NED University 19th convocation 2011

NED convocation on 19th
Karachi, Feb 08: The registrar of the NED University of Engineering and Technology, Javed Aziz Khan, on Friday said that the convocation 2011 would be held on February 19 on the main campus of the university.

The successful candidates of BE Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer and Information Systems, Textile, Electronic, Industrial and Manufacturing, Urban, Telecommunications, Petroleum, Marine, Automotive, Material and Chemical Engineering (Batch 2006-07), BCIT Degree (Batch 2006-07), BE Bio and Medical Engineering (Batch 2005-06), and B Arch (Batch 2005-06), as well as students who passed examinations in 2010-11 in M Engg, MEM, MURP and MCIT, would receive degrees, he said.

Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, who is also the chancellor of the university, will preside over the convocation. The convocation rehearsal will be held on February 18.

The last date for the submission of the application form for the convocation is February 10. The convocation corms could be downloaded from the university's website. A convocation counter has been established at the Admission Centre.

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KU announces guidelines for BCom candidates
Karachi: The registrar of the University of Karachi has announced that the candidates appearing in BCom examinations could enter the university from Gate No. 1 and the Maskan Gate. In a statement on Friday, he said the candidates would not be allowed to bring their vehicles inside the university. The vehicles should be parked at the parking lots near the gates, he added. The news

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SSUET awards Rs 261 million scholarships to 15,000 students
Karachi: Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) spent more than Rs 261 million on providing scholarships to some 15,000 students since its establishment in 1994-95 under an Act of Sindh government. "It is our commitment and we proved it that no student will be allowed to give up education because of mere financial constraints," remarked Chancellor SSUET ZA Nizami. He pointed out that aside from this amount given for scholarships, the university provided millions of rupees out of its endowment fund as financial assistance for deserving students and the university staff. He said the university's endowment fund instituted with Rs 250 million three years back had reached Rs 280 million.

The chancellor informed that out of the profit earned on endowment funds, 50 percent is used in providing financial assistance and 50 percent on development. Under the development head, Rs 14 million had been earmarked during the current financial year, which was increased to Rs 15 million because of better return on the investment, which today amounts to Rs 826.471 million as against the investment of Rs 4.72 million made in 1993-94, he pointed out. This year, he said, the university is spending Rs 40 million on providing scholarships to students who earn a GP of 3 or above. app

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Prof Dr Naeem appointed Jinnah University for Women VC
Karachi: Prof Dr Naeem Faruqui has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the Jinnah University for Women, Karachi. A spokesperson of the institution said on Monday that he has taken over the charge of the office. Prof Faruqui replaces Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed Hashmi, who stepped down after remaining in office for 12 years. He cited personal reasons while resigning from the post, the spokesperson further pointed out. The new incumbent was earlier serving the university as its Pro Vice-Chancellor for the past over six months. app

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Grand literature festival concludes on a memorable note
Karachi: The grand two-day literary extravaganza, Karachi Literature Festival 2011, sponsored jointly by the British Council and the Oxford University Press (Pakistan), came to a close Sunday evening.

The event which pulled large crowds not only from all over town but also from the whole country and overseas, was a true indicator of the oozing intellectual and literary potential that lies untapped.

The festival highlighted some very positive facts about the country. For one, it incontrovertibly proved that while Pakistan in the West may be held synonymous with suicide bombings, extremism, and socio-economic imbalances, there was also another side to the country, and that was the oozing intellectual and creative potential that lies hidden beneath the surface.

The large attendance which on many occasions made seating a problem so that many of the participants had to sit on the floor is testimony to the yearning for intellectual pursuits that pervades society. Habitual critics of the country and the system got a chance to see for themselves the creativity of the Pakistani diaspora in the form of all the Pakistanis who have made a mark for themselves in the literary field overseas and have won accolades. So many of them graced the festival. This must have been a source of joy for a great many among us.

One of the many discussions was titled "Is the reading deadT and other dilemmas".

There could be no greater measure of a society's progress than the reading habit but unfortunately the reading habit in Pakistan seems to be a dying phenomenon. These views were expressed by noted journalist Ghazi Salahuddin on the second and closing day of the Karachi Literature Festival 2011. He was speaking at a panel discussion titled "Is reading dead and other dilemmas".

He said the reading habit could be gauged by the state of the publishing industry and newspaper circulation.

In China and India over the recent years, he said, there had been a six percent increase in newspaper circulation. In Pakistan's case, he said, it was very low and was dwindling. Total newspaper circulation in Pakistan was just equal to the English language newspapers' circulation of the city of New Delhi.

"Reading habits are intellectual capital", he said. In this connection he quoted his trip to Brazil last year where he said he saw roadside kiosks selling books and newspapers. He also decried the gradual end to intellectual activity in the country and in this context cited the dying cinema trade and said that cinema was a highly productive intellectual activity. "Lack of reading habit is a very grave matter for a society", he said.

Noted educationist Anita Ghulam Ali, while agreeing with Salahuddin in principle, said that it would be wrong to say that the habit was totally dead and felt that there was no need for despondency. She said that in order to revive intellectual activity in the country, we would have to get our priorities right. While there was a steady increase in the number of Prados costing millions, on the roads, 1,000 schools had been wound up. What were once libraries are being converted into internet cafes, she said. She suggested that publishers should print their works on recycled paper which would make books more affordable for the less affluent groups.

Arifa Syeda Zehra said, "It is the book that turns a man into a human being".

"We have drawn away from knowledge in search of skill and fabulous salaries and in the process put intellect low down on the scale of priorities", she said. This was one reason, she said tolerance had deserted our society.

Commenting on our priorities, she said, "We have no compunction in buying a Pizza for Rs1000, but if a book costs Rs500, we grumble that its far too expensive and out of a person's reach.

Attiya Abbas suggested, "Carry a book all the time. Wherever you have to wait or you have time, just read".

Managing Director, Oxford University Press Ameena Saiyid, OBE, disagreed with the other panelists , saying that there still was a great demand for books and said she was saying this on authority as she had been in the publishing trade for such a long time. She said sales of books specially had gone up since the OUP started reprints of foreign authors in Pakistan.

Dr Adrian Husain

"Literature is all about morality, not just entertainment", said Dr Adrian Husain, an international acclaimed authority on Shakespeare and a noted English language Pakistani author, quoting Salinger. Every writer adopts a stance and has a person to represent his stance, Dr Husain said. He was conducting a workshop, titled, "Primal rites: fiction and its sources". Fiction is not just something that involves the writing of novels but is an act of imagination where we catch primitive man inscribing himself in terms of artificial symbols or images on Papyrus, wood or stone. Fiction he said also entails commenting on the social or political conditions of a certain society or country through mythical figures and events.

In this context, he quoted Nabakov and his novel invitation to a wedding. Through imaginary characters and events, Dr Husain said, Nabakov is actually depicting the appalling conditions of in a totalitarian Soviet Union. He quoted Nabakov thus: power is in the mind. This was a pointer at the totalitarian states.

Dr Karen Armstrong

At the plenary session featuring Dr Karen Armstrong, Senior Teachers' trainer Abbas Husain interviewed the former Carmelite nun. The session was titled, "A charter of compassion", was an interactive affair where instead of a speech, it was all a question-answer session. Abbas Husain's opening question was," Prescription of compassion treats underlying symptoms of disease. What would you say about the underlying cause. Dr Armstrong replied, "Ego". She said that expecting others to accept what we want them to leads to intolerance and a clash. Too often, she said, we go into a dialogue to win it rather than to reach a solution, be it between individuals or nations.

This, she said, led to endless friction. Our positive beliefs are prejudices to others. "We really know so little about one another", she said and in this context she quoted the misconceptions that exist about Islam in the western countries or a highly distorted picture of western values that exists in countries like Pakistan. "Diversity within oneself and among others should be appreciated and we should be open to change".

Answering a question from the floor, she described her journey from the religious life of a monastery to her present approach to faith. She said that she was a young nun ,20, when, account of some personal incidents at the monastery, she thought that religion was not her calling. She said she gave up the vows and the religious life and for a period she was totally divorced from religion. Then she took to studying comparative religions in-depth and viewing them from a different perspective. That is how she returned to the fold of religion. She said that this new endorsement of hers of religions was enhanced by a study of Buddhism. "I drew sustenance form all religions, she said.

"We must speak up against injustice and cruelty. In our dialogue, we should not bludgeon our detractor's head if he doesn't agree", she said.

"God does not take sides", she said. All along during her lectures at the festival, she made it absolutely clear that she was a firm believer and had not renounced God.

In another panel discussion titled, "The writing of history without bias, noted academic and social activist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy said that the purpose of recording history was toto categorise facts and place them in the proper perspective. He said unfortunately that was not the case especially in the context of this sub-continent He quoted the example of the secession and said that the common man had been made to believe that East Pakistan seceded because the Hindus were cunning and crafty and through their cunning, they succeeded in breaking up Pakistan.

"Nowhere in our history do we read about the way the people of East Pakistan had been exploited by the west. Nobody talks of the gaping economic disparity between the two wings that after two decades led to hostilities. Nobody talks of the way the east Pakistanis right to form the government was subverted by the people of West Pakistan". He said there had been four wars between India and Pakistan but there were different narratives about each one of them.

Hamida Khuhro had her own version and said that it took time for the actual facts to come to light and the actual conditions that precipitated a certain situation. "We have to wait for at least fifty years after an event occurs for the actual facts and causative factors to emerge". She said.

Dr Jean-Luc Racine, an academic from France, said that writing of history depended of rethinking national or priorities and in this context various versions about the two world wars coming out from the western countries.

The last event of the day was a panel discussion titled "Poetry and privilege" compered by Dr Adrian Husain. The panelists comprised Zulfikar Ghose, a Pakistani now settled in the USA who till recently taught English at the Austin State University at Texas; Salman T Kureshi, and a young poet from England Joe Dunthorne. All the panelists who happened to be poets recited their verse decrying poetry as an elitist pursuit and the privilege of the elite.

Karen Armstrong

born on November 14, 1944, is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence in 1993 with her highly successful A History of God. A former Roman Catholic nun, she asserts that "All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences."

Armstrong was honoured by the New York Open Center in 2004 for her "profound understanding of religious traditions and their relation to the divine."

Daniyal Mueenuddin

born in 1963, is a Pakistani-American author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, published in the United States in 2009 and in 19 other countries in 16 languages.

Mueenuddin was the winner of the 2010 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Other Rooms, Other Wonders was the winner of The Story Prize for 2009, and was selected among TIME magazine's top ten books of the year.

Mohammed Hanif

born in 1964, is a Pakistani writer and journalist. He was born in Okara and graduated from Pakistan Air Force Academy as a pilot officer but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. In 1996, he moved to London to work for the BBC.

His first novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008) was shortlisted for the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. He has also written plays for the stage and screen, including a BBC drama and the movie, The Long Night.

Pervez Hoodbhoy

born on July 11, 1950, is a well-known Pakistani nuclear physicist, essayist and political-defence analyst. He is the professor of nuclear and high-energy physics, and the head of the Physics Department at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

He also received PhD from MIT and continues to do research in Particle physics. He received the Baker Award for Electronics in 1968,[1] and the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics in 1984.

Iftikhar Arif

born on March 21, 1943, in Lucknow, is an Urdu poet and scholar from Pakistan. He has headed Academy Adbiyat, the Pakistan Academy of Letters and currently, he is the Chairman of Muqtadra Quami Zaban, the National Language Authority. He has been decorated with Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Presidential Pride of Performance, highest literary awards by Government of Pakistan. Arif's poetry has been translated into a number of languages, including English, Russian, German, Persian, Hindi and Bhasha.

Intizar Hussain

is eminent Urdu fiction writer. He was born on December 7, 1923 in Dibai, Bulandshahr India but migrated to Pakistan in 1947. He writes short stories and novels in Urdu and columns for newspapers in English. Hussain has developed a unique prose style and has received many awards from Pakistan, India and the Middle East. The Seventh Door, Leaves are some of his books translated into English. His few prominent writings are "Hindustan Se Aakhri Khat", "Agay Samander hai", "Shehr-e-Afsos"jataka tales" and "Wo Jo Kho Gaye".

Kamila Shamsie

born in 1973, is a Pakistani novelist, who writes in the English language. She was brought up in Karachi.

Kamila's first novel In The City By The Sea was published in 1998. It was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the UK, and she received the prime minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999. Her second novel, Salt and Saffron, followed in 2000, after which she was selected as one of Orange's 21 Writers of the 21st century.

Wasim Frembgen

is chief curator of the Oriental Department at the Museum of Ethnology in Munich as well as lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg. Since 1981 he has been teaching Anthropology and Islamic Studies at different universities in Germany. He has also been a visiting lecturer at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad (National Institute of Pakistan Studies), the National College of Arts in Lahore, as well as Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The news

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Ibad for making exams system transparent
Karachi: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan has directed that the examinations system be streamlined and made transparent so that the students get better chances to make headway.

He was chairing a meeting held at the Governor House here on Sunday.

The matters pertaining to the educational and technical boards were discussed at the meeting which was attended by the heads of the boards. The governor is also the controlling authority of the boards in the province.

The governor directed that merit should be ensured in the system of examinations and the rules and regulations should be in accordance with the present day needs.

He also stressed that a uniform system should be in vogue in all the boards.

Chairman Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, who is also the chief of the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC), gave a detailed briefing on the occasion.

He informed that in the year 2003 a total of 1.2 million students had appeared in the examinations of secondary and intermediate boards in the province and that in 2010 this number went up to 1.9 million and the increase per annum is to the tune of nine percent.

Prof Anwar stated that on the directive of the governor, the review committee has completed the review for streamlining the rules and regulations of all the boards and that the process is now being given a final shape.

He also informed that a regional office of the IBCC has been established in Karachi and O and A level students would get the facility pertaining to equivalence in the province.

Prof Anwar further pointed out that the examinations and office record of the boards has been computerised. The websites of the boards have been activated and students are provided required forms and instruction on the websites. It was informed that the boards would get the certificates printed through the Security Printing Press.

Prof Anwar said that for making the examinations system transparent, the format of the papers has been changed. Twenty percent questions would be objective, 30 percent descriptive and 50 percent short answers.

The system pertaining to dispatch of question papers and the collection of the same has been improved. The facilities are the examinations centres and the vigilance system has also been improved.

The governor directed that instead of hiring furniture for the examinations centres, the academic institutions be provided funds to improve their infrastructure. app

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Library, research centre opens
Karachi: A library and a research centre set up in a building donated by the widow of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief's brother for this purpose was inaugurated on Sunday.

The three-storey library building, which has different sections for children, women and men, is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and computer system.

The inaugural ceremony of the Nasir and Arif Hussain Memorial Library and Research Centre, named after MQM chief Altaf Hussain's brother and nephew who were killed in December 1995, was held in Federal B Area. Besides senior leadership of the MQM, a large number of people, including writers, intellectuals, professionals, attended the inaugural programme.

In his address from London over telephone, Altaf Hussain said that the library and research centre was for every citizens and it was established to promote knowledge.

Dr Farman Fatehpuri, Karachi University Vice Chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim and Managing Trustee of the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation Syed Mustafa Kamal also spoke. Dawn

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