Tuesday, December 31, 2013

KULISAA looking beyond fellowship, reunions in Canada

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Canadian chapter of the Karachi University Library and Information Science Alumni Association (KULISAA), during their recent reunions, seems to have developed a consensus to look beyond fellowship and get-togethers.

“Let me remind you that last year, in our annual reunion, we had agreed that we should be lot more than just renewing our friendship and exchanging pleasantries. Since an association has now come into being it’s time to fulfill our obligations to it. Let’s get on with it and starting doing creative things from this platform of ours,” Mohammad Khurshid Alam was quoted as saying in his welcome address during the recent KULISAA meeting held in Toronto. 

“As agreed let’s now get ready for bringing out an electronic newsletter of KULISAA, which will be initially produced on quarterly basis by the editorial team of Munir-ul-Haq Shahid, Dr Hafiz Mohammad Khalid and Nighat Qadeer. At a later stage we can change the frequency of the newsletter which will serve as our professional organ,” he remarked. 

Khurshid Alam reminded the gathering of about 350 alumni that the technology has made life much more convenient than in the past and the latest means of communication have made the job of word processing, imaging and page-making very quickly indeed. 

The KULISAA members were urged to contribute by means of sharing their thoughts and experienced related to the field of librarianship on a regular basis and transmitting the same to the newsletter editors via e-mail. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, a former Chairman of the Library & Information Science Department of the University of Karachi, was recognized during the gathering and his initiatives were lauded by the KULISAA office-bearers.

PLISJ maintains its punctuality

Pakistan News & Features Services

The October-December 2013 issue (Volume 44, Number 4) of the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), a quarterly publication of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, has arrived during the stipulated time to maintain its years long tradition of punctuality.

Like the preceding issue, the latest one also contains four-colour pictures of the editors as well as the contributors. The LPB President, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, who is also the Chief Editor of the PLISJ, has written on various issues in his thought-provoking editorial. 

He has lavished the Pakistan Library Association (PLA) with praise for having achieved the approval of the College Librarians Service Structure in the Punjab where the provincial government had issued the long awaited notification required for the implementation of proposed service structure BS-17 to BS-20 for the college librarians. 

The tour of the Chief Editor to the USA and Canada has been covered. The reports and photographs of the get-togethers of the Karachi University Library & Information Science Alumni Association (KULISAA) in Toronto have been published prominently. 

Quite a few research articles have been published in the latest issue of PLISJ as well which include LIS Marketing Approach in Libraries: A selected Literature Review (Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen and Saira Hanif), Challenges for PLA in the development of profession: A survey (Prof Dr Rubina Bhatti and Shakeel Ahmed Khan) and LIS Research: A bibliometric study of library philosophy and practice 2006-2012 (Haroon Idrees and Mohammad Anwar) besides Atiya Shahid’s detailed article on Karachi Public Library System. 

The Urdu section is equally informative with Prof Dr Nasim Fatima contributing the fourth part of her series of private libraries while Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Editor of the section, has done a detailed interview of Fozia Bano, the young librarian of the Federal Urdu University, Karachi.

KMC Administrator directs revival of low cost housing scheme

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Engr Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, has directed the Public Housing Department to commence low cost housing schemes in the city to facilitate the people who could not afford a house in commercial projects to get residential space for their families.

He has pointed out that no project in Karachi has been made on government level for people having low income after 1998 whereas capacity for much work was available in this sector and planning in this regard should be made on preferential basis. 

He said that the defunct KDA has had the services of experienced and expert officers in this sector and nine divisions existed in housing sector in Engineering Department therefore location in this regard should be reviewed and feasibility report be prepared as soon as possible so that low cost housing project could be started for citizens. 

He directed Financial Advisor that initial funds for feasibility and engineering should be arranged so that no financial hindrance could occur during construction works. 

Engr Rauf Farooqui emphasized that the cost of project and total amount should be less than commercial projects being constructed in the city however no compromise should be made on quality standard in construction works and such planning should be made that people having low income could easily get their personal home in housing project and all necessary facilities including utility services should be available there. 

He stated that the old residential problem of the citizens could be resolved by providing them with low cost and excellent residence which would improve life standard of common people and city infrastructure would also be built according to master plan.

Polio must be stopped in Pakistan

By Deepak Kapur & Aziz Memon

As the new year dawns, our respective neighboring states, India and Pakistan, both are in the news because of their efforts to eradicate the crippling childhood virus, poliomyelitis but due to completely opposite circumstances.

India, once projected by many experts to linger as polio’s last stronghold, now has every hope of marking its third full year with no new cases on January 12. Once that milestone is reached, it will set the stage for a national celebration a month or so later, when the World Health Organization is expected to certify WHO’s entire South-East Asia Region to be polio-free. 

Unfortunately, the anti-polio campaign in Pakistan, which is in a different WHO region, is garnering international coverage for the wrong reasons as more than 30 health workers or their security escorts have been killed trying to reach children with the oral polio vaccine. 

The escalation of violence keeps the Pakistani children at risk of contracting this incurable, disabling – but completely vaccine-preventable – disease. As of this writing, Pakistan had recorded 75 new cases of polio this year, up from 58 for all of 2012. Most of the infected children live within the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, notably North and South Waziristan, where the vaccination activities were banned.

And the concern now is that the virus will spread back to other areas of Pakistan where it had previously been stopped, as well as to other countries. 

Indeed, this is happening right now in several previously polio-free countries, such as Syria, where WHO has determined through genetic sequencing that a recent outbreak was caused by a polio strain originating in Pakistan. 

The spread of polio in Pakistan also poses a threat to neighboring India’s hard-earned success, which is exactly why anyone entering India from Pakistan after January 30 will be required to show proof of vaccination. 

It is clear that remaining three polio-endemic countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria – especially the latter two – constitute the reservoir where this opportunistic virus thrives and from which it can spread. As of mid-December, new polio cases in non-endemic countries in 2013 outnumbered the cases in the endemic countries 224 to 136.

At stake is the incredible progress achieved by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, launched in 1988 by Rotary International, WHO, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and now also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Since 1988, the world has spent more than $10 billion on polio eradication, and the return on that investment has been a reduction in polio cases of more than 99 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to only 223 in 2012, the lowest annual total ever. If we don’t finish the job and stop polio in the endemic countries, we risk losing all of the ground we’ve gained and jeopardizing the health and lives of millions of children. 

The outbreaks in the non-endemic countries this year are proof positive that the risk is real. Fortunately, India’s success in stopping the transmission of polio provides practical lessons already being put to use in Pakistan. India’s 116,000 Rotary clubs members contributed immensely to the nation’s effort against polio, especially in raising awareness and maximizing public participation in national polio immunization days, which reach more than 172 million children under the age of five years.

This included engaging and working closely with Islamic leaders, ulemmas, and scholars in the predominantly Muslim communities of northern India to obtain their support to help quell any parental misconceptions or misgivings about the vaccination program. 

The eradication volunteers among Pakistan’s 3,500 Rotary members likewise are working hand-in-glove with local leaders to secure their buy-in. As a way to avoid entering communities where the risk is deemed too high for vaccination teams, Rotary has set up mobile health clinics at key transit points, such as toll plazas and military checkpoints near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, enabling thousands of children to receive the vaccine as families enter and exit the country. 

Rotary also established permanent immunization centers to improve routine vaccination and organized health camps in high-risk districts, an approach that proved effective in India. Rotary also recently provided 5,000 copies of a “speaking” story book about polio vaccination – with audio in the Urdu and Pushto languages-as an advocacy tool for social mobilizers/health workers at Pakistan’s Rotary Resource Centers.

It is through persistence, perseverance, and patience that the war against polio will be won in Pakistan. India proved polio can be beaten under the most challenging conditions. 

But it was not easy, and it clearly will not be easy in Pakistan. We must find a way to end the violence. We must reach every last child with the polio vaccine in Pakistan and in the other endemic countries and we will. 

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s commitment to the world’s children demands no less. 

**Deepak Kapur chairs Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee for India and Aziz Memon chairs Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee for Pakistan.

Monday, December 30, 2013

SSUET’s orientation on January 16

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The admission process, having started a couple of months back at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, is continuing with the orientation ceremony planned to be held on January 16, 2014. 

The admission test was held on November 24, 2013 and results of admission seekers were announced on December 13 and the admission letters were sent to the successful candidates soon afterwards. 

There had been very good response for admission in three newly introduced disciplines of Architecture, Software Engineering and Bio-Informatics. The University has already appointed faculties for the new programs and according to a market survey there is high demand for those passing out from these fields. 

Earlier, the University’s Board of Governors had approved the introduction of these three new programs in view of their high market value. 

In view of introduction of new technologies and ever increasing number of admission seekers in the existing disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Civil, Telecommunication, Bio-Medical Engineering and Computer science, the university has already undertaken an expansion project whereby construction of a new block is going on speedily. Upon completion, the new block will provide increased space for class rooms and laboratories.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dr Nasreen Shagufta’s Darakhshan Sitaray to be launched upon author’s return

Pakistan News & Features Services

Dr Nasreen Shagufta’s first-ever book ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ having seen the light of the day last month is set to be launched with great fanfare upon the author’s return from the United States of America (USA)in the middle of February.

‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ is a unique book in which the leading 30 women library scientists of Pakistan have been profiled and interviewed in an orderly fashion. The book has been published under the auspices of the Library Promotion Bureau (LBP) which has been enthusiastically engaged in scholastic activities for nearly five decades now. 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta has put together the accomplishments of the eminent library scientists of the country like Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, Prof Dr Kanwal Amin, Prof Dr Rubina Bhatti and Prof Dr Rafia Shaikh who are considered role models for the emerging librarians. 

She has been a prolific writer, having contributed regularly in library journals and other publications over the years. She has now made her debut as author with the publication of ‘Darakhshan Sitaray’ which has already earned accolades from fellow professionals. 

Dr Nasreen Shagufta, prior to taking up the challenge of authoring the book, taught library science at the college level for a number of years. She is one of the editors of the Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ) besides being a Vice President of the Bazm-e-Akram, a forum formed by the students of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari. She is also a member of the editorial board of Bazm-e-Akram’s annual publication Adab-o-Kutub Khana whose fifth edition was published recently.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

US Aligarhian visits SSUET

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

“The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, is an institution on which, anyone having an admiration and love with the great reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, can feel pride for its being the fruit of Sir Syed’s educational endeavours.”

This was observed by Vice-Chancellor SSUET, Prof. Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi while speaking at a reception hosted by the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) in the honour of Dr Shaheer Khan, the visiting Aligarhian and a noted member of Aligarh Muslim University Alumni, Northern California. 

Dr Jawaid Rizvi welcomed Dr Shaheer Khan and appreciated his services for the cause of the Aligarhians at the international level. 

In his remarks on the occasion, Dr Shaheer highlighted the establishment of the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni USA. He informed that its foundation was laid in the 1970s and now it has chapters in about 15 states which are playing an important role towards promotion of cause of education and Aligarh culture. 

He further disclosed that a directory of Alumni members has also been prepared containing names and addresses of some 25,000 members from 102 countries of the world. 

According to him quite a few websites have been developed and uploaded on the internet in relation to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and the Aligarh Muslim University which contain enormous information about the Aligarh Movement which ultimately led to the creation of Pakistan. 

He paid rich tributes to the late SSUET Chancellor, Engr Z A Nizami, and the late General Secretary AMUOBA, Engr Mohammed Zakir Ali Khan, for the cause of promotion of the Aligarh Movement. 

Appreciating the services of Dr Shaheer Khan in relation to the cause of Aligarhians, the AMUOBA’s General Secretary, Mukhtar Ahmed Naqvi, described the establishment of the Sir Syed University as a great achievement of the Alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University and this exemplary feat was being eulogized the world over. 

He suggested that a campaign be launched in the US for Endowment Fund of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima determined to take Bazm-e-Akram to higher level

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, one of the living legends in the field of Library & Information Science, aims to take the Bazm-e-Akram, a forum of library scientists, to higher level. 

Having served as the Chairperson of the Library & Information Science department of University of Karachi until 2004 before taking up the assignment of the Principal Research Investigator at the Sindh Archives, she has been working with missionary zeal to boost the forum which was founded in 1976. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, holding the distinction of being the first lady lecturer to be appointed in the Library & Information Science department of University of Karachi besides being the first lady to earn the doctorate degree in her field from any university of Pakistan, desires to transform the Bazm-e-Akram into a proactive body in line of the philosophy of their mentor Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari. 

She has already proved the point in the fifth edition of Adab-o-Kutub Khana, the flagship publication of Bazm-e-Akram, in which contributions were different corners of the world have been published. 

The livewire of the Karachi-based forum, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima is also the Chief Editor of Adab-o-Kutub Khana which now has a couple of new editors in Mian Mohammad Saeed and Tauqeer Taqi. 

Like its previous editions, Adab-o-Kutub Khana 5 is rich in content and it has the contributions from library professionals as well as renowned literary figures of Pakistan alongwith a couple of articles from abroad. 

Having earned numerous awards in her career, as she has authored and co-authored more than 30 books, the majority of whom are classified as worthy reference books all over the world., Prof Dr Nasim Fatima has already started preparations for the sixth edition of the annual journal due to be published next year.

Worthy students celebrate Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari’s birthday

Pakistan News & Features Services 

Glowing tributes were paid to the legendary Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, Founder President, Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, and Founder Chief Editor, Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), on the occasion of his birthday celebrations held at the Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi.

The ceremony was organized by the worthy students of the great library scientist, having assembled under the banner of the Bazm-e-Akram which came into being in 1976, with Mr Adil Usmani being the Founder President. It has become a proactive literary organization of the library professionals. 

“We celebrated the birthday of our beloved teacher with great enthusiasm in the presence of the majority of the members of the Bazm-e-Akram and we prayed for the health and long life of Doctor Sahib,” Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, the Honorary Chairperson of the forum, disclosed. 

“His accomplishments are a source of inspiration for all of us and we derive motivation by his continued guidance and support. To us he has been the pillar on whom the field of Library & Information Science has rested for a number of decades. May Allah Grant him long life and may he continue delivering with the same intensity all his life,” she prayed. 

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, having served the as the Chairperson of the Department of Library & Information Science at the University of Karachi, revealed that the Bazm-e-Akram, which has recently brought out fifth edition of its flagship publication Adab-o-Kutub Khana, has the plans to expand its activities. 

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, a legendary scholar and one of the pioneers of the profession of Library & Information Science in Pakistan, has continued working hard unabated for the cause even after having relocated to the United States of America (USA) a few years ago. 

He has made a point to continue all the projects he had initiated which brings him to Pakistan regularly. He has lost none of his passion for scholastic activities and remains a perfect role model for the LIS professionals. 

He has had a meritorious record of academic and professional career and qualifications. He earned the scholastic degrees of MLIS from the University of Michigan, USA, MA in Economics from the University of Karachi and PhD from Century University, USA. He served as Reference and Readers Advisor at the US Information Centre, Karachi, before joining the University of Karachi as an Assistant Professor where he became the Chairman of the LIS department. 

He also worked at the Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari founded the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB) in 1966 to produce professional literature in LIS. He launched the Pakistan Library Bulltein in 1968 which was later renamed as the Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal which remains a premier quarterly journal of the country. Besides authoring a large number of books he is credited to have compiled the famous Pakistan Book Trade Directory in 1966.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Benetton’s new outlet dazzles at Park Towers

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Kings Group, having pioneered the concept of franchise business in Karachi by bringing in the United Colours of Benetton more than three decades ago, opened an outlet of the famous global brand in the bustling Park Towers Mall, located in Karachi’s posh locality of Clifton. 

The presence of Benetton has been hailed as a welcome addition to the list of the high-profile brands which attract shoppers from the various corners of the ever-expanding metropolis. 

“Karachi surely gets a little more colourful with the arrival of the United Colours of Benetton at the Park Towers Mall. The Benetton’s Autumn Winter is in town now and the season’s collection brings together exciting clothes and accessories for men, women and kids,” Naheed Memon, Director, Kings Group, remarked during the inauguration ceremony on December 21. 

The Sindh Senior Minister for Education, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, who had performed the opening of the first-ever Benetton outlet in the early 1980s, was again the chief guest in the inauguration ceremony of a new premises three decades later. 

Speaking briefly on the occasion, he expressed the optimism that the steps taken by the government will help in roping in more foreign investment in Karachi, the commercial capital of the country. 

“It’s very heartening indeed that the foreign brands have continued coming in and our people have the access to the best in the world. The franchises are playing their role in boosting the economy,” the Senior Minister noted. 

The Consul General of Italy, Roberto Franceschinis, who was the guest of honour in the ceremony, attended by the elite of the town, was also delighted with the opening of the new outlet. 

Aziz Memon, Chairman, Kings Group and one of the most respectable names in the business circles, was excited with the opening of the latest outlet of the Italian franchise in the bustling Park Towers, home to some of the leading brands of the world.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shoaib Adil's efficiency deserves recognition

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Railway Division authorities have unearthed Rs 0.7 million embezzlement at Mirpurkhas Railway station which led to the arrest senior reservation supervisor.

The supervisor was arrested following a discreet raid conducted by Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO), Shaoib Adil Mughal, who earlier had received a tip of the loss being caused to Pakistan Railway. 

According to railway sources, the Mirpurkhas booking supervisor had not deposited the ticket sale amount of Rs 0.7 million and thus caused a revenue loss to the railway. 

The sources pointed out that an Inspection Team from Railway Headquarter Lahore had visited Karachi Railway Division on November 22 and 23 and also inspected Mirpurkhas Railway station but did not report this fraud to Karachi Railway division authorities. 

Shaoib Adil Mughal, after taking over as DCO on September 9, was credited to have unfolded two frauds of Karachi division inside a couple of months. In year 2012, he was also instrumental in nabbing a gang of retired railway employees who were selling fake railway Paper card tickets in Karachi. A case was registered against them. 

On that performance the Railway administration, headed by Anzar Ismail Rizvi, had recommended his name for bonus salary which was awarded to him besides the appreciation certificates. This year, despite unfolded two frauds, he has not been rewarded yet and instead having been recommended for OSD which was quite frustrating and demoralizing for any civil servant who has performed very well during the Mid career Management Course at NIM Karachi which offered him to join NIM and render his services for NIM as Additional Directing Staff. 

Since joining in September 2013, he has shifted at least a dozen staff on their irregularities and disciplinary action is underway against them Recently he raided 19 up at Ghadar station and in midnight Khyber Mail 1 up surprisingly from Kot and a STE in 1 up Khyber mail has been caught taking money from a passenger and he caught him on the spot. He also conducted inspection of HDR-MPS section and caught minor irregularities and one major irregularity of a booking clerk at Tando Allah Yay.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SSUET hailed for making fast strides in engineering education

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has been progressing at fast pace because of its highest quality of education and best possible facilities available to its students.

This was stated by the President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) and the Chancellor of the SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, while addressing the Annual General Body of the AMUOBA held in Karachi. 

He described the introduction of three new programmes of Architecture, Software Engineering and Bio Informatics from the 2014 academic session as a living example of the development and success of the university. 

He observed that since its inception, the university not only focused on providing best and most modern education but also produced a large number of engineers who have demonstrated their talent and skill not only in Pakistan but world over.

Engr Adil Usman pointed out that a major character of this university is that no student is deprived from acquisition of education merely because of financial constraints but poor and deserving students are financially assisted and during the last academic year about Rs 35 million were given to 1884 boys and girls as scholarship. 

He said that the establishment of CISCO Academy at SSUET was an important achievement and besides education in networking, the university has been made a center of online examination. 

The Chancellor pointed out that the SSUET was the only university in the private sector where extracurricular activities were fully encouraged and its students won top positions in various important national and provincial events besides sports and which speaks of their talents.

Emphasizing upon making the promotion and pursuation of education mission of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the AMUOBA’s foremost objective he committed not to ignore the element of merit to achieve highest educational standards at the SSUET. 

He specially recalled the services of AMUOBA’s late President, Engr Z A Nizami and its late Secretary, Mohammed Zakir Ali Khan, and said that foundation stone of a new 8-story academic block at the campus has been laid and the construction work was in full swing. 

Earlier the AMUOBA’s Secretary Mukhtar Ahmed Naqvi present the Association’s Annual report, highlighting the successes made towards the achievement of its objectives. The meeting approved the minutes of the AMUOBA’s previous AGM. The Treasurer SSUET, Salman Saleh presented the audited accounts of the Association.