Deforestation in GB

FOREST cover is deficient in Pakistan. It has 4.5 per cent cover of the total land area, while to boost economic development a country needs at least 25 per cent of its total size.

Most of the forest cover is found in Kashmir, KP and the Himalayan mountain ranges, but a major part of the Karakorum and Hindukush mountains in Gigit-Baltistan are barren due to high elevation and lack of rainfall in the monsoon season.

Gilgit-Baltistan experiences extreme cold during winter which usually

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Sewerage water

IN order to eliminate waterborne diseases and stagnant water pools and puddles that serve as breeding grounds for dengue-bearing mosquitoes, a notification to penalise houses with water outside or inside is on the anvil.

But stagnant sewerage water needs to be stopped from entering our compound. Organisations concerned are not taking any action in spite of our close follow-up efforts.

Overflowing sewage inundates our houses and has completely ruined the outer walls and the basement.

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Issues relating to GM corn trials in Pakistan

Recently Dupont Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta had planted Bt / GM Corn / maize for trials in Pakistan to obtain commercial approval for this biotech crop. Now the trials have been destroyed as required by current regulatory framework.

To date no proper law exists to regulate GM crops in Pakistan at the provincial level. As directed by Federal Ministry of Law, after 18th constitutional amendment in Pakistan, provinces should be dealing with this issue and not federal government. Thus a

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Noise pollution in Karachi

IT was saddening to read Dr Saleem Siddiqui’s letter wherein he has lamented how pollution has grown in Karachi and how he and his 95-year-old mother are suffering.

Since their apartment is in a noisy location, so first he should consider shifting to a quieter locality, if possible, as service to his mother, despite the difficulties it is likely to pose.

If that’s impossible, it may be worthwhile to try ear plugs for the lady. These should be available in Karachi since some

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Award for Pakistani students

STUDENTS of various educational institutes of Pakistan participated in international conferences and contests this year. They were able to maintain the trend of excellence.

Two students, Shahbaz Khattak and Moeez Lodhi of the Pak-Turk School, Islamabad, proved themselves to be outstanding in the recently held international computer projects competition in Romania. They earned a silver medal with their presentation of an automatic meter reader (AMR). If utilised in Pakistan, it can relieve

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Unwanted calls and SMSs

AT 75 I am not in much need of a mobile phone. Still I maintain one to keep contact with my daughters. Apart from the very few calls and SMSs from my near and dear ones, I have been receiving SMSs for quite some time containing advertisements of the mobile company.

Of late, however, not only their number has increased but unwanted calls are also being received.

One can learn to live with unwanted SMSs because there is no urgency to open them, but when the bell rings for an unwanted

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Exploiting the ECOSF potential!

Science and technology cooperation among the Muslim states has never been a new phenomena, especially since the inception of Western approach to keep the developing (Muslim) states at bay in this important sector, irrespective of the fact that most of the world renowned personalities in the fields of science, technology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics etc. are from the Muslim world. The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), whose charter was formed under the Izmir Treaty 1997

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Hazards of ozone depletion

THE purpose of great discovery of Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland is to just highlight the harmful effects of CFC, the combinations of chlorine (C), fluorine (F) and carbon (C) atoms, which are being used in multiple things such as refrigerators and aerosol.

The ozone layer protects the earth from dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV), which can cause mutations. In humans a depleted ozone layer would likely mean higher rates of skin cancer, cataracts and immune system problems.

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Reducing industrial pollution

The City District Government of Lahore has recently launched a crackdown on polluting industries located in residential areas and sealed as many as seven such factories on Bund Road and Daroghawala.

The factories burn tyres to melt the iron which is later used to produce steel. However, such burning of tyres causes severe environmental pollution in the city.

Apart from public health issues, the burning of tyres in factories has certain aspects which are mentioned here for

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Education and reforms

IT is heartening to see the Sindh chief secretary taking interest in worsening education affairs in the province. Recently, he has convened a meeting on education reforms in Sindh, focusing on three programmes – public-private partnership, school consolidations and academies model in the UK.

The latter is being considered for replication with some contextual changes. The participants of the meeting included representatives of the World Bank, USAID, DIFD, UNICEF and civil society members

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Focusing on applied research

HERE ARE three types of institutions for basic research: master’s programmes, art and humanity. Basic research institutions focus on research where the fruits of prosperity come after 40 to 50 years. These institutions produce PhDs as faculty members in these institutes take young scholars under their wings for basic research. There is a need for research labs, infrastructure, and finances to convert such inventions into commercially viable products and services.

The faculty members of

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Telecommunications engineering: Suggestions

BEING an experienced telecommunications engineer, I would like to suggest to the HEC, PEC, UET and other universities that telecommunications engineering and electrical engineering studies should be merged to save energy, time, money and infrastructure.

So many universities in Pakistan offer admission in telecom engineering and electrical engineering, producing thousands of engineers every year who remain jobless. There is classification of different departments in engineering and the

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Science and scientists need attention

THE feelings expressed in the following paragraphs regarding science and scientists needing the government’s attention are based on facts and must be given a serious consideration for the sake of national progress.

Primarily we have to agree that without scientific and industrial research the development and progress of a nation is not possible. This statement could be assessed by comparing the progress of developed and underdeveloped countries. The history of research and

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Making teachers training effective

TEACHERS’ training in educational institutes, in general, and in higher education, in particular, has remained a neglected area. Short-term trainings, with no follow-ups, do take place only periodically in our educational institutes to help in-service teachers to become aware of new methods and materials of teaching.

However, these trainings have been mostly parachuted in from outside.

They ignore ground realities and instruct local teachers what is good or bad for their students

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Saving crops in Thar

In Thar, there is no canal system and rain is the single source of water for growing crops. There were heavy rains this year and people were delighted. But the sudden attack of harmful insects on crops has shattered the hopes of the locals. Almost 70 per cent crops have been destroyed. The chief crops of Thar such as bajra, gawar and moong are produced in large quantities. Besides, other agricultural products of Thar are a good source of economy for the country. Gawar is exported by the tons

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