Monday, September 29, 2014

5,000 students appear in SSUET entry test

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

As many as 5,000 candidates appeared in the Pre-admission entry test for the bachelors degree programmes announced by the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, for the academic year 2015 held at the Expo Centre under strict security measures. 

The two-hour test was conducted on time and a large number of candidates from Gilgit, Biltistan and Azad Kashmir besides other parts of the four provinces appeared in the test. 

The Chancellor of the SSUET, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, visited the examination centre where he was appraised of the arrangements made by the concerned authorities. 

Speaking on the occasion, Engr Adil Usman obseved that the Sir Syed University prepares future leaders to succeed in the competitive world of professionals with their extra ordinary skill and outstanding ability. 

He added that the university has established itself as a globally recognized destination for academic excellence. With career focused education, the SSUET prides itself for having the best and brightest faculty to commit to the highest global standards. 

The SSUET Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Syed Jawaid Hassan Rizvi, pointed out that keeping the new emerging trends; the university has introduced electrical engineering department from the upcoming academic year. 

The university has already started three new programmes in software engineering, architecture and bioinformatics, to meet the growing market demands. 

The results of the entry test will be announced in the month of December which will be made available on the SSUET Notice Board and will also be posted at the university’s website www.ssuet.edu.pk. The classes for new batch of 2015 will start from third week of January.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Around 5,000 students to appear in SSUET Admission Test

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
An estimated 5,000 applicants, seeking admission in various engineering disciplines at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, will appear in the admission test to be held at Expo Center on September 28.
This year over 5,000 applications were received by the university until September 24, which was the last date for the submission of applications,  showing a substantial increase in the number of admission seekers. Last year 4,300 students had appeared in the SSUET entrance test which was also held at the centrally-located Expo Centre.
The highest number of applications to be received for admission this year were in the civil and electrical engineering disciplines.
Meanwhile arrangements were in the offing for the test for which  a couple of spacious halls have been booked at the Expo Center to accommodate the record number of applicants to appear in the test.
The two-hour test will start at 10 am and the applicants have been advised to reach the test centre an hour before the scheduled time.
The university also has made seating arrangements for parents accompanying the female students appearing in the test.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scope of bioinformatics in Pakistan highlighted

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The scope and importance of  bioinformatics as an emerging science and its future were highlighted in the first  of the  lecture series  organized by the bioinformatics  department of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi.

Dr Reazuddin, Assistant Professor, Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, was the guest speaker on the occasion.

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data.

Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology to the management of biological information. It combines computer science, molecular biology, statistics, tmathematics andengineering to study and process biological data

The technology is versatile and can be applied whenever gene, protein and cell research are used for the discovery of a new drug or a new herbicide/herbicide-resistant crop combination. Without bioinformatics, new research in most fields of medicine and biology would come to a standstill.

 Focusing on “Bioinformatics and its applications in Biology Research”, Dr Reazuddin said that the explosive growth of biological information has resulted from many advances in the scientific fields and Bioinformatics is one of them in which by the advancement in computer technology, different sophisticated techniques and equipment used to carry out rapid genome sequencing.

He highlighted the importance of the field having the generous job opportunities in Pakistan and abroad.

“After graduation, the students of Bioinformatics have the chance to work as researcher in different departments like pharmaceutical, software houses, hospitals and academic and research institutions, and they have an open sky of opportunities,” Dr Reaz said.

The chairman of the department, Prof Dr Hilal Qureshi and its incharge, Uzma Mahmood. also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the series of lectures for being informative to the students seeking their career in the field of bioinformatics.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Election process starts at SANA

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The election process for the two year term (2015-16) has started in the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA), the social and cultural platform/organization of Sindhi Diasporas living in USA and Canada. 

An election commission has already been constituted under the chair of the veteran Khalid Hashmani with Sarfaraz Memon and Hasnain Shaikh have been appointed as its members with Aleem Brohi and Ali Nawaz Memon being chosen as the alternative members/observers.

In this regard, the SANA's Executive Council met through conference call system while its President, Jamil Daudi, chaired the meeting which reviewed and finalized the decisions and arrangements for the upcoming elections. 

In the meeting, General Secretary, Noorunissa Ghanghro, presented a resolution to congratulate Dr Khalil Memon chairman and all the members of local organizing committee of the 30th SANA Convention held at Chicag,o USA, on their dedicated efforts and the wonderful arrangements to make the annual event a most memorable one for its participants. 

It may be recalled that more than 800 delegates participated in the historic and record-breaking annual gathering of Sindhi Diasporas which included prominent writers, poets, intellectuals, politicians and civil society members from the world over.

The resolution lauded the contribution of spouses and children of all the members of local organization committee who also actively participated in arrangements.

The SANA EC, at the demand of some members, reverted its decision to slash membership date from September 15 to August 15..  President Jamil Daudi regretted that this reversion will deprive those 350 people who had renewed their membership in Chicago convention in the last couple of days of August. 

“This decision is inevitable in the best interest of the SANA as all the seniors and presidents of past have been taken onboard on this decision”, he added.

The President and General Secretary hoped that the decision will strengthen diasporas platform and those people will be countered who wanted to create division in this organization. The meeting decided to scrutinize the membership claims thoroughly and carefully so that free, fair and transparent elections are ensured.

The EC constituted a byelaws review committee comprising of Khalid Hashmani, Noorunissa Ghanghro, Dr Valeed Shaikh, Khair Muhammad Kolachi and Dr Saghir Shaikh.

As per election schedule, the nomination forms have already been issued by the chairman election commission with September 15 being the last date submission forms while October 15 is the last date for the withdrawal of candidarure. 

The election commission will issue the final list of eligible voters by October 21 whereafter  voters will be mailed  ballots  by November 7 with December 17 being the deadline for returning of ballots. 

The election commission will announce the results by December 20 with the induction of newly elected body due to take place on January 2, 2015.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dr Ilyas Ishqi's Awaz-e-Latif launched

By Abdul QadirQureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman has described the poetic work of great soofi poet  Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai as soul-stirring, declaring that it carries a message of peace, love and brotherhood.

“His creative and imaginary thoughtfulness fully reflects the richness of his spiritual thoughts,” he observed adding that Shah Latif calls for a sustained endeavor for the attainment of the objective of communication with Allah by remaining fully dedicated to His oneness.

He expressed the views at the launching  of  book Awaz-e-Latif, penned by renowned scholar Dr Iliyas Ishqi, at a ceremony organized by the  Pakistan Academy of Letters in collaboration with the SSUET.

Engr Adil Usman remarked that with spiritual connotations in his superb poetic work, the book analyzes the same with  a different perception. He noted  that the writer’s articles in the book are  in response to some particular questions.  

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Sehar Ansari described  Dr Iliyas Ishqi as an outstanding figure and said his book about Shah Latif’s work is impressive and informative.

Another speaker Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, Vice Chancellor, Federal Urdu University, in his discourse touched upon  ‘Aqeeda-e-Tauheed’  as a great force of Islam that annulled all other ideologies and thoughts.

Resident Director, Pakistan Academy of Letters, Agha Noor Muhammad Pathan, pointed oout that  Awaz-e-Latif is the outcome of 50 years’ devotion and dedication to the cause taken up by Dr  Ishqi, having been completed in 1999 but published this year after the writer’s  death in 2007.

He described Shah Latif as a great poet of Sindh and said credit for introducing him to the Urdu community goes to Iliyas Ishqi and Professor Afaq Siddiqui.

Other speakers on the occasion included Naseer Mirza, Station Director Radio Pakistan Hyderabad  Mahmood Siddiqui and Anwar Ahmed Zai.

Rosy Iliyas, daughter of the writer, presented the book to Chancellor Muhammad Adil Usman who presented her the  university’s shield..

Thursday, September 4, 2014

SANA Chicago Convention pledges to sponsor schools, promote Sindhi culture

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 30th annual convention of the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) held at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Chicago, USA, turned out be a memorable experience. The three-day event concluded with the mesmerizing performance of great Sufi vocalist, Jamal Din Fakir, and popular singer, Sanam Marvi.

Hundreds of Sindhi-speaking participants, having gathered from the different parts of the world to attend the event, left the scene with wonderful memories and soaked eyes and with firm commitments to meet again next year. 

It was a great event not only for Sindhis of North America but for the entire Chicago as well when the Sindhi Music echoed in the air of the vibrant city where around 800 families, majority from US and Canada, enjoyed get together in this social and cultural organization’s annual moot. 

Sanam Marvi set the tone for the memorable musical evening with her pleasant voice and popular dhamaal. Jamal Din Faqir, regarded as soul of Sindh music, also performed very well and received warm applause. The fun continued until the wee hours of the following day, arousing love for the land of Sindhis known as Indus Valley of civilization, one of the most ancient in the world. 

This 30th Chicago convention of SANA surpassed all previous records in all respects including participation, service, meaningful activities and fun. More than 800 peoples participated in this convention from all over the world.

The famous personalities belonging to different walks of life in Pakistan were among participants, including Dr Azra Fazal Peechoho the Member National Assembly and sister of Ex President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, parliamentarians Gull Muhammad Jakhrani, Fakir Dad Khoso, Kulsoom Chandio, Shamim N D Khan, noted writer Mushtaq Rajper, Secretary Sindhi Adabi Sangat & poet Dr Mushtaq Phull, Secretary Governmentt of Sindh, Shafiq Mahessar, Dr Musrat Khawaja, Dost Ali Jeesar, Mushtaq Sarki, Ramzan Chandio, Amir Bhambhro and Bakhshan Merranvi. 

A delegation of Pakistan Hindu Council, led by Dr Ramesh and Chella Ram, also participated in event on behalf of minorities of Pakistan. 

Before starting grand musical show, the concluding ceremony was conducted by President SANA, Jamil Daudi who offered his sincere thanks to all those who work untiringly to make the event successful. 

In recognition of services to Sindh in different fields, lifetime achievement awards were conferred upon economist Dr Kaiser Bengali, banker Jahangir Siddiqui, civil society leader Ghulam Nabi Morai, poet Imdad Hussaini, vocalists Jamal Din Faqeer and Sanam Marvi. 

The awards were also presented to all former presidents of SANA including Dr Valeed Shaikh, Aziz Narejo, Sani Panhwar, Mazhar Lakho, Iqbal Tareen, Paryal Soomro, AW Bhatti and Khalid Hashmani. 

On this occasion, the known writer, Noor-ul-Huda Shah, spoke emotionally and said that the Pakistan and Sindh particularly is facing huge challenges in terms of illiteracy and poverty. She called upon all for efforts to save Sindhi language and culture through quality education. She said that those who not played role in this regard, will not be pardoned by the history, and stressed upon every Sindhi to wake up and play vibrant role to save the legacy.

Earlier on the third and final day, two separate symposiums were held to discuss the issues of declining standards of education and socio economic development of the Sindh. 

The speakers of symposium “Sindh in 21st Century..Education a way to forward” were included Secretary Education Sindh, Dr Fazulullah Pechuho, Sadiqa Sallahuddin and Dr Kaiser Bengali. 

Eminent banker Jahangir Siddiqui, while opening the session, said that education is the way to eradicate poverty, and way to bring nation on the path of literacy on fast track based is to train and develop human capital. 

Renowned economist and scholar Dr Kaiser Bengali, in his speech, suggested ways to bring improvements which include hiring and firing the teachers. 

Sadiqa Sallahuddin gave presentation on the current scenario of education and highlighted the shortfalls. She also briefed the symposium participants and SANA members about her educational project running formal schools in the different parts of Sindh under the name Indus resource Centre. 

Gull Muhammad Rind, a former Federal Secretary Education, commended SANA on its endeavor for development of Sindh and said that after retirement, he has started educating nation through schools because he thinks that education is necessary for every child and must for every Sindhi child. 

Professor Dr Mubarak Shah advised the Sindhi people to work hard and extend maximum opportunities to youth particularly to girls. The second day of convention also had marathon sessions in which the SANA members as its general body meeting presided over by Jamil Daudi. 

The annual report was presented by the General Secretary, Noorunissa Ghanghro, while all other office bearers including vice president Aijaz Kolachi, treasurer Irhsad Kazi, information secretary Zulfiqar Shaikh and the regional secretaries Awais Leghari, Khalid Channa, Aijaz Memon, Mansoor Samu briefed their members about their progress report. 

The most significant part of the general body meeting was about the progress report of SANA projects including Sindh School System (SSS) Project headed by Dr Aijaz Turk, who announced a pledge of $100,000 whereas Dr Waleed Shaikh, Dr. Khalil Memon also announced $100,000 each while $55,000 were announced by Humaira Rehman. 

In this project, model schools will be developed to promote quality education for poor and brilliant children in Sindh, and the Government of Sindh has initially agreed to handover around 70 schools to SANA under school adoption and public private partnership policy. 

The morning of convention’s second day had started with a session “Sindhi Women in 21st Century”. On this occasion the SANA Vice President, Shahida Soomro, talked about “Historical Role of Sindhi Women in SANA” and said that without the active participation of women, no any nation can flourish and move fast on the path of progress and prosperity. 

Professor Sahar Imdad discussed dreams of the Sindhi women and said that Sindhi women have been playing a vibrant role not only in the development of their families but they have been role model in the Pakistani society and politics as well. 

Another main speaker Sobhya Agha highlighted the strategies to encourage women participation in various national and international organizations by providing space to them. She spoke about building connections across lines of social and economical classes and show women that some of their hesitations with public voice are shared. 

The noted writer and intellectual, Noor-ul-Huda Shah, praised SANA members on providing their female members all possible facilities to play a vital role in family business and urged the need of more women participation in Sindh on same pattern to build an egalitarian society. 

A medical symposium was organized by Dr Hafeez Abbasi in which the experts from health sector provided valuable information to the participants. On this occasion facility of medical examination was also offered free of cost. 

The second day’s proceedings had ended with an amazing performance by Jamal Din Faqir whose Sufi songs rocked and enthralled audiences throughout the night and a big number of people danced on his songs.  
On the opening day of the convention, after registration, a poetry session “Sindhi Mushaero” was arranged in which veteran poet Imdad Hussaini, Professor Sahar Imdad, Dr Mushtaq Phull, Sardar Shah and others enlightened the audience.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pakistan Railways to operate Cargo Express from September 2

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

After revamping the railway’s falling system and entering the profit earning phase, the Pakistan Railways is now set to operate ‘Cargo Express’ from September 2.

According to the railways sources, the Cargo Express will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays between the Karachi Cantonment and the Badami Bagh Station and the inaugural train will leave at 11 pm on September 2. 

Subsequently, the sources added, the frequency of the train will later be increased to the level of one train every day. 

It may be mentioned here that the Pakistan Railways has already been operating 8-9 freight trains on daily basis while this Cargo Express Train has been revived after a lapse of more than three years. The last cargo train was dispatched on June 20, 2011. 

The Cargo Express will consist of a load of 23=46 ZBCs (New Chinese Covered Wagons). The freight of each wagon is Rs. 130,000 and the total freight of one full train will be Rs three million. Sources said that the expected monthly earning from this train will be Rs. 24 million while Rs 300 million were expected as annual earning. 

The Cargo Express will carry general cargo like soaps, detergents, tissue boxes, imported household items and spare parts will be transported through this train. The expected running time of cargo express is 38 hours while proper time table has already been issued for this train on the lines of Passenger Express Train.