Friday, September 30, 2016

SSUET Guidance Centre holds leadership camp

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

History of sorts was made at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, when the Guidance Centre organized a first of its kind leadership camp recently. 

“Such camps are designed for students who are interested in acquiring skills necessary to become successful leaders. The students join for the fun, the fellowship and the memories that will last a lifetime they also gained self-confidence, time management skills, goal setting abilities and a head-start on helping,” the Director Programme, Siraj Khilji, Advisor to the SSUET Chancellor, remarked. 

“At the centre it is our ambition to ensure the highest quality of counselling, guidance and assistance within special needs of education. We desire to transform ours into a model guidance centre whose work is to be based on specific concepts of support concerning academic assistance and inter-disciplinary foundation,” he explained.

“The counselling and educational efforts are being planned to co-ordinate effort with clear, prioritized goals and directions as we understand that the counselling and educational effort must be based on the development of inter-disciplinary knowledge regarding the specific educational difficulties and those institutional, individual, social and cultural needs,” Siraj Khilji, added. 

“The counselling and educational effort must be focused on results by adapting the effort to the individual student’s specific difficulties and to his or her academic subject and level. The aim of the whole exercise is to compensate for the difficulties to the extent that the students can meet the general and specific academic requirements for quality,” he pointed out.

The Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar, Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali and Coordinator to Chancellor also visited the camp and appreciated the efforts made by the SSUET Guidance Centre. 

The Chancellor was highly appreciative of the initiative of the SSUET Guidance Centre and he expressed the hope that such leadership camps will be hugely beneficial for the students who are at the doorstep of entering into their chosen professional field. 

“The objective is to provide our students a solid platform and guide them in the best possible manner to give them a head start to their career,” Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar remarked.

Monday, September 26, 2016

SSUET aptitude test on October 2

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The process for admissions in Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, continues and, as announced earlier, the aptitude test will be held at the Karachi Expo Centre on October 2.

In view of the large turnouts of admission seekers, the university administration has extended the date for submission of forms to September 28. 

Earlier the forms submission date was scheduled to close on September 23. However, the date for aptitude test will remain unchanged. 

The SSUET, a centre of excellence since 1994, offers admissions in 11 disciplines which include electronic, computer, civil, bio-medical, telecommunication, electrical engineering and architecture besides computer science, software engineering, bio-infomatics and information technology. 

As per required criteria the eligibility for admission in first seven disciplines is minimum 60 percent marks in HSC and 55 percent for rest four disciplines.

The SSUET has a highly qualified and experienced faculty and the campus has air-conditioned class rooms equipped with audio visual systems. 

It is equipped with air-conditioned laboratories with 1,500 plus Nodes Computer Network and high speed internet connectivity. 

The SSUET enjoys highest HEC's W4 category and is graded as 5-star University by Charter Inspection and Evaluation Committee (CIEC). 

Chartered in 1993, the SSUET is ISO 9001: 2008 certified and is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and International Association of Universities (IAU), UNESCO, Paris.

SSUET Chancellor meets faculty members

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Jawaid Anwar, held a series of meetings with the faculty members to have a closer interaction with them, particularly on academic affairs. 

The departmental meetings with the Chancellor continued throughout the week, starting from September 23, a thorough exercise during which the helmsman met each faculty member individually. 

Each faculty member introduced themselves, explained their workload and discussed with the Chancellor the progress in their respective department.

In every meeting Chancellor Jawaid Anwar thanked the faculty members highlighted the importance of close communication between university administration and faculty and assured that hurdles and barriers, if any, thereof were being overcome and he himself, Vice-Chancellor, Dean Engineering and Registrar were making every effort in this regard. 

He observed that in order to facilitate the achievement of the objective there should be time track system and instructions have been issued to P&D, Finance, Procurement and other departments that movement of any file from one department to other should not take more than two days on one table.

“It is imperative for smooth working and to avoid delays in disposal of files,” he stressed. He also spoke about student-faculty relationship and described the same as a key factor for the students were the main focus of the university. 

"We have to train them for a better behaviour. Therefore all faculty members should focus on student' counseling,” he asserted and reminded that the university possessed a Career Guidance Centre to provide required guidance to them. 

The faculty, he said, can help polish the students because some of them are uncut diamonds, some are unpolished and some are polished but need more shine.

"You have to meet the expectation of the students and faculty should go one step ahead in this regard", the Chancellor remarked and said as to how to polish student and enrich them with knowledge should be taken as a challenge. 

"We are here to support faculty members because faculty is the pillar of any institution and wherever possible we will be there to support them,” he held out a firm assurance. 

The Chancellor spoke about issues of medical insurance and salary raise and said that headway has been made in this regard and to some extent regarding medical insurance as well. 

“An increase in salary from July 2016 has already been made. As regards promotions, this will be done through selection board and our selection board is working on a fast track. However let me make it clear that promotion will be given only on merit. Whosoever will qualify will get promotion,” he declared. 

On the occasion the Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi thanked all the faculty members as well as the Chancellor while Dean Faculty of Engineering also thanked both the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor.

In his brief remarks on the occasion, Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali advised all the faculty members to get registered from the Registrar office before arranging or joining any seminar, workshop and programme. 

He observed that the faculty members do actively participate in the programmes but they could not be recognized or appreciated due to unawareness of the management. 

As regards the day to day issues and to resolve them, the Registrar announced that a focal person from each block will be assigned the due task in this respect. 

In the meeting with Computer Engineering Department, Chairman Dr Shakil Ahmed thanked the Chancellor, VC, Dean Faculty of Engineering and Registrar for holding the meeting. 

In the meeting with Electronic Engineering Department, Chairman, Dr Tahir Qadri briefly described the history of EED, its work and progress. 

In the meetings with Biomedical Engineering Department, Telecommunication Engineering Department and Electrical Engineering Department, D Haleem (BMD), Dr Talat Altaf (ELED) and Engr. Umair Jillani (TED) had lively discussions on various issues. 

Dr S M Makhdumi, Chairman, Civil Engineering Department, thanked the Chancellor for giving him the opportunity to explain about the various aspects of his department. 

He briefly discussed the importance of civil department and increasing admissions over the years. On the final day, the Chancellor held meeting with departments of Basic and Applied Sciences, Computer Science and Bio-Informatics. 

Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, VC and Dean Basic and Applied Sciences, expressed his gratitude to the Chancellor for giving him opportunity of give details of his department.

Friday, September 23, 2016

NAB chief receives National Integrity award

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan, has reckoned that five most challenging factors for doing business in Pakistan doing last year were corruption, tax rates, inflation, access to financing and insufficient government bureaucracy from which corruption was cited as the most problematic. 

He made the observation while addressing the presentation of Transparency International Pakistan Integrity Award to Director General, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sindh, Lt. Col.® Siraj ul Naeem, at the Governor House in Karachi. The Provincial Ombudsman, Asad Ashraf Malik, and retired judges of the Sindh High Court were also present on the occasion. 

“It’s an established fact that effective accountability mechanism is essential for economic growth, investment and stability of social sector in any society. It is also a recognized fact that the intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a pre-requisite for promoting investment and economic growth,” he pointed out. 

‘”The contributions made by the NAB to fight such a huge menace and curbing corruption is based on a three pronged strategy of awareness, prevention and enforcement and it has been immensely successful. Since 2014, the NAB has acted with new zeal and has carried out a detailed analysis of organizational weaknesses, procedures and business processes and human resource development also. It is very commendable that NAB has recovered and deposited Rs. 276 billion in national exchequer since its inception,” the Governor recognized. 

He also lauded its work with the youth and establishment of more than 20000 Character Building Societies (CBS) in universities and colleges across the country. 

The Governor described the NAB Sindh as an important regional bureau whose performance for the last year has been graded as outstanding and excellent with 88 % Operational Efficiency Index by Chairman Inspection and Monitoring Team (CI&MT). 

“Its Director General Lt. Col. ® Siraj ul Naeem has headed these tremendous results which are commended by all concerned quarters. He deserves this award is the true reflection of his dedicated work,” the Sindh Governor complimented. 

Dr Ishrat ul Ebad Khan declared that the establishment of Citizens Corruption Liaison Committee (CCLC) on the pattern of Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and anti corruption and anti fraud help line would enable citizens to lodge their complaints for early redressal of the same. 

Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International Pakistan informed that this award has been awarded to four global personalities and Col Siraj was only the fifth person to receive the same and the first one from Pakistan. 

On the occasion Governor of Sindh handed over the National Integrity award to Lt. Col ® Siraj ul Naeem. A memorandum of understanding for establishment of CCLC and anti corruption helpline was also signed by the Principal Secretary, Mohammad Hussain Syed and Suhail Muzaffar of Transparency International.

Pakistan ranks 149/188 on SDG index

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Global Burden of Disease Study, the first global analysis that assesses the United Nations’ health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 188 countries, has ranked Pakistan at 149.

Launched at a special event at the UN General Assembly in New York and published in The Lancet, the analysis assesses countries by creating an overall index score on a scale of zero to 100. 

Pakistan shares the score of 38 with Bangladesh and Mauritania, six places behind India and way behind Iran. 

“These analyses are critically important for Pakistan, where limited data make the transition from MDGs to the SDGs even more challenging. These data allow the country to set a baseline based on recent performance and also set a trajectory for achieving the health and health-related SDGs,” Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Aga Khan University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, and co-author of the study, remarked. 

The analysis showed that expanded health coverage, greater access to family planning, and fewer deaths of newborns and children under the age of five were among several health improvements contributing to progress toward achieving SDGs. However, hepatitis B, childhood obesity, violence and alcohol consumption have worsened. 

Iceland ranks the first at 85 with the United Kingdom and Canada among top 10 at 82 and 81 respectively. With a score of 26, Afghanistan is among the bottom 10; the Central African Republic being the lowest at 20. Kenya’s SDG index score increased between 2000 and 2015, from 33 to 40. 

The prevalence of childhood stunting there dropped as a percentage of the population from 39 per cent in 2000 to 26 per cent in 2015. 

One potential driver of the decrease in stunting in the country is the concurrent increase in access to health services. In 2015, 70 per cent of Kenyans who needed an essential health intervention received it, in contrast to just 32 per cent in 2000. 

The researchers note that these gains will need to be sustained, and in many cases accelerated, to achieve the ambitious SDG targets. The findings also highlight the importance of income, education and birth rates as drivers of health improvement and that the investments in those areas alone will not be sufficient. 

“We know that international targets can motivate countries and motivate donors. The international Global Burden of Disease collaboration is committed to providing an independent assessment of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which led the study, noted. 

The proportion of countries that have accomplished individual targets varies greatly. For example, more than 60 per cent of the 188 countries studied shows maternal mortality rates below 70 deaths per 100,000 live births, effectively hitting the SDG target. In contrast, no nation has reached the objective to end childhood overweight or to fully eliminate infectious diseases like HIV or tuberculosis. 

“We have concrete examples of countries making important progress on a range of health-related SDG indicators. We now need to look to those countries that have seen strong progress to find out what they are doing right and how it can be applied more broadly,” Dr Stephen Lim, Professor of Global Health at IHME and lead author of the study, pointed out. 

As part of its activities to support SDGs, the AKU has pledged to invest more than US$ 85 million over the next decade in support of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which is designed to help achieve Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, requiring countries to ensure good health and well-being for people of all ages.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Highlighting difference between mindset of an entrepreneur and a salaried person

By Nadeem Hussain
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The gist of my argument is that human resources are even more critical for startups as there is no margin of error. 

 The selection of people is even more important. A great performer at a company who works for a salary may not work out for a startup. 

The startup involves risk, absence of a safety net and they require haircuts in salary. Not everybody is cut out for it. 

My recent experience is that two of my high performers from my previous company who had joined me, left for a salaried job. In a startup you must have faith in yourself and your partners. 

Great wealth is not created from the safety of a salaried position. To make serious money one has to take risks, one has to be fearless, one must have the resolve. 

While all these character traits are required in a salaried high performer, in a startup they are critical. 

**The writer is the Founder and Coach of Planet-N Group of Companies and Pakistan Microfinance Network, having previously headed Tameer Microfinance Bank and Citigroup.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Process for admission-2017 at SSUET starts

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The process for admissions in Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and as per schedule announced October 2 has been fixed for aptitude test to be held at the Karachi Expo Centre. 

The SSUET, an institution of excellence since 1994, gives admissions in eleven disciplines which include electronic, computer, civil, bio-medical, telecommunication, electrical engineering and architecture besides computer science, software engineering, bio-infomatics and information technology. 

As per required criteria the eligibility for admission in first seven disciplines is minimum 60 percent marks in HSC and 55 percent for rest four disciplines. 

The eligibility for admission in all programmes will be on combination of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, combination of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science for Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information Technology; combination of Physics, Chemistry and Biology for Bio-Medical engineering and Architecture and with combination of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics/Biology/Computer Science eligible for Bioinformatics. 

The SSUET has a highly qualified and experienced faculty and the campus has air-conditioned class rooms equipped with audio visual systems.

It is equipped with air-conditioned laboratories with 1,500 plus nodes Computer Network and high speed internet connectivity. 

The university carries a career planning and well structured internship program and has collaboration with leading universities of the world with credit transfers available.

The SSUET provides scholarships and financial assistance of over Rs 40 million for deserving and needy students.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Alpha opens with a bang as Tesco comes to Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Alpha opening in the basement of Ocean Mall, Clifton, on September 10 was quite a memorable event. 

It was an evening to remember as Karachi finally had the presence of Tesco, a reputed British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. 

As anticipated the launch of Alpha turned out to be a phenomenal success with the large turnout, a clear indication of the project generating immediate attention to the extent of creating waves among the potential customers. 

It’s the fulfillment of yet other cherished dream of Nadeem Hussain, Founder and Coach at Planet N Group of Companies, having earned accolades in the financial services industry of Pakistan through his impossibly gifted talents.

Living to the reputation of being very passionate about whatever he ventures into, the former Citi Group country chief in Pakistan has now got his Planet N Group off to a flying start with the launch of Alpha and obviously there is a lot more to follow. 

A firm believer of giving back to the society while pursuing his corporate goals, Nadeem Hussain has believed in setting examples, having been a naturally gifted leader, who always has a vision and a strategy to implement and achieve his objectives. 

Now he’s being lauded for bringing Tesco in Karachi, the commercial hub of the country. 

He had signed exclusive rights for Tesco for Pakistan, opening the doors for the third largest retailer in the world measured by profits and the second-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues.

Historically Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. 

The Tesco name had first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T E Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname and the first Tesco store opened in 1931 in Burnt Oak, Barnet. 

Originally a UK grocery retailer, Tesco has diversified geographically since the early 1990s and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, toys, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Engineers’ body felicitates Sindh Chief Minister

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Association of Consulting Engineers Pakistan (ACEP), a representative body of consulting engineers, which also represents the country at international level as being a member of International Federation of National Association of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), has extended its profound felicitations to Engr Syed Murad Ali Shah for having taken over the office of Chief Minister of Sindh. 

In a letter of felicitation, the ACEP said that it’s a matter of pride for all of us, structural engineers in particular, that he, being a from engineers' community, an NEDIAN, having done Masters in Structural Engineering, has been inducted into the coveted office of Chief Minister of the province of Sindh. 

"We firmly believe that you being an NEDIAN will fully demonstrate your capabilities and exploit the Allah-given opportunity to serve Sindh and its people". 

The ACEP wished him a successful tenure hoping that his dynamic personality and the ability of working hard will surely steer him to higher positions in his political career. 

The ACEP prayed that may Allah shower His blessings upon him and give him the courage to serve the down trodden people with all determination at his command in general and the engineering community in particular. 

In its letter to the Chief Minister, the ACEP pointed out that it has some suggestions for the betterment of engineering community and hoped that he will take some time out from his busy schedule for a meeting with the Association's delegation comprising the senior consulting engineers. 

The ACEP extended its full technical support to Engr Murad Ali Shah in the development sector keeping the welfare of people of Sindh in view.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

US diplomats to help facilitate foreign investment in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan has reckoned that peace has been fast restored in Pakistan particularly in Karachi due to Zarb-e-Azb and the Sindh government was endeavoring to further strengthen the law and order situation and the forces and political leadership were acting under short middle term and long term plans in this regard.

He said that foreign investors can take full benefit of restoration of law and order and in order to eliminate poverty and elimination of factors through which crimes come up. 

"A strong Pakistan is inevitable for maintenance of peace and development in the area. He said that restoration of law and order and development in Pakistan is dependent on peace, tranquility and development in Karachi", the Governor said in a meeting with newly posted US Counsel General, Grace Shelton, and the outgoing CG Brian Heath who called on him at the Governor House. 

 The Governor gave a detail account of the steps taken for maintenance of security and law and order and to ensure success of the steps taken in promoting foreign investment in Pakistan. 

He asserted that targeted operation against terrorists, target killers, extortionists and criminals involved in kidnapping for ransom would continue till complete elimination of crimes from the province particularly from Karachi. 

He said that military and political leadership in this regards are on one page and altogether to end all types of crimes from the country. He pointed out that there is no doubt that democracy is the only solution to resolve public issues but the continuance of democracy is that the act of accountability should continue ob permanent basis. 

He said that the action of armed forces against terrorism is worth appreciable and an open truth that Pakistan worst affected in war against terrorism. He said that financially and economically strong Pakistan is in the area and the world. He said that enhanced foreign investment is need of time. 

He said that very attractive sectors in Pakistan and Sindh Province are present for foreign investment. He said that America has extended help in many sectors of Pakistan for which Pakistani people are thankful to American people. 

He said that American investors can take much benefit of best investment in score of appropriate sectors in Pakistan and Sindh.

The Governor said that America under the US AID program has commenced score of projects of public welfare, which include Institute of Health Sciences at Jacobabad, gynea ward at Jinnah Hospital Karachi and projects of health and education those are seen by public with appreciable sight. 

The US Counsel General Brian Heath said that Sindh Province has vast opportunities and it require attention to take benefit and American investors are diverting in this regard. 

He said that during his posting he worked for the strengthening of Pak-America relationship and strengthening Pakistan financially and economically and would continue to do so in future also. 

He said that during his posting at Karachi he received love and affection, the people were caring, and he never felt that he was out of America. 

The newly posted Counsel General Grace Shelton expressing views said that she would endeavour to further strengthen the relations between America and Pakistan. 

She said that it's her desire to attract the foreigner investors to invest in Pakistan especially in Sindh Province, adding  that the cooperation of Governor in this regard would be beneficial. The Sindh Governor extended his full cooperation to Counsel General in this regard.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Azadi Train warmly welcomed in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Azadi Train after travelling through all the four provinces of the country reached Karachi on September 4.

The Sindh Governor, Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, and a large number of people warmly welcomed the train which culminated its 4,000-kilometers journey at the Cantonment Station in Karachi. 

The Director General, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sindh, Lt-Col (retd) Siraj-ul-Naeem, and the Divisional Superintendent of Pakistan Railways, Sindh, Engr Nisar Ahmed Memon, were also present on the occasion. 

An impressive fireworks demonstration was organized upon the arrival of the train, which contained the coaches representing the culture and traditions of all the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The Sindh Governor visited different bogies of the train and took keen interest in the exhibits. 

Speaking on the occasion as a chief guest, Dr Ishrat-ul- Ebad observed that the Azadi Train was a wonderful combination of the cultures and traditions of different provinces and national unity and harmony.

He remarked that the Azadi Train had received very warm welcome throughout its journey across the country including Karachi, which reflected people's love and patriotism with Pakistan. 

The Governor said that this special train's initiative will be helpful in promoting awareness about the struggle for the creation of Pakistan and provide details about important projects such as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other schemes of national significance. 

Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Railways and other relevant institutions for the success of Azadi Train initiative. 

The train will remain stationed at Karachi for two days for exhibition and various programmes will also be organized during this time.

It will be a centre of attraction for people of all age groups enabling them to see the cultural traditions of different parts of the country.

The Azadi Train had started its journey from the Margalla Railway Station in Islamabad on August 11.

Its six coaches represented the culture and traditions of all the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, while six other coaches related to the Pakistan Movement, Kashmir struggle, services and sacrifices of Armed Forces, exhibiting about different important projects and the history of Pakistan Railways.

Monday, September 5, 2016

SSUET delegation participates in UN event

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A delegation of 10 students of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, participated first time in an event organized by the alumni of the University of Karachi University. 

Maria from Bio-Medical Engineering got Senior Mention and Momin Naqvi from Computer Engineering got Honorary Mention titles. 

The SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, alongwith Advisor to Chancellor, Siraj Khilji, with his team, visited the event on its second day at Hotel Regent Plaza where they interacted with the various delegations and the organizers who were appreciated for their efforts in holding such an event. 

"The Sir Syed University will extend full support for organizing such events in future,” Sarfraz Ali assured while Siraj Khilji invited the KUMUN organizers to visit the university and make collaborative efforts in establishing the MUN SSUET Chapter.

In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization's vast agenda. 

The student delegates in Model UN prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and intensely navigate the UN's rules of procedures, as applied in the respective UN bodies, all in the interest of mobilizing international cooperation to resolve problems that affect almost every country on earth. 

All delegates have to obey these rules of procedure, which are a simplified version of those used in the real UN conferences. The sessions of the committees are led by chairs and co-chairs. 

Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model UN, the students research global problems to be addressed, drawn from today's headlines. 

The Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, and globalization. 

The Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the countries they represent at the event.

HEC grants permission to SSUET for holding sports events

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has granted permission to the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, for organizing a zonal football tournament as well as the final round of All Pakistan Tug of War.

The decision was taken at a recent meeting of HEC held in Islamabad to review sports activities at universities level. 

The meeting, held annually, was attended by the Director Sports of all the universities. The SSUET was represented by its Director Sports Mubashir Mukhtar. 

The HEC agreed to the SSUET proposal of holding the zonal football round and the final round of Tug of War. On the occasion the Mubashir Mukhtar also presented annual report of the university’s sports activities, informing the meeting about a number of inter-departmental tournaments in cricket, hockey, football, badminton, volleyball, table tennis and an All Karachi Inter-Varsities Jashn-e-Azadi cricket tournament having been organized by the SSUET. 

He presented the report to Director General Sports, HEC, Fida Hussain who appreciated the SSUET’s initiatives in the field of sports.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Gates Foundation awards US$ 25m to AKU

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Aga Khan University (AKU) will work to prevent deaths of mothers and children in Pakistan under a five-year, US$ 25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, testing a variety of approaches in an effort to develop insights and evidence that can influence policy across the country and beyond its borders.

An estimated 440,000 mothers and children under the age of five died in Pakistan in 2015, more than in all but two other countries. 

Because the risks mothers and children face in rural areas are especially high, AKU researchers will focus on 14 mainly rural districts in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan as well as urban slums in Karachi. 

In Balochistan, for example, the rate at which women die from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth is more than four times higher than in urban areas of Pakistan, and in some areas fewer than one in six women give birth with a health worker present. 

Among mothers and children in Pakistan, most deaths are due to preventable or treatable causes, and thus could be avoided. Among children under five, for example, more than 30 per cent of deaths are the result of pneumonia or diarrhoea. Under the grant, entitled Umeed-e-Nau (A New Hope), the university will partner with public and private sector organizations to introduce at least six large-scale projects in representative settings. 

“Breaking the cycle of poverty starts with investing in the health of vulnerable individuals at every stage of life, particularly young women, newborns and children,” Dr Christopher Elias, President of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, remarked.

“We are proud to support Pakistan’s efforts to improve the quality and reach of health services to reduce preventable deaths and make progress toward the country’s 2030 development goals,” he added. 

The projects will work with public sector programs and primary care providers such as Lady Health Workers and Community Health Midwives to deliver proven interventions and seek to improve the quality of care at health facilities. 

They will also empower adolescent girls through health and nutrition education to be delivered in schools and in communities, as adolescent girls have been largely ignored in public policy and health systems. Ultimately, researchers hope to reduce stillbirths and newborn deaths by 20 percent, and deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea by 30 percent through these strategies.

 “Globally, nearly 6 million children under age five died in 2015, while 300,000 women lost their lives due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth,” Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the AKU Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health and Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto, stated. 

“Because most of these deaths are due to illnesses or conditions that we know how to treat, they could be avoided. But the question remains: in countries like Pakistan with limited resources, what are the best ways to make sure people actually receive the health care or health knowledge they need? That’s what our Centre of Excellence focuses on and this grant will allow us to expand our work in both scale and depth,” he explained. 

Maternal and child health has long been one of AKU’s highest priorities, and the University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, has emerged as one of the developing world’s leading sources of research in the field. 

It has contributed to a number of influential Lancet Global Health Series and to the Countdown to 2015 effort, and its work helped to inform the new United Nations’ Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. 

Its research on community-based solutions to health challenges in rural Pakistan, often involving the government’s Lady Health Workers programme, has been groundbreaking and influential. Umeed-e-Nau builds on the Centre’s achievements over many years, and represents something of a culmination of its work to date. 

“This grant reflects the impact and value of the work that AKU undertakes to develop solutions to critical health problems facing women and children, especially those living in poverty and in rural areas," the AKU President, Firoz Rasul, observed.

"We are very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the partnership and support to improve maternal and child health in Pakistan. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Foundation to assist the most vulnerable in our society,” he reckoned.

As part of its activities to support the Sustainable Development Goals, the University has pledged to invest more than US$ 85 million over the next decade in support of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which is designed to help achieve Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, requiring countries to ensure good health and well-being for people of all ages.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Foreign delegates appreciate SSUET establishment

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The delegates of the International Conference on Engineering Science and Technology heaped high praise for the establishment of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and observed that this act was reflective of the Aligarhians dedication towards promotion of education particularly in the fields of science and technology.

They were particularly appreciative of the fact that the SSUET has been named after Sir Syed Ahmed Khan the great reformer and protagonist of cause of education in South Asia. 

In an exclusive interview, Mohammed Ajmal Kafeel, Professor at Department of Electronic Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, India, said he was very excited to visit Pakistan after a lapse of 27 years and particularly the SSUET which hosted the ICET-16 because of which he had an opportunity of having interaction with renowned engineers and scientists from abroad as well as from within Pakistan. 

The two-day conference was held at Bashir A Malik Auditorium of SSUET and participated by delegates from South Korea, Saudi Arabia, India, Poland and Finland as well as from reputed Pakistani universities. 

Ajmal Kafeel, having presented the keynote address on state of art and design of tunnel field effect transistor for ultra low power applications on the opening day of the conference, was of the opinion that the ICET-16 was going to help promote research activities, new ideas through knowledge gained during two days of brainstorming and the experiences shared by the delegates in the fields of engineering science and technology in coming days besides exploring new directions and vistas. 

He said that although he had came to Pakistan after 27 long years, still he did not find any difference in the environment of India and Pakistan. 

Replying a question Ajmal Kafeel informed that as per Nelson Survey of UK, Aligarh University held third position in India with Chundigarh University and Delhi University enjoying higher positions. 

He remarked that in India there’s great competition among universities with focus on research activities, adding that the Aliigarh University, which is a residential campus, today has an enrolment of 35,000 students.  
He appreciated the fact that the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) took the initiative in Pakistan to establish a university and named it after the legendary Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 

He disclosed that similarly in India, Azam Khan, a well known Muslim social figure and a Minister of Urban department in UP, established a university of engineering in Rampur which is also going to have a medical college soon. 

He further revealed that the Aligarh University has established their off centres in Kerala, Bihar and West Bengal and suggested that the SSUET should also consider having its off centres in the cities like Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar.