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Volume 06 Issue 04

  • Intel Fair winners to represent Pakistan at ISEF in Pittsburgh

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Keeping its years long tradition of holding science competition among the shining students of various educational institutions across the country, this year too, the Intel Pakistan has recently concluded its National Science Competition by gathering a large number of student participants in different categories. The event was held at the Sir Syed Memorial Complex here. On the occasion, the company announced the winners of the science competition. Qaiser Majeed Malik, Additional Secretary CA&DD, graced the event as chief guest. A…Read More

  • PARC, SALU ink MoU to promote S&T

    STAFF REPORT ISB: PARC and Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) have inked an MoU aimed at strengthening scientific and technical cooperation between the two organizations. The MoU would remain operative for five years. The MoU would help strengthen the scientific infrastructure and technology to promote culture of advanced science and technology. Chairman PARC Dr. Iftikhar was also present at the signing ceremony. According to the MoU, both the organizations would pursue a programme of scientific, technical and academic collaboration for the exchange of ideas, skills and techniques on problems of national interest as mutually agreed from time to time.They…Read More

  • Pak entrepreneurship being stifled: Survey

    STAFF REPORT KHI: Pakistan’s economy is ‘mostly unfree’ as people are not empowered enough to work, produce, consume, own, trade and invest as per their personal choices. According to a recent study conducted by a leading Washington-based think tank, Heritage Foundation, Pakistan ranks 121st among 178 countries of the world when it comes to economic freedom. The index categorises countries in five groups: free, mostly free, moderately free, mostly unfree and repressed. Pakistan ranks in the second last category with the likes of Nigeria (120), Kenya (122), India (128) an…Read More

  • 0.12m garments workers to get vocational training

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The government is set to launch a new vocational training programme to train workers in the textile industry over the five years as part of its measures to facilitate the knitwear industry and enhance exports. Under the plan, initiated by the Ministry of Textile Industry, around 120,000 men and women would get training for skills required in garments and made-ups. “The government has approved Textiles Package in Budget 2014-15 which included some important initiatives,” said an official of the ministry. Under the facilitation plan, …Read More

  • PARC signs MoUs with AJK varsities for S&T coop

    STAFF REPORT ISB: PARC has signed MoUs with the University of AJK and the University of Poonch-Rawalakot, AJ&K, for enhance cooperation in the fields of science and technology. PARC, UAJ&K and UPR-AJ&K recognize that mutual scientific and technical cooperation will advance the state of science and technology within the country and strengthen the scientific infrastructure and will bring benefits to all sides. Under the MoUs all the parties will exchange and share new knowledge, scientific and research material, train faculty members, coordinate scientific research and technological development programmes in selected areas. PARC will also assist both u…Read More

  • 2 million unverified SIMs blocked

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Around two million SIMs have been blocked around across Pakistan as the government had declared that all unverified SIMs may be blocked to keep a check over security. Total SIMs were 135 million which were to be verified out of which two million were blocked and other are in the process of verification or blockade. National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication has recently been informed that a joint working group formed by the Ministry of Interior has been working on the process since January 12 last year.…Read More

  • PTA calls for setting up of mobile testing lab

    STAFF REPORT KHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said that a mobile testing lab for inspecting imported cell phones’ IMEIs, equipment’s quality and electromagnetic rays was the need of the time. “All the suggestions for simplifying complex policies would be forwarded to the concerned ministry in order to provide relief to the traders,” said the Director Enforcement PTA during his recently visit to KCCI and KEDA. On the occasion, he gave suggestions on various policies affecting the local businesses and to improve the process of Type Approval Certification of i…Read More

  • BC CEO evaluates universities’ role fort quality education

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Ciarán Devane, the new Chief Executive Officer of the British Council, has recently visited HEC to participate in the orientation event “The UK and Pakistan: Increasing Investment in Research for Higher Education.” The programme was aimed at providing an opportunity to beneficiaries of the HEC-British Council collaborative education and research initiatives to meet the new CEO and benefit from his international experience and proficiency. HEC Chairman Prof. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Country Director of British Council Pakistan Peter Upton and Acting Executive Dir…Read More

  • CDWP approves power, education projects

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The transmission scheme for dispersal of power from Neelum-Jhelum and evacuation of power from 147MW Patrind hydropower projects are among 21 projects worth Rs41.17 billion approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) during its recent meeting held in Islamabad. According to details, for the evacuation of power from the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project, a 270km 500kV transmission line has been proposed up to Gujranwala, which will be constructed in two phases. The first phase containing 145km transmission line from Neelum-Jhelum to Domeli near Rawat will be completed by December this year, where it will be connected with the existing 500kV …Read More

  • Investment startups at this point a smart bet

    STAFF REPORT KHI: Industry experts believe that some Pakistani startups have the potential to join the Billion-Dollar Startup Club – companies that are valued by venture capitalists (VCs) at $1 billion or more. “Technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan is at a tipping point and investment in the country’s startups at this point will be a smart bet,” said LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship’s Executive Director Khurram Zafar. Farhan Masood, Founder of SoloMetrics, is a talented entrepreneur that earned international recognition for producing the world’s…Read More

  • Zong adopts Microsoft’s private cloud

     STAFF REPORT KHI: Microsoft’s private-cloud technology, comprising Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft System Center 2012, has been adopted by Zong, one of the leading telecommunication services brands of Pakistan. According to details, through the creation of this new customised design and architecture for the telecom enterprises, the cost of bringing this paradigm shift in technology will be quickly covered through faster return on investment (ROI), while it will significantly improve Zong users’ experience too. It is to be mentioned here that the CMPAK has recently acquired 3G and 4G telecommunications spectrum to further enrich its nationwide GSM voice and data …Read More

  • NESPAK gets contract for Saudi dams

    STAFF REPORT LHR: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Water & Electricity has awarded a new contract for the supervision of 15 small dams’ project in Jezan, Najran and Aseer regions to Pakistan’s state-owned National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK). According to details, the main purpose of these dams is to utilize water for drinking and irrigation purposes. The total construction cost of the dams under the supervision of Pakistani company is 482.4 million Saudi riyals. The company’s scope of services includes overall contract management, progress monitoring, review of design & construction drawings, preparation of quality control plans & procedures, i…Read More

  • Efforts on for uniform curriculum

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Federal Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman has said that efforts are underway to bring a uniform curriculum after consultation with the provinces. In his address while distributing awards and cash prizes amongst the toppers of Federal Board of Intermediate Secondary Education in Islamabad recently, the minister said that the government will impart primary education to the teachers 100 religious seminaries across the country. In this regard, he also said that Rs50 million have been allocated this year for the capacity building of teachers. The minister further said that education budget has substantially been increased and we want t…Read More

  • Saudi, Pak IT firms sign B2B agreements

    MONITORING REPORT ISB: Over five IT, telecom and technology firms from Pakistan have recently have reached agreements with several Saudi companies to cooperate in related fields in the Kingdom. These companies had participated in the  TECH Seminar organized by Pakistan Embassy’s Commercial Section in Riyadh. Global Control, MAS Holdings, Communication Concepts and Corporate Solutions are negotiating details of their engagements with Pakistan’s 360 Technologies, 360 Logics, Kualitatem, and 313 Evolution. Hani Almuhammad, CEO of Global Control (a Saudi-owned comp…Read More

  • Ufone celebrates its 14th anniversary

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Ufone has celebrated its 14th anniversary with a central cake cutting ceremony held at the Ufone Tower in Islamabad. Such ceremonies also took place at all other offices of the company nationwide. The event was attended by the Executive Management Team along with a large number of Ufone employees. Everyone was seen attending the ceremony with cheerful faces as Ufone vows to celebrate this year with its key three attributes; ‘khushyaan’, ‘raabtay’, ‘muskurahataen’ by rejoicing them throughout the year.   …Read More

  • Korean help sought to mature IT Park

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Minster of State for IT&T Anusha Rahman thas emphasised the need for further strengthening cooperation between Korea and Pakistan in the field of multiple sectors especially information technology. She said this while talking to Ambassador of Korea Song Jong Hawan who has recently called on her in Islamabad. The minister sought the Ambassador’s support in fast tracking implementation of the first “IT Park” in the country which is being established in Islamabad with the financial assistance of Exim Bank, Korea. The Ambassador assured that he…Read More

  • International telecom traffic up to 2.8b

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The international telecom traffic from Pakistan posted 40 percent increase last year touching 345.7 billion minutes mark and the traffic from cellular to fixed networks remained the same at 2.9 billion minutes during the same period. Similarly, the international traffic originating from cellular mobile networks has also increased to 2.8 billion minutes as compared to 1.9 billion minutes last year, registering 47 per cent growth during 2014. However, the international incoming traffic on cellular mobile networks dropped to 5.6 billion estimated minutes…Read More

  • Need stressed to give new direction to USF

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Universal Service Fund (USF), created with the aim to help deploy telecom infrastructure in unserved areas, has failed to deliver. By some estimates, in the last 7-8 years, USF has collected over Rs100 billion from operators. Yet it has contracted projects for less than 30 percent of that amount. Actual disbursements are said to be even low. It is to be mentioned here the mobile operative are bound to pay 1.5 per cent of their annual revenues to the USF for these project. Pakistan needs to change the policy that could put the USF on its original trac…Read More

  • USDA launches handbook on fish farming, nutrition

    STAFF REPORT KHI: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Soybean Association have launched the “Aquaculture Handbook – Fish Farming and Nutrition in Pakistan”. The handbook, jointly written by Pakistani and US scientists, is part of the ongoing USDA effort to expand farmed-fish yields and farmer incomes through better fish feeding and management practices. “Coastal and inland fish farming presents an opportunity to make seafood available to more consumers at more reasonable prices, while generating additional income for Pakistan’s farmers,” said US Consul Gener…Read More

  • Dr. Salam paid tributes for promoting research culutre

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Speakers have paid glowing tributes to Nobel Laureate Prof Dr Abdul Salam while celebrating his 89th birth anniversary at the AIOU. While narrating the achievements of the great scientist, they urged the youth to follow his footprints, earning good name for the country and themselves. In his remarks, Vice-Chancellor AIOU Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that Dr Salam proved the fact that one can realise his dream by hard work and strong commitment, no matter what hurdles come in his way. The AIOU, he said, has attached a top priority to the research wo…Read More

  • K-Electric, CMEC to develop coal power project

    STAFF REPORT KHI: K-Electric (KE) has signed an agreement with China Machinery Engineering (CMEC) to set up a 700MW coal-fired power project in Pakistan.Apart from the two firms, China Datang Overseas Investment Company (CDTO) is also part of the joint development agreement, which is aimed at constructing a $1 billion power plant at Port Qasim. KE intends to boost its generation capacity with the project.“This initiative is in line with KE’s vision of Karachi being a net exporter of power in the years ahead,” said KE CEO Tayyab Tareen adding this initiative is in line wit…Read More

  • Experts for rationale wheat pricing mechanism

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The government needs to rationalise the support pricing mechanism to address a problem which is fiscally unsustainable, Dr. Abid Qayum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI,  has said. He expressed these views while discussing the wheat policy pricing structure, at a special lecture on ‘Pakistan’s Wheat Economy and Food Security,” recently held at SDPI, Islamabad. He also suggested institutionalizing the role of middleman in order to regulate the wheat procurement activity. He cautioned that now after the fuel crisis, wheat-flour crisis is on the h…Read More

  • Govt to establish world class ‘Research & Innovations Center’

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Minister for IT Anusha Rehman has said that it’s our utmost priority to establish a “Research & Innovations Center” of international standard so that the best quality of research could be produced in Pakistan. She said this while chairing the 33rd Board of Directors (BoD) meeting of ICT R&D Fund Company held recently in Islamabad. She said that the company has significant importance in the development of ICT sector in the country. The minister said that unfortunately the company is working without a permanent CEO and other important positi…Read More

  • HEC chief stresses need for quality education

    STAFF REPORT LHR: An induction ceremony for freshman at the University of Engineering and Technology’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes has recently been held at the varsity campus. HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmad was the chief guest. “You should be proud of joining such a prestigious institution,” he said and exhorted the entrants to work hard. Speaking about the HEC, he said the status of higher education in the country was improving every day. He said at least 10 higher education institutions in Pakistan had been included in the top institutions in the world. …Read More

  • Mobile operators asked to expand network in rural areas

    STAFF REPORT ISB: The National Assembly Standing Committee on IT&T has recommended the PTA to direct the mobile companies to expand their network of services to under-developed and rural areas of Pakistan. The committee made these directions while discussing suggestions to improve the performance of mobile cellular companies after induction of 3G & 4G technologies. The committee appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Information Technology for making efforts to dredge out “Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill” and preparing its draft in short span of time.…Read More

  • No quality check at seaports for steel products

    STAFF REPORT ISB: Pakistan’s all-important construction industry is by and large using substandard steel products imported in recent months. According to industry sources, during 2014 approximately 0.25 million tons of steel billets, bars, wire rods and flat sheets were imported. Industry sources claimed that the quality of the imported steel was not being tested by the PSQCA and Customs on the country’s seaports. “The goods are cleared on the basis of PSQCA’s temporary release certificates and no further investigation is carried out before such goods are used in the country’s infrastructure,” claimed an executive of a re-rolling mill, requesting anonymity.…Read More

  • Telenor chief asks consumers for SIMs BVM verification

    STAFF REPORT KHI: The telecom sector is closely working with the law enforcement agencies on national security and trying hard to complete the re-verification of cellular SIMs in the best way possible. “The citizens should fulfill their civic duty by getting their SIMs verified as early as they can,” Telenor Pakistan CEO Michael Patrick Foley said in a media roundtable. He stressed the importance of national security, adding everybody should play their part to end terrorism. “What we [telecom industry] have been asked to do is very small,” Foley said, referring…Read More

  • Environment - an agenda for human health promotion

    “Health is the greatest wealth” and “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it (Josh Billings)” are eminent proverbs highlighting the importance of health. Health is not just being free from disease or any other abnormality but broadly speaking, it is a condition of complete physical, mental and social well-being. There is constant interaction of human with environment which is also inevitable. Years of healthy life and quality of life are enhanced by maintaining the healthy environment. Environmental factors are responsible for all diseases and about 1/4th disease load. All physical, chemical and biological factors external to human are component pa…Read More

  • E-waste - end life of electronic equipment

    What is e-waste? Electronic waste (or e-waste) includes computers, entertainment electronics, mobile phones and other items that have reached the end of their useful life. E-waste in BC BC’s Return-It Electronics programme is a province-wide, industry-led E.P.R. recycling programme for end-of-life electronics. It is available to all consumers and businesses in British Columbia. The programme was created in response to an amendment to the provincial Recycling Regulation in February 2006 which called for the electronics industry to take responsibility for the lif…Read More

  • Zero hunger challenge: A world free from hunger

    A new global challenge for agricultural researchers and individuals from all sectors is “A world free from hunger”. Drought-like situations in Tharparker affected 1.5 million people living over 22,000 square kilometers and collated death toll in 2014 is reported as 470. The deaths represent those areas where journalists are able to gain access but unfortunately, deaths of scores of infants who have died in villages and private clinics cannot be reported. As we see there is enough food in the world to feed our growing population, so the challenge comes from making sure that everyone ha…Read More

  • Modern irrigation techniques

    Irrigation is the artificial application of water to plants. It had started as long as human beings started growing the plants. Earlier, people have buckets to apply the water to plants. This method of watering the plants is still in action, but also other methods have been invented. Out of these, some methods are traditional which are used mostly at common level and some are modern irrigation method. 1. Traditional irrigation methods: (i) Check Basin Method. (ii) Furrow Irrigation Method. (iii) Strip Irrigation Method. (iv) Basin Irrig…Read More

  • IT industry of Pakistan: A new threat

    Over the past decade, Pakistan has been in its worst economic crisis ever because of various reasons, including, but not limited to terrorism, the energy crisis and corrupt governments. The country’s reputation in the world is on a steep decline. Pakistan used to be renowned for the production and exportation of textile products. Now, most of the textile units have been moved to Malaysia and Bangladesh. The main reasons are electricity issues, bribes from various authorities and unnecessary taxes. The only industry that was doing well, despite Pakistan’s international reput…Read More

  • Science journalists’ capacity building

    Science journalists working in developing countries especially Pakistan face a number of challenges particularly in getting local stories, dealing with reluctant or unskilled scientists, dealing with press officers who do not understand the science. They often have to deal with multiple languages, face the difficult task of translating science material from English, and consider how scientific knowledge connects with indigenous knowledge. And if they get to report on science at all, it is usually driven by health issues or the latest environmental crisis. There has been some media coverage in recent years on topics such as the growing digital divide, the role of information technology …Read More