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Arshad Yousafzai

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A meeting of Hamdard Naunehal Assembly Karachi chapter containing speeches, recitation of holy verses, naát, national songs and Dua-i-Said was held yesterday on the topic: “Thou art an eagle and shouldst live on the rocks of mountains,” a poetic verse of Allama Iqbal, at Bait-ul-Hikmah Auditorium, Madinat al-Hikmah Karachi. A renowned Analyst and a Columnist, Col (r) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt, was invited as a chief guest. Mrs. Sadia Rashid – President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan – also attended the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukhtar Butt said: “A single national curriculum is necessary to build our nation. Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said was a personification of Allama Iqbal’s vision of Shaheen. He established a city of knowledge and wisdom on a barren land, which has now transformed into something extraordinary. Founding Hamdard Village School was a great service to Pakistan. Today former students of Hamdard Village School are now enrolled in PhD programs.

He said:“It has been 74 years, and yet we have not been able to formulate a single curriculum for our younger generations. During the 1965 war, we were united because we had a single curriculum.”

Mrs. Sadia Rashid said: “In 1985, Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said organized Bazm-e-Naunehal, which has continued since then. Motivating children, character-building and enhancing the leadership qualities of our young generations is one of the core values of Hamdard Pakistan. These values were established by Hamdard’s founder Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said himself, and Hamdard has been following in his footsteps.

She also said: “Allama Iqbal considered ideological character development of youth a cornerstone of the future of the ummah. He envisioned that youth would lead the whole Muslim world out from social ills. That is why he used to address the youth in his poetry.”

Young speakers from Hamdard Public School and Hamdard Village school also spoke on the topic.

Sindh Board of Technical Education on Wednesday decided to introduce the Competency-Based Training Program.

According to the details, the CBT programs have been prepared under the National Vocational Qualification Framework. The SBTE chairman Dr. Masroor Sheikh said the board has also decided to introduce the virtual polytechnic program in the country.

According to Dr. Sheikh, the Covid-19 has affected technical education in the province. But the board is striving hard to overcome such difficulties in the future.

Talking about the CBT program, he said that in the technical course, students have to work in groups. Technical education can be promoted with the help of online institutions and industry. It’s a tragedy that the trend in the technology sector is declining.

The President of Pakistan Dr Dr Arif Alvi, who is also chancellor of the varsities which come under the jurisdiction of the federal government, appointed Dr Shahid Ali Qureshi as permanent Vice Chancellor of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology.

However, the decision is yet to be notified. According to the FUUAST Deputy Chair Senate A. Q Khalil, the president has approved the summary to hire regular vice-chancellor. The decision has not been notified. “I came know that President has approved the summary to appoint Shahid Qureshi as permanent chancellor at FUUAST. However, the notification would take time”.

Meanwhile, the FUUAST Teachers Association—Abdul Haq Campus while appreciating the decision taken by the President of Pakistan in a statement has said that after the appointment of permanent Vice Chancellor, the varsity will see stability and the new VC will overcome all the administrative crises. The teachers association condemned the acting administration that making hurdles in the appointment of permanent VC to prolong its tenure.

Earlier the FUUAST Deputy Chair Senate A. Q Khalil told that he condemns the efforts made by the Dean Faculty of Science Prof Dr Zahid who challenged the appointment of regular VC in Sindh High Court. “Such people have never highlighted positive face of the varsity, but they always spread baseless news against their own university”

Khalil said that he hopes the new VC would overcome administrative and financial crises in the varsity. However, it depends on his ability. We have sent an application to the President of Pakistan to convene a meeting of the Fuuast senate. However, the President House has not given any date for the coming meeting of the Senate.

Brief profile of the new VC

Dr Shahid Qureshi is currently working at the Institute of Business Administration Karachi as an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development. He has work experience of several national and international organizations including UNDP, Oxfammn, IBA and others.

He served as a Member of the Board of Studies at Zia Uddin University Karachi, DHA Suffa University, ZABIST Business school, Department of Industria] Engineering, DUET Karachi, and member of the admission committee at MUSITD, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology. He is also a reviewer of many research journals and he has also written 17 papers and chapters in 7 books.

While addressing the two-day International Conference on Applied Physics and Engineering organized by NED University, the Vice-Chancellor Sarosh Hashmat Lodi said that physics applies to almost the whole society while the engineering sector depends on physics.

He said that varsities should organize such international conferences on applied physics so academic and professional could understand the importance of applied physics.

The conference attended by Vice Chancellor of Sir Syed University Prof. Dr. Waliuddin, the Chairman Pakistan Regulatory Authority (PNRA) Faizan Mansoor, Director General of National Center for Physics Dr. Hafeez Hoorani and others.

Addressing the event, Prof Waliuddin appreciated the efforts of conference organizers and said that such an event will create awareness among academia and students about Applied Physics.

On the occasion, Dean Faculty of Information Sciences and Humanities Prof. Dr. Noman Ahmed said that since there has not been any valuable conference on physics for a long time, this the conference has proved to be an increase in mental maturity for physics students.

The DG National Center for Physics Dr. Hafeez Hoorani said; “We invite engineers from NED to explore research for our institute. Chairman Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority Faizan Mansoor said that organizing such a global conference in the centenary celebrations of NED was commendable. He said that the academic sessions from which social improvement is possible must be continuous.

Highlighting the importance of the conference, Dr. Irfan Ahmed, Chairman of the Department of Physics said that training sessions are urgently needed to meet the requirements of technology. This is the first conference but we intend to hold more such events.

According to the NED spokesperson, experts from four provinces of the country and seven countries attended the international conference online. In these two days, about 42 research papers will be read.

Karachi University of Karachi has cancelled the admission in the evening program for the academic session 2021 after the verification from the KU Examination Department, the in-charge, KU Directorate of Admissions, Dr Saima Akhtar, said on Thursday.

She mentioned that the Danish Kamal son of Kamal Ahmed had submitted a tampered marks sheet to get admission in MPA at the Department of Public Administration. His admission form number was 369477

Despite the government is the biggest source of spreading fake news and information, now it wants to control media and curve press freedom in the name countering fake news. Tens of journalists have lost their lives, they daily face bullying and physical harassment, and even thousands of journalists in the last three years have lost their jobs. But on one has been found and punished for such terrible crime against the journalist community. Media owners are equally responsible for curtailing rights of journalists.

The views expressed by senior journalists, experts and academic in the 7th interactive series of ZU Dialogues on ‘Pakistan Media Development Authority: Protection or control of the media industry’. The dialogue session was moderated by Syed Muaz Shah, director of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, Ziauddin University. It was aimed to get an opinion and analysis of the experts about the PMDA.

Javeed Jabbar

“In the past 20 years, around 70 journalists have tragically lost their lives, several others have been injured, and thousands have lost professional careers and deprived of incomes. But no one is ready to accept responsibility. The government is not interested to find the responsible persons who have been involved in such terrible crime against journalists”, said Former Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Javed Jabbar.

He, however, said that media organizations in Pakistan need internal reforms. They should also protect the rights of their working journalists. After critically examining the situation of media industry, many questions arise on its role and attitude towards journalist community. As media organizations always hold the state-run institution accountable for their actions but journalist themselves don’t know the financial interest of the media houses they work for.

Another problem with media industry is that a majority of people don’t know who owns which media group, except the major media groups, and who are the editors and what are their professional qualifications. What role does the publisher play in determining content and what role an anchor plays and why channels running after TRP, he asked.

The PMDA is not anti-media. However, there should be an open dialogue and the government should withhold the bill until hearing everyone. New institutions should be formed through mutual consensus or adopt a simple rule that how media organization themselves reform themselves. Responsibility is not only on state or on working journalists. Media owners are also responsible as they are the ones who play behind the scenes. Their hidden faces must be exposed”, he said.

Jabbar said that journalists are very justified in saying that any attempt to regulate media would lead into their victimization and it will curve freedom of press and media. “So, if we achieve a balance of self-social and state regulations to sustain dialogue and negotiation, we would achieve a consensus on how to proceed with the PMDA”

“So far, I’m sorry to say but media has not conducted self-regulations. There is a dismal disregard of basic principles of how to present news especially on electronic media. There is hysterical hyped type of news presentation which no other foreign country presents except India. And in many ways, we are just trying to imitate India the way we preach and shouts, and rushing to the screen in the name of breaking news without verified authentic data”

“The appeals against the cases to be decided in the media tribunal of the PDMA can only be challenged in the apex court which is very strange because it bypass the high courts. Therefore, Supreme Court will reject this law for being unconstitutional. Instead of reforming the existing law, the PMDA wants to create a new single window opportunity which I don’t think is practical”.

Mazhar Abbas

On the occasion, Senior Journalists and Analyst Mazhar Abbas said that out of 7 legislations including Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979, Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973, and the Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002 and others at least 5 of them have nothing to do with fake news. He said Fawad Chauhdry had been issuing contradictory statements and perhaps he had not read any of these 7 legislations.

“The day this authority will be established, all licenses of TV channels and declarations of newspapers cease to exist and these newspapers and channels have to re-apply for their licensing and then every year you have to apply for renewal. And they have the authority to cancel it any time. It is more or less the same as in the 1960s Former president Ayub Khan Introduced press and publication ordinance and after that many newspapers were closed down and taken over by the government,” he said.

“I can say with authority that the biggest source of fake news in Pakistan has always been the ministry of information.”

Talking about the challenges that media usually face, Dr. Huma Baqai International Relations Expert and Political Analyst Associate Professor of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts, and former Associate Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, IBA Karachi said “Workers of private news channels are not independent.

“TV channels do talk against Political parties but I have never seen any of them talking about corruption in banking sector, construction mafia and others,” she said.

Presenting her argument about PMDA she said “Firstly, right now the government has created a problem for itself. This is the biggest blunder made by the government to give an opportunity to the broken opposition parties to unite back and use this PDMA agenda for their own good. Secondly, the Government has polarized the already polarized political situation and thirdly this political arrogance by the Imran khan government is also self-defeating.”

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro said the number 1 source of fake news in Pakistan is the government. They create a false narrative and then they say that we are fighting against it, he remarked.

The faculty members of the Department of Economics, School of Economics and Social Sciences, and the Center of Business and Economics Research at the Institute of Business Administration Karachi launched on Wednesday a book titled, The State of Pakistan’s Economy: During the Pandemic and Beyond 2021-22

Following its tradition of the last two years, the faculty of the Department of Economics analyzed the state of Pakistan’s economy in the backdrop of the federal budget 2021-22.The analyses culminated into a book which was launched at the IBA Karachi, Main Campus. Attendees included members from the academia, media, corporate sector, the IBA faculty, students and alumni.

The book was launched through a panel discussion featuring Dr. Mubarik Ahmed, Technical Specialist in Agricultural Policies; Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, former Advisor to the Prime Minister on Revenue; and Professor Dr. Samina Khalil, Director, Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director, IBA Karachi and Dr. Asma Hyder, Dean, School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS).

Dr. Zaidi welcomed the panelists and the guests and introduced the contents of the book. On the fiscal space he added that FBR met its targets due to devaluation of rupee and duties on import.

The co-moderator of the session, Dr. Hyder, shed light on the thought process behind the book by sharing that it was Dr. Zaidi’s idea that the faculty of Economics Department should come forward in facilitating the government and policymakers for providing scholarly input on economic issues.

Dr. Waqar congratulated IBA’s faculty on publishing the book which has insightful chapters. He further mentioned that people will await the publication if IBA publishes it periodically and in a timely manner.

The analyses presented in the book cover a broad range of aspects of Pakistan’s macroeconomic policy. It presents the future landscape of the economy. It provides an assessment of the budget performance in 2020-21 and analyzes the outlook of fiscal policy for 2021-22. It discusses the State Bank of Pakistan’s response to various demand and supply-side shocks during the last two decades.

Dr. Ahmed shared with the audience that the book rightly highlights that Pakistan’s agricultural policies are in a primitive stage of development.

The book focuses on the prospects of regaining the trade competitiveness in the post-Covid-19 scenario and growth and trade prospects in view of the Business Confidence Index. It analyzes the sectoral issues related to construction, energy, and agriculture, respectively and the effects of Covid-19 on the labor market. It covers the state of education during the pandemic, the youth bulge, and opportunities. Lastly, it provides a snapshot of social protection in Pakistan in the wake of the pandemic. Dr. Khalil underscored the need to include environmental and health economics in economic discussions.

The purpose of this publication is to provide scholarly input to various stakeholders, including but not limited to, policymakers, development practitioners, researchers, and the business community.

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University–Sri Lanka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Karachi University.

As per the MOU, both leading institutions intend to promote collaborative research and academic activities in various areas of science and research. On behalf of their institutions, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, and COMSTECH Coordinator-General, and KDU Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris signed the MoU in an online meeting held on Wednesday. Various Sri Lankan and Pakistani officials and scientists also attended the online meeting.

Prof. Iqbal Choudhary, speaking on the occasion, said that ICCBS was one of the eminent centers of excellence and one of the academic research establishments of chemical and biological sciences in Pakistan.

The ICCBS as a center for excellence owns an international stature in the field of science and research, he said, adding that ICCBS is the only institution in Pakistan that is not only certified by ISO but it also became ‘UNESCO, WHO, OIC, and NAM- S&T Centre for Excellence’.

He said, “Center is known for its excellence in academic research and graduates training. At the same time the center is serving to industries and government agencies.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the KDU is a state Defence University, which is now open for civil students who wish to continue their higher studies in the fields of Engineering, Law, Management, Social Sciences and IT.

According to MOU, both institutions will cooperate and develop activities related to various fields of sciences such as allied health sciences, food sciences, herbal medicines, spectroscopy, bioequivalence studies, clinical research, disease genomics, tropical disease research, etc.

The MOU will also encourage the joint supervision of 5 PhD scholars every year in the fields of mutual interest.

According to the MOU, this agreement will be in effect for a period of five years from the date of execution and may be extended by mutual agreement in writing by both parties

Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University— Shaheed Benazirabad on Wednesday distributed laptops among 3 disabled students studying at the university.

The students with disabilities studying in various programs of the university, Muhammad Amin Brohi of English Department, Kashif Ali of Economics Department and Ghulam Ali Leghari of Business Administration received laptops.

Addressing the students the event, the Vice-Chancellor said that only visible people in our society are considered worthy of any work. Teachers love and care for their students as much as their parents do.

“I am a teacher by profession. Our teachers especially encourage students with disabilities and give them opportunities to assert themselves in the field of education. Today, I am happy that with a little effort, my university students with disabilities get laptops”.

The efforts of Dow University of Health Sciences are not limited to the treatment of people with Covid but also to the rehabilitation of people infected with Covid after treatment.

The role of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (DIPMR) is important, which exemplifies the best service in a very short period of time. This was stated by the Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Muhammad Saeed Quraishy Addressing on the occasion of inauguration of the new Medical Physics Lab to be set up at DIPMNR Nusrat Shah Kamal Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Sanam Soomro Director Quality Enhancement Cell, Dr. Fauzia Principal, and Dow International Medical College.

Teachers and students including Head of Medicine Prof. Iftikhar Ahmad, Program Director Dr. Faisal Yameen and Prof. Atiq-ur-Rehman were also present. Prof. Muhammad Saeed Quraishy said that after the Sindh Assembly Act, the already established Physical Medicine Institute became an independent institution.

He said that DIPMR Pakistan is the first civil physical medicine institute in the world. He praised the efforts of the DIPMR team and Dr. Sanam Soomro. Speaking to the participants, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof. Nusrat Shah said that when medicines do not work in pain, Electrical equipment’s provide relief to the patient through pain therapy and other methods. The use of these methods will be taught through the new lab.

This is a very positive development in terms of education. Addressing the function, Dr. Faisal Yameen, Program Director, said that there are 100 students in the DPT program of the institute and 15 students in the Master advance program and more than 50 house officers are posted in the hospital. We are providing institute pain management,Neurological Rehab, Pediatric Rehab, Vestibular Rehab, Uro Gymea Rehab, and Speech Therapy. Later, Vice Chancellor Prof. Muhammad Saeed Quraishy unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbons to inaugurate the lab