quarterly (July-September) issue of 2016 of the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), now in its 48th year of publication, has arrived with its usual mix of research articles, features, reviews and reports on various aspects of the noble profession.

The highlight of the latest issue of the PLISJ is the editorial captioned ‘Intellectual Honesty’ in which the Chief Editor, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, has raised valid issues. 

It’s indeed another worthy effort of the Karachi-based non-governmental organization Library Promotion Bureau (LPB) whose top functionaries continue to meet the challenges despite resource constraints. 2016 is the Golden Jubilee year of the bureau and they are making it count. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, a renowned scholar besides being an eminent library scientist, leads his team by example and he seems to have made it a point to bring out the PLISJ in time every time. 

He is being ably supported by her prolific student, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, who herself has become a legend in the field of library science. 

Both of them deserve to be complimented for their outstanding work which has kept the bureau and its flagship publication afloat in the most demanding situations. 

Bringing out the PLISJ every quarter for nearly half a century now is an accomplishment which merits recognition from the concerned authorities. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in particular should provide them the desired support and assistance to let the quarterly journal flourish. 

The PLISJ is a great gift to the library community which is presented to them by the LPB every quarter. The universities and the library schools all over the country are also needed to play a definite role in boosting the journal whose resource material is acclaimed as being of the highest standards.

SSUET organize Jashn-e-Azadi Cricket Tournament

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Inter-University Jashn-e-Azadi Cricket Tournament was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Prof. Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, at the Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium in Karachi on August 17. Hosts SSUET and the Pakistan Marine Academy were set to lock horns in the opening fixture. 

Earlier in a media briefing, the SSUET Director Sports, Mubashir Mukhtar, observed that the T20 tournament will provide a boost to sports in educational institutions. 

He pointed out that SSUET had celebrated the Independence Day with an unprecedented zeal and fervor and this tournament was being organized in the same context as part of the independence celebrations. 

Mubbashir Mukhtar informed that Karachi’s best universities were participating in this tournament, having been divided into two groups. 

He stated that there will be two matches daily, to be played in accordance with the laws of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), will be supervised by qualified umpires,  adding that the semifinals will be held on September 2 while the final will be played on September 3. 

The SSUET official  thanked the management of Naya Nnazimabad for providing ground and facilities for the tournament. 

The Director Sports of Naya Nazimabad, Mohammed Iqbal, said that cricket tournaments were being held at their ground for the last four years and the facilities had been appreciated at the national level. 

He informed that soon hockey and football grounds will also be developed in near future and they will always be made available for the sports activities of educational institutions. The CEO of Naya Nazimabad, Samad Habib, and the Financial Controller, Imran Haq, were also present on the occasion

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Independence Day celebrated at SSUET with great fervor

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Independence Day was celebrated at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, with unprecedented fervor and zeal, on August 14.

At the campus, Chancellor Jawaid Anwar, accompanied by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, and Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, performed the flag hoisting ceremony which was largely attended by the heads of various departments, faculty members, prominent Aligarhians, staff members and students. 

Addressing the ceremony Chancellor Jawaid Anwar said that the cherished objective behind the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia was to provide them a land where they could lead their lives in accordance with the tenets of Islam. 

He advised that this day should be celebrated with a renewed commitment to continue to work for the progress and prosperity of the homeland.

He observed that the country was created with unmatched sacrifices and the builders deserve to be paid highest tributes, adding that every nation did face ups and downs but only those succeeded who had remained steadfast and united with the spirit of national integrity. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, remarked that there’s more need for greater patriotism to face the present day challenges and odds and make Pakistan an invincible state. 

The Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, said that today is the day of renewal of our commitment towards out motherland so as to make it a strong and prosperous nation for our present and future generations. On the occasion, the students presented national songs.

Innovative app wins top prize at AKU’s first-ever Hackathon

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The innovators at Pakistan’s first-ever medical hackathon at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, have proposed new ways of tackling challenges facing Pakistan’s emergency rooms (ER).

HistorER, the winning team at the Hackathon, came up with a unique QR (quick response) code system to address a persistent challenge faced by ER doctors. 

Patients are often brought to emergency by family members or by bystanders who are not aware of their medical history. In the absence of critical information, doctors face delays in performing life-saving procedures. 

The HistorER team has suggested that every person carry a medical card with a QR code with vital details: blood group, allergies, current medication and previous operations. Scanned, the QR code would provide doctors immediate access to information and the ability to initiate treatment promptly. 

Speaking about the winning team’s solution, the lead organizer of the event, Dr Asad Mian, Associate Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU, said: “HistorER’s idea can improve the efficiency of the ER and reduce errors caused by doctors not having timely access to vital patient data. Since the team’s solution involves their own storage and retrieval system, they can also ensure the safety of patient records and facilitate information sharing between doctors at different hospitals.” 

Besides the winning team, three other groups also received prizes and awards. JackED which developed a convenient, prototype ER gown or ‘JackED’ to boost the accuracy of ECGs, a test to determine whether a heart attack has taken place. 

TrICS who created an app enabling ambulance paramedics to relay vital data about critically ill patients to ER staff before they arrive at the hospital. 

Breath Hacks which developed a mechanical Ambu Bag device to provide emergency breathing assistance to patients waiting for a ventilator 

All pitches at the event were scored by a panel of healthcare, entrepreneurship and innovation experts in line with four criteria: health impact, innovation, business model, and presentation skills. 

The Pakistan Innovation Foundation founder, Athar Osama, one of the judges at the event, remarked: “Innovation within a society comes from the bottom up. It is the work of individuals who, who faced with constraints, take it upon themselves to find solutions. Emergency response is a very critical area for a volatile city like Karachi and I’ve seen some great ideas at the Hackathon that are sorely needed. The participants have made great progress in just a few days and I look forward to seeing how they build upon these ideas.” 

80 participants, worked over three days, and they were assisted by 20 mentors with a background in entrepreneurship. The participants from fields as diverse as medicine, information technology, business and engineering collaborated to find innovative ways to improve patient safety, boost the productivity of physicians and reduce treatment time. 

Speaking about the need for innovation in the healthcare sector, Aga Khan University Hospital CEO Hans Kedzierski observed: “Hackathons are one of the most vibrant ways to create innovative solutions. The 11 teams had just two days to tackle complicated problems. Even then we found it so difficult to decide the most innovative solution. However, the intelligent use of technology to boost patient safety meant that we choose HistorER. I’d like to congratulate all the teams on their hard work. It is great to see young people working hard to create a better healthcare system for Pakistan.” 

Besides Athar Osama, judges at the event included Dr Munawar Khursheed, Assistant Professor at AKU, Rumman Ahmed, entrepreneur and creativity consultant, Dr Talha Rehman, Operations Manager at the Elaj Trust, Hans Kedzierski, AKUH CEO, and Khairunnisa Hooda, Head of the 24/7 Emergency and Acute Care Service Line at AKUH. 

A host of international speakers and local experts delivered inspirational speeches during the event to help guide the teams at the Hackathon. The speakers included Firoz Rasul, AKU President, Dr Junaid Razzak, healthcare policy expert and serial entrepreneur, Dr Farhat Abbas, Dean of the Medical College at AKU, Dr Ayesha Khalid, one of the organisers of MIT’s Hacking Medicine event, and Hans Kedzierski, AKUH CEO. 

Supported by the Department of Emergency Medicine, AKU, and the 24/7 Emergency and Acute Care Service Line, AKUH, the event was organised by the Critical Creative Innovative Thinking forum which is an educational, training and research programme seeking to foster creativity and innovation in biomedicine and healthcare.

Friday, August 12, 2016

AKU introduce innovation into Emergency Room

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The first-ever Hackathon at the Aga Khan University (AKU) has brought together a variety of experts to solve pressing problems in the city’s emergency room facilities.

The hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) is often the first point of call for citizens whenever a disaster or public health outbreak hits Karachi. 

Hence the challenges arising from the prevailing situation, infrastructure failings and resource shortages are acutely felt in the ER as medical staff rush to treat a surge of patients facing life-threatening conditions. 

In order to find innovative solutions to these daily challenges, the AKU will be hosting a three-day medical hackathon. 

The event, from August 13 to 15, will see professionals from all walks of life, nurses, doctors, businessmen, engineers and designers, pool together their knowledge and ideas to find unique solutions to issues facing emergency departments in Pakistan. 

More than 100 participants and 25 mentors, divided into multiple teams, will ‘hack’ or find quick solutions to medical challenges. 

One of the speakers will be Dr Junaid Razzak, who was the head of Aga Khan University Hospital’s Emergency Room and led the development of Aman Foundation’s emergency medical services. 

Regarding the need for a medical hackathon, Dr Junaid Razzak said: "Traditionally, healthcare systems are hierarchical, risk averse and slow to change. While there are many benefits to this traditional approach, the lack of innovation especially in environments with few resources, have not delivered positive healthcare outcomes for the majority of people.” 

“I believe that solving the challenges of healthcare for countries like Pakistan is possible through innovation. I am excited that a group at AKU has taken the key first steps to organize and recognize non-traditional thinking to solve key health challenges. This has the potential to fundamentally change the discussion around approaches to healthcare systems," he added. 

Throughout the event, mentors and veterans from various professional fields from business to IT to medicine will share their experience of solving problems with participants.  

After two days of fast-paced work, the hackathon will conclude with presentations to a panel of judges, presenting concrete, sustainable solutions suited to low to middle income countries such as Pakistan. The panel will assess ideas worth being funded and launched. 

Speaking about the event, Dr Asad Mian, associate professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU said: “Hackathons are full of energy, drive and enthusiasm. I was inspired by Hacking Medicine’s event at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the drive and enthusiasm of participants to address and solve healthcare problems of global significance."

“The MIT’s Grand Hack 2016 was delightfully different. Therefore, with the MIT’s constant support and feedback, our team is now hosting the first-ever medical hackathon at AKU. We hope to improve lives through ‘hacking’ medicine in a manner that is critical, creative, innovative, and above all, resourceful,” he concluded.