Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gates Foundation joins hands with Rotary to boost polio endgame support

Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

An announcement at the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, has set the stage for a bold new chapter in the partnership between Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the campaign for polio eradication.

Jeff Raikes, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, addressed Rotarian during the third plenary session via a prerecorded video message. 

“Going forward, the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one, up to US$35 million per year, every dollar Rotary commits to reduce the funding shortfall for polio eradication through 2018. If fully realized, the value of this new partnership with Rotary is more than $500 million. In this way, your contributions to polio will work twice as hard,” he remarked. 

The joint effort, called End Polio Now – Make History Today, comes during a critical phase for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The estimated cost of the initiative’s 2013-18 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan is $5.5 billion. 

Funding commitments announced at the Global Vaccine Summit in April, total $4 billion. Unless the $1.5 billion funding gap is met, immunization levels in polio-affected countries will decrease. And if polio is allowed to rebound, within a decade, more than 200,000 children worldwide could be paralyzed every year.
Rotary and the Gates Foundation are determined not to let polio make a comeback.“We will combine the strength of Rotary’s network with our resources, and together with the other partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), we will not just end a disease but change the face of public health forever,” Raikes added. 

In 2007, the Gates Foundation gave The Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, and in 2009, increased it to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by 30 June 2012, but Rotarians in fact raised $228.7 million toward the challenge. 

“Now is the time for us all to take action: Talk to your government leaders, share your polio story with your social networks, and encourage others to join you in supporting this historic effort,” Raikes observed. 

“When Rotarians combine the passion for service along with the power of a global network, you are unstoppable, and the Gates Foundation is proud to partner with you. Let’s make history and End Polio Now,” he declared. 

Bruce Aylward, assistant director-general for Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration at the World Health Organization -- a GPEI partner -- said that the finish line for polio eradication is in sight, but cautioned that “it is one thing to see the finish line; it is another to cross it.” 

Sharing details of the latest polio eradication strategic plan, he said the plan is historic in finally setting out the endgame, the final steps needed to wipe out polio. “We now have the plan to complete the program of PolioPlus,” Aylward said. “And we have backing of you, Rotarians around the world, to get the job done.”

Actress Archie Panjabi, a Rotary polio eradication ambassador, recounted how, as a 10-year-old living in India, she had seen children crawling along the streets, propelled only by their hands. The image troubled her for years. 

When she was asked to join Rotary’s This Close campaign in 2011, she said she realized that the children she’d seen were polio victims, and that by working to eliminate polio, she could help prevent others from suffering in that way. 

“I came to realize that we still have work to do, and how important it is for people like me -- people like you -- to use our voices to raise awareness of, and support for, the global effort to eradicate polio,” Panjabi said. 

“As a Rotary polio ambassador, I will continue to do whatever I can to spread the word.” 

John Germ, vice chair of the International PolioPlus Committee, asked Rotarians to reach out to their non-Rotarian colleagues to raise money for polio eradication. He also introduced Sir Emeka Offor, a Nigerian Rotarian, who announced that he is making a new US$1 million contribution to PolioPlus. 
During a PolioPlus Advocacy workshop a day earlier, Offor had explained that his contributions to a number of causes are motivated by his humble origins. Now, as a successful businessman, he enjoys giving in order to help others avoid the circumstances he faced.

As a Rotarian, he said he takes pride in Rotary’s good work and in the organization’s leadership in the polio eradication campaign. “I hope my means will inspire others to join the fight to end polio in Nigeria,” Offor said. “Polio can be eradicated in my country in my lifetime, and it will be.” 

Also during the plenary session, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Wilfrid Wilkinson reviewed The Rotary Foundation’s accomplishments, all of which were made possible by a 1960s decision by Rotary leaders to use Foundation grants to fund Rotary service. 

“Because of the one moment ... because of their ambition, I can look back with all of you at 50 incredible years of achievements through our Foundation -- lives that we have touched, lives that we have saved, lives to which we have brought health, education, and hope. And we can look ahead, in just a few years now, to a world free of polio,” Wilkinson stated.

Samina Fazil inaugurates Women Business Centre in Islamabad

Pakistan News & Features Services

Samina Fazil, Founder President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI), inaugurated Women Business Centre in the F-8 Markaz on June 27.

Speaking on the occasion she vowed to continue the policy of facilitating the women entrepreneurs to let them accomplish their cherished goals. 

“Greater number of women should come forward in the field of business and demonstrate their prowess. Our women possess talents and skills to produce exceptional results. We are here to extend them our fullest support to them. The government should initiate more projects related to women development across the country,” Samina Fazil remarked. 

“The progress of Pakistan is linked with the progress of women. Let all the stakeholders mobilise the resources to create a business-friendly environment in which the women entrepreneurs should be particularly encouraged,” the IWCCI Founder President suggested. 

She advised the women folks to also concentrate on the areas of Information Technology, Decoration, Day Care Centres, Boutiques, Flower-making and Beauty Clinics.

The mission of the IWCCI is to create a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation and free the country from poverty. They are determined to elevate the status of women by involving them fully in entrepreneurial activities that advances economic parity and prosperity. 

The IWCCI, an exclusive platform for women entrepreneurs and professional women to strengthen their capacity and promote their products in local and international markets, aims to provide a launch pad both for beginners and smaller businesses to help in establishing themselves besides providing medium and large businesses and professionals with guidelines, workshops, liaison and technical support. 

The Women Chamber of the federal capital has been acting as an arena for members to get to know each other and benefit as a group. Through monthly meetings, members get a chance to interact with each other and discuss various issues The IWCCI, to his credit, has organized various events like Lifestyle Expo and Islamabad Expo aimed at the empowerment, education, entertainment and networking of women.

Friday, June 21, 2013

SSUET’s Rs 897 million deficit budget approved

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Rs 897.07 million budget for fiscal year 2013-14 of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, was passed on June 21.

The University’s Board of Governors which met under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, granted approval to the budget which shows a deficit of Rs 35.56 million. 

The budget showed an income of Rs 861.50 million while the expenditure has been set at Rs 897.07 million thus making the budget in deficit by Rs 35.56 million. 

Of the total budgetary estimates Rs 13.2 million have been earmarked for research projects while Rs 40 million have been set aside for provision of scholarships, Rs 26.9 million for purchase of additional lab equipments, Rs 20.5 million for construction of new academic block, Rs 7.8 million for providing financial help out of profit of endowment fund to students and employees. 

The University’s Endowment Fund has been set at Rs 320 million. The budgetary estimates shows Rs 5 million having been allocated for providing financial incentive for faculty carrying out work on research projects , Rs 0.8 million for Ph.D graduate programme, Rs 5 million for hiring foreign specialists faculty, Rs 8.5 million for development of new campus on 200 acres of land as well as IT Park.

During 2013-14, the University will spend Rs three million on purchase of new books, research journals and equipments for the library. 

A provision of Rs 23.3 million has been made for development works out of profit from endowment fund. The budget shows an accumulated development fund of Rs 111.4 million. Out of total income of Rs 861.50 million estimated for the fiscal 2013-14, the university will receive Rs 752.15 million from tuition and allied fees, Rs 77.35 million from other income, Rs 31 million as profit on endowment fund and Rs one million from donations. 

On the expenditure side, the highest chunk of the budget of Rs 545.48 million will be consumed on establishment cost. The budget estimates of Rs 897.07 million for 2013-14 are higher as compared to revised estimates of Rs 791.41 million of 2012-13. Similarly expenditure is also estimated to go up to Rs 897.07 as compared to Rs 791.41 million during outgoing financial year. 

Meanwhile the Board of Governors paid homage to late Chancellor Engr Z A Nizami, who passed away on April 7, and unanimously passed a resolution eulogizing his services and achievements besides lauding his dedication and commitment to the cause of education. 

The Board granted approval to the recommendation of the University’s Academic Council for introduction of new disciplines, and modifications in different courses studies. It also approved the audit report for the period upto June 2012 and also approved the appointment of existing external auditor for the period July 2012 to June 2013.

Among others, the meeting was attended by noted nuclear scientist, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, Prof Dr M D Shami, Cmdr (Rtd) Saleem Siddiqi, Engr Yusuf Siddiqi, Justice Fazl-e-Ghani Khan besides Registrar Shah Mahmood H Syed and Director Finance Munawar Hasan, who presented the budget.

State Bank reduces policy rate by 50 basis points to nine percent

By Mohammad Nazakat Ali
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to reduce the policy rate by 50 basis points to bring it down to 9 percent with effect from June 24, 2013.

This was decided by the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan at its meeting held under the chairmanship of SBP Governor, Yaseen Anwar, in Karachi on June 21. 

According to the Monetary Policy Decision, the SBP has decided to place a higher weight to declining inflation and low private sector credit relative to risks to the balance of payments position. 

Following is the complete text of the Monetary Policy decision: 

“There has been a discernible positive change in sentiments post May 2013 elections because of clarity on the political front. The change in the behavior of banks in auctions of government securities and reaction of stock market are two examples. Importantly, there has been a considerable improvement in SBP conducted surveys of consumer confidence, expected economic conditions, and inflation expectations. The absence of foreign financial inflows and high fiscal borrowings from the banking system, however, remain formidable economic challenges, especially for monetary policy. Similarly, power shortages and security conditions continue to be strong impediments to growth.”

“An almost continuous and broad based deceleration in inflation over the last year has had a favorable impact on inflation outlook – a key variable in monetary policy decisions. In May 2013, the year-on-year CPI inflation was 5.1 percent while trimmed measure of core inflation was 6.7 percent; the lowest levels since October 2009. The average CPI inflation for FY13 is expected to be at least two percentage points below the target of 9.5 percent.” 

“However, in the latest budget the government has announced an increase of 1 percentage point in the General Sales Tax (GST), from 16 percent to 17 percent, and changes in the tax structure for some goods and services. In addition, the government is considering a phase-wise upward adjustment in electricity tariff. The exact magnitude and timing of this adjustment is yet to be decided. Therefore, there is a risk that average inflation for FY 14 could exceed the announced target of 8 percent for the year. However, aggregate demand in the economy is expected to remain moderate, which could have a dampening effect on inflation.” 

“A reflection of the current declining trend in inflation can be seen in the muted real economic activity, especially private investment expenditures. Beset by energy shortages and law and order conditions, the GDP growth has struggled to ameliorate in the last few years and this year was no exception. The provisional estimate of GDP growth for FY 13 is 3.6 percent, which is lower than the 4.3 percent target for the year. Similarly, private fixed capital formation has decreased by 1.8 percent – the fifth consecutive year of a declining trend. Although there has been an encouraging uptick in the growth of Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector, 4.8 percent in April 2013, it is too early to term it as an emerging trend.” 

“A declining inflation trend and below potential GDP growth make a case for further reduction in the policy rate. The argument is twofold. First, the SBP has been giving a relatively high priority to inflation in its monetary policy decisions over the last few years. Thus, continuing to do so would indicate consistency in the monetary policy stance. Second, without further reduction in the policy rate, the real interest rate – policy rate minus expected inflation – would increase due to declining inflation. High real interest rates are not helpful for supporting private investment in the economy.” 

“However, as indicated in the last monetary policy decision, the current balance of payments position and a structural imbalance in fiscal accounts suggest vigilance. The stress in the balance of payments position was a prime consideration in maintaining the policy rate at 9.5 percent in the last two monetary policy decisions. The basic argument has been that the return on rupee denominated assets needs to be sufficiently attractive to discourage speculative demand for dollars.” 

“There is no significant revision in the assessment of the balance of payments position since the last monetary policy decision. The external current account deficit is expected to remain manageable, around 1 percent of GDP for FY13, signifying very low risk from this source for the external accounts. The real challenge continues to emanate from the lack of financial inflows. Let alone finance the small current account deficit, there has been a cumulative net capital and financial outflow of $143 million during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year. Add to this the on-going payments of IMF loans and it becomes clear that the pressure on foreign exchange reserves has not abated. As of 14th June 2013, SBP’s foreign exchange reserves stand at $6.2 billion.”

“There are two developments, however, that are worth highlighting. First, there has been a noticeable change in sentiments, as highlighted above, that can potentially have a favorable influence on private financial inflows. Other than the overall economic outlook, investment decisions do take into account the relative political certainty that determines the continuation of economic policies for some time in the future. Second, declining inflation has increased the relative real return on rupee denominated assets. This could provide some room for downward adjustment in nominal returns to cater to broad macroeconomic considerations despite external account concerns.” 

"In this context, a lot depends on the fiscal outlook. The fiscal deficit for FY 13 has been estimated to reach 8.8 percent of GDP, which is considerably higher than earlier projections. The source of deviation is structural and well known – low tax revenues due to absence of meaningful tax reforms and continuation of untargeted subsidies without comprehensively addressing the energy sector problems. For FY 14, the federal government has announced a provisional estimate of 6.3 percent of GDP."

"From the monetary policy perspective, it is the financing pressure of the fiscal position that is the source of stress. Due to almost zero net external financing in FY 13, the burden of financing the sizable deficit of 8.8 percent has fallen disproportionately on domestic sources, in particular the banking system. During 1st July – 7th June, FY 13, fiscal borrowings from the banking system for budgetary support were Rs 1230 billion, including Rs 413 billion from the SBP. The high level of these borrowings has kept an upward pressure on the system’s liquidity and thus short term market interest rates and is restraining growth in the private sector credit."

"If the economy is to reap the benefits of evolving positive sentiments and lure the domestic as well as foreign investors then implementation of a reform oriented and credible medium term fiscal outlook is essential. On its part, the Central Board of Directors of SBP has decided to place a higher weight to declining inflation and low private sector credit relative to risks to the balance of payments position. Therefore, the policy rate is being reduced by 50 basis points, to 9 percent, with effect from 24th June 2013."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NED University hosts Industry Academia Collaboration symposium

 By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The petroleum industry has been urged to facilitate arrangements of short-term orientation programme for the faculty members in respect to their operational endeavours and adaptations of new technologies.  
The recommendation was put forward in the recent symposium on Industry Academia Collaboration organized by the Pakistan Petroleum Exploration & Production Companies Association (PPEPCA) here at NED University of Engineering & Technology.

The other recommendations included exposure to problems being faced to be shared where possible and the academia, formulate short term and long term goals have to be planned with specific outputs, setting precedence in Pakistan by facilitating the academia in establishing a strong and sustainable technical base in the country for research and development.

The symposium was attended by over 350 participants representing Industry and Academia. A strong presence of the PPEPCA representing twenty three E&P companies was reflected by participation of chief executives/senior management of MPCL, PPL, OGDCL, GHPL, ENI Pakistan, POPH, KUFPEC and PPEPCA.

The Academia was represented by over 300 delegates including faculty members and students from seven departments of five major Engineering and other Universities of Sindh province which included Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Dawood Engineering University, and NED University of Engineering & Technology, Bahria University and the University of Karachi. Four papers two from the industry and two from the NED University were presented, preceded by a panel discussion.

Professor Dr M Afzal Haque, Vice Chancellor, NED University, was the chief guest in the ceremony, presided over by Lt General (R) Raza Muhammad Khan, President PPEPCA HRM Committee.

Prof Haque while thanking the PPEPCA for selecting NED University as the hosts for the event emphasized on the importance of Industry Academia Collaboration for combating the energy challenges of Pakistan.

He stressed on the need of more effective role of Academia and the industry and informed that NED University has already initiated project for strengthening its capabilities for teaching and research.

Lt.Gen (R) Raza.Khan while deliberating on the efforts of PPEPCA’s HRM Committee, committed for more practical role from the industry for strong and sustainable linkage with Academia.

Asim Murtaza Khan, MD/CEO, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), discussed the importance of Industry Academia Collaboration in Pakistan and stressed on the need to move from awareness to practical involvement of the two stakeholders.

Professor Sarosh Lodi, Dean (CEA&BME), NED University, recognized PPEPCA, MD/CEO of MPCL, PPL, KUFPEC and other companies for their participation. He also acknowledged the speakers, delegates from the universities for their participation and the organizers, staff and students of Department of Petroleum Engineering, and NED University for their untiring efforts to make this event a success.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

ARY Family Festival brings Karachi to life

Pakistan News & Features Services

The ARY Family Festival 2013 held at the Karachi Expo Centre on June 14, 15 and 16 provided thrill, excitement and recreation to the thousands of Karachiites who caused traffics jams on the busy University Road due to their large attendance.

The enthusiastic crowds who came to witness the festival on all three days brought smiles on the faces of the organizers who had made wonderful arrangements to facilitate the visitors. 

As expected there was bigger turnouts in the evenings. The charm of meeting favourite cooking experts and hosts like Sara Riaz, Saadat Siddique, Tahira Mateen, Samina Jalil, Maedha Rahat Ali, Arif Dawood, Afzal Nizami and Farhana Owais attracted far too many people and there were long queues in the evenings as people lined up for security checks at different points.

The discipline of the crowd was exemplary as the families were happy and willing to get themselves scanned patiently.

Although the halls remained packed to capacity and there was also rush at the food stalls the visitors moved around freely.

The presence of the celebrities like Humayun Saeed and Javed Shaikh kept the audience on their feet. 

The atmosphere inside the halls of the vast Karachi Expo Centre remained electric as persons of all age-groups were witnessed enjoying the moment. The settings were just perfect to keep them engaged.

The ARY Family Festival lived to the promise of bringing loads of fun filled activies for the whole family who were thrilled at the opportunity to meet their favourite actors, hosts, VJs and chefs besides grooving to the music with live performances and feasting at the many food stalls. The families had the choice of going on a shopping spree as quite a few known brands had set up their stalls who were offering discounts to rope in larger number of customers.

There was an incentive to show off skills in a cooking contest while children enjoyed festivities with games, rides, and hangout with their favourite cartoon characters. 

The youngsters in particular, with cameras in their cellphones, were observed availing the opportunity of clicking some memorable photographs on the occasion.

The participants of the ARY Family Festival 2013 described the three-day event as a success story.

Pakistan Deep Water Container Port to create employment opportunities for young workforce

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Senator Kamran Michael, visited the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) where he took round various maritime installations and the ongoing development projects. He was accompanied by the KPT Chairman and other high port officials.

The Minister visited all the operational berths including the three oil piers and during his three-hour visit and he also inspected the newly laid out breakwaters that will streamline the channels of Karachi Port. 

He visited the deepened length of the approach channel while the Chairman explained the desirability of deeper access for berthing of large post-panamax carriers. 

During inspection of under construction Pakistan Deep Water Container Port, the Minister directed the KPT to bring all the issues related to delay caused in its completion so that action could be taken at the appropriate forum for their resolution. 

He said that PDWCP will create much needed employment opportunities for the young workforce of Pakistan. 

While having an appraisal of current state of operations at Karachi Port the Minister raised many pertinent queries about various operational practices. 

He conveyed the vision of the present government and asked the officers to implement it transparently to ensure greater performance efficiency and made the same a role model for others to follow. He stressed on having strategic priorities for the Port to bring them in an alignment with international maritime requirements. 

He pointed out that Karachi Port, being the largest recipient of Pakistan’s national maritime trade, is expected to perform the assigned tasks with diligence and devotion. On the occasion he listened to the issues raised by port workforce and issued on the spot orders for solving them. 

He promised to look into their long term problems and assured their representatives that he will try utmost to find solution to them. He said he will visit Karachi Port regularly and monitor its activities personally. He directed the management to provide his detail appraisal of all port activities to enable him to take appropriate steps thereof.

KDA Officers Club Association remembers Engr Z A Nizami

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Various facets of the life and achievements of the late Engr Z A Nizami were highlighted at a condolence meeting organized by the KDA Officers Club Association.

The meeting, chaired by Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, was held in the newly constructed Club’s hall named after Engr Z A Nizami. The speakers, who included two former Director Generals of the Karachi Developing Authority (KDA), paid glowing tributes to Engr Nizami for his vision and above every thing else his relationship with humanity. 

In his speech, Commissioner Shoaib Siddiqi said that living nations do not forget their benefactors and Engr Nizami is one of them. He said that the condolence references organized for the departed soul fully endorses that his memory in hearts will always remain alive. 

He said that Engr Nizami was a person whose dictionary was without the word “No” and that was why he earned prayers of people in thousands having earned their prayers not only when he was the Director General of KDA but also when he became the Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET). 

Shoaib Siddiqi said that when people retire from their position, they are generally not remembered but in the case of Engr Nizami there was a difference as he always remembered those who worked under him in KDA and kept resolving their problems. 

He said that it was his management skill which earned KDA a unique place in the comity of development authorities throughout Pakistan and led Karachi to an unprecedented path of progress and development. He said although Engr Nizami was no more with us but spiritually he will always remain in our hearts. 

Speaking on the occasion Shah Mohammad Misbah, an ex DG KDA remarked that achievements made by late Engr Nizami will remain unmatched, particularly when it will be the question of either modern development or education. He said that he was the true emancipator of poor and middle class people and he earned their immortal good wishes and prayers by providing them a roof to live under. 

Sabahat Ali Khan, another former KDA DG said that hours will be required to recount the achievements of Engr Nizami but one of his biggest achievement in the development sector was construction of 10,000 quarters in Korangi in just six months. 

He recalled that KDA had become bankrupt in 1980 but it witnessed a major turn around when Engr Nizami took over and emergence of Civic Centre, KDA Club and KDA Officer’s Housing Society were classical examples. 

Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, a former Chief Controller of Buildings, said that late Engr Nizami was one of those big personalities whom we can call as a “great man” in real sense. He described Engr Nizami having extraordinary achievements to his credit. 

Besides being a world class Town Planner Engr Nizami brought a revolution in the field of education and established the biggest private sector engineering university which today stands as a symbol of his wisdom. 

Mohammed Zakir, who served as Director Land in KDA and later became DG of Quetta Development Authority, described the departure of Mr Nizami a colossal loss for this city. 

Farrukh Nizami, son of Engr Nizami informed that during his tenures of Director General, KDA, and Chancellor, SSUET, the two organizations were visited almost every head of the state and top functionaries of the Government of Pakistan. 

Rizwan Siddiqi, a former Director Public Relations in KDA, who conducted the proceedings, said that Engr Nizami was a true benefactor of poor and he was earning their prayers even today. Earlier Sultan Ahmed, Secretary of the Association welcomed the guests and said that this newly constructed hall has been named after Engr Nizami who was the founder of this club. The meeting concluded with offering of fateha for the departed soul.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Seven-week semester break at SSUET

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Following the conclusion of the spring semester examinations at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, a seven-week semester break has got underway at the campus.

The examinations, having started on May 27, were conducted in six engineering disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Civil, Bio-Medical and Telecommunication besides Computer Science.

According to an annoucement made by the University administration, new semester's classes will commence from July 29 after a the seven-week break.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Yahya Waliullah addresses career guidance seminar at AIT

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The students of theAligarh Institute of Technology (AIT), an affiliate of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, were briefed in detail about selection of their career after they pass out, at a seminar on career guidance organised by the AIT for the graduating diploma holders.

The objective was to guide the graduating diploma holders in various technical fields, to choose a career and explore job opportunities. The seminar was addressed by heads of departments of the AIT besides the representatives of various private companies and multinational NGO’s.

The keynote speaker for the session was Muhammad Yahya Waliullah, Director, Information Technology and Statistical Bureau of the SSUET, and ex Secretary, Sindh Planning & Development Department.

In an hour long presentation he guided and advised students as how to choose a career and go up on the ladder of professional life. He identified path to success and emphasized that students will have to work hard in their area of specialization, as professionals have high demand in the market.

"Professionalism comes from education, training and social network", he pointed out adding that command over the subject in which one has obtained diploma has to be supplemented with advance communication and presentation skills.

He threw light on the methods for searching a job and deliberated on the sources and preparing an effective CV that may catch attention of HR officials or employer and should focus on practical work done by students during their education, project preparation and internship.

He emphasized that CV should be as short as possible without leaving any information that may help in getting employment or job. He said major companies identify prospective employees on the basis of written test to determine knowledge base that includes some questions on I.Q. level and behavior of potential employee.

Once this stage is successfully crossed, he stated, selected candidates have to face by HR and Technical Department of the company. These interviews usually focus on subject knowledge and candidate knowledge about the company, his approach on how can a otential employee enhances production level, profitability and elevating image of the company.

That requires knowledge about the company and its competitors in the market, which can be obtained either through websites or printed material of the company.

Continuing, he said, important thing now a days is social networking like Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Twitter which are powerful social media instruments and helps a candidate in many ways.

The seminar was attended by 150 students and professionals and was followed by a question and answer session that resulted in clarification of some points and further guidance given to students and professionals.

Muslim Abbasi, Vice Principal, and Shahid Jameel, Head of Computer Information Technology organized the seminar while Dr Hilal Qureshi Principal of AIT in his concluding remarks emphasized upon the students to work hard as world has opened up and there is fair competition not among natives but across globe as well.

He thanked heads of departments, Vice Principal for making arrangements and recognized YahyaWaliullah for giving a useful presentation and guiding students.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

SSUET budget to be presented on June 21

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Finance and Planning Committee of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has finalized the budget proposals for the fiscal 2013-14. 


The outlines of the budget were finalized at a meeting of the committee, chaired by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, and attended, among others, by Zulfikar Ali Qadri, Rafiq Ahmed Akhund, Muhammed Salman Sualeh, Engr Muhammed Yusuf Siddiqui, Cdr (Rtd) Salim A Siddiqi and Registrar Shah Mahmood H. Syed. 

The budget proposals would now be placed before the SSUET’s Board of Governors which is scheduled to meet on June 21. The budget will become effective upon the approval of the Board. 

On the occasion the meeting offered Fateha for the departed soul of SSUET’s Founder Chancellor, Engr Z A Nizami, who passed away earlier this year. 

The Director Finance presented the university’s revised budget of Rs 791.56 million for the year 2012-13 with anticipated surplus for Rs 0.16 million for consideration and recommendations to the Board of Governors.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Arif Kassam elected unopposed to NED’s senate

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Noted structural engineer Arif Kassam, has been elected unopposed to the Senate of the NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi.


The notification in this regard was issued by the NED University on June 3, announcing his election under the University Graduates category. 

Arif Kassam did his BE (Civil) from the NED University in 1979 securing sixth position while he completed Masters in Structural Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA in 1983. 

He has authored and presented many papers on topics like methods of seismic analysis of buildings and their comparison with special emphasis on D-value methods, dangers of improper modeling in E-tabs, seismic design and drawings for IMF, proper detailing of reinforcement and concrete for fire resistance.

Robert Scott, Aziz Memon urge for reinstatement of Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Dr Robert S Scott Chair, International Polio Plus, Rotary International and Aziz Memon, Chair, Pakistan Polio Plus, Rotary International, have urged the government to take steps to re-establish the essential functions that were previously undertaken by the Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell in the interest of the children of the country.

In a letter addressed to the Caretaker Prime Minister, Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, with a copy sent to the Prime Minister-in waiting, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the Rotary officials have regretted the recent closure of the Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring Cell, merged with the old system, which is incapable of delivering routine immunization or running the Polio Eradication Initiative, due to serious administrative issues.

The senior Rotary officials have drawn the attention of the concerned authorities towards the particular deficiencies of the EPI were highlighted by the Federal Ombudsman in his recent ‘Report on Measles Outbreak in Pakistan.’

‘The decision to close the Monitoring Cell was done in haste, without giving any thought to future action or implementation. The programme will stall key initiatives taken by the polio cell to completely stop transmission of polio from Pakistan by the end of 2013,” they said in a jointly signed letter sent to the Office of the Prime Ministers.

“Eradication of Polio is a global priority. Pakistan, being one of the only three polio endemic countries of the world, is under intense pressure from the international community to take drastic steps for eradication of this disease and actively contribute in the Global Eradication of Polio,” Scott and Memon stated.

“The Government of Pakistan in collaboration with partner agencies approved the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for Polio Eradication with responsibilities of implementation to the District Administration,” they added.

“To achieve this objective, the Government of Pakistan had in 2011, established a Cell known as the Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring & Coordination Cell, to monitor and coordinate efforts being made at the National and International level on Polio Eradication. In addition the PM monitoring cell also assisted the National Task Force on Polio Eradication headed by the Prime Minister,” the Rotary officials recalled.

“The Cell comprised of Public Health Specialists and Experts in Polio Eradication. It has achieved major success, and witnessed tremendous progress in this area, which has been recognised and appreciated by the International Health Forums like the World Health Assembly and the Independent Monitoring Board based in London. Due to untiring efforts, polio cases have dropped from 198 in 2011 to 58 cases in 2012 and 9 cases in 2013,” they concluded.