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Bahria University convocation | Karachi Literature Festival

8th Bahria University convocation
Karachi, Jan 30: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila on Sunday stressed the need for concerted efforts to raise the current three percent of higher education rate in the country.

Speaking at the 8th convocation of Bahria University, Karachi campus, he said increased enrollment of youth in the university level educational programmes, with adequate provision for quality, was extremely essential for national progress and development.

Sandila on the occasion conferred degrees upon 324 graduating students, pertaining to the faculties of Business Administration, Engineering (Electronics and Telecommu-nication Management), Computer Sciences, Telecomm-unications, MSc in Geo Physics and MSc in Professional Psychology.

Majority of the position holders, clinching gold and silver medals, comprised girls who had managed to bag positions in MBA, BBA, Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics, Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Sciences and MSc in Professional Psychology programmes.

The Chief of Naval Staff appreciated that the Bahria University had recently raised its budgetary allocation, under the head of scholarship, from Rs 16 million to Rs 20 million for meritorious students in need of financial support for their education.

Highly appreciative of the commitment and dedication of the university's faculty members, he also assured of all support from the naval headquarters.

Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila said universities and other institutions of higher education, both in private and public sectors, share the responsibility to increase the number of students registered for higher education.

"It is heartening to find that there are 9,600 students acquiring bachelor, masters, MPhil and PhD level education at the Karachi and Islamabad campuses of Bahria University," he said.

"This speaks of trust that parents have reposed in the university," said the Chief of Naval Staff.

He advised the students to use their knowledge and skills for achievement of professional goals as well as for poverty reduction and elimination of injustice from the society.

"The education and development of youth in upcoming disciplines of global market requirements can bring a quantum jump to the economic growth of the country," he said.

Earlier, the Rector Bahria University, Vice Admiral (Retd) Mohammad Haroon, said the university, in accordance to the demands of present competitive world, had laid equal emphasis on academic excellence coupled with character building of the students. He said the university in a shorter span of time has developed a reputation of among the best of higher education institutions in the country as well as abroad.

Bahria University that already holds affiliation with 13 different universities in the world has also recently signed Memorandums of Understanding with three universities, of international repute, in China, Turkey and Australia.

Bahria University's Medical and Dental College is also fast on its way to completion against a cost of Rs 600 million. In a short span of time, the Rector claimed that the university has also initiated MPhil and PhD programs at its Karachi campus.

To facilitate these students a research lab worth Rs 2 million has also been recently completed.

Students who received medals from the Chief of Naval Staff included Mohammad Ali Shafiq, Gul Ahmed, Rabia Yasmeen, Fariha Khan, Ayesha Munir, Syed Mustafa Ali Zaidi, Humaira Ali, Sana Karim, Afshan Fatima, Farah Amin, Hamza Talha and Bushra Ashraf. app

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3rd Karachi Literature Festival set to begin on Feb 11
Karachi: The biggest literary event of the year, the annual Karachi Literature Festival, is set to begin on 11th February 2012 at the Carlton Hotel, DHA, with a galaxy of internationally renowned authors to attend the much-hyped litfest.

This is the third time the festival is being consecutively held, which makes it arguably the most important annual event of its kind to take place in Karachi. The two-day festival is organised by the Oxford University Press and British Council.

In the last two years, the size and scope of the festival has visibly doubled, attracting booklovers and literary connoisseurs from across the globe. The tentative programme schedule for 2012 seems far more happening than the previous years.

The first day of the festival seems to be the most star-studded, featuring conversations with Hanif Kureishi and Shobha De, along with William Dalrymple."The idea behind this event is to celebrate the rich literary past of the city. Be it Urdu, Sindhi or English, Karachi has always been a hub of literary activities in the past," said Asif Farrukhi, one of the organisers of the festival.

"This year, our scope is far too wide, we kept detailed sessions on socio-political issues, which were missing in previous years", he added.

The event will include sessions with Pakistani authors who write in English like Mohammed Hanif, Bina Shah and Muniza Shamsie. "Pakistanis who are writing in English today have managed to attract a following in the West. In Pakistan, they do have an important audience but I think we can certainly expand their scope through events like this," said Farukkhi.

One of the important features of the event this year is the galaxy of internationally renowned authors the festival has managed to attract. Oscar-nominated Hanif Kureishi of 'My Beautiful Laundrette' fame is expected to attend the event along with Scottish historian William Dalrymple, whose book 'The White Mughals' has been hailed as one of the greatest text on the British colonial rule in India.

Shobah De, one of the best-selling "chick-lit" novelists from India, is also attending the event with writer and broadcaster Victoria Schofield. This year the audience will have a tough time choosing between sessions as the paucity of time has forced organizers to conduct a number 'important' sessions simultaneously, which will only add more excitement to the two-day action-filled festival.

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SBBC to introduce MPhil, PhD programmes
Karachi: MPhil and PhD programmes are to be introduced this year by the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Chair (SBBC) at the University of Sindh.

This was decided at a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Chair which took place at the regional office of the Higher Education Commission here, a spokesperson for the education department said on Sunday.

The board of the SBBC also approved the budget for the year 2012 and the funds for an international seminar on Benazir Bhutto, he said. The board also decided that an advert inviting applications for the post of a full-time director of the chair would again be placed in the newspapers, the spokesperson said.

The Speaker of Sindh Assembly, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, and the Vice Chancellor of Sindh University, Dr Nazir Ahmed Mughal, jointly presided the meeting which was also attended by provincial education minister, Pir Mazharul Haq, adviser to the prime minister, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, and representatives of the department of culture.

Responding to a question on suspension of classes at the University of Sindh, Pir Mazharul Haq, who is also the pro-chancellor of the universities in the province, said it had been an unhealthy practice that a teachers' association had boycotted classes. The minister, however, praised the efforts of the VC of Sindh University, Dr Nazir Mughal, for striving to bring peace to the campus.

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HEC chief calls for paying attention to agriculture sector
Hyderabad: Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Javed Leghari has stressed the need for paying proper attention to the agriculture sector as it is the backbone of the national economy and can help eliminate poverty and reduce unemployment to a great extent.

Dr Leghari said this at a reception hosted by the Sindh Agriculture University Teachers Association (SAUTA) at the Senate Hall in Tandojam the other day.

He said that the economy was dependent on agriculture and, therefore, it was of paramount importance to increase per acre yield to meet the food requirements of an ever-growing population, which within 40 years would reach 380 million.

He said that agriculture experts should discharge their duties by concentrating fully on increasing the production since doctors, engineers and bureaucrats have no role to play in it. "The Higher Education Commission is playing an important role in the development of universities and promotion of education and expects well-matched results," Dr Leghari said.

Sindh Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor Dr Abdul Qadir Mughul said that the university preferred giving admissions to children of the poor, besides engaging itself in community services.

He felt sorry for the education budget getting smaller as money this fiscal was lesser than that of the previous year, which is giving rise to financial strains.

The laboratories should be updated for conducting research. Around 25 per cent of the teachers have PhD degrees and some 42 graduates are completing their doctorate in foreign states, he said.

The location of Shaheed ZA Bhutto Agriculture College in Dokri is not suitable and attempts are being made to shift it to Larkana where more students would be attracted to it, he said. Sindh Chamber of Agriculture President Dr Syed Nadeem Qamar said agriculture, including livestock, is contributing a lot to the GDP. Major industry of the country is dependent on the agriculture sector, he added. The news

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