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Education
SZABIST: a virtual institute of 21st century

 

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SZABIST: A virtual institute of 21st century
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Nov 08, 1999

Introduction

The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) is a fully chartered graduate institute established through a legislative act of the Sindh Assembly (Sindh Act No. Xl of 1995) and is approved and recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Pakistan, as a degree granting institution. SZABIST is also registered member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), Paris, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), London and Federation of the Universities of Islamic World (FUIW), Rabat. SZABIST graduates are well placed and are currently employed in a number of leading multinational corporations including IBM, CresSoft, UniSys, Revlon, and Artal, and in the Middle East, Far East and the USA.

Presently the SZABIST Karachi Campus is located on a 2500 square yard building at 90 Clifton. In January 1996, the first academic session commenced at the Karachi campus in the Faculties of Management Sciences and Computer Sciences. The Karachi Campus will continue to function as the city campus even after the completion of the permanent campus at Malir.

Currently development construction is underway for the 300-acre permanent campus at Malir, about 36 km east of Karachi airport. Graduate education (MS, MBA and Ph.D.) in the following faculties, which are deemed important for the scientific and socio-economic development of Pakistan, and which are presently offered only on a limited scale in our country, would be offered at SZABIST:

• Management Sciences (Marketing, Finance, Banking, Accounting, Management and Management Information Systems)

• Computer Sciences (Software Engineering, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence/Robotics, and Computer-Aided Design)

• Electrical Engineering (Solid State/Solar, Communication and Power)

• Biochemical Engineering (Agrochemical and Pharmaceutical)

• Biogenetic Engineering (Plant Genetics and Animal Genetics)

• Food Sciences and Technology

• Aquaculture and Agriculture Sciences

Facilities at szabist Karachi campus

Computer laboratories

Teaching laboratory

SZABIST has installed state-of-the-art computer facilities, unparalleled in any other laboratory in Pakistan, that presently include the following systems:

• An AS/400 System 150-e, 64 MB RAM, 8 GB HDD, with built in Pentium processor, Websever, DB/2 database RPG-IV and other software tools.

• A UNIX-based File Server IBM RS/6000 43P with 64MB RAM, 4GB HDD, Graphics Card 150GTX, CD-ROM, Color Graphics Terminal and other accessories. This File Server is purchased along with exclusive unlimited campus licenses of a variety of system software, utilities, compilers and many application development tools including C, C++, XL, FORTRAN, XL Pascal, PL/1 set, Visual Age for Samil Talk, Wabi 2.0, Open GL 3.2, ESSU6000, PEX & PHIGS, Oracle etc.

A Pentium-based File Server (IBM 310), with 120 MB RAM Multimedia Tool Kit, CDROM etc. and loaded with Windows NT and a variety of other utilities, compilers and application development tools.

• A Pentium II 3.2 GB HDD Oracle Server / SQL Server for Developer 2000 and Designer 2000.

A Pentium II 400 MHz 64 MB RAM, 3.2 GB HDD Web Server to webpages development and other applications development tools.

An IBM Netfinity Server 5000 Pentium II 400 MHz 512 KB cache, 128 MB RAM, 18.2 GB Hard Disk Dual Processor (IASAMP) Multimedia Tool Kit CD_ROM etc. and loaded with Windows NT Server and a variety of other utilities, compilers and application development tools, DBMS packages and CASE tools.

A Pentium II 400 MHz 64 MB RAM, 3.2 GB HDD Communication Proxy / Mail Server connected to a 200 kbps Satellite Dish to provide fast intranet facilities on campus.

A large number of Pentium-based IBM Workstations with Multimedia Tool Kit are connectable with either of the servers and can bring all software tools available at SZABIST to each workstation user.

Other supporting systems/facilities include Local Area Network with 60+ nodes, Laser Printers, 24-pin Dot Matrix Printers, Multimedia Equipment and a moderately rich Software Library. INTERNET connectivity is available in dial-up mode. A faster 64/128 K communications link is also being explored.

The LAN and INTERNET access together with exclusive licensing agreement will enable SZABIST to provide high-tech computer science and software development training to students in any part of Pakistan or the world through WAN and Distance Learning. This is the concept of a 21st Century "Virtual University" which SZABIST will implement for the first time in Pakistan.

Research laboratory

A research laboratory has been commissioned exclusively for research projects. This laboratory is equipped with Pentium-based 32MB RAM workstations, Color Scanner, Infrared Bar Code Reader, Speech Recognition System and a variety of software tools. This laboratory is capable of producing high quality graphics. Video and sound capture facilities, network simulations and INTERNET/www server capabilities are also available.

Internet laboratory

An INTERNET exclusive laboratory has been established which is equipped with high-end Pentium -based PCs connected to a Communication Server / 200 kbps Satellite Dish for highspeed connectivity. 16 simultaneous users will be able to explore Cyberspace and communicate with the world through the information superhighway.

Exectech

An Executive Training and Educational Center has been established which has a Internet / Network station, multimedia projection facility, and other audio-visual equipment. This centre will support SZABIST's newly launched continuing education programme. Distance Learning is also being arranged through the EngiNet® programme of the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA.

These facilities, although specifically designed for Software Engineering / Computer Science, are also being utilized by the MBA students as part of their study programme, particularly for Management Information Systems and Advertising projects. All computer systems are upgraded from time to time to keep pace with the changing technology.

Library

The SZABIST library contains a rich collection of books on most information technology topics, business, management, finance, accounting, economics, banking and other related subjects.

The library also subscribes a number of international and national Magazines and Journals to update students' knowledge on the current developments taking place nationally and internationally. A wide variety of reference material is being continuously added to support research and development activities and enhance the knowledge of students. Library is also equipped with Multimedia station to help students explore information available on CDs. Library automation work is under progress and very soon it will be computerized and connected with local and other institutional libraries to provide our students with a wider access to business data and other resource materials required for research and development studies.

Seminars

To increase awareness and understanding of economic and business-related issues, many short seminars or lectures are also organized. These seminars and lectures are in continuation of the institute's policy towards entrepreneur development and networking. Seminars are attended by the leading figures from business and industry as these seminars address various practical problems faced by them.

Business productivity courses

The institute also offers several productivity oriented certificate courses. The courses are developed jointly by the faculty and specialists in specific subject areas. The aim of these courses has been to initiate discussion and modelling of practical problems, new business opportunities or improve understanding of current issues in information technology, business and management. These courses include topics such as Software Engineering, Computer Applications, Object-oriented Programming, Computer Graphics, Network and Data Communications, Business Management, Marketing, Communication Skills, Productivity & Quality Related Issues.

Internship

To keep abreast with technological advances in the market, classroom studies at SZABIST are supplemented with a six to eight week Internship programme. These Internship programmes are arranged with local and multinational organizations to familiarize students with the practical business atmosphere. Students get an opportunity to practice what they have learnt in school. Internship is arranged during the summer semester and is a degree requirement for all MBA and MS students. Alternatively, summer courses may be offered which could be credited towards Internship requirements. Evening or part-time students can produce records of their current or previous employment as an alternate to Internship.

Counseling

In addition to Business Productivity courses, the institute arranges study groups and courses for certain students who it may feel are deficient in various academic areas. These courses may include English Communication, Technical Writing, Business Mathematics, Introduction to Computers, Public Speaking etc.

Classrooms / lectures

Classroom sessions at SZABIST are quite different from other professional university setups. Teachers pay individual attention and are on first name basis with the students, thanks to the limited number of candidates selected on merit. Professors encourage more of participative lecture than just a monologue. Students utilize various visual aids for presentations and are always on their alert because of the regular unannounced quizzes, assignments and the monthly one hour tests. Classrooms are equipped with overhead projectors, wall-mounted screens and white boards.

Life on campus

Amidst all the academic pressures and workload, SZABIST students find time out for leisure. On-campus luncheon and dinners are a regular feature of the student body. Along with these, both the MS and MBA students have organized various clubs and student societies for curricular and extra curricular activities. Some of the clubs are the Environment Protection Club (Green Future), Computer Society (SZABCOM), Cultural Organization (SZABCO), Sports Club (SZABISTSPY), Book Society, etc. The Institute also publishes a half yearly Newsletter "Phoenix".

RCWS

The Research and Consultancy Wing of SZABIST (RCWS) is involved in consultancy, research and development programmes with the participation of senior students and faculty. It organizes Conferences Workshops, Seminars, Business Productivity Courses, Certificate Courses, Counseling and Guest Speaker Sessions that provide forum for students extra-academic activities and gives international exposure to SZABIST.

International collaboration

The State University of New York, the largest and most comprehensive university system in the United States of America and the world, with its 64 campuses and 20,000 faculty members, has committed itself to working with SZABIST in the various fields of Engineering and Management Sciences. The Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SUNY Buffalo has entered into a collaborative agreement with SZABIST in establishing the Masters of Engineering (MS) programme. In the immediate stages of this collaboration, the Engineering faculty at Buffalo would be able to assist the faculty and graduate students at SZABIST in the supervision and review of Masters of Engineering projects beneficial for the development of Pakistan.

Anwar Ul Haq, Public Relations Officer