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Feb 28, 2000

BITS Club applauds the Successful Launch of IBA-Online

The Business & Information Technology Students Club of IBA, Karachi applauds the successful launch of first issue of IBA-Online, the IBA's Web based magazine. IBA-Online was launched in the fall semester last year and was an immediate success. The magazine was appreciated and liked not only by the students of IBA but also by IBA's alumni, net surfers and E-Zine lovers as reflected by the favourable response and comments received.

The first issue of IBA — Online, a semi-annual magazine, covered wide areas of interests such as: latest business trend about Reengineering, emerging technologies of digital cash & distributed databases, state of art ERP software, industry-wide survey on OS usage in Pakistan, interview with CEO of successful Pakistani software house, philosophical insights by Abbas Husain and lots more.

Beside the article section the magazine also contained an interesting section about the best books around, the best Internet packages available, the best web sites etc. Wile other sections of the magazine includes a picture gallery, a horoscope section, a writing section and a time off section. All the contributions to the magazine were made by the students of IBA, which reflects the views of the future business leader of the country.

The magazine is a result of the continuous and day-night efforts by the dedicated IBA-Online team. Dr. Irfan Hyder, Deputy Director of IBA, faculty members of IBA, students and office bearers of the BITS Club congratulates all the team members of IBA-Online namely Shaista Farhat (Editor), Saadia Kaazi & Ambreen Abassi (Asst, Editors), Imran Majid (IT Secretary BITS), Adnan Siddique (Asst. IT Secretary), Hamza Jamali (Marketing manager), Zubair Naseer, Raheel Pasha, Tahira Rehman, Taimur Ali Mirza & Imran Yousuf for their hard work and successful team efforts. Gerry's Net - an Internet Service Provider, sponsored the issue of the magazine.

According to Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, General Secretary of BITS Clubs IBA-Online is part of the continuous efforts of BITS Club to promote constructive students' activities at IBA. He added that IBA-Online is aimed to bridge the gap between the industry & students of IBA by providing these future business leaders a powerful platform to express their opinion about the latest business trends and the fast developments in the field of Information Technology. He further said that we all praised the efforts done by the IBA-Online team and we are waiting for the next issue of which is due in early April.

The next issue of IBA-Online will be available soon at the web site of IBA, Karachi.

Nigeria to purchase sugar mills from HMC

JIGAWA State Investment Co. of Nigeria will purchase a sugar mill of 1,500 tcd capacity from Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) by availing financing from Islamic Development Bank.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed here by His Excellency Al-Haj Ibrahim Shehu Kwatolo, Deputy Governor of Jigawa State of Nigeria and Mr. Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui, Chairman State Engineering on November 27, 1999.

The Deputy Governor led a high-level 09-member delegation from JIGAWA State that visited Pakistan during November 24-27, 1999. The delegation called on the Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production and Minister for Food, Agriculture & Livestock and discussed matters related to promotion of bilateral cooperation. The focus of cooperation was on seeking Pakistan's expertise in establishing sugar mills and sugar cane cultivation in JIGAWA State. The delegation also visited HMC and Hussain Sugar Mill (Jaranwala) and its Cane Research Farm & Biological Laboratory.

At HMC, its Managing Director Mr. M.A. Janjua briefed the delegation about the capabilities of the complex. The delegates were impressed with the workmanship, standard and quality of HMC products besides its facilities. The visiting Deputy Governor showed interest in the sugar mills manufactured by HMC.

Subsequent to the detailed discussions, a Preliminary Commercial Agreement was concluded between HMC and JIGAWA State Investment Co. for sale/ purchase of 1,500 tcd capacity sugar mills, valuing USD 16 million. The two parties agreed to utilize IDB's Export Financing Scheme. A technical team from State Engineering/HMC is expected to visit Nigeria in the near future on the invitation of the JIGAWA State for further negotiations.

The Nigerian dignitary also sought cooperation from Pakistan for development of cane plantation in JIGAWA State. The Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture & Livestock agreed to extend full cooperation to Nigeria and further details are being worked out in this context by the two sides.

National Bank of Pakistan - At the Helm of Banking

National Bank of Pakistan, in considering the priorities set by the Government of Pakistan, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SuperNet.

This MoU is for the purpose of improving the utilities bill collection process for the convenience of the general public, to enhance foreign currency remittances and to induct new state of the art banking service technologies.

NBP plans to develop and market new products in the year 2000 which will be network based accessible through ATMs, telephones, the internet, and point of sale terminals operated under a debtt/smart card program.

Currently, NBP has taken the lead in sharing the electronic switch being setup in Karachi by SuperNet (a PTA approved Datacomm service provider). The switch is using ACI (a world leader in transaction management system) software, Base-24, enabling state of the art EFT platform for authorisation and payments.

The SuperNet switch will provide such facilities as a communication network system to provide access from all branches to the central database and account verification in real time. This switch will also enable remote transactions such as utility bills, taxes, etc. Furthermore, the switch will allow the disbursement of pensions, salaries, and green stamps through ATMs. It will also integrate the central database of NBP with the nation-wide ATM network of various banks, to provide a single shared ATM platform.

The provision of such facilities makes NBP the pioneer in introducing cutting edge technology to the banking industry in Pakistan. With NBP being the first bank in Pakistan to provide such facilities and convenience to a wide range of customers, NBP has put itself in the forefront of the banking industry.

Incorporated on November 8, 1949, the National Bank of Pakistan performs sub-treasury functions on behalf of the State Bank of Pakistan and is also the largest commercial bank with over 1400 branches spread all over the country with 23 foreign branches and 5 representative offices in 16 countries of the world.

Potential for export of engineering goods

The outgoing Ambassador of Sudan, His Excellency Mr. El Rasheed Khider called on the Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production Mr. A. Razak Dawood on December 14, 1999. Besides other bilateral matters, the issues relating to industrial and technical cooperation between Pakistan and Sudan were discussed.

During the meeting, the two sides recognized the availability of substantial potential in setting-up industrial plants and export of engineering goods from Pakistan to Sudan. The Ambassador extended an invitation to the Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries & Production on behalf of Sudanese Minister of Industry to visit Khartoum for furtherance of industrial and technical cooperation between the two countries. Chairman State Engineering Mr. Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui was also present in the meeting.

The Sudanese market is considered to have tremendous potential for supply of Pakistani engineering goods, particularly manufactured by State Engineering companies. Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) and Pakistan Engineering Co. (PECO) have already supplied equipment and spares for sugar mills and irrigation pumps, respectively, to Sudan, valuing USD 2.7 million against Pakistan State Credit of USD 10 million, during 1993-94. The Sudanese side is interested for technical assistance of Pakistan to carry out erection/commissioning of Melut Sugar Mills, besides setting-up of new sugar mills and cement factories with the cooperation of Pakistan Recently, HMC has submitted technical and commercial proposals to the Ministry of Industry of Sudan for establishment of sugar mills, besides BMRE and supply of spares for existing sugar mills.

PECO obtains ISO 9001

Pakistan Engineering Company (PECO) has obtained ISO 9001 certification and has thus become yet another company under State Engineering which has achieved international quality standards in recent years. The company has now renewed its commitment towards excellence in product and customer's service and satisfaction.

The scope of certification includes design, manufacturing, erection, general order supplier and exporter of all types of pumps, steel structures and transmission line towers. The quality assurance system of PECO has been certified by M/s. AOQC Moody International of UK.

SZABIST wins all Pakistan Inter-University Computer Science Contest

Students of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) snatched the 1st position in the Software Category and the 3rd position in the Quiz Competition in the 3rd All Pakistan Inter-University Computer Science Contest organized by The International Islamic University Islamabad held on February 19-20, 2000. SZABIST Software entitled "ISP Online Billing Systems" developed by Haroon Ahmed got the 1st position in the software category. The ISP Billing System is a Windows NT based Online Internet Service Provider Billing System that supports all the industry standard billing policies and provides smart MIS reports. It is also compatible with Remote Authentication Dial in User Service protocol. In the Quiz Competition category, SZABIST student Haroon Ahmed, Amyn Zindani, and Syed Shamsul Haq secured the 3rd position. Over 24 Universities from all over Pakistan took part in the All Pakistan Inter-University Computer Science Contest.

NBP President Visits Regional Headquarters at Hyderabad

The President of National Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro, recently paid an official visit to the Regional Headquarters of NBP in Hyderabad.

During his visit, he chaired a meeting of the Executive Committee, in which he discussed and finalised important matters with the committee members, namely. Mr. A.R. Kaleemi, Mr. Masood H. Raza, Mr. M. Ibrahim Shaikh, Mr. Masood Karim Shaikh, Mr. S.M. Rafique, Mr. G.A. Allana and Mr. Kalique Janjua.

He then inspected the Regional Headquarters building and the Risala Road and Fatima Jinnah Road branches of NBP, where he ordered the speedy repair and renovation of the premises.

Later in the day, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro also visited Fateh Textile Mills in Hyderabad.

In the evening, he addressed the members of the Chamber of Commerce, Hyderabad, and then met with the notable citizens and local administration of Hyderabad and the bank's clients, at a dinner hosted by NBP, in their honour, at a local hotel.

Incorporated on November 8, 1949, the National Bank of Pakistan performs sub-treasury functions on behalf of the State Bank of Pakistan and is also the largest commercial bank with over 1400 branches spread all over the country with 23 foreign branches and 5 representative offices in 16 countries of the world.

Engro Chemical Pakistan

Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited has filed a suit in the High Court of Sindh at Karachi on Friday, February 25, 2000 against 1) Mr. Muhammad Hussain Dawood 2) Dawood Hercules Chemicals Ltd. 3) Dawood Cotton Mills Ltd. 4) Central Insurance Company Ltd. and 55) Dawood Foundation. The suit challenges the substantial acquisition of Engro shares by the above named on the basis that they have been acquired in violation of provisions of law. Pending the final decision an application for temporary injunction was also field. The Honorable Court has been pleased to pass the following order:-

"1. Urgent application granted

2. Notice for 8.3.2000. Meanwhile defendants Nos. 1 to 5 are restrained from exercising any right or receiving any benefit whatsoever accruing fro the shares already acquired by them and voting on the basis of the same at the share holders meeting. The said defendants are also restrained from purchasing any shares of the Plaintiffs in violation of law."

Mr. Sharifuddin Pirzada, Mr. Aziz Munshi and Messrs. Orr Dignam & Co. appeared for the Company.

MAP Seminar On "Agenda for economic reforms"

The Management Association of Pakistan will hold a half day seminar on "Agenda for Economic Reforms" on February 28, 2000 from 10:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Karachi Marriott Hotel.

Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan will be the keynote speaker. The other speaker of the seminar will be Dr. Asad Saeed a renowned economist. It is expected that Mr. Shahid Hussain, former Vice President of the World Bank may also join the panel of speakers.

The seminar will be largely attended by the executives working for national and multi-national companies, Government corporations and entrepreneurs.

Arena Road Show campaign FEB-March 2000

Fulfilling the basic purpose of this road show activity ARENA Multimedia has been creating awareness among, students about information technology and multimedia education. Almost 60 colleges/universities have to be covered for which permission from the principal of colleges, has already been taken specially, from there we had a positive and appreciating response. Being an extreme need students from Karachi University Dept. of Statistics and Computer Science, Sir Syed University, Gulshan College, Bahria College etc. have shown high interest and good response. This campaign has been running successfully from Feb. and will be continuing till March 2000. Moreover, regarding the student's interest we will plan to have more activities similar to this is future. This activity will such an impact on the minds of students which will help in developing career according to their skills.

Arena Multimedia was launched as an independent division of Aptech Worldwide Inc. USA. Within the short span of 3 years it has become the dominant market leader in its segment with over 100-education center worldwide.

Arena (A division of Aptech Worldwide Inc. USA, the global IT company) courses are designed as specialized programmes to teach students effective usage of Multimedia Technologies such as computer Graphics, Animation, Imaging, Digitizing, Scanning, 3D Modeling, and Rendering Visualizations for creating interactive multimedia applications, internet technology. Students completing these courses can look forward to exciting careers as Graphic and Fashion designers, Visualizes, Animators, Web Designers and Special Effect specialists.