KU announced BEd results | Fee increase at KU

KU announces BEd results annual examination 2008
Karachi, Mar 02: The University of Karachi on Saturday announced the results of BEd Pass (morning) annual examination 2008.

Babar Ali and Syeda Sobia Humayun of the Rehan College of Education bagged first and second positions, respectively, while the third position was clinched by Najia Siddiq of the Jamia Millia Govt College of Education.

According to the statistics, a total of 954 candidates were registered and 941 of them appeared in the examination. Two candidates passed it in Grade A-1, 130 in Grade A, 312 in Grade B and 18 in Grade C. The pass percentage stood at 49.09.

YLWC demands initiation of B.Ed. classes
The Young Lyari Welfare Centre A students' organisation of Lyari Town has called for initiating BEd classes at the Government Elementary College situated in the backward area of the metropolis.

The Young Lyari Welfare Centre in a statement issued here on Saturday said that said that commencement of BEd classes at this college would benefit students from four towns - Lyari, Keamari, Saddar and SITE - who were keen to educate people of Lyari after acquiring a BEd degree.

The centre president, Ghulam Nabi Qambrani, also urged the authorities concerned to pay due attention to the civic problems being faced by the people of Lyari and take necessary measures to resolve them.

He said the problems mainly pertained to education, water and sewerage, cleanliness and employment. Dawn

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Karachi University considering fee raise
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) administration is likely to increase the registration, enrolment and examination fees of graduation and post graduation degrees for private candidates and affiliated colleges.

"The idea has been under consideration following the cut in the Higher Education Commission (HEC) budget by the government. The federal government had slashed funds by Rs 5.7 billion from the fourth quarter of last year's HEC budget," KU sources said.

The matter of raise in the fees was discussed at length in the last meeting of the KU Deans' committee. The committee gave its nod to the increase in fees of affiliated colleges, while relating it to the approval of the academic council of the university.

It has also been learnt that another reason for the fee increase is the request of the examination department in this regard. The examination department told the concerned authorities that it had become impossible for them to manage the expenses of the examinations.

Similarly, the examination department has suggested commencing supplementary exams for degrees program which was scrapped by KU few years back. "The decision of re-introducing supplementary exams will generate a considerable amount to bear the expenses of the department," the examination department argued. The deans' committee also referred this suggestion to the academic council of the university. Daily Times

Iran Study Centre opens at KU
Karachi: A ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the University of Karachi for the inauguration of the Iran Study Centre, which will provide guidance to Pakistani students regarding the Persian language and literature.

It will also promote research and organise seminars and other activities.

Consul-General of Iran in Karachi Masoud Mohammad Zamani will be the chief guest and KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui will preside over the inauguration.

The centre has been established by the University of Karachi in collaboration with the Cultural Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Karachi.

Director-general of the cultural centre Syed Hossein Taghizadeh, Dean of the KU's Faculty of Arts Prof Mohammad Shamsuddin and In-charge of Iran Study Centre Dr Rehana Afser will also speak at the ceremony.

Lecture on colorectal cancer
A lecture on colorectal cancer awareness will be held at the KU campus on Tuesday, according to a press release issued on Sunday.

The event has been organised by the seminar committee of the Faculty of Pharmacy. Dr Nehal Masood, Medical Oncologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, will deliver the lecture.

Diploma courses
Karachi: Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed has called for introducing diploma courses for paramedics at their institutes, and said that the standard of paramedics institutes in the province should be enhanced to international level.

The minister said that diploma courses would help improve the training being imparted to paramedical staff. App

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Cambridge International Examinations Board (Pakistan) workshop
Karachi: The Cambridge International Examinations Board (Pakistan) hosted a professional development workshop for teachers in Karachi, entitled 'Good practice in Cambridge classrooms', says a press release.

The workshop, which attracted over 55 Cambridge teachers, took place at a local hotel on Saturday. It was led by the CIE's country manager (relationships and communication) Uzma Yousuf. According to the press release, the workshop was the first of its kind in Pakistan. Its mission was "to promote peer support networks for CIE teachers, and encourage the sharing of best practice throughout Cambridge schools and centres".

CIE teachers from local schools led the workshops, and said they "were enthusiastic about sharing their experience of teaching Cambridge qualifications such as O' and A' Levels to other colleagues."

Oxford University Press was on hand with a display of CIE-endorsed texts, to give teachers access to resource materials for teaching.

Dr Graham Platts, principal of Karachi Grammar School, kicked off the event with a talk entitled 'The indications of good practice in classrooms'. Delegates were able to attend five workshops on various O' and A' Level subjects.

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Scientists complain about govt support withdrawal
Karachi: With the economy's increasing dependence on the export of agricultural produce and growing salinity and water shortages that threaten to make Pakistan a water-deficient country in coming years, there is a dire need to restore government support to research activities that could provide solutions to the very basic problems the country faces today and help bring it on the path of development, speakers at a workshop held at the University of Karachi said.

A number of initiatives taken in the past few years in the field of biotechnology, they pointed out, were coming to fruition when the economic slump struck and financial support to research activities was drastically cut. If the government understands the merit of investing in research and restores assistance, the country is bound to gain from indigenous research and technology in near future, they said.

The scientific communication workshop, 'Implementation of the Strategy for Development of Biotechnology in Pakistan', held at Latif Ebrahim Jamal National Science Information Centre, Karachi University (KU), was part of the launch of the ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications) global report on the development of genetically modified crops made last year.

'Microorganisms that can do wonders': One of the more interesting presentations at the event was made by Dr M. Jalauddin who has been carrying out research on fungi and bacteria for decades.

Making a strong case for the application of specific microorganisms, mycorrhizas, to produce healthier plants, Dr Jalauddin said that the microorganisms that already existed in nature entered a 'friendly' biological interaction with plants and acted as bio-fertiliser without causing pollution and environmental degradation.

"Around 95 per cent of our crop plants stand to benefit from mycorrhizas, which can absorb soil nutrients 10 times more than the root hair. Plants living with these microorganisms can withstand drought, are disease resistant and bigger in size and produce better yield. They also help in effectively addressing the problem of phosphorus absorption."

Elaborating further, he said that when phosphorus, a major plant nutrient, was added to soil it quickly accumulated in one place, becoming insoluble and immovable. Mycorrhizas had the unique capability to transform the unavailable phosphorus into a form that could easily be absorbed by the plant.

"Pakistan spends precious foreign exchange every year to import phosphorus to make fertiliser. That amount could be saved and we can also reduce the import bill of agricultural produce, if we take advantage of the fungi (mycorrhizas) already present in soil and make them more available by multiplying their growth in laboratories," he said.

Dr Jalaluddin's research focuses on sunflowers. Explaining why he chose the plant as the subject of his research, he said: "Pakistan is deficient in food, especially in edible oil. Around 65 per cent of edible oil is imported on which the country spends US$1 billion every year. So, there was a great need for research that could help us save money. Besides, the oil extracted from sunflowers is one of the best quality and is cholesterol free."

Dr Jalaluddin's research was in its final stages when the government decided to cut down on the Higher Education Commission's budget. Along with other scientists, he said he is now keeping his fingers crossed.

Solutions to salinity, water shortages: "Pakistan faces an acute shortage of fresh water and loses around 400,000 hectares of cultivated land to salinity every year. There are also shortages of fodder, leading to increase in the prices of milk and meat. These problems could be addressed to an extent with the cultivation of halophyte species which are grown in saline soil on brackish water," said Dr M.A. Ajmal Khan, project director, Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation (ISHU), KU.

Highlighting the achievements at ISHU, he said that several species of halophytes, highly salt tolerant plants, had been successfully utilised to make fodder at a farm in Gaddani, while more trials were underway when the budget cut was announced, and the project now hangs in balance.

"We were about to take off when curtailment in finances took place. Though we are seeking local and foreign help, the institute can't do much without government support," he remarked, adding that government support was critical in any scientific venture.

"The good thing about halophytes is that they flourish in saline soil and brackish water. We have a package that, if properly implemented, could contribute significantly in rehabilitating saline land and providing fodder to arid areas like coastal Balochistan that have plenty of saline water resources," he said.

Halophytes, he said, were the most cost-effective method to tackle salinity. They were used for food, forage, fodder, medicinal and ornamental purposes all over the world. Research was also underway at the institute to use halophytes as bio-fuel and to determine the oil quality of the seeds when the financial crisis hit.

Dr Saifullah and Dr Mohammadi also addressed the gathering. Dawn

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