DADABHOY UNIVERSITY; SERVING THE NATION

Dadabhoy University is extending all efforts in defining the New Pakistan

By Zainab Vaqar
April 22 - 28, 2002

If Pakistan is to take its proper place among the progressive nations of the world, it will have to take up a good deal of leeway in the realm of scientific and technical education which is necessary for the proper development of the country and the utilization of its resources. (Quaid-e-Azam)

As the century was taking a shift, the early days of January 2001 saw the establishment of an educational project by the name of Dadabhoy University. Born under the auspices of Dadabhoy Foundation, an organization with a mission to serve the nation by providing quality education at an affordable price. Dadabhoy University is a non-profit organization, which started its operation from a centrally located, fully equipped, four-storied building in Defence Housing Society. Under the dynamic leadership of renowned academicians and eminent personalities, Mr. Abdullah Dadabhoy, Prof. Hasnain Kazmi, Mr. Qutbuddin Aziz and Mr. Aftab Ahmed Khan and others, the university has been launched on the road to success. The University Grants Commission has already recommended Dadabhoy University for the grant of charter.

Dadabhoy University is extending all efforts in defining the New Pakistan. It has treaded in the field of education with lofty goals and mission for future development of the nation. The mission is to furnish quality education at an affordable cost and making it extensive and widespread to all Pakistanis. The focus is on equipping the students with the knowledge, intellect and essential skills to succeed in future academic and professional endeavours. The need of the hour is the meaningful development of the country's human resource. Hence the aim is to shift the present young generation's paradigm towards the Quaid-e-Azam's "work, work and work" policy and thereby replenishing them new with the concept of Iqbal's "Khudi".

The Chancellor of the university Mr. Abdullah Dadabhoy, has envisioned unprecedented future goals for this educational project. The first goal is the establishment of the main campus spread over an area of 150 acres at Hawks bay. The second goal is the establishment of Dadabhoy Internet City spread over an area of 100 acres adjacent to the proposed main campus. Both the projects are at an advanced stage of planning. The object of the construction of the vast campus is to offer international standards of education and facilities at an affordable price in Pakistan.

The faculties of Computer Science, Business Administration, Law and Economics were initially launched. Other disciplines such as Commerce, Islamic Learning and Arts are in the pipeline. Perceiving the endowment of Information Technology in all walks of life and its ever-increasing role in business, industry and commerce, special programs have been formulated. At the bachelors' level, four degree programs are being offered with emphasis on Computer Science, Information Technology, Business Administration and Economics. These programs are BS, BCS, BBIT (Hons), and BBA (Hons). At the postgraduate level, programs such as MCS, MBIT and MBA are being offered. Various weekend programs have also been formulated for working professionals interested in building upon their degrees while pursuing their careers.

The concept of double degree program, LLB & MBA and LLB & M.Sc.(Economics) have been introduced by the university for the first time in Pakistan. LLB evening program, subsidized by the Dadabhoy Foundation is also being offered.

The main campus, where the university is currently located, comprises of capacious and well- furnished classrooms equipped with overhead projectors to facilitate effective delivery of lectures and presentations. For the personal growth and skill development of the students, in-house seminars, discussions and other extra curricular activities are encouraged. For this purpose, a modern auditorium has been built which has a seating capacity of over 120. It is fully furnished with multimedia and Internet projection facilities and other audio-visual equipment. Major academic and extra curricular activities are held at the auditorium.

An innovative step is the provision of a video library. Students have the facility of accessing recorded lectures of renowned professors from all over the world. A large, well-stocked library comprising of over 3000 books has also been set up, which remains open throughout the week from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Latest textbooks, reference books and professional journals are provided and new ones are being added. The students can thus enhance their knowledge not only through the medium of text but also audio and visual aids.

Two hi-tech and modern, Pentium 111 computer labs have been set up. Each lab has fifty workstations with IBM server and is supported by local area networking system. The computer labs also include hardware and peripherals backed by a number of application software. Well-trained IT professionals are present for the guidance and assistance of the students. Free Internet access is provided to the faculty and the students, enabling them to conduct research and download latest information for their projects.

Indoor sports area and a cafe have also been provided for the students' recreation.

From the time of the enrolment to graduation, effective career counseling is provided to the students so that they are able to select the most suitable fields of study for themselves. Personal and academic counseling is provided throughout the academic years so that a student is able to develop himself into a confident and technically sound professional. A lot of emphasis is being laid on the placement of graduates of Dadabhoy University. The placement cell is in liaison with various multinationals to provide internships and jobs for the students.

The faculty, which has been recruited to shoulder the teaching and research responsibilities, is just the right mix of highly qualified, professionally sound, experienced personnel and young thriving individuals. Currently six faculty members are the holders of Ph.D. degree. All the faculty members are required to play active roles in shaping the lives of the students and give them proper guidance and support.

Astronomical work is being undertaken at Dadabhoy University to help to bring Pakistan onto the digital map of the world. Information and communication technology is transforming our lives in multitude ways. Swift innovation is taking place in computing, telecommunication, micro-electronics and opto- electronics. The information and communication technology business is predicted to grow from U.S $ 2.2 trillion in 1999 to over U.S $ 3 trillion globally by 2003. Job opportunities are expected to rise tremendously for service providers in developing countries. Distances have lost their significance and the large number of companies located in USA and Europe are finding it lucrative to establish off shore IT operations in developing countries such as Pakistan. Keeping this opportunity in mind, Dadabhoy University has envisioned the project of Dadabhoy Internet City.

The concept of Internet City is one of its own kinds in Pakistan. Therefore it is no doubt a matter of great pride for Dadabhoy University to have conceived this project, which is a bold step towards strengthening our national foundation. The mission of this project is to provide all the Information Technology facilities of international standards under one roof. The Internet City plan will provide infrastructure and appropriate environment to the local and foreign IT companies enabling them to fully exploit the potential of being adjacent to world's major markets stretching from Central Asia to South Asia, China and Pacific Region. The objective is to provide a peaceful place for technology development backed by world-class infrastructure in a friendly and peaceful environment. Offices and Development Centers of various international IT Giants will be set up there. IT and Telecom Division, Government of Pakistan and Sindh IT Board support this project.

This project will provide a number of facilities to IT companies such as:

High-speed data communication links, satellite earth station, video teleconferencing facility for visual connection with worldwide customers, multi flashing system for voice, data and video robust and scaleable connectivity, local and international software development houses, hardware and communication service providers, e-business and e-infrastructure providers.

The project is expected to bring a revolution in the field of technology in Pakistan. The long-term key benefits for the economy will be the creation of 43,000-employment opportunities nationally. The expected yearly foreign exchange earnings will be US $ 770 million. Dadabhoy University is fully committed to prepare high quality professionals who will be provided with opportunities at Dadabhoy Internet City for their successful career development.

Today as a nation we stand as a daunting 140 million population with a meager literacy rate of 32%. Dadabhoy University wholeheartedly forwards all its support to serve Pakistan by constructing a bridge in the form of education and internet city to overcome the digital divide, so that the name of our country can be included in the list of the most outstanding nations of the world in the days to come, InshaAllah.

PERSONAL PROFILE

Zainab Vaqar an M.B.A., has previously worked for Trust Investment Bank, currently working under the capacity of a lecturer and student counselor. She teaches Business Report Writing and Management. She is also contributing to marketing and advertising of Dadabhoy University.