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2011: The Year of the Youth

2011 was the year of the youth
Dec 26: It is the end of the year, an atmosphere of "change" yet uncertainty seems to be ever present. But it is safe to say that 2011 was the year of the youth. We have seen more youth involvement in politics and national affairs. The youth is becoming aware, educated and rising to the forefront. 2011 has seen the recognition of the youth as a powerful force, and there are not many who would not accept that now. It seems funny how in the beginning of this year not many were taking the youth as a "serious force". Not just nationally but internationally the youth across the globe has risen up, and rebelled against the status quo. It has chosen to take a lead on affairs of importance to them and their futures.

The starting point of this awareness in the youth has been electronic and then for some more importantly social media. Electronic media has brought the debate to the youth, it has educated them. Sixteen years old, men and women alike, started talking about politics over rock stars, and that is saying something. Political aspirations started growing and manifesting. They started joining political parties and registering votes. The effect electronic media had on the youth was astounding. Even though many programmes are not targeted at the youth, "youth channels" focusing on music etc. have failed to do as well as the main news channels for various reasons, but that has meant that more young people have watched news channels over youth channels. A facebook survey showed that 61% of respondents below 25 indicated that their favorite topic of discussion was politics, and that is saying something.

Social media became the enabler for the political process especially in the Arab Spring. It became the tool of quickly getting the word out and easy means of organizing. It is easy to forget that the CEO and founder of the world's biggest social network facebook is also very young! Time magazine also ended up naming the protestor, a demographic which has been dominated by the youth, as the person of the year. Recognizing the role of the protestor and hence the youth in many global movements such as the Arab Spring, the Indignant Movement, the Tea Party Movement, the Occupy Movement and the protests in Greece, India and Russia too. Who came up in large numbers to support Anna Hazare? The youth. In Pakistan in particular SMS social media facilitated this further. Social activism in Pakistan also started reaching it's peak all as a result of all this.

30th October 2011 saw the youth come to peak with full force at Minar-e-Pakistan at Lahore. It was in their view a message to the status quo that things must change. It was in that one singular moment that the youth became the most important political player in the eyes of not just the media, but traditional political parties too. It was in this show of strength moment that forced all in the status quo and outside it to take the youth seriously. Whether the youth came to support Imran, to denounce the status quo or both is another debate altogether. But what cannot be denied that the youth came out. The youth did wonders for PTI, forcing many old veteran politicians to come and join hands with it.

In the aftermath of the 30th October youth jalsa, there was a start of a period that can be not wrongly called "youth wars". All the major players started grabbing for the attention of this newly emergent demographic. All parties started developing their social media presence, and so did political leaders. But again the mistake is that they were only focusing on one segment of the youth and not the youth in general. On a lighter note even the media has started realizing the importance of this important demographic, otherwise I wouldn't have had a job! But this trend is only to grow; the competition for attention will only grow. Whoever capitalizes on this demographic will get dividends in return, for now it seems to be Imran Khan, but the field still remains wide open.

The youth itself has not just been sitting on its laurels and enjoying its newfound position. It too has been hard at work. Some of the things youth organizations have started are amazing. Whether it is a campaign to make "ilm" possible, to providing relief to their fellow Pakistanis the youth has taken a forefront in social and community development projects. We have also seen the rise of many new youth stars: Ibrahim Shahid(World Record Holder 23 O levels), Syed Zohaib Asad (World Record Holder for 28 O levels), Aymen Saleem (World Record Holder for most people in smart car), Abhia Haider (a rising young football star), Rosebella Fernandes (a rising netball star) and Sitara Brooj Akbar (the youngest girl in the world to complete O Levels) are all examples of a vibrant proactive and "hungry for more" youth. Even our showbiz youth has taken up its role in the development of the country. Shehzad Roy in particular has done a commendable job in raising socio-political awareness through his songs and music.

Yes, the year of 2011 has been the year of the youth. Sadly, at times there has been only one segment of the youth, which has been focused on: the educated and urban segment. A large majority of our youth still is in turmoil, still unaware and chained in the status quo. But it is now the responsibility of the new liberated youth to come up and not forget where their true strength lies - in the singular majority of our youth population. As 2011 ends, there are still many questions still unanswered. Will the youth be successful? What direction will all this lead into? How will the status quo react? Will the youths' struggle be hijacked as it has been in the past? There is hope it won't as the media has a very important part to play to keep eyes open. A lack of information has always caused these movements to be hijacked before, but it is difficult for that history to repeat given the technological advantage of mobile phones, SMS and social media this youth now possesses. 2011 was "The Year of the Youth", and I am fairly certain and am sure you would agree with me that 2012 would be "The Year of the Youth 2".

The writer is Youth Ambassador of Geo and Jang Group. The news

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Three-day IEEE conference at SSUET concludes
Karachi: The three-day International IEEE Multiple Conference (INMIC-2011) concluded here with Chancellor ZA Nizami of Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) stressing that the purpose of research should be to provide latest knowledge to improve business.

"Research is not a business or a profit centre in itself but a long-term investment, which helps an organisation generate more revenue and profits," he said while presenting certificates and mementos to the participants and organisers of INMIC 2011 at the conclusion of this vital moot.

The conference, organised by SSUET had started on Dec 22 with eight participants from abroad.

The Chancellor said that advancement in technology warrants continued research to bring in more innovations and out new products in the market as a result thereof. He called for undertaking research projects of industrial value to resolve the problems faced by ever-growing industrial sector.

Before the closing ceremony, a panel discussion was held to bridge the gap between industry and academia. It entailed a fruitful and informative debate between the industry panel and academic panel held for the budding engineers.

The academic panel was critical of the lacking industry response to the innovative projects made by the students. They not only avoid releasing funds for the projects, but are also reluctant to hire the skill and services of engineering students for addressing the industrial problems, they viewed.

However, industry panel retaliated that students and faculty does not exactly know about the requirements of the industry and observed that they design and produce their own projects with academic mindset.

They pointed out that the industry spends millions of rupees on different social projects and can finance the projects having commercial value. But it is not possible for industry to market students' products and make them entrepreneurs by establishing a company for them.

With emphasis on updating current research and development taking place in the world and to equip oneself with the knowledge for future need, it was observed during the discussion that 3G technology has become obsolete in the world market and 23 percent orders of 4G have been cancelled. Now it is an era of LTE and students having 3G experience will have no future in coming days.

In his concluding remarks Registrar SSUET Shah Mahmood H Syed said that during INMIC 2011 78 presentations were made on different topics of current importance while parallel technical sessions on 11 tracks went on with thought provoking talks and live discussions by the world renowned scientists.

Earlier Dr Raziq Yaqub gave a very informative presentation on application of communication technologies and controls to existing power grid for energy efficiencies in Pakistan. He said that power delivery system in many areas of the country is aging and worn out. He said population growth has made the transmission system over used and fragile while energy infrastructure is often damaged by flood and earthquake.

He was of the view that although adding new capacity into the system is needed, the reliability of all the old equipment will continue to decline while reaching the end of its useful life. A new approach will be essential to significantly increase the efficiency of the entire electrical delivery system, he stressed.

He told the participants that energy crisis can be addressed to some extent by using available conventional resources like coal power generation since we have huge deposits of coal in Thar. Similarly electricity can also be produced at low cost by Turbines on downward flow of the river water and photovoltaic cells on electric poles may lit the bulbs from solar source.

He informed that 30 percent power is lost in theft and also a lot of electricity is leaked through transmission lines. He said energy could also be saved by proper maintenance of the machinery, cutting down the transmission losses and using PMUs.

High voltage direct current is economical compared to high voltage alternate current when the transmission lines run around more than 800 miles. In shorter distance it is not economically viable, he pointed out.

Dr Yaqub said underground transmission may check the element of theft but its maintenance is too expensive while research continues on wireless transmission.

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Annual convocation of FUUAST on 29th at Expo Centre
Karachi: The annual convocation of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) will be held on Dec 29 at Expo Centre. A spokesperson of the institution has asked the students to take their registration cards and gowns from the registrar's office during the office timings on Dec 26 and 28. app

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Int'l conference on physics held at KU
Karachi: An International Conference on Physics and the World of Today was organised by the Department of Physics of the University of Karachi (KU) in collaboration with the National Centre for Physics on Saturday.

The conference was dedicated to Prof Dr Sheikh Ansar Hussain in recognition of his extraordinary contribution for the development of the KU's Physics Department. The main objective of this conference was to provide a platform to the young researchers. In this conference a number of national and international delegations presented their research work for the knowledge of the participants. of the programme.

Some of the prominent names who participated in the conference were Prof Dr Golam M. Bhuiyan, Prof Dr Aziz-ur-Rehman from Bangladesh, Anzar Khaliq from Perie and Marie Curie University Paris France, Dr Hamid Saleem, Dr Riffat Mehmood Qureshi from the National Centre for Physics, Dr Riffat Mehmood Qureshi, Dr Muhammad Sharif (Tamgha-i-Imtiaz) from the Punjab University, Prof Dr Naeem Ahmed Khan from the Federal Urdu University Islamabad, Dr Shafqat Faruuq from NORI Hospital Islamabad, Dr Tariq Mehmood from the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Karachi, Prof Saeed from the Federal Urdu University Karachi, Prof Dr Khalid Anees from the Bahria University, Prof Dr Ansar Ahmed Qidwai from PAF Kiet and Prof Dr Wasim Akhtar from the Usman Institute of Technology.

At the moot, Prof Dr Arif Kamal and Prof Dr Ansar Ahmed Qidwai gave a memorial speech in honour of Prof Dr Sheikh Ansar Hussain. Dr Sher Ali Hussein from the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) provided useful information about the cancer awareness and the role of Medical Physicist. In the end of the inauguration ceremony of the conference, Prof Dr Shana Urooj Kazmi, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Karachi said that this conference was a very important initiative taken by the physics department in the modern world of science. She praised Prof Dr Abdus Salam and Prof Dr Sheikh Ansar Hussain for their valuable services in science.

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CPSP golden jubilee on Jan 13
Lahore: College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) Vice President Dr Khalid Masood Gondal said CPSP's two-day golden jubilee celebrations would start here on January 13. Presiding over a meeting of golden jubilee committee here on Saturday, he said the celebration's inaugural session would include a joint CPSP Pakistan-Bangladesh convocation and a scientific conference. Dr Gondal said a joint strategy would be adopted as both the countries shared same priorities in medical field. Prof Mohammad Amjad, Prof Mahmood Ayaz, Prof Amer Zaman Khan, Prof Hamid Mahmood Butt, Prof Muhammad Tayyab, Prof Shamsa Hamayoun and others attended. The news

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