US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad

US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad

US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad

US Ambassador in Pakistan Richard Olson visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad

US Ambassador Richard Olson visited the University of Agriculture Faisalabad and called on UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan at his chamber. He also visited the Centre of Agricultural Biochemistry and Biotechnology (CABB), Office of Centre for Advanced Studies in Food Security and Agriculture, Horticulture Sciences Citrus Nursery and Rosa Lab. He was flanked by US Counsel General in Lahore Nina Maria, officials of USAID and others.

The Ambassador said that the United States was providing resources to Pakistan agricultural sector. The steps are aimed at boosting up the productivity. He said that the US was providing scholarships to agricultural scientists to pursue their higher education there. The Vice Chancellor gave a briefing to the Ambassador about the UAF and the agriculture sector in Pak. Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that the UAF was running many US funded projects for the development of the sector to ensure the food security in the region. He linked the poverty alleviation to the uplift of agriculture sector as the majority of country population was living in rural areas. He said that 150 PhDs and masters degree trained through Washington States University Pullman until 1970 that helped the Institution to increase capacity building and ensure the quality education. He added that the UAF had emerged among the top 100 institutions of the globe in the subject of Agriculture Sciences. He said that with the funding of US, as many as four Endowments are functioning in Pakistan to train the manpower, conduct researches, outreach, product commercialization and other areas of the development. The UAF had got the share of Rs 650 million under the Endowment.

Talking about citrus, he said the disease citrus greening is decreasing around 30 percent of the fruit yield in Pakistan becoming responsible for sudden deaths of orchards. It is also an emerging threat to US citrus production. The UAF entomologists have discovered a natural enemy of the greening virus to overcome its outbreak. He said that the same is being taken by US counterparts of California to avert the losses in the production.

Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes visits University of Agriculture UAF Faisalabad

Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes visits University of Agriculture UAF Faisalabad

Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes visits University of Agriculture UAF Faisalabad

Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes visits University of Agriculture UAF Faisalabad

Ambassador of Belgium to Pakistan Peter Claes on Tuesday called for promoting ties between two countries especially in academia, agriculture and trade; and emphasized on dealing with water scarcity and climate changes issues. He was talking to Deans-Directors meeting of University of Agriculture Faisalabad that was chaired by UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan.
He said that agriculture sector was the lifeline for Pakistan which is an agro-based country. He pointed out that universities, in the developed countries, are close to the industry. The same mechanism must be strengthened in Pakistan. He praised the UAF for its services for the agriculture sector in the term of trained manpower and to wining the global recognition. He said that Pakistan population is touching 200 million. It was blessed with the largest canal system. The country has become water scarce country. The modern irrigation practices such as drip irrigation must be promoted. He said that climate changes impact on the crops needs to be tackled with modern and sophisticated research work and the efforts.

He stressed the need to collaborated efforts on the part of the both countries on the issue of water, bio masses and agriculture. He said that Belgium was having the population of 11 million. He said that the collaboration works between the two countries in agriculture will pave the way to further progress. The share of agriculture in his country was 3 percent to the Gross Domestic Product, he said, adding that the agriculture sector attained an immense importance across the globe because it provided basis thing for life food for the ever-increasing population. He said his country was producing a good number of cheeses which is a weak area in Pakistan. He offered the services of his country to work together to work on the areas of the mutual concerns.

Addressing on the occasion, the UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the water scarcity issues was haunting the agriculture sector of the country. He stressed the need to replace the flood irrigation system with the drip irrigation method in order to save the water for the coming generation. He said that the work with Belgium will open up new horizon of progress. He said that value chain in Pakistan was a weak area in which Belgium cooperation will prove fruitful. He said the University is running external research projects worth Rs 2 billion rupees. He said that the university had expedited its outreach program to transform the knowledge into goods and services. He added that the UAF has produced more than 56,000 graduates so far. He said that being the mother of all agricultural institutions in subcontinent, the UAF was making all-out efforts to flourish agriculture sector and rural economy. Earlier, the ambassador flanked by Abid Hussain, Trade Commissioner, Belgium Embassy Pakistan, called on the Vice Chancellor at VC Chamber and discussed the areas of mutual concerns.

International Women’s Day – Women Mentoring Women at Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS

International Women’s Day – Women Mentoring Women at Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS

International Women’s Day – Women Mentoring Women at Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS

International Women’s Day – Women Mentoring Women at Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS

Women play a pivotal role in Pakistani society and any obstacle to fulfilling this role must be removed. This year, the EU and its Member States were highlighting women’s empowerment in Pakistan. In close cooperation with Rausing Executive Development Centre (REDC) and Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), the Netherlands Embassy, on behalf of the EU, sponsored a mentoring event titled “Women Mentoring Women in Business”.

This one-day conference brought together eight female business mentors with forty female business students from eight business schools in Lahore with the aim of enhancing women’s leadership role in business. It was highlighted that sustainable growth in Pakistan is not possible without realising the full economic potential of women. LUMS and EU looks forward to remaining strongly engaged in supporting this endeavor.

Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Rated Top Employer by Rozee.pk

Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS  Rated Top Employer by Rozee.pk

Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS  Rated Top Employer by Rozee.pk

Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Rated Top Employer by Rozee.pk

LUMS has been declared as one of Pakistan’s top places to work as ranked in the Rozee.pk Top Employer Rankings 2013. Representatives from the LUMS Human Resource Department were invited to an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 9, 2013 to receive the award. LUMS got the number one rating in the Top Three Employers in the Education and Training Industry category.

The Rozee.pk Top Employer Rankings 2013 is the result of a comprehensive survey of 15, 000 professionals and students from across the country. Tremendous care was taken to ensure the statistical integrity and impartiality of the survey and no sponsorships were accepted to conduct this study. A customised report specific to LUMS was also prepared by the Rozee.pk team.

The LUMS HR team also participated in the Punjab Job Fair 2014 organised by Rozee.pk on the same day. The HR team set up a stall at the fair and dispersed information about job opportunities at LUMS and answered queries of the various jobseekers attending the fair.

Dr. Faqir M Bhatti of Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Speaks at NUST on Graph Energy

Dr. Faqir M Bhatti of Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Speaks at NUST on Graph Energy

Dr. Faqir M Bhatti of Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Speaks at NUST on Graph Energy

Dr. Faqir M Bhatti of Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Speaks at NUST on Graph Energy

Dr. Faqir M Bhatti, Scientific Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Mathematics (CASM) was the plenary speaker at the International Workshop on Discrete Mathematics (IWODS2014) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad on March 5-7, 2014. He spoke on Graph Energy at the workshop and mentioned that some time around the turn of the current century, a dramatic change occurred and graph energy started to attract the attention of a remarkably large number of mathematicians and researchers all over the globe. Twenty years ago, only a few mathematicians would know what graph energy is and only a few of those would consider it as a topic worth their interest.

Investigation of Graph Energy is important due to its applications in Chemistry and networking. During his talk, Dr. Bhatti described that graph energy is an invariant that is calculated from the eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix of the finite graph which is dealing with spectra of graph. Laplacian Matrix, Signless Matrix, Distance Matrix, Incidence Matrix and He-Matrix are also used by researchers to compute the behavior of Graph energy and various applications.

Dr. Bhatti also mentioned that the Department of Mathematics at LUMS took a lead in Pakistan to introduce Graph Energy as part of the graduate level course in Mathematics.

Punjab University meeting laments over Thar drought situation

Punjab University meeting laments over Thar drought situation

Punjab University meeting laments over Thar drought situation

Punjab University meeting laments over Thar drought situation

LAHORE: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has expressed deep sense of sorrow over causalities in drought-hit Tharparkar desert and said that it was deplorable that many children had to lose their lives because of the negligence of Sindh government. He was addressing a meeting to review arrangements for provision of relief goods by Punjab University to the victims of Thar drought in Sindh. Dean Faculty of Science Prof Dr Haris Rashid, Dean Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences Prof Dr Ehsan Malik, Dean Faculty of Oriental Learning Prof Dr Ismatullah Zahid, Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Prof Dr Tanveer Akhter and a large number of heads of various teaching and non-teaching departments were present on the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Mujahid Kamran said that it was very unfortunate that we had to face such situation despite having prior intimation and resources. He said that it was the tradition of the current PU administration to play its role when the nation faced crises and disasters. He said that PU set up exemplary relief camps to facilitate displaced people of Swat valley in Sawabi and provided relief goods to flood victims in South Punjab. He said that PU administration had also set up permanent Disaster Relief Fund to cope with such situations. He said that PU would provide potable water, food and other necessary relief items to Thar-drought victims and instructed to set up committee to finalize relief measures. Later, Dua was offered for elimination of drought and for the rest of departed souls in eternal peace.

“M Phil, PhD Classes at Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce HCC a great achievement”, Ch Nazir

“M Phil, PhD Classes at Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce HCC a great achievement”, Ch Nazir

“M Phil, PhD Classes at Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce HCC a great achievement”, Ch Nazir

“M Phil, PhD Classes at Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce HCC a great achievement”, Ch Nazir

LAHORE: Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce’s former principal Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed has said that the beginning of M Phil and PhD programs at HCC was a great achievement. He was addressing the 88th Foundation Day ceremony of HCC at the college’s Lawn late on Sunday. PPP leader Dr Jahangir Badar, Principal HCC Dr Liaqat Ali, former PU Dean Faculty of Commerce Azhar Ikram, Social Worker Raja Munawar, former member WAPDA Manzoor A Sheikh, former chairman Technical Board Mian Shan Ahmed, a large number of renowned businessmen and old Hailians were present on the occasion.

The 88th Foundation Day ceremony was aimed to pay tribute to the services of Mr Ahmed to the college and commerce education. Mr Ahmed said that HCC was a sea of knowledge and that’s why Old Hailians were proud of it. He said that the politics he learnt from Jahangir Badar helped him manage things at various turns of his life. Mr Azhar Ikram, Manzoor A Sheikh and Mian Shan Ahmed lauding the services of Mr Ahmed said that he was always helpful for others and that’s why he was loved by all. Earlier, Dr Liaqat Ali presented progress report of the college. Students presented Kalam-e-Iqbal and poems and renowned humorous Zahid Fakhri presented funny poems which added color to the ceremony.

Turkish delegation calls on Punjab University VC

Turkish delegation calls on Punjab University VC

Turkish delegation calls on Punjab University VC

Turkish delegation calls on Punjab University VC

LAHORE: A delegation of Turkey’s Afyon Kocatepe University consisting of its Vice Secretary Prof Dr Kenan Cagan, Assistant Prof Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Technology Dr Baris Gokce and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Dr Abdur Rahman called on PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran on Monday at his office.

PU Registrar Prof Dr Amin Athar, Director External Linkages Dr Maria Maldonado and deans of various faculties were also present on the occasion. The meeting stressed the need to enhance collaboration in various academic spheres and exchange programs and issued various issues of mutual interest.

Punjab University Registration Branch issues B Com registration cards

Punjab University Registration Branch issues B Com registration cards

LAHORE: Punjab University Registration Branch has issued registration cards to private candidates at their addresses who are appearing in B Com Part 1 annual examinations 2014. However, registration cards had not been issued to the candidates who had already been registered or there is duplication. The PU spokesman said such candidates are advised to withdraw their names from one college so that they could be issued private registration cards. It is pertinent to mention here that Tuesday March 11 is the last date to send admissions forms (by mail) for B Com Part 1 2014 with single fees while last date for submission of admission forms (by hand) is March 19 with single fees. The candidates, who had not received their registration cards, are requested to contact PU Registration Branch for issuance for registration number during the office hours so that they could submit admission forms in time.

Nurses hit the streets for regularisation

Nurses hit the streets for regularisation

Nurses hit the streets for regularisation

Nurses hit the streets for regularisation

LAHORE: The Young Nurses Association (YNA) on Monday resumed their protest for the regularisation of their jobs, in front of the Lahore Press Club.
These protesting nurses had been working on contractual and ad hoc bases.
YNA leaders, including the association’s president, Rozina Manzoor, said the protest would continue until the acceptance of their demands, including regularisation of jobs.
Meanwhile, Director General (Nursing) Rukhsana Kamal told APP that a meeting with the YNA was held on March 9 in which the Punjab Health Department told them that it would adopt a lawful procedure to fill the vacant posts of nurses through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), as regular appointments in BPS-16 could not be made through an executive order.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and activists also joined the nurses in their protest, and demanded that the government regularise them immediately.
PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry said that the nursing profession, like most of the professions, is a victim of the PML-N government’s negligence.
He said that it was a matter of shame that the PML-N government on the International Women’s Day announced a package for women, but it contained nothing for the ordinary women.
He said that it was also shameful that daughters of Pakistan had been forced to come out on streets to demand their basic rights.
He said that the government first compelled lady health workers to come out on streets and now the nurses have been forced to do the same.
PTI MPA Shanila Rout said that she, along with leader of the opposition, would prepare a move against this injustice in the Punjab Assembly and demand restoration of the contracts of these nurses. She said that move would also be made for a proper service structure.
She also said that the nurses were the daughters of this country and it was the duty of every Pakistani to protect their rights.
PTI Punjab Information Secretary Andleeb Abbas also addressed the protesters and said that the demand gap for doctors in Pakistan was 40 percent, and that for nursing was 80 percent.
“It is ridiculous that the government is not regularising them.”
She further said that the PTI would raise a voice against the injustice not only by participating in the strike but also raising the issue in the Punjab Assembly, where all PTI MPAs would force the PML-N government to take corrective measures on the issue.

Dr Saeed to make Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) more vibrant

Dr Saeed to make Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) more vibrant

ISLAMABAD: Dr Saeed Elahi has assumed charge as chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). He was appointed the chairman for a period of three years by President Mamnoon Hussain, who is also the president of PRCS.
On his first visit to the PRCS national headquarters, Dr Saeed held meetings with the management and the staff members of the Society. PRCS Secretary Dr Mahboob Sardar gave a detailed presentation to the chairman about the PRCS activities. Sardar assured the new chairman his full cooperation and hoped that the Society would grow further under his leadership and guidance. Dr Saeed appreciated the work of PRCS in mitigating the sufferings of the most vulnerable. He said that PRCS is a national humanitarian organisation and a source of the country’s recognition all over the world.
He stressed the need for more commitment and dedication to bring further laurels for PRCS and Pakistan. He vowed to make PRCS more vibrant to cope with the natural disasters. Later, the secretary general introduced the PRCS officers with to new chairman.

Private clinics, labs thrive on ailing public health sector

Private clinics, labs thrive on ailing public health sector

RAWALPINDI: This garrison city boasts of three major public sector hospitals, but for circumstances beyond their control, patients have to rely on mushrooming private medical centres, clinics and laboratories.
The situation is in contrast to the avowed unrelenting efforts of the provincial government to provide healthcare to the suffering humanity at public hospitals.
Thousands of patients, including many from adjoining as well as far-flung areas, daily visit Holy Family Hospital (HHF), Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ).
Representing a significant leap forward in the filed of health facilities, the government has recently established Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) as well as a renal transplant centre of international standard, both costing multimillion rupees. But a majority of sufferers calling daily at the public sector hospitals is advised to see specialist/professor doctors privately and get more authentic medical tests from particular labs outside, according to information gathered from patients, hospital staff and other relevant quarters.
An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 patients daily visit the outdoor patient departments (OPDs) of HFH, BBH and DHQ, where facilities like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan and complete range of hepatitis tests are missing.
“Only DHQ has CT scan facility, which is overburdened, as patients are also referred from HFH and BBH,” a source in the Health Department told APP, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The CT scan is conducted at the hospital free of cost, while private laboratories charge Rs 5,000 to Rs 9,000, depending on the nature of the case.
The lone MRI machine installed at HFH has been dysfunctional for the last four years, according to the staff, for non-availability of funds.
Consequently, patients have to spend Rs 7,000 to Rs 12,000 on the tests from private laboratories.
“PCR quantitative (low-priced) medical tests including biopsy are conducted at the hospitals, but for the PCR qualitative or expensive, patients are referred to private facilities,” a source said.
Making startling revelations, sources said that around 70 percent of the laboratories were functioning without appropriate equipment and without maintaining required temperature at the facilities.
“The situation renders results of tests highly doubtful; so putting precious lives at risk,” a doctor revealed.
According to sources, the Executive District Health (EDO) Office has no record of registered or unregistered private medical centres and laboratories, whose number runs into hundreds.
As many as 80 per cent of private medical centres, clinics and laboratories are said to be owned or being run on partnership basis by doctors working at the government hospitals. And doctors grab 50 per cent commission on the cases they refer, sources say.
Talking to APP, patients coming from distant localities complained that they faced great difficulties in getting treatment as facilities of MRI, CT Scan and Hepatitis related tests are missing at the government hospitals, forcing them to go to private laboratories. Zaheer Abassi, an attendant of a sick child at HFH, said private labs are charging upto Rs 12,000 for MRI, a price most families cannot afford.
He and many others suspected manipulation on the part of people in the hospital administrations to create such condition as would enable them to divert patients to private facilities for tests for the sake of personal gains.
“The MRI machine at HFH remains out of order but unfortunately nothing has been done to repair and restore it,” Abbasi said.

Can mini scorpions save the dying bee?

Can mini scorpions save the dying bee?

Can mini scorpions save the dying bee?

Can mini scorpions save the dying bee?

A massive global decline in bee populations has given beekeepers and scientists cause for concern. A scientist from Hamburg says that the introduction of tiny book scorpions could keep bee populations alive.

Behind an unassuming grey door in a first-floor corridor of the Otto Hahn School in Hamburg, a student bee farm is hidden away. It’s a converted classroom, complete with a transparent beehive that lets pupils observe the insects’ behaviour. Assorted beekeeping equipment is stowed in every available space.

Around a dozen students come here regularly to work on research projects they’re doing as part of the national German science contest, the Young Researchers Competition. But, they’re not working on bees.

Instead, they examine book scorpions: small dark brown arachnids that are up to five millimetres long. They’re named for their large pincers, which jut out from their bodies and make them resemble scorpions.

The students want to find our how they can encourage book scorpions to permanently settle inside beehives. The hope is that they can help fight one of the worst enemies of bees: the varroa mite.

“We have a problem with the varroa mite”, explains biology teacher and hobby scientist, Torben Schiffer, who is supervising the pupils. “All the beehives are infected and more bees are dying than can be raised by the beekeepers.”

Worldwide bee deaths

Many scientists believe that the varroa mite is one of the main causes for the recent mass deaths of bee populations around the world, a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The varroa is a small parasite, also known as the vampire mite. It sucks blood from bees and their larvae. In doing so, it transports bacteria, fungus and pathogens to the bees.

Experts estimate that Central Europe now has twenty-five percent fewer bees in comparison to thirty years ago, while in the US populations have declined by around a third.

Bees are important for maintaining biodiversity, especially in their role pollinating flowering crops. Losing them could result in a shortage of fruit and vegetables as well as threaten crops that are important for feeding livestock, such as alfalfa for instance.

Up until now, beekeepers have used chemicals such as formic acid in their fight against the varroa mite. But Torben Schiffer believes that the chemicals harm the bees themselves.

Forgotten helpers

Watching the book scorpions at work through a microscope is like observing a gruesome battle. The animals quickly approach the varroa mites, grab them with their large pincers and paralyse them with poison. They then drain their prey with their mandibles while already creeping towards their next victim at the same time.

Back in 1951 the Austrian zoologist, Max Beier, documented symbiotic relationships between bees and book scorpions from which both organisms would benefit. The bees are cleaned of parasites while the book scorpions have plenty to feed on. Nowadays however, few beekeepers know about the small brown animals.

Torben Schiffer believes that the arachnids were driven out by chemicals originally designed to fight varroa mites. Another problem, he believes, is that many beekeepers use beehives made from plastic, which don’t provide a suitable habitat. “You’ve got to have wooden hives in order to have a micro-fauna,” Schiffer told DW. “The babies of the book scorpions need to have very small prey animals and they are found in natural materials like wood or hay.”

However, some experts view Schiffer’s findings with scepticism. They question whether book scorpions really are a viable answer to the varroa problem. “It’s very impressive to see how the book scorpion attacks varroa mites under lab conditions”, said Peter Rosenkranz, an expert on the varroa mite at the University of Hohenheim. “But in order to make a real impact, it won’t be sufficient to kill off a few individual mites.” Between spring and autumn varroa mite populations can grow by a factor of fifty or more, Rosenkranz explains.

“The mites have to be put under permanent pressure,” he told DW. “Based on the existing data, I doubt that book scorpions would be able to do this.”

According to Peter Rosenkranz, independent scientific research on the book scorpion is needed to determine its effectiveness against varroa infestations.

The Beenature project

Still, Torben Schiffer is determined to continue with his own research. He has set up a group called the Beenature project, which researches the breeding habits, application and beehive compatibility of the animal. Schiffer also wants to start a global conversation among beekeepers in order to gradually re-establish awareness of the book scorpion.

At the same time he’s urging beekeepers to apply more sustainable methods to their trade in order to strengthen the bees themselves: “These days, bees are kept in plastic hives”, he said. “They’re treated with acid, chemistry and neurotoxins. And they only get sugar in order to survive the wintertime because the beekeepers take out all the honey.”

Schiffer, who is also a beekeeper in his free time, likens his methods to going back in time.

“We must leave the bees their honey and build them hives made out of wood,” he said. “We must look at what the bees need, and not what the humans want.”