Friday, April 29, 2016

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal Pakistan is conducting the nationwide Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan.

The World Economic Forum in partnership with Mishal Pakistan is conducting the nationwide Executive Opinion Survey in Pakistan. This process has started from early February and will be completed by the mid of May 2016.
EOS 2016

The Executive Opinion Survey, “The Voice of the Business Community”, is a major component of The Global Competitiveness Report and provides the key ingredient that turns the Report into a representative annual measure of a nation’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth.

The survey gathers valuable information on a broad range of variables for which hard data sources are scarce or non-existent. This is the longest-running and most extensive survey of business conditions worldwide, capturing issues that are highly relevant to national competitiveness. These include the state of an economy’s institutions, business environment, macroeconomic environment, technological advancement, human resources, health, education and infrastructure.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer, Mishal Pakistan notes that it is vitally important for each Survey respondent to complete the Survey assessing the country in which the executive is located and based on an international comparison. Jahangir said, Pakistan showcased improvements of three ranks by attaining the global rank of 126 in 2015 as compared to 129 in 2014 among 140 countries. It showed improvements on more than 70 indicators, as compared to 40, where it lost its global rankings.

The Executive Opinion Survey results measure the situation in the country in international comparison. Top business executives contributing to the economy of Pakistan will be surveyed to capture their opinion on the business environment in which they operate.

The Global Competitiveness Report has been the World Economic Forum’s flagship publication since 1979 and is widely recognized as the world’s leading cross-country comparison of factors affecting economic competitiveness and growth.

A sample of company executives in Pakistan will be asked to complete this important and confidential survey. The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017will be published in September 2016.

Mishal Pakistan is the partner institute of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Networks, World Economic Forum. Mishal assists the forum in creating the soft-data on Pakistan, identifying Pakistan’s competitiveness challenges. As a partner institute Mishal has been working closely with the World Economic Forum on measuring Pakistan’s performance on multiple international indices and reports i.e. Global Competitiveness Index, Global Gender Gap Index, Global Enabling Trade Index, Global Information Technology Report – Network Readiness Index, Financial Development Index and the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pakistan Academy of Sciences Emphasizes on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research

Pakistan Academy of Sciences Emphasizes on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research.

Dual Use Education and Biosecurity related issues addressed in PAS during “Regional Workshop on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research”

Due to the fast pace of research in life sciences there is a need to develop skills of scientists and researchers to combat biological threats within the region by providing training on biosecurity, biosafety, pathogen surveillance, and infectious disease surveillance and disaster response. With a view of the above the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS)  facilitated the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) and the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), in organizing a three days Regional Workshop on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Life Sciences Research on April 26 - 28 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Speakers in their detailed presentations highlighted the risks associated with transboundary pathogens and also suggested viable solutions. Chief Organizer of the workshop, Dr. Zabta K. Shinwari, Secretary General, informed that development of genetic engineering and bioscience technologies have raised a risk of bioterrorism and toxic pathogens that released from our laboratories and industries. 

Dr. Khalid Banuri, Director General (ACDA), raised the point in his speech that the issue of dual-use science is not new. The best known example may be nuclear science, which can be used to produce energy (a peaceful purpose) or nuclear bombs. He also mentioned that Likely threat to Pakistan can emerge from the use of biological weapons by Non-State Actors and by the accidental release of any Bio agents. He is of the view that Pakistan has always encouraged strengthening of national/ international institutional efforts to counter potential misuse of bio technology.  In support of his point, Dr. Sana Zahoor, Assistant Professor, VU added that research with highly pathogenic microorganisms, like H5N1 influenza, anthrax among others, could derive into a serious biological threat to a population or even terrorism. Dr. Nabil Qassem Hailat, Professor, JUST suggested that a regional laboratory could be used to safely and accurately diagnose transboundary diseases as an optimal solution for monitoring transboundary animal diseases in the region. Students of Quaid e Azam University contributed in the workshop by sharing their research findings through posters.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Science Cooperation MoU signed between Latvia and Pakistan

Science Cooperation MoU signed between Latvia and Pakistan

A delegation from Latvian Academy of Sciences is currently on a visit to Pakistan Academy of Sciences to formalize arrangements for mutual cooperation and collaboration  and for building broad based, substantive and long-term relationship with Pakistan Academy of Sciences in a wide array of Scientific and technological disciplines. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation between Science Academies of the two countries was signed on March 22, 2016 by the President, Latvian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Ojar SPARITIS and the President, Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Dr. Anwar Nasim.
Dr. Ojar SPARITIS, President, Latvian Academy of Sciences apprised the audience that by working on fundamental and applied sciences with innovative S&T we can stay competitive in the world. He offered collaboration in all areas of S&T by way of joint projects, reciprocal visits of scientists, and joint conferences.
Dr. Anwar Nasim,  President, Pakistan Academy of Sciences, welcomed the offer of support and collaboration between scientists and scientific institutions of the two countries and assured the visiting dignitaries from Latvia of all out support and cooperation from the Pakistani side in this endeavor of national significance. He shared his eagerness for a productive and mutually beneficial collaboration for a win-win situation for both the countries. These briefings were followed by questions and answers and useful discussions. 
Secretary General of PAS, Prof. Zabta K. Shinwari, briefed the audience about the background and objectives of the Academy. He said that the Academy has a catalytic role in economic development of the country by way of promoting S&T by forging and facilitating working relations between Pakistani and foreign scientific institutions.
Discussing and elaborating on the possible areas of mutual cooperation, the Chiefs of both the Academies expressed keen interest and enthusiasm for mutual cooperation in a wide range of S&T areas. The modus operandi of collaboration includes joint projects and reciprocal visits of scientists of the two countries and research of young scientists, and joint Seminars, Symposia, and Conferences.

The MoU signing ceremony was attended by senior scientists, young faculty members and postgraduate students at PAS Headquarters in Islamabad.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

NUML and Mishal to Jointly Establish and Strengthen the National Academy for Corporate Social Responsibility in Pakistan.

NUML and Mishal to Jointly Establish and Strengthen the National Academy for Corporate Social Responsibility in Pakistan. 

The National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and Mishal Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding to establish and strengthen the National Academy for Corporate Social Responsibility in Pakistan. The understanding formally establishes a new strategic partnership enabling the organizations to create a unique model in Pakistan for private businesses to play their role as responsible enterprises, working to improve the human security and dignity through knowledge empowerment and information management. 

NUML and Mishal envision making knowledge and credibility as primary resources for decision making for stakeholders including the policy makers, businesses and the information consumers. Speaking on the occasion, Amna Sabahat, Program Manager Mishal, said, "this partnership will formulate a new linkages of ideas and policy network based on the Triple Helix model." She further said that the partnership will set a new enabling environment for innovation while exploring new avenues for responsible business practices in the country.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by NUML and Mishal will be a pivot in Pakistan's Industry-academia linkages, particularly in the media sector. It will define new value systems on how to create value for the stakeholders, while doing business in a  more responsible, sustainable and profitable manner.

Mishal’s foremost domain of activity is strategic communication with a spotlight on media development, behaviour change communication, perception management and future scenario predictions using methodologies and resources that service the lifestyle and social needs of individuals, their families, the communities they live in and ultimately their larger domains.

Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan said, “Our research and media development initiatives have built the capacity of thousands of journalists and media professionals across Pakistan in the last twelve years”. He further said, “Under our creating shared values initiatives, Mishal is now establishing a new partnership to create and strengthen Pakistan's first National Academy for Corporate \social Responsibility (NACSR). Jahangir said, "We believe, working closely with the leading research and academic institutions will develop interventions to improve the human capital and industry standards through knowledge-based initiatives”.

Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. Mishal is the country partner institute of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network of the World Economic Forum. Mishal’s research and capacity building initiatives have assisted and helped successive governments to improve Pakistan’s global ranking on competitiveness, gender gap, trade and information technology indices.

The National University of Modern Languages was established as an institute in 1970 to help people communicate and understand each other in different oriental and occidental languages, to assimilate different cultures and to act as springboard for emerging disciplines. Initially, the institute provided language training facilities to personnel of armed forces and other government services of Pakistan. It was upgraded to University on May 29, 2000. In achieving this benchmark of a fully autonomous University, it has crossed many barriers and achieved a status of a seat of learning contributing new knowledge in local and global perspective and now teaches 27 oriental and occidental languages in addition to a number of emerging disciplines. Now, the University has a vibrant and well-grounded research program, offering MS/MPhil and PhD research degrees in various disciplines. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Aman Foundation Hosts Directors of the London School of Economics and Political Science in Karachi, Pakistan

Aman Foundation Hosts Directors of the London School of Economics and Political Science in Karachi, Pakistan 

Dr. Craig Calhoun (Director) and Dr. Mukulika Banerjee (Director of the South Asia Centre) from the world-renowned London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) visited the Aman Foundation Karachi campus this weekend as Guests of Honour. At this event, awards were presented to the ten finalists of the AmanClinics Accelerator Competition by the Chief Guest.

Dr. Calhoun and Dr. Banerjee visited Aman Tech, Pakistan’s premier vocational training institute, and met with the staff and students. They were also given briefings regarding Aman Health’s various initiatives.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Calhoun commended the efforts of the Aman Foundation and stressed on the importance of developing primary healthcare in Pakistan. “The AmanClinics Accelerator Program is an excellent platform to motivate individuals to come together as teams and work on sustainable business plans. It is heartening to see this development and I am confident it will reap great rewards for the society as a whole,” he added.

Dr. Banerjee, an expert in social anthropology, commented on the necessity of healthcare accessibility for the masses. “It is imperative that healthcare not be overlooked and Aman Foundation’s role in health and education is one that promises hope for positive change and development in the country.”

The ceremony was presided by Fayeeza Naqvi, Co-Founder and Chairman, Aman Foundation.  “We are honored to have exceptional individuals from the LSE faculty present at our ceremony today. We hope to motivate and encourage individuals to come together and work for the benefit of the community as a whole.” Mrs. Naqvi was also the recipient of the BNP Paribas prize for Individual Philanthropy in 2015 and the Global Humanitarian Award 2016 in Bali.

The Aman Foundation, formed in 2008, is a local, not-for-profit trust, based and operating in Pakistan, born out of the belief that Pakistanis must take the lead in solving Pakistan’s problems. The Aman Foundation aims to champion dignity and choice for the undeserved, focusing on Health and Education through direct intervention.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Food Security Achievable Despite Water Scarcity and Climate Change

Food Security Achievable Despite Water Scarcity and Climate Change 

Joint Efforts by Asian Countries Admired by Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Climate Change 

Some 1.2 billion people—almost one fifth of the world—live in areas of water scarcity, while another 1.6 billion face what is called economic water shortage. The situation is only expected to worsen as population growth, climate change, and inefficient use of existing water resources are reducing the available water per head day by day. It is estimated that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, with almost half of the world living in conditions of water stress.
The current trend of water use in Asian countries is not sustainable in the face of fast increasing populations, and the challenges posed by climate change. Thus, ensuring food security for fast growing populations of Asian countries with shrinking water resources is a daunting task. The challenge is to produce more in a more sustainable way. The was the topic of an International Conference on Challenges in Water Security to Meet the Growing Food Requirementorganized in Islamabad by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA). Leading experts of Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Korea and Nepal were the resource persons at this important scientific forum. In addition to technical presentations and discussions by the experts, three Penal Discussions of the Workshop were led by senior scientists like Dr. Amir Muhammed, Engr. Shamsul Mulk, and Dr. Mubarik Ali.

While chairing the Concluding Session of this important Conference at the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Climate Change, stated that, despite the constraints of water scarcity and climate change, Food Security for the fast increasing populations of Asian countries is achievable. He said this can be accomplished on sustainable basis by employing well thought of science-based solutions and strategies. He congratulated the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and AASSA for jointly organizing this international Conference on a topic of immense importance of all countries of Asia. This Conference was organized by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with The President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Dr. Anwar Nasim, and Vice President of AASSA, Professor Namik Asar, who is senior scientist of Turkey, also spoke on the occasion.