11 Pak graduates get MEXT Scholarship
Islamabad, March 27: Aiming to provide students an opportunity to pursue higher studies in their respective fields of study in Japanese universities, the government of Japan on Friday awarded MEXT Research Scholarships for year 2010 to the 11 postgraduate students of Pakistan.
This fully funded Japanese scholarships programme is designed to contribute to long-term development needs of Pakistan for promoting good governance, economic growth and human development.
The scholarship grantees have been selected by the Embassy of Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) in collaboration with the MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP).
Chihiro Atsumi, the ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, hosted a reception at his official residence in the honour of the scholarship grantees.
The alumni of this scholarship programme were also invited to the reception to exchange views and share their knowledge with fresh scholarship grantees.
In the opening speech, the Japanese ambassador asked the students to prepare for the changes they would encounter in Japan.
He also expressed his hope that the students would come back to Pakistan and work towards betterment of Pakistan-Japan relations.
Atsumi hoped that the students would not only learn Japanese language, but also communicate with Japanese people. He said Life in Japan would be completely different from that of Pakistan. "For instance, while trying to maintain its traditional lifestyle, Japan is equipped with modern technology, from subway stations to private homes. You may find it interesting to see advanced technology and machinery everywhere and they can at times inconvenience you. But I hope the hospitality and friendship of the Japanese people will get you through any adjustments you need to make," the ambassador said.
At the end, he congratulated all scholarship grantees for their accomplishments and wished them best of luck in further studies.
Over 100 MEXT Research scholars have successfully returned to Pakistan after obtaining their PhD /Master's degrees in Japan. They are actively working in various fields, making a significant contribution to Japan-Pakistan relationship by different means. The newsYour Comments
60% believe both HE, SS important for a good job
Islamabad: According to a Gilani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, more than half of all Pakistanis (60%) believe both higher education (HE) and having special skills (SS) are important for a good job and income.
According to survey 25% believe only higher education is important whereas 13% believe only having special skills matter. The remaining 2% gave no response.
The findings of the survey reveal that a proportionally higher percentage of respondents from higher income groups believe, that to have a good source of income (job) both matter a lot. App
NWFP schools' closure
Peshawar: The shortage of teachers has forced the closure of 367 government-run primary schools for girls and boys across the NWFP, more than 30 of them in Peshawar alone. As a result, over 36,700 students are now out of school, most of them in remote areas where there is no option of taking admission in another school.
This is an unacceptable state of affairs. The number of educational institutions, primary schools in particular, in the NWFP has always been far from adequate. The situation plummeted in recent years when the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militant outfits put schools, particularly those for girls, in their crosshairs. With this threat having been reduced to some extent, it is now essential that schools stay open and, indeed, try to increase the numbers of admissions.That people want their children to have access to education is evident from the fact that the schools now closed remained functional for many years after their establishment, and were staffed by teachers appointed by the Elementary and Secondary Education department - teachers who have now abandoned their positions and left thousands of students in the lurch. The matter merits urgent attention by the authorities: education is not just a constitutional right but also plays a critical role in lifting people out of poverty and darkness. Proper education is also crucial to ensuring that anarchic elements never, in future, find the province conducive to their activities. Dawn
Islamabad: Three legislators, two from the National Assembly and one from the Punjab Assembly, have stepped down after admitting that they held fake degrees. The public representatives, one from the PPP and two from the PML-Q, had been facing disqualification by the Supreme Court. This of course is not a new matter. Other public representatives have faced similar ignominy in the past. The issue of requirement of a degree in order to sit in the assembly is also one that has come up before. It appears in many ways to go against all the natural laws of democracy – particularly in a country where nearly 50 per cent of people remain illiterate or almost so – and as such is an issue that needs to be resolved after a debate in parliament. There is no firm evidence that the educational requirement for MNAs imposed by General Musharraf has in any way acted to raise the standard of debate or discussion. Indeed, what we need more than education is the raising of ethical standards within our assemblies.
The three men now ousted from the assemblies violated basic rules of election. In doing so, they set a terrible example. The claim of one MNA that he had quit merely to change parties is impossible to believe. The fact that the other two representatives claimed to hold 'degrees' from religious centres also once more raises the issue of accepting these as being equivalent to certificates awarded by institutions of higher learning. This single step in itself has paved the way for fraud and deceit of all kinds. It is important that our representatives set the right precedents. The declining ethical standards in our country have had a quite disastrous impact on many aspects of life. It is also alarming to see how far standards have slipped. Those who knew Pakistan in its earlier decades of existence report far better practices at work; in business, in the educational sector and in other spheres of life. Our parliamentarians need to play some part in restoring such norms of honesty. This alone can play a huge part in introducing the reform we need. It is possible that other such people sitting in the assemblies have not been caught. Perhaps they should consider quitting voluntarily, saving themselves the embarrassment faced by their peers and setting an example for others everywhere to follow. The news
AIOU challenges Zakat deduction
Rawalpindi: The Lahore High Court (LHC) here on Friday admitted a petition of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) which challenged deduction of Zakat from its account.
Justice Ijaz Ahmed of the LHC's Rawalpindi Bench issued notices to the Ministry of Zakat and Ushr and national savings centres at G-9 Markaz and I-9 Markaz asking them to file their comments.
Advocate Sardar Shahid Hanif representing the university said his petitioner fixed Rs50.1 million in May 1999 with the two saving centers for 10 years.
When the amount matured and the university applied to withdraw Rs220.4 million due under the agreement the saving centres deducted Rs4.75 million as Zakat, the lawyer said. The lawyer argued that the university moved applications on different relevant forums to get the deducted money back as the AIOU was not liable to pay Zakat under the relevant ordinance of 1980.
Advocate Hanif maintained that under the relevant laws Zakat could not be deducted from a joint account as the amount submitted by the university was obtained from the GP, benevolent and pension funds of the AIOU employees. Dawn
FAST UNIVERSITY SEMINAR
Islamabad: Pakistan is the third largest rice exporter and fifth largest textile producer of the world yet it has lost the pace of development which it had up to 1991, said the former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Husain, while addressing students at a seminar on 'Pakistan's economy and strategies to improve it'.
The seminar was organised on Friday by FAST University in which speakers dwelled on social, economic and technical dimensions of the issue. During his address, Dr. Ishrat Husain said that lack of political continuity has not allowed Pakistan's economy to flourish at a pace, which was required. "Every new government discontinues even useful policies of the previous government due to their own priorities," he said.
He said that India and China have attained present economic strength due to the continuity of policies. "Economic progress is a slow and steady progress like a marathon race which requires continuity in order to give fruitful results," he said.
He advised students to participate vigorously in the glowing global need of the economy, which is required by the world. "A skilled manpower can contribute a lot in the development of an economy. Reduction of fiscal deficit and strict monetary policy to minimise inflation is the need of the hour," he added.
Dr Ishrat stressed on the need for female education while referring to an example of Vietnam where initially female population did not contribute much in the development of the country, but later on proved to be an important segment contributing towards the overall development of the country. "Nowadays Pakistan's exports range is approximately round 19 to 20 billion dollars and Vietnam's exports have reached up to 46 billion dollars," he added. The news
PAL geared up to host 'Literary and Cultural Fest'
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has planned to organise an international festival titled 'Literary and Cultural Festival 2011' next year to present soft image of Pakistan all over the world.
Fakhar Zaman, chairman PAL, said this on Friday while giving a briefing about successful celebration of 'International Conference on Sufism and Peace'.
He said that the main objective of the next year's 'Literary and Cultural Festival' is to demonstrate enlightened image of Pakistan.
Talking about the recently held moot on Sufism, Zaman said that the primary objective of this conference was to present the true picture of Pakistan before international delegations that was love, tolerance and brotherhood. "The way the indigenous and foreign media gave us coverage, we consider ourselves quite successful, as over 80 intellectuals, writers, and poets from 35 countries, participated in conference," he said adding 200 intellectuals and writers from Pakistan also participated in that moot.
The PAL chief said arranging 'International Conference on Sufism and Peace' was the dream of Benazir Bhutto, which came true. He said that on the prestigious occasion of international conference, PAL had announced some publications, including Pakistan Kay Sufi Shuara'ra in Urdu, Chinese, English, Spanish, and French.
Beside international conference, Zaman briefed the audience about future projects of the academy. "In our future projects, the most important one is an international conference on which we have started work. In previous conferences I have already announced the establishment of a literary TV channel and FM channel, it's a grand project on which we have started work and we are trying to accomplish it in coming three months," Zaman added.
"We have full cooperation of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. This is also their desire to establish literary TV and radio channels in Pakistan," he said.
He said that PAL had decided to celebrate 2011 as the Year of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. In this regard on February 13, 2011, birthday of Faiz will be celebrated in a national conference in which writers and intellectuals from all over the country would be invited. "PAL has started construction of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Auditorium on its premises, which is going to be completed very soon," he said.
Zaman said PAL is going to arrange 'Sufi Conferences' in provincial capitals, in which the papers will be presented on all Sufis of Pakistan. He said that the academy has already started writers exchange programme with other countries. "The latest development in this regard is this that on the occasion of international conference on Sufism and peace, we have decided to start writers exchange programme with Sweden, Austria, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, Nepal, Azarbaijan , and Tajikistan," PAL chairman said.
The PAL chairman said that the academy in its publication projects had decided that it would publish separate books on the literature of Pakistan's regional languages since 1947-2008. >
He said PAL's future publication project is "Translating Pakistani and International Literature." Daily times
QAU students greet spring season
Islamabad: Setting a fine example of cultural harmony, the students of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) organised Basant Gala at its campus here.
The gala, which was organised by the International Relations Society, was attended a large number of students.
Students from different departments of the university thronged to the various stalls -- food, handicraft, clothes, love jail, song dedication, henna and cards -- and kept the event alive. Love jail and song dedication were, however, attracted the visitors. The fun and frolic reached at its peak when the students started playing dances to their cultural tunes.
I.R Society president Waqas Waraich said: "Events like such are not only seasonal but cultural as well. The event was meant to promote various cultures and bring harmony among the various ethnic groups."
Maria Malik, a student, said that such events should be organised to bring awareness about the diverse cultures. Ma-diha Khaliq, another student, said the cultural dances really rocked the event and it would be part of her university's golden memories. Dawn
Teacher burns himself to death
Islamabad: A 47-year-old school teacher committed suicide by setting himself on fire in his Sector G-6/1-1 house on Friday, police said.
Tariq Iqbal Qureshi returned home from job and went inside his room after having a chat with his wife and other family members.
After locking the door, he doused himself with kerosene oil and set it alight.
On seeing smoke coming out of the room, Mr Qureshi's brother broke open the door but by that time the teacher had sustained severe burns.
He was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, where doctors pronounced him dead.
According to the police, no suicide note was found from his room. Dawn
USAID official visits SZABIST
Islamabad: A representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) visited Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) on Friday.
Croshelle D Harris, deputy director education office, USAID, attended a dialogue session with Syed Asad Hussain, SZABIST Campus head.
She appreciated the institute for maintaining a close interaction with social and industrial sectors, and making utmost efforts for the promotion of research and development. Daily times