Monday, September 30, 2013

Investment Conference on Pakistan to be held in Poland

Pakistan News & Features Services 

Jan Strawinski, Vice President, Multi Marine Services Limited, to be appointed as Honorary Investment Counselor (HIC) of Pakistan in Poland, and Andrzej Arendarski, President, Polish Chamber of Commerce called on Mohammad Zubair, Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI) and Imran Afzal Cheema, Secretary BoI, in Islamabad on September 30. 

The visiting Polish Chamber of Commerce President supported the idea of the BoI Chairman of holding an investment conference in Poland, with the support of Polish Government, in order to promote investment opportunities of Pakistan for Polish investors. The conference is planned to be held in May 2014. 

It was agreed that the conference will provide the participating countries an opportunity and a platform for economic and business activities that will engage them in commercial dialogue, networking with their counterparts from Pakistan for exchanging views on current economic trends and establishing business relationships with a wide spectrum of industries for advancing trade and investment led economic growth. 

The Polish official expected a large number of key international personalities, dignitaries, businessmen, industrialists, investors from Pakistan to attend the investment conference next year. 

The BoI Chairman specifically discussed investment opportunities for Polish investors in oil & gas, power, infrastructure, mining, agriculture, construction industry and textiles.

Samples of sea organisms collected from new island

Pakistan News & Features Services

Samples of coral, seashell, coralline algae and a number of dead fishes, crabs and shrimps have been collected during a survey of the newly-formed island off the coast of Gwadar.

The island was formed by a powerful earthquake last week, killing more than 500 people and affecting hundreds and thousands in Balochistan’s Awaran district. Abdul Rahim, coordinator of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-P), Gwadar, conducted the survey with the help of local experts. 

The team has spotted a number of marine organisms, dead or alive, on the island since the area is rich in biodiversity. 

It has identified four species of small encrusting and branching coral species along with seashells, sea cucumbers and algae. The team also noticed gaseous emissions and believed that it was methane gas. 

“Colonies of coral were found all over the island. It is a positive sign because most other features of marine biodiversity are associated with coral colonies. The biomass of this particular area is very satisfactory and the area is known for rich biodiversity,” the WWF team’s preliminary report noted.

“This is evident from the extensive fishing carried out in the area as, according to local fishermen, more than 200 fishermen daily fish in the surrounding area where the new island has emerged,” it added. 

The dead fishes found on the island included groupers, flat-head, moray eel and grunt. “All these fishes got stranded on the island when seawater ran out as a large part of the seabed was raised when tectonic plates pushed together,” the report claimed. 

The muddy island between two and three kilometres away from the coast is believed to be round, about 500 feet long and 60 feet above the sea level.

Citing indigenous fishermen’s accounts, the report states that a similar island had emerged near the Gwadar coast in 1945 following an earthquake with its epicentre in the northern Arabian Sea. 

The last island, according to fishermen, was similar in size but it was less elevated as compared to the present island. 

According to the National Institute of Oceanography experts, the land masses are bodies of mud which have been pushed out due to release of highly pressurized methane gas present in the form of hydrates hundreds of meters below the seabed. 

Only the land mass off the coast of Gwadar is accessible which, experts believe, will disappear in a few months because of wave action and reduction in gas pressure.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Allied Panel sweeps ABAD elections

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Allied Panel has swept the elections of the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) having secured a heavy mandate. 

The representatives of two rival panels, Allied and Progressive, contested for the six seats of Central Executive Committee (CEC) and six seats of Regional Executive Committee (REC) in the elections for 2013-14, held at the ABAD House in Karachi. 

Allied Panel’s Mohsin Sheikhani, Saleem Qasim Patel, Mohammad Hanif Ghohar, Fayyaz Ilyas, Mohammad Haneef Memon, and Syed Afzal Hameed were elected as the CEC members while Hasan Bakhshi, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Rameez Qasim Ghaziani, Muhammad Ayub and Imran Fazlani were elected as the REC members. 

The ABAD is a national level representative organization of builders and developers, registered under the Companies Ordinance, 1984, and affiliated with the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of commerce and Industry (FPCCI). It was formed in the year 1972 with the aim and objective of unifying and streamlining the construction activities of private sector.

KCCI office-bearers elected unopposed

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Managing Committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), in its meeting held on September 28, elected unopposed office bearers for the year 2013-2014. They will assume their charge on September 30 in the Annual General Meeting. 

Aamir Abdullah Zaki has been elected as unopposed President while Muffasar Atta Malik and Mohammad Idrees were elected Senior Vice-President and Vice-President respectively. 

The other office-bearers to be elected were Haji Asif, Hasan Sheikh Vohra, Imran Abdul Aziz, Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Ali, Naveed Farooki, Mohammad Lakhani, Pervez Ashfaque Dawawala, Qamar Raza Shoukat, Shaikh Mohammad Arman Hussain, Asif Nisar, Jamal Rasheed and Shehzada Nasir Maqbool. 

The newly-elected office bearers of KCCI have assured that they will discharge their duties to the entire satisfaction of the members of the chambers in particular and the business community in general. They pledged to leave no stone unturned to achieve the objectives of the premier chamber of the country.

KMC plans improved infrastructure for industrial zones

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has started preparations on its plan to develop roads and other basic infrastructure in four industrial zones implementation in order to boost the local industries. 

This was revealed by the KMC Administrator, Saqib Ahmed Soomro, who added that the plan was aimed to provide maximum opportunities for the livelihood to the people of city besides contributing further to the national exchequer. 

He made the observations while addressing a meeting held on building infrastructure of industrial zones of Karachi on modern lines. The Director General Engineering Department, Niaz Ahmed Soomro, and the Senior Director Transport & Communication, Mohammad Athar, were also present on the occasion. 

During the meeting condition of various sectors including infrastructure, roads, green belts, signals, street lights, water & sewerage system, parks and others were reviewed in detail and other matters including future planning were also covered. 

The KMC Administrator emphasized that the industrial zones of Karachi would be provided maximum possible facilities and the best infrastructure in order to let them compete with the international industrial zones.

SSUET organize World Heart Day seminar

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The future generation needs to be protected against cardiac disorders from early life by adopting heart-healthy living. 

“It is threatening that the number of patients with cardiac disorder is growing rapidly and has also emerged as a prime killer among women claiming one life in three deaths,” Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, Vice-Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, observed while speaking at the World Heart Day seminar organized by the university’s Quality Enhancement Cell on Cardiac Health Awareness to create awareness against heart problems. 

The 2013 World Heart Day highlights a life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and shows what actions can be taken through a person’s life to reduce the risk. 

“People have a fair opportunity to prevent the future impact of heart diseases by enabling heart-healthy living from childhood throughout life,” the Vice-Chancellor emphasized He described sedative life style in modern era as one of the major factors for heart disease and stroke adding that “if you want to live with a healthy heart, you should prevent yourself from exposure to lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet, stress and tobacco smoke etc.” 

Speaking on the occasion, renowned Cardiologist Dr Kashif Shaikh pointed out heart attack at young age is more dangerous than the older age. He warned people to go to the doctor immediately if they feel chest pain. He also advised to take 300 mg aspirin in emergency before going to the doctor or hospital. 

He said that in diabetes risk of getting heart disease or stroke gets double informing that the LDL cholesterol can only be controlled by through exercise and the human body gets 60 % of cholesterol from diet, but 40% of it is produced by the body itself. 

He extended warning against smoking pointing out that some 4200 particles in smoking are extremely poisonous to the body, emphasizing that cigar and sheesha were more dangerous than cigarettes and advised every one to go for daily 30-minute walk. 

Farzana Amir Hashmi, a senior Rehabilitation consultant, focused on diet and said heart disease and stroke can be monitored and prevented through diet control. She remarked that a housewife played an important role in the control of heart disease and prepare food with minimum salt and oil while people should avoid using margarine cheese, butter and other oily or deep fried food. 

Earlier Prof Dr M A Haleem, Chairman Biomedical Engineering Department, SSUET, welcomed the participants and guest speakers, and discussed interaction of engineering principles with biomedical sciences. He emphasized on holding of academic programs for the benefit of biomedical engineering students.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Engineering solutions to prevent road accidents discussed in SSUET seminar

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The significance of traffic and transportation engineering in ensuring road safety, was highlighted at a seminar on engineering aspects of road traffic accident organized by the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, at its campus on September 24.

In his keynote address on the occasion, Prof Mir Shabbar Ali, Chairman Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, NED University of Engineering & Technology, gave a detailed presentation and described that road traffic injury or accident was a man-made problem, which can be addressed through sound engineering solutions. 

He observed that in the absence of a mass transit system in Karachi, the volume of traffic had increased manifolds and explained that people had no choice but forced to maintain their own vehicle and as a result ratio of vehicles per household has increased. Similarly, he pointed out, the number of motor cycles had also risen and more than two million were plying in the city. 

He remarked that the majority of work force use low capacity mini buses in inhuman conditions with pressure on roads increasing with every passing day. The nature of traffic was such it was hazardous for pedestrians particularly children, boys, girls, women and old persons, Prof Shabbar stated, adding that approximately 35,671 accidents occurred in the year 2012 with 1000 being fatal.

He said motorcycles and pedestrians had a combined share of 80% in road accidents and there had been an increase of 35% in accidents since last year which was a matter of great concern. 

Earlier Prof Dr S M Makhdumi, Dean Engineering, who presided over the seminar introduced the topic and explained the significance of traffic and transportation engineering in ensuring road safety.. 

Other speakers included Engr Abdul Qadir Bhutto, Traffic Consultant, and Malik Zaheer-ul-Islam, a former DG Mass Transit CDGK and presently an Assistant Professor at the SSUET. 

Engr Abdul Qadir described his experiences of traffic engineering while Malik Zaheer emphasized upon 4 Es of traffic and transportation engineering-Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Education. At the seminar, common causes of road accidents were identified as being driving mistakes, over speeding, driving under influence of stress, tail gating with low tolerance level showing aggressive temperament on roads, distractions during driving by use of cell phones, motorcyclists avoiding helmet.

Poor lane discipline, overtaking in wrong manner and frequently changing lanes particularly by mini bus drivers and motorbikes, poor condition of road with potholes, craters, cracks on roads uneven surface, wet spillage, sharp horizontal and vertical curves and undivided roadways were identified as other causes, besides construction on footpaths with hardly any space left for pedestrians to use sidewalks. 

It was observed that after closer of U-turns and construction of signal free corridors the pedestrian find difficult to cross road. Pedestrian bridges being far apart and difficult for people to cross roads like Shahrah-e-Faisal, maintenance of pedestrian bridges also being inadequate while Zebra crossing not marked, Traffic signs missing and road construction works carried out without proper road diversions. 

The seminar was organized by Assistant Prof. Engr Asif Mohyiuddin, jointly with Assistant Prof Asif Abassi, lecturers Engr Hafiz Arsalan, Tayyaba Batool and Engr Anus. Among others, the seminar was attended by Prof Fahim Ahsan, Assistant Prof. Khurshid Jamal, Shahid Saleem, lecturer Saleem Khan Kundi besides a large number of students.

Prof Dr Shabbar, Engr Asif Mohiuddin, Engr Asif Abassi and Malik Zaheer suggested a number of engineering solutions to avoid road traffic accidents like improvement in infrastructure, primary treatment of road like grade separation, properly designed intersection, providing advance warning signs, functional signals detailed engineering analysis and treatment of black spots. 

Dr Shabbar recommended and called for an in-depth analysis of all traffic components and traffic safety audit. He emphasized that emerging technology in engineering aspects of road traffic must be utilized in developing road safety models and effective traffic management. 

Prof Fahim Ahsan, Traffic Consultant, mentioned that road safety measures were only possible with a support program to educate people and create awareness in masses of all ages with proper publicity in print and electronic media.

Monday, September 23, 2013

SSUET participates in Advanced Quantitative Analysis workshop

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The use of predictive analytics software has made it easier to confidently predict next moves and thus help in making smarter decisions and resolve problems with improved results.

“It helps universities easily integrate statistical analysis, data and text mining and survey research instruction in the classroom,” Prof Dr. Jawaid H Rizvi, Vice-Chancellor Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, observed during the two-day online training workshop on Advanced Quantitative Analysis through SPSS and AMOS organized by Institute of Research Promotion, Lahore. 

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that innovative programmes help prepare future business leaders to encounter tough challenges using industry leading IBM technology. IBM SPSS software enables educators to teach effectively, helps students gain critical analytical skills and supports more accurate and insightful institutional research and decision making, he added.

The workshop objective was to train the participants in how to produce various advanced level statistics according to their research needs and how to use SPSS and AMOS for producing quantitative analysis, interpreting values, applying tests and producing results in graphical modeling. 

Around 40 participants of SSUET were connected to the other institutions and researchers across the country through this Webinar, HD Video Conference. 

The program also focused on Interpretation and writing quantitative findings and building capacity to produce quantitative analysis through software. Quantitative analysis has become increasingly pre-requisite to academic research, managerial reports and field analysis. Sophisticated quantitative techniques are applied to report patterns, test significance, infer statistics and present results in graphical models.

Monday, September 16, 2013

SSUET takes lead in migrating to Office 365 application of Microsoft Cloud

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has become the first academic institution of the country to migrate on Office 365 application of Microsoft Cloud, the technology now being used globally. 

In this regard a ceremony was held at the SSUET in which the Office 365, the latest cloud technology of Microsoft, was formally launched by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid Hasan Rizvi. 

In a detailed presentation on the occasion Zafar-ul-Islam, Microsoft Technology Expert, Asia Pacific Region, stated that this facility is provided by Microsoft free of cost to academic and research institutions all over the world. A team of SSUET networking staff had been working with Microsoft to transfer SSUET email service to Office 365. 

"This has been a major undertaking that includes changes to our authentications system, grouping and training", Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jawaid Rizvi, remarked while inaugurating the services by clicking the computer button. 

He acknowledged the networking and server room staff for having worked hard for a successful migration and many of them have already received training on the new cloud technology. 

This is an important step towards transfer and adoption of high tech cloud technology for which direction and timeline of year 2015 have been given by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to the member public and private sector universities, he pointed out adding that SSUET is also the partner of Microsoft Software Strategic Alliance through the HEC. 

In his welcome address Abdul Moid Khan, System Manager SSUET, said that they had been working with Microsoft, its local and international support is available all the way in this project. By transfer of the SSUET network services on Microsoft Cloud, the SSUET will enter into the world of paperless environment and will enjoy following high tech facilities free of cost. 

In his presentation, Zafar-ul-Islam dilated upon in detail the salient features of the technology and its applications in various academic, commercial and business fields, including Exchange online (For Emails on SSUET domain ), outlook Web app (Outlook Web version) Lync online (For Video Conferencing and messaging) and SharePoint Portal Online (Complete Document Management System).

He informed that Migration on Microsoft Office 365 is widely adapted globally, especially in academic environment, as Microsoft is providing these services free of cost to all academic institutions like Duke University, Emory University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Iowa and University of Washington chose Office 365 for education and next-generation cloud productivity services. 

He said that many universities in Pakistan are working on this project. However, it is a big achievement that SSUET is the first in academic sector in Pakistan with more than 7000+ accounts to adopt and transfer on Office 365 cloud. 

The Associate Dean SSUET, Dr Najib Siddiqui, said that it is the latest technology adopted by SSUET and it will take this institution to new horizons providing support to imparting modern education to its students. 

Zafar-ul-Islam explained the top 10 business and technical priorities, highlighted the importance of education and said that technology play an important role in it as well as development of society and economy as a whole besides industrial skills. 

On the occasion, Mr Anas Kidwai, Project Coordinator Microsoft Innovation Center, gave a presentation on Microsoft and Academia Collaboration.

Monday, September 9, 2013

WBF, BID launch project for prevention of diabetes during pregnancy

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) has launched a three-year ‘Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Prevention and Control Program’ project in Pakistan with the collaboration of the Baqai Institute of Diabetology (BID), Karachi.

The Head of the Institute, Prof Dr. Abdul Basit, while explaining the salient features of the project said in an interview that the WBF is helping the developing countries in combating the rapidly rising epidemic of diabetes with the BID being its strategic partner in Pakistan. 

“Our country has a high prevalence of diabetes while in the past years, the occurrence of high blood pressure had doubled and that of obesity tripled in the ages of 15 to 25 years, therefore even younger population, (18 years or less) is getting afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes,” he remarked. 

According to him nearly 9.6 million children are overweight and obese. There is increased risk of rise in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, causing huge economic burden. He said that health needs to be a priority of our policy makers and there ought to be national policies for the prevention of diabetes and it has become important to launch diabetes-related international projects in Pakistan. 

Prof Dr Basit pointed out that diabetes occurring first time during pregnancy is called Gestational Diabetes. Women of south Asian origin are more likely to have Gestational Diabetes and its adverse consequences. Over 10% of pregnancies in our population are complicated by Gestational Diabetes which creates risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in the mother, later in the life and increased risk of developing obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes in the offspring during child hood and adolescence.

Continuing, he said, Gestational Diabetes should be considered as an early warning sign of Type 2 Diabetes occurrence (40% - 60% risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in 5 to 15 years) and efforts should be made to prevent it through lifestyle modification strategies such as improving physical activity, reducing weight and improving diet of Pakistani women of reproductive age and the project is a major step in that direction. 

On the occasion, Dr Shabeen Naz Masood said that women with uncontrolled blood sugar levels during pregnancy may have immediate adverse consequences such as deranged lipid levels, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. 

They are more prone to obstetric complications, such as abortions, preterm deliveries and Shoulder Dystocia and have greater probability of undergoing caesarian section, she said and added that offspring of women with GDM are at an increased risk of developing congenital malformations such as defects in the heart, central nervous system and musculoskeletal system, hypospadias, polydactyl and fetal growth restriction. The birth of a large and heavy baby may cause complication during labour. The newborn may suffer from respiratory distress, jaundice or low blood sugar. Fatal mortality is also high. 

Dr Musarrat Riaz, another noted Diabetic specialist, said that our ethnic predisposition to diabetes necessitates universal screening of all pregnant women for Gestational Diabetes and the simplest test is the estimation of blood sugar 2 hours after giving a drink of 75 gm glucose, at the first visit of pregnant lady to a doctor irrespective of that the patient is fasting or not. 

Patient education is the key to the management and medical nutrition therapy and exercise are the first steps. If blood sugar is still not within normal limit insulin therapy is initiated. Insulin is the gold standard treatment. Blood sugar of the mother should be monitored during pregnancy and at regular intervals after delivery. 

Accompanying Prof. Basit, another specialist, Dr Asmat Nawaz, informed that main objectives of this project are to create awareness in the community, to train doctors and health care professionals and to establish Gestational Diabetes screening as a regular procedure. 

He said that Public Awareness Campaign through print and electronic media would be initiated, awareness literature in Urdu and Sindhi languages would be developed, doctors, midwives and paramedics would be trained, three major Gestational Diabetes canters and 30 minor Gestational Diabetes clinics would be established and over 13000 pregnant women would b e screened.

Monday, September 2, 2013

AMUOBA delegation calls on President-Elect Mamnoon Hussain

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A delegation of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), led by its President and Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, called on President-Elect Mamnoon Hussain, at the State Guest House, Karachi, on September 2.

Comprising of the AMUOBA’s Executive Committee members, the delegation discussed various issues and brought to his knowledge problems and challenges faced by the Association and academic sector. 

The SSUET Chancellor and the President AMUOBA, Engr Adil Usman, on behalf of the Association, formally congratulated Mamnoon Hussain on his success in the Presidential election and his commendable achievement. 

He observed that the country expects that he would act to address the genuine problems and particularly for economic prosperity of Pakistan. 

He informed that due to high standard of education at SSUET, over 5000 students are studying in the university while three new disciplines were being introduced to start from 2014 academic year which Architecture, Software Engineering and Bioinformatics. 

Engr Adil Usman briefed the President-Elect about the university’s new campus, being developed on 200 acres of land in Education City, besides throwing light on the grand project of Sir Syed Tower due to take off shortly.

The delegation comprised Cdre (Rtd) Saleem A. Siddiqui, Muhammad Yousuf Siddiqui, Mukhtar Ahmed Naqvi, Muhammad Salman Sualeh, Shajar Ali Hashmi, Ali Zafar Khan Afridi, Masood Alam, Abdul Rasheed Khan, Dr Jafar Nazir Usmani, Tariq Sabzwari and others. 

President-Elect Mamnoon Hussain described the visit of the AMUOBA delegation very important and meaningful. 

He thoroughly appreciated the efforts of the AMUOBA members who, he observed, are following the Aligarh spirit and vision of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan for promotion of cause of education. He said such visits would definitely help boost bilateral relations in evolving strategies to tackle serious issues. 

On the occasion Chancellor Adil Usman presented the publications of the SSUET as memento to President-elect Mamnoon Hussain.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

SSUET starts process for 2014 admissions

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The process for Admissions-2014 in engineering technologies of Electronics, Civil, Computer, Telecommunication and Bio-Medical besides Computer Science has started at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi.

According to pre-admission notice issued by the University, the Aptitude test will be held on November 24, 2013. 

The University is all set to introduce new programs of Architecture, Software Engineering and Bio-Informatics from academic year 2014 and according to Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, the SSUET’s Board of Governors has already given go ahead in this regard.. 

According to him the university is also exploring the possibility of introducing BS program at its Institute of Environment and Human Settlements. 

The Disaster Relief Plan Cell at this institute has published various reports on Disaster preparedness in the wake of floods, rains, earth quakes, fire etc which were highly appreciated in various circles. 

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that at present SSUET has over 5500 students on its roll studying in the engineering disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Bio-Medical, Civil and Telecommunication besides computer science. 

He said that keeping the new emerging trends, the university has decided to start new programs to meet the growing market demands. Dr Rizvi said the university is already offering post-graduate programs and at Master and Ph.D levels besides robust continuous education program in the evening. 

He said that the introduction of new programs from new academic year would open up doors for those who want to enter the fields having greater potential to cope with the growing market demands. 

It may be mentioned here that Higher Education Commission has granted highest W-4 ranking to the University while graded as 5-star University by the Charter Inspection and Evaluation Committee of Sindh Government. The ISO 9001 certified,the SSUET is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and International Association of Universities (IAU), UNESCO, Paris. 

According to a university announcement, the admissions will be strictly on merit giving weightage to marks obtained in Matric (SSC), Intermediate (HSC) and Aptitude test. The university has made available model test papers of last 5 years at the Bank’s booth inside the campus.