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Arslan Haider

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Provincial Minister for Higher Education Punjab Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz has said that the Islamia University of Bahawalpur is working on the best projects along with increasing the number of students.
Provincial Minister Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz arrived in Bahawalpur on a two-day visit to the Islamia University of Bahawalpur where he planted a tree at the Vice Chancellor’s Secretariat on the occasion of the Prime Minister’s Clean and Green Pakistan project and inaugurated an exhibition of other flowers including daisies.
Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz inaugurated Al-Sadiq Computing and Research Center, Kamyab Jawan Markaz, Amphitheatre  and Hakra Art Gallery.  Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz visited the Sports Gala of the Institute of Physics including Nursing College, Solar Power Project and IT Department and talked to the students.
Talking to the students at the Sports Gala, the provincial minister said that he was happy to see the children of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur in various events.
Talking to media, he said that all the universities in Punjab are developing but the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has not only increased the number of students but has also started many important projects.  He said that the development of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur proves that the present government is pursuing a policy of recruiting qualified persons on merit and the appointment of Vice Chancellor of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur was done on full merit.  He said that during the tenure of the present Vice Chancellor, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has risen to a very high position in the world rankings which is a matter of great happiness.
The Provincial Minister was briefed about various sectors and projects including National Cotton Breeding Center and Intercropping.  The provincial minister appreciated the important role of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur in the development of cotton and other crops in the country.

ISLAMABAD:Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood believes being educated was very important for society saying but sports and healthy physical activities were also essential for the students.

The minister, who was the chief guest at the All Pakistan Inter Boards Sports Gala’s opening ceremony at Pakistan Sports Complex’s Liaquat Gymnasium on Tuesday, expressed his delight at seeing the kids and teachers who had come to participate in the sports gala.

“I commend everyone who contributed to the planning of this event, and I applaud the parents who sent their children to participate in the sporting event.”
“We have seen a very difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic as all educational and sports activities were barred due to the virus outbreak,” he said.
He said schools were occasionally opened and closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Some students were ecstatic about the school closures, while others were disappointed. However, he stressed the importance of education and learning for kids, saying, “An educated community can lead the nation in remarkable ways.”
Mahmood stated that, by Allah’s blessing, schooling and exams would continue without interruption. “For students, sports (extracurricular activities) are just as vital as education. I’m delighted to see schoolgirls competing in the sports gala, in addition to male pupils. We need to provide them a solid education so that they can help make Pakistan a better country and demonstrate the rest of the world that we are not behind,” he remarked.

The minister while chanting slogans ‘Agay barho gay’, ‘Parho gay’, ‘Khelo gay’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ opened the mega event for the students.

Earlier Dr Ghulam Ali Mallah, Secretary Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) said we were gathered here for the sports gala on the directions of the minister. “Sports activities are very important for physical and mental health. We should make sports activities a part of the curriculum,” he said.

Chairman Mardan Board Imtiaz Ali said these competitions give exposure to the students and help find talent at the grass-roots level.

“A large number of male and female students from all over the country competed in several contests at the sports gala, providing them with valuable sports exposure,” he stated.

Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Col (R) Muhammad Asif Zaman and other officials were also present on the occasion.

In the continuation of UET’s Centennial Gala, UET Dramatics society organized 5th All Pakistan Drama festival 2021 in which societies from various universities participated and presented their performances which were highly appreciated  by  global audience and administration of UET. Kinnaird College, University College Lahore, University of Management and Technology Lahore and Punjab University performed different plays. At the end of Festival, Director Student Affairs Prof. Dr. Asif Ali Qaiser and Staff Advisor Dramatics Society Dr. Anwar Latif distributed awards to the high achievers.

LAHORE: Punjab University Institute of Special Education has organized a one day seminar on general health diabetes and free medical camp in collaboration with Punjab Welfare Trust for Disabled, Ghazali Education Trust, Akhuwat Trust and Child Welfare Centre.

The collaborating organization provided free medical checkup, health, consultation and medicines to the persons with disabilities and their parents in particular for university community. On the occasion, Dr Izhar Hashmi from General Hospital, Dr Tahir Rasool, Dr Abid Hussain, Dr Humera Bano, Director Institute of Special Education Dr Humaira Bano and others medical experts addressed the seminar.

More than three hundred students with disabilities and their parents availed the opportunity of free of cost medical tests during a free medical camp. They highlighted the importance of mainstreaming the persons with disabilities and providing them opportunities to express their abilities. The seminar was presided over by Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Muhammad Mazhar Saleem while CWC Principal Dr Ayesha Wajih Ullah also spoke at this occasion.

Lahore: National College of Arts hosted an Exhibition “The Smog Show” curated by Irfan Gul Dahri (visual artist, educator and curator) in collaboration with Jawad Sharif (documentary filmmaker). Both of them are two accomplished professionals who decided to join hands and address the issue of Smog in Lahore through distinct mediums of art and public engagement. For this project, they engaged various multidisciplinary artists of Pakistan to reflect on the idea and also involved the school children to participate as they represent the future of our country. The whole activity then culminated in the form of an exhibition and a documentary film.

The show was inaugurated by Principal NCA, Prof. Dr. Murtaza Jafri who appreciated the efforts of the team in raising this sensitive issue. He said that this initiative was much needed to send a message of hope and to look for a way out for restoring the beauty of Lahore. The exhibition highlighted the works of 16 artists who commented on the disturbing effects of SMOG and how it has been affecting our lives especially in relation to Lahore. The participating artists included Abid Aslam, Ali Baba, Ahsan Memon, Kiran Saleem, Suleman Faisal, Noman Siddiqui, Syed Faraz Ali, Arsalan Farooqi, Ammara Jabbar, Abida Dahri, Arsalan Nasir, Umair Ghani, Wajid Ali Deherkiwala and Mamoona Riaz. These multidisciplinary artists have produced the artworks in form of painting, sculpture, installation, video, audio, photography and writing etc. to approach the audience through all possible sensory experiences and feel the severity of the issue and respond responsibly.

The curator of the show, Irfan Gul stated that there is a need for public awareness about the issue of smog and air pollution and since artists are generally more sensitive to reflect on social and environmental issues, we have brought various contemporary Pakistani artists together to work on the issue of smog in Lahore. There is an immediate need to make laws/policy to control and reduce air pollution. The Show will last till 10th December.

LAHORE: Ambassador of Republic of Tajikistan to Pakistan Ismatullo Nasredin has said that Tajisktan and Pakistan are enhancing relations and playing role to strengthen economy of the region. He was addressing a book launching ceremony of “The Tajiks in the Mirror of History”, authored by His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, which has been translated into Urdu language and published by Punjab University. The ceremony was jointly organized by Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan to Pakistan, Punjab University Regional Integration Centre and Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad. Mr Nasredin was the chief guest on the occasion while PU Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, RIC Director Dr Fauzia Hadi Ali, CGSS Executive Director Col (r) Khalid Taimur, deans of various faculties and a number of students participated in the ceremony. Addressing the ceremony, Mr Nasredin stated that Tajikistan stands ready to build up friendly relations with other countries and recognize shared interests based on reciprocal respect, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation.

He said that moreover, Tajikistan has done remarkable efforts towards regional integration and the country has enhanced regional ties and global outreach through multilateral cooperation. He said that the bilateral ties between Pakistan and Tajikistan are also growing with the passage of time and both brotherly countries enjoy deep cordial ties more than ever before. He shed light on various topics of the book and elaborated the history of Tajikistan briefly. Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar stated that Pakistan and Tajikistan share historical and cultural ties. He highlighted the importance of Pakistan’s bilateral ties with Central Asia. He also mentioned that both countries were cooperating in many domains.

He said that Pakistan and Tajikistan have recently signed several accords to boost ties between the two nations. Mr. Khalid Taimur stated that the dynamic leadership of Tajikistan under President Emomali Rahmon had created equal opportunities, formed a robust security system and promoted higher living standards for its people. He said that the leadership has the vision that globalization and national interests should complement each other and provide a reliable guarantee for sustainable development of international relations. Mr. Ghazi Muhammad Abdullah from PU Department of History and Dr. Shareh from Department of Political Science also shared their thoughts at the occasion. They stated that the book authored by President Emomali Rahmon was a great contribution as it provided a profound understanding of Tajikistan’s history, culture, people, language, customs and tradition. They said that one can get a detailed knowledge of Tajikistan by reading this book. The speakers also stated that Tajikistan has been on a road to development and we also share our mutual admiration and respect for Allama Iqbal. Later, Mr Nasredin presented the copies of the book among distinguished guests.

Civil society organization Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Centre for Education and Consciousness, organized a daylong festival celebrating Libraries and books in schools at the Children Library Complex (CLC), Lahore in collaboration with the School Education Department (SED), Government of Punjab.

24 incredible open libraries have been established under the Pakistan Literacy Project (PLP); the best practices were shared on Tuesday.

The festival celebrated the 24 dynamic libraries set up in the primary sections of government schools in Lahore (12) and Bahawalpur (12) districts where more than 1200 books from 19 publishers have been made available to support the joy of learning and back to school campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic. These modern libraries established under PLP, in partnership with Room to Read and in collaboration with SED Punjab, help children connect with literature while also promoting reading habits among them.

The libraries for learning festival was well acknowledged by the Chief Guest, Minister for Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Punjab Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari and Special Guest SED Special Secretary Dr. Suhail Shahzad and ITA Chairperson Dr. Narmeen Hamid. They appreciated ITA and CLF’s efforts in providing modern open libraries as a wonderful avenue to the children of Pakistan for improving their reading, learning and creativity. “A free mind builds the foundation of a strong society. Schools are our centers of excellence; children should be encouraged to read and write stories,” Provincial Minister Bukhari said.

The SED Special Secretary also requested the teachers to not make the children just read books. “Make them read stories and teach them the art of storytelling. They will eventually be able to write books,” he said.

Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Saadia Sohail Rana was also present along with other dignitaries who thoroughly enjoyed the read aloud, paired shared readings sessions as well as theatre and puppets, magic show, arts and crafts and renditions of children’s songs by the legendary musician Sohail Rana.

With many storytellers including the famous actor Nadia Jamil, Atif Badar from Karachi and Vicky Zhuang Yi-Yin from Olmopolo Media, the day saw the grounds and halls packed with children actively participating along with their teachers in parallel sessions across six locations of the venue and the grounds. More than 3000 children (5-18 years) enjoyed interactive learning, the joy of accessible innovative libraries along with activities for climate change and environmental preservation.

The day began with Sanjan Nagar School choir singing the beautiful CLF Anthem ‘Humain Kitab Chahiye’ written by Zehra Nigah and composed by Rakae Jamil;theatre performance on storybooks ‘Kaun Badshah Banana Chahta hai’ and ‘Children of Light’; and the launch of PLP/CLF Books in Braille in collaboration with SightSavers.

Speaking on the occasion, ITA CEO Baela Raza Jamil said, “The magic of promoting books and learning through children’s learning festivals have been spreading across Pakistan for a decade. Over 200 people and institutions have produced this magic for ALL children, teachers and families. CLF is about festivals, 50 publications, Young Author Awards and much more while PLP promotes the joy of learning and reading through libraries. We are absolutely delighted to be in partnership with Room to Read for adapting books in Urdu, setting up model libraries in schools where children, teachers and families can benefit from beautiful books so well aligned to learning, literacy, imagination and creativity.”

It was a day of showcasing the amazing government school teachers/headteachers who have transformed into great storytellers. The event was especially designed to demonstrate some of the key good practices in PLP libraries already underway where the key resource persons were the teachers themselves. In three out of six active spaces, the PLP teams/coaches and teachers remained actively engaged in storytelling of 28 Room to Read adapted books and arts and crafts activities. In other spaces, there were sessions on STEAM learning by ITA and CLC teams, theatre workshop by Olomopolo Media, puppet making workshop by Sanjan Nagar School, plantation workshop by Forest Department, an interactive tour of the Walled City of Lahore and a special session on Autism Awareness.

In the open space, there was an open mic session for children ‘Bol K Lub Azad Hain’ which provided a unique opportunity to the children to showcase their talent. Moreover, a special stall was set up by ITA along with Alif Laila Book Bus Society and CLF Kitab Gari to keep the children engaged in multiple interactive activities. The food and arts and crafts stalls were also a source of entertainment for the children throughout the day. The event closed with a thrilling musical performance by Jiill Band and rendition of ‘Allah Meri Aankhon Mein Phool Chunay Hum’, by Sanjan Nagar Choir- indeed lyrics and compositions support social emotional learning.

The Learning Libraries festival was a culmination of the inaugural of all 24 libraries established in Punjab SED schools, celebrating the power of beautiful books for improving literacy among young children; the intervention can be easily scaled up as a priority area for the government already earmarked in the SED’s policy, the New Deal 2018-2023.

PESHAWAR: The University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Peshawar organized National Ideas Bank (NIB) with KP Minister for Science & Information Technology, Atif Khan as chief guest.
Besides, Vice Chancellor, UET Professor Dr Iftikhar Hussain and faculty members, a large number of students also participated in the event.
During the event, the participants presented innovative ideas in education, health, e-commerce, construction, agriculture and national resources.
Addressing the participants of the NIB, the Provincial Minister for Science & Information Technology, Atif Khan termed development in digital technology inevitable for socioeconomic uplift of the province, saying the provincial government is spending hefty funds for various projects including imparting advanced digital skills to the youth.
He was of the opinion that NIB-like functions would prove highly beneficial for the resolution of the local problems, identifications of creative ideas, exhibitions, mutual cooperation among academia, government, industries, society and provision of a central platform to them.
The provincial minister said that Digital Youth Summit 2021 was organized during the current month, which was participated by national and international experts of digital technology and introduced youth with the importance of digital technology and innovative ideas.
Addressing the event, Vice Chancellor UET, Professor Dr Iftikhar Hussain said that National Ideas Bank is an important revolutionary step of the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi that would prove helpful in the identification of creative ideas.
At the end the provincial minister distributed shields, certificates and cash prizes among the position holders.

LAHORE: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore organised an orientation programme for newly-admitted students of various undergraduate degree classes here on Tuesday in City Campus Lahore.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad presided over the orientation programme while Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Rabbani, Chairman Department of Parasitology/Principal Students Affairs Prof Dr Kamran Ashraf and a large number of newly-admitted students with their parents and senior faculty members and officers attended.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad congratulated the students on their admissions and welcomed them in the UVAS a historic institution of Pakistan. He said UVAS have strong liaison with livestock, poultry and dairy industries and UVAS producing a large number of trained graduates every year. He said UVAS focusing of imparting practical knowledge and communication skills to their students and after completion of degrees these students serve in livestock, poultry and dairy industries and play their vital role in the uplift of national economy of Pakistan by utilizing their knowledge & skills. He said UVAS graduates are working in the private sector and enlightening the name of alma meter like as an ambassador of UVAS. He said UVAS ranked among the top ten universities of Pakistan due to its quality of education and research. He mentioned that UVAS recently got 4th position among public sector universities of Pakistan in sports ranking and he thanked HEC for providing financial assistance to establish wrestling academy at City Campus. He acknowledged the role of faculty members in successfully conducting online classes during tuff time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof Dr Masood Rabbani also congratulated the newly admitted students and said all the students must be proud to be part of this historical alma mater. He said UVAS will provide conducive intellectual environment of learning to students and trained them for their practical life.

Earlier, Principal Students Affairs Prof Dr Kamran Ashraf, Hostel Warden Prof Dr Aftab Anjum, Convener Discipline Advisory Committee Prof Dr Asim Aslam, Director Students Affairs Prof Dr Muhammad Ovais Omer and Senior Tutor Dr Ali Raza Awan also spoke on the occasion and talked about their responsibilities for the facilitating of students. They spoke about the rules & regulations, discipline of the university and role of different student societies to explore hidden talent in students to polish them, curricular and extra-curricular activities like sports and residential hostel facilities etc. Director Information Technology Centre Mr Rizwan Saleem spoke about the state of the art available IT facilities for students like computer labs, fast internet service to attending online seminar, conference and classes etc.

Later, the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore arranged a farewell party in the honour of Chairman Department of Poultry Production Prof Dr Athar Mahmud at Ravi Campus Pattoki.

Islamabad: Women are playing a significant role in the development of Pakistan, as a large number of women are rendering services in their respective capacities in different important institutions and sectors.

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood made these remarks at the launch ceremony of a six-day five-module training under the Women Leadership Programme 2021 being organised by National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) in collaboration with the British Council Pakistan. The ceremony also marked the inauguration of the All Pakistan Women Universities Consortium (APWUC). 

In his remarks, Shafqat Mahmood highlighted the importance of NAHE efforts for developing and training the future academic leadership in the country. He noted that developing administrative skills in the academic leadership is very crucial as academic excellence does not necessarily mean adeptness in administration and management. He stressed the need for identifying academic administrative talent at an early age so as that this talent could be horned through training and exposure. Amid the financial hardships facing the universities, the university heads need to know how to handle finances, he stated while emphasizing on the role of university leadership. He emphasized that the government does not believe in gender discrimination in making appointments and selections.

The Minister advised the universities to promote skill-based education, as the future belongs to those who have skills. He emphasized that the universities need to ensure quality and relevance of education. “It is important to have a huge number of universities in the country, however, this should not be at the cost of quality.”

In her welcome address, Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Shaista Sohail underscored that women have a great role in the national uplift. “We need to utilize their talent and acknowledge their stake in the country’s progress,” she stated. She noted that leaders are not born, but a person can become a leader through struggle, determination, will-power and vision.

Shedding light on the Women Leadership Programme, the Executive Director said that capacity building of women in leadership roles is one of the ways to give equal opportunities to women. She remarked that equity, diversity and inclusivity in any sector play a central role in its progress.

On this occasion, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Women University Dr. Saima Hamid shared the objectives of APWUC in terms of increasing the role of Pakistani women in the socio-economic development of Pakistan in line with the global priorities. She regretted that Pakistan lags far behind other nations in the Global Gender Gap Index. The APWUC, she said, will provide the women playing a leadership role in academia to come together to overcome the challenges in the way of women empowerment.

Country Director British Council Pakistan Mr. Amir Ramzan highlighted that there are a number of factors which have kept the women across South Asia away from leadership roles. He held out assurance that the British Council will stand by NAHE and APWUC in their efforts to equip and empower women.