Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Associate Professor, School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Dr Umar Saif has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 35 innovators (TR35) in the world. He is the first Pakistani scholar to have been selected for the prestigious TR35 award in the last decade, says a press release. “The TR35 recognizes the world’s top 35 young innovators that are radically transforming technology as we know it. Their work – spanning medicine, computing, communications, energy, electronics and nanotechnology -- is changing our world”, according to MIT Technology Review.
Monday, 30 December 2013
Dr Tarek Hassanein
via New Hepatitis C cure: Should Egyptians breathe a sigh of relief just yet? - Daily News Egypt.
Sunday, 29 December 2013
The PM also handed over the PF-98 anti tank weapons made by China and light armored vehicles made by Turkey to the infantry regiment and sound ranging equipment to Locating Wing of the Artillery Regiment.
On this occasion, Hasina hoped that the addition of the modern equipment, avant- grade canon and armored vehicles would boost psychological and moral strength of Bangladesh Army. She also said agreements have already been signed to buy modern war equipment including the multiple rocket launcher system which would be inducted in the army very soon.
The Prime Minister said that these equipment have been added to Bangladesh Army with tireless and coordinated efforts of the concerned ministries and these are also important steps towards crossing the target of adding such ultra- modern equipments aiming to achieve the 'Forces Goal- 2030'.A spectacular parade was held with the participation of the members of Infantry and Artillery Regiments of Bangladesh Army to celebrate the occasion. The PM inspected the parade riding on an open jeep when she was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan. Parade commander was Lieutenant Col Md Aminul Islam and Captain Md. Shajib was parade adjutant.
Ministers defense adviser to the Prime Minister, the Chief of air force, defense attaches, advisers of different embassies and high commission and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Bangladesh Army has now been recognized as a well-educated, recognized as a well-educated, efficient and disciplined force.
The army personnel will work as striking force for co-operation of the civil administration and they will patrol important areas, streets and highways. Initially, necessary number of army will be deployed at the district headquarters where the election will be held on January 5. Later, the forces will be deployed at different points of metropolitan areas, thanas and upazilas in coordination with returning officers.
The voting will took place in the 146 out of 300 constituencies, as 154 candidates have been elected unopposed since they were the lone candidates in their constituencies. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP ) and its allies are boycotting the vote to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to hand power to a non- party caretaker government that would conduct the the polls.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refuges to accept the opposition party's demand. BNP and its allies have been staging protests since late October as they fear the ruling party Awami League will rig the elections if it remain in power instead of the caretaker government.
Earlier, UN initiatives to bring the ruling party Awami League and the opposition party BNP into dialogue was failed.
Bangladesh's permanent representative to the United Nations AKA Moment said the troops would set of for the mission by December 28. The UN Security Council immediately wanted deployment of 14,000 troops to South Sudan as the situation there worsened.
The Bangladesh Army and Air Force jointly have taken all the preparations needed to send troops, military plans and helicopters to South Sudan.
Thousands of people have died in clashes between the government and the rebels over past several weeks in South Sudan. At this situation United Nations decided to send more troops to secure the humanity.
According to the latest update ( November) 98267 soldiers from 120 countries on UN peace keeping missions. Among them, 7968 of them are from Bangladesh, 8298 are from Pakistan.
Bangladesh has been sending troops to the UN peacekeeping mission since 1988 and it is only behind Pakistan in sending troops to UN peacekeeping missions. Some 110 Bangladeshi soldiers have died so far during on peace keeping operation.
Bangladesh has earned a reputation among the international community for its professionalism and humanity. Over 112 Bangladeshi soldiers laid down their lives on UN peace mission, their brave and courage give them a great place to UN peace missions.
Before this amazing invention, it was too expensive to test formalin and other toxic element in the food. In Bangladesh thousands of people die every year, according to the specialists, toxic element of food is responsible for many diseases i.e. cancer, respiratory disease, kidney failure etc. Now-a-days number of cancer patients is increasing due to the toxic element of food.
Food Ministry had supplied 87 kit boxes to trace and test formalin in food. But it's not enough to control the massive use of formalin everywhere. Mr. Yamin said, the color of the complex formula will change if there is presence of formula, otherwise it remain unchanged. It's normal color is pink. This amazing invention is the result of his 6 months research. It will help the people to test formalin in food at a low cost which will dispel public fear. Using this technology, use of chemicals can be shunned within very short time.
A renowned Pakistani Hospital, ‘Indus Hospital’ introduced E-Cardiology for the very first time in the country’s medical history. This facility is wide-acceptable and growing service that is provided to heart patients for monitoring and immediate help when required, by electronic means. Health information management system along with the cardiology squad of the Indus Hospital has made possible any video or image transfer right from the hospital room to directly unto the cardiologist’s mobile phone in a matter of seconds. In this way, cardiologist’s can deal with sudden emergency’s that may arise with the heart patient through the help of E-Cardiology system at the hospital.
Fortunately, the issue of privacy is no more a serious concern, thanks to the latest smartphone application in market nowadays, called Lock Pro. This application, a must-have for all smartphone users, has been developed by a group of young Pakistani enthusiasts, under the umbrella of Plan 9, which is the largest technical incubator of Pakistan. It was initiated by Punjab Information Technology Board in 2012 to provide encouraging and supportive environment for young people with technologically innovative ideas.
This app totally provides you the space to customize it according to your need, with a range of amazing features. It ensures the safety factor without being annoying to the user at all.
The user can decide which features to keep locked and which to keep unlocked and most amazingly, this lock-unlock choice can be set on the basis of location as well. Lock pro is capable of automatically switching its settings according to the location. So, you can decide for once which features are safe to be kept unlocked at home or outside, without having to go through the trouble of locking and unlocking manually multiple times a day. Reminder alerts can also be set based on location.
Lock pro also supports a feature which facilitates recovering photos if lost. The security pin and pattern settings are user friendly, yet secure. There is also an option of Stealth Mode, which when enabled, requires user permission for outgoing calls.
[caption id="attachment_2416" align="alignnone" width="700"] Schoolchildren in assembly at Samata School in Nepal, also called the 'bamboo school'[/caption]
The commencement of Samata College amidst a ceremony in Kathmandu was indeed positive news for the masses. Newspapers and websites of Nepal were buzzed all week since the announcement of the college. Like Samata Sikchya Niketan's low-fee school model, the students would be charged only Rs100 ($1) per month. Operating quality high schools in 19 districts of Nepal, Samata is quite a familiar name in the country.
Nepal is ranked as one of the poorest nations in the world by most globally recognized index. The wealth divide and income inequalities have deprived the majority population of many basic services. Generally, quality education is condered to be the privilege of the sons and daughters of the relatively wealthier segment of the society. Private institutions that deliver quality education often charge expensive fees. This has been discouraging students belonging to low-income backgrounds. At the same time government colleges delivering quality education are far and few. So the announcement of the establishment of Samata College was welcome news for many.
Samata started its journey in 2001 initiated by the former Bollywood stuntman Uttam Sanjel. Sanjel still heads the 12 year old foundation. The organization currently handles 17000 students. With the opening up of Samata College and Samata School in other parts of the country, the organization plans to handle up to 40,000 students in the next couple of years.
Most students studying at Samata’s facilities are usually from the underprivileged section of the society which also supplies most of the laborers in the country. The monthly household income of this class of population averages around $70-$150. Spending a dollar at Samata's schools, instead of spending at least 1/5 of their income in a private school thereby relieves a lot of parents from the extra burden on their weak economy.
It would obviously be difficult to impart quality computer-based education in English medium that Samata provides by charging such low fees. On top of that the organization employs nearly 500 people. So it has been depending upon donations from charities and people impressed by its activities for it's running. Many famous philanthropists and celebrities have come forward to help Samata in its pursuit of providing quality education to the disadvantaged.
Such noble intent from the foundation would surely inspire a lot of young people who would otherwise have left education just because they could not afford it.
Saturday, 28 December 2013
What would you say when just one year old party makes a debut in politics, takes on two of the strongest national parties and comes close second only to form the government in the administrative capital of the nation. Yes! It is not a fairy tale; it has happened in India today.
A civil rights activist and 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejriwal today took oath of Delhi Chief Minister after his party, founded less just a year back, formed the government in Delhi. The anti-corruption crusader who served Indian Revenue Service earlier left his additional commissioner's job to raise the issue of Right to Information Act and won the battle when the RTI Act came into force in 2005, which later won him the Ramon Magsaysay Award (regarded as Asia's Nobel prize) as well.
In 2011, he joined Anna Hazare to raise the issue of Jan Lokpal Bill (Anti-Corruption Bill), such meticulous was his planning to garner support among masses and campaigning that the government had to call civil society group to bill drafting committee for the first time. However, the committee reached an impasse and Hazare and Kejriwal went on to protest two more times sitting on fast unto death to pass Jan Lokpal Bill, however, government refused to budge and dared them to enter into politics.
Kejriwal and his confidantes formed a political party called Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party) with the symbol broom with the sole aim to clean politics. Even his mentor Anna Hazare distanced himself from the newly formed political party. Being a naturally gritty person Kejriwal decided to fight elections on all 70 seats in upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections and filed his nomination against Delhi Chief Minister of 15 years Sheila Dikshit, later to beat her by more than 20,000 votes.
His party won 28 seats after withstanding a smear campaign by two national parties, a series of attacks on its member, which claimed one life, a sting operation and several FIRs and cases. AAP wave swept across Delhi and voters turned out in huge numbers to elect their representatives. All AAP representatives come from humble backgrounds and one candidate, Rakhi Birla who sworn in as a new minister today, lives in just 25 yards home. To add to that all candidates come with clean backgrounds and have no criminal cases pending against except for those filed just before elections and during protests.
It is left to be seen how AAP fulfills its promises as its task is will cut out, and time is at premium. But the victory of AAP has rejuvenated Delhi's common men with new vigour and a new found belief that politics can be clean, and they can finally breathe in a corruption free environment.
Robi, one of the leading mobile operators of Bangladesh, has made the first digital flag of Bangladesh.
The operator took the initiative for the people who would be unable to participate in the world record of human national flag campaign physically and created a platform for them to virtually participate in making the first ever digital flag of the country.
Robi created a microsite – www.bdworldrecord.com – on the December 11 and after receiving a good response from online viewers, the operator had started the digital flag campaign on December 13. The flag was completed within three days on December 15. Participants were asked to go to the digital flag section of the website and click on two stated colors – red and green – for as many times as they wanted in order to complete the digital flag. It started with filling the red blocks of the flag. The release claimed that a total of 16,371 people participated in the three days and it took 2,103,630 clicks to complete the country’s first ever digital flag.
The participants had also expressed their feelings by posting messages regarding Victory Day. Viewers, all around the world, were requested to share their opinion on the theme “Why they want to be a part of this record breaking attempt.” In response, 660 people shared their feelings through the micro site. Currently, anyone can visit the microsite and witness the best wishes and the human flag. One of the wishes read “Thanks to Robi and all of the people who are making such a wonderful history for us… We are proud of our freedom fighters and we all respect our martyrs... Love you. @Bangladesh.”
It was in an emotional display of patriotism that over 27,000 people proved their collective strength on 16 December as Bangladesh set the world record for the largest human flag ever made. And it could not be done at a more opportune moment or against a more desired opponent.
A staggering 27,117 people stand united, holding green and red boards above their heads, to put up the world’s largest ever-human flag at the National Parade Ground on Victory day of Bangladesh.
The National Parade Ground, where history was rewritten on 16 December, was buzzing with enthusiasm from the early morning, with as many as 27,117 participants students, members of Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and Ansar Bahini ready to be a part of the big moment. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder, holding placards of a rectangular shape overhead, framing an exact replica of the national flag. As they raised their hands high into the air, the whole ground became a triumph of green and red. They stood there for six minutes and 16 seconds in that order.
It was a moment of pride and satisfaction for both the participants and millions of viewers watching the event on the ground or live on television. Saiful Islam Rabiul, a student volunteer from the Agargaon-Taltola Government Colony High School, who led the front section made up of his schoolmates, described what it was like to be a constituent part of the flag. “I woke up at seven in the morning and came here. It felt wonderful to be here,” said Rabiul, now in his sixth grade.
However, it was not an easy task for the organizers to manage such a large group of people, formed mostly by young girls and boys from different schools and madrasas. The hardest part was making sure they synchronized up with their older, and more organized, counterparts from the armed forces.
Friday, 27 December 2013
Weeks after India's Supreme Court criminalized gay sex under Section 377 and asked the Parliament to review the existing law for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Community; Indian government filed a review petition in the apex court to review its verdict.
The SC verdict created a furor among Indians across the world and cheered up conservative section which were happy to marginalize LGBT community. While almost all the health organizations, human and gay rights activists came all out against the verdict calling it regressive, archaic and biased towards a minority community.
The voice of the non-government representatives found support from political entities as well. India's major national party Congress slammed the verdict and expressed resolve to overturn it by making necessary amendments in the existing law. Although there are still political forces who welcomed court decision, citing gay sex anti-religious and unnatural (as it does not lead to reproduction), which was more of an effort to garner votes among people who consider gay sex as taboo and against their religious views.
The main worry that arose post SC decision was not only ostracization of the LGBT community, but also the harassment that they have to deal with from police personnel and anti-social elements. Besides the rapid rate of HIV positive cases among LGHBT community may also go unnoticed as the verdict would make the sexual act and any relationship illegal and criminal forcing people hesitant to approach health official.
A health organization has also filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to re look its decision based on existing Section 377 which was enacted in 19th century. Both the petitions are pending for hearing in the Supreme Court and has raised hopes among deprived LGBT community and prompted them to come out of their hiding by raising the issues they face in their day to day lives. India's young generation has reacted progressively at the verdict and joined gay pride parade in Delhi to oppose the decision and demanding the government to review the particular in question. As for the next generation the choice of one's life partner has nothing to do with caste, colour, creed and gender!
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
The meeting was first of its kind in the past 14 years owing to the long history of hostility which has caused 4 wars fought between the two.
A ceasefire agreement has been in place since November 2003 but both India and Pakistan accuse each other of violating it multiple times. It may be noted that the Line of Control is highly populated by both the Indian and Pakistani armies on their respective sides of the border resulting in frequent tension occurrences.
In the recently held meeting, it was decided by both the DGMOs to keep the ceasefire agreement intact by putting an end to its frequent violation. The meeting went on for more than one and a half hour, discussed several peace-keeping steps, and ended on positive notes from both the sides.
[caption id="attachment_2365" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Pakistan Army DGMO Maj Gen Aamer Riaz and Indian Army DGMO Lt Gen Vinodh Bhatia before the meeting [/caption]
"We had a cordial, constructive and fruitful meeting. We discussed the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and the existing mechanisms," said Lt. General Vinodh Bhatia, DGMO India. “Both DGMOs showed their commitment to maintain the sanctity and ceasefire on the Line of Control” said a joint statement followed by the meeting.
To extend the feelings of goodwill, two flag meetings between the brigade commanders of India and Pakistan are decided to take place in the near future
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Monday, 23 December 2013
Sunday, 22 December 2013
The Cubli is a 15 × 15 × 15 cm cube that can jump up and balance on its corner. Reaction wheels mounted on three faces of the cube rotate at high angular velocities and then brake suddenly, causing the Cubli to jump up. Once the Cubli has almost reached the corner stand up position, controlled motor torques are applied to make it balance on its corner. In addition to balancing, the motor torques can also be used to achieve a controlled fall such that the Cubli can be commanded to fall in any arbitrary direction. Combining these three abilities -- jumping up, balancing, and controlled falling -- the Cubli is able to 'walk'.
Lead Researchers: Gajamohan Mohanarajah and Raffaello D'Andrea
This work was done at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and was funded in part by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), grant number 146717.
Later on, Deputy Prime Minister Mauritius, Dr. Ahmad Rashid Beebeejaun, also highlighted in detail the trade potential that exists between the two countries along with the possible issues that will come up during increased exchange of trade, such as lack of direct aerial connectivity between Mauritius and Pakistan. He encouraged Pakistan to make visits to Mauritius for exploring possible solutions to these problems and to advertise Pakistan as a lucrative environment for investors in Mauritius. He also added that this is also going to be highly beneficial for Pakistan, since Mauritius is a very favorable market for food exports of Pakistan such as mangoes.
Pakistan also has shown keen interest in increasing bilateral trade. Chairman of the Mauritius-Pakistan Joint Business Council Shehzad Ahmed stated that Mauritius is an emerging country and it can prove to be a gateway for Pakistan to enter the resource-rich Africa.
Chairman of Standing Committee on Media and Public Relations of FPCCI (The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry), Malik Sohail Hussain said that majority of Pakistani exporters are unaware of the huge market that exists in Mauritius for Pakistani goods such as rice, pharmaceuticals, textile, handicraft, home textiles and many others. He also added that the benefit of a duty free port of Mauritius should add to the attraction for exporters of Pakistan.
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Obama: Progress in 2014 depends of Congress
via Obama again urges Congress to extend unemployment insurance - UPI.com.
From around the world, the leading global institutions chosen 22 countries independently which will lead the economic growth in the 21st century. Currently, these countries are accounting almost 75% of the worlds GDP while 70% of its total population. It is applicable to have knowledge of the fact that all of these 22 countries account for a straight 10% of the countries in the World Bank’s global database. The most encouraging news for Pakistanis is that Pakistan itself has also been included and considered a premier among the 22 in leading global economic growth in 21st century’s timeline.
PAKISTAN HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION AND BRITISH COUNCIL AGREED ON INCREASING JOINT EFFORTS FOR PROMOTING EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN
This co operation was agreed upon in a meeting held recently between a delegation from the British Council, headed by Director Jo Beall and Executive Director HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.
The collaboration between HEC and BC is not new, since the two are working together for the past couple of decades for similar educational purposes. In past, BC has awarded 25000 scholarships for PhD students, and facilitated return of 500 highly qualified Pakistanis to Pakistan for servicing their home country on long term basis. Pakistan and UK have had faculty exchange programs as well and researchers from both the countries have worked together on researches of mutual interest.
According to Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, promoting education is the only solution for the multiple problems faced by Pakistan. “We are encouraging our researchers to focus on research that is relevant to country’s social and economic needs. We want our institutions of higher learning to develop indigenous solutions for indigenous problems,” he added.
The youth of Pakistan is streaming with talent and they are in need of encouraging circumstances to help them excel further. The HEC of Pakistan is aiming to achieve this by providing scholarships for higher studies, promoting exchange programs between Pakistan and foreign countries, increasing the educational standard of the universities of Pakistan and so on; and the British Council has been extending a helping hand along the way.
[caption id="attachment_2208" align="alignleft" width="323"] electronic device[/caption]
Master's student Syed Rezwanul Haque and honors fourth year student Robi Karmakar have invented this device for visually challenged. Both are from Physics department of SUST.
On the occasion of "World Disability Day 2013" this electronic device has inaugurated by Professor Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal who was the supervisor of the team. The team also examined the device for more than one month before the inauguration with visually impaired people of different ages.
In the inauguration program, Md. Rajib Ali Khan, the secretory of Green Dijeb Foundation Sylhet, who is also visually challenged, was also present and expressed his satisfaction and gratitude.
Visually challenged person usually needs stick to navigate the barriers but with the help of this device no stick is necessary to identify a barrier.
This device can be easily used by attaching to hand or elsewhere in the body and start shaking automatically when an object is at a distance of 75 cm. As the object comes nearer, shaking level will gradually increase.
The young scientist group wished to see the disabled person as a self contained person like others. They also urged any entrepreneur organization for the marketing of this device so that a significant number of visually challenged people can take advantage.
Bangladesh has approved commercial cultivation of genetically modified eggplant resistant to insect damage, designed noteworthy development after seven years of research. With this approval Bangladesh becomes the 29th country in the world to commercially cultivate any genetically modified crop.
Director General of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Rafiqul Islam Mondal told the reporters that the environment ministry had approved cultivation of four varieties of Bt bringal (eggplant).
Mr. Mondal said, "we have taken the Bt gene technology from India's Mahyco company but all varieties have been developed by our institute" He also added that cultivation will be done under strong monitoring, on a limited scale and the four varieties will be specific to different regions.
The main planting season for eggplant in Bangladesh is December- January though it is also grown in the highlands over June and July.
Genetic modification of eggplant by introducing the 'bacillus th uringiensis' gene will help tackle one of the most damaging pest for the crop which will enable the farmers to get double marketable yields.
"We are doing trials of five more varieties of Bt bringal and plan to apply for permission for commercial cultivation next year, said Mr. Mondal. Bangladesh is also researching on genetically modified potatoes to tackle the serious disease called "late blight of potato" which will take three years to trials.
However, genetic modification of crops is one of the most controversial and polarizing issues in global agriculture. This modification is contested by environment activists on concern over food safety even as scientists research on transgenic crops to tackle drought, salinity and pest related problem in agriculture.
Friday, 20 December 2013
United Nations, New York, 13 December 2013 - The Head of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, describes the greatest challenges and successes of 2013, and the upcoming priorities for peacekeeping in to 2014.
United Nations, New York, 17 December 2013 - The Head of UN Department of Field Support, Ameerah Haq, describes the major challenges of 2013 and the priorities for field support in 2014.