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Arshad Yousafzai

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UNDP Pakistan, in collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, has initiated a pilot study on urban resilience for Karachi’s informal communities of Azam Basti and Rehri Goth. As part of this study, under UNDP and IBA, a Challenge Cup was held in Karachi to identify innovative community solutions to urban resilience challenges. This Challenge Cup – the second of two in a series – followed a competition-based process with the participation of the residents of Rehri Goth and Azam Basti. The themes aligned with the competition were water sanitation, education, women employment and livelihood, environment, and basic amenities and services. The adjudication panel comprised of Mr. Umer Malik, Policy Analyst, UNDP; Azfar Hussain, Program Manager, NIC Karachi; Saman Jafri, former MNA and consultant UNICEF and Hira Malik, a consultant for Meta and program manager for FEMPROW. The project seeks to strengthen the inclusion and resilience of migrants, displaced people, and host communities in informal urban settlements across four dimensions: livelihoods, participatory urban planning and development, social cohesion, and climate change adaptation.

A panel talk was also organized at the event by the implementing partner, Concepts Unlimited, and included Aqsa Javed of the IBA, Zehra Mehdi of the K-Electric and Nadeem Sheikh of the WWF Pakistan. The panel explored the problems faced by the informal settlements in Karachi and ways in which they can be addressed through community ownership and the active participation of all relevant stakeholders involved.
A day prior to the event, a rigorous bootcamp was also conducted to refine the ideas and model them with reference to sustainability, social impact, inclusion, and community initiatives. Mentors were invited to aid this, and included Adeil Durvesh, CEO ParhaoSabaq and Learningbite; Hira Wajahat, Stimulus; Huma Jabeen, Educationist; and Sadeed Mirza, Trainer and Coach, Social Enterprises.
Ammara Durrani, Assistant Resident Representative and Chief, Development Policy Unit, UNDP Pakistan, in her address to the audience, emphasized the importance of innovation and co-creation in bolstering urban resilience in Pakistan. Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director, IBA Karachi and Lead Investigator of the UNDP-IBA research study, highlighted the role of data-driven approaches in development studies and policy initiatives and the important role played by academic institutions to achieve the same. Mr. Ghulam Mohiuddin Asim, Program Director, Sindh SDGs Unit by Government of Sindh, appreciated the collaboration of UNDP, IBA and Government of Sindh on this project. He was particularly impressed by the community’s eagerness to do well for their neighborhoods and their willingness to spend personal time and energy on improving their surroundings.

The themes for the first and second Challenge cup were informed by research work carried out by IBA Karachi and UNDP Pakistan in the informal settlements of Rehri Goth and Azam Basti. This challenge Cup will prove itself pivotal towards enhancing the quality of life in these settlements. This would specifically contribute towards developing social cohesion, economic independence, and urban resilience in some of Karachi’s most deserving informal communities, with the aim to shape the way forward for future interventions.

Related: IBA and AKU collaborate to facilitate research opportunities

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was inked on Friday between Sindh University’s (SU) Department of Criminology and Sindh Police (Hyderabad Range) for sharing qualified Human Resources, facilitating research projects and providing internship opportunities to students.

Chairman Department of Criminology Prof. Dr. Nabi Bux Narejo and Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), Hyderabad Range Pir Muhammad Shah signed the accord at a graceful ceremony held at DIG Office, Shahbaz Building Hyderabad. Prof. Abdul Hameed Mahesar and many other police officers were also present on the occasion

According to the MoU inked, Sindh Police Department Hyderabad Range will offer the internship to the students of the Department of Criminology, SU to conduct research in various areas and themes to help police enhance their performance and capability so as to efficiently cope with the increasing lawlessness and policing issues.

According to the accord, the Department of Criminology shall provide its best students to the Police Range Hyderabad for research work while the internship will produce quality research on the issues of crime and policing.

The internees of Sindh University will be given honorarium on a monthly basis and the duration of the internship will consist of three months. The Chairman Department of Criminology will monitor and supervise the research and data collection work assigned to the internees working under the office of DIGP Hyderabad.

Speaking on the occasion, DIG Hyderabad Range Pir Muhammad Shah said that the SU students of Department of Criminology would be provided internship which will involve internees in a variety of branches, including research and operations.

He said the Sindh Police Hyderabad had started working with a diverse educational institution like Sindh University to eradicate intolerance in society and promote community policing.

Later, the Chairman Department of Criminology Dr. Nabi Bux Narejo along with faculty member Abdul Hameed Mahesar called on the Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro and apprised him of the MoU with police. He on the occasion appreciated the efforts of the criminology department and directed us to ink further MoUs with other police ranges too so that more students may be involved in research activities.

He said these internships would provide practical experience to SU students in the day-to-day operations of law enforcement agencies. He went on to say that he will hold seminars in collaboration with the DIGP office at Sindh University to raise awareness about the role of police in our society.

Related: SU, UAF Vice-Chancellors agree to carry out joint research

The Advanced Studies and Research Board of the University of Karachi (KU) has recently awarded 73 MPhil, and 36 PhD degrees in various disciplines. According to the KU acting Registrar Professor Dr. Maqsood Ali Ansari the ASRB in the meeting held under the chairmanship of the KU’s acting Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Nasira Khatoon conferred on these degrees.

The varsity awarded MPhil degrees to Khalid Gulab and Rimsha Munir in Agriculture and Agribusiness Management, Zahrah Mohammad Rafique and Syed Immad Uddin Hussani received their MPhil  degrees in Applied Economics, Humaira Sharif in Biochemistry, Razim Ali in Biotechnology, Hira Yaqoob and Muhammad Rizwan in Biotechnology, Hafsah and Hira Anwer and Muhammad Hamza Khan in Botany, Khansa Fauq, Shazia Ghaffar, Hidayat Bibi, Alveena Saghir, Fahad Ahmed Hassan, Ghazala Aftab, Muneera, and Saima in Chemistry, Shafia Sagheer, Samina Karim, and Farzeen Ghazal in Chemistry from HEJ.

Likewise, Binish Nighat, Rushna Siddiqui, Rabiea Faruqi, and Zarlish Zafar bagged MPhil degree in Clinical Psychology, Sadia Perveen, and Syed Salman Ali in Commerce, Muhammad Bilal, and Rozi Ali in Criminology, Sharmeen Ismail in English Applied Linguistics, Nilofar Yaqeen in Environmental Studies, Syeda Mehreen Naeem in Food Science and Technology, Sanober Rafi, Hafiz Muhammad Tariq Zaman Khan, and Umair Majeed in Geology, Iram Iqbal Shamsi in Health, Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Niaz Fatima, Sumaira Ashraf, Faiza, and Ayesha Faheem in Islamic Learning, Muhammad Shoaib, Muhammad Noor Mustafa Barkati, and Syed Zaki Ahmed in Islamic Studies with Computer Technology, Anis Fatima in Marine Biology.

Also, Muhammad Zubair and Sumayya Akhtar received MPhil degree from Mass Communication department, Maria Aman, and Muhammad Illyas from Mathematics, Mamona Mushtaq, Tooba, Maria, and Shaista Qayyum from Molecular Medicine department, Sami Ullah from Nematology department.

Among other MPhil were included Ali Qasim and Qamraz Bibi of the Pakistan Studies, Hira Arif, Asiya Farheen, Syeda Abiha Rizvi, and Farah Batool of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Sadia Iqbal of the Pharmaceutics, Sobia Gul, and Asma Noor of the Pharmacognosy, Sadaf Alam, and Aisha Rizvi of the Pharmacology, Mushtaque Ahmed of the Psychology, Madiha Erum of the Quran and Sunnah, Naseer Ahmed of the Sindhi department, Muhammad Asad Khan of the Social Work, Muhammad Tayyab of the Usooluddin, Tayba Khalid of the Women Studies , and Muhammad Kamil Nadeem of the Zoology Department.

Doctorate degrees received by  Rafiq Ahmed in Applied Economics, Arisha Sohail and Hoor Fatima in Biochemistry, Atiya Tabassum, and Iffat Imran in Biotechnology, Robina Sultana, Shabana, and Rabab Fatima Rizvi in Botany, Noman in Chemistry from HEJ, Zainab Khan in Clinical Psychology, Anila Sultana in Economics, Haris Bin Aziz in European Studies, Sundus Mehboob in Food Science and Technology, Asif Gul in Geography, Najm ul Sahar Ilyas in Islamic Learning, Mushaiyada Mairaj Ghouri in Marine Biology, Nasir Mehmood, Farooq Adil, and Umair Ansari in Mass Communication, Abdul Saleem Qadeer in Microbiology, Fizza Iftikhar, and Faiza Jamil in Molecular Medicine, Nelofer Mumtaz in Persian, Saman Usmani, and Syeda Uroos Qazi in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Abeer Adeel in Pharmacology, Nazneen Zehra in Physiology.

Other PhD degrees recipients were included Anita Wilson and Noureen Bibi of the Political Science, Sana Sadia of the Psychology, Tooba Qazi and M. Nabeel Ashraf of the Public Administration, Uzair Ashraf Usmani of the Quran and Sunnah, Syed Faisal Ur Rehman of the Space and Planetary Astrophysics, Ali M. Abu Turab of the Usool-ud-Din, and Sumera Anjum of the Zoology department.

Related: KUOWA thank KU VC for implementing Time Pay Scale

Provincial Minister for Universities and Boards Ismail Rahu and Chief Secretary Sindh Muhammad Sohail Rajput called on Administrator Karachi, Sindh government’s Spokesman and CM Advisor on Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab on Thursday. The meeting discussed the implementation of Sindh Students Union Act in the province and various aspects related to it.

Administrator Karachi said that steps have to be taken to ensure revival of student unions so that students in colleges and universities can fight for their rights. He said that colleges and universities play their role in the training of students where they are the cradle of knowledge. He said that in the past, national level leaders have emerged through student unions as they provide political training to the students and give them a chance to raise their voice and exercise their democratic rights. He also said that these unions also produced excellent speakers who became famous through their speeches after graduation.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab directed Chief Secretary Sindh Muhammad Sohail Rajput to remove obstacles in the implementation of Sindh Students Union Act. He said that if more legislation is needed, it should be done immediately. Minister for Universities and Boards Ismail Rahu said that steps are being taken to revive the student union in line with the vision of Pakistan People’s Party. He said that the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has directed that the process of union formation should be started in colleges and universities so that educated and trained people can participate in the politics of the country and play their full role in the development of the country.

Related: Ismail Rahoo chairs meeting regarding SSC examinations

Prof. Dr. Athar Ata on Wednesday assumed the charge as VC of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST).
Dr. Athar Ata is a Chemistry Professor and the Chair of the Department of Chemistry at The University of Winnipeg, Canada. Dr. Ata graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) with a Master of Science degree in 1989 and the University of Karachi (KU) with a PhD in Chemistry in 1995. He completed his doctorate degree under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Iqbal Chaudhry and Prof. Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman, said a spokesperson of FUUAST.

He was performing his duties as a Professor at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman Senate FUUAST A.Q.Khalil welcomed Professor Dr. Athar Ata for taking charge and assured his full cooperation in discharge of his VC duties in the FUUAST.

Prof Ata’s main research interests are the isolation of new pharmaceutical agents from marine organisms, microorganisms and traditional medicinal plants, as well as the biosynthesis of natural products and microbial transformations of bioactive natural products.

His research has resulted in about 74 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. He is a member of American Chemical Society (ACS) and got Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007-2008. He is an Editorial Board member of Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology ISSN: 1873-4316 (Online) ISSN: 1389-2010 (Print).

Related: FUUAST organizes 12-day Math-To-Industry Boot Camp

Sindh Madressatul Islam University’s (SMIU) Directorate of Students’ Affairs in collaboration with the SMIU faculty is organizing the “SMIU Job Fest” on 31st May on the premises of SMIU, while the Student’s Week will be organized from 1st June at the campus.

In this respect, a meeting was held in the Conference Room of SMIU on Wednesday, which was chaired by Vice-Chancellor SMIU Prof Dr Mujeebuddin Sahrai Memon. In the meeting, all arrangements for the “SMIU Job Fest” and “Students Week” were reviewed in detail and some important decisions were taken.

Addressing the meeting Vice Chancellor Dr Mujeebuddin Sahrai said that SMIU is going to organize a mega event for students. “We prefer to organize student-centered activities, and students must be involved in all programmers,” the vice chancellor said and added that after covid-19, the situation has become a little bit normal so we should start the activities that could benefit the students. Dr Sahrai also appreciated the Director of the Directorate of Student’s Affairs Dr Asif Ali Wagan and his team for organizing the most meaningful events.

Dr Asif Ali Wagan informed the meeting that about 30 companies including banks are participating in the Job Fair. Similarly, apart from various stalls students have prepared a number of programs during the Student’s Week including debates, declamation contests, poetry recitation sessions and workshops etc.  Dr Abdul Hafeez Khan, Advisor to VC SMIU on academic briefed the meeting about the participation of students and faculty in the above-mentioned fairs.

Other officials of SMIU who attended the meeting were registrar, chairpersons of different academic departments, directors of various departments and other concerned officials.

Related: SMIU students showcase their new android apps

Heatwave Relief Camp has been set up at Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) for the facilitation of students, faculty, staff members of the university and general public. Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Vali Uddin along with Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali inaugurated the camp. Medical Officer Dr. Ayesha Jabeen, Director Finance Munaf Advani and others were also present on the occasion.

While speaking about the need to set up heatstroke camp in ensuring safety of the students and SSUET employees during the ongoing heatwave, Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Vali Uddin said that private-social sector partnership is imperative in combating rising temperatures in the metropolis. It will help to control the situation before it turns into a calamity. The people in the metropolis are now well aware and well prepared to face any situation in the wake of any heatwave.

Registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali said that the heatwave relief camp has water dispensers, wet towels, and packets of juices, glucose, ORS with complete first aid facility. The heatwave relief camp is a regular feature of SSUET whenever such situation arises. This camp will be active throughout the months of May and June.

Related: MoU signed between SSUET and Sailani Welfare

The Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) Equivalence Committee has improved the conversion formula for the International Baccalaureate (IB) students from the May 2022 examination session onwards.

For example, as per the revised conversion formula for grades of Middle Years Program (MYP) and Diploma Program (DP), students securing 7 grades (highest grade in IB) would be equivalent to the mean value of the highest subject marks achieved in the Pakistani Examination Board (90+ marks). Equivalency marks have increased by an average of 5 marks for IB students securing 7, 6, 5, 4, & 3 grades.

IBCC considers the Middle Years Program (MYP), Diploma Program (DP) and Career-related Program (CP) equivalent to Pakistan’s SSC and HSSC (relevant group), respectively.

The improved conversion formula will benefit students currently enrolled in the following IB programs – MYP, DP and CP. Following this decision, IB students will be able to compete with the students qualifying from other foreign qualifications, also helping them secure admission to medical and engineering colleges in Pakistan.

Speaking about this development, Uzma Shujjat, IB Regional Manager (Pakistan, Iran and the Nordic Region), said, “Improvement in the conversion formula for IB students marks a significant milestone for the IB in Pakistan. The IB is globally recognized for its innovative approach to education. IB programs empower school-aged students to take ownership of their own learning and help them develop future-ready skills to make a difference and thrive in a world that changes fast. Following this welcome revision by IBCC Equivalence Committee, we expect more learners to join our programs and get admission to national universities”.

Known for its inquiry-based learning, the IB creates resilient, well-rounded young people who have the knowledge, skills and sense of purpose they need to thrive throughout their lives and contribute to making the world a better place. The IB offers four high-quality educational programs: the Primary Years Program (PYP, for ages 3-12), Middle Years Program MYP (for ages 11 to 16), Diploma Program (for ages 16-19) and the Career-related Program CP (for ages 16-19) to over 5500 IB World Schools globally.

The International Baccalaureate is currently offered at 31 IB World Schools across the country. In the last eight years alone, the number of IB programs offered by schools has more than quadrupled, from 10 in 2014 to 48 present days. We are excited to forecast that there will be 65 authorized programs by 2023, making an IB education accessible to even more students across Pakistan.

Related: IBCC to start digital verification of equivalence certificates

Karachi University Officers Welfare Association (KUOWA) president and Syndicate Member of the University of Karachi (KU) Dr Hassan Auj chaired a meeting yesterday with the upcoming officers who have recently been awarded grade 17 as per Time-Pay-Scale (Incentive Scheme), where he welcomed the new officers and congratulated them.

He said that Time-Pay-Scale (Incentive Scheme) was approved by KU Syndicate in 2018 but there had been hindrances in its implementation in true letter and spirit. He thanked the new Vice-Chancellor Dr Nasira Khatoon for looking into this matter as soon as she assumed the charge and solving this matter on a priority basis as per the recommendation of the DPC (Departmental Promotion Committee) constituted by Syndicate, which showed her true n sincere desire to resolve all the genuine pending issues of employees and officers.

He reiterated that we should also stand with our new administration in these hard times, especially after the bomb blast and should continue to support our first female Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nasira Khatoon and work even harder for the progress of our university.

Dr Hassan Auj also said that it’s very upsetting to read false news and baseless allegations against this time pay scale promotion, which is duly approved by the syndicate and implemented in almost every govt organization of Pakistan especially Universities of Sindh.
He was hopeful that other pending issues regarding selection boards, pay fixations, regularization of Officers, timely DPCs and their implementations would also be resolved by honorable Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nasira Khatoon.

Related: KU receives eight e-walkthrough gates from JDC

The English-Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP), a Karachi-based organization, has entered into an agreement with the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), one of the UK’s oldest universities. As part of this, Prof Colin Grant, Vice-President for International Affairs at QMUL, is making a maiden visit to Karachi at the invitation of ESUP.

An extensive program has been planned by ESUP. Professor Grant will visit premier educational institutions in Karachi, call on Government officials, visit and meet with the British Deputy High Commissioner and the British Council and address ESUP members, Rotary Club of Karachi members and members of the diplomatic Corps of Karachi, as well as city notables. A meeting is also planned with Queen Mary alumni.

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) of the United Kingdom is a 100-year-old global organization, that brings people of different countries and cultures together through the use of the English Language. The ESUP was formed as a local chapter in 1961, pursuing the aim and objectives of ESU by fostering cultural links between people of different nationalities and promoting international friendship and understanding. Its membership has prominent individuals covering diverse sectors including education, journalism, business, industry and features well-known personalities who have served as ambassadors, bureaucrats and in the defense services of Pakistan.

Queen Mary University of London is committed to improving social justice and improving lives through academic excellence and has a longstanding commitment to Pakistan. Queen Mary has a longstanding commitment to Pakistan. It was among the first UK universities to establish personnel in Pakistan, creating an in-country post in 2005. It is also the number one recruiter from Pakistan in the prestigious Russell Group of UK universities, with more than 2,500 Pakistani students having studied at Queen Mary in the past five years.

ESUP in its efforts to forge links with its affiliates worldwide has therefore invited Professor Grant from the United Kingdom. Queen Mary’s work within Pakistan is helping to address some of the key challenges facing the region today including partnership to promote gender equality, public health, research, languages, arts and sciences.

Related: Microsoft signs agreement with Sindh govt. for digitalization of the education sector