Belarusian companies visit ICCI to explore development of business cooperation - Fnni.org

Belarusian companies visit ICCI to explore development of business cooperation - Fnni.org

Islamabad (FNNI) A delegation of Belarusian big companies led by Mr. Vladimir Ulakhovich, Chairman, Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to explore development of business and economic cooperation with Pakistan More »

Google’s DeepMind Is Improving Its Human Speech Abilities

Google’s DeepMind Is Improving Its Human Speech Abilities

With the growing use of virtual personal assistants such as Google assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa, AI speech itself as well as the language it uses is becoming more and more important. Currently, More »

Nats’ Stephen Strasburg Relieved by Elbow Diagnosis

Nats’ Stephen Strasburg Relieved by Elbow Diagnosis

WASHINGTON — He isn’t out of the woods yet, but Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg is already breathing a sigh of relief after arm troubles knocked him out of his first start back from injury. More »

CM FELICITATES PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM-Fnni.org

CM FELICITATES PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM-Fnni.org

LAHORE ( FNNI ) CM Punjab M. Shehbaz Sharif has felicitated Pakistani cricket team on winning the second one-day match and the series against West Indies. In a message of felicitation, the CM said that Babar Azam played an important role in the victory in the second one-day match and deserve credit for his second consecutive century. More »

Turkish delegation visits ICCI to explore business collaborations- Fnni.org

Turkish delegation visits ICCI to explore business collaborations- Fnni.org

Islamabad (FNNI ) A delegation of MUSIAD visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by Vice Chairman for Fair, Forum and Organization Commission Omur Yildiz and discussed possibilities for further enhancing business collaborations between the private sectors of Turkey and Pakistan. More »

 

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Women Empowerment: Winds of Change – Fnni.org

Women Empowerment: Winds of Change – Fnni.org

written by:  Isma Anum 

We are living in an era of women empowerment. Women from the entire world over are working shoulder to shoulder with men. All around, they are now empowered to take a decision about different aspects of their life and profession. Women empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development. Women Empowerment helps to make the society and the world a better place to live in and march forward on way to inclusive participation. To celebrate women empowerment, International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March globally. On this day, social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women are being celebrated and it is also a call for gender equality. This day has been observed since in the early 1900’s when the world was moving towards an industrialized economy and ideologies of people were also changing. International Women’s Day is an opportunity for the global community to come together and celebrate the many achievements by women in various fields, and reflect upon what more needs to be done.

Due to long-prevailing gender discrimination and dominance of men in the Pakistani society, women have been suppressed in their families and society at large. Even they have been prone to violence and various discriminations by the male members, even in their own families. In rural areas of Pakistan, the condition of women is far from satisfactory and their contribution to the economy is also negligible. Though women comprise almost 50% of the population of the country, they have not been empowered enough to get equal opportunities in realizing their fullest potential. In such condition, we can say that our country cannot become a developed nation unless we empower women in the true sense of the term. It is very necessary to pay proper attention to their development by providing them equal opportunities in all areas of human activity. Although women have been given a special place in Islam, still many ill practices have been going on against women as a norm since ages. But positive changes are now visible. Women are now claiming the socio-political rights (right to work, the right to education, right to decide, etc) for themselves. There is an increasing awareness about women’s rights which is evident in the emergence of several NGOs and self-help groups. At the individual level too, women are now breaking the barriers of suppression and making their voices heard for their rights. The Punjab Government have implemented various constitutional and legal rights to help women lead purposeful and meaningful lives. Laws have been enacted or amendments made in existing legislation to address acid attacks, honor killings, and sexual harassment. Punjab Government has passed laws to protect women against domestic violence than can be physical or otherwise. In order to safeguard rights of the women, the Punjab Assembly has passed the law titled “Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act” that is enforced in different areas and different times across the entire province of Punjab.  This ‘Women Protect Act’ aims to meet needs of the existing legal system which had failed to effectively address the violence against women. The bill has been passed by the Punjab Government which envisages rehabilitation and justice to women if they become a victim of domestic, emotional, psychological violence, verbal abuse, stalking and cyber crime. Under this law, District Women Protection Officers (WPO) has been appointed to take care of everything of the victim women in addition to getting them relieved from the court of law. The victim women also get help from Women Protection Committee, protection center, and shelter homes. Under the ‘Women Protect Law’, Punjab Government has taken some initiatives for women protection and rights. In previous times, women were not given the right to the property but Punjab Government has passed a bill, according to which women are now given equal right in the property as to men. Additionally, Punjab Government has also announced 15% quota for women in any public service employment. Such measures taken by Punjab Government may help address the major concerns most women have of reporting violence in the first place i.e. fear of police treatment and family pressures to silence the issue. These measures have also helped women to attain a respectable lace in the society and to achieve success in various fields of life.

There is no doubt that women have come a long way globally to gain equal rights as that to men in various aspects of society. Women still need to struggle a lot more to break glass ceilings and to push society as a whole out of their old ways of thinking to realize the crucial roles women can and do play in helping to build democratic systems and sustainable economies. However, despite the growing participation of women in politics and various leadership roles in government, business, and society, gaps still exist in both developed and developing countries that need to be addressed. It is high time that we start respecting our women and let go of the double standards we have towards the two genders. Before becoming the moral police for others, let’s learn to correct our own imperfections first. If we want to bring about women empowerment in the true sense, there is a need for the elimination of the male superiority and patriarchal mindset. Also, women need to be given equal opportunities for education and employment without any sense of discrimination. Unless there is an attitudinal change in society towards women, merely giving them legal and constitutional rights will be simply inadequate.

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WOMEN EMPOWERMENT DESIRED IN LETTER & SPIRIT – Fnni.org

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WOMEN EMPOWERMENT DESIRED IN LETTER & SPIRIT – Fnni.org

Written by: Tahira Irfa

A wise person’s pen happens to jot down once that the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved. Unfortunately what we observe in our daily life is in contrary to it rather what we come across at daily basis are the lethal incidents quoting “Acid throwing attacks at females, … killing in the name of honor ….  Jirga decided the Vanni for Sister of the absconded culprit brother and much more. And the cherry on the top of it is that such incidents not only received a very little attention of people around but of media as well who is supposed to spread the word. This is the situation of an Islamic state, a religion who was a pioneer of making women a respectable entity of society by providing them with their due status.Fast_News_Network_International_FNNIIt is beyond any doubt that women play a significant role in the development of society history bear the testimony to the greatness of women as a vibrant member of society. Even in general scenario women have stood shoulder to shoulder with men for the general cause of humanity however it is unfortunate that their efforts have not been given due recognition in the society. In the name of various customs, rituals, and practices, women are being deprived of their legitimate rights and as a result, end up in the abysmal situation. The role of Women in the progress of a country is inevitable especially in our country where they comprise more than half of the total population. So by confining this huge mass within four walls, the dream of progress could not be attained. The need of the hour is to give women workplaces and business environments that support and welcome them to improve society at large; a mass movement that Pakistan desperately needs to help push it out of the Economic and social quagmire in which it finds itself today. Although the status of women is not up to mark around the globe but the situation here is worst.  However, we are lucky enough to have some sensible lot in our ruling class who senses well the need of the hour and does it best to make women empower. It is worth recalling that enhancing the participation of women in mainstream development would mean providing greater opportunities and accessibility for them to make decisions, to manage their own resources and to be self-reliant. Therefore, considering the plight of women and to uplift the status of women in society, the government of Punjab has started many laudable initiatives who along with Women Empowerment Package 2012 drafted various bills amongst whom Women Protection Bill 2016 is most notable. Notable features of Women Empowerment Package in this regard include property right which has made their position strong in the family. Punjab assembly has approved Punjab Partition of Immovable Property Act 2012 under which husband and wife will cherish equal ownership rights. Also to extol their participation in economic activity Punjab Government has passed The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act (2010) to provide them a safe and peaceful environment where they can utilize their abilities in a productive manner without getting worried about surroundings.  Interest-free loan, maternity leaves and increasing of job quota to 15% are other notable features of this package which will hopefully bring best on their part. Women Protection Bill 2016 was an important step toward overcoming violence against women especially domestic violence. In general, few people have the misconception that women empowerment and gender is a foreign agenda but its only misconception women all over the world have been facing challenges and gender inequalities since the beginnings of history. They have tried to malign these bills as well and just for the sake of political point scoring pointed figures at this national interest bill by making it controversial. Nevertheless, Punjab Government continued its struggle for improving the prestige of women and encouraging them to play their part in the economic activity. With all such remarkable initiatives of Government, we need to play our part as well and be the change ourselves by drawing high acceptance level through awareness. it can be hoped that it will surely help women empower themselves, strengthen economy which will make society stable and the quality of life will be improved not only for women but for men, families and communities, the businesses’ operation and goals will be pushed forward to success.

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Punjab Government Inaction to face Climate Change – Fnni.org

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Written by:  Ali Safdar

Pakistan is ranked amongst the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. Change of climate is related to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and addition to natural climate variability over comparable time periods, that also creates the harmful effects. The Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Pakistan signed an MoU with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Government of Punjab and Planning and Development Department (P&DD), Government of Punjab, to formulate the Punjab Climate Change Policy and provide strategic benefits of research, management, training, capacity building and development programs on low-carbon development and economic growth.punjab-government

LEAD Pakistan will assist in the capacity building of members of the P&DD, EPA, and members of the extended team for the development of Punjab’s Climate Change Policy. Moreover, the LEAD Pakistan will provide technical assistance in setting up a Climate Cell at the P&DD and if necessary maintain a physical presence at the P&DD office to facilitate and support climate compatible development.

The global warming effect is already manifesting themselves around the world in the form of extreme change in weather events like tornadoes, storms, droughts, floods, and all of which have been mounting in frequency and intensity. Millions of people in Pakistan are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution and vector-borne diseases and millions of people suffer from diseases because they have no access to clean the air at their surroundings, air pollution can alone is the reason for 30,000 child deaths every year. In all major cities, airborne particulate matter exceeds safe levels and causes some 22,700 deaths annually.

Climate change is estimated to decrease crop yields in Pakistan which in turn will affect livelihoods and food production. Combining the decreased yields with the current rapid population growth and urbanization in the country, the risk of hunger and food security will remain high. Endemic mortality and morbidity due to diseases primarily associated with droughts and floods are expected to rise. Increases in coastal water temperatures would exacerbate the abundance of cholera. The change in climate will also aggravate the existing social inequalities of resource use and intensify social factors leading to displacement, conflicts, instability, of people and changes in migration patterns.

According to the Climate Change Minister Zahid Hamid, Pakistan’s contribution to global warming is minimal. We emit less than 1% of total annual global greenhouse gas emissions Pakistan faces several major risks relating to climate change, including glacial melt, variable monsoons, recurrent floods, sea intrusion, higher average temperatures and higher frequency of droughts. Millions of people have been affected and colossal damage has been caused by recurring natural disasters.

Global warming throughout the world is being caused by the emission of the greenhouse gasses, these greenhouse gasses are the major constituent which plays the vital role in the creating of global warming. When we analyze the greenhouse gasses it will not be strange to know that almost 72% of the totally emitted greenhouse gasses are carbon dioxide (CO2). There are other gasses which make the remaining part of the greenhouse gasses which includes 18% of the Methane and 9% of Nitrous oxide (NOx). If we make the analysis of the emitted gasses we can easily conclude that Carbon Dioxide CO2 is the most crucial and important cause of global warming. Carbon Dioxide is inevitably created by burning fuels like e.g. oil, natural gas, diesel, organic-diesel, petrol, organic-petrol, and ethanol. The emissions of CO2 have been dramatically increased within the last 50 years and are still increasing by almost 3% each year.

The effects of climate change and global warming on Pakistan, the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, threatening the volumetric flow rate of many of the most important rivers of Pakistan. In Pakistan, such effects are projected to impact millions of lives. As a result of ongoing climate change, the climate of Pakistan has become increasingly volatile over the past several decades this trend is expected to continue.

  • Global Warming results in sudden and dramatic changes in the climate and due to the damaged ozone layer it further endangers the lives of mankind and their property and can increase the probability of natural disasters.
  • Ocean circulation disrupted, disrupting and having unknown effects on world climate.
  • The global warming results in a much higher sea level which increases the chances of flooding and later can cause devastation as the flood passes causing deaths and destruction.
  • Water shortage is being observed in the water scarce areas which cause the deserts to be increased in desertification.
  • Sudden climatic and soil changes can lead to food shortages as climatic changes can adversely affect the agriculture and the crops.
  • Starvation and malnutrition which increases the diseases amongst the humans as well as animals.

The solution to the global warming is to reduce the emission of gasses which includes carbon dioxide and methane, this can be done through planting more greenery and trees which might intake the maximum carbon dioxide and should exhale oxygen which should contribute to the stabilization of the environment. The burning of fuels should be prohibited and those fumes should be recycled properly so that they should not pollute the environment and should play the vital role in reducing the Global Warming from the world.

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NEEDFUL TO OVERCOME SCARCENESS OF PREREQUISITE OF HEALTHY LIFE – Fnni.org

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Written by Tahira Irfa

Access to safe water is a fundamental need as it is not only a precondition for a healthy life but it is also a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people which is an affront to human dignity. At the same time, water is a scarce resource and its shortage usually results in economic and health crises. This can be assessed from global trends as well as from Pakistan’s national and local struggles for better access to safe drinking water. Pakistan is also facing the shortage of potable water in all provinces including Punjab. Comprising 144 tehsils in 36 districts, Punjab is the most populous of the five provinces of Pakistan, with an estimated population of over 100 million people. Main drinking water source is groundwater in the province, which once was considered to be safe but over the years it is increasingly found to be contaminated with bacteriological and chemical pollutants. The situation is worse in rural areas where access to tap water is very low – 13 percent – as compared to 43 percent in urban areas of Punjab and the quality of drinking water remains substandard as the major sources are hand pumps and turbines supplying contaminated or brackish water. Water contamination in rural areas is mainly caused due to a discharge of domestic sewage directly or indirectly into water bodies, open defecation, agricultural run-off during rainy season containing chemical fertilizers and pesticides and effluents from agro-based industries. The majority of the population in the province is exposed to hazards of drinking unsafe and polluted water from both surface and ground water sources. Contaminated water is a source of many diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worms and hepatitis. Four major contaminants in drinking water sources are bacteriological, arsenic, nitrate and fluoride.
We need to take every conceivable step to provide clean water to people along with the assistance of International companies in Water Sector which is highly desired and encouraged. Past have witnessed many lapses at our part nevertheless lessons learned from past mistakes will be helpful now to complete this project and provide people with clean water. Beatific in this regard is the recently held International consultative session headed by CM Punjab in which all the previous lapses which were the reason behind the delay in Khadim-e-Alaa Clean Water Project in Rural Area were discussed and also further the measurements with International Consultation were finalized. Expert opinions being received in the consultative session is quite helpful to comprehend roadmap which will lead us to the successful execution of this project. CM himself will monitor the project that gives us hope of its timely completion and all being well that its quality won’t be compromised. This Project has been prepared to ensure the supply of the clean drinking water to the whole population of the province and this project has been launched from Bahawalpur Division of the South Punjab. Later this project will be expanded to the central and northern areas of the province in phases, and provision of the clean drinking water will be ensured to the every household of the province. It was actually Three years ago when Punjab government prepared a comprehensive plan to provide clean drinking water to the people, but the departments concerned unfortunately could not make progress on this public welfare project due to nepotism, lack of determination and incompetence and no considerable progress could be made. Only 80 water filtration plants have been installed in Bahawalpur district of the south Punjab and this progress is unsatisfactory. Initially, NesPak was made consultant, but it committed many mistakes and it was removed. Later ECSP was made consultant and now services of international consultants have been obtained.  Punjab Government has allocated 30billion Rs. Fortunately, this misappropriation has been figured out earlier and fixed which will now lead to the smooth completion of the project in stipulated time. In Pakistan, most of the community is relying on underground water reservoirs which are unfortunately polluted and this polluted water is causing many diseases. Currently, 80 water purification plants are working in Bahawalpur district however1400 inactive rural water supply schemes are planned to activate soon. Clean drinking water is one of the basic requirements for healthy living and we all have to play our part devotedly to provide this basic need to our people.
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NEEDFUL TO OVERCOME SCARCENESS OF PREREQUISITE OF HEALTHY LIFE – Fnni.org

fnni-org-400x400

Written by: Tahira Irfa 

 Access to safe water is a fundamental need as it is not only a precondition for a healthy life but it is also a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people which is an affront to human dignity. At the same time, water is a scarce resource and its shortage usually result in economic and health crises. This can be assessed from global trends as well as from Pakistan’s national and local struggles for better access to safe drinking water. Pakistan is also facing a shortage of potable water in all provinces including Punjab. Comprising 144 tehsils in 36 districts, Punjab is the most populous of the five provinces of Pakistan, with an estimated population of over 100 million people. Main drinking water source is groundwater in the province, which once was considered to be safe but over the years it is increasingly found to be contaminated with bacteriological and chemical pollutants. The situation is worst in rural areas where access to tap water is very low – 13 percent – as compared to 43 percent in urban areas of Punjab and the quality of drinking water remains substandard as the major sources are hand pumps and turbines supplying contaminated or brackish water. Water contamination in rural areas is mainly caused due to the discharge of domestic sewage directly or indirectly into water bodies, open defecation, agricultural run-off during rainy season containing chemical fertilizers and pesticides and effluents from agro-based industries. The majority of the population in the province is exposed to hazards of drinking unsafe and polluted water from both surface and ground water sources. Contaminated water is a source of many diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worms and hepatitis. Four major contaminants in drinking water sources are bacteriological, arsenic, nitrate and fluoride.

fnni-org-400x400

We need to take every conceivable step to provide clean water to people along-with the assistance of International companies in Water Sector which is highly desired and encouraged. The Past have witnessed many lapses at our part nevertheless lessons learned from past mistakes will be helpful now to complete this project and provide people with clean water. Beatific in this regard is the recently held International consultative session headed by CM Punjab in which all the previous lapses which were the reason behind the delay in Khadim-e-Alaa Clean Water Project in Rural Area were discussed and also further the measurements with International Consultation were finalized. Expert opinions being received in the consultative session is quite helpful to comprehend roadmap which will lead us to the successful execution of this project. CM himself will monitor the project that gives us hope of its timely completion and all being well that its quality won’t be compromised. This Project has been prepared to ensure the supply of the clean drinking water to the whole population of the province and this project has been launched from Bahawalpur Division of the South Punjab. Later this project will be expanded to the central and northern areas of the province in phases, and provision of the clean drinking water will be ensured to the every household of the province. It was actually Three years ago when Punjab government prepared a comprehensive plan to provide clean drinking water to the people, but the departments concerned unfortunately could not make progress on this public welfare project due to nepotism, lack of determination and incompetence and no considerable progress could be made. Only 80 water filtration plants have been installed in Bahawalpur district of the south Punjab and this progress is unsatisfactory. Initially, NesPak was made consultant, but it committed many mistakes and it was removed. Later ECSP was made consultant and now services of international consultants have been obtained.  Punjab Government has allocated 30billion Rs. Fortunately, this misappropriation has been figured out earlier and fixed which will now lead to the smooth completion of the project in stipulated time. In Pakistan, most of the community is relying on underground water reservoirs which are unfortunately polluted and this polluted water is causing many diseases. Currently, 80 water purification plants are working in Bahawalpur district however1400 inactive rural water supply schemes are planned to activate soon. Clean drinking water is one of the basic requirements for healthy living and we all have to play our part devotedly to provide this basic need to our people.

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16 DECEMBER: A DAY OF TEARS AND PLEDGE – Fnni.org

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16 DECEMBER: A DAY OF TEARS AND PLEDGE – Fnni.org

Written by: Tahira Irfa

Who knows the end of the year will leave every eye full of tears. But it did and made us welcome our New Year  while sobbing. Two years has passed but still the ill-fated innocent departed souls haunt us badly. The bigots and evil minded selfish people are behind this abhorrent act that for their vested interests has cost not only these but lives of millions. The conflict, chaos, conspiracy and crises created by sectarian and religious extremism have made the world a vulnerable place to live in.  Though terrorism is a global issue but Pakistan is bearing its burnt the most. Pakistan surely is facing war like situation not only at borders but also internally. Security has always been a misunderstood and misplaced issue in Pakistan and the real threat here emanates from this Sectarian violence and religious extremism. Someone has rightly said that the greatest danger to Pakistan comes not from without but from within the form of religious extremism and sectarianism. Terrorism not only costs lives but economy, development, peace, sovereignty, foreign investment and much more. A handful of people who have their vicious interests to fulfill have not only taken countless innocent lives but also distorted the real image of Islam before the world through their heinous acts. Undoubtedly, at present the gravest problem of Pakistan is terrorism which has become a headache for federation and a nightmare for public. We are facing war like situation against terrorists mostly due to internal insurgencies, external hands and international conspiracies. People have become numerical figures, blown up in numbers every now and then. Terrorists have not spared any place like bazars, mosques, educational institutes, offices, hotels, no place is safe anymore.

However, ray of hope is that the APS incident has brought all the forces in one page and made them take some bold steps to play their key role in the war on terror and using all its means to combat menace of terrorism. Fortunately our politicians, general masses and security forces are now showing a strong sense of unity to fight terrorism. Along with Federal initiatives, province especially Punjab province seems vigilant to nip this evil in the bud. After the practical implementation of National Internal Security Policy at Federal level, Punjab government had derived a comprehensive policy to save people from internal as well as external dangers. It has sufficed the powers of law enforcing agencies to bring National Action Plan into letter and spirit. Punjab Government in context with the National Action Plan (NAP) has established Counter Terrorism department which is the first ever force of its kind in Pakistan’s history. It has fifteen hundred corporals who meet all the necessary criteria being set and are selected under strict merit. This force was surely the need of hour to help country survive in this war. It would be unfair not to appreciate Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif’s stalwart passion that turned this plan of anti-terrorism force into reality and made their first passing out possible in a very short amount of time. Formally Crime Investigation Department after its restructure now is working as Counter Terrorism Department. This department is working against all shapes of terrorism including extremism and sectarianism. The hired corporals are trained with the special assistance of Turk National Police who sent its 45 officers to provide standard training and capacity building of these corporals. They trained them for intelligence operations and investigations.

Nevertheless, we are  peace loving nation and our efforts to fight menace of terrorism and sacrifices rendered thereof are testimony to the commitment and resolve to bring peace in region need recognition. We have sacrificed the most in the ongoing war on terror. So the need of hour is that all citizens of Pakistan must propagate moderate vibrant culture of Pakistan to promote good will of world community and shun misconstrued belief. Anti-state elements must be singled out and brought to lime light to defeat evil agendas of enemies. And most important we need to stand with the government agencies, appreciate their rightful acts and play our needful part to bring that peace and glory back to our land. And observing 16 December is basically to pay tribute to the martyrs and convey message to those atrocious that “we will stand, we will fight and we will win the war..” Insha Allah

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QUALITY EDUCATION: DEVELOPMENT ASSURANCE – Fnni.org

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QUALITY EDUCATION: DEVELOPMENT ASSURANCE – Fnni.org

Written by: TAHIRA IRFA

A famous scholar said once “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army”. Education is the only way through which you can turn a huge mass into a productive workforce. Our Islam stresses upon the education of every man and woman. It is important for the social development and economic growth of a nation as no development are possible without a skillful and trained human resource.  Through education, more skilled people can be produced who can make the country developed.

Sadly, numerous international assessments could explore that Pakistan is lagging behind many countries in achieving the Education for All goal (EFA). We were the signatory to the treaty under DAKAR Framework where it was decided by all the developing countries that they will be trying to achieve the target of EFI in the meeting held in Senegal in 2000. UNESCO rates in Pakistan are at a lower EFA development index EDI. The adult literacy in Pakistan, in spite of concerned efforts, failed to go beyond the borderline of 50 percent. The more embracing would be that we would not be catching the target to achieve the adult literacy by 2016. Progress towards the achievement of the targets is exceptionally slow, while gender parity goal is at risk of not being achieved by 2016. Moreover, more than 6 million children are out of school. Low allocation of funds, the medium of education, infrastructure problems, because of low enrolment at primary school, adult literacy, gender equity, and equality, delay in renewal process of the syllabus and most important of all poverty and lack of access to quality education is the main reason behind this vulnerable situation of education. However, Punjab government is now taking serious initiatives to bring Article 25-A into letter and spirit. It has shown serious concern to improve education standard and provide quality education to all. The base of a country is basically education of its young generation. Punjab government enlightened the importance of this quotation by T.S Eliot when it laid the foundation of PUNJAB EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND which took its initial step with a budget of two Arab Rupees which has now been raised to 16 Arabs. About 40,000 of the needy, as well as talented students, have been bestowed with scholarships through this funding society.

A hallmark to provide access and quality education is the SPECIAL EDUCATION QUOTA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMM 2016-17 for secondary level education. With an estimated amount of 7.5 Arabs endowment fund, this program will provide around 150,000 scholarships.  Anyone who has passed a middle examination and belongs to any of these categories either orphans, kids of Govt. employee grade 1-4, minorities or special students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Other requirements for being eligible is that the candidate must possess domicile of Punjab and has acquired at least 60% marks in middle exams. Parents’ total income is 15000 or less and at the time of applying he must be a regular student of 9th grade in any registered organization. Other formalities include death certificate for orphans, salary slip of previous month in the case of a government employee, certificates from concerned religious entities and health center certificate in case of special students. 28 September is the last date of registration and form can be downloaded from PEEF website.

PEEF is not an ordinary scholarship scheme in the way that other scholarships merely longed for publicity. It is provided for the students of matriculation , intermediate, graduation and masters level. According to the policy of PEEF, needy and talented students need not carry their applications for scholarships to the adamant officials but the organization itself search the students from its online record and explores the hidden talent. So PEEF has wiped out even a single doubt about the well-known fact that “PRAHA-LIKHA PUNJAB” were not merely the superficial words by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif but he is personally indulged to implement it not only in Punjab but all over in Pakistan where the resources are in his reach. Before PEEF was founded most of the talented but unfortunately poor students were unable to carry on their education and make the both ends meet. This was a drastic source of destruction of a huge talent of our country. To call it a miracle of our fortune wouldn’t be an exaggeration that we were blessed with Mr. Shahbaz Sharif who truly depicts the Islamic notion of a Minister, whom Islam considers not the owner but the servant of his people. He values the talent not superficially but from the core of his heart. His foresight has already picked the saying of a poet i.e. ZARA NAM HO TU YE MATTI BERI ZERHAIZ HA SAQI

Surely, education serves as the backbone for the development of nations. The countries with the effective impressive need oriented, the saleable and effective system of education comes out to be the leaders of the world, both socially and economically. It is only education which can turn a burden of the population into a productive human resource. PEEF is undoubtedly a much-needed step to give a boost to vulnerable education situation herein so the opportunity should be availed with full zeal and zest to make best out of it. Increased literacy rate will surely set the country on the road of progress Insha Allah.