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Arfa Kareem, youngest Microsoft Certified Professional

Arfa Karim a wonder child of Pakistan
Lahore, Jan 16: "She Came, She Conqueror and She (suddenly) died", that's perhaps the most appropriate obituary, which comes into mind on the death of Arfa Kareem Randhawa, who became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world in 2004 at the age of 9 years, and died on 14th January , 2012.

She left a lasting mark on the world before she left for her heavenly abode. She may be better off with Allah Almighty than with us all; that's the best possible explanation which comes to one's mind. There are many common factors between Arfa and Alexander the Great; like the little girl Alexander of Macedonia was the youngest conqueror of the world and died in his early thirties after being dubbed and acknowledged as the conqueror of the known world at that time. However, Arfa sits on a much higher pedestal in terms of achievements on comparative grounds. She was the youngest ever MCP, the youngest pilot as she was certified for flying a plane from a flying club in Dubai at the age of 10. In August 2005, Arfa Karim received the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology. She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award again in August 2005. Arfa Karim is also the recipient of the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance and is till the youngest recipient of that award ever.

In November 2006, Arfa was invited by Microsoft to be a part of the keynote session in the Tech-Ed Developers conference held in Barcelona. The theme of the conference was "Get ahead of the game" and she was the only Pakistani among over 5,000 participants in that conference.

Arfa Karim also became the brand ambassador of PTCL EVO service (wireless broadband Internet service) in Pakistan. She remained in intensive care at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) after suffering an epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest a few weeks ago. After battling for life for 26 days, one of Pakistan's brightest brains left this world for good.

Born in 1995, Arfa Karim got the honour of World's Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional when she was only 9 years old in 2004. Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft, invited Arfa to visit the Microsoft Headquarters in the USA when she was only 10 years old.

That was Arfa Kareem, far ahead of Alexander or any other living or dead icon who could achieve such greater fate in just 16 years of life.

There is no words to present to the thunderstruck parents of this amazing genius but , if it could help at all to decrease the pain of the grieved parents of Arfa at all, she did for Pakistan in just seven years since she came on the world scene what all the ambassadors, sports men and women, intellectuals, artists and statesmen could not do in the last 67 years: She made us all stand tall in the world with this little girl holding our hand and saying :I am from Pakistan , a great country! The news

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80 FJWU students appear in ITP's quiz competition
Islamabad: Around 80 students from various departments of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) took part in a quiz competition arranged by Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) with the purpose of raising traffic awareness amongst the students.

In collaboration with Pak Suzuki Company, ITP is organising a series of colourful events at different educational institutions to inculcate better traffic sense among students and encourage them in getting awareness about traffic rules. A total of 36 candidates will be elected in the first phase by evaluating their traffic sense through filling a questionnaire. In the next phase, a practical driving test will be held and successful candidates will be given a chance to appear in third and final round. app

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Flaws in education budget highlighted
Islamabad: The members of civil society were made aware of the flaws in the allocation and utilisation of education budget urging them to be watchful in this regard for its judicious use.

The participants would further convince the education officers at district level to ensure the positive use of the budget and get maximum output from the funds earmarked for the purpose.

The three-day workshop ended on Saturday was organised by Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) in collaboration with Institute of Social and Policy Science (I-SAPS).

During the workshop, renowned economist Dr Salman Humayun deliberated on the issues regarding policy and budgetmaking process highlighting the nexus of education data, policy and budget.

Siqqidue Tareen, a trainer, explored multiple aspects of budget by addressing all tiers and terminologies for its basic understanding.

The speakers were of the view that the workshop would help formulate a 'Budget Watch Group' having all budgetary information, education statistics, information about quarterly releases and analysis on the basis of prior information which would be helpful for efficient resource allocation and bring positive change on sustainable basis.

PCE Coordinator Zehra Arshad said that 25 educationists, members of NGOs and educationists participated in the workshop. Basic concept of the workshop was to educate the civil society to put a check on the use of education budget.

She said even the parliamentarians did not know how budgets were used. Therefore, civil society would also guide the education departments about the use of budget at district level, she said.

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AIOU launches e-learning facility
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice Chancellor Nazir A. Sangi has said that the university would launch e-learning facility through Internet to conduct workshops across the country.

Talking to APP in an exclusive interview, he said that students, who hail from remote and adjacent areas, can attend the workshops through e-learning facility.

He said that e-learning project would be completed within one year and workshops would be conducted in various languages including English, Urdu and other regional languages including Sindhi.

After the completion of the project, the workshops would be held in subjects like MBA, M.Com, Education, Journalism, Information Technology etc, he added. To a question, Nazir Sangi said that it is big achievement of the administration of AIOU in launching the new campuses in various parts of Sindh to promote the learning society.

He said that the university has established the commission for Umerkot campus and also provided all the facilities including library, hostels, video conference and auditorium, adding the workshops in various courses will be held here.

He said, "The university is planning to set up AIOU Jamshoro campus at Sindh University. I have talked to the VC Sindh University and Sindh government and its PC-1 is underway." He said that AIOU is providing quality education to the 30,0000 students in different subjects.

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Planning Commission lauds UET's initiatives
Peshawar: The Planning Commission in a recent meeting lauded the management of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar for the speedy progress on the development projects.

The meeting discussed the four projects being executed in the UET at a cost of Rs8.28 billion funded through the Public Sector Development Programme. The expenditure incurred on the projects was Rs3.02 billion of the total cost. A sum of Rs460 million has been allocated for the said projects of which Rs285 million had been utilised, sources privy to the meeting said on Sunday.

The meeting lauded the efforts of Vice-Chancellor Imtiaz Gilani for making the development projects in the university a success. The meeting also suggested steps for effective implementation and timely completion of projects, including the strengthening of existing earthquake engineering centre, establishment of Jalozai campus, strengthening of satellite campuses in Mardan, Bannu and Abbottabad and strengthening and upgrading the Peshawar campus.

Earlier, UET Adviser Finance Mohammad Sarwar Khan gave a detailed briefing to the meeting. Giving an overview of the development from 1980 to 2002, he said projects worth Rs571 million were undertaken including the upgrading of existing lab and academic facilities, planning and designing of new campus, scientific instrumentation centre and collaborative programmes with different universities.

During the past eight years after Imtiaz Gilani took over as vice-chancellor of the university, development worth Rs9.2 billion was made, he said, adding that several centres and departments were established during this period, satellite campuses were set up and buildings were upgraded.

He said that semester system was introduced in 2004 and linkages were established with 17 international universities. He said the student enrolment in the university increased from 1,700 to 4,000, which is more than double during the last eight years. The enrolment would reach 8,000 on the completion of the ongoing projects, he said. The news

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