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Increase in education budget urged

Academicians urge govt to increase education budget
Islamabad, June 13: The academicians and technocrats at The News Education Expo 2011 here on Saturday urged the government to increase the education budget in order to put the country on the track of progress and prosperity as other nations has done by investing significant amount of GDP on education sector.

The speakers were of the opinion that a minimum of 4 per cent of GDP should be allocated to the education sector not only to increase the literacy rate of the country but also to promote the research culture. Our neighbouring countries like India are significantly increasing their education budget every year but in our country the education budget is decreasing which is something very alarming, said HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Laghari while addressing to the participants of the Expo, organised by the Jang Media Group here at Jinnah Convention Centre.

He said that HEC was currently focusing on universities building economies . He said, The emerging concept of promoting university-industry technology transfer is considered the main impetus behind the success of emerging economies worldwide. For fast-paced economic growth, technology-based companies partner with research universities for talented people, new knowledge, and innovative technology. In this regard, universities in fast developing economies have significantly increased the volume of their research and technology transfers in just a few decades.

Preston University Vice Chancellor Dr Abdul Basit, on the occasion, said that at least 4 per cent of GDP must be spent on education sector. Every tier of education including primary, secondary and higher education needs the equal attention of the government which is only possible if a significant amount of budget is spent on higher education, he said.

USEFP Director Alumni Mazhar Awan, on the occasion, said that as many as 650 students would be travelling for US in various education programmes including Fulbright scholarships including 40 per cent participation of women. USEFP in Pakistan is administering 13 different programmes while it also offers educational advising and testing, he said while adding that there were several tests including GRE and TOFL that USEFP was conducting in Pakistan.

Jang Group MD Marketing Sarmad Ali on the occasion thanked the educational institutions for their participation in the education expo and said that the expo was an ideal opportunity for the interaction between the institutions and students. It is a platform which helps students decide what courses they should adopt according to the demand of the market, he said.

He also stressed that the budget allocation for the education sector should be increased as without the spending on education we could not produce quality human resource which is a key to progress.

Meanwhile, there were around 50 stalls of different educational institutions that were set up on the occasion with an aim to provide free information and in some cases free counselling to the students. The stallholders were of the opinion that the expo has provided them an excellent opportunity to effectively transfer knowledge about various programmes to the students.

We for the first time participated in The News Education Expo and believe me it was a very wise decision. Students are thronging to get knowledge about what USEFP was offering and what are the procedures involved in applying for various scholarship programmes, said a representative of USEFP.

He said that a big number of students were also coming to know about the various consultants that were claiming to provide Fulbright scholarships. We are telling students that only USEFP is offering Fulbright scholarships while there is no application or submission fee, he said.

The stall of HEC, this time, was also set up in the Expo where they were providing free information about the scholarship schemes, recognised universities, and accredited courses. Students are more concerned to know about the scholarship schemes as there were rumours that scholarship schemes would come to an end after the budget cut of HEC, said an official of HEC.

Meanwhile, students despite the extreme weather conditions throng Expo and appeared quite enthusiastic to learn about the latest education trends in the country. Basit Usman was one of the students who came from Tench Bata to participate in the expo.

For Basit, Expo helps a lot to interact with the representatives of so many universities that not only saves time but money also. It took nothing but 30 minutes to reach this spot and then gather free of cost information about different programmes being offered by different universities, he said.

Another student, named Asghar Jameel, said that he has recently completed his BSc and was not really sure as to what programme he should opt for his Masters. Here I came to know about various new programmes that I was not considering before. I think such Expos should be conducted on regular basis so that students could be aware of the new programmes that various universities offer, he said.

The participation of girls in the Expo was another encouraging aspect. Gone are the days when girls were restricted to few fields. Now they are not applying but performing no less than their male counterparts, said Amna Haq, a student of FSc.

However, Sadaf Noreen, a student of BCom, suggested that such expos should also be conducted within the premises of universities so that the girls who could not reach the spot due to conveyance problem could also avail opportunity to get themselves acquainted with the up to date information regarding various education programmes.

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CIIT inks pact with US university
Islamabad: Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) and North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, ND, USA have entered into a two-year collaborative research project entitled 'A Hybrid Solar Water Heating System using Carbon Dioxide as Working Fluid.'

According to a press release issued here Sunday, CIIT is a public sector institute ranked among top six universities in the country. It has seven functional campuses in the cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Wah, Abbottabad, Attock, Sahiwal, and Vehari, with 18,000 students and about 1,750 faculty members.

One important part of the three-fold mission of CIIT is research and development (R&D). The R&D efforts of CIIT have been successful in developing different products many of which are soon to be commercialised.

NDSU is a land grant public institution, which is a Carnegie classified Very High Research Activity University. NDSU is home to approximately 14,000 students with annual research expenditure in excess of $115M. The project once completed and launched, will prove to be of immense importance to the society.

The system is being developed for the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan region, which will work in both temperature extremities. It will provide space heating/cooling, hot/cold air, and hot/cold water in winters and summers. The system will be ecologically safe, as it will not produce any environmental side effects, such as global warming or ozone depletion. It will also help in preserving local forestry by providing alternative source of energy for heating/cooling.

The principal investigators for the project are Sumathy Krishnan and Samee U. Khan, from NDSU and Nasrullah Khan and Waqar H. Bokhari, from CIIT. This people to people collaboration is made possible through the grants worth $296,000 made available by the US Department of State and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan under the Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Programme.

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Students make best use of weekly holiday
Islamabad: Students made best use of the weekly holiday by visiting 'The News' Education Expo 2011 where around 45 stalls set up by different educational institutions of the twin cities provided them up to date information about various programmes besides giving free of cost career counselling.

The second day of the expo, organised by the 'Jang' Media Group at Jinnah Convention Centre, witnessed a huge rush of youngsters who were eager to explore new avenues for their career. The students were visiting one stall to another and getting information about the various programmes that the universities were offering.

There were several new courses, introduced by a few universities, that grasped the attention of the students. "There are few courses including brand management and financial analysis that were never offered before by any university. The officials of universities present here are very helpful in guiding as to what subject I should opt for according to my budget and circumstances," said Bashir Ahmed, a student who came all the way from Wah to attend the expo.

Ahmed said that although the students can acquire information about various universities through their websites, yet one of the major benefits of visiting the expo is the direct interaction with the university officials. "Most of the times students are clueless about their future. The representatives of universities present here ask students about the background education achievements and then tests the aptitude of students before giving any advise for the future," he said.

Another student Intikhab Rahim, who is a government employee and has done MBA (Finance), said, "Though the expo basically comprised national universities, I have particularly visited this expo to get the information about international universities through HR consultants, who have also setting up their stalls in the expo."

Not only students but parents of many students also visited the expo to find out better option for the career of their child. "Since it was Sunday, I thought to grab the opportunity and visited the expo with my son who is interested to opt for engineering as his profession," said Mohammad Murtaza Ali, a government employee.

He said that so many options and lack of guidance usually confuse the students. "There are so many options available in the market which needs to be explored by students and this expo has facilitated such students by gathering dozens of institutes under one roof," he added.

Meanwhile, the stallholders termed the expo an ideal opportunity for them to market their programmes. "It's an era of competition and only those survive who are providing the best. The expo creates such a competitive environment where everyone has to put its best to convince the students to opt for his education institutions," said a stallholder.

The stallholders of different education institutions were providing free brochures and prospectus. "We here are to guide them and to show them what is right choice for them," said an official of Preston University.

He said that the expo was not only about marketing the programmes of university but also to show right path to the students which were lacking in the past," he said.

An official of Comsats University said that today was not a time when everyone is following the same trend as happened in the past i.e. everyone was becoming doctors or engineers. "Now the time has changed. New fields are coming with each passing day. We have now to look into demand of the country also unlike previously when only one or two fields were considered to be successful," he said.

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DI Khan board SSC result out
DI Khan: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) here Sunday announced results of the annual examination of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC).

According to a notification issued by the BISE, Mudassir Gul, a student of grade 10 from Qurtaba School and College, obtained 951 marks and stood first, Samiullah of Shah Public School got 949 marks and bagged second position while Mohammad Farooq of Al-Abbas Public School secured 944 and clinched third position.

The notification said that around 7,884 students, including boys and girls, in the Science Group had appeared in the examination and 5,726 were declared successful with a pass percentage of 72.63.

Around 7,774 male and female students in the Arts Group had also taken the examination and 4,646 were declared successful. The pass percentage stood at 59.76. Some 5,169 candidates out of the 8,110 in the Science Group who had taken the grade 9 examination were declared successful.

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GIK distinction
Swabi: The Team Infinity, a group of 11 young undergraduate engineering students of Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology (GIKI), will be representing Pakistan in Shell Eco Marathon Asia, 2011.

According to a press statement, the Team Infinity will be building a fuel efficient car, based on the dolphin shape which has been proven to be the most aerodynamically feasible design. The car is expected to run more than 150-km on a single litre of fuel due to weight reduction measures, conversion of a standard engine to electronic fuel injection engine for an increased control over fuel metering, allowing the car to travel the furthest.

The event will be held in Malaysia on July 6 to July 9, 2011. The team includes Saad Bin Arif, Majid Mahmood, Khwaja M Falik, Minhaj Zaheer, Muhammad Affan Zia, Saad Hassan Khan, Muhammad Omer Waqar, Amer Hamza and Jahanzaib Bukhari. The news

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