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Volume 05 Issue 43

  • Pakistan’s thriving technology sector is full of potential, needs to be tapped

    STAFF REPORT ISB: With a large youth population in Pakistan, innovation and entrepreneurship have emerged as viable means of dealing with the problems like political instability and week law and order. However, a field does not have to be completely novel itself for innovation to take place. By that same token, an idea can be born and take root anywhere and at any time and the country is filled with this spirit. Close observation shows that the country has emerged as a thriving technology state full of potential and strength, which has grown by leaps and bounds during the last severa…Read More

  • ECC reviews proposal for exemption on ING import

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) here has considered the proposal for exempting LNG import from Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) and GST. The proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for exempting LNG import from GIDC and GST. Federal Minister for Finance Senator, Muhammad Ishaq Dar chaired the meeting of the ECC in Islamabad at the Prime Minister’s Office. The chair after deliberations accorded exemption from GIDC as it was not applicable on imports as recommended by the committee…Read More

  • Anusha highlights IT potential for investments

    STAFF REPORT ISB: There exists a huge potential for investment and profitable business ventures in telecom sector in Pakistan and foreign investors can take advantage of these opportunities, Minister of State for IT&T Anusha Rehman said. “Investment can be made in manufacturing of 3G/4G compatible mobile handsets in wake of new opportunities created after launch of advanced telecom services,” said the minister while addressing a recently held two-day conference.She highlighted investment opportunities and investor friendly policies and said Pakistan offered the most lib…Read More

  • WB backs out of Thar coal project over pollution issue

    STAFF REPORT KHI: The World Bank has pledged to finance a $30 million project relating to Thar coal but later withdrew its support citing a ‘policy change’ as the reason, said Sindh Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro told the assembly. He said this while responding to questions regarding the energy department during the assembly session. Dr Mandhro said that the World Bank had changed its policy because of environmental concerns relating to pollution generated from the coal-fired power plants. He said that many environmental g…Read More

  • Pakistan to have solar-powered vehicle in near future

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Pakistan, badly hit by energy crisis, would be having a solar-powered vehicles in near future as the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) has approved the technology and standards of a solar power driven vehicle prototype. The vehicle, produced by the Ageco company has introduced a solar-powered prototype car which is doorless and has apparently no beauty in looks. According to an official close to this development disclosed this scribe that industrial production of this solar vehicles could get underway after the federal government’s Eng…Read More

  • Wind industry takes next step forward with GE

    STAFF REPORT KHI: GE Wind Turbines GE has announced to provide 33 wind turbines to the Sapphire Wind Power farm in the southeastern Pakistani province of Sindh, located just outside the provincial capital of Karachi. The move marks GE’s first wind order in the country, and takes Pakistan another step towards its own renewable energy goals. Pakistan is not a name that often appears in the renewable energy news hedalines, but the country is not without its own clean energy industry. With the Jhimpir Wind Power Plant also located in Sindh, and the proposed 1,000 MW Qu…Read More

  • Experts stress highly skilled force for progress

    STAFF REPORT LHR: Professionals at an event stressed the need for building highly skilled and tech-savvy work force in line with the world’s fast transition to technology to improve productivity efficiently and effectively. “Through intelligent software and internet technology, we will see tremendous increase in productivity in energy, transport and medical care sectors, and customisation of mass production through 3D printing,” said software engineer Saad Bin Tahir. He said that the downside is in fueling of inequality due to constant higher return on capital than the e…Read More

  • VU signs MoU with Sargodha varsity for quality education

    STAFF REPORT LHR: The Virtual University of Pakistan and University of Sargodha (UOS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to ensure quality education. Through this MoU, the two institutions will offer joint degree programmes in the field of education and research while students of UOS would get quality education by the modern means of communication, says a press release issued here. The Virtual University of Pakistan will provide its international quality academic contents to UOS. VU will also offer its airtime to UOS for its academic purposes. The Virtual University will provide its Learning Management System, Examination System and interna…Read More

  • China felicitates Pakistan for becoming ITU member

    STAFF REPORT ISB: China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), Pakistan’s first and only 4G mobile service and subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Corporation, has congratulated Pakistan particularly Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for IT and Telecom, and Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman, PTA, upon winning a seat in the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Council. The electoral procedure to select the 48 members for the ITU Council has recently taken place at the 19th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in Busan, South Korea. “This is certainly a proud moment for the government as well as all Pakistanis. Pakistan’s ICT industry has made fast progress and has set a posi…Read More

  • SAARC ministers chart common agenda for education

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Education Ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have issued a joint statement in New Delhi titled ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Education’ with the resolve to ensure increased use of information technology. The Education Ministers and officials of eight South Asian countries have resolved to collaborate on increased use of information technology and improving the quality of education.The second meeting of Education Ministers of SAARC held in New Delhi which was attended by representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and chaired by Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani.…Read More

  • UK Pak boy becomes youngest computer expert

    MONITORING REPORT ISB: Ayan Qureshi from Birmingham has become Microsoft’s the youngest-ever certified computer specialist. With a mastery of gadgetry well beyond his six years, Ayan last month became the youngest-ever certified Microsoft Computer Specialist. Ayan was five when he took the exam at Birmingham University, toppling Pakistani Mehroz Yawar who passed the exam at the age of six and a half. The MCP title indicates a professional proficiency with Microsoft operating systems, and is often attained by aspiring IT technicians just before or after atte…Read More

  • USAID-trained experts mull strategy for quality water

    STAFF REPORT ISB: As many as 32 Pakistani professionals from the water management and agriculture sectors who participated in a USAID training programme in 2012 and 2014 have met in Islamabad to discuss the follow-up actions from their visits to the United States and Australia. Representatives from both the public and private sectors were able to discuss how they would apply the techniques they learned from the training to improve irrigation practices in Pakistan. During the training programme, the participants observed modern water management systems and technolo…Read More

  • 3rd phase of ASLP set to boost farming, dairy sectors

    STAFF REPORT FSD: The Australian-Pakistan Agricultural Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) 3rd third phase will be kicked off to strengthen agricultural and dairy sector and ensure food security in the county. ASLP delegation comprising Dr Sandra Mustafa from University of Canberra, Australia and Operation Manager Munawar Kazmi, while talking to University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad here. Dr Sandra said that under the ASLP phase 2, work on different fruit including mango, dairy, citrus and others were carried on the three components to streng…Read More

  • HEC desires stronger academic ties with New Zealand

    STAFF REPORT ISB: HEC Chairman Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed has expressed his resolve that the commission is committed to promoting collaborative research with other international universities and welcomed such projects from New Zealand. “We need to build relations from the scholar to university and university to country. The need to expand scope of higher education globally is vital as working in isolation was no longer feasible to make progress,” the HEC chairman said while addressing a delegation of New Zealand university representatives and government. He briefed the visitors about HEC’s programmes and discussed the increase in placement of HEC scholars in New Zealand’s un…Read More

  • Android software co-creator quits Google

    MONITORING REPORT ISB: Google has confirmed that an executive behind the world’s leading mobile device software Android is leaving the company to create an incubator for hardware startups. According to details, Rubin became a Google executive in 2005 when the Internet titan bought Android Inc., which was then a small startup that Rubin co-founded two years earlier. Rubin led the Android team at Google until last year, by which time Android was the most widely used smartphone operating system in the world.Rubin switched to managing the robotics team at Google. “I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Google chief executive Larry Page said in a stateme…Read More

  • SDPI, GIFT university ink MoU to boost coop

    STAFF REPORT ISB: GIFT University, Gujranwala, and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the fields of research and policy advocacy. Both the institutions enjoy a repute of research and advocacy on inclusive development at national and local levels. Apart from teaching activities, the GIFT University is extensively involved in research in the areas of regional trade, investment cooperation, information technology, and local business development. SDPI has been working for the past 22 years as a center of excellence on sustainable development policy research, capacity development and a…Read More

  • Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 4 with fanfare

    STAFF REPORT LHR: Samsung’s latest innovation – the Galaxy Note 4 –has been launched through a star-studded event-cum-concert, to create a delightful fanfare in Lahore. The Note 4 is the latest edition of a series of Android Smart Phablets from Samsung’s ongoing journey of innovation. The participants also had the opportunity to learn and experience the breakthroughs in digital convergence technologies featured in the Galaxy Note 4.  Key features of the new device include a 16 megapixel camera that offers a wide selfie mode, Li-Ion 3220 mAh battery, Super AMOLED capacitive…Read More

  • Intersil Corp swells board of directors from 7 to 9

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Intersil Corp has appointed two executives to its board of directors, bringing the total number of independent directors to nine. Sohail Khan is an experienced technology veteran with a more than 30 years track record of successful management within high tech companies, including running multi-billion dollar businesses. Forrest Norrod has a deep background in developing and marketing key enterprise computing solutions at top systems and IC suppliers. “We welcome the addition of Sohail and Forrest, both of whom nicely complement the expertise of our …Read More

  • Organic kitchen gardening inaugurated at NPC

    STAFF REPORT ISB: To meet the challenge of food security and to maximise the produce, Genetically Modified seeds are being promoted in developing countries like Pakistan. However, the bleak side-effects of GM seeds are often neglected. Subh-e-Nau, an environment and public health concern charity, has organised an inauguration ceremony of kitchen garden at National Press Club that charity has recently raised with planting number of different indigenous plant species. Minister of Information Senator Pervaiz Rasheed inaugurated the ceremony by planting saplings…Read More

  • HEC calls for promoting quality scientific research

    STAFF REPORT LHR: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has laid great emphasis on the promotion of modern quality scientific research in higher education in Pakistan.Speaking at a ceremony for unveiling plaque of extension of Business and Social Science Block on Friday, Forman Christian College (FCC) (A Chartered University) Rector Dr James A Tebbe said that the college has a commitment not to just prepare men and women for their chosen profession but also to educate broadly so that they become good responsible citizens of Pakistan. He said that new building also houses the growing …Read More

  • Pak delegation to visit Sweden for renewable projects

    STAFF REPORT KHI: A delegation of Pakistani companies will visit Sweden from 24-29 November to hold meetings with green technology and renewable energy experts and companies to explore opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures for transfer of Swedish expertise and technologies to Pakistan. Sweden ranks first among the world’s 10 greenest economies in 2014 and a bulk of the country’s energy needs are met through renewable sources such as wind, water, biogas and district power and heating produced from household and municipal waste. “We are happy to see rising interest in environment-friendly renewable energy technologies in the private and public sector of Pakist…Read More

  • VCs at odds with KP govt over university reforms

    STAFF REPORT PESH: Vice chancellors of government universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are at odds with the provincial higher education department over the proposed criteria of their removal and performance evaluation. Sources said the VCs of 19 public sector universities in the province had shown concerns over three to four points of the reforms proposed by the working group about themselves.The sources said major concern of VCs was about the appointment and removal of a vice chancellor as well as evaluation of the performance of public sector universities.They said besides other reforms, the working group has also recommended to the HED to evaluate the performance of VCs two ye…Read More

  • Speakers call for examining local conflicts to check radicalisation

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The participants at a national consultation on ‘Research and Teaching of Conflict Studies and Conflicts in Pakistan’ have emphasized to examine the local conflicts in order to eradicate the rising radicalisation of the society.The event was organised by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS).They stressed to introduce local conflict studies as a subject in all universities of Pakistan. During the meeting, IUCPSS and I-SAPS agreed to develop five local case studies on local conflicts, one from each province and to train young faculty members on the subject.The consultation was chaired by Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, VC, University of Haripur, and Chairman Inter U…Read More

  • Telenor expands 3G services in 45 cities

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Telenor Pakistan has expanded its 3G footprint to 45 cities across Pakistan. During the fifth phase of commercial rollout, the 3G services were launched in Lodhran, Khanewal, Malakand, Rahim Yar Khan, Murree and Nathia Gali, and Lower Dir, Mansehra, Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki and Bhakkar will be equipped with 3G service by the end of this month. A free trial of 3G services will be offered to customers in these areas for two weeks, including up to 50 MB per day. The announcement comes as Telenor reported a jump in capex in the country to NOK 451 millio…Read More

  • Wheat production target set at 19.5m tons in Punjab

    STAFF REPORT MULTAN: The Punjab government has fixed the wheat production target at 19.5 million tons for 2015, said Agriculture Executive District Officer Shafqat Hussain Bhatti. “Action would be taken against adulterated seed and fertilizer mafia,” said Bhattti while addressing a seminar on wheat production technology in Multan. He advised the growers to use approved and recommended seed varieties and fertilizer for maximum wheat yield. In his remarks, Agriculture District Officer Habib Akhtar Jillani said that 19,430,000 ton wheat was produced in Punjab…Read More

  • World firms to attend Iran power exhibition

    MONITORING REPORT ISB: Iran’s 14th International Electricity Exhibition will kick off in Tehran next week with the participation of a large number of Iranian and foreign companies. “The electricity will start on November 8-12 where 441 companies are going to participate,” Deputy Energy Minister Hooshang Fallahatian told the media. “A sum of 15 percent of the Middle East’s electricity output will belong to Iran by 2015,” Marvi said, addressing the 29th International Electricity Conference in Tehran. Iran currently swaps power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkm…Read More

  • GIS – an imperative tool for healthcare planning

    “We have enough water, enough food, enough money; we have enough of everything except the ability to agree and move forward.” – Abdul Kalam, former President of India. During the past decade, Geographic Information System (GIS) applications have tended to focus upon eight major models: agricultural, climate impact, health, parasitology, pesticide, pollution, waste management and wildlife management. Health topics addressed in a GIS format included: commuter safety, environmental health decisions, health data maps, mapping of health service providers, pop…Read More

  • Agrochemicals and soil micro-biota

    Chemicals that are used in agricultural industries, in particular for crop protection, are known as agrochemicals or the synonym agrichemicals. Many agrichemicals are toxic, and agrichemicals in bulk storage may pose significant environmental and/or health risks, particularly in the event of accidental spills. In many countries, use of agrichemicals is highly regulated. Government-issued permits for purchase and use of approved agrichemicals may be required. Significant penalties can promote misuse, including improper storage resulting in spillage. On farms, proper storage facilitie…Read More

  • Pakistan’s Pine Nuts rank second in the world

    Pine nuts or kernels are referred to small seeds which are eatable. They are extracted from the cones of various species of pine. Out of the more than 100 different species of Pinus that exist worldwide, only 29 species generate edible nuts according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 1995 & 1998). However, the commercial species which are traded locally or internationally numbered to twenty only. Recently, pine nuts have received a huge appreciation from international markets. The seeds (pine nuts) are called piñones in Spanish and pinoli or pignoli in Italian. However, …Read More

  • Potential of mango seed and kernal oil in Pakistan

    Mango (botanical name; Magnifera indica) is the evergreen world popular fruit tree due to delicious, nutritious and good taste and grown since more than 4000 years ago in the tropical areas of the world. In Pakistan, mango cultivation area is about 93.42 thousand hectares and production is 915.3 thousand tons. Mango growing districts in Punjab are Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh, and Rahim Yar khan. There are many variations depending upon variety on an average dry stone weight that comprises 10 per cent of fruit weight, while kernel makes the 75 per cent of seed weight. On average…Read More

  • Post-harvest management to control alflatoxin contamination of chilli

    Chili (Capsicum annum L.) of family Solanaceae is both a vegetable and a spice crop of significant economic value in Pakistan. Chili is an important ingredient in day to day curries, pickles and chatnies. It is very remunerative and brings good returns to the farmers. Chilies are produced seasonally but consumed throughout the year. The pods are marketed both in green and red form. There exists a great scope for its export. The pungency in chilies is due to an alkaloid capsaicin which has high medicinal value. The stem end of the pod has most of the glands that produce the capsaicin.…Read More

  • Use of sorghum crop for biogas production

    The world is emphasizing to reduce the CO2 emissions, increase energy efficiency and the proportion of renewable energy sources in total energy production to 0.20 by 2020. Biogas is one of the important renewable energy sources. Biogas production from agricultural biomass is getting importance due to offering different environmental benefits. Many types of crops are being used for biogas production including maize, sorghum, sunflower, sudan grass, fodder beet, poor oat grass meadows, small-sedge poor-fen, meadow, and montane hay meadow. Biogas consists mainly of methane (CH4) and …Read More

  • Controlling polio through technology tools

    Where the incredible rise in polio cases to over 230 in the year 2014 alone in Pakistan has rung alarm bells for the government, the international stakeholders too are at unease. They fear the situation may aggravate in case remedial measures are not taken or flaws at polio vaccination drives execution stage are not detected in time. Various factors including governments as well as local communities’ involvement, field workers and security agencies have played a significant role in stamping out the polio virus in the polio-marked states. It, no doubt, is a huge but coordinated national exercise at all level ranging from government to lowest level of public administration in remote area…Read More