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UIT CISCO Networking Academy Launched in Karachi

Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, held a launching ceremony for UIT’s Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) to be established at its Karachi campus and CISCO’s National Conference. The guest for the event was Kashif-ul-Haq, Cisco Country GM, Marc Khayat, CISCO Technical Manager Middle East and North Africa, and other invited guests, students and NetAcad team members. With award distribution and presenters Mohammed Jinini and Faheem Anwar who were an integral part of the daylong event. He is also a certified ethical hacker and network associate from CISCO.

The Internet and Education will be the great equalizers of the next century, creating enormous opportunities for people and countries that succeed in harnessing the power of information and knowledge. But the lack of Internet-supported education and shortage of technology-savvy workers are global dilemmas, threatening to place nations that fall behind at a permanent disadvantage in the new economy. The Cisco Networking Academy Program at UIT is a timely response to these challenges.

UIT stated that: ’Having a Cisco Networking Academy at UIT will help to deliver a comprehensive, 21st century learning experience to help students develop the foundational ICT skills needed to design, build, and manage networks, along with career skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students complete hands on learning activities and network simulations to develop practical skills that will help them fill a growing need for networking professionals around the world.

Cisco Systems, through this innovative partnership, the Cisco Networking Academy program is preparing students for the demands and enormous opportunities of the information economy, while creating a qualified talent pool for building and maintaining networks. The academy at UIT will impart training among the students with leading edge technologies in the field of networking. Availing this opportunity, students can be trained to deal with real-life networking design issues, find complex networking solutions, and to troubleshoot problems. The successful candidate will achieve a certification titled “Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)” which is highly sought after in the industry.

Cisco Networking Academy is a global education program that teaches students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities in communities around the world. Networking Academy provides online courses, interactive tools, and hands-on learning activities to help individuals prepare for ICT and networking careers in virtually every type of industry.

Realme to launch newest smartphone in Pakistan – Power Your style

Online focused smartphone maker Realme on the heels of the launch of Realme 3. The latest device of realme has been confirmed for a launch in the coming week (on April 15, 2019) in Lahore. Realme is a smartphone brand that specializes in providing high quality smartphones for the youth. Realme’s exquisite design and technology caters to the open, stylish and diverse lifestyles of the youth. The brand is all set to announce the launch of its next product Realme 3 as the latest addition to their ever-growing product line.

Heralding the launch of new realme 3, Mr. Harvey Head of Marketing Realme Pakistan said “The realme 3 is built to power the style of youngsters. Building up on its vibrant features, realme 3 calls upon youngsters with its exquisite design. It sports a 6.22-inch FullView Display with a dewdrop notch which boasts an 88.3% screen-to-body ratio. We hope to set new records by promising a fully reimagined experience.”

The brand has in a short amount of time raked up significant popularity in the region due to their high quality and cutting edge technology that offers great value for money offerings they have. The company launched its first product the Realme 1 back in May 2018 in India and followed with the Realme 2 in September. The company also launched the Realme 2 Pro and the Realme C1 a few months later. Both products performed extremely successfully in Pakistan, breaking Daraz’s sales records for fastest sales. The company’s newest launch, however, is the Realme 3 which is the successor to the Realme 2.

Brand-new design: unibody design, brand new gradient colors and exquisite detailed designs.

System performance: equipped with MediaTek P60 processor which offers the most powerful processing capacity in the same price range

Super long battery life: 4230mAh high capacity battery that lasts even longer through optimization by smarter software

Camera upgrade: all-round upgrade of camera hardware specs, the first model in the same price range to offer the Nightscape mode and the Chroma Boost mode that present significantly better image qualities.

Realme is a brand targeted towards the youth. As a young smartphone brand, Realme concentrates on market segment to provide young consumers with devices that have both sophisticated design and powerful performance. Realme focuses on user needs and presents products with both strong performance and trendy design in the broad context of e-commerce. In less than a year, Realme has over 5 million users worldwide.

PMEX and HasMove® agree to revolutionize commodity exchange industry

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), country’s first and only multi-commodity futures exchange, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HashMove® on April 12, 2019, the smart multimodal logistics marketplace, for cooperation in developing a digital multimodal logistics platform connecting buyers and sellers of commodity futures virtually anywhere around the globe.

At present, the Exchange is actively working towards developing an ecommerce platform namely Global Trading Platform (GTP) that will show case local commodities of the country to the global market by offering an end-to-end one-window solution. The platform will enable the foreign buyers to purchase agricultural as well as non-agricultural commodities with convenience and confidence of quality assurance as per international standards. The GTP will cover: trading, storage, packaging, transport and export of the commodities with accessibility as convenient as a click of a button.

Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director of PMEX, speaking on the occasion said, “We are delighted to collaborate with HashMove® for exploring the possibility of handling the logistic arm of our upcoming Global Trading Platform (GTP). The Global Trading Platform would enable international buyers to purchase quality assured local commodities conveniently and have them delivered to a port of their choice. By removing the middlemen in the process, the platform would be able to offer a better price to both, buyers and sellers. Convenience and reliability being the key in the success of this initiative, joining hands with HashMove® would hopefully further enrich the product and go a long way in achieving these objectives.”

Commenting on the occasion of MoU signing, Sarfaraz Alam, CEO & Co-Founder of HashMove®, said, “It is indeed an honor & privilege for HashMove® that a technology-driven mercantile exchange of a country finds significant value in our smart logistics platform to provide complete end-to-end, multimodal and fully-tracked logistics fulfillment to their buyers worldwide. The HashMove® platform will play a pivotal role in Pakistan Mercantile Exchange’s overall vision to become a fully digitalized commodity exchange in the region where they would offer a seamless and frictionless buying and logistics experience to their consumers, intending to buy any commodities directly from the suppliers within Pakistan. Once our integration completes, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange will be the first Exchange in the South Asian & Middle Eastern region that has the ability to provide a unique opportunity to their buyers to search and book their shipment instantly, without the need of any middle man, along with complete visibility of pricing, scheduling and tracking of the same shipment right from the place of purchase till their warehouses.”

Pakistan Cables completes the 2nd ACCC® conductor installation

Based on the initiative of Pakistan Cables Limited, Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) completed their ACCC conductor installation in Pakistan with the support of EPC Contractor NETRACON Technologies by upgrading the 132 kV “NGPS to Industrial Estate” transmission line. ACCC Helsinki size conductor was selected for re-conductoring the 5-kilometer transmission line that replaced existing ACSR Coyote size conductor. This effectively raised the system capacity from 300 to 700 amps, without the need to modify the right-of-way or existing structures. The installation work was completed by M/s NETRACON Technologies (Pvt.) Limited under the technical supervision of the CTC Global Certified Master Installer.

OLX bridging the data science skill gap in collaboration with Lums

Data science is becoming increasingly important in academia and industry. University departments from engineering to economics are turning to data science more and more, and worldwide businesses that face big-data problems are working in partnership with the academic institutions that are equipped to solve them. According to Linked in learning research, Analytical reasoning is amongst the top skills companies required in 2019. According to the world economic forum, Data Analytics is No.1 emerging job role that is predicted to be the highest in demand in the future.

There is a huge talent gap in Pakistan in the field of data science, with the industry facing challenges in recruiting data scientists that have the skills to address their needs. OLX, Pakistan’s number one marketplace faced the same challenges and to fill this big gap OLX is collaborating with Pakistan’s top academic institution – LUMS to help the brightest students in Data Analytics to transition from academia to Industry.

At the beginning of 2016, OLX hired the brightest data analytics students from LUMS and established Business Intelligence department at OLX and since then this team has been one of an integral part of OLX Pakistan, analyzing data and extracting valuable insight out of it. This has created a global recognition of Pakistan’s data analytics talent within the footprint of OLX in 45 countries where Pakistan has started importing data science resources to Europe and the middleeast.

Currently, OLX is working with LUMS on multiple projects lead by Dr. Muhammad Adeel Zafar and Dr. Fareed Zaffar solving an array of unique business data problems. This is very beneficial for the researchers and the students as they get the first-hand experience to work on solving real-life big data problems faced by the industry.

While discussing the projects Dr. Fareed Zafar said “Our collaboration with OLX has been exciting, dynamic and fast-paced. The learning opportunities, training, and mentorship for our students have been exceptional as they have worked with some of the top leaders in the industry. We feel OLX is a long term strategic partner in our pursuit of high-quality teaching and research”.

Bilal Bajwa, CEO OLX Pakistan said “Being one of the pioneer tech companies of Pakistan, OLX felt the need of connecting Industry with academia to solve the data problems we faced and in return give the students a chance to solve real market problems and gain valuable insights. LUMS has been a great partner and we look forward to keeping on (continue) working with them on more interesting projects”.

OLX business intelligence departments are all LUMS alumni who are proving their mettle globally. OLX is working in 43 countries across the globe. OLX Lisbon & OLX UAE has hired LUMS students in the same capacity to export Pakistan’s local talent around the world.

BankIslami Pakistan signs MOU with NUST

BankIslami Pakistan Limited, one of the leading Islamic Banks in the country, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), one of the leading universities of the country. The MOU signing ceremony was held at the Head Office of BankIslami Pakistan Limited.

BankIslami and NUST will collaborate in conducting Islamic Banking awareness seminars and workshops for the students and public at large to spread understanding about Islamic Banking and Finance. BankIslami will provide technical and training assistance to NUST for curriculum designing of Islamic Finance courses, development of case studies, training of faculty and students, etc. BankIslami and NUST will also jointly work in research initiatives in Islamic Banking and Finance.

The MOU between BankIslami and NUST will help strengthen the partnership between the Industry and Academia and will contribute towards the growth of Islamic Banking and Finance in the country.


Murad Saeed Holds Clean and Green Ceremony at IMDC

Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed has said that countrywide Clean and Green Pakistan drive is moving forward at a rapid pace, which aptly reflects vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Imran Khan. Ministry of Communications and National Highway Authority are hand in hand to make motorways and highways network Clean and Green. He was talking to media men on occasion of Clean and Green Pakistan Ceremony held at Islamabad Murree Dual Carriagway (IMDC). Minister for Communications and Postal Services Mr. Murad Saeed and Chairman NHA Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik also planted trees.

Street Art Competition was also arranged along the wall of IMDC Manga-KM-25. More than 200 students from Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, National College of Arts Rawalpindi and Lahore participated. Students expressed their deep sense of love for their culture and heroes, through paintings. Chairman National Highway Authority Mr. Jawwad Rafique Malik, Senior officers from Ministry of Communications and National Highway Authority were also present.

Talking to media personnel Mr. Murad Saeed said, being custodian of country’s Motorways and National highways network, we are determined to make journey safe and sound and providing maximum civic amentics at service areas at reasonable rates. He asked media men to join us for making noble drive of Clean and Green Pakistan a success. He said, we are focusing on increasing revenue of NHA so that it could be made self sustained that will ultimately reduce load on national exchequer thus saving money for spending on health, education and poverty alleviation. He further said, timely completion of CPEC projects stands among priorities and that more road building schemes will be included in the CPEC. In order to introduce model roads in the country, the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has been introduced that will further be expanded on other motorways and national highways gradually.

A Special shield was also presented to Federal Minister for Communications and Postal Services by Chairman NHA.

MAP confers Lifetime Achievement Award on Dr. Abdul Bari Khan

The Management Association of Pakistan has conferred its Lifetime Achievement Award on Dr. Abdul Bari Khan, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, CEO Indus Health Network, for his lifelong services to humanity. Dr. Abdul Bari Khan has been providing quality health care services to less-privileged people and has done exemplary philanthropic and social work for the nation.

The Award was presented at the 34th Corporate Excellence Awards ceremony of the Management Association of Pakistan which was recently held in Karachi. MAP has been organizing the Corporate Excellence Awards, which are considered a benchmark for corporate excellence in the country, consistently since 1982.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Abdul Bari Khan said that MAP’s contribution in imparting management education and developing management professionals in the country was unparalleled. He stressed that holding events like the Corporate Excellence Awards promotes networking amongst companies and is a means for sharing their best practices.

Earlier, Mr. Asif Ikram, President MAP, talked about the role that MAP has played in creating awareness about the best management practices amongst companies. The MAP Corporate Excellence Award, he said, is considered the ultimate accolade in the realm of corporate management. He said that the goal of corporate excellence must be to use corporate assets – especially human capital-to build and enhance sustainable social and environmental systems.

Mr. Asif Ikram also talked about MAP’s interactions with international bodies such as the Asian Association of Management Organizations (AAMO) and about the various values added benefits it offers to MAP members.

He said that on the recommendation of MAP, the Asian Association of Management Organizations will confer an AAMO Leadership Award on Dr. Abdul Bari, at an event to be held in Kuala Lumpur in the last week of April, 2019.

The top trophy winner for the 34th Corporate Excellence Awards in the Amir S. Chinoy Industrial category was Indus Motor Company Ltd. while Jubilee Life Insurance Co. Ltd. was awarded the top trophy in the financial category.

Sector-wise awards in the Industrial sector were given to Pakistan Tobacco Co. Ltd., International Steels Ltd., Mari Petroleum Co. Ltd., Al-Ghazi Tractors Ltd., Thal Ltd., Pakistan International Container Terminal Ltd., Lucky Cement Ltd., Fauji Fertilizer Co. Ltd., Abbott Laboratories Pak Ltd., Archroma Pakistan Ltd., Cherat Packaging Ltd., Colgate-Palmolive Pakistan Ltd., Feroze Mills Ltd., Hub Power Company Ltd. and Shifa International Hospitals Ltd.

Sector wise awards in the Financial Sector were received by Standard Chartered Bank Ltd., Jubilee General Insurance Company Ltd., Orix Leasing Pakistan Ltd., Orix Modaraba, Golden Arrow Selected Fund and MCB-Arif Habib Savings & Investments Ltd.

Certificates of Excellence in the Not-for-Profit Sector were presented to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, The Citizens Foundation and LRBT.

The runners up companies were awarded Certificates of Corporate Excellence.

CEJ-IBA hosts certificate distribution ceremony

Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at IBA, Karachi organized a certificate distribution ceremony where 93 journalists and media students received certificates for participating in reporting and editing classes, and qualifying in the standardized test, both in English and Urdu, respectively.

The trainers of these courses were edition in-charge at the main desk of the Dawn newsroom Nizamuddin Siddiqui and columnist at Daily Express, Professor at the University of Karachi, Tauseef Ahmad Khan. In his opening remarks, Director CEJ-IBA, Kamal Siddiqi said that this initiative had been taken to bring some standardization in the profession. “In Pakistan, anyone can become a journalist regardless of their educational qualifications and work experience. We need to introduce standards in the industry,” he mentioned. He informed the participants that this initiative had been supported by the British High Commission.

The event started with a panel discussion on free speech, hate speech and regulation; panelists included Lahore-based lawyer Waqas Mir, journalist Ramsha Jahangir, and was moderated by digital rights activist Farieha Aziz.

The panelists spoke in length about the kind of environment, prevalent in Pakistan right now with regards to freedom of speech and legal rights that the citizens are entitled to. They also discussed the government’s efforts to crackdown on the content of Twitter, Facebook and Google.

“As citizens, lawyers and media houses, we should talk about the importance of counter speech. We, as citizens should realize that, solutions can be achieved through talks and debates, and we shouldn’t turn our faces to the problems. Unless we get involved in the push back, we won’t be able to bring about positive change,” said Mir.

CIS Islamic Banking & Finance Awards to be Held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) is going to organize CIS Islamic Banking & Finance Awards at Tashkent, Uzbekistan on May 02, 2019. The awards will be given to the prominent stakeholders of CIS Islamic banking and financial industry. 15 awards categories include Best Islamic Bank, Best Takaful Institution, Best Islamic Microfinance Bank, Best Shariah Advisor and Life Time Achievement Award.

While talking about CIS Islamic Banking & Finance Awards, organizer of the awards, CEO AlHuda CIBE Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal said that Islamic banking and finance industry is rapidly growing all over the world and total volume is exceeding from 2.6 trillion dollars. Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) are the prominent growing market of Islamic banking and finance. He said that according to a credible source, Islamic finance is rapidly growing in CIS countries with all zeal and zest. Many CIS countries have made or going to make specific Islamic laws to implement Islamic banking and finance and to grow Islamic banking and finance accurately. This initiative can attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) specifically from Gulf countries and can help in poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.

He further added that more than 50 Islamic financial institutions had applied in various award categories and 15 institutions have been finalized in various categories after a strict process. The award ceremony is the part of CIS Islamic Banking & Finance Forum to be held on May 02, 2019 in which delegates from various countries will take part. It is important to note that AlHuda CIBE is working globally for the promotion of Islamic banking, finance, advisory, consultancy, product development, distance learning, and training and workshops.

‘Machine learning will become reality in the near future’

In Pakistan, 31 per cent of accountants currently see AI as all or mostly hype, while 65 per cent say that in three years’ time it will become a reality, according to global research.

The findings are published in a new report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Machine learning: more science than fiction which highlights how new tech developments have a massive potential for the accountancy profession. The report focuses on machine learning, which is the ability of computers to ’learn’ and make decisions or predictions based on analysis of large sets of data.

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, the report’s author and head of business insights at ACCA says: ’Machine learning is a critical area of development for accountants. Looking ahead it will be crucial to understand its value and benefits, as well as the ethical challenges it presents. In all this, the starting point has to be a legitimate business need with a clear understanding of what it can bring to the organisation.

’AI and machine learning can add value to the work accountants do – from generating valuable insights for business decision-making, to fraud detection, risk assessment, understanding complexities in taxation and also with more effective non-financial reporting. So the accountancy profession needs to understand how AI and machine learning works, especially given its role in influencing the trust we have in the decisions of these systems.’

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan adds: ’Pakistan’s tech sector is growing, but when it comes to AI, accountants are trying to see through the hype to understand the realities. As with all technology, with power comes responsibility and in the case of machine learning ethical considerations are never far away. Accountants need to consider and manage potential ethical compromise from decision-making by algorithm, such as the risk of bias in the data set that feeds them and the issue of accountability for decisions made.’

The results for Pakistan show that a third has no plans to adopt machine learning in their organisation, with 17 per cent undecided about it. Twenty-eight per cent are having initial discussions or exploring concepts, compared to 24 per cent globally. Only five per cent are at advanced testing stage, with ’go live’ in three to six months. However, nine per cent are in full production mode and dealing with live data, beating other countries in the sample, for China and Malaysia who are at five percent respectively.

The main barriers to adopting machine learning are lack of skilled staff at 51 per cent. Some 53 per cent cite cost as a barrier, with 17 per cent admitting there was no clear benefit from using machine learning.

The report emphasises that at a minimum all finance professionals should know how AI is evolving and be alert to how the developing capabilities could overlap with their impact on their roles. To prepare for the digital future, ACCA already examines a range of digital topics within its Masters level ACCA Qualification. It has also enhanced the digital content across many of the exams for students, while also ensuring digital is weaved into members’ continuous professional development.

Sajjeed Aslam concludes: ’Machine learning’s entrance into the accountancy mainstream is a huge opportunity here in Pakistan, but also globally. This is an area where professional accountants have the chance to develop a core understanding of emerging technologies, building their digital skills alongside their communication skills so they can explain the results really well. They can then truly benefit from the ability of technologies like machine learning to support them with intelligent analysis of vast amounts of data.’

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