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Promoting equality: Sensitisation campaign ends at LCWU

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:16

LAHORE:25 April:A seven-month-long project launched with an aim to encourage gender institutionalisation through gender sensitisation of students, faculty and non-teaching staff in public sector universities came to an end at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday.
The concluding ceremony of the campaign titled Institutionalisation of Gender Sensitisation and Gender Training Materials in Public Sector Universities was held at the university on Monday.
The Institute of Education (IOE) Director Dr Nusra Inayat welcomed the guests and gave a brief introduction of the project.
The purpose of the project is to encourage and develop students’ ability to raise questions, develop the prospective teachers’ sensitivity to students’ needs and interests as well as integrate gender studies to increase sensitivity not only on matters of gender, but also on matters of class, race, and ethnicity.

Faculty In-charge, Department of Professional Studies IOE and Project Manager Dr Asma Shahid Kazi highlighted the purpose and outcomes of the sub-grant, which aimed at developing the prospective teachers’ sensitivity to students’ needs and interests. It also aimed at equipping them with knowledge to safeguard their interests against gender based discrimination, harassment, violence and stereotyping. The event showcased the various activities through pictorials and testimonials of the beneficiaries of the project.

Aurat Foundation Resident Director Mumtaz Mughal shared the vision and purpose of the organisation and its commitment to improve the gender discrepancy prevalent in Pakistan through various projects. The Grant Cycle 12 B focuses specifically on strengthening gender equity of Public Sector Universities of Pakistan.

LCWU Vice-Chancellor Dr Rukhsana Kausar encouraged students and faculty members to utilise their potential and contribute effectively for the betterment of the society.

Deans, directors and heads of departments of LCWU and other universities, students of LCWU attended the event. This project was being implemented under the Gender Equity Program (GEP) of Aurat Foundation by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lahore.Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2017.

Punjab University book fair postponed again

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:13

LAHORE:25 April:Punjab University (PU) administration on Monday once again postponed its three-day book fair scheduled to be held from April 27, 2017.

Last month, the university administration had announced holding the book fair from April 6 to 8, 2017.However, it was postponed following a tense situation at the Punjab University after a clash between student groups.

Sources in the university said this time the book fair was postponed in the wake of security situation as clearance was not approved from security agencies. They said Jamiat’s possible interference was also one of the causes as the student group had announced participating in the book fair and announced constituting different committees for this purpose. A Punjab University spokesman, in a statement, said the new date will be announced later.Express Turbuni.

first-ever degree awarding ceremony at Punjab University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:12

Lahore:25 April: The first-ever degree awarding ceremony of recently graduated students of Punjab University Department of History and Pakistan Studies was held on Monday in which two PhD degrees and 110 degrees of M Phil History, MA History and MA Pakistan Studies were distributed among students. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir awarded the degrees while Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Controller of Examinations Prof Dr Shahid Munir, Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities and chairman of the department Prof Dr Iqbal Chawla, senior faculty members and a large number of students and their parents were present.Express Turbuni.

Mental health week begins at GC University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:11

LAHORE:25 April:Government College University (GCU) Monday started observing Mental Health Week to highlight and deliberate upon issues related to human thinking, behaviours and social well-being.
The week long celebrations organised by the GCU’s Dr Ajmal Society Physiological Society and Psychology Department includes a three-day international conference on Health Psychology, besides an awareness walk, pre-conference workshop, invited lectures and inter-universities performing arts competition. On Monday, the celebrations began with a poster exhibition inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah. “Self-care isn't selfish: it's self-preservation,” reads one of the many posters put on display the psychology students from twelve different educational institutions.

The posters highlighted the key values that helped people in avoiding stress, anger and drug addictions, and staying positive in negative environments. In her inaugural address, GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr Syeda Shahida Batool said they all faced professional stress, social and interpersonal constraints and security challenges, and above all they were fighting the war against terrorism and this all had a very negative impact on their mental health. “So, activities this year mental health week intends to carry out are very effective as one-way or other to safeguard our mental health by undertaking our mind and social needs and indulging us in relaxing healthy activities,” she said.
Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said besides academic and professional debate, the mental health week provided a platform to the students of GCU and other universities to show their innovation and creativity, which was somehow discouraged in our formal education system. Later, the VC gave away prizes and certificates to the winners of the poster competition.The news.

Plan to build Rs260m access road for women college

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:10

LAHORE:25 April:The Punjab government has prepared a plan worth Rs 260 million to provide access road to the students of Government Fatima Jinnah College for Women, Chuna Mandi.

According to a handout in this regard a meeting was held on Monday which was chaired by Punjab Minister for Higher Education and Chairman Board of Governors of Govt Fatima Jinnah College for Women Syed Raza Ali Gillani. Principal Prof Shehnaz Kausar and representatives of Higher Education Department attended the meeting.

The meeting was told this new facility would facilitate 3,000 students as well as the faculty members to easily make it to the college without any hurdle or hassle. The meeting discussed different matters including renovation of historic building and provision of wider access road to thousands of students and faculty members. The meeting discussed the issue of students’ obstruction in reaching the college due to various commercial activities in the close proximity.

The minister directed that renovation work of the college building should be done in a professional way to help preserve and restore its centuries-old grandeur. He commended the fact that the college has been providing quality higher education facilities to the girls of walled city for the last three decades. He approved construction of 10 new class rooms to accommodate the rising number of uptown students. Later, he visited different sections of the college.

Cleanup: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) Monday launched a cleanup operation in Gawala Colony, Harbanspura. More than a hundred workers took part in the operation during which a large amount of manure was removed from the vicinity with the help of heavy machinery. More than 200 tons of waste was removed during the operation.

Manager Operations Hassan Khalid, Assistant Manager Hamza bin Masood and Zonal Officer Zaki Shah supervised the operation whereas Deputy General Manager Asif Iqbal and senior Manager Operations Suhail Malik paid visit to review the operation.

Manager Operations Khalid Hassan said Gawala Colony did not come under the jurisdiction of LWMC, but it launched the operation to make the area waste free. LWMC was planning to utilise more than 220 tons of animal waste in the locality for converting it into biogas, he said.The news.

Media seminar at Lahore College for Women University

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:09

LAHORE:25 April:A seminar held at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday highlighted the importance of media and media studies departments in protection and promotion of democracy and democratic dispensation in the country according to the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan.
According to a press release the Lahore College for Women University Department of Mass Communication organised an interactive session with media experts and academicians on the issue of “Democracy in Pakistan, Role of Media and Media Studies Departments”.

Dr Mughees ud Din Sheikh shared many experiences and historic examples to make the students of media studies understand their importance in society. Lahore College for Women University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Ms Mobina Ali and Dr Anjum Zia spoke while documentary related to the topic was played on the occasion.The news.

ITU faculty member wins innovation award

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:52

LAHORE:24 April:A faculty member of the Information Technology University (ITU) has won the World Bank innovation award worth $100,000.

The World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) awarded ITU Data Science Lab Director Dr Faisal Kamiran for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, said a statement issued on Friday.

The award is part of competitive funds totalling $1.14 million distributed among 10 teams from around the world. Dr Kamiran received this prestigious distinction for his research on the identification of hotspots for harassment of women in public transport.

Dr Kamiran’s proposal titled ‘Mapping for Policy’ aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how fear and perceived risk of victimisation in general and fear and perceived risk of sexual harassment in particular, inhibit women’s use of the rapid bus transit system in Lahore.

This is a collaborative project of ITU’s Data Science Lab and US-based think tank the Urban Institute. The award will fund a pilot project of the research in Lahore that will apply state-of-the-art data science and artificial intelligence techniques to tackle the menace of gender-based violence.

Sexual harassment in public spaces is an under-recognised global human rights violation that disproportionately affects women and girls every day. There is a high risk of sexual victimisation in public spaces in low- and middle-income countries, where women and girls are increasingly entering the public domain.

Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is ranked 125th out of 169 countries on the Gender Development Index and 99th out of 109 on the Gender Empowerment Measure.
A panel had reviewed more than 200 proposals submitted to the World Bank Group and the SVRI following an open call in July 2016 for innovations to prevent gender-based violence in low- and middle-income countries.
Published in The Express Tribune.

Violence feared at Punjab University annual book fair

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:51

LAHORE:April 24:The Punjab University is all set to organise its annual book fair from April 27 to April 29 after it was initially postponed due to the unrest on campus. However, the faculty and students fear fresh violence.

PU had earlier announced the annual three-day book fair from April 6 to 8, 2017. In this regard, a high level meeting, chaired by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir, was held to review arrangements.

Deans of various faculties and members of the book fair committee were present. The meeting was briefed on various measures being taken to organise the book fair. On March 21, a cultural event organised by the Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM) was attacked and 30 students were left injured. The unrest caused the administration to indefinitely postpone the annual event.

Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir again announced the annual fair to mark World Book Day on April 20. The VC said multinational companies must come forward to promote book reading culture and fulfill their corporate social responsibilities.

He announced that the administration would hold the book fair from April 27 to April 29. The VC added the university would award a special prize to the person who writes the most book reviews. He stated the varsity would also consider the student for the roll of honour.

Despite the administration’s enthusiasm over arranging the annual book fair, faculty and students who spoke to The Express Tribune expressed concerns over the management’s lax behaviour with political groups and its ability to control violence on campus.

A faculty member, requesting anonymity, said the failure of the administration to curb different groups’ activities was evident. He said Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) carried on with their activities despite the ban.

“Now the IJT has been holding meetings for the book fair,” he added.

Students on campus also shared similar views as one of them, who identified himself as Jabbar, said chances of violence were high.

In a statement, the IJT said it had organised a meeting to discuss the 33rd book fair of the Punjab University. IJT’s Nazim Osama Ejaz, while speaking at a meeting, said the IJT had introduced the book fair at universities. He said the student body, over the next two days, would assign responsibilities to members at the PU book fair.

When contacted, PU spokesman Khurram Shahzad said that no student organisation would be allowed to interfere with the administrative affairs of the book fair. He said high level security arrangements would be ensured during the three-day event. Khurram stated the PU administration had announced the fair to promote reading culture and provide opportunities to buy books at discounted rates.Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2017.

Spirit of Math’ to cater High-achievers needs

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:49

LAHORE:April 24:“Spirit of Math” being a system of after-school programme for high performing students in mathematics has opened doors for bright students in Pakistan. After the successful recognition across the world, this programme is developed to address the critical needs of those students who are looking for an opportunity to study mathematics more deeply with others like them, and for those parents who are looking for an opportunity for their children to be challenged at a global level.

According to a press release, this concept for the after-school programme has been developed by Kim Langen, CEO and Founder, Spirit of Math Schools. The programme allows teachers to focus on the learning style of high-achievers and address their needs. The students move quickly through the material, and delve deeper into concepts. The problem solving element is very intense and students must be able to work with others to solve hundreds of problems each year. As this programme is for high performing students, these students must keep up with the class, rather than the teacher slowing down for students who are struggling with the basic ideas.

Talking about bringing this system to Pakistan Kim commented; “The people of Pakistan understand and value high standards. They want to be recognised for their forward thinking and will do what it takes, without making any excuses, to succeed. Pakistan is quickly changing and progressing forward: it seemed to us to be a natural fit.The news.

Go Nawaz go’ slogan ─ Railway police torture five students

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:29

LAHORE:23 April: A Railway Police team allegedly took five students into custody and tortured them for chanting an anti-government slogan during the concluding ceremony of the Pakistan Railways (PR) Inter-Divisional Athletics Championship at Garhi Shahu Stadium on Saturday.
Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique was distributing medals and shields among the winners of the annual meet when a group of participants started chanting ‘Go Nawaz go’ slogan. The minister left the stadium hurriedly while men in police uniform randomly picked up five boys, bundled them into a van and sped away.
Denying that they had taken into custody Shakeel, Ali, Fatehullah, Navaid and Aitzaz -- all studying in railways educational institutions at Karachi -- the Railway police said the boys were taken away to an undisclosed location by the Garhi Shahu police.

An officer at the Garhi Shahu police station said the railway stadium did not fall in their jurisdiction. “No official of Garhi Shahu police station was on duty at the stadium,” said the official who wished not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Railways Director-General Public Relations Najam Wali Khan later told a private TV channel that the boys were taken into custody but were released afterwards on a direction by Khwaja Saad Rafique.

Some channels reported that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself ordered that the boys be released.

One of the arrested boys told Dawn that they were nabbed on the directions of Saad Rafique by Railway Police Deputy Inspector-General Shariq Jamal.

“We were treated like criminals while being taken from the stadium to Mughalpura station of Railway police. Officials at the police station gave us a sound beating while telling that we were arrested on the orders of the minister and that DIG Shariq Jamal Sahib was coming to himself register a case against us. They continued torturing and hurling threats on us even after receiving orders for our release,” said the boy who requested anonymity.

DIG Shariq Jamal did not respond to the calls and the SMS sent to him for knowing his stance.

A railway police official later said the boys were released on the orders of the minister.Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2017.

Police term PU teacher’s death murder-cum-robbery

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:28

LAHORE:23 April:Lahore police claimed on Saturday to have arrested three suspects involved in the murder of an Ahmadi professor and the Marian Chowk robbery, the video of which went viral on social media a few months ago.
On Saturday, the Anti-Organised Crime Cell (CIA) presented 13 wanted men before the media. Four of them were said to be involved in the notorious robbery at a traffic signal in Faisal Town and three behind the robbery-cum-murder of Tahira Perveen, a retired PU professor.
At a press conference at his office, Criminal Investigation Agency SP Tariq Mastoi said the police found no evidence suggesting the murder of Prof Tahira was a religiously motivated murder contrary to media reports. “It is purely a murder-cum-robbery case,” he proclaimed.
CIA police arrested Sajjad Ali, Hammad Aslam and Sunil Masih for the murder within 24 hours and also recovered the mobile phone and $100 stolen from the victim’s room, he said.
The prime suspect Sajjad worked as an electrician at PU. He would often visit the slain professor’s house and built a relationship of trust with her. The suspect had to pay a loan of Rs300,000 as he had bought some appliances on instalments.
Last Tuesday, he went to Tahira’s house, stabbed her with a cutter and took away her mobile phone and $100 dollars before locking the room from the outside. “He planned to take away other valuables at night but did not know the victim’s daughter remained in constant contact with her,” SP Tariq explained.

When the woman could not get in touch with her mother, she informed her acquaintances and then the university administration. The suspects went to a shop to sell the snatched mobile when they saw the news flash of the murder on media.

“Police could not find any link or evidence suggesting the murder was religiously motivated,” the police official concluded.

Faisal Town robbery

Ten other suspects arrested allegedly belong to the Tahir Imran alias Mithu gang and were said to have been to jail many times.

Four of them were accused of the notorious robbery at a traffic signal in Faisal Town. The video of three men looting a family on a traffic signal had gone viral on social media in November 2016, attracting criticism that Lahore was no more a safe city as people were being robbed in broad daylight.

SP Tariq said the gang members were involved in 31 robbery cases registered with Hanjarwal, Iqbal Town, Muslim Town, Wahdat Colony, Faisal Town and Garden Town police.

He said police started investigation by collecting the CCTV footage, gathering information about relatives of the suspects identified in the videos and arrested the suspects through their informers.

“The men would form a group of two to three and chase a target to a signal. They used to rob the citizens and sell the valuables in other cities,” he added.

Of the five suspects identified in the case, four are in custody while one named Shah Rukh has fled to Dubai. Lahore police have got him arrested through Interpol as well and are acquiring red warrants to bring him back.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2017.

Environmental education should be a compulsory subject

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:27

Lahore:23 April:WWF-Pakistan marked Earth Day 2017 with an aim to encourage people to promote environmental and climate education campaigns across the country.

A number of activities were organised by WWF-Pakistan in different cities which engaged education institutes, corporate entities, civil society organisations, local communities and government departments. Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Naqi Khan, WWF-Pakistan director general, said that education could play a pivotal role in addressing environmental problems which were increasing day by day. It can also help create public support for conservation of the earth’s resources and can be a voice for change. "With quality education, we can inspire action towards environmental protection and sensitise people to adopt green technologies", he said. He was of the view that people should switch to alternative energy, end use of plastic bags, conserve freshwater bodies and make effective and wise use of natural resources It is time to take environmental and climate issues seriously and mobilise people to develop public momentum to mitigate greenhouse emissions, increase tree cover, reduce pollution and protect endangered species.

He also emphasised that environmental education should be a compulsory subject and taught in schools across the country.

In Lahore, WWF-Pakistan organised a main event at Ali Institute of Education (AIE) and also planted indigenous trees there. Another event was organised at Changa Manga. The participants planted saplings and showed commitment to protect the earth through increasing tree cover in the city. The participants also visited WWF-Pakistan's Vulture Centre.The news.

Mariam Dawood School Thesis show Opens

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:26

LAHORE:April 23:The annual thesis show of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) featuring thesis works of around 72 graduating students opened at the varsity’s Tarogil Campus here on Saturday.

BNU Vice-Chancellor Shahid Hafiz Kardar, SVAD Dean Prof Rashid Rana, faculty, students and their parents were present at the opening of “The Degree Show 2017”—which will continue till April 28, 2017 and will be open to public every day from 11am to 7pm. On the first day, the event was attended by a large number of students, art academics, artists and art enthusiasts from across various institutions of Lahore. This year’s SVAD Degree Show features thesis works of around 72 students graduating in Bachelor's of Fine Arts - Visual Arts, Bachelor's of Design - Visual Communication Design, Bachelor of Design - Textile and Fibre Studies Bachelor's of Design - Fashion and Fibre Studies and Bachelor's of Design in Jewelry and Accessory Design.

In his statement on the occasion, Prof Rashid Rana said “Our graduates comprise of diverse backgrounds from many countries across South Asia which is a strength we cherish. They have made their mark and continue to do so not only in their respective countries but also on the global stage.The news.

A true poet... True poetry

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:24

Rawalpindi:April 23:‘Yaad Karay Gi Dunya Mushahir Adab and Mustafa Zaidi’, is a compact book on persona and work of eminent modernist poet, Mustafa Zaidi. The book is a research work cum compilation of Syed Nusrat Zaidi, a prominent poet, on life and work of Syed Mustafa Zaidi.

Mustafa Zaidi was born on October 16, 1930 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (UP), India to Lakhte Hasnain and Binte Haider. His father was a senior official in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the UP Province, with roots in Meman Saadat, a village in district Bijnor.

In his work, Nusrat Zaidi, has compiled prefaces of other prominent writers like Josh Malihabadi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Ahsan Danish, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Dr Syed Shabihul Hassan, Sibt-e-Hasan, Ibn-e-Insha, Qateel Shifai Mohsin Bohpali and many other stalwarts of the world of poetry and literature on the life and work of Mustafa Zaidi.

Syed Nusrat Zaidi has tried to encompass the entire lifespan of Mustafa Zaidi, in a few crisp and short phrases in which he described that right from his childhood, Mustafa Zaidi, was a brilliant student and an ardent fan of reading.

After finishing his matriculation at a time when the subcontinent was going through a turbulent political and literary environment, Mustafa Zaidi started his journey in the world of poetry. In his initial work, Mustafa Zaidi who was a disciple of another maestro, Josh Malihabadi had a stamp of Josh's strong words. For some time he associated himself with Firaq Gorakhpuri, but despite spending time in the company of these stalwarts, Mustafa Zaidi established his own unique style in poetry which was quite prominent in the early stages of his life.

His first volume was published when he was in his teens. Mustafa Zaidi was straightforward and bold poet who had a deep insight of Urdu and English literature.

He finished his intermediate in 1947, BA in 1950 in flying colours, advanced studies in English literature in 1952 from Government College Lahore, a brief period spent teaching at Islamia College Karachi and Peshawar University and entered the civil service of Pakistan through the competitive examination in 1954. After completing his training from United Kingdom in 1956, he returned to Pakistan after his journey of Europe and Middle East. In 1957, he was married to Vera Fawn, a woman of German descent and they had two children Mujtaba (1958) and daughter Ismat (1960).

Mustafa Zaidi first served as deputy commissioner of Sialkot followed by the same posting in Dera Ghazi Khan and Layyah. He served as Deputy Secretary Education in Lahore for a brief period of time and then as deputy commissioner in Jhelum, Nawab Shah, Khairpur, Sahiwal and Lahore.

The government bestowed him with Quaid-i-Azam Medal for his meritorious services. In 1968 he returned to London for training under Nefield Scholarship.

In 1969 he served as Secretary Basic Democracy and Social Welfare, which was also his last post in public service and in December 1969 he was suspended from his duties; and later was removed from public service in May 1970.

On October 12, 1070 he was mysteriously murdered in Karachi and literary world lost a great mind, poet and a great friend and last but not the least a great human being.

His published works include:

Zangeerein (1949)

Roshni (1950)

Shehr-e-Azar (City of Idol Worshippers) (1958)

Mauj Meri Sadaf Sadaf (1960)

Gareban (1964)

Qaba-e-Saaz (1967)

Koh-e-Nida (1971) (published posthumously)

Mustafa Zaidi was a progressive Urdu poet and Syed Nusrat Zaidi through his work of compilation has encompassed the persona and work of Mustafa Zaidi, who was a modernist Urdu poet of exceptional expressive style. The book is considered to be a fine edition to the Urdu literature.The news.

Students held for chanting ‘Go Nawaz Go’ released on PM’s orders

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 11:22

LAHORE:April 23: Police took four students and players into custody who had chanted slogan of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ during a ceremony at Railways Stadium in the presence of Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq but were later released on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's orders.
The arrested youth, who had come from Karachi for trial, were shifted to some unknown location. Later in the day, the prime minister took notice of the arrests and ordered their immediate release.
A statement from the PM House, said the prime minister responded to the reports according to which the police arrested the players who raised anti-government slogans at the closing ceremony of Pakistan Railways Sports Championship.

However, the Pakistan Railways spokesperson denied any disruption in speech. He also ruled out arrest of any students by the Railways Police and some students had tried to raise slogans at end of speech but no one was identified.

In 2014 when PTI had launched ‘Go Nawaz Go’ movement over alleged rigging, similar incidents were observed repeatedly in the country.

Another student, a fellow the detained players, said they were innocent. He explained that when the railways minister was addressing the event some students from schools started chanting slogans. “We are completely innocent,” he remarked.

He said in response of the slogans, the police started beating up the team players and took them into custody even though the players did not chant any slogans.

Police said the arrested persons belonged to Railways’ Karachi Division.

Speaking on the matter, Railways DG Najam Wali said the students were arrested because they politicised an apolitical event. Saad did not make a political speech yet the students tried to politicise the matter, he added. People came to the event to promote sports, not for politics, he said.

Soon after the news was aired on TV channels, the prime minister ordered that the arrested students should be released immediately.The news.

Academic reforms: UAF, German varsities ink research deal

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 12:22

FAISALABAD:22 April:The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad has signed agreements with two German universities to collaborate in research, academia, capacity building and student-teachers’ exchange programmes.
The first Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) was inked by UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and University of Bonn’s Dr Bernhard Tischbein whereas Christopher Willi Conrad from University of Wurzburg signed the second MoU.
The UAF and University of Bonn will cooperate in academic research and establishing projects in future. Both varsities will work jointly on modern technologies to reduce water intensive cotton production.

The MoU between UAF and Julius-Maximilians University of Wurzburg agreed to make collective efforts to boost research and capacity building by exchanging academic information and providing opportunities for interactions between students and faculty of both universities.

They would also support activities such as joint research, conference and seminars.Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2017.

Facilitating students: First public career counselling centre opens

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 12:21

LAHORE:22 April:The first state-run career counselling centre to facilitate students in meeting employment requirements was opened at the Government College, Township in Lahore on Friday.
Addressing the gathering, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairperson Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin said most prospective and graduating students of higher education institutions were unaware about career prospects and emerging market trends. “There are fewer opportunities for them in the market, or they are unable to meet the requirements of the employers. In both cases, the country suffers,” he added.
Four such counselling centres have been initially established at selected colleges of Punjab with an amount of Rs2 million set aside for each. The first one was inaugurated at the Township college.

“The project will be gradually extended to all public-sector colleges and universities of the province,” the PHEC chairperson announced, adding these centres would hold seminars, workshops, job fairs and conferences to provide sound career advice to young people.

College Principal Dr Mohammad Ijaz Butt lamented the college sector had been long ignored by the higher education authorities but the inception of PHEC had given a ray of hope.

“We believe the education commission will help address problems of college students and teachers in an effective way,” he added.

The college, he said, was also running a community college project of the PHEC, wherein two-year bachelor’s semester system degree was being offered in market-driven subjects.

The counselling centres are a project of PHEC aiming to provide a platform to students of higher education institutions of Punjab to facilitate them in developing their career paths based on their academic skills and interests.Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2017.

Punjab University teachers seek security after professor’s murder

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 12:20

LAHORE:22 April:The Punjab University faculty expressed serious concerns over the security of teachers, especially those living at the residential colony. They demanded a complete overhaul of the security system and additional measures such as background checks of employees by the Special Branch.
These demands were made during a condolence reference held by the Punjab University Academic Staff Association (ASA) at the Institute of Chemistry. Faculty members paid tribute to Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) retired assistant professor Tahira Malik. She was found murdered in her home at the residential colony of the Punjab University.
The suspect apprehended in this case a varsity employee working at the Engineering Branch.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, ASA President Javed Sami said the association would demand that the PU administration have all employees screened. He added that the recent incident had shattered the confidence of the teachers’ community and ASA would demand the vice chancellor conduct background checks through the Special Branch. He said the faculty would also ask for a verification drive of all employees living in the housing society.

Javed said the administration should check whether actual faculty members live in the houses or if the properties were rented out.

“The ASA will ask for guards to be deployed near the living area of teachers and at all roundabouts, while CCTV cameras should also be installed in the surroundings of the housing colony,” he said.
Dr Sami said Engineering Branch employees routinely worked at residences of faculty members and the ASA would ask the VC to adopt SOPs for their deployment. “We will demand that any time some work needs to be carried out, a university security guard should also accompany the assigned individual,” he stated.
Dr Sami said these demands would be forwarded to the vice chancellor in the coming weeks.Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2017.

Moot to raise professionalism standard concludes

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 12:19

Lahore:22 April:Pakistan Society for Training and Development (PSTD) and the Pakistan Society of HR Management (PSHRM) organised Connex 2017 at a hotel in Lahore.
This event signalled the first ever collaboration of PSTD and PSHRM to present the HR and learning conference in Lahore.PSTD and PSHRM are independent, nonprofit and nongovernmental institutions, managed by honorary Boards of Governors comprised of senior executives and human resources professionals from leading organisations in Pakistan.

The PSTD’s purpose was to raise the standard of professionalism and its mission was to build and broaden professional leadership, capacity and capability in Pakistan. Its members are regularly invited for HR breakfast sessions, synergy sessions and leadership iconic series. PSTD also serves as an umbrella organisation to support leading trainers and consultants in offering state-of-the-art solutions to meet the learning and development needs of organisations across the country.

Pakistan Society for Human Resource Management is committed to providing leadership in HR excellence. It is the professional association for HR practitioners and those involved in the business of people management. PSHRM offers professional learning and community building opportunities to its members and others in the HR profession by conducting workshops, seminars by prominent speakers and experiential learning programmes for HR professionals. PSHRM is a full member of the Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM), a branch of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA).

The conference was themed “People-Passion-Purpose” and brought together the most influential, forward-thinking HR leaders and senior executives from all over the country to discuss current issues, trends, and solutions to today’s organisations HR and learning needs in the context of the theme. Ranging from HR Inspire sessions and Keynotes, to our CEO panel and debate, participants contribute as much as they learn.

Some of the prominent speakers at the conference were Saqib Sherazi (CEO Atlas Honda), Dr Musadik Malik (Prime Minister’s spokesperson), Syeda Henna Babar Ali (Chairperson DICPK), Shahid Hussain (CEO, Service Sales Corporation), Mudassir Aqil (CEO, Finca Microfinance), Monis Rehman (Chairman and CEO Naseeb Networks), Fariha Salahuddin (VP Global Talent, Business Lead Consumer Healthcare, GSK), Dr James A Tebbe (Rector, Forman Christian College) and Umar Saif (Information Technology University Vice-Chancellor).The news.

Chinese scientists discuss cotton biotech lab at Punjab University

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 12:18

LAHORE:22 April:Scientists from Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences (CAAS), China, visited Punjab University’s Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) to discuss establishment of “Pak-China Cotton Biotechnology Laboratory” at CEMB.
According to a press release, in continuation of the developing strong ties, CEMB and China Science and Technology Exchange Centre (CSTEC), China, jointly organised one day workshop “Pak-China Young Scientists Exchange Programme” at the centre.
PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir, Faculty of Life Sciences Dean Prof Dr Naeem Khan, CEMB Director Prof Dr Tayyab Husnain, Prof Dr Idrees A Nasir, Prof Dr Chang Li, focal person Pak-China joint Cotton Biotech Project, Ge Pu, deputy director general of CSTEC; Zhang Nan, project officer for CHINA-MOST’s young talent mobility programme and senior faculty members were present on the occasion.
Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasir said PU would play its role in development of nation and the country and that’s why the administration was encouraging such initiatives in order to promote research culture.

Ge Pu detailed insight into Pak-China Young Scientists Exchange Programme. He said Chinese government would offer attractive subsidy for selected talented scientists. He expressed his good wishes for joint cotton biotechnology project between CEMB, Pakistan and CAAS, China. CEMB Director Dr Tayyab Husnain gave briefing on the ongoing research projects at CEMB. He said Pak-China young scientists’ talent hunt programme by CSTEC was an excellent addition in collaborative efforts for both countries towards promotion of research culture.

Honoured: A faculty member of Information Technology University (ITU) and director of the varsity’s Data Science Lab Director Dr Faisal Kamran has won a World Bank innovation award worth US $100,000 from the World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) for innovations to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

According to a press release, the award is part of competitive funds totaling US $1.14 million distributed among 10 teams from around the world. Dr Kamran received this prestigious distinction for his research on the identification of hotspots for harassment of women in public transport.

Dr Kamran’s proposal “Mapping for Policy” aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how fear and perceived risk of victimisation in general and fear and perceived risk of sexual harassment in particular, inhibit women’s use of the Rapid Bus Transit system in Lahore.

This is a collaborative project of ITU’s Data Science Lab and US-based think tank the urban institute. The award will fund a pilot project of the research in Lahore. The research will apply state-of-the-art data science and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to tackle the menace of gender-based violence in the city. Harassment at public spaces is an under-recognised global human rights violation that disproportionately affects women and girls every day.The news.