Archive for January, 2006

Blue Area commercial hub

The Capital Development Authority has decided to start expansion of Blue Area commercial hub in the Capital, a CDA official said Thursday.

The official said a number of commercial plots would be auctioned soon to private companies to build high-rise plazas in the Blue Area. The CDA is currently demarcating the plots and expects to earn 20 billion rupees through the auction.

An engineering company, Nespak, has prepared the extension plan and already given number of presentations to the CDA Board.

Pakistan Cleft Lip and Palate Association (PCLAPA) Wednesday announced the schedule for surgical operations of people from all over the country in order to provide free medical facilities and surgery of patients suffering from major disability of cleft lip and palate.

The surgeries will be performed for nine days, from February 18 to 26 at the privately-run Bashir Hospital in Gujrat. The team comprises internationally known specialists, consultants, plastic and other surgeons including British and British-based Pakistani doctors.

IIUI to establish CORDAPS

International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) will establish center of Research for Development and Policy Studies (CORDAPS) to improve public and private sectors’ response to challenges like poverty, urban decline and regional and global integration.

The center will be formally inaugurated by Dr. Mahmood Ahmad Ghazi, President IIUI and the centre is headed by Dr. Pervez Zamurrad Janjua, Foreign professor and HEC’s approved PhD supervisor at the International Institute of Islamic Economic (IIIE) of IIUI.

CORDAPS will practically be engaged in an active program of development and policy research, dissemination of information, technical assistance and graduate education community outreach in the form of seminars, internships and volunteers service will also pay a vital role at CORDAPS to give a practical grounding to its research activity.

Bald or beautiful – Islamabad!

I read an interesting article in dawn … so I thought I should share it with all here.

TILL only a few years back, before landing in Islamabad one could see from the window of the plane lush green trees covering the capital terrain. Manicured roads running parallel to the tall buildings of Blue Area and government monuments, the Faisal Mosque, Shakar Parian and many other streets neatly placed on the green canvas. This was the pre-Lashari era, the period Islooites refer to before Mr Kamran Lashari took over as Chairman CDA.

Over the last couple of years, the scene has totally changed. Now when you land in Islamabad, all you see is the high risers clustered with huge billboards, of multinational companies, ranging 10 feet in height to 20 feet in width or even more, and areas once called the green belts of Islamabad now being used as parking lots.

Govt to set up ethanol based filling stations

Due to ever increasing prices of oil in the international market, and growing oil import bill, government may decided to set up ethanol based filling stations, officials said.
According to the plan, in the first phase government will set up a few filling stations on trial bases and after looking public response, it could be increased gradually, officials added.
Sugar mills have long been demanding to mix ethanol with petrol to cut oil import bill and save deteriorating environment. Ethanol based filling stations will also add to their profits.
“High oil prices are generating new interest in ethanol, which is available in surplus quantity in Pakistan due to the 78 sugar mills in Pakistan, officials told inp.
“Government will also design a program to promote ethanol use until it replaces petrol, majority of sugar mills in country may join our efforts,” an official opined.

Universities asked to follow quality criteria for PhD degrees

The PhD degrees granted by the public and private sector universities will not be recognized unless they strictly conform to the minimum quality criteria laid down by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

In this regard, Chairman HEC, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman has written to all the Vice-Chancellors of public and private sector universities to strictly conform to the minimum quality criteria.

The criteria includes prescribed course work at M. Phil and Ph.D level, passing of international subject GRE examination with certain minimum specific percentile score, evaluation and recommendation of Ph.D. theses by at least two experts in technologically advanced countries and publication of at least one research paper in a reputed international journal.

The HEC intends to publish a list of universities later this year which have not implemented the HEC criteria for Ph.D. level studies and the Ph.D degrees of which are not recognized.

Students passing with such unrecognized Ph.D. degrees will not be eligible for jobs in the government or in universities.

Moreover, universities which fail to implement HEC criteria for appointments and promotions of faculty members as well as the quality criteria for Ph.D. level studies will not be released development grants and will have their recurring grants curtailed.

The matter of quality of higher education was extensively discussed in a presentation to the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz recently who has given his full support to the HEC to strictly enforce quality criteria in all universities and link the funding of various universities to such critically important governance issues.

The Booster booooosts up …!

I posted a picture of a booster here days back, the story realted to it is this:

No doubt, the construction boom in Islamabad has demolished while the commercial boom is on the rise. The green patches in the residential areas are being rented out to cellular phone companies for placing their towers. The most recent incident is of a foreign cellular phone company, which has installed a high rise tower in Street 5, amidst the posh residential sector of F-8/3.) As soon as the tower machinery started arriving in the area, the concerned (and upset) residents of the area met the CDA Chairman (now in his new look after the hair transplant) to complain, but it was to no avail. So the last resort —- a stay order from the court. But the ‘might is right’ theory worked and the stay order revoked and construction started with full swing. The tower is now fully in place. The question the residents of the area ask is, would the company do the same in the country of its origin? Or is it just do-as-the-Romans-do for them in Pakistan?

“The rays that the towers emit are damaging to human beings. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority site has details on its effects,” a resident who also happens to be a doctor, expresses his concern. Sites for cellular phone towers are commercial ventures and should be away from residential areas. Besides environment and health, invasion of privacy of the houses in the area is another important issue for the residents to complain, as the tower engineers have to climb up the huge tower and get a bird’s eye view of what is happening inside them.

via Dawn

Islamabad mulling import of used auto parts

Pakistans Central Board of Revenue has asked the commerce ministry to amend the import policy and allow import of used auto parts to check $1 billion smuggling, official sources said here yesterday.
However, the sources say, the proposal faces tough resistance from importers and local vendors. The CBR had sent a summary to the commerce ministry, saying the step could also add Rs 5bn to revenue every year if the imports were legalized, sources in the auto industry said.

Boosters everywhere

A booster of a cell phone company has been installed in a residential area of Islamabad … Well look closely you’ll find the booster :-)

Oh the flowers and colors look stunning, don’t they :)

NATO returns

Nato soldiers leaving the country after participating in quake relief operations head towards a plane at the Chaklala Airbase

[MMA should be happy now]

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