Monday, January 30, 2017

Railways undertake coal transportation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Pakistan Railways has embarked upon another profitable operational venture by starting exclusive coal transportation for upcountry coal-fired power plants. 

The Pakistan Railways, Karachi Division, has dispatched the first coal-carrying train for Yusuf Wala Power Plant in Sahiwal. 

The train left Karachi on January 29 and was expected to reach its destination in 32 hours. 

According to a spokesman of the Karachi Division, the train comprised 25 wagons loaded with 1,500 tons of coal. 

Initially a couple trains carrying coal will be dispatched daily and this number would be increased to five trains gradually, the spokesman said.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Railways procure GE manufactured diesel locomotives

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

“Pakistan Railways has embarked upon an ambitious plan aimed at strengthening its freight transportation service and has purchased 55 diesel electric locomotives, each of 4000 to 4500 horse power, for the purpose,” Mohammad Javed Anwar, General Manager (Operations), Pakistan Railway, disclosed.

Talking to journalists on the occasion of delivery of seven of the 55 engines at Karachi Port, he said these freight specific locomotives, manufactured by General Electric (GE), USA, will be particularly utilized for coal and freight transportation. 

About the seven locomotives, the GM (Operations) revealed that these will carry coal from Karachi port to coal power plants in the up country. These will soon be carrying coal to Sahiwal power plant. 

To another question, he said that an agreement worth US$ 213,689 million had been signed with GE to procure these locomotives for phase wise delivery to Pakistan Railways. The supply of the remaining 48 diesel electric engines, he said, will be completed in next six months and utilized with high capacity wagons and coal hopper wagons. 

"A two-fold increase in the Pakistan Railways freight earning is expected through the fresh induction," Javed Anwar stated. 

Supplementing his claim, the Railways functionary said that the newly purchased locomotives have the capacity to haul 3400 tons load against the hauling capacity of 2250 tons of existing engines. 

He informed that these engines are five percent fuel efficient besides being environment friendly and have less maintenance cost. 

To yet another query, he said that Pakistan Railways was also in process to procure a few more DE locomotives of 2000 horse power from General Electric. These engines, he added, will be used to transport goods from Karachi to Quetta and Quetta to Karachi. 

Mentioning that 77 relevant employees of Pakistan Railways were sent to USA for required training in the operation of these engines and now they will serve as master trainers. 

The CEO of General Electric for Pakistan, Sarim Shaikh, shared that the agreement between his company and Pakistan Railway was signed in 2015 with delivery to be made in 16 months. 

The Divisional Superintendent Railways, Karachi Division, Engr Nisar Ahmed Memon also responded to media queries.

Monday, January 23, 2017

SSUET projects clinch UNIDO awards

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, added another feather into its hat when two of its projects in bio-medical engineering and Telecom engineering won the UNIDO awards worth Rs three million. 

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) had, in March 2016, organized a contest.

Around 80-90 projects were initially selected from all over Pakistan with four from SSUET. Since then theses projects were being monitored and surveyed how to commercialize them. 

Out of total number of projects, five are to be selected for inclusion in the final round for the 15 K and 20 K US dollars prize money and to be taken to Silicon Valley USA as well while two from the SSUET have already been selected. 

The news about these SSUET achievements were broken by Prof Dr Haleem and Prof Dr Aamer during their speeches at the recent Orientation Programme its new batch of 2017 students held at the Karachi Expo Centre on January 18. 

The ORIC introduced this UNIDO contest at the SSUET and arranged the seminar for all the students to avail this opportunity.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SSUET holds Orientation Day

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Orientation Day of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, for the new entrants (Batch 2017) was held at the Karachi Expo Centre on January 18 in a glorified manner with Chancellor Jawaid Anwar exhorting the students to strive to raise their level of thinking along with their academic pursuits so as to achieve success in their practical life and help raise the heads of their parents, teachers as well as the university.

The programme was attended by over 1,400 new entrants who got admission in 11 different engineering disciplines alongwith their parents and were educated about their respective fields by the concerned Chairmen of departments. 

In a highly motivational address, the SSUET Chancellor told the students that they are going to start a new phase of their life. 

The university which they selected for their academic career is a unique and ideological institution which enjoys a creditable and elated position in the field of education but also has a distinctive position when it comes to modern approach, research and career building. 

He informed that this year the 200th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the great Muslim reformer and educationist is going to be observed. In order to celebrate this occasion in a most befitting manner, Sir Syed University has started preparing programs which would include international seminar besides lectures by noted scholars whereby the mission and struggle of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan will be highlighted.

He pointed out that education played a cardinal and effective role in the transformation of human life and it would merely be a wishful thinking of achieving a bright future without education. 

The Chancellor said that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a man with farsightedness who was fully aware that only a creative approach of a nation alongwith use of modern technologies will serve as its best asset and this thinking became the starting point of Sir Syed's educational movement. 

He said it was his this mission which led to the creation of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA) which made the establishment of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology possible where students are introduced to modern engineering education besides carrying out graduation and Masters programmes. 

In SSUET, he told them, their 4 year academic phase will be an era of their future building and, therefore, they will have to dedicate themselves towards acquisition of knowledge by utilizing their all possible positive capabilities.

Pointing out that their bright future would be dependent on education, the university teachers and teaching staff would be ready to guide them at every stage. 

Jawaid Anwar said that for a university, the teachers serve as the backbone and SSUET has instituted extra ordinary steps for their progress and prosperity with the confidence that its reflection would be visible in the academic pursuits of students and their future buildings. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi congratulated the students for getting admission in SSUET strictly on merit basis and hoped that they would work hard with devotion, dedication and sincerely to achieve their goals and come up to the expectations of their parents and university. 

He said they are admitted to a university which carries the name of a great reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan whose contribution and efforts in the face of adverse circumstances led to the awakening of the Muslims of South Asia which led to the creation of a separate homeland for them.

He informed that different from their earlier educational system in school and college, they will here follow a semester system whereby an academic year is divided into two semesters and a summer session with a final exam at the end of each. 

The Dean of Faculty of Engineering Dr Prof S M Makhdumi also welcomed the students on behalf of the faculty while chairmen of departments of Civil, Bio-Medical, Electronic, Computer/Software, Electrical, Telecommunication engineering, Architecture, Computer Science/Bio-Informatic/IT departments gave an introduction of their respective departments. 

Prof. Dr Najeeb, Associate Dean Engineering gave an introduction about CEP and CISCO while Chancellor's Advisor Siraj Khilji dilated upon the Students Guidance Center and Career Planning. Speeches were also delivered by two passed out students. 

The programme concluded with the SSUET Anthem and closing remarks by Registrar Comdr (Rtd) Syed Sarfraz Ali who at the outset gave an introduction about the AMUOBA, Sports, Library, Arts and Culture Forum, Students Guidance Centre and Co-Curricular activities.

Monday, January 16, 2017

SSUET Orientation Day on Jan 18

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

All arrangements have been finalized for the traditional Orientation Day to be organized for the entry of 2017 of newly enrolled students of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi. The Orientation programme will be held on January 18 at 10 am at the Karachi Expo Centre.

The orientation programme is arranged for the newly enrolled students to educate them about the engineering disciplines they opted for their future career. 

The day's salient feature is mainly the address to students by the SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar, besides speeches by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi and Dean Faculty of Engineering. 

The chairpersons of the various departments will apprise the new university entrants about their respective disciplines. 

According to the university notification the regular classes for first semester will commence from January 19 and for the remaining batches of 2014, 2015 and 2016 from January 23. 

The SSUET's Planning and Development department has carried out renovation work to welcome the new entrants. 

The arrangements for Orientation Day were reviewed at length at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi and attended, among others, by Dean, Associate Dean, Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali and chairpersons of the various departments.

Pakistan’s newborns face rising risk of non-communicable diseases

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Stress, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and the prevalence of chronic diseases in adults are leaving Pakistan’s newborns more vulnerable to the threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), according to speakers at a recent event at the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi.

Experts at the International Conference on Stress and Conditioning: Impact on Maternal and Generation Health noted that economic, social and psychological pressures lead to stress and high levels of stress hormones affect the baby in the womb. 

These chemicals can trigger genetic changes which stall the development trajectory of the brain and heart of a fetus resulting in lifelong effects on the fetus’s learning capability, social functioning and ability to fight disease. 

Pakistan has approximately 80 million people who suffer from NCDs or life-style related illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, chronic lung and kidney disease and mental illnesses. 

The number of Pakistanis with these diseases is increasing by approximately 10 per cent a year and speakers noted that prospective parents with NCDs are also more likely to pass on their illness to the next generation. 

“Our healthcare system is geared towards treating those suffering from NCDs now. But there isn’t enough attention paid to the inter-generational effects of disease. By focusing on early interventions in the period between conception and birth we can reduce the lifelong risk of neurocognitive, metabolic and cardiac disease and ensure that every child achieves their full potential,” Dr Nuruddin Mohammad, director of maternal and fetal medicine at AKU’s division of women and child health, remarked. 

During the conference speakers shared how innovations in neurosonographic imaging, advanced ultrasounds of a fetus’s heart and brain, are enabling the early detection of delays in brain and heart development. 

New technology is also helping identify biomarkers (chemical indicators) that can predict developmental delays that may lead to disease in adulthood. This makes the first 2,000 days of a child’s life extremely important and investing in healthcare during this period could result in the greatest returns for society in terms of health and wellbeing. 

The speakers on the day noted that in many cases of NCDs, screening and interventions in adults was significantly less effective as irreversible genetic modifications have already taken place. 

Dr Rehan Ali, associate professor in paediatrics at AKU said: “The link between nourishment and lifelong health has been long established. Insights into the developmental origins of health and disease are clearly showing the importance of environmental factors on maternal and fetal health. This research is making a strong case for conducting healthcare initiatives earlier in life to help achieve targets under Sustainable Development Goal 3.” 

The one-day conference was preceded by three workshops which enabled the exchange of skills in areas relating to disease management during pregnancy and the sharing of knowledge on ethical issues in obstetrics. 

The other speakers at the conference included Dr Stephen Lye, Executive Director, Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development, Canada; Marleen Temmerman, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Aga Khan University’s Medical College in Nairobi; and Professor George Chrousos from the Athens University Medical School in Greece.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

HEC Inter-University Football Tournament kicks off

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The four-day HEC Inter-University Football Tournament (Zone G) commenced on January 10 at the 16-star Football Ground in Federal-B-Area, Karachi, with Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) being the host for the first time.

Inaugurating the tournament, the SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali described sports activities in educational institutions as most imperative as, according to him, only a health generation proves itself the best asset for the country. 

In the opening match IOBM University defeated SSUET 4-3 on penalty shoots after the encounter had remained locked at 2-2 till the end and both teams were allowed five penalties each to decide the fate of the match. 

In the other matches, PIMSAT trounced Dow University 5-4 on penalty kicks, Iqra University overpowered Sindh Madressatul Islam 5-1 and Agha Khan overcame Dawood University 3-1. A total of 15 teams are taking part in the tournament being held on knockout basis with final scheduled to be held on January 14.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Khawaja Naveed tipped to be Sindh Governor

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The name of former Justice Khawaja Naveed Ahmed is circulating in the power corridors for appointment as new Governor of Sindh as replacement of the ailing Governor former Chief Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqi.

According to reports emanating from power corridors, the name of Khawaja Naveed is being considered as a noted lawyer having very prominent legal back ground. 

Earlier the names of former Governor Lt Gen (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider and PML(N)'s Senator Mushahidullah Khan were also considered for the coveted office and now Khawaja Naveed has emerged as the most likely candidate. 

Barrister Khawaja Naveed is in the legal profession for the last 41 years and had worked as Advocate General Sindh and as a Judge in the High Court of Sindh. 

He has the distinction of being a keynote speaker at the International Law General Symposium of Harvard University, USA, and is also a member of International Bar UK and International Bar USA. 

Khawaja Naveed is regarded as a non-controversial figure and acceptable to every one having a very wide political and social circle. 

It is believed that the government is interested to have a new Governor with a shining legal background and Khawaja Naveed is considered to come up fully to this criteria. 

He has appeared in various high profile political and other cases and successfully defended his clients. He contributes columns on various political and social issues and is liked in a wide circle of readers including politicians and people belonging to various walks of life.