Friday, August 31, 2012

VM Art Gallery organize NCA group show

Jumbo Editorial Team

The VM Art Gallery organized a group show exhibition titled ‘Just Ordinary Tales’ of Master’s Programme students of National College of Arts (NCA), at their premises in Karachi.

The artists having presented their artworks were Mohsin Shafi, Nida Bangash, Mizna Zulfikar, Saamia Ahmed, Shajia Azam, Rabiya Asim, Irfan Gul Dhari, Imrana Tanveer, Maria Khan, Sarah Ahmed, Saadia Hussain and Amra Khan. 

Almost 50 paintings and artwork pieces were on the display on the occasion. One of paintings of artist Irfan Gul, ntitled ‘Eid Mubarak’ was depicting a little girl, standing on street with a rabbit in her hands and trying to say something. Another painting of Irfan was on same title, depicting a boy wishing Eid greetings but with tears in his eyes and looking grim.

Amra Khan, who used plaster and paint in her art piece, produced ‘One of the few’ which was decorated with photo frame with golden colour and painted woman wearing colourful dress of pink and yellow flowers. 

Another photo frame of Amra captioned ‘Scared of boy’ was also decorated well in which two schoolgirls were sitting together holding each other hands. 

Mohsin Shafi presented his art work on original snaps of people, one of his art works, titled ‘Case Study’ was expressing a boy sitting among many monkeys and writing something on paper while monkeys were doing different activities.

Maria Khan presented painting works, one of which ‘Sugar Dady’ was expressing an uncle wearing yellow shirt with red bow looking happy. 

Another was on title Jolly Aunty in which an aunty was standing in jolly mood, wearing white flower on her ear. 

The VM Gallery Director, Riffat Alvi, succeeded in accomplishing her cherished task of organizing such group exhibition in which the master’s students were able to showcase their talents. 

“It is totally different show as students are succeeded to present their interesting work. All work was depicting that students after completing their masters wants to go back in their childhood, she said adding that students, who belongs from art field should come here to talk and to get some benefits from the experiences of master’s students,” Riffat Alvi, herself a painter of repute, was quoted as saying.

450,000 people visit Safari Park, Karachi Zoo in a week

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has announced that over 450,000 people visited the Karachi Zoological Gardens and the Safari Park, two of the most popular recreational spots of the city, during the course of just one week, setting a new record.

The KMC, a press statement, claimed that the two recreational facilities registered the entry of over 450,000 people during the long weekend in the festive season of Eid-ul-Fitr. 

The citizens, particularly children and women, expressed interest in the newly-inducted captives, including the pair of white lions imported from South Africa and kept in an especially build acrylic glass enclosure for providing a unique experience of sight to the visitors. 

Besides, the recently brought Bengal tiger and pair of Pumas also became cynosure for people, who expressed their pleasure while watching the big cats.

According to the figures quoted in the handout, around 70,000 visitors were registered daily at the zoo and the park during the last week. 

Presenting the famed Mughal-style architecture, the newly-restored Mughal Garden is now adding to the beauty of the zoo with its greenery, beautiful flowers and fountains in the middle. 

The zoo administration is currently working on a plan to introduce more captives, including hippopotamus, rhinoceros and other valued animals, while a magic show will also be introduced soon.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Commissioner, Matanat Ali Khan, was briefed about the new and improved facilities being offered atin the recreational spots by the Director Zoo, Dr Kazim Raza, and the Director Safari Park, Salman Shamsi. 

The Metropolitan Commissioner was informed that the citizens had not only appreciated the latest initiatives but they also provided encouragement to the administration by visiting the facilities in large numbers. The newly-launched train service also attracted the interest of visitors while the new swings provide pastime to children. 

Matanat Ali Khan considered it a good omen that the citizens were enjoying better recreational facilities. These measures, he stressed, would continue in the future to ensure modern and well-standard amenities in the city.

Muneer Kamal re-elected as KSE Board Chairman

Jumbo Editorial Team

Muneer Kamal has been re-elected as the Chairman of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) Board, whose members were unanimous in their choice for the highly respectable and successful banker.

He has vast experience, spreading over three decades, in banking and financial sectors. 

His career had started with Citibank where, between November 1979 and July 1994, he served locally and internationally on various senior positions including his term as Director, Head of Country Public Sector and Financial Institutions. 

He then joined Faysal Bank Limited as President/CEO and led to spread out its operations from 3 branches to 11 and also expanded the balance sheet size from Rs.3 billion to Rs.30 billion. 

Muneer Kamal, an MBA from University of Karachi, held the position of President/CEO, and then as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer (International) of the Union Bank Limited, where he had been instrumental in various acquisitions. He worked as the President/CEO of KASB Bank Limited from November 2005 to August 2010 before his appointment as Vice Chairman of the KASB Group.

KMC to build underwater tunnel inside Clifton Aquarium

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has unveiled its plan to build an underwater tunnel inside the Clifton Aquarium to allow visitors to walk through the water tank and enjoy marine life up closely.

The decision has come at a time when the KMC has planned to reopen the city’s largest public aquarium shortly. The Clifton Aquarium has remained closed for the last six years as authorities struggled to allocate funds to run it. 

“The KMC has set aside Rs50 million in its budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year for renovation of the aquarium. However, the construction of the underwater tunnel would cost at least Rs300 million. There are two options for us. We could either seek funds from the government or turn it into a joint venture with a private party,” the Corporation’s Director General for Parks and Horticulture, Niaz Soomro, was quoted as saying. 

He agreed that besides the construction of the underwater tunnel, the Clifton Aquarium, built in the 1960s, was also in dire need of renovation.

“We have decided to remodel it like other international aquariums, which have underwater tunnels. We intend to have the maximum possible number of fish species,” the KMC official disclosed.  

Meanwhile the Head of KMC’s Enterprise and Investment Promotion department, Shoaib Waqar, reckoned that the aquarium was more likely to be be rebuilt in a public-private partnership. 

“We still need to work on the prefeasibility study. The location is very lucrative. We may also let them have a banquet hall and a food court. The city administration is looking towards recovering the initial investment in up to 10 years,” he remarked, hoping that private investors will be interested in the venture. 

The KMC has been actively trying to improve recreational facilities available for the inhabitants of the metropolis.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pakistan Railways operate Eid Special Trains despite resource constraints

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The second Eid Special Train, with 890 passengers on board, left Karachi Cantonment Station for Rawalpindi at its schedule departure time of 11 am on August 17. The Pakistan Railways will be operating three special trains on Eid-ul-Fitr.

The first Eid special train had left Karachi Cantonment Station on August 16 with 780 passengers on board while the third Eid special train will operate from Peshawar to Lahore on August 18 which would be of economy class to cater to the rush. 

The Pakistan Railways, General Manager (Operations), Junaid Qureshi, saw off the train on August 17, stating that the organization operated three special trains this year despite difficult conditions and resource constraints. 

Talking to the media at Cantonment Station, the GM explained that Railways was being run under heavily odd conditions and that even in such circumstances the work of the operational, commercial and other staff merited appreciation.

Later chairing a meeting of some Principal Officers from Lahore and Divisional officers, Junaid Qureshi reviewed the railway’s problems of mechanical nature, locomotives and rehabilitation of track. 

The Pakistan Railways, Divisional Superintendent, Karachi, Anzar Ismail Rizvi, categorically denied black marketing of tickets as reported in a section of the press. 

He said that unlike the previous years, this year more stringent measures had been taken to check black marketing of tickets and it was due to this that not a single such complaint as well as excess fare payment was received. 

He remarked that in both the Eid special trains, the railways has provided better facilities of light, water and washrooms and travelling people appreciated the same.

In the context of alleged report of black marketing of tickets, the DS Railways said that reservation for two Special trains had started on August 11 with booking of 313 seats at city station reservation office, 388 on 12th, 401 on 13th, 150 on 14th, 116 on 15th and 275 on 16th. 

He said even left over seats were purchased by intending passengers from Cantonment Station’s current reservation counter even before the departure of trains. 

At Cantonment Station’s current booking office, the railway earned a revenue of Rs 1.4 million on August 12, Rs 1.5 million on 13th, Rs 1.65 million on 14th, Rs 1.965 million on 15th and a record Rs 3.293 million on 16th. He contended that these figures were self-explanatory to negate the report of black marketing of tickets. 

Meanwhile in a major operation the Pakistan Railways Karachi Division retrieved its 18 acres of precious land near Shah Latif Town which had been occupied by powerful land mafia. The Divisional Superintendent, Anzar Rizvi, disclosed that this 18 ares piece of land was part of 357 acres of land located in Jumma Goth near Shah Latif Town and was meant for rehabilitation of people who would face dislocation during execution of Karachi Circular Railway project. 

He revealed that the land was reoccupied by the railway authorities after an operation carried out with the help of the district administration.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

KPT observes Independence Day with traditional fervour

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT), observed the 65th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan, with traditional fervour on August 14. Quran Khwani and special prayers were held at all the KPT mosques after Fajr Prayers while the siren of KPT Head Office and entire vessels in the harbour sounded for two minutes started at 8:58 am.

The newly appointed KPT Chairman, Jawed Hanif Khan, performed the flag hoisting at a graceful ceremony at the Head Office at 9:00 am and inspected the neatly dressed squads of Port Security Force, Port Fire Service, Port Civil Defence, Traffic Department, Marine Apprentices and Karachi Sea Scouts while a neatly dressed band presented the guard of honour. 

 As usual, the KPT Head Office and Keamari Boat Basin building were profusely illuminated during the nights falling on August 13 and 14.

The KPT Chairman distributed the Best Employee Awards of the Year to each of the selected candidates of every division of the organization, encouraging them and all others to perform even better in future. 

Jawed Hanif Khan, a veteran of the District Management Group of the Civil Superior Services (CSS), replaced Mohammad Aslam Hayat as Chairman of the KPT a couple of weeks ago. 

He had started his professional career in 1986, having done Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the NED University of Engineering & Technology, Master of Arts (Economics) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Karachi. Before joining the KPT, he was serving as Director General of Planning and Development at the Port Qasim Authority. 

Previously he worked as District Coordination Officer of the City District Government Karachi, Deputy Commissioner of Karachi Central and Deputy Commissioner of Sukkur and Badin.

Jawed Hanif’s rich experience of management and administration would come handy for a vibrant institution like the KPT which has initiated quite a few mega projects, with the collaboration of private sector, during the last few years which include the state-of-the-art food court, Port Grand, at Native Jetty and Jinnah Rotary Bridge. 

The KPT will be further strengthened with his expertise as more development work is planned to be carried out in the near future aimed at making Karachi Port the primary hub of maritime activity in the region.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SSUET, MAJU celebrate Independence Day with great enthusiasm

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Pakistan’s Independence Day was celebrated at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, with great honuor and dignity, on August 14.

An impressive flag hoisting ceremony marked the Day. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Syed Jawaid Hassan Rizvi, hoisted the national flag which was followed by singing of national anthem by the students and faculty members of the University. 

On the occasion glowing tributes were paid to those who had sacrificed their lives during the struggle for having an independent homeland. 

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Prof. Dr. Najeeb Siddiqui, Associate Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Mukhtar Ahmed Naqvi, Consultant CEP, Chairmen of all the departments, Acting Registrar, Syed Ejazullah Hussaini, Khumar Farooqui, Consultant, Literary, Art and Cultural Forum, besides faculty and other staff members.

Addressing the ceremony the Vice Chancellor called for continued efforts to make Pakistan a progressive and developed state where people lived with honor and dignity and in peace according to the tenets of Islam. 

“We are facing some serious challenges these days that need to be resolved collectively,” he said adding that today there is great need for unity and tolerance to make Pakistan progress economically. He reckoned that the future of Pakistan is bright. 

 “Let us all resolve on this occasion that we will keep the flag of our nation flying high and will march forward to the path of progress and prosperity,” Prof. Dr Rizvi exhorted.

On the occasion the university students presented national and patriotic songs which were responded by the guests with enthusiastic and continued clapping. 

The ceremony concluded with prayer led by Mufti Rashid-ul-Qadri for national progress and prosperity of the Muslim Umma. 

The Independence Day was also celebrated with great fervour and zeal at the Mohammed Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) where Director, Prof Dr Abdul Wahab, performed the flag hoisting ceremony. 

Speaking on the occasion Prof Dr Wahab urged upon the younger generation to rise to the occasion and work hard to lead Pakistan to its destined goal. 

He remarked that great responsibility devolves upon the students who have to take over the reigns of the country in their future and steer the ship of the nation towards progress, prosperity and greater welfare of the people.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SSUET Professor offered fellowship by EU's Consortium of Universities

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Engr Inam-ul-Ahad, an Assistant Professor in the Bio-Medical department at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has been awarded Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (EMJD) Fellowship from the European Commission under the consortium of universities offering Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate in Extreme-ultraviolet and X-ray Technology and Training for Interdisciplinary Cooperation.

EXTATIC is a three-year programme being offered by Dublin City University, Czech Technical University in Prague, RWTH Aachen University, University College Dublin, University of Padua, Military University of Warsaw, Kings College London, and the University of Southampton. 

During the course of this fellowship, which he will join in September this year, Engr Inam, who has studied at Fachhochschule Furtwangen, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, will primarily research on applications of Extreme Ultraviolet photons in Biomedical Engineering. 

The EMJD programmes are designed to foster cooperation between higher education institutions and academic staff in and around the world with a view to creating poles of excellence and providing highly trained human resources. 

The overarching objective of EMJD is to provide high level training in Extreme UV (EUV) and X-ray science to a new generation of high achieving graduate students to provide them with the transferable skills necessary for thriving careers in a burgeoning area that underpins innovative technological development across a range of diverse disciplines.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Japanese government, JICA willing to invest in Karachi’s infrastructure projects

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Mohammad Hussain Syed, has revealed said that the Government of Japan as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have shown keen interest in investment in various Karachi Projects including the Circular Railway, Rapid Bus System, Infrastructure Development and Vehicle Manufacturing which would provide jobs opportunities to a large number of people.

He made the disclosure while addressing a seminar held recently in Karachi with the collaboration of Board of Investment (BoI), Government of Pakistan, and JICA. 

The other speakers in the seminar included Saleem Mandviwalla, Chairman BoI, Masaharou Sato, Consul General of Japan, and Sohail Ahmed, President, Pakistan-Japan Business Forum (PJBF). A delegation comprising experts from Japan also attended the seminar and presented their study report on investment in Karachi. 

The KMC Administrator, on this occasion, pointed out that specific environment was needed for investment in any city or country. “If a country had its own sea ports, air roots and highways then it attracts investors to make rapid investment and avail the benefits of availability of raw material and good number of manpower for running any industry,” he said.

“Karachi in this connection offers a very conducive environment for investment and it was counted among the countries where all such elements were easily available,” the KMC chief added. 

Mohammad Hussain Syed remarked that Pakistan was considered among the 12 countries which were expected to made rapid progress due to the growing possibilities of investment from other countries. 

He also cited the examples of Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey, believing that Karachi was also among such countries which could make rapid progress in the next ten years. 

The KMC Administrator further disclosed that Germany, Malaysia, China, UAE, United States and some other countries have also shown huge interest in investing in various projects for Karachi.

“The Rs 570 million worth Phase-I of Mehran Highway was completed with the cooperation of JICA and the Phase-II being started now. The KMC was working on the improvement of city’s infrastructure and work on the Corridor-V would begin after Eid-ul-Fitr. With the construction of more underpasses and flyover at busiest intersections traffic flow would be improved and the citizens would get even better facilities in the coming days,” he observed. 

He said that the study report for restoration of Circular Railway was also completed and it was expected that the Circular Railway Service would resume in Karachi by next September. 

He hoped that people would get opportunities for livelihood with the investment in the city and it was a good omen that the JICA was providing full cooperation to KMC for Karachi Projects.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Railways campaign against ticketless travelling menace

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Pakistan Railways Karachi Division has warned that passengers travelling on tickets not issued their own name would be treated as ticketless and charged with actual fare along with penalty.

The warning has arrived in a set of guidelines issued on the directives of the Divisional Superintendent, Anzar Ismail Rizvi, to facilitate the genuine passengers. 

The DS Railways revealed that the step was taken as part of measures adopted to check black marketing of tickets which is believed to be at its peak in the season of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha when a large number of people prefer commuting on trains. 

Millions of Karachi residents, settled in the commercial capital of the country to earn their livelihoods, try level best to travel to their respective native towns and villages. Even by running additional Eid Trains, the Railways authorities find it difficult to cope with the massive numbers of upcountry-bound passengers.

The Pakistan Railways, however, has decided to facilitate the passengers by controlling the menace of ticketless travelling as well as curbing black-marketing of the tickets. 

Anzar Rizvi disclosed that the Divisional Commercial Officers have been deputed to check passengers travelling without ticket or on tickets issued on fake names, adding that strict checking in this regard will start from August 10 and will continue till Eid days. 

He further stated that besides commercial staff, the non-commercial staff will also be deputed to check ticketless travelers and for this purpose they are being imparted a special training. The DS Railways hoped that intending travelers would follow the guidelines issued for passenger’s facilitation and thus play their due role towards bringing improvement in the service.

As per guidelines issued, any one coming on reservation counter for booking of seat, will have to carry the NIC of the actual traveler and while having a reservation also leave his/her mobile telephone number with the counter clerk. 

The intending passengers have been advised that before leaving the counter compulsorily check that the ticket issued to them does carry their name besides checking the name of destination station and date of departure. 

The passengers have been told that before leaving the counter, must take the balance amount and in case of any excess payment, make a complaint to concerned officer or Station Manager so that proper action could be taken in the matter. 

Anzar Rizvi admitted that the Pakistan Railways was passing through a very difficult phase of its history and he appealed to the travelling public to exercise patience in case a train suffered late departure and extend their cooperation to staff on duty at the railway station. He urged that in such a case, the staff on duty should not be subjected to violence and also to avoid causing damage to facilities provided for public at the station.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

SSUET, University of Malaga to sign MoU for collaboration

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Pakistan, and the University of Malaga (UMA), Spain, have agreed to sign a formal MoU in near future to pave way for enhanced collaboration.

This was disclosed by Engr Mohammad Aamir, Assistant Professor at SSUET’s Electronics department, who was awarded a grant as full sponsorship by Spanish Ministry of Education during his stay at the Malaga University. 

During his stay at the Malaga University, Engr Aamir worked on FPGA based simulations as part of his PhD work, which focuses on Energy Management using SCADA. 

Using tools available in the state of the art laboratories of the Malaga University he carried out different design simulations in order to accurately evaluate the expected outcomes of FPGA-based design of Remote Terminal Unit as essential part of SCADA.

According to him, the joint collaboration was successfully established between research group titled ‘Grupo I+D Ingeneiria de Communicacions’ at the Malaga University and ‘RF Optimization’ research activities at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology. 

Engr Amir, who is doing his PhD from Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, added that the initial results of his work within this collaboration were presented in the First mobility for Life Conference on ‘Telecommunication, Technology and Problem Based Learning’ held in March 2012 in Thailand under the title of ‘Optimal Design of Remote Terminal Unit for Wireless SCADA System for Energy Management.’ 

The simulations carried out have been a further step in this research work and both universities agreed to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding in near future to further enhance the collaboration between them.

Spain’s Málaga University (UMA) is a public institution which has been actively promoting outstanding research and teaching within the European Higher Education Area. 

The institution follows an educational model to promote competitive, quality teaching which is employment-orientated and accredited in Europe. Its vigour and growth over recent years have led to it becoming a reference point for universities in Spain. 

With a university community of just over 40,000 people, over the last decade UMA has sought to promote the internationalisation of its teaching and research and the mobility of its teachers and students. 

The UMA also offers an extensive catalogue of specialised teaching and postgraduate study: PhDs, official Master's Degrees, internal studies, specialisation courses, Spanish language for foreigners, summer courses and all kinds of scientific and cultural activities for better and more complete university training.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SSUET students design and produce Rope Climbing Surveillance Robot

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Another feather was added to the cap of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, when four of its students came up with an innovative product which could create waves.  

The group of four students of the Computer Engineering department of batch 2008 comprising of Kinza Zafar, Murtaza Ali, Faizan Mahmood and Noorul Saba, under the supervision of faculty member Noman Khan, have designed and produced a modern Rope Climbing Surveillance Robot installed with the latest technology that can transfer luggage and heavy material from one place to another, even to the high places.

They took seven months to produce the robot at a cost of Rs 70,000. Installed with cameras, it can also keep an eye on the goods and activities of human resource.

The robot easily moves through the rope in any direction and it can automatically run by the remote with fed information.  

Kinza Zafar revealed that the robot can be used in the construction field, warehouses etc. to carry goods and other material from one place to the other, and also to check the goods and activities of the persons.

She disclosed that the material used in the robot is although available in Pakistan but it is very expensive.

“The Rope Climbing Robot with Surveillance Capability can climb rope vertically and horizontally. It can be operated with the help of remote control or automatically. It has a moveable camera on its head for surveillance purpose. It has weight carrying and dropping feature. It can carry pay load of 2-3 kg,” she explained.

“Industries and organizations can hire our services to produce robot for them commercially since we have skill and technique. We only need heavy machinery,” Kinza stated.