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UIT Students Win NGIRI award
Federal Minister for IT commends Tech acumen of ICT students:

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said: governments provide incentives to address market failures and agile regulation that balances risk with innovation. The new surge of innovation is the fourth industrial wave, where creativity and innovation are at a premium. Startups are the building blocks of the knowledge economy, Innovation is the prime determinant of the rise and fall of societies. He was the chief guest at the award ceremony he congratulated and commended the winners of the NGIRI Championship and said that winning was important but the journey did not stop here. “Winning students must take their prototypes to next level and those who could not make this time should improve upon their ideas and prototypes,” he said. The federal minister also congratulated ‘IGNITE’ for holding this event. Other dignitaries at the event included Amir Azeem Bajwa Chairman (PTA) and Yusuf Hussain (CEO Ignite- National technology funds).

Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, is proud to announce that UIT students won a cash prize of Rs 400,000 which was awarded to first position holder from UIT, for their project, White Coal Machine. Second position was won by the University of Management of Technology, Lahore, with cash prize of Rs 300,000 for project, Control & Operation of Micro-Grid, whereas the third position with cash prize of Rs 200,000 was won by the GIKI for the project, Crypto Currency Predictor.

Amir Azeem Bajwa Chairman (PTA): “it is heartening to note that Pakistani students are participating in programs which aim to assist final year undergraduate students of ICT related disciplines studying in the Institutions by providing them financial assistance for developing prototypes / working models of their Final Year Projects (FYP) in order to increase creativity, innovation and hands on engineering and development skills”.

Yusuf Hussain (CEO Ignite- National technology funds) said: “Ignite funds startups and innovative projects that utilize 4th industrial wave tech to solve local problems and target global opportunities in health, education, energy, agriculture, telecom, finance and other verticals. We have launched a program to prepare one million people for the future of work. Ignite outreach activities seek to inform professionals, media, students, corporations, media and policy makers about the challenges and threats posed by the new economy and the importance of innovation and seek to increase engagement in Ignite programs”.

Director UIT Dr. Zahir Ali Syed stated that – “On behalf of UIT, we congratulate the winners and participants and wish them well in all their future endeavors. Ignite funds startups and innovative projects that utilize 4th industrial wave tech to solve local problems and target global opportunities in health, education, energy, agriculture, telecom, finance and other verticals. UIT is proud to have participated in the NGIRI awards and working with Ignites network of incubators across Pakistan which helps to nurture startups and engages them with investors and corporations. The program prepares a million people for the future of work. Through studies and stakeholder engagement, Ignite helps planning in the public and private sectors. UIT looks to work with organizations that have outreach activities and seek to inform professionals, students, corporations, media and policy.”

Nestlé conducts blood donation drive with red crescent society

Nestlé Pakistan organized a blood donation camp in collaboration with Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC) in Lahore. The blood donation drive at Nestlé’s head office was conducted as part of its Employee Volunteer Program – a platform for its employees give back to the society.

Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, said on the occasion, “I’d like to thank all the donors for their voluntary contribution. Blood donation is a healthy practice and with increasing awareness, we can help people in need, which is in line with the values of Nestlé Pakistan.”

Dr. Fauzia Saeed, PRC’s Blood Collection In-charge, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Nestlé for this blood donation drive, and look forward to setting up similar donation camps at its sites across the country.”

According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Pakistan’s annual blood transfusion requirement is approximately 1.5 million bags, of which 60 percent demand is met by the private sector. Pakistan Red Crescent has so far managed to collect 96 percent voluntary non-remunerated blood donations under its ’Safe Blood Program’.

NBP unveils ICC World Cup Trophy 2019

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) set another precedent of becoming the first bank in the world to unveil the International Cricket Championship (ICC) World Cup Trophy-2019 at its Head Office.

Speaking at the ceremony NBP President Mr. Arif Usmani emphasized that digital disruption was shaping the future for banking and NBP is cognizant with Digitizing of the Banking sector in Pakistan. He further stated that NBP has embarked upon various technology initiatives aimed at the provision of multiple delivery channels and the launching of NBP’s first EMV & Contactless Debit Card and Mobile Banking App are a part of the journey of providing the best products to the customers.

Addressing the ceremony Mr. Muhammad Farooq, Group Head Payment Services & Digital Banking stated that the launch of EMV/Contactless Debit Cards powered by UnionPay are acceptable at more than 35 million merchants and 2 million ATMs across the globe. He further stated that due to NBP’s alliance partner GoLootlo, the customers of the bank can avail discounts at over 6,000 merchants across Pakistan.

NBP President Mr. Arif Usmani along with Mr. Aziz Kassamali, Chairman GoLootlo unveiled the ICC World Cup amid NBP Customers. Mr. Aziz further announced to help promote the digital commerce. Golootlo will be sponsoring the travel & lodging of 10 successful NBP EMV Cardholders based on spending through their debit cards at POS, to witness Pakistan’s play at the ICC World Cup in England. The lucky draw will be held early next month.

The launching ceremony of the ICC World Cup Trophy-2019 was attended by senior management of NBP including Mr. Arif Usmani – President & CEO NBP, Group Head Payment Services & Digital Banking Mr. Muhammad Farooq, SEVPs/Group Chiefs and Mr. Nabeel Aslam, Head of Debit & Prepaid Cards, Mr. Imran Zafar Malik-Head Innovation & e-Banking along with Chairman GoLootlo, Country Head UnionPay International and customers of NBP. Former renowned test cricketer Iqbal Qasim and other cricketers and media representatives participated in this well-attended ceremony.

The participants showed a keen interest in viewing the 2019 ICC World Cup Trophy at the head-office of the National Bank of Pakistan and thanked the NBP for providing this opportunity to them to watch the Trophy much ahead of the start of the world cup.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank goes live on Temenos Core Banking, FCM, Business Analytics and Digital Platform

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited, the largest microfinance bank in Pakistan, announced that they have gone live with the world’s leading Core Banking System along with Financial Crime mitigation (FCM) and Analytics offered by Temenos (the software specialist for banking and finance).

The system is implemented by National Data Consultant (NdcTech), a specialized Fintech solution provider and award winning partner of Temenos.

With Khushhalibank’s implementation of Temenos Core Banking system with Pakistan Model Bank (a ready to use package encompassing regulatory and industry best practices), FCM, Analytics and new digital front end, bank will be able to achieve its strategic growth plans.

Temenos CBS has converged five banking systems into T24 Core through big bang approach with 186 branches and service centers, servicing to 2.1 million customers.

Khushhali bank is the 11th Bank to have completed the transformation with Temenos and NdcTech in Pakistan. It is one of the model implementations in multi-vendor universe. This success story proves that when teams with diverse expertise and domains collaborate, they can produce extra ordinary results.

President and CEO, Khushhali Microfinance Bank, Ghalib Nishtar appreciated the exemplary collaboration of Khushhali bank, NdcTech & Temenos and stated, “From bank’s perspective, it’s a major milestone as the new system will improve customer experience, increase operational efficiency and reduce risks. We are very excited with the capabilities the system provides.”

“I would like to congratulate all team members for their efforts towards successful completion of this project”, he further added.

President & CEO NdcTech, Ms. Ammara Masood stated, “Banks who want to thrive in a fast and evolving landscape need mission-critical solutions and reliable local partners to succeed. Our partnership with Temenos and Khushhali Microfinance Bank has enabled us to achieve this success. We want to continue expanding our proven track record and support other banks with their digital transformation and business scope as well”.

TP-1000 Project:
KE upgrades its Site Power Grid Station with Reliable and more efficient GIS Technology

In line with its commitment to strengthen power supply to the city of Karachi, the power utility has recently energized a new 220 KV Surjani Grid Station along with two 132 KV, Shadman and Old Golimar Grid Stations. In addition, 17 new 132/11 KV Power Transformers & 2 new 250 MVA 220/132 KV have also been installed & commissioned at new / existing grid stations to improve the electricity supply while work is progressing swiftly on the remaining grid stations and transmission infrastructure.

An event was held at K-Electric’s Site Gas Turbine Power Station in Karachi to inaugurate the newly installed Gas Insulated Substation complete switchgears & Controls, which would improve the power plant’s reliability & availability. At the event, alongside senior leadership of K-Electric, teams from project vendors including Siemens were also in attendance, including Helmut von Struve Managing Director Siemens Pakistan, Mahmood Hanafi, Executive Vice President Siemens Middle East and project teams from all partners. At the event Mahmood Hanafi spoke about Siemens’ partnership with K-Electric and said, “We have partnered with K-Electric for this Transmission Enhancement Project since 2015 and we have upgraded many sites along with adding new Grid Stations. Today we have achieved another milestone way before schedule as we have energized the power station, with latest & more efficient equipment which would ensure uninterrupted power supply to the people.”

Dale Sinkler, Chief Generation & Transmission Officer KE, reiterated the power utility’s commitment to strengthening power supply for its customers, adding that “The TP-1000 Project was conceived back in 2015 and as of now we have achieved nearly 90% of our overall commitment for this project. We would complete this project within the next few months. Construction of more grid stations and transmission lines is underway which will further enhance the supply of electricity in the city.” He also appreciated the efforts by Siemens Germany / Pakistan and Shanghai Electric of China for TP-1000 project.

The USD 460 MN, TP-1000 project was initiated at the end of 2015 in collaboration with Siemens Germany/Pakistan and will add over 1,000 MVAs to KE’s network, enabling the utility to transmit additional 800 MW through a total of seven grid stations. The Project comprises of new 220KV and 132KV network, bay extensions, 6 new auto transformers, efficiency expansion plan for 21 existing grid stations which also includes addition of 28 power transformers and more than 400 new 11KV feeders to cater the growing demands of the city. Ten new 220KV and 132KV double and single circuit transmission lines of approximately 130Km are also being laid out whereas 3 existing 220KV and 132KV transmission circuits would be rehabilitated to increase the power carrying capacity and reliability. An additional Disaster Recovery Centre (Back up of Load Dispatch Center) would also help cope with emergency situations whereas new transmission lines, circuits and grids would help decrease the fault ratio, increase stability & reliability and fulfill supply of additional electricity to customers.

 

Jazz Celebrates the Success of its Smart Schools Programme
VEON’s CEO and Chairman encourages the government to adapt the program nationwide

Launched in October 2017, the Jazz Smart Schools programme has been a success story so far. To celebrate this success, a ceremony was held, where Shafqat Mahmood, Federal Minister for Education, Ursula Burns, VEON’s CEO and Chairman and Saif Chi, Huawei’s CEO graced the occasion to commend the team behind the programme and encourage its adoption in all middle schools of Islamabad.

The ceremony was also a way to recognize top performers from amongst the programme. 100 students received tablets and certificates by Ursula Burns and Mr. Shafqat Mahmood for their exceptional performance during mid-term examinations.

In Pakistan, where 38% school going students hardly know how to string a sentence in any language or do basic math, the programme has successfully taught 28,000+ middle school girls blended learning in 75 public schools of Islamabad. Also 800+ female teachers have been trained to use tech to teach using smart learning solutions based on existing curriculum. Since the program, both the assessments of students and the training capacity of teachers have improved considerably.

Talking about the need for similar digitally enabled educational initiatives, the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood stated, “Digital skills are a priority for us because they enable learning on a larger and more effective scale. We will be able to bridge the digital literacy divide in Pakistan with programs like the Jazz Smart Schools.”

Launched as a two-year pilot with Knowledge Platform, the Jazz Smart Schools programme has recorded significant improvement in five areas: student learning outcomes; teaching quality; student engagement, expanded use of technology, and improved accountability and monitoring of results.

“The results clearly confirm how Jazz and Pakistan Federal Directorate of Education is committed to the digital transformation of Pakistan’s youth. Digital education is the future and I’m very pleased to see that the students at Jazz Smart Schools have taken to it like any other child in the Silicon Valley,” said Ursula Burns.

“We hope that this program is now implemented across the country, as it is in line with not only the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, but the Pakistan government’s strategic vision 2025,î she added.

A digital sustainability initiative under VEON’s ’Make Your Mark’ programme, Jazz Smart Schools are designed to increase student-learning outcomes and improve teaching methodology by a smart learning solution deployed through a digital blended learning platform. The idea is to digitize Pakistan’s youth bulge and equip them to access entrepreneurial opportunities when they are ready.

Pre-tests were organized for all 20,000 female students in the programme to evaluate their current learning levels based on subjects they studied in previous grades. The internal mid-term evaluation results recorded remarkable improvement in student learning outcomes. The formal results of the program will be measured once these students appear for their external board examinations scheduled in April 2019.

Toyota Indus Motor bags MAP’s Corporate Excellence Award 2018

Indus Motor Company (IMC) has been awarded with the Management Association of Pakistan’s (MAP) Corporate Excellence Award 2018 in the “Overall Industrial Category” for demonstrating excellence in corporate management during the year 2018.

This is the 34th MAP Corporate Excellence Awards, aimed at acknowledging and honouring companies that exhibit outstanding performance and demonstrating progressive management practices.

IMC is one of the largest car manufacturers in Pakistan and one of the biggest tax contributors. Consecutive to last year, this is the 4th time IMC has won top ranked Corporate Excellence Award in overall industrial category. In the past, it has won the Corporate Excellence Awards several times in the category of Automobile & Parts.

Mr. Ali Asghar Jamali, CEO IMC said, “We are thrilled to receive this recognition once again for our industrial practices that are the outcome of the collective efforts of our management and team members”. He further added, “We truly believe that providing a valuable service to our customer begins with creating an atmosphere where employees are genuinely happy and excited about where they work and what they do.”

Combating climate change is a must-win battle: Governor Sindh

Fighting climate change is the most important war that we need to fight right now. This was stated by Imran Ismail, Governor Sindh while speaking as the chief guest at the Climate Change, Summer & Monsoon Safety Awareness Seminar organized in Karachi, in collaboration with NDMA, PMD, JPMC and K-Electric.

The governor also said that the focus needs to be on precaution and prevention as peak summer approached. He lauded the initiative by K-Electric to partner with key stake-holders for summer preparedness and appreciated the fact that the awareness drive is on an even bigger scale this time. Ismail also said that Green Pakistan initiative is a part of the government’s efforts to limit the impact of climate change in the country and in Karachi. He appealed to civil society to come forward and become a partner in this initiative by adopting a tree.

The Climate Change, Summer & Monsoon Safety Awareness Seminar brought together participants from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), K-Electric (KE) as well as members of civil society who engaged in a series of panel discussions to highlight the issues facing the country and its economic hub, Karachi and also tried to come up with possible solutions.

The guest of honor at the seminar Lieutenant General Omar Hayat, Chairman NDMA said that Pakistan is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. “From 1947 to 2010 we lost USD 19 billion to floods. From 2010 to 2019, we have lost USD 19.5 billion to floods alone.”

“We have faced all kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made and will mostly likely face them again. Our preparedness is better but nowhere close to where we need to be and our urban centers are particularly at risk because of unplanned growth,” he said. “There can never be too much awareness about disasters, and we must make Karachi resilient, to make Pakistan resilient.”

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has always been at the forefront on any initiative related to climate change and Abdur Rasheed, Chief Meteorologist, Karachi highlighted the imminent threat to Pakistan with regards to global warming. He said that Pakistan is ranked 135th in generation of greenhouse gases but 8th in the rank of countries that are at risk from climate change. “This basically means that the people of Pakistan in general, and the citizens of Karachi in particular will have to be more prepared than ever to minimize the impact of environmental degradation on the quality of life and economic growth.”

“Among the most severe threats we face is water shortage. According to the UNDP we can save only 9% of our floodwater and the impact of this will continue to become worse until 2025. Rise in temperature, air pollution and water shortage are the three key issues we will face because of climate change,” Rasheed also said.

Ikram Sehgal, Chairman, K-Electric welcomed the collaboration towards increased and improved summer and monsoon preparedness. He said KE would extend full support to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Rangers and various NGOs who will be setting up heat protection camps across the city. He further said that KE would also act as facilitator in first-aid capacity building workshops in Karachi for around 1,000 volunteers in collaboration with The Youth Parliament.

Earlier, Fakhar Ahmed, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of KE spoke about the power utility’s summer preparedness through the strengthening of its network and system and by beefing up the on-ground work force through capacity building and technological advancement. He expressed the hope that the presence of key stakeholders under one roof would result in better inter-agency coordination and help in providing effective support to combat the impact of climate change.

Iftikhar Shalwani, Commissioner Karachi; Dr. Seemi Jamali, Executive Director, JPMC; Amir Zafar, Chief HSEQ, KE and Azmat Hayat, Additional DG, PMD also spoke on the occasion and briefed the participants about the threats from climate change and preventive and protective measures to take in the peak summer months. The speakers also highlighted the collective role of civic and government bodies as well as the citizens of Karachi to not just highlight and report cases of power theft but to also conserve electricity consumption during peak hours.

BankIslami Pakistan, BIPL Securities and Kifayah Investment Company in MoU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between BankIslami, BIPL Securities and Kifayah Investment Company with the aim to promote investment culture for Non Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) and locals in Pakistan by providing them a one stop solution for all their investment needs.

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