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Friday, August 19, 2016

Presidential awards for AKU faculty

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain has conferred prestigious awards on two senior professors at the Aga Khan University (AKU) in recognition of their outstanding services to the profession.

Professor Syed Ather Enam, Chair of the Department of Surgery at AKU, has been awarded Pakistan’s third highest civilian award, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, for his work in the field of medicine. 

Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the University, has been honoured with a Pride of Performance Award for his contributions to healthcare education.

The announcement was made on Independence Day, August 14, 2016, where the President conferred awards on a number of Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals for demonstrating excellence in their respective fields. 

Speaking about the awards, Farhat Abbas, Dean of the Medical College at AKU, said: “Throughout their careers, Dr Enam and Dr Bhutta have upheld the highest standards in their respective fields. A generation of surgeons and researchers has honed their skills under their supervision and are making an impact in their chosen fields of service. I congratulate them both on this richly deserved honour.”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

SSUET organize Jashn-e-Azadi Cricket Tournament


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Inter-University Jashn-e-Azadi Cricket Tournament was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Prof. Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, at the Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium in Karachi on August 17. Hosts SSUET and the Pakistan Marine Academy were set to lock horns in the opening fixture. 

Earlier in a media briefing, the SSUET Director Sports, Mubashir Mukhtar, observed that the T20 tournament will provide a boost to sports in educational institutions. 

He pointed out that SSUET had celebrated the Independence Day with an unprecedented zeal and fervor and this tournament was being organized in the same context as part of the independence celebrations. 

Mubbashir Mukhtar informed that Karachi’s best universities were participating in this tournament, having been divided into two groups. 

He stated that there will be two matches daily, to be played in accordance with the laws of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), will be supervised by qualified umpires,  adding that the semifinals will be held on September 2 while the final will be played on September 3. 

The SSUET official  thanked the management of Naya Nnazimabad for providing ground and facilities for the tournament. 

The Director Sports of Naya Nazimabad, Mohammed Iqbal, said that cricket tournaments were being held at their ground for the last four years and the facilities had been appreciated at the national level. 

He informed that soon hockey and football grounds will also be developed in near future and they will always be made available for the sports activities of educational institutions. The CEO of Naya Nazimabad, Samad Habib, and the Financial Controller, Imran Haq, were also present on the occasion

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Independence Day celebrated at SSUET with great fervor


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Independence Day was celebrated at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, with unprecedented fervor and zeal, on August 14.

At the campus, Chancellor Jawaid Anwar, accompanied by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, and Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, performed the flag hoisting ceremony which was largely attended by the heads of various departments, faculty members, prominent Aligarhians, staff members and students. 

Addressing the ceremony Chancellor Jawaid Anwar said that the cherished objective behind the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia was to provide them a land where they could lead their lives in accordance with the tenets of Islam. 

He advised that this day should be celebrated with a renewed commitment to continue to work for the progress and prosperity of the homeland.

He observed that the country was created with unmatched sacrifices and the builders deserve to be paid highest tributes, adding that every nation did face ups and downs but only those succeeded who had remained steadfast and united with the spirit of national integrity. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, remarked that there’s more need for greater patriotism to face the present day challenges and odds and make Pakistan an invincible state. 

The Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, said that today is the day of renewal of our commitment towards out motherland so as to make it a strong and prosperous nation for our present and future generations. On the occasion, the students presented national songs.

Innovative app wins top prize at AKU’s first-ever Hackathon


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The innovators at Pakistan’s first-ever medical hackathon at the Aga Khan University, Karachi, have proposed new ways of tackling challenges facing Pakistan’s emergency rooms (ER).

HistorER, the winning team at the Hackathon, came up with a unique QR (quick response) code system to address a persistent challenge faced by ER doctors. 

Patients are often brought to emergency by family members or by bystanders who are not aware of their medical history. In the absence of critical information, doctors face delays in performing life-saving procedures. 

The HistorER team has suggested that every person carry a medical card with a QR code with vital details: blood group, allergies, current medication and previous operations. Scanned, the QR code would provide doctors immediate access to information and the ability to initiate treatment promptly. 

Speaking about the winning team’s solution, the lead organizer of the event, Dr Asad Mian, Associate Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU, said: “HistorER’s idea can improve the efficiency of the ER and reduce errors caused by doctors not having timely access to vital patient data. Since the team’s solution involves their own storage and retrieval system, they can also ensure the safety of patient records and facilitate information sharing between doctors at different hospitals.” 

Besides the winning team, three other groups also received prizes and awards. JackED which developed a convenient, prototype ER gown or ‘JackED’ to boost the accuracy of ECGs, a test to determine whether a heart attack has taken place. 

TrICS who created an app enabling ambulance paramedics to relay vital data about critically ill patients to ER staff before they arrive at the hospital. 

Breath Hacks which developed a mechanical Ambu Bag device to provide emergency breathing assistance to patients waiting for a ventilator 

All pitches at the event were scored by a panel of healthcare, entrepreneurship and innovation experts in line with four criteria: health impact, innovation, business model, and presentation skills. 

The Pakistan Innovation Foundation founder, Athar Osama, one of the judges at the event, remarked: “Innovation within a society comes from the bottom up. It is the work of individuals who, who faced with constraints, take it upon themselves to find solutions. Emergency response is a very critical area for a volatile city like Karachi and I’ve seen some great ideas at the Hackathon that are sorely needed. The participants have made great progress in just a few days and I look forward to seeing how they build upon these ideas.” 

80 participants, worked over three days, and they were assisted by 20 mentors with a background in entrepreneurship. The participants from fields as diverse as medicine, information technology, business and engineering collaborated to find innovative ways to improve patient safety, boost the productivity of physicians and reduce treatment time. 

Speaking about the need for innovation in the healthcare sector, Aga Khan University Hospital CEO Hans Kedzierski observed: “Hackathons are one of the most vibrant ways to create innovative solutions. The 11 teams had just two days to tackle complicated problems. Even then we found it so difficult to decide the most innovative solution. However, the intelligent use of technology to boost patient safety meant that we choose HistorER. I’d like to congratulate all the teams on their hard work. It is great to see young people working hard to create a better healthcare system for Pakistan.” 

Besides Athar Osama, judges at the event included Dr Munawar Khursheed, Assistant Professor at AKU, Rumman Ahmed, entrepreneur and creativity consultant, Dr Talha Rehman, Operations Manager at the Elaj Trust, Hans Kedzierski, AKUH CEO, and Khairunnisa Hooda, Head of the 24/7 Emergency and Acute Care Service Line at AKUH. 

A host of international speakers and local experts delivered inspirational speeches during the event to help guide the teams at the Hackathon. The speakers included Firoz Rasul, AKU President, Dr Junaid Razzak, healthcare policy expert and serial entrepreneur, Dr Farhat Abbas, Dean of the Medical College at AKU, Dr Ayesha Khalid, one of the organisers of MIT’s Hacking Medicine event, and Hans Kedzierski, AKUH CEO. 

Supported by the Department of Emergency Medicine, AKU, and the 24/7 Emergency and Acute Care Service Line, AKUH, the event was organised by the Critical Creative Innovative Thinking forum which is an educational, training and research programme seeking to foster creativity and innovation in biomedicine and healthcare.

Friday, August 12, 2016

AKU introduce innovation into Emergency Room


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The first-ever Hackathon at the Aga Khan University (AKU) has brought together a variety of experts to solve pressing problems in the city’s emergency room facilities.

The hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) is often the first point of call for citizens whenever a disaster or public health outbreak hits Karachi. 

Hence the challenges arising from the prevailing situation, infrastructure failings and resource shortages are acutely felt in the ER as medical staff rush to treat a surge of patients facing life-threatening conditions. 

In order to find innovative solutions to these daily challenges, the AKU will be hosting a three-day medical hackathon. 

The event, from August 13 to 15, will see professionals from all walks of life, nurses, doctors, businessmen, engineers and designers, pool together their knowledge and ideas to find unique solutions to issues facing emergency departments in Pakistan. 

More than 100 participants and 25 mentors, divided into multiple teams, will ‘hack’ or find quick solutions to medical challenges. 

One of the speakers will be Dr Junaid Razzak, who was the head of Aga Khan University Hospital’s Emergency Room and led the development of Aman Foundation’s emergency medical services. 

Regarding the need for a medical hackathon, Dr Junaid Razzak said: "Traditionally, healthcare systems are hierarchical, risk averse and slow to change. While there are many benefits to this traditional approach, the lack of innovation especially in environments with few resources, have not delivered positive healthcare outcomes for the majority of people.” 

“I believe that solving the challenges of healthcare for countries like Pakistan is possible through innovation. I am excited that a group at AKU has taken the key first steps to organize and recognize non-traditional thinking to solve key health challenges. This has the potential to fundamentally change the discussion around approaches to healthcare systems," he added. 

Throughout the event, mentors and veterans from various professional fields from business to IT to medicine will share their experience of solving problems with participants.  

After two days of fast-paced work, the hackathon will conclude with presentations to a panel of judges, presenting concrete, sustainable solutions suited to low to middle income countries such as Pakistan. The panel will assess ideas worth being funded and launched. 

Speaking about the event, Dr Asad Mian, associate professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at AKU said: “Hackathons are full of energy, drive and enthusiasm. I was inspired by Hacking Medicine’s event at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the drive and enthusiasm of participants to address and solve healthcare problems of global significance."

“The MIT’s Grand Hack 2016 was delightfully different. Therefore, with the MIT’s constant support and feedback, our team is now hosting the first-ever medical hackathon at AKU. We hope to improve lives through ‘hacking’ medicine in a manner that is critical, creative, innovative, and above all, resourceful,” he concluded.

SSUET hosts sports seminar


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), as a part of its policy to facilitate the youngsters, has decided to lay astro-turf at here the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET). 

This was announced by Olympian Naved Alam, Director, Development & Domestic, PHF, during the seminar entitled ‘State of Sports in Pakistan’ organized by the Sports Journalists Association Sindh (SJAS) with the collaboration of the SSUET, held at the university campus on August 9. 

“Indeed it’s a tragedy that Pakistan’s hockey team is not playing in the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Without blaming those responsible for the catastrophe we have decided to get on with it. We have the capacity to regain the lost glories in hockey. India had also not qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games but their team is playing now. There seems no reason why, with so much talents, we could not bounce back at the international level,” the PHF official remarked. 

The SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar, who presided over the seminar, urged all the stakeholders to work jointly for the cause of promoting sports having brought laurels for the country in the past. 

“It’s time to join hands and rise to the occasion. The country is fortunate to be blessed with enormous talent in sports. It’s the responsibility of all those institutions and departments to work in cohesion to build a kind of infrastructure which is sports friendly,” he reckoned. 

“As part of our contribution to this cause, we are pleased to revive scholarships for our students who excel in sports and are able to earn colours at provincial or national level. We are also in the process of reinforcing our sports department and we would soon be engaging professional coaches to train our students in various games,” the SSUET Chancellor declared. 

Earlier in his opening remarks, the SSUET Registrar, Cdre (retd) Syed Sarfraz Ali, had briefly touched upon the accomplishments of the university in the field of sports. 

Dr Junaid Ali Shah, President, Asghar Ali Shah Sports Foundationa and a former Sindh Minister, believed that the turnaround in sports was very much a possibility if efforts were made collectively in this direction. 

“Let’s try to make things happen. The situation is not conducive but we can still achieve our goals with strong leadership. We have to trust our hopes not fears. Optimism holds the key here. We need to work overtime with missionary zeal in order to accomplish our cherished goals,” he stressed. 

Amjad Aziz Malik, Secretary, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), Asia, proposed that the resourceful departments like Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) be handed over the management of one major sport each. 

“These departments have a history of supporting sports. It will make sense if one of them is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of cricket while the other one can look after hockey or squash,” he added. 

Azeem Hafeez, a former Test fast bowler, pointed out that the lack of playing facilities was one of the major reasons in the declining standards of various sports in Pakistan. 

“In our playing days there were schools who housed playgrounds. We also had the access to the various cricket grounds which were open to the boys of all over the city. Unfortunately now the grounds have boundary walls and they charge hefty fees to let the cricketers play. Similarly schools cricket is also in doldrums,” he regretted. 

Rishad Mahmood, Editor Sports, Dawn, didn’t mince words in holding the sporting legends responsible for not giving back to sports. 

“It’s very painful to note that those sportsmen who’re able to make it a big, with the exception of just a few, have no inclination to give it back to the game which earned them name and fame. Similarly the sports organizers appear more eager for joyrides than finding ways and means to promote sports,” he lamented.

Mansoor Ali Baig, Editor Sports, Duniya, in his comprehensive speech, covered the ups and downs of the Pakistan sports over the years, recalling the golden era of 1990s when the country had four world titles at a time. 

The seminar was attended by a large number of the SSUET faculty and students besides the members of the SJAS and officials of the various sports bodies.

Monday, August 8, 2016

SSUET to organize seminar on Pakistan sports


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, in collaboration with the Sports Journalists Association Sindh (SJAS), will be organizing a seminar on the topic of ‘state of sports in Pakistan’ on August 9. 

The seminar is scheduled to be held at 12 noon at the SSUET campus in Gulshan-e-Iqbal with Mohammed Rashid, Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs to the Government of Sindh, to be the chief guest. 

The SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar, will be the guest of honour on the occasion with Amjad Aziz Malik, Secretary AIPS Asia, being the special guest. 

The key speakers on the occasion would include Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed, who is also the Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), squash legend Jahangir Khan, also a former President of the World Squash Federation (WSF), and Rashid Latif, a former Pakistan cricket captain.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

SSUET to award B-Arch degrees instead of BS-Arch

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has decided to award degrees in the architecture’s five-year programme as B-Arch instead of BS-Arch. 

The matter came under discussion at a meeting of SSUET’s Academic Council which met here under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi.

The recommendation of the university’s Board of Studies to have architecture degrees awarded as B-Arch was upheld. 

After deliberations the Council approved that in future B-Arch degree will be awarded in Architecture programme and not BS-Architect in order to align with the requirements of accreditation of Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP). 

Meanwhile the Academic Council reviewed the curriculum of various engineering disciplines in the light of recommendations of PEC and normal annual upgrading. 

The meeting also reviewed the contents of prospectus for new admissions for academic year 2017 and approved the same. It also discussed the start of MBA programme in Management Sciences pending the approval of Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SSUET reopens after semester break


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The usual hustle and bustle at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, returned on August 1 as the institution reopened after seven-week semester break. 

The university students, after attending classes, were observed roaming around at the campus in Gulshan-e-Iqbal as they exchanged pleasantries in the overcast conditions, enjoying the weather. 

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the SSUET, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi visited the various blocks and went around class to class in order to review the resumption of academic activities. 

The SSUET faculty members had already joined their duties on July 25 for advance preparations for starting of classes.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

University of Karachi, SSUET join hands

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and the University of Karachi have entered into an agreement whereby the two reputed institutions will work together in the fields of research and training programmes. In this regard a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between them on July 28. 

The MoU was inked by the SSUET Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi and the University of Karachi Vice Chancellor, Dr Mohammed Qaiser, at a ceremony held in the SSUET’s auditorium. 

Speaking on the occasion the SSUET Chancellor, Jawaid Anwar, highlighted the significance of research in the development of a country and said that SSUET is all set to achieve this objective by promoting research activities. 

Referring to the MoU signed with University of Karachi, he observed that it will prove to be of great significance in promoting the cause of modern research in the fields of interest of the two institutions. Emphasizing the importance of research, he pointed out, that no country can march forward without it. 

The Chancellor remarked that although MoUs were signed but their terms were generally not implemented in letter and spirit. In order to make this MoU effective and working tool, he advised the two institutions to appoint their focal persons for the purpose of implementations of its related terms. 

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Karachi, Dr Mohammed Qaiser, described the present as an era of inventions, innovations and research, believing that it’s very difficult to achieve the desired goals of development without entering into the field of modern research. 

In this regard he emphasized the imperative need for exchange of information in every field to augment the research activities and to cope with the present day challenges. 
Earlier in his remarks the SSUET Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, said that the Sir Syed University was the first major and self-dependent engineering university to be established in the private sector. 

He highlighted that the university was being run in accordance with the Aligarh spirit whereby it was focusing greatly on dispensation of modern education to the upcoming generation with greater stress on discipline and promotion of brotherhood among students. 

In his comments the SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, reckoned that the agreement will prove an important mile stone in promoting research activities and resultant achievement of national goals of development. 

The ceremony was largely attended by chairpersons of various engineering departments and senior faculty members.