Karachi University student's tragic death spurs safety measures
Karachi, Feb 10: The tragic death of Anum Zehra, a third year student of BS in the department of Economics, University of Karachi (KU) has left students and teachers traumatised and raised questions about the safety and security of students who flock to the university in thousands.
KU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Pirzada Qasim, expressed his anguish at the death of the student who was described as lively and conscientious. Replying to a question about the steps taken by the university to prevent such accidents in future, Prof. Qasim said that large road signs of 'Academic Zone, Slow Down' will be erected from NED University of Engineering & Technology to Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre to inform motorists to apply caution while driving. Speed breakers that conform to international standards will also be constructed and cat eyes will be placed on both sides of the road. "We will also install more flood lights between gate 1 (Silver Jubilee) and gate 2 (Staff Town) to ensure that students can cross roads with greater ease," he added.
According to Prof. Qasim, Gulshan Town Nazim Muhammad Wasay Jalil has promised to build two pedestrian bridges, one each in front of NED University as well as in front of gate 1 of the KU. "I have arranged the patrolling of City Wardens (formerly Community Police) between gates 1 and 2 to check for traffic violation from vehicles traveling on University Road. I have also written to the traffic police to be there at peak hours, and they are complying. I have visited the family of Anum Zehra to condole her death. I have seen to it that the driver gets the punishment he deserves, and no one tries to get him acquitted before justice is served," the VC elaborated.
Gulshan Town Nazim, Muhammad Wasay Jalil, confirmed that he has planned and proposed various projects to streamline traffic flow on University Road, particularly from Samama Centre to Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre, to prevent the occurrence of such fatal accidents in future. "I had proposed that a pedestrian bridge which was unutilised could be erected in front of Gate 1, but later it appeared that the bridge was to be used in front of Mashriq Centre near Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) building, so I dropped the idea. But now I have arranged the construction of three pedestrian bridges that will be erected in front of NED and Gates 1 and 2 of the KU. The preference will be gate 1 (Silver Jubilee gate)", Jalil explained.
Furthermore, Jalil said, new signboards claiming 'Academic Zone, Slow Down' will be erected from February 9, and Flasher Sign Bulbs (first of its kind in Pakistan) will also be installed on the stretch of road between NED and KU. "I am optimistic and expect to see pedestrian bridges (on three points) by the end of March. We will also introduce 'Restricted Movement Area' alongside the two universities, containing Iron grills that will discourage students from crossing the road from different places. The Zebra Crossings will be there to be used by the students till the bridges are built", he elaborated.
KU Student Adviser, Dr Tanweer Khalid, while expressing her profound sense of grief on the death of Anum Zehra, hoped that new traffic arrangements on the University Road will prevent such accidents in the future. "I have not seen any steps to prevent such accidents (as of Feb 6) and I intend to see the VC to know what happened to the plans that were to take shape", she said. Dr Khalid revealed that she had plans to provide insurance cover to all the KU students. "I have talked to an Insurance company but their premium is high, unaffordable to most of the students, so I intend to talk to them (the insurance company) to reduce the premium. The insurance will have health, accident and fire coverage with easy to get compensation."
Campus Security Adviser, Dr Khalid Iraqi, was prompt to point out that the deceased Anum Zehra was sitting at the KU bus stop when the rashly driven vehicle trampled her. "Internally, we have made arrangements to avoid such fatalities in the future but the University Road is the domain of CDGK and Traffic Police. I have written a letter, followed by a reminder, to the DIG (Traffic), to arrange permanent presence of traffic personnel at the KU gates. I have also allowed the students (or their parents) of evening programme to bring their vehicles inside the campus to avoid overcrowding and safety problems outside. This would allow parents to drop their wards well inside thus avoiding crossing the roads", Dr Iraqi stated. The News
KU research team discovers reason for eating disorder
Karachi: A University of Karachi (KU) research team found that the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, occurs due to the deficiency of an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which plays a vital role in our health.
KU Department of Biochemistry, Neurochemistry and Neuropharmacology Research Unit Head Dr Darakshan Jabeen Haleem conducted a research to find the reasons behind anorexia. Haleem has done her PhD from the London Institute of Neurology British Post Medical Federation and has been awarded a gold medal from the Pakistan Academy of Science for excellent performance.
Her research discloses that anorexia, a psychiatric disorder, occurs due to the disturbance in the serotonin system; serotonin is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that acts as a communicator between the nerve cells and the muscles) and is involved in several brain functions including bad temper, sleep and depression. Serotonin disturbance occurs due to a lack of tryptophan.
Dr Haleem said, "Diet that is fifteen percent below normal leads to anorexia, which disturbs several body cycles, as well as causing mental disturbance including depression and stress." She added that the disorder is a complex condition that can even lead to death in severe cases.
"Food is the source of glucose and glucose is the main energy source of the brain. When there is lack of glucose, the brain does not get enough amounts of glucose, which results in disturbances." Anorexia is a mental disorder that results in harmful eating habits. The most harmful habit that anorexic people have is restricting their food intake, which results in them losing a lethal amount of weight.
The disorder is most common in women who have a weight complex and who admire thin celebrities; the disease often presents itself between the ages of 13 and 30 and may start when people severely limit themselves to what they eat and can be persistent or difficult to over come.
There are numbers of physical, emotional and behavioural signs and symptoms of this disease. Emotional symptoms include lack of self confidence and nervousness, while physical symptoms include a thin appearance, thinning and breaking of hair, dry skin, low blood pressure and dehydration.
Dr SM Asrar has 17 years of work experience at the Aga Khan University (AKU) and is currently a senior monitoring evaluation adviser in the health system division ABT Associate-USAID Contractor. He said, "Anorexia is not that common in Pakistan, however, in the US it was widely spread in the 80s." People with anorexia were obsessed about their eating habits and 95 percent of the time the disorder was found in women, he revealed.
"We conducted a research to find anorexia among medical and nursing students. We observed that twenty-one percent of the medical and twenty-three percent of the nursing students suffered from initial anorexia," he stated. "In the US, only a percent of the people suffer from severe anorexia."
Asrar also stated that anorexia causes many psychological and physical diseases. Initially, the disease causes depression, frustration and irritability, while in severe conditions, it causes heart problems including slow heartbeats, a higher level of acidity and anaemia due to the lack of iron. Due to the deficiency of potassium, the kidneys are also affected while constipation and vomiting are also symptoms of severe anorexia.
KIGBE, KU put on notice
Karachi: The Director of the Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi (KU) Registrar and other respondents were put on notice for February 12 by a division bench of the SHC on Monday.
The bench was hearing a constitutional petition filed by Dr Mohammadi, a senior research scholar, who had moved the court against the induction of people much less qualified and experienced then him into the regular services of the KIBGE.
The petitioner maintained that he applied for the post of Senior Scientific Officer in BPS 19 but despite eligibility in all respects and holding higher qualification, he was ignored and call letters were issued to persons holding simple MSc and having no experience. Daily Times
MSc Home Economics results
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Monday announced the results of MSc (Home Economics) Annual Examination 2008.
According to the results, the first position was secured by Maria Mujtaba Rizvi with 757 marks. Rafia Amir stood second with 755 marks followed by Nimra Iqbal who secured third position with 752 marks. AppYour Comments
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Primary Teaching Certificate (PTC) annual exam results
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi on Monday announced the results of Primary Teaching Certificate (PTC) annual examination 2008.
According to the statistics of the results, a total of 878 candidates were registered for the examination, of them 843 appeared while 422 candidates passed the examination with a pass percentage of 50.06. PpiYour Comments
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BISE Hyderabad announces HSC-II supplementary results
Hyderabad: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Hyderabad, has announced the result of HSC-II supplementary examinations of the general science, pre-engineering and pre-medical groups held in November 2008.
According to the announcement, in the general science group, 172 candidates appeared in the examinations, while 132 passed the exam and the result of three candidates was withheld. Six candidates passed in B grade, 83 in C and 43 in D grade. The percentage of successful candidates of the group is 76.74 per cent.
In the pre-engineering group, 1,897 candidates appeared in the examinations and 1,141 passed the exam, while the result of 22 candidates was withheld. Forty-eight candidates passed in B grade, 608 in C and 485 in D grade. The percentage of successful candidates of the group is 60.15 per cent.
In the pre-medical group, 1,316 candidates appeared in the examinations, while 1,248 passed the exam and the result of 22 candidates was withheld. One candidate passed in A grade, while 63 secured B grade, 854 got C and 330 candidates obtained D grade. The percentage of successful candidates in this group is 53.89 per cent. The News
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