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DCET Pakistan Engineering Council re-accreditation

PEC grants re-accreditation to Two DCET batches
Karachi, Feb 16: The Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) on Friday granted long awaited re-accreditation to the batches of 2007 and 2008 of Dowood College of Engineering and Technology (DCET). According to the letter sent to Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of Sindh Madressatul Islam University, who is also incharge Principal of DECT, on February 15, the PEC said that considering the recent compliance report submitted by DCET and appointment of qualified faculty, re accreditation was granted to BE Electronics and BE Chemical for two years intake of Batches 2007 and 2008. Likewise the PEC granted re-accreditation to BE Industrial Engineering and Management for one year intake of year 2008 (Batch 2007) only. Dr Shaikh said that it was a serious matter facing the last two batches of DECT (Batch 2007 and 2008) as their degrees were not being recognised by the PEC. "Hence, a serious problem of the students that was affecting their career is resolved. Now the batch of 2009 is appearing in the final examination, so the students of this batch wouldn't pass through such agony," he added. Daily times

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KU rules for semester exam results
Karachi: In charge semester cell, Karachi University, Prof Dr Haider Rizvi has announced that in order to avoid unnecessary delay of semester awards, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi Prof Dr Mohammad Qaisar has approved a set of rules, according to which all assessment shall be done within a week of the examination held, and awards be submitted to the Semester Examinations section. All results of a Department, therefore, must be sent within 10 days of the last examination except project/ thesis. However, if the result is not received within due date to the Semester Examinations Section, then the result shall be announced by the Semester Examinations Section as "with held" mentioning the course number and the name of the course in-charge. ppi

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Writers cannot change a nation that doesn't read
Karachi: Many believe that writers can bring change in a society, but it is impossible in a country like Pakistan where the literacy rate remains low, said renowned author and journalist Amar Jaleel during a question and answer session.

He believed the Pakistani state made false claims about literacy in the country. "We tell the world our literacy rate is between 40 and 50 percent but honestly it's not more than 5 to 6 percent," he said. "We cannot admit the truth because it will dent our chances to get development funds."

There were certain indicators that prove this premise, Jaleel said while talking to Shah Muhammad Pirzada in a no-holds-barred discussion. "Pakistan has a population of 18 million but the cumulative circulation of newspapers never crossed the million mark. If a society has such a low rate of newspaper circulation, forget books," he said.

"If the population is only reading billboards with this literacy, what's the point in boasting about it?" Jaleel asked.

What grabbed the attention of the audience was a story, hardly a few pages long, read by Jaleel at the session. The story was titled "To kill Hemingway", from the writer's soon-to-be-published short story collection. In the narrative, a man who lived a "wicked life" searches for ways to his redemption and stumbles upon a mullah, who advises him to kill an American to be absolved of his sins.

In a nutshell, Jaleel gave away the twisted mindset of the Muslim youth who are being attracted by religious fundamentalism that leads them towards terrorism.

Commenting on the dying number of progressive voices, he said the idea of Pakistan was based on religion. "It was the two-nation theory that created this country, so no wonder that the religious mindset often get the latitude here," said the popular fiction writer. "The idea of Pakistan is constitutionally protected and we are not supposed to debate over it. It's decided."

Citing Dr Tahirul Qadri's recent long march, Jaleel said that when Qadri arrived near the parliament he declared the National Assembly null and void. "It was treason. Plain and simple [treason] but nobody dared to arrest him."

The columnist said that had the same act been pulled off by a Sindhi nationalist group, the result would have been different. "They would have been thrashed!"

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Literature festival: just what the doctor ordered
Karachi: Is it not "callous" to organise a literature festival in a tumultuous city where barely a day passes by without drive-by killings and unpredictable outbreaks of violence have become its only predictable aspect? The answer on the contrary: "that is exactly what Karachi needs".

"It's like a balm. A healing touch," responded Ameena Saiyid, the managing director of Oxford University Press in Pakistan, when Asif Farrukhi, the moderator of the discussion titled "Organising Literature Festivals" asked her that very question.

She said the festival would not only project the city in a positive light but also provide the means for people to express themselves, a place where they can talk to each other.

"I think it [the event] will help improve the situation and make Karachi calmer."

Adrienne Loftus Parkins and Jon Slack, the other speakers on the panel, concurred.

"Literature festivals are entertaining and fun. And it's not just the literary topics that are discussed, but other issues as well," said Parkins, who is vastly experienced in organising such events.

A literature curator, consultant and producer of live events from the UK, Parkins is the founder and director of the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature.

Parkins went on to give details about the thriving culture of such festivals in the UK, and how they help develop the society's understanding of literary trends.

Jon Slack, the development manager for the Book Marketing Society, thinks it is all about meeting the writers in the flesh. "Readers develop an attachment with the books and wish to meet the writers," said Slack, an Australian living in the UK who too is associated with the business of organising literature festivals.

The fascination of meeting your idols, Slack believes, is the factor that makes literary festivals special and successful.

Speaking on the events that led to the conception of the Karachi Literature Festival, Saiyid recalled how her visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival in India, "the mother of literature festivals in South Asia" that she believes it is, inspired her to produce the same magic back home.

There, she witnessed the accolades being showered on Indian writers, the respect that was being bestowed on them, and the opportunity that their readers were availing to actually meet them.

"We wanted to give our writers a platform too. Give their readers a chance to interact with them. Forge a connection between the writers and their readers."

Saiyid observed that television could not fill the gap that a literature festival did. Talk shows and writers' interviews on television did not allow the intimacy to develop between a writer and reader that could become possible only through meeting in person, she added.

Besides, Saiyid further said, the festival would pave the way for Pakistani writers' international recognition.

Parkins and Slack spoke about the South Asian influence on literature in the UK. However, they noted that the South Asian writers, whose works were showcased at festivals in the UK, were mostly that country's residents. Introducing South Asian writers to the market there was a task they both wished to accomplish.

When asked about the difference between the literature festival in Karachi and those in the UK, Parkins laughed and replied that apart from a few thousand visitors and pounds in sponsorship, they were subtle. She noted that hundreds of literature festivals were organised in the UK every year.

On that note, Saiyid pointed out the challenges that the organisers of the Karachi Literature Festival had to face in staging the event, the biggest of them being visas for foreign participants. Then there are the writers' busy schedules.

In comparison, these headaches are for the publishers to take care of in the UK, Parkins explained.

Asif Farrukhi later wrapped up the discussion with a few words of Ghalib about the pureness and sweetness of mangoes an allusion towards the refreshing nature of the festival. The news

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