Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vice-Chancellor speaks about SSUET’s phenomenal growth

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Vice-Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Dr Jawaid H Rizvi, has described the institution as the greatest project yet sponsored by the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association (AMUOBA) who established it in 1994 in the domain of engineering education. 

“It was really a manifestation of their patriotism and concern for nation building, and the Aligarhian spirit,” he said in an interview. The start, he recalled, was modest with the annual budget of only Rs. 17.22 million, which over the time reached the level of Rs 861.50 million in the year 2013-2014, emphasizing that the admission policy of the University was based on the philosophy of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. 

“We do not believe in restrictions in admission based on cast, creed or domicile. The admissions are given purely on merit and do not have any reservations or quotas,” he asserted. 

“The students, right from the mountains of the North West of Pakistan to the shores of Sindh and Balochistan, are getting benefits from the SSUET,” the Vice-Chancellor pointed out. This year, he informed, the university received 4679 applicants for 1600 seats with the result that it could not accommodate even some very good students, who had met the criteria of admission. 

He said that the enrollment in the university has already crossed 6,500 after it started with 222 students in 1994 and have produced more than 11,000 graduates since 1998. “In our first convocation in 1998, 197 students were awarded BS degrees while at the 2014 convocation over 1300 received their bachelors and masters degrees in six disciplines,” he stated. 

Dr Jawaid Rizvi opined that knowledge is expanding at tremendous pace and new areas of study in Engineering and related fields are emerging. This has given rise to the need for new disciplines in the Universities. The introduction of these disciplines is essential to keep pace with main stream of knowledge and compete in this knowledge based world. 

The SSUET, he observed, was fully alive to this scenario and has added three new disciplines Software Engineering, Bioinformatics and Architecture this year. 

“The university presently has nine disciplines in its BS Programme, while the MS Programme is in six disciplines while Ph.D. Programme was being offered in Computer and Electronic Engineering disciplines exclusively for faculty members. We take pride in the quality of our labs, which meet international standards,” he reckoned. 

About the SSUET’s library, the Vice-Chancellor said, it has over 90,000 books. The distinctive role of the library is in the maintenance of a Book Bank. The book bank provides textbooks to the students for a full semester. This is a special facility introduced by Sir Syed University to save students from the expenditure on text books. The library contributes to Research journals and magazines that help the researchers and innovators in the university. 

Dr Jawaid Rizvi reiterated that the university has a policy, which ensures that capable students are not deprived of education due to weak financial position. The scheme of scholarships and financial assistance provides help to the deserving students, who have financial problems. In the current budget, an amount of Rs 56.05 million has been allocated for scholarships and financial assistance to the students. 

He said that the university has a career planning department, which helps the graduates seeking jobs and also addresses their problems as well as arranging internships for students. The SSUET also has an active sports department which organizes teams for participation in various competitions. 

“We have a separate Forum; known as Brigadier (R) Qamar-us-Salam Khan, Literary Art and Culture Forum. It manages the cultural activities in the University and the Forum prepares students to take part in different competitions of debates, Qirat and Declamation. The students from the University have won First Prizes in many Competitions held at national and local levels,” the Vice-Chancellor said. 

The university has also facilities exclusively for female students and staff that provide opportunities to them to maintain our national traditions during studies and work in a co-educational institution. The girls have separate common rooms and a canteen to which entry is allowed only to the girls. Some events are organized for the girls to bring to light their special talents in cultural activities. 

Dr Jawaid Rizvi said that the university has continued to make steady progress to achieve its goals during this year. “We have not only overcome a financial crisis by strictly controlling our expenditure and overheads but also started the construction of E-Block with Basement and ground plus four floors in its first phase, scheduled for completion by September 2014,” he disclosed. 

He paid glowing tributes to the SSUET’s first Chancellor and founder, Engr Z A Nizami, who had passed away a few days after last year’s convocation, having devoted all his life for the university and despite his failing health, continued to work till the end. 

“He had remained the Chancellor of the university since the establishment of the university. We are all missing him today. The new Block-E has been named after the founder of the University as Z A Nizami Block. We pray Almighty Allah to rest his soul in eternal peace,” Dr Jawaid Rizvi concluded.

Xi Jingping’s economic policies change destiny of poor farmers

By Masood Sattar Khan in Beijing
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Where there is a will there is a way, it was true with a poor farmer who never dreamt that one day he his son owns a small garment factory and they all will enjoy a happy life from poverty under one room, but it all possible due to President Xi Jinping economic reforms policies directed towards poverty elevation for the down trodden people living in remote areas. 

Rekindling his tale to this scribe, Yang Xuesheng said that his hometown was located in the third group of Gaishang Village, Butou Township. The whole family comprising of six members lived in two-room dilapidated home, where life was miserable as he also used to store stock of food and other sundries there. 

In 2012, benefiting from the policies of the dangerous old adobes reforming, Yang Xuesheng started to build a new house in Ming’en New village with the support of local leadership. In Chinese language “Ming’en” means keeping the kindness in mind and gratitude. 

Living in a new cemented house, a delighted Yang said now not only every member of family his has separate room. His son and daughter-in-law who used to work in Guangdong Province returned and opened a small-scale apparel factory in our new house. 

In one of the rooms, his son has installed six stitching machines and with the support of his wife and other workers, he has roaring business now. By working at their home, they can both make money and take care of their children and the elders. 

“Life of our family is improving steadily,” Yang’s son said. "I had never dreamed of living in such a beautiful house, thanks to the welfare policy of our Party of CPC, and especial thanks to party Chairman Xi Jinping’s deep concern towards the poor quality of living in former soviet area in Ganzhou,” he remarked. 

Talking about the life now, Yang Xuesheng feels so grateful, adding that the new house is spacious and looks beautiful. It’s convenient for peoples’ living here as there is abundance of potable tap water and uninterrupted power-supply that is essential to run the small stitching factory. 

There are also many solar street lights lighting at night, so that people can dance at the community centres, the same way people live in developed cities. In order to express his special gratitude to the welfare policies of the Party, at the end of 2013, Yang Xuesheng submitted an application to the local Party organization, trying his best to move closer to the Party and to devote himself for the Party. 

After the State Council announced a number of proposals on Supporting Revitalization and Development of Gannan and other Former Central Soviet Areas, this county considered the rehabilitations and reconstructions of dilapidated houses in the countryside as the most beneficial peoples’ livelihood project. 

Ming’en new village is now exploring a new way to integrate urban and rural integration. Meanwhile the village focuses on improving the complement of essential public services. All are aimed at constructing a place that is suitable to live and work, and that makes people feel happy, thanks to President Xi, he remarked.