Monday, July 22, 2013

Fall semester commences at SSUET on July 22

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The fall semester classes at the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, are set to commence on July 22.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, revealed that the necessary arrangements have been completed with regard to maintenance of classrooms and laboratories while the faculty had started reporting on duty since July 15.

Meanwhile the Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, alongwith Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Rizvi, have conducted department wise faculty meetings from July 15 to 20.

During meetings, the faculty members were introduced to Chancellor Adil Usman, specifying their qualifications, experience and teaching assignments for the coming semester.

The Chancellor expressed satisfaction that the university has very well qualified and experienced faculty and was impressed by the efforts being made for enhancement of quality teaching education.

He noted that many faculty members have completed their Ph.D programs and many others pursuing their post-graduation at Ph.D and Masters levels at SSUET and other universities.

He assured continued support of the university for enhancement of quality education as well as Faculty Development Programme.

On the occasion ice-Chancellor Dr Jawaid Rizvi expressed the determination to strictly follow the policy guidelines from the Chancellor.

Chancellor Adil Usman also held free and frank exchange of views with the Faculty members and assured that their views would be valued.

The faculty assured that every effort will be made to promote the image of the University as a Centre of Excellence and transfer of latest knowledge to students.

With the conclusion of these meetings, the university is now set to start from July 22. During the holy month of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak, the classes will be held from 8.30 am to 3.10 pm daily except Friday when the timings will be from 8.30 am to 11.50 am.

Kazi Jan Mohammad set to drive EPI by replicating successful polio eradication model

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Deputy Commissioner of Karachi Malir, Kazi Jan Mohammad, who earned worldwide recognition for his role in eradicating polio from Karachi against the heaviest of odds, has urged to replicate the successful model and save the precious lives by reviving the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).

Presiding over a meeting of the Town Health Officers of his District, he called for practical and action-oriented approach to the EPI in order to make it more purposeful and effective instead of just going through the motions.

“The successful model of polio eradication is in front of us and it should be used as a guideline for the EPI activities in future. There were efforts for eradication of polio since the 1990s but the results only came in a matter of months when an integrated approach was adopted. We need to come out of the comfort zone and let’s take the trouble of tackling the problem heads-on to accomplish our goals,” the DC advised the officers.

“To get started let’s prepare a list of the resources we have at our disposal and what we really need to function in top gear. Let all the health officers get into action and do this fact-finding without exaggeration or manipulation. To achieve this objective we will have a weekly meeting at my office for the next couple of months. Then we will convene these meetings fortnightly for four more months before making it a monthly event,” Kazi Jan Mohammad announced.

“We have assembled here to achieve the results by fast-tracking our efforts. We do have the support for resource mobilization. We are prepared to arrange for the resources without which we cannot work effectively. We are ready to provide generators or even manage electricity connections at places which don’t have power at the moment. We can’t expect to work without being fully equipped,” he explained.

“The scale of outbreak of various diseases and the resulting deaths indicated that the routine immunisation targets were being missed and majority of the children were not vaccinated against the preventable diseases. We have to act swiftly and responsibly. We have to enhance our outreach. We have to increase the rate of efficiency as well as the rate of coverage,” he emphasized.

The participants of the meeting were informed about the salient features of the polio eradication programme undertaken by the office of the Deputy Commissioner. They were offered to centralize their efforts by networking with the polio control room.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

SSUET board approves new programmes

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Board of Governors of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, has given go ahead for start of new programmes from new academic session 2014.

Vice-Chancellor SSUET, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi has revealed that the university plans to start new programmes in Bio-Informatics, Architecture, Software Engineering and Management Sciences.

The university, he said, is also exploring the possibility of introducing BS program at its Institute of Environment and Human Settlements.

The Disaster Relief Plan Cell at this institute has published various reports on Disaster preparedness in the wake of floods, rains, earth quakes, fire etc which were highly appreciated in various circles.

The Vice-Chancellor pointed out that at present SSUET has over 5000 students on its roll studying in the engineering disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Bio-Medical, Civil and Telecommunication besides computer science.

He said that keeping the new emerging trends, the university has decided to start new programs to meet the growing market demands.

Dr Rizvi said the university is already offering post-graduate programs and at Master and Ph.D levels besides robust continuous education program in the evening.

He said that ssuet labs are equipped with state of the art equipment. It is the policy of the university to continue to improve and update its laboratories with latest equipment.

He said the introduction of new programs from new academic year would open up doors for those who want to enter the fields having greater potential to cope with the growing market demands. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Engr Abrar Ali appointed as new SSUET Registrar

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Engr Syed Abrar Ali has been appointed the Registrar of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, (SSUET), Karachi. He has replaced Shah Mahmood Hussain Syed, who served as the Registrar of the university for about a decade.

Engr Abrar Ali had earlier worked at the SSUET as Coordinator Deans, Director Career Planning and Director Sports, from 2001 to 2008.

He has a vast teaching experience to his credit. As a professional engineer, he taught at reputed universities like the NED University and the NUST besides SSUET for about 30 years.

He is a member of the Governing Board of Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and also held the office of Chairman Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pakistan (IEEEP) for a four-year term.

Monday, July 8, 2013

FPCCI hold seminar on global warming, impending water crisis

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The problems arising from global warming and emerging serious water crisis were highlighted at a seminar held at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) headquarters in Karachi on July 6.

In a presentation made on the occasion, Shahid Saleem, Assistant Professor, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, stated that global warming, also referred to as climate change or green house effect, occurs due to burning of fossil fuel like oil, natural gas, and coal.

“Global warming results in emission of green house (GHG) like carbon dioxide from power plants, transport, industry; methane from agricultural activity; nitrous oxide from use of fertilizer and hydroflorcarbon from industry and refrigeration,” he observed.

Pointing out that that there is a protective layer in atmosphere over earth called Ozone which is getting depleted due to excessive GHG emission.

According to him global warming has increased temperature worldwide by 0.6˚C to 1˚C as per report of Task Committee for Climate Change and Planning Division, Islamabad. As per the report the temperature would further increase in future if emission of GHG continues unabated.

Pakistan, he stated, as developing country emits low GHG and has been ranked  135th in world according to its per capita GHG emissions. But, with socio-economic development emission of GHG would increase in future in Pakistan .

Increase in GHG pose serious threat to environment and human life, he warned and said rise in temperature causes evaporation and transpiration. Now there is rise in sea level due to expansion of ocean because of temperature rise and melting of glaciers.

Melting of glaciers causes sudden floods as occurred in Pakistan in 2010 and 2011. Flood water flows to sea as we do not have sufficient water storage facility in the country except Mangla Dam, Tarbela Dam & Chasma Dam reservoirs. Floods also leads to variation in rainfall occurrence of cyclones while other areas would have long dry spell. Hence drought conditions would prevail resulting in food shortages.

The present scenario  shows there was general tendency for land use conversation, deforestation or desertification. This situation  has acted as a source of Global Warming. Global Warming is a serious threat to fresh water.

Shahid Saleem said Pakistan has limited fresh water sources. Pakistan gets 141 million acre feet (maf) from Indus River System (IRS).  Rainfall and groundwater sources produce another 50 maf of water. Pakistan has world’s biggest canal network, but it is defective which has resulted in wastage of water and caused water logging salinity that adversely affected crop yield. Urban drinking water system found to be equally weak with 35% to 40% water losses.  

“We do not practice conservation of water or recycling of wastewater. This situation culminated in mismanagement of water sector. Short supply of water hampered industrial activity. It is through the natural water cycle that we keep on getting water. But fresh water is receding. It is imperative to adopt corrective measures urgently”.

Mitigation Measures, he explained, include conservation of every drop of water to improve irrigation system, reduce water losses in urban areas, recycle wastewater for non domestic purposes, and enhance water storage capacity by construction of dams and reservoirs. Regulate out flow of water to sea to avoid sea intrusion as in case of downstream of Kotri Barrage. Large scale forestation, large scale tree plantation is necessary. It is important to create awareness in masses about Global Warming and its preventive measures.

Notwithstanding GHG emissions, he said, Pakistan has to pursue industrial development essential for its economic development. Through government and industry joint partnership advanced technologies can be adopted to capture carbon dioxide, explore possibility to make productive use of CO2, use alternate or renewable sources of energy, make industrial plant machinery efficient, and conserve energy.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sindh Assembly approves resource mobilization for revenue targets

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Government has issued strict directives that any new taxation should be enforced only if it does not affect the common man. 
"In this regard Revenue Resource Mobilization has been embarked upon in strict compliance of the government directives,” Sindh Information Minister. Sharjeel Inam Memon, stated.

It was pointed out that Sales Tax is a pass on tax on sales of services provided and should not be confused with Income Tax which is tax on profits of the operation of a business.

As per Finance Bill 2013-14 passed by Sindh Assembly the relief measures taken by the Sindh Government encompasses non enhancement in ST rate which is to remain @ 16% despite Federation and other Provinces increasing it to 17 percent thus bringing a financial impact Rs. (-) 1.34 billion on the provincial budget; abolition of Bed Tax on hotels with an impact Rs. (-) Rs.140 million,

According to Finance Bill, the tax on Utility Bills (NADRA) is being abolished to remove the anomaly of taxing utility bill collection service by NADRA as other providers of this service are not taxed. This will result in an impact of Rs. (-) 10 million on provincial exchequer.

The Finance Bill indicates new sectors for ST services as proposed in the budget at 16% which includes tax on advertising agents.

According to the Information Minister this tax is introduced to remove an anomaly as advertising service is taxed but not the agents. By introducing this tax the advertising agents will be taxed which will remove the anomaly, help in taxing the service provider and increase the tax. It will result in a positive impact of Rs.3 million)  

Beauty Parlours & Beauty Clinics, Gyms, Body Massage Centers, Pedicure & Manicure Centers are other areas having been included as service providers for the purpose ST Services with Hair cutting, Hair dyeing, Shaving, Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery, Therapeutic Massage and non-air-conditioned parlours and shops as being exceptions. This will bring another positive financial impact of Rs 30 milliojn.

Besides, ST services tax on Race Clubs will result in positive impact of  Rs.20 million, Security Agencies Rs.100 million, Freight Forwarding Agents Rs.20 million), Commodity Brokers Rs.100 million, Marriage Halls & Lawns with the exception of  Lawns under and upto 800 Sq. Yards (Rs.300 million), Public bonded warehouses Rs.100 million, 

Event Management Services, Event Photography services, Pandal & Shamina services (Rs.300 Million),  Tax on Services at Standard rate on Sponsorship   Services, Business Support Services, Management Consultants, Software and IT based Development Consultants, Market Research Agency, Surveyors, Management Consultants, Auto Workshops having annual turnover of more than Rs.3.6 Million, Workshops of Industrial and Construction Machineries,  Exhibition and Convention Services, Labour & Manpower Supply Services, Services provided in the matter of manufacturing or processing for others on toll basis bringing a positive impact of Rs.100 million, Internet Services with the exception for billing up to Rs.1500 per month, in order to provide relief to home users and students using the Internet resulting in a positive impact of Rs.300 million.  

As per Finance Bill the rate of Infrastructure has been changed to 0.90% to 0.95% from 0 .80% to 0.85% which was adjusted in 2008. It will result in a positive impact of Rs. 2 Billion

As on Property Tax, the Annual Rental Value (ARV) rate has been changed to 25% from 20% which was last revised in 2001 and will result in a positive impact of Rs. 370 million.

The Trade and Import of Potable Liquor License Fee is increased from Rs 6 to Rs 8 lacs and Retail Off Liquor License fee changed from Rs 3.5 lac to Rs. 5 lacs. The last revision in this license fee was carried out in 2008. This was result in a positive impact of Rs 23.3 million.

The Information Minister said it is the endeavor of our government to make, Sindh financially independent and increase its revenues by taking advantage of the devolution of power in the 7th NFC Award.

"At the same time we do not want to burden our people and businesses to suffer from negative impact of taxation. We have therefore decided to tax the following services at a lower rate of 4% after listening to the representations of the stakeholders".

The government agreed that in order not to burden constructors and construction industry which is provides stimulus for economic growth the tax rate will be at a reduced rate of 4% with no input adjustment. It will result in a positive impact of Rs.300 million.

Based on the policy increasing the tax net and to incorporate sales tax upon the recommendation of consultants it has been decided that Legal Practitioners and Consultants, Accountants and Auditors and Tax Consultants will be taxed at reduced rate of 4% with no input adjustments.  It has to be understood that this tax is a pass on tax for people and businesses using the services provider. Impact (+) Rs.900 million

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SSUET prepares report on rain emergency in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, as in the past, has prepared a report on rain emergency as a part of public service to assist civic bodies and other stakeholders functioning in Karachi.

The purpose of the report is to emphasis civic bodies for preparatory work before monsoon Since monsoon season starts from July, it is expected that civic bodies may have carried out necessary works. But, efforts of KMC and other local authorities for de-silting and cleaning of nullahs and drains are not visible. Still there is some time left for follow up.

Karachi is located on the coast as a result it has a moderate climate. There is less precipitation during summer due to inversion layer (decrease in temperature is upper atmosphere with low pressure). The city receives on an average 200 mm (5.77”)   rains from July to September.

The city experienced above normal rains in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011. During 2004 and 2005 city got below normal rains, but, intensity was higher. Current weather conditions as on June 16, 2013 showed hot humid summer dominating Karachi with maximum temperature of 39˚C, overcast sky or partly cloudy, low pressure with wind speed ranging 10-25 kmph and humidity 70%.

These conditions and heavy rainfall in neighbouring country indicate rains would start from July onwards. Even if rainfall is less it is the high intensity that matters in case of Karachi . High intensity rain causes loss of life and property. Usually monsoon season synchronizes with high tides in sea and soften results in wind storm before rain.

There is no proper storm water drainage system in Karachi. One that exists is found in deteriorated condition lacking proper maintenance. Outfalls are blocked. Illegal construction of houses, commercial establishments “Katchi Abadies” and encroachments on nallahs has reduced effective carrying capacity of drains.

Dumping of garbage and other solid waste material in nullahs cause blockade.  Problems in water supply and sewerage aggravate. Contamination of drinking water, power breakdown at water pumping station affects water supply schedule.

Missing manhole covers pose threat to life specially children. Due to excessive load sewers commonly collapse. Transportation system is disturbed as the slope of road does not match side drains.

Mismatching and digging of trenches for laying utilities or road construction before monsoon pose traps for citizen. Long traffic hold up occurs whenever we have rainfall. Snapping of live wire during rains, bill boards hazard pose serious threat to life.

According to the report, KMC and other civic agencies need to undertake immediate coordinated measures like replacement of missing manholes covers completed, desilting, cleaning of nallahs and drains, essential equipments, machinery, pumps, standby generators dewatering pumps to be available and in working condition, outfall structures to be remodeled, banks of nallahs to be re-strengthened, protective measures at KESC system network to overcome problems of electrocution, safety steps to protect bill boards from falling, solid waste management system to be organized in a manner that it does not obstruct flow of rain water, roads against slope/gradient for flow of rainfall runoff to be improved, surveillance of conveyance, transmission, distribution system of water supply, water quality monitoring and repair and replacement work/retrofitting works to be completed.

Rain is gift of nature and is a blessing. In the absence of preventive works before advent of monsoon season the blessing converts into a problem and life in Karachi comes to a standstill.

Such situation is to be avoided at all costs. Particularly all venerable points in city where commonly rainfall runoff accumulates must be improved to address the problem, the report emphasizes.