Friday, September 28, 2012

Z A Nizami re-elected as AMUOBA President

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Engr Z A Nizami, a renowned educationist, was re-elected as the President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA). He was once again elected unopposed as President of this august body of Aligarhians for yet another three-year term.

Engr Nizami has continued to be the President of the AMUOBA after Khawaja Waheed and Z H Lari headed the body in the 1960s.

The AMUOBA will be having its fresh elections on September 29 upon the completion of the three-year term of the present office-bearers.

The candidates for the posts of Honorary Treasurer, Honorary Joint Secretary, Honorary Joint Secretaries (Sports, Publicity and Academic) have already returned unopposed with Masood Alam, Dr Jaffar Nazir Usmani, Ali  Zafar Khan Afridi and Shajar Ali Hashmi, respectively having been elected to these posts without any opposition.

The contest on September 29 will be for the offices of Vice-Presidents for which five candidates are in the field and Honorary General Secretary with two candidates as the contestants.

For the election of 18-member Executive Committee, now there are 23 candidates left in the contest after withdrawal of intending nominees on September 26.

Engr Z.A. Nizami is the Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, since its establishment in 1993 by virtue of his being the President of the AMUOBA.

The SSUET was the first engineering university to be established in the private sector and starting with a few hundred students initially in four engineering disciplines then, it today has about 5500 students in six engineering disciplines of Computer Engineering, Electronics, Civil, Telecommunication, Bio-Medical besides Computer Science.

Besides the SSUET, the AMUOBA is also running Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT) which has about a thousand students on roll.

8th Karachi International Book Fair 2012 to be held from December 6 to 10

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA), with the collaboration of the National Book Foundation (NBF), will be once again organizing the country’s largest book trade event, the Karachi International Book Fair 2012, from December 6 to 10 at the Karachi Expo Centre with Event and Conference International (Pvt.) Ltd being the event managers.

The annual KIBF has continued to provide an exclusive opportunity to reach out to citizens and bookworms in Pakistan’s largest city and the trade hub of the country besides facilitating the international publishers to interact with the local industry specialists in order to explore business possibilities in this highly potential market. 

This premier book trade event of Pakistan brings together domestic and international publishers, booksellers, librarians and institutional customers. The KIBF creates an excellent opportunity to the readers to view and purchase the best of the local and foreign books and publications at discounted prices. The growing participation of the exhibitors and the rising number of visitors every year has been the testimonials for the success of the KIBF over the years.

“It is encouraging that the number of exhibitors at the KIBF is increasing every year. This clearly indicates that the object of holding such kind of events is highly appreciated by the book lovers of our country,” a member of the organizing committee remarked. 

“The number of stalls is limited and the booking is being entertained on ‘first come first serve’ basis. We have advised the potential exhibitors to complete the Application Form and forward it to us along with participation charges as soon as possible to avoid inconvenience and disappointment,” the KIBF official stated. 

The rates for the three by three square-meter stall would be Rs 43,000 for the national exhibitors and US $ 800 for the international exhibitors. 

Meanwhile the KIBF, as in the past, will be setting up an exclusive arena for staging book launch ceremonies with the authors.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aziz Memon highlights cross-border lessons in saving lives

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

(Pakistan News and Features Services)

Aziz Memon, Chairman of Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee, has expressed the eagerness to learn from India’s success in eradicating polio from Pakistan, one of three nations still registering indigenous transmission of wild poliovirus.

“India have not recorded a single case of polio since January 13, 2011, a fact acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO). Their success in the eradication of polio, serves as a beacon of hope for the nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria who are still struggling to control polio,” Aziz Memon, having served as the Governor of Rotary International’s District 3270 covering Afghanistan and Pakistan, remarked in an interview with the PNFS in Karachi on September 25.

“Pakistan could imbibe invaluable lessons from its neighbour about eradicating polio. This is vitally important because Pakistan had experienced the world’s largest nationwide outbreak of polio in 2011 with 198 reported cases,” he added.

“As of June 8, 2012, Pakistan had reported 21 cases of wild poliovirus, compared to 52 cases during the same period in 2011. Insurgency and security-related dangers don’t allow our national polio programme to consistently reach children in certain areas of FATA. Also the sub-optimal management of the programme at the sub-district level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan has seen inconsistent polio campaigns, with many children being missed during immunisation drives,” the Rotary official regretted.

‘In order to overcome the challenges, Rotary International has undertaken vigorous efforts in promoting the Polio Eradication Campaign in Pakistan, just as it did in India. Along with its partners, UNICEF and WHO, Rotary’s PolioPlus Committee in Pakistan has been overseeing eradication efforts. Pakistan has emulated India by roping in celebrity ambassadors to advance the cause of polio eradication and the most popular cricketer of the country, Shahid Afridi, is a part of the Polio Eradication Campaign,” Aziz Memon noted.

“We have also adopted best-practice modules from India like the identification of high-risk blocks, roping in religious leaders from different sects in door-to-door campaigns, conducting health camps to augment abysmal healthcare services, and producing social mobilisation materials for Information, Education and Communication on Polio. During NIDs (National Immunisation Days) and SNIDs (Sub-National Immunisation Days), Rotary Clubs in Pakistan work alongside government health workers during immunisation drives and also collaborate with multinational companies to boost awareness levels,” he added.

“The Rotary Clubs in Pakistan have been more proactive and persist with polio camps, walks and workshops that drive awareness and eradication efforts. Pakistan PolioPlus Committee has installed billboards in high-risk districts for national campaigns, with some billboards being permanent. As per the government’s request, an additional 45,000 vaccine carriers have been made to ensure quality of activities don’t suffer,” he disclosed.

“The Pakistani authorities are firmly committed to implementing eradication efforts to ensure polio spikes within its borders are curbed. To facilitate the success of its anti-polio initiatives, we sought India’s support in this drive. Apart from the exchange of delegations between the two nations, Pakistan’s serious intent is also evident from the fact that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is personally involved in the campaign against polio,” Aziz Memon explained. 

“Concerted and sustained efforts on the part of all stakeholders, public and private entities, partnerships and the public, for polio to be finally eradicated from Pakistan are essential because a failure to do so will leave open the perennial threat of wild poliovirus making a surreptitious comeback in other geographies too; that is something Pakistan, and the world, can ill afford at this crucial juncture,” he warned.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Major Pakistani Airports being closed daily for two hours

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News and Features Services)

The airports at Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar are being closed for two hours daily and the closure will continue until end of December 2012 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Gilgit Airport will be closed during day light timings for eight and a half hours; from 9:30 am till 6:00 PM and now only one flight may operate between Islamabad-Gilgit and that too during early morning hours. The weather may again disturb the single flight.

According to airport sources, initially the CAA had issued a notice to all the airlines that it would close airports to de-rubber the runways until September 15, 2012. Therefore all the airlines operating Hajj flights prepared their departure schedule from these major after the second week of September.

However, without consulting the airlines the CAA has extended the closure of airports until last week of December 2012 which has created a complete disruption of flight schedules for not only the national flag carrier but also other local and foreign airlines who are complaining about it. 

Sources said that in case the government does not intervene and asks CAA to defer the cleaning of runways until the Hajj operation is over by end November the closure of airports may seriously affect the arrival of post Hajj flights.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

PIA ferried 14,850 Hajj pilgrims so far

Muhammad Junaid Yunus, MD PIA
By Abdul Qadir Qureshi (PNFS)

National carrier PIA has so far air lifted 14,840 intending Hajj pilgrims  by 34 direct flights to Jeddah.

Managing Director PIA, Muhammad Junaid Yunus, since the first Hajj flight left from Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta and  Karachi, is personally supervising to ensure that Hujj flights operated as per schedule.

According to the airline spokesman, PIA is carrying out its Hujj operation through its own fleet, without compromising the domestic and international schedule which is being maintained according to the expected time of departures (ETD) and arrivals (ETA).

Besides, maintaining the schedule of daily eight hajj flights from federal and provincial capitals,PIA is also ensuring its regular 125 flight departures and arrivals for its an estimated 13-14 thousand international and domestic passengers on daily basis.

According to PIA, so far four Hajj flights from Karachi have carried 2012 intending pilgrims; eight flights from Lahore carried 4024; nine flights from Islamabad carried 4527; nine flights from Peshawar carried 2961 and  four flights from Quetta carried 1316 to Jeddah.

However, quoting teachnical reasons, PIA said that to ensure safety of the aircraft and passengers and to make journey comfortable, there were some delays in the departure of regular flights which were allowed to depart as soon as the engineers confirmed the aircraft safety. 

As regards the Hajj flights, so far, only one from Peshawar suffered 27 minute delay due to passenger's scrutiny and  narcotic checking at the airport on Sept 20.

PIA engineering is also maintaining fitness of 32 aircraft out of fleet of 38 for safe air travel while five planes are under major maintenance due to Bird hits at Lahore and Karachi needing new engines. One ATR 42-500 that skidded off the main runway few days back due to torrential rains in Lahore is also undergoing repairs.  

Spokesman said that PIA's 204 pre-Hajj flight departures t Jeddah and 4 direct flights to Madinah-tul-Munawwara will continue till October 20. This year PIA is expected to carry over 95,000 pilgrims through Hajj and regular flights.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

SSUET to launch book on legendary Ali brothers in January

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The voluminous book on the lives and accomplishments of the legendary Ali brothers, Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali, is set to be launched on January 4, 2013 under the auspices of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi.

This was announced by the SSUET Chancellor, Engr Z A Nizami, following his meeting with the visiting noted peace activist, writer and critic from London, Sayeed Hasan Khan, on September 20.

Chancellor Nizami pointed out that the launch of the book on January 4 will coincide with the ‘Jauhar Day’ which the SSUET observes every year.

A book of about 600 pages been written by Khalid Alig, a prominent former diplomat, writer, journalist and thinker and a grand son of the Ali brothers, who now resides in the US.

“Even at the age of 90, Khalid Alig still drives his car and goes to the gym,” Sayeed Hasan Khan informed Chancellor Nizami during their meeting at the SSUET.

He was of the opinion that no one else other than Khalid Alig can throw light on the lives and achievements of the Ali brothers in a more better and authentic way and its launch at a venue named after the great reformer and educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan would be the most appropriate occasion.

Sayeed Hasan Khan, who is a most close friend of Khalid Alig, lives in London for the last 50 years and as a writer he has produced two books namely ‘No Clear Hands” and ‘Kurt Jacobsen – Parables of Permanent War.’

Now-a- days he is writing a book based on his memoirs relating to the period of his migration from Breli (India), association with Muslim Students Federation in his teenage and the events which occurred before shifting to UK in 1961 and as a peace activist.

During his meeting with Chancellor Nizami, he also had an exchange of views with prominent Aligarhians and members of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA).

Monday, September 17, 2012

SSUET organizes poster presentation 2012

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, organized a poster presentation displaying  a number of innovative research projects, designed and produced by the students of Computer Engineering Department.

The students made a visually pleasing presentation with combined text and graphics that kept the visitors spellbound.  Their creativity and imagination was greatly admired.

Inaugurating the exhibition, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Jawaid Hasan Rizvi observed that the scientific and technical information at such forums facilitates rapid communication of scientific ideas through poster presentations.

Appreciating the innovative skills of students he reckoned that poster presentation represented a well-designed, eye-catching, and engaging display of research and scientific information and conveys the results of research activities to promote scientific achievements of the presenters

The Vice Chancellor gave assurance to the students that the university will provide all possible financial help and support to them to complete their projects and make them commercially viable.

The projects on display included Automated Web & Mobile Based Trading System, Image Processing for Visually Impaired, Shop Pro via Smart Phone, Disaster Management System, MIS for Welfare Organization, Remote Appointment System for Health & Care, Map Generators with Location Awareness for Windows Mobile, Media Neuron and Intelligent Parking Management System.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pak Railways Karachi Division earns Rs 580 m from freight despite resource limitations

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Despite acute resource constraints, the Karachi Division of Pakistan Railways operated as many as 25 goods trains during August 2012 which earned revenue of Rs 82.294 million to the cash-strapped organization

Besides this, a special campaign was launched under special directives of the government to transport Furnace oil for Lal Pir and Muzaffargarh Power Houses to avoid looming power shortage.

“Despite all odds, the campaign  continued for 40 days during which the railway operated 50 oil specials as a result of which some 1800 tank wagons carried 35,580 tons of oil which kept the power houses functional and helped overcome ever increasing load shedding,” Divisional Superintendent, Anzar Ismail Rizvi, revealed in an interview on September 13.

He claimed that the Karachi Division can operate up to 10 freight trains daily provided the locomotives were made available for the same, adding this can put the Railways back to its financial track.

On an average, he pointed out that the Division earned freight revenue of Rs 577.847 million with a daily average of Rs 2.110 to Rs 4.705 million per day from January to August in 2012.

The DS stated that the during these months, the freight earning stood at Rs 65.415 million in January 2012, Rs 88.250 million in Feb., Rs 66.990 million in  March, Rs 52.995 million in April, Rs 76.526 million in May, Rs 29.107 million in June, Rs 136.432 million in July and Rs 62.132 million in August.

On the Passenger side, Anzar Rizvi said, the Division earned revenue of Rs 1960.650 million during January-August 2012 with a daily average ranging from Rs 6.623 to Rs 8.948 million.

According to the DS the Railways earned revenue of R 205.300 million in January, 229.700 million in February, 276.800 million in March, 268.455 million in April, 250.200 million in May, 268 million in June, 242.900 million in July and 219.300 million in August 2012.

He mentioned that keeping aside the resource limitations the Railways operated two Ed special trains on August 6 and 17 and earned revenue of Rs 205 million during the period from August 14 to 24 from current reservation alone.

PEC postpones its dinner in mourning of Karachi tragedy

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has expressed profound grief and sorrow over the massive destruction caused by inferno at the garment factory resulting in a major loss of human lives.

The PEC Chairman, Syed Abdul Qadir Shah, stated that the heart of every Pakistani was bleeding and every eye was full of tears over this tragedy.

He remarked that no amount of money can compensate for lives lost and neither the dear and near ones could come back.

“But it is high time for every Pakistani to pray to Allah to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant fortitude to bereaved families to bear the irreparable loss. The PEC fully stands by the grieved families on this gruesome occasion,” Abdul Qadir Shah observed.

He said that for the future the engineering aspects of all such premises should be thoroughly scrutinized and no industrial unit, not fulfilling the engineering requirements, should be permitted to establish itself.

He announced the postponement of PEC's annual dinner which was due to be held on September 14 at the Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi.

Meanwhile the death toll from a garment factory at Karachi's Hub River Road rose to 289, many of whom perished because they were unable to escape building that lacked emergency exits and basic safety equipment such as alarms and sprinklers.
The deadly blaze, having erupted on the night of September 11, was one of the worst industrial accidents in Pakistan's 65-year history.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SSUET establishes seminar library of Basic and Applied Sciences

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has been equipped with a seminar library for the faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences.

The library, equipped with latest computer system, was inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Javed Hassan Rizvi in the presence of faculty members on September 8.

The library has a number of high quality reference books, other publications and informative resource material in all areas of Basic and Applied Sciences for usage and work impact of the researches.

The books for the library were donated by the faculty members, SSUET’s and central library. The department of Basic & Applied Sciences offers published material, freely available to all interested students who, by investing some time, can increase their knowledge about the relevant subjects, concepts and ideas.
In his remarks on the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor while emphasizing the need of creating an academic and research culture in the faculty, said the library will serve as top most knowledge resource for students and motivate them to involve themselves into basic and applied science research that is important to the advancement of human knowledge with different end goals in sight.

The basic research is conducted solely for the purpose of gathering information and building on existing knowledge, as opposed to applied research, which is geared to address and answer real-world problems.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sir Syed University taking initiatives to develop research methodology

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

“The strategically planned research does have positive impact on socio economic aspects of the lives of people as well as on the physical environment,” Prof Dr Javed Hassan Rizvi, Vice-Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, SSUET, remarked while chairing a meeting with the Ph.D faculty of the university on September 1.

“The outcome and findings of the research can be achieved through presentations at scientific and professional conferences and meetings, publishing research and professional journals and magazines,” he stressed.

Reviewing the SSUET’s research development activities, the Vice-Chancellor was of the view that research activity enhances quality of education and such an approach will can be of immense benefit for the career of PhD students.

“It is imperative for the university to conduct research and explore possibilities for utilization of innovative research for industry development,” he emphasized

It was proposed in the meeting that sufficient funds be allocated as incentive for the faculty members to promote research culture at the campus.

The meeting also discussed organizing symposium and seminars on various topics to promote research-friendly environment at the campus.

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), under the dynamic leadership of its Chancellor, Engr Z A Nizami, has been promoting research-oriented activities and encouraging its students and faculty to be a part of it.