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PMAS-AAUR convocation | FDE admission policy

15th convocation of PMAS-AAUR held
Rawalpindi, April 26: Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar has said that the upcoming era is the arena of competitive struggles and it is necessary to extirpate the inglorious evils of hunger, famine, maladies, deprivation and destitution.

Addressing the 15th convocation of Pir Mehr Ali Shah - Arid Agriculture University (PMAS-AAUR) here on Monday, he said being an agrarian economy Pakistan needs innovative and modern solutions in agriculture not only for the development and prosperity, but also for food security of its people.

This university, he said, should continue striving hard to develop new technologies by generating practical knowledge and its use, with special emphasis on water harvesting and conservation, which is the lifeline of agriculture sector in such areas.

A total of 1,721 students were awarded degrees in undergraduate, Masters, MPhil and PhD courses, while 36 students, who topped the examination in their respective disciplines, were given Gold Medals.

Earlier, university Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad in his welcome address informed the gathering that university has converted its research farm at Chakwal Road into a 'Model Farm' with provision for collecting rain water into small reservoirs through which the water saved amount to 45 acres-feet, sufficient to irrigate its entire farm of 250 acres. Besides conventional cropping practices at the farm, the university has cultivated orchards of citrus, olive, date palm, fig, grapes and vegetables under tunnel farming, he added.

Earlier, Punjab governor also inaugurated the University Mineral Water Plant under the name of 'Mehr Mineral Water' to provide quality drinking water to the students, faculty and allied personnel of the university besides a commercial venture for resource generation by competing with the open market. The news

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2nd Islamabad Literature Festival kicks off
Islamabad: Being participated by more than 100 intellectuals, including writers, authors, poets and journalists, the three-day Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) began on Friday with an impressive opening ceremony.The inaugural session saw a lively dance performance by Shema Kirmani and 'dastangoi' (storytelling) by Danish Hussain, Darain Shahidi, Fawad Khan and Nazrul Hasan.Speaking on the occasion, Oxford University Press Managing Director and ILF founder Ameena Saiyid said the series of literature festivals was started in Karachi in 2010 and since then five such festivals had been organised in Karachi, and now two in Islamabad. "I hope these festivals will become a movement in Pakistan with many more being held in every city and town of Pakistan," she said.The first ILF was held last year and proved to be an instant success, the MD stated. "Last year, at the first ILF, around 15,000 visitors attended, to listen to 80 speakers in 36 separate sessions and participate in nine book launches."This Second ILF will provide an opportunity to further confirm both Pakistan and this region as being rich in culture and creativity. In the last few years, writers from the subcontinent, particularly Pakistani writers, have had a major impact on writing around the world, Saiyid added."Without books we would be in the dark ages. Reading leads to tolerance because it shows us our wonderful diversity in cultures, languages and beliefs."Zehra Nigah, Aamer Hussein and Asif Farrukhi also shared views during the inaugural ceremony.The ILF features 122 intellectuals and noted personalities, including renowned scholar and journalist Rashed Rahman (Editor Daily Times) and others like Sherry Rehman, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Abid Hassan Minto, Fehmida Riaz, Fauzia Minallah, Feryal Gauhar, Intizar Hussain, Jamal Shah, Kamal Azfar, Kishwar Naheed, Madeeha Gauhar and Tariq Osman Hyder.This year, for the Second ILF, almost 70 sessions are planned, with around 15 book launches. The events feature debates, discussions, lectures, interviews, a mushaira, theatrical performances, storytelling (dastangoi), a dance performance, a book fair, book launches, readings, author signings, comedy, satire and a room dedicated to art.The proceedings of the second day (today) are to commence with 'Novel kay Nayay Rung: Readings and Conversation with Mirza Athar Baig and Mustansar Hussain Tarar'. This will be followed by a conversation with Shobhaa De; 'Jis Tarah Sookhay Huay Phool Kitabon main Milay: Faraz ko Yaad Karnay kay Bahanaey'; a discussion on 'Afghanistan: The Next Chapter'. 'Poetry from a Troubled Land: Pashto Poetry with Translations'; 'Politics, History and Mythology in South Asian English Poetry'; 'Shayer-e-Awam: Habib Jalib'; 'Arz-e-Shumaal: Poetic Voices from Gilgit-Baltistan'; 'Shaam ka Pehla Tara: In Conversation with Zehra Nigah'; and 'Akhbaar say Radio tak: In Conversation with Raza Ali Abidi'. The day will end with a mushaira.Highlights of the third day include sessions on 'Who Owns a Language; The Challenges of Writing Fiction in English'; 'An Open Page: The Publishing Scene in South Asia'; 'New Words, New Worlds; The Art of Translation'; 'Popular Cinema and Realism: In Conversation with the makers of Zinda Bhaag'; 'Preview of Film on Manto and Launch of Poora Manto Volumes I and II'; 'At the Threshold of Ghalib' with Syed Nomanul Haq and Rahat Kazmi; 'The Role of Music in Popularising Urdu Poetry'; and 'Just Between Us: In Conversation with Najam Sethi'.The National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) team is all geared up to entertain the audience with their popular classic play Taleem-e-Balighan.Ameena Saiyid appealed to the Punjab government to "save the fate of the house where the most brilliant short story writer of Urdu wrote gems like Toba Tek Singh, Khol Do, Thanda Gosht, and Mera Sahib.""Perhaps a patriotic media or business tycoon could step in and help the government buy and conserve this property, turning it into a museum," she said. Daily times

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FDE unveils admission policy for schools & colleges
Islamabad: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Tuesday announced a new policy to ensure admission of all children in model schools and colleges.

"The children of residents of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and those of federal government and semi-government employees residing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are eligible for admission in model educational institutions with the location as close as possible to their residences," said the joint secretary at the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD), Professor Rafique Tahir, who is also looking after the charge of FDE director general.

Addressing a press conference, he said: "We will ensure that all aspirants get admission. No one will be disallowed to get enrolment with an educational institution of Islamabad," he said, adding that if no seat is available in a particular institution then the parents would be guided to get admission in another nearby school.

He said admissions are being given in 413 educational institutions, however, admissions in Islamabad model colleges are being allowed on availability of seats. "We have also established an admission cell, which will work during office hours," he said.

Director Model Colleges Zulfiqar Rao, Director Schools (Male) Asif Niazi, Director Schools (Female) Farida Yasmin, Director Administration Arshad Nadeem and other officials of the FDE were present on the occasion.

He said under the new admission policy, there would be relaxation in upper and lower age limits (five to six years) by five to six months and the same relaxation would be for admission to preparatory class. There is also relaxation of three months to provide Nadra certificate.

Rafique Tahir said relaxation has also been given for shifting students from evening to morning shift. Students enrolled in evening shift, while their brothers or sisters studying in the morning shift may be considered for admission and adjustment in the morning shift.

He said the children belonging to the same family may be accorded preference for admission in the institutions where their brothers and sisters are already enrolled.

The senior CAD official said all students would get free textbooks before the start of summer vacation. "Most textbooks would be available to students by second week of next month," he said.

Rafique Tahir said following a court's decision, the FDE signed an MoU with the National Book Foundation (NBF) on April 8, according to which the FDE would get textbooks from the NBF. "There is no financial restraint involved in this matter," he said.

To a question, the CAD official said the evening shift in all educational institutions would be ended in phases in three years. "We have already stopped giving admissions in the evening shift," he said.

He informed journalists that Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Ahsan Iqbal had assured the CAD Ministry that development projects in education sector of Islamabad would be undertaken on priority. For this purpose, the Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) has approved Rs1.228 billion out of which Rs700 million would be released for the ongoing fiscal year.

Rafique Tahir further said the Ministry of CAD had also moved a summary to the prime minister seeking an NoC to fill posts in departments under the ministry.

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Conference on robotics at NUST
Islamabad: Professor Dr. Whoi-Yul Kim, Hanyang University, Korea highlighted the importance of using low cost imaging devices for designing safety devices for cars in a three-day International conference on Robotics and Emerging Allied technologies in engineering started on Thursday.

The conference was organised by School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (SMME), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).

He disclosed that devices developed in his lab are able to warn driver about pedestrians, incoming cars, obstacles that may pose a danger to human life, car or driver and also indicate lane changes.

One of the speakers Professor Dr. Mike Stilman from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA gave a presentation on MacGyver robots being developed in his lab.

He stated that now in disaster struck areas robots can easily be use in rescue missions and for searching.

The three-day conference is providing a platform for Pakistani researchers to showcase their work and learn from the progress made by their colleagues within Pakistan and abroad.

The conference also brings together experts from many developed and developing countries, discussing state of the art, new research results and perspectives of future developments in the area of robotics and its allied disciplines. The news

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PMAS-AAUR, US varsity to collaborate on research
Rawalpindi: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) and Colorado State University have agreed to initiate collective research projects and joint academic programmes in the field of agriculture, particularly on farm water management. It was decided in a meeting by Vice Chancellor Rai Niaz Ahmad and five members of the delegation headed by Ajay Jha on Thursday. They discussed the possibilities of collaboration in academic, research, training and value chain activities for the development of agriculture sector between the universities. The delegation exchanged views with the PMAS-AAUR academic leadership and applauded its numerous steps to develop the institutional relations with the leading institutions and corporate entities. Both parties shared views for joint efforts that are important for potential expansion of future academic collaborations. Daily times

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