Wednesday, December 31, 2014

KMC introduces ‘My Library’ project at schools

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, has declared that steps were being taken for the elimination of ghost workers culture in the schools and other educational institutions.

A three-member committee has been formed for repairing and maintenance of school’s buildings whereas introduction of short courses for special children in the KMC elementary colleges was also under consideration. 

The meeting also decided to setup a library named “My Library” in every school where the students and teachers would bring books from their home to develop study culture in the KMC schools. 

The Administrator addressed the meeting of the KMC education officers, school principals and teachers on December 30. The meeting was also attended by the Advisor to Administrator Karachi, Brig A S Nasir, Director Education, Jamil Farooqui, and Director Schools (Female), Sumbul Qureishi. 

The Administrator urged the officers to ensure better standard of education in the KMC schools which, he reckoned, needed urgent attention. He emphasized that the teachers have a great responsibility of imparting good quality education to children, adding that the education sector was considered as the backbone of any nation. 

The Advisor to Administrator, Brig Nasir, informed the meeting that more than 200 ghost employees were sacked already which made Rs 50 to Rs 60 lacs of saving in the monthly salary bills. 

He also directed the education department to compile full bio-data of all the teachers including their date of appointment, promotion and ACR details. He said that the teachers must ensure punctuality and focus on raising the standard of education. 

Brig Nasir pointed out that the extracurricular activities were also encouraged in schools besides the regular studies. He said that the introduction of short courses for special children in four of the KMC’s elementary colleges was under consideration. 

These children, he added, would be offered courses in computer hardware & mobile, TV, radio, repairing, welding, woodwork and in other professional and technical disciplines. 

The thee-member committee, formed for repairing and maintenance of school buildings, was advised to submit its report after conducting the full survey of schools in this connection.

Dr Durreshahwar Pervez elected Karachi Gymkhana’s first-ever lady Vice President

Pakistan News & Features Services

Dr Durreshahwar Pervez has created history of sorts by getting elected as the first lady Vice President of the Karachi for the year 2015. It’s for the first time in the 128-year-old history of the club when a lady has been elected as its Vice President. 

She earned the honour by having secured the highest number of votes (1086) in the annual elections which were held at the club’s premises the other week. 

A practicing physician and an active social worker, she is a graduate of the Dow Medical College. She is blessed with two daughters and son while her husband’s job in Merchant Navy provided the opportunity to the family to sail around the world. 

Community service has been very dear to her heart and Dr Durreshahwar Pervez has been serving the humanity with great passion. She had looked after the modest clinic on the ship which was under second mate. 

She has done a lot of social work with the emphasis on taking caring of the patients belonging to the low income group. She has been providing medicines and other facilities to the deserving patients. 

Dr Durreshahwar Pervez had also volunteered her services during the inaugural edition of IDEAS, the biennially held international defence exhibition, at the Karachi Expo Centre in 2000. She has fond memories of the IDEAS-2000 in which she had contributed in making the foot paths and colouring the building to uplift the Expo Centre arena which earned her appreciation.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

KMC Inter-District Girls Sports Festival to pave way for healthy activities

Pakistan News & Features Services

The participation of well over one thousand young female athletes in the recently held Inter-District Girls Sports Festival, organized by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), served the purpose of engaging the youth in healthy activities. 

Brig A S Nasir, Advisor to Administrator KMC, who was the Event Director of the festival, was satisfied with the week-long event, the first of its kind to be organized exclusively for the girl students of the metropolis. 

“No doubt it could have been better. Yet it’s heartening to have made a start. There are quite a positives to be derived from this festival and we will make it count in future,” he remarked in an interview. 

“We managed to provide PT shoes to 200 students while as many participants were awarded track suits. The idea was to facilitate and encourage them. Bringing smiles on the faces of the girls was an accomplishment of sorts,” Brig Nasir reckoned. 

“It’s indeed a tragedy that the majority of the girls students in our schools don’t have the access to proper sporting facilities. A lot has to be done in this direction. This initiative of ours was intended to be a a stepping stone towards reviving sports culture in the society,” he felt. 

He acknowledged the unstinted support of Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, Administrator, KMC, in making the festival possible despite the resource constraints. 

“The sports festival was a part of the drive undertaken by the KMC Administrator to mobilize the educational institutions being run by the metropolitan corporation. He is eager to make things happen for the betterment of education,” Brig Nasir complimented. 

Competitions were held in athletics, badminton, cricket, football, karate, netball, swimming, tennis and table tennis in the KMC Inter-District Girls Sports Festival. 

Besides the schools being run by the KMC, the various events were also contested by the students of the private schools of the city and there was participation of institutions like The American School, Habib Public School, Aga Khan School and Beaconhouse School System. 

The Pakistan Sports Board’s Karachi Centre, famously known as the National Sports Training and Coaching Centre (NSTCC), played host to the majority of the events while Women Sports Complex, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, KMC Sports Complex, Kashmir Road, and TMC Ground, Gulberg were also used as the venues. 

The KMC Administrator, Rauf Akhtar Farooqui, and his Advisor, Brig S A Nasir, were showered with praise for having fulfilled their promise of holding the festival according to the original plan despite the odds being stacked heavily against them. 

Meanwhile the KMC Administrator remarked that the Peshawar tragedy left deep effects on children’s minds and by holding the sports festival they tried to help these children come out of this shock and be prepared to attend their routine works besides taking part in educational as well as extracurricular activities. 

“The KMC Inter-District Girls Sports Festival will pave the way for more positive and healthy activities in educational institutions and specially the girls would participate with even better spirit in the educational and sports activities,” he said during his speech in the closing ceremony at the Pakistan Sports Board’s Karachi Centre. 

Rauf Akhtar Farooqui did not mince words in stating that such festivals go a long way in unfolding the talent of the students. He urged the teachers to pay special attention on their work and bring further improvement in the standard of KMC-run schools.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mathematician Shaukat Abbasi’s death condoled

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A joint meeting of the members of the Karachi Mathematical Association (KMA) and the Department of Mathematics of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), was held to condole the death of Prof Shaukat Abbas Abbasi, a renowned mathematician and a member of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boy’s Association (AMUOBA). 

Prof Shaukat Abbasi, a mathematician of high calibre, served various national and international universities for several years and he has left behind a large number of students to mourn his death. 

He has a number of publications to his credit including many books having been brought out by reputed publishers. 

The condolence meeting was attended, among others, by Prof Dr Syed Jawaid Hassan Rizvi, Vice Chancellor, SSUET, and President, KMA, who paid rich tribute to the services of the Professor and prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace. He also prayed for his near and dear ones to have courage to bear this irreparable loss.

Dr Amna Khatoon recognized for long-term LIS service

Pakistan News & Features Services

Dr Amna Khatoon, who retired recently from government service, was recognized for pursuing a long career in the field of library and information science. 

The luncheon reception in her honour, held in Karachi on December 27, was hosted by Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former chairperson of the Library & Information Science department at the University of Karachi. 

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, ex-chairman of the Library & Information Science department at the University of Karachi, Azra Qureshi, former Chief Librarian, Aga Khan University Hospital, and Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Secretary, Bazm-e-Akram. 

Dr Amna Khatoon, who earned a gold medal for securing first position first in the Masters of Library & Information Science (MLIS) at the University of Karachi in 1980, joined the profession with a stint at the Hamdard University Library in 1982 where she had the honour of working under the guidance of the legendary Hakim Mohammad Said. 

She was appointed as a librarian at the Government Osmania Girls College in 1983 from where she has recently retired after having served the institution for over three decades. In between she had received an appointment letter from University of Karachi but she preferred not to join her Alma Mater. 

She, however, accepted the offer of conducting courses at the Allama Iqbal Open University and she has had very long association with them. She has taught various subjects of library science and her students could be found in every nook and corner of the country. 

Dr Amna Khatoon has also remained associated with the Pakistan Bibliographic Working Group (PBWG) since 1981 and she has been serving it as the Principal since 2011. She also authored a book in 2012 which is prescribed for the intermediate students of Library & Information Science. 

Beyond retirement from the government service she has quite a few plans up her sleeves to keep her engaged round the clock in the future as well. Now she would be devoting more time to her other profession of being a homeopathic doctor at her clinic in Federal-B-Area. 

Dr Amna Khatoon, who is a life member of the Pakistan Library Association (PLA), also desires to concentrate more on her scholastic activities.

Monday, December 22, 2014

SANA condemns Peshawar carnage

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) has condemned in strongest words the cowardly attack on a school of Peshawar and killing of innocent children, and announced to arrange vigils in Houston, USA and Toronto, Canada, for martyred people specially the students and teachers of Peshawar school assassinated by cruel terrorists. 

The SANA President, Jamil Daudi, through a press statement, issued on behalf of the executive council and all the members expressed his deep sorrow over the tragedy. 

He observed that the grief and pain of those families cannot be measured who have lost their loved once in this barbaric act. 

He said that the children are like angels and all the colours of world are because of them, and killing them in the name of Islam is like killing whole humanity. 

Jamil Daudi was of the opinion that through killing children and women, those elements basically were trying to take revenge from the people of Pakistan because people have rejected them. 

The SANA President added that not only the people of Peshawar and Pakistan at whole were shocked on this barbaric act but the entire world was in a state of sorrow and we all shared the grief of those parents and families who have lost their kids and beloveds in this tragedy. 

Jamil Daudi appealed Sindhi community of Houston to participate in a vigil for the victims on at Westheimer and Post Oak. Another vigil was planned to be arranged at Chicago’s Daley Centre. In Canada, the SANA Vice President, Aijaz Kolachi, has arranged a vigil at South Fletchers Community Center, Brampton Town of Greater Toronto Area to express sympathy to victims and grieved families.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Aziz Memon urges aggressive approach towards SMEs

Pakistan News & Features Services

“Pakistan needs adopt aggressive approach towards Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and follow the modules of Japan, Korea and Taiwan in this direction to transform the economy.” 

This was stated by Aziz Memon, one of the leading entrepreneurs of the country, in an interview in which he threw light on the importance of the SMEs and the decisive role they play in boosting the economy. 

“The banking sector should prefer to finance small business like PM youth loan and the government should provide all basic facilities to the SMEs, like road, electricity, gas and water. Let there be more friendly policies to boost the SMEs in Pakistan,” he advised. 

Having presided over and addressed many meetings, workshops and lectures in Japan, Korea and Taiwan regarding SMEs growth and activities, Aziz Memon, Chairman, Kings Group, reckoned that Pakistan has no other option but to develop the SMEs if the country is to expand the industrial growth at par with world level. 

“At first, Japan sets a module to develop its small business. Then there are Korea and Taiwan who followed in the footsteps. They all are very successful,” he remarked. 

“If the government has a plan and can give attention to the SMEs then we can change our economy. Every small business as a different issue and we have to solve it,” he reckoned. 

“The PM loan scheme is not a game changer for the SMEs as this is not ensuring basic facilities for growth of the SMEs but it is touching just one aspect of financing. No skills development, no provision of basic needs like water, gas and electricity with this scheme. A successful plan may not be enough for the small business in Pakistan,” Aziz Memon added. 

“As we are now promoting big industry, it will assure good for small business, job market and overall tax collection as well. We cannot provide jobs to all graduates and frankly speaking it is almost impossible for us to provide good jobs to all young people, so it is imperative to guide them towards entrepreneurship. If every entrepreneur gives jobs to five people, then you can say it is taking care of at least 50 persons directly or indirectly,” he observed. 

“I have a clear module for development of small business in Pakistan. First of all, the banks should start schemes for start-up capitals and the government should encourage them to do so or give a friendly policy,” he suggested. 

“Secondly, there should be skill development and proper training for all people who want to start their entrepreneur and manage their own business. Every year there should be at least two batches of the classes or workshops for them. After trained them mentally, and prepared them for risk management, they should be provided with a guide to most suitable business areas,” he explained. 

“On the government part, all basic facilities should be provided without any delay. So, if any area has some SMEs, it must have roads, gas, telephone, electricity and water available,” Aziz Memon concluded while volunteering his services to the government for advising them on this matter if needed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SSUET students, faculty denounce Peshawar attack

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The barbaric and savage act played at the Army Public School, Peshawar, on December 16, was vehemently denounced at a condolence get-together held at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, the following day.

On the occasion Fateha was offered for the departed innocent lives which was very largely participated by the university students besides entire faculty staff members. 

Also attending the special prayers were Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawed H. Rrizvi, Registrar Syed Abrar Ali, Dean and Vice-Dean Prof Dr S M Makhdoomi and Prof Dr Najeeb besides chairpersons of the various departments. 

The grim-faced participants prayed to Allah to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant fortitude to the bereaved families on this grave national tragedy. Prayer was offered for greater national unity to combat the elements of terror and resolved to let no stone unturned to counter terrorism with their unity. 

The university was engulfed in a sad atmosphere and many male and female students, while talking about the grim tragedy at Peshawar, could not stop their tears rolling down.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SSUET final semester exams commence

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The final semester examinations in all the disciplines and all batches have commenced at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, as the future engineers devote all their energies in further proving their academic excellence prior to stepping into the professional arena.

While the regular exams will continue up to December 20, the process of new admissions for the academic year 2015 has also started simultaneously at the SSUET. 

The university has announced December 15 as the last date for payment of admission fee and completion of related formalities. 

This year, the newly introduced electrical engineering has emerged as the second most sought after discipline after civil engineering. 

According to Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawed H Rizvi, the new academic session will start from January 19, 2015, with the Orientation Day scheduled to be held at the Karachi Expo Centre.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ambassador Claes revisits Belgium and beginning of Great War

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The role of Belgium before and during the World War-I was highlighted by the Belgian Ambassador, Peter Claes during an exhaustive discourse at a get-together of the English Speaking Union of Pakistan, held the Beach Luxury Hotel on December 4. 

The function was chaired by the ESUP’s President, Aziz Memon, who, in his welcome address earlier, spoke about growing Pakistan-Belgium relationship. 

The Belgian Ambassador's topic of the talk was "Belgium and the beginning of the great war" during which he dwelt at length about his nation's role at the beginning, during and after the war. Marking the centenary of the First World War, Ambassador Peter Claes recalled the history of Belgium and how it became a country. 

In his discourse, he recalled when European leaders gathered in Vienna in 1815 to redraw the map of their region and thereby the Southern Catholic Netherlands and Northern Protestant Netherlands were united to form the Kingdom of Netherlands with two capitals, one in Amsterdam and the other in Brussels. 

However, this union, he stated, lasted only for 15 years after the Belgians living in the kingdom revolted and seceded in 1830. After it became independent, the Belgians offered to Leopold to become their king which he accepted and the decision to do so, Ambassador Claes opined, had far-reaching implications since Leopold was related to the royal family of England, firstly as the son-in-law of King George IV and then as a maternal uncle of Queen Victoria. 

It ensured two things-one the Great Britain recognized and supported the new country and the other Great Britain became the guarantor of its neutrality, which was one of the pre-requisites of European leaders in order to recognize the new country. 

Ambassador Claes said Belgium invested more in industry and neglected its military aspect. Nevertheless, Belgium did safeguard its cities by erecting forts, perhaps foreseeing the developing militarist intentions of neighboring countries like France, Germany and Russia. Continuing, the Ambassador said that in essence First World War was a Balkan war. Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia. Russia had mobilized its forces against Austria-Hungary. 

Germany was supporting Austria-Hungary. Germany faced a terrible choice because it had to fend off two enemies: France and Russia. France was particularly hostile to Austria-Hungary and Germany. The hostility between France and Germany dated back to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.” 

“Germany promised us all kinds of help even going to the extent of promising us territorial compensation from France. We were given only 12 hours to decide. Everyone from the king to the Prime Minister to the parliament rejected the ultimatum. This automatically led to war and on Aug 4, 1914 the Germans entered Belgium and Liege was the first Belgian city that Germany attacked.” 

The Ambassador said the battle lasted for seven days, which is a considerable period of time, since our policy of neutrality meant that our military strength was negligible and yet we defended ourselves which was a no mean thing especially against the enormous German forces who used heavy artillery and destroyed forts in the city. 

According to Ambassador Claes, Belgium tried to organize as best as they could, but because of their policy of neutrality, they did not have a tradition of defence. Germany didn’t expect resistance from Belgians In fact in the Battle of the Silver Helmets the Belgian cavalry defeated the German troops. 

The Germans kept advancing through Belgium and torched several towns and killing many defenceless civilians. Giving the example of the Battle of Ypres, he said the town was completely ruined by the Germans during the Great War. Speaking about Belgium's stance of neutrality in the Great War, he said during the first days of the war, Belgium maintained its neutrality. Officially it was never part of the alliance. 

"We controlled our own forces.” But this policy was challenged again in 1940 when Germany invaded Belgium without warning. This is why his country lost faith in this policy and invested in the multilateralism and hence it was one of the founder members of Nato, United Nations and European Union. 

While concluding, Ambassador Claes became emotional when he recounted the services rendered by the soldiers of the subcontinent who had participated in the First World War. 

“Nearly one-third of people of this soil that had nothing to do with the war, came in cold, misery and mud, away from their beloved to fight and defend our freedom and our homeland. The first Muslim to be awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery was given to a private named Khudadad Khan," he recalled. 

On the occasion President ESUP, Aziz Memon, presented the ESUP plaque to Ambassador Peter Claes. Secretary General, Majyd Aziz, Senior Vice President, Abdul Kader Jaffer, Senior Vice President Byram D Avari, were also present on the occasion.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jahangir Moghul proposes National Library Day on Dec 2

Pakistan News & Features Services

Jahangir Moghul, a renowned social figure and philanthropist, has proposed December 2 to be celebrated as the National Library Day of Pakistan to commemorate the birth anniversary of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, one of the pioneers of Library & Information Science in the country, as an acknowledgement to his contributions.

It was in the fitness of things that Jahangir Moghul, having been elected as the Governor of Rotary International’s District 3271 for the year 2015-16, made the announcement during a meeting with Dr Sabzwari, the Founder President of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB) and the Founder Chief Editor of the Pakistan Library Science & Information Journal (PLISJ), on his 79th birthday which was celebrated in a simple but graceful manner on December 2.

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, the first-ever woman library scientist to have earned the doctorate degree, who has authored more than 30 books, and Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Secretary, Bazm-e-Akram, and Editor, PLISJ, were also present on the occasion.

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari and Prof Dr Nasim Fatima have served as the chairperson of the Library Science & Information department at the University of Karachi, while Dr Nasreen Shagufta has taught the subject at the various colleges, besides also having served as a librarian.

“Let me announce at this moment that Rotary International’s District 3271, on its part, will be holding a grand function on December 2, 2015 to mark the National Library Day and pay tribute to Dr Sabzwari, having become a legend in his own lifetime,” Jahangir Moghul declared.

“We will submit a proposal to the concerned authorities to take the necessary action to approve December 2 as the National Library Day at the governmental level and facilitate programmes to promote library culture in every nook and corner of the country,” he added. 

“We are really inspired by the untiring efforts of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari and his team, which has worked selflessly for decades. They are the people who are the role models for the youngsters. Let us recognize their services at the highest level,” Jahangir Moghul felt.

“The awareness about the libraries will be helpful in guiding the young generation. They will be inclined towards reading in their leisure hours which will let them learn but their culture and the country in a detailed manner. The National Library Day could be a perfect occasion to kickstart this campaign,” he reckoned.

Jahangir Moghul congratulated Dr Sabzwari for having pursued the scholastic activities with missionary zeal and hoped that his example will be followed by the other luminaries in the profession.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dr Saira Bano to head KCCI’s Women Entrepreneurs Sub-Committee

Pakistan News & Features Services

Dr Saira Bano, a household name in the business circles, has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Women Entrepreneurs Sub-Committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) for the year 2014-15. She has been a member of the committee in the past as besides having served on the chamber's Informational Technology Committee.

Having done Masters in Political Science from the University of Karachi, she has remained associated with the Kalia Group since 2001. The founding General Secretary of the Ko-Ordination Group, she has distinguished herself in the field of community service as well besides proving her mettle in administration. She is currently the Chairperson of the Ko-ordination Group.

Dr Saira Bano and her committee will be taking care of the issues pertaining to the women entrepreneurs as the KCCI endeavours to be recognized as the leading voice of the Karachi business community. 

The newly elected KCCI Managing Committee, with Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra being the President, has already assumed office and the various sub-committees have been formed to discharge their duties.