Monday, October 24, 2016

SSUET, AIT thrive under new leadership

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Ever since the present SSUET Chancellor Jawaid Anwar, who is also the President of Aligarh Mulim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA), has taken over, the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, and the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT) have made significant strides during the year 2016-17 resulting in infrastructure development as well as financial relief to faculty members and other employees 

"On a positive note the issues were taken as challenges while a strategic plan with corrective measures to address the challenges was delivered on stringent timelines", the progress report 2016-17 published by AMUOBA noted. 

According to the report, the establishment of Quality Enhancement Cell(QEC), comprising of experienced and senior professors, who successfully completed the progress report to be submitted to HEC will help university retain its position in W category. 

The office of the Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), since its inception earlier this year, achieved a monetary grant from EU with the help of University of Malagawere 3 PhD students, preferably SSUET faculty members can work and complete their research paper in maximum time of five months. The ORIC also conducted a conference at Malagawere University where six research papers were submitted and published in the Impact Factor Journal. 

The Centre of Guidance/Counseling and Career Planning/Placement was revamped for crystal clear guidelines and orientation of students as proper guidance was essential for students to be successful in practical life. 

The Directorate of Sports was launched for the students to actively take part in inter universities tournaments and competitions. Postgraduate Studies Directorate was established to promote higher education in different fields of engineering leading to Masters' and PhD degrees. 

In particular short courses under continuing education program were given too upgrade knowledge of existing teachers and taught. For researchers and faculty development MoUs were signed with national and international universities and now the faculty members were going abroad for research and taking part in international seminars, the beginning of a new era for the faculty members and researchers. 

The university is encouraging the faculty to come up with particular projects that can be funded by the HEC and other international bodies. On the financial side there was general discontent among the faculty about stagnantion of salaries and benefits. 

This serious issue was addressed and a befitting raise in salaries of faculty members and low paid management staff was allowed. The University arranged for medical insurance to all employees which was yet another milestone.

Apart from the recent raise in the pay scale and other benefits, 422 eligible staff members out of 680 regular and non-teaching employees got financial benefits and some of them will also get promotion in keeping with their qualification and experience. 

The contracts of contractual employee were not further extended since 2013 and are now being given extension to enjoy same benefits as are admissible to regular employees. Similarly around 400 daily wages workers were promoted to adhoc while lower grade adhoc employees were regularized as permanent. 

A selection board has been constituted to look after the issue of Faculty upgradation for the long serving employees.

In the year 2016 a new department of Information Technology was introduced raising the number of disciplines to 11 while introduction of disciplines such as Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, MBA in Social Sciences, CS training were under consideration. 

In order to steer the system effectively a qualified and well experienced team has been raised with hiring of a highly experienced and committed Registrar, Director Finance, Director QEC, Director ORIC and Director P&D, Director Sports and Internal Auditor.

Novel robotics, 3D imaging make complex surgeries possible in Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Surgeons at Pakistan’s leading hospitals are benefiting from the introduction of advanced surgical equipment which is enabling highly precise surgery on the body’s most complicated organs, according to experts at Aga Khan University’s Surgical Innovations for the Developing World conference.
The presence of advanced technology means that most complex surgeries can be done within the country. 

This is a great benefit to patients since treatment in Pakistani hospitals is significantly less expensive than centres in the United States and England, according to the speakers. 

Prominent surgeons explained that the use of the latest imaging technology at the country’s top healthcare institutions was allowing them to look deep within the body and to plan surgeries to a level of precision which was not possible earlier. 

In addition, the availability of robotic arms and exoscopes in operating theatres was enabling more targeted, less-invasive treatment for patients. 

“Today’s surgeons have never had better tools and technology to operate with. Like all developing countries, Pakistan suffers from resource constraints that requires us to find frugal innovations to problems and new ways to spread the knowledge and experience that makes the best surgeons,” Dr Masood Umer, Associate Professor, Surgery, AKU, remarked. 

“It takes many hours of training, observation and practice before one obtains mastery in a particular surgical area. However, innovations such as the use of life-like surgical simulators were enabling surgeons to learn their craft at a much quicker pace. Simulators allow surgeons to rehearse skills and hone their technique in a variety of cases. This practice enables them to be more prepared in the operating theatre and thereby reduce the chance of complications,” he added. 

Other experts at the conference also praised the application of video conferencing technology which was enabling live surgeries to be seen at large gatherings of medical experts. Besides the benefits of watching more experienced surgeons cope with challenging cases, conferencing technology was also enabling doctors to discuss cases with peers in different countries. 

“Surgeons have to be ready to face unpredictable situations in the operating theatre. Conferences like these enable experts to share knowledge and research about rare cases as well as the skills needed to tackle the unexpected challenges that sometimes arise during surgeries,” Dr Shahzad Shamim, Assistant Professor, Surgery, AKU, stated. 

The two-day conference saw experts from Germany, USA, UK, UAE and Switzerland conduct workshops in 11 major surgical areas. Over 500 national and international surgeons, specialists and young doctors were present at the event at the AKU campus in Karachi. 

Other speakers at the conference included public intellectual Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, Syed Ather Enam, Chair, Department of Surgery at AKU, and Ather Osama, Founder, Pakistan Innovation Foundation.

New logo of SSUET unveiled

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
Pakistan News &Features Services)

The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, one of the top educational institutions of the country, has unveiled its new logo. 

The logo has been designed in two different patterns with the identical colours with the first one containing Quranic verse and the other one having a slogan ‘Knowledge for Future’ inscribed on it. 

The SSUET Registrar, Syed Sarfraz Ali, has informed that the first logo will be printed only on the permanent documents and not on the disposable documents in order to maintain sanctity of the Quranic verse. The other logo will be used on all disposable documents and items.

The directives in this regard have been issued and the two patterns of the logo will be used strictly accordingly. 

According to the details, the logo with the Quranic verse will be used in degrees, diplomas, certificates, transcripts, PhD thesis, admission forms, university flag, souvenirs, insignias, buildings, glows and sign boards while the other logo will be printed on notices of meetings, invitations, greeting cards, examination papers, test answer scripts, calendars, file covers, examination forms, project reports, laboratory reports, letterheads, uniforms, panaflex banners, panaflex flyers, badges and fee vouchers.