Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Security plan for railway stations, tracks prepared: IGP Railways

IG Railway Police
 Syed Ibn-e-Hussain
By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Inspector General Railway Police Syed Ibn-e-Hussain has said that a plan for ensuring foolproof security of railway tracks, railway stations and trains has been prepared.

Addressing a news conference at the office of the Divisional Superintendent Railway Karachi, on February 18, he said that the security plan has been divided into three parts.

He said that the Railway police are getting assistance from local police, Rangers and intelligence agencies for ensuring the protection of travellers and trains.

Secretary Railway Board Aftab Akbar, DS Railway Karachi, Nisar Memon, DCO Railway Karachi Shoaib Adil, Shamim Shirazi, SP Railway Karachi and other officials were present.

The IG Railway Police said that special trollies are being prepared for patrolling by Railway police and other Railway officials on the tracks, which will be equipped with metal detectors.

The Railway officials will also be deployed on the trollies and they will be in contact with the district police, he added.

He said that this matter has been discussed with the Chief Secretary Sindh who has assured provision of facilities at the Railway stations for the checking of travellers. Sindh Bomb Disposal staff will assist the Railway Bomb Disposal unit, he added.

Ibne-Hussain said that the IGPs Sindh and Punjab have provided 200 policemen each for the patrolling of the railway tracks. While the DG Rangers Sindh has also assured full cooperation in this regard, he added.
He further said that intelligence agencies have also promised cooperation in information sharing. The IG Railway Police informed that the jammers are also being installed at the trains on trial basis. In the first phase, jammers will be installed in Jaffer Express which runs between Quetta and Rawalpindi, he added.

Ibne-Hussain said that advanced equipments are being purchased to further activate the Railway bomb disposal unit, and arrangements are also being made for the training of the staff.

He said that at all major railway stations CCTV cameras are also being installed, adding that commandos have been deployed at 10 trains and stations. He said that action will be taken against encroachments at railway lands, adding that police and Rangers will conduct search operations in the areas along the railway tracks.
The federal government had appointed Ibne-Hussain, DIG National Highways and Motorways Police, as IG Pakistan Railway Police in order to promote corruption-free, public-friendly, safe and service-oriented atmosphere. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SSUET’s board of governors meet

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Board of Governors of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, met under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi ,and approved the recommendation of the selection committee regarding faculty members of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

The meeting also approved the recommendations of Finance and Planning Committee regarding employees’ contributory Provident Fund statute and removal of anamolies and rationalization of pay scales.

The meeting reviewed with appreciation the university’s financial position for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2013, and the steps taken for streamlining and proper management of its financial resources.

The Board also appreciated the university and its management for their concerted efforts for its future development and particularly had a glance over under construction buildings including Block-E named after its founder Chancellor Z A Nizami besides construction of additional floors in Block-H.

The introduction of three new programmes from current academic year which earned overwhelming response was also appreciated.

Earlier the Chancellor SSUET, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman also met the members of the Board and discussed with them his vision about development of the university.

Among others, the meeting was attended by Lt Gen (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider, Dr A Q Khan, Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti, Prof M D Shami, Additional Secretary Education, Sindh Government, and Mohammed Yusuf Siddiqui.

Friday, February 7, 2014

GDM Advocacy Board convenes first meeting

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The first meeting of the Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Advocacy Board was held to have an overview of the GDM in Pakistan. The Board has been constituted under the project “Gestational Diabetes Millitis Prevention and Control Program – Pakistan.’ 

The idea was approved and supported by the Baqai Medical University. Dr Shabeen Naz Masood, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and M.S of Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, has been actively involved in proposing and initiating the project. 

The proposal was approved by the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF). It is a WDF funded project. The project has guidance and mentorship of Prof Zahida Baqai, Vice chancellor of Baqai Medical University and Prof Noor Jehan Samad. The project has now collaboration and support of professional colleagues from across the country. 

The GDM is a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health in Pakistan and Women with GDM become the ideal group for primary prevention of diabetes, as women with GDM are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as are their children. 

The diagnosis of GDM offers a unique opportunity in identifying individuals who will be benefited by early therapeutic intervention with diet and exercise to delay or even possibly prevent the onset of diabetes. Large scale studies on GDM have not been conducted in Pakistan. However smaller studies have reported a prevalence of 3.3 % 3 - 8%. Globally, fifteen per cent of pregnant women have GDM. A prevalence, as high as 9.9% - 17.8% has been reported from Tamil Nadu, India. 

Considering the ethnic commonalities and similarities between Pakistani and Indian populations, it would not be unjustifiable to believe that actual prevalence of GDM in Pakistani women may be much higher than reported. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes is now occurring at much younger age, in our population which also indicates towards a higher prevalence of GDM. 

Above all, we do not have a recent data on the prevalence of GDM in Pakistani population. Moreover, complication rates in Pakistani GDM subjects have been found to be higher , as compared to their Western counterparts, possibly due to poorer glycaemic control1.Maternal complications included pre-eclampsia (19%), polyhydramnios (4.6%), and threatened abortion (3.4%) while fetal complications included macrosomia (13.1%), intrauterine growth retardation (7.1%) and intrauterine deaths (5.3%).

The meeting was informed that the government allocates a very limited annual budget for health sector. This allocation becomes further meagre when women and child health is involved. The limitation of resources is the major hindrance to the formulation and implementation of wide range health policies. 

It was observed that eradication and control of infectious diseases is the foremost priority in government health policies. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes and GDM are yet very low on the priority list with no structured national policies or strategies regarding GDM care or prevention. There are no GDM action plans in the country as a whole while GDM was mostly managed by the individual physicians or institutions in the public or private health sector. 

The meeting was told that viewing the current status of GDM care in Pakistan and realizing an immediate need for initiating efforts for its improvement, the GDM project was thought of. It was informed that main objectives of this 3 years project are to create awareness in the community, regarding GDM, to train health care professionals in prevention, screening, diagnosis and management of GDM, to institutionalize GDM screening and to organize integrated GDM services. 

The meeting was briefed about planned project activities and their outcome and views and suggestions of the participants obtained. It was informed that the Public Awareness Programs on GDM includes educating 5400 women; public Awareness Campaign on GDM through print and electronic media, sensitizing further 100,000 people; Development of awareness literature on GDM; Training courses in GDM for doctors, Midwives and paramedics involved in obstetric care, training 1620 health care professionals in GDM care; establishment of three major GDM centres and 30 minor GDM clinics; Screening of 13050 pregnant women for GDM. Estimated identification of nearly 1696 women as having GDM (at an expected prevalence rate of 13% in South Asians) 

The programme also involves dietary and educational counseling, management and monitoring of identified GDM cases and establishment of the GDM Advocacy Board, consisting of eminent obstetricians, diabetologists, and leaders of public opinion in the very context. It was informed that efforts for institutionalizing the routine screening for GDM among pregnant and development of “GDM Reference Manual” will a major constituent of the program. 

The meeting was informed about the strategies and approach for the prevention and management of GDM, The meeting noted the barriers and challenges to early detection of GDM in the wake of Unawareness, particularly in the female population; lack of training of health care professionals; Non- affordability on the part of people; Resource constraint in the society and non-involvement of health authorities.

In her remarks, the chairperson Dr Zajida Baqai, Vice-Chancellor, Baqai Medical University called forDevelopment of multidisciplinary approach for screening and management of GDM in Pakistan with frequent communication and close collaboration between Diabetologists and Obstetricians. 

For achieving national coherence and collaboration for improving GDM care in Pakistan it was agreed on involving obstetricians and diabetologists from across the country, Involving primary care physicians, besides involving journalists from print and electronic media, philanthropists , pharmaceutical industry, initiating more and more joint GDM projects in the country with the support of international bodies.

The meeting was informed about developing “National GDM Guidelines” for the healthcare professionals and recommendations to the health authorities.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SSUET organize Jalsa-e-Seerat-un-Nabi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, has said that the Seerat of Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (Peace be upon him) and the Quran are essentially synonymous.

"Quran is the mirror in which the full-fledged life picture of the prophet can be seen. We shall be following the Holy Prophet, if sincerely following the Quran in its totality,” he observed during his address at the Jalsa-e-Seerat-un-Nabi organized by SSUET's Literary Art and Culture Forum.

A group photo, Jalsa-e-Seerat-un-Nabi organized by Sir Syed University. Chancellor SSUET Engr. Muhmmad Adil Usman , Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Jawaid Hassan Rizvi and Allama Dr Noor Ahmed Shahtaz, Director , Shaikh Zaid Islamic Research Center, are also seen in the picture.

Engr Adil Usman said if the seerat quality of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is imbibed in our lives, it can transform impossibility into possibility.

“Our Holy Prophet extracted mankind from darkness into light by leading them to Deen-e-Islam. He established the first welfare Islamic state in Madina and gave a new turn to the human history,” the Chancellor remarked.

Engr Adil Usman pointed out that success can be achieved with total "Tawakkal" on Allah and by imbibing the seerat of Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in our lives

On the occasion Allama Dr Noor Ahmed Shahtaaz, Director Shaikh Zaid Islamic Centre, delivered an enlightening speech on the life and message of Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him).

“We cannot have access to Allah without pursuing the guidance provided by the Prophet. No knowledge is against knowledge, and Islam appreciates every kind of learning. There is no harm in getting knowledge, but, of course, in begging. It is by nature that every man wants freedom. The Prophets were not against human freedom, but they set certain boundaries of freedom,” Allama Noor Ahmed Shah Taaz stated.

Famous Naat Khwans Mahmood-ul-Hasan Ashrafi, Muhammad Haris Kamal, Haris Ahmed and Osama Farooqui enlightened the guests with soul-stirring naats. 

Earlier the SSUET students, Shah Zaib Rehmani and Tayyaba Fasih, in their speeches in English and Urdu respectively highlighted the Seerat of Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH).

On the occasion students of the university presented Qaseeda’e Burda Shareef and Salam. The event concluded with the Dua by Allama Mufti Naeemi of Darul Uloom Naeemia. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

KPT celebrates Arfa Karim Day with great enthusiasm

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

On the occasion of  the second death anniversary of the youngest Microsoft expert and the Pakistani icon, Arfa Karim, the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) organized a harbour cruise for students alongwith Mrs Samina Amjad, mother of late Arfa.

Speaking on the occasion, Samina Amjad highlighted the goals set forth by the Arfa Karim Foundation and said that her daughter wanted to bring about a revolution in the field of education using IT as a tool, for imparting quality education to under privileged students particularly in rural areas of Pakistan.

This, she pointed out, was even shared by Arfa with international and national media interactions as her daughter has always dreamt big in her short life. 

The Arfa Karim Foundation is striving hard to preserve her complete legacy and moving forward to persue her dreams, Samina told the gathering adding that with this objective in view the 2nd death anniversary of Arfa is observed to pay tribute to the ‘daughter of the nation’ by lighting candles and organizing various activities starting from January 14 and they will continue until February 2.

She reminded that Arfa Karim lost her battle against life on January 14 and her birthday was celebrated on February 2 until her daughter was alive.

Mrs Samina Amjad appreciated the KPT's efforts for coming forward with this harbour cruise on a passenger ferry boat which was named after Arfa. They profusely decorated the boat for this particular occasion.

 Later, the students also shared their views and vision towards acquiring latest technology and some even shared to become computer experts like late Arfa Karim. One of the student in a very confident mood said that she wants to become software specialist and develop software for exporting to other countries to help boost our exports and earn foreign exchange needed for the economic stability.

The students exhibited great excitement in having the company of a great mother of nation’s daughter and thanked the KPT management for providing them an occasion to share their feelings towards the great daughter of Pakistan. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

SSUET has entered a new era of global competitiveness: Chancellor Adil Usman

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Chancellor the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi,  Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, has reckoned that the institution has entered a new era of global competitiveness.

“We always wanted recourse to and not of replication,” he stated while addressing the SSUET’s Orientation Day function held for the newly admitted students of academic session 2014 at the Karachi Expo Centre on January 16.

Chancellor Adil Usman pointed out that education is the most powerful force which may change the world. People without education will not be able to improve their economic situation in the highly technological and global economy.

He observed that many students don’t progress successfully into secure employment or higher level education because they fail to acquire skills that will enable them to progress. A high quality engineer or technician can obviously be created only through high quality engineering and vocational teaching and training.

He considered it an honour and privilege to welcome the new entrants to the amazing community and assured each and every one that they are here because they deserved to be here and can bring something new and exciting to this diverse learning community.

“But remember one thing that the battle has just begun. You have to defend and protect the image of this great university - the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology,” he stressed.

He said they definitely feel special when invited to an excited 'Orientation Ceremony' where they are briefed about all the formal and informal rules and regulations and their expectations during the coming four years.

“I encourage you to be open to new ideas, experiences, and directions. And stay focused on your studies,” the Chancellor said adding that at the Sir Syed University they have got to learn from the most experienced and skilled faculty with the best and brightest surrounding.

He appreciated the faculty for its commitment for inculcating the spirit of hard work and excellence in the students and advised the students not to hesitate to call on their teachers when ever required.

They will be their best source of support and the relationships they develop here with the faculty, staff, and fellow students will also help them in their career building.

Success comes to those who truly distinguish themselves through preparation and make the very best use of any opportunity and advantage that they have.  Share your knowledge and skills and absorb everything. And have fun.

Expressing best of luck to each and every one of them, he called upon them to also remember and see towards Almighty Allah in all their endeavors as it is going to do a lot in every success one acquires.

Earlier in his address Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi, extended a warm welcome to the new entrants and urged upon them to devote their full energies on acquisition of knowledge at this university.

He told them that best facilities of teaching and laboratory are offered to students in this university which enjoys best reputation at the national and international levels.

He told them to remain punctual as only punctuality will pay them. As to the students who come from Urdu medium, to pay greater attention on English to achieve higher proficiency in learning engineering of their respective choices.

Addressing the ceremony Dean Engineering Prof Dr Makhdoomi  pointed out that Orientation and Convocation days bring important effects on a student’s life  and said that  during their stay here they should investment time in theory and practical to achieve what they have dreamt for their future.

Associate Dean, Prof Najib, in his speech, dilated upon the role of career planning and placement bureau, the university’s development, various facilities available besides continuing education programs.

Registrar Syed Abrar Ali, who conducted the proceedings, in his intervening remarks informed that the SSUET is the largest university in the private sector with nine disciplines while plans were afoot to add more in the coming years.

On the occasion chairmen of various departments gave presentations to students about their respective fields. They included Dr Faisal Bukhari, Chairman Computer Engineering, Dr Prof Hilal Qureshi, Chairman Computer Science, Prof Dr M A Haleem Chairman Bio-Medical and Bio-Informatics, Dr Bilal Alvi, Chairman Electronics and Dr Rehan Inam Qureshi, Chairman Telecom department.

The Convenor, Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT) and Member SSUET’s Board of Governors, Engr Yousuf Siddiqi, paid glowing tributes to late personalities of Engr Z A Nizami, Engr Zakir Ali Khan, Brig (Rtd) Qamarussalam Khan and Younis Khan and said they were the founders of this great university.  He led prayer and offered Fateha for the departed souls.

Among others, the Orientation ceremony was largely attended by the members of Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association (AMUOBA).


Friday, January 10, 2014

Preparations continue for SSUET's Orientation Day on January 16

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The preparations are afoot for the Orientation Day at the Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), Karachi, to be held at the Expo Centre on January 16.

The arrangements for the day were reviewed at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid H. Rizvi and attended, among others by Deans of faculties, Chairmen of various departments and Registrar Syed Abrar Ali.

The Orientation day marks the beginning of new academic session for the students admitted to various engineering disciplines so as to customize them with their respective disciplines by the Chairmen of departments.

According to Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jawaid Rizvi, the admission process was in progress with January 10 being the last date for submission of admission fees by students declared successful for entry into the university.

He said that timetable for the new classes has been prepared while laboratories and class rooms updated and renovated for the new entrants.

Meanwhile the Vice-Chancellor along with the Registrar visited various departments to personally review the arrangements made for the start of the academic session 2014.

The university has provided admissions in the engineering disciplines of Computer, Electronics, Civil, Bio-Medical and Telecommunication besides Computer Science.

This year new programs of Bio-Informatics, Software Engineering and Architecture are also being started and the response from applicants for admission in these fields was very encouraging.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Doctors advised to demonstrate greater patience, endurance

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The practicing doctors have been advised to observe the principles of the Declaration of Geneva as approved by the World Medical Association and carry out their duties even while having difference of opinion with the authorities.

Prof Dr Masood Hameed, President, Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC), has clarified that their body didn’t believe in strikes at the cost of patients, reminding that quite a few deaths have taken place due to the strikes called by the Young Doctors Association (YDA), who greeted 2014 with a protest and renewed their pledge to get a service structure approved from the Punjab Government through road protest and boycott of duties.

“The right for a peaceful strike exists in all civilized societies but calling strikes and not treating patients is unethical and breaches the Code of Ethics under section 4 & 5,” the PMDC President declared.

“The duties of physicians include always bearing in mind the obligation of preserving human life, giving emergency care as a humanitarian duty unless he is assured that others are willing and able to give such care. The physicians have a duty to behave gently with their colleagues and
Abstain from enticing patients,” Prof Dr Masood Hameed emphasized.

He warned that the PM&DC will not compromise on unethical behaviour of doctors and strongly condemned the YDA and the CPSP for holding strikes.

"If the YDA calls for a strike and entices violence and treatment of patients is compromised and any untoward incident occurs the PM&DC will take appropriate action as per law,” he observed in a press briefing on January 4.

Tributes paid to Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Glowing tributes were paid to the great freedom fighter Rais-ul-Ahrar Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar at a seminar organized by the Bazm-e-Ahbab-e-Rampur in Karachi to mark the latest edition of the Jauhar Day.

Speaking as chief guest on the occasion, Engr Mohammed Adil Usman, a great grandson of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Chancellor, Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET), emphasized that one could achieve success and glory only through hard work and determination.

He observed that Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar was not only a staunch Muslim but also a great scholar who was endowed by Allah with extraordinary abilities. His fearless leadership and devotion to cherished objectives were instrumental in dispelling the inferiority complex from the Muslims which enabled them to fight for their rights steadfast.

He recalled when Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar met Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in England and convinced him to join All India Muslim League and his sincere efforts eventually led to laying of foundation for the creation of Pakistan.

Chancellor Adil Usman said that at the first Round Table Conference in London (1930) the Maulana had declared not to return to India alive unless the country was set free.

“I would prefer to die in a foreign country so long as it is a free country,” he announced and told the British that ‘if you do not give us freedom in India you will have to give me a grave here.’

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor, Federal Urdu University, Prof. Dr. Zafar Iqbal, pointed out that the Maulana was an important chapter of the history whose only demand was total freedom for the Muslims of South Asia. He was sincere to his cause and devoted his whole life to fight for the truth.

Former Station Director Radio Pakistan, Shakeel Farooqui, said that contrary to the contemporary politicians, the Maulana was of different nature. He was a man of commitment as he did what he thought and preached.

Renowned scholar Khawaja Razi Haider said Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Maulana Mohmmad Ali Jauhar had a great resemblance together. He made Muslim League a popular party. The Maulana supported Quaid’s 14 Points and believed that only under the leadership of Jinnah the Muslims of South Asia could achieve freedom.

Prof Dr Mazhar Hamid paid poetic tribute to the legendary Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar whose accomplishments remained source of motivation to the people of South Asia.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

PMA to be made as leading marine university of the region

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Senator Kamran Michael, has said that the government fully recognized the important role of our seafarers towards strengthening of economy and the elevation of the Pakistan Marine Academy to a degree awarding institution was a testimonial to it.

He was speaking as the chief guest at the passing out parade of the PMA in Karachi on January 3. The ceremony was largely attended, among others, by Chairman PNSC, Siddique Memon, Chairman KPT, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Azhar Hayat, and Chairman Port Qasim Authority, Agha Jan Akhtar,

On the occasion, the Minister announced a gold medal from his Ministry to be awarded to cadets and evinced his ministry’s interest to transform  PMA) into a Marine University, to  be the first of its kind in the region and  pledged to take up  this matter at all related levels.

He said that the PMA University will provide quality education of merchant navy and other specialized courses to the seafarers of the region.

Senator Kamran Michael stressed the need for strengthening technical institutions adding that greater attention will be paid to marine education and training.

He appreciated the progress made by the PMA in producing quality Merchant Marine Officers to serve the merchant fleet and in providing expertise in other disciplines of maritime sector. He noted that after undergoing two years of academic, professional and physical training the passing out cadets are awarded BSc Degree in Maritime Studies by Karachi University enabling the PMA to produce quality human resource for the maritime industry.

The Federal Minister felt proud by the accomplishments of the PMA cadets having participated in the International Maritime Conference for the first time held at the Bahria University where they clinched first and second prizes in poster making and essay writing contests besides winning laurels, medals and trophies in sports and athletics competitions. He hoped that the same spirit will be maintained.

Earlier on, in his welcome address Commandant PMA, Commodore (Rtd) Rana Aslam, informed the Minister about the computerization of exams as well as induction system of cadets.

Later, Senator Kamran Michael awarded Sword of Honour and medals to the top performers of the passing out cadets.