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  • Monday, May 27, 2024

  • CUI

  • INIT


The Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) in collaboration with COMSATS University Islamabad, the Ministry of IT & Telecommunication, Government of Pakistan, and the ICT4D Collective convened the 4th International Workshop on ICTs for Development: Mainstreaming the Marginalized on May 14, 2024, at Islamabad.

This Workshop aimed to bridge the current gap in ICT provision for education, particularly for the marginalized, elderly, and disabled individuals who have been isolated until now. Through interactive sessions, including presentations, and open floor debates, the Workshop sought to address crucial topics such as accessibility policies, government support, and infrastructure availability. The workshop contributed to evaluating human resources in marginalized communities, integrating ICTs to enhance their quality of life. The Workshop consisted of presentations and open discussions around the following themes:

  • General Accessibility
  • Economic and Financial Well Being
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Employment
  • Security and Privacy

The workshop started with the recitation of Holy Quran. In an opening address by Dr Tahir Naeem, Executive Director, INIT, elucidated how ICTs have a transformative potential impact on marginalized communities as they improve access to resources, enhance economic opportunities, and foster social inclusion. He also highlighted the importance of the contributions that local authorities and voluntary and community sectors have to make in addressing social inclusion. Speaking on the occasion, the Lead Facilitator of the Workshop, Prof. Tim Unwin, Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway University of London, UK, and former UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, emphasized on the role the ICTs are playing in ensuring sustainable development. He said that ICT experts can enable to formulate roadmaps for initiating multidimensional development projects ensuring sustainability of disable and marginalized people and can help in alleviating poverty by devising ways of providing easy and timely access to useful information for the marginalized communities. Addressing to the audience, Dr S. M. Junaid Zaidi H.I., S.I., Founder Rector, COMSATS University Islamabad, said that ICTs are transformative tools that can significantly enhance the lives of individuals and communities, particularly those who are marginalized and by providing access to essential services and opportunities, ICTs can help bridge various divides and promote inclusive development. He praised the INIT’s persistent efforts in raising awareness about the issues and difficulties faced by people with disabilities and marginal communities, and expressed his well wishes for the INIT and encouraged it to continue carrying out the similar events. Mr Shahid Ahmed Memon, Chairman, Pakistan Disabled Foundation, also spoke on the occasion. In his speech, he said that ICTs can significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities by enhancing access to education, employment, healthcare, and social inclusion. He also applauded the INIT’s role in improving the lives of people with disabilities through its various events over the years. Lastly, a vote of thanks was delivered by Prof. Dr Sajid Qamar, President, INIT/ Rector, COMSATS University Islamabad. In his speech, he said that uplifting marginalized communities involves a multifaceted approach that addresses systemic issues, promotes inclusion, and empowers individuals. By taking informed, contemporary and comprehensive steps, a more equitable society can be created where marginalized communities have the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the broader community. Lastly, he congratulated the INIT and organizers for conducting the Workshop and thanked all the speakers and participants for their valuable contributions in this important event.

Concluding the opening ceremony, Dr Akber Abid Gardezi, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, unveiled the research report titled “Development of a Gap Analysis and Roadmap to Meet the Technology Needs of People with Disability and Special Needs in OIC Member States” whereby the salient features of the report were discussed. The report was developed in collaboration with UNESCO Chair in ICT for Development. The study is aimed at defining the elements of an accessibility infrastructure and reviewing the availability of such elements within and across OIC member states. The study conducted a gap analysis of the current state of policy across five pilot OIC Member states namely Jordan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, and Tunisia.

In the first session of the Workshop, Mr Shabbir Awan, Research Fellow, Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA), National Defence University, Islamabad presented his talk on the subject of “Disability Policies from a Technology Perspective”. In this talk, he said that disability policies from a technology perspective are crucial in bridging the digital divide and ensuring that people with disabilities have an equal access to the digital world. He emphasized that these policies, standards, and initiatives not only promote accessibility but also drive innovation in assistive technologies, creating a more inclusive society, and by continually updating and enforcing these policies, governments and organizations can ensure that technological advancements benefit everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Mr Waqas Ahmad, CEO, Atom Global also presented his talk at the Workshop on the subject of “AI for Inclusion: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence to Empower Marginalized Communities”. Mr Waqas had informed the audience about Pakistan’s first indigenously built AI platform designed by his company with the aim to empower every citizen of Pakistan with the best and latest knowledge about various subjects related to his well-being, growth & development and social protection. He said that the AI platform is trained on Pakistan’s law and has the capability to provide insights into various laws of Pakistan along with citations and analysis besides covering Criminal, Civil, Family, Tax, Consumer, Inheritance and other branches of Law. He further said that Pakistan can only grow if we bring our marginalized at par with the blessed ones and their AI platform will facilitate all citizens to learn about their rights and at the same time prevent them from being exploited.

The second session of Workshop began with a presentation by Mr Muhammad Atif Sheikh, Director, Special Talent Exchange Program/Chair, South Asian Disability Forum/Commonwealth Forum of Disabled People on “E-learning Tool on Disability Inclusive DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) Developed by UNESCAP and STEP for NDMA (UNESCAP Funded Project)”. Mr Atif said that developing an e-learning tool focused on Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) involves creating a comprehensive educational platform that addresses the unique needs of people with disabilities in the context of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. By involving stakeholders, ensuring content is accessible, incorporating interactive and practical learning tools, and continuously evaluating and improving the platform, such an e-learning tool can effectively equip users with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that DRR efforts are inclusive and equitable.

Ms Abia Akram, Chair, Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities Network/ Director, Special Talent Exchange Program talked at length about “Role of Women With Disabilities in Creating Accessible Referral Pathways (UNPF Funded Project)”. In her speech, she said that women with disabilities play an indispensable role in creating accessible referral pathways by bringing their lived experiences and insights to the forefront of design, development, and implementation processes. She stressed that their active participation ensures that referral systems are not only inclusive but also practical and effective in meeting the needs of all individuals with disabilities, and by advocating, designing, training, monitoring, and leading, they help create a more equitable and accessible society.

The last speaker of the 2nd session was Dr Amir Rasheed Ch, CEO, FAMBZZHH, who shed light on the subject of “Empowering Abilities: Navigating Life with Disabilities”. Dr Amir emphasized that empowering abilities and navigating life with disabilities requires a holistic approach that integrates education, employment, healthcare, social inclusion, technology, legal rights, and personal development. He said that by addressing these areas comprehensively and promoting inclusive practices, society can create an environment where individuals with disabilities can thrive and lead fulfilling lives.

The Workshop was a great success as it was participated by people hailing from different organizations, marginalized communities, policy planners, development professionals, researchers, technology experts, ICT organizations, universities, R&D organizations, disability organizations and development sector.

List of Speakers:

1.    Prof. Dr Sajid Qamar

President, INIT/

Rector, COMSATS University Islamabad

Islamabad

2.    Dr S. M. Junaid Zaidi H.I., S.I.

Founder Rector

COMSATS University Islamabad

3.    Prof. Tim Unwin

Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Former UNESCO Chair in ICT4D

4.    Dr Tahir Naeem

Executive Director, INIT

Director, P&D and HRD

COMSATS University Islamabad

5.    Dr Akber Abid Gardezi

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science

COMSATS University Islamabad

Islamabad

6.    Mr Shahid Ahmed Memon

Chairman

Pakistan Disabled Foundation

Karachi

7.    Mr Shabbir Awan

Research Fellow

Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA),

National Defence University

Islamabad

8.    Mr Waqas Ahmad

CEO

Atom Global

Rawalpindi

9.    Dr Muhammad Asif Gul

Associate Professor

Federal Government Educational Institutions (C/G), Rawalpindi /

National University of Pakistan, Islamabad

10.  Mr Muhammad Atif Sheikh

Director, Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP)/

Chair, South Asian Disability Forum / Commonwealth Forum of Disabled People

11.  Ms Abia Akram

Director, Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP)/

Chair, Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities Network

12.  Dr Amir Rasheed Ch

CEO, FAMBZZHH

Islamabad

List of Participating Organizations:

  1. Abasyn University, Islamabad
  2. Alazem Textile, Faisalabad
  3. Army Special Education Academy, Rawalpindi
  4. Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities Network
  5. Askari Bank, Islamabad
  6. Assistech Solutions, Islamabad
  7. Atom Global, Rawalpindi
  8. COMSATS Headquarters, Islamabad
  9. COMSATS University Islamabad
  10. COMSATS University Islamabad, Wah Campus
  11. FAMBZZHH, Islamabad
  12. Federal Government Educational Institutions (C/G), Rawalpindi
  13. ICT4D Collective/ Royal Holloway University of London, UK
  14. Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA), National Defence University, Islamabad
  15. Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology, Islamabad
  16. Ministry of IT & Telecommunication, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad
  17. National Cleaner Production Center, Rawalpindi
  18. National University of Pakistan, Islamabad
  19. Pakistan Association of the Blind, Faisalabad
  20. Pakistan Association of the Deaf, Karachi
  21. Pakistan Disabled Foundation, Karachi
  22. Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad
  23. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Islamabad
  24. Pakistan Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Lahore
  25. Pakistan Telecom Authority, Islamabad
  26. Paraplegic Center, Peshawar
  27. Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad
  28. Sir Syed School & College of Special Education, Rawalpindi
  29. South Asian Disability Forum / Commonwealth Forum of Disabled People
  30. Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), Islamabad
  31. Voice of Special Persons, Rawalpindi


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  • Friday, May 24, 2024

  • CUI

  • PDHR

Click here for Pictures


A one-day Workshop titled "CERN@70: Inspiring the Future" was held on May 7, 2024, at the Junaid Zaidi Library, Video Conference Hall, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad Campus. This Workshop was jointly organized by the Directorate of Planning, Development, and Human Resource Development and Department of Physics.

The aim of the Workshop was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) and to provide insights into its evolution and research programs over the decades. After the registration and opening ceremony three technical sessions were conducted.

In the Opening Session distinguished guests, including Dr. Masood Iqbal, Member Sci-ence, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, and Dr. Syed Muhammad Junaid Zaidi, H.I., S.I, Founder Rector of CUI, graced the ceremony as a Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour re-spectively. The program commenced with the recitation from the Holy Quran. Dr. Tahir Naeem, Director P, D and HRD welcomed the participants. He highlighted the Pak-CERN collaboration and recapitulated the state and status of relationship with the CERN. He reflected on engagement and contributions of Pakistani Universities/Institutions in different projects at CERN. He urged the participants, particularly the students, to participate effectively in CERN programmes by pursuing higher studies in particle and high-energy physics and other related fields. He expressed hope that the continued relationship with CERN would open new horizons in science, technology, and innovation for Pakistani scientists, engineers, and students.

The Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor emphasized the profound significance of com-memorating CERN’s 70 years of scientific excellence. They reflected on CERN’s pivotal role as a global leader in particle physics, particularly highlighting the Nobel Prize-winning dis-covery of the Higgs Boson. The speakers traced Pakistan’s collaborative journey with CERN since 1994, applauding the nation's significant contributions to various research projects. They emphasized the expansion of collaboration beyond the CMS experiment to encompass ALICE, MEDICIS, and other domains, fostering opportunities for Pakistani researchers and students. Moreover, they acknowledged the critical role of institutions like CUI and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in advancing scientific culture and infrastructure in Pakistan and ex-pressed optimism about future collaborations, including initiatives like the Future Circular Collider Feasibility Study. Overall, their remarks encapsulated the shared commitment to ad-vancing scientific research and development through fruitful partnerships between Pakistan and CERN. The Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour were presented with University Souve-nirs and a vote of thanks by the Rector of COMSATS University Islamabad. The Opening Session concluded with a group photograph.

After a tea/coffee break, the Workshop proceeded with invited talks on the evolution of CERN and its research programs. Dr. Zafar Yasin, Director of the PAK-CERN Secretariat, highlighted the three decades of collaboration between Pakistan and CERN. He provided an in-depth overview of this collaboration and discussed opportunities for students and researchers at CERN, acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the collaborating institutes.

Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad, Director of Experimental High Energy Physics, National Center for Physics, Islamabad, discussed the CMS experiment and NCP's contributions to detector technology. He showcased ongoing projects and their applications at CERN.

Dr. Shahid Qamar, a professor from Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences, presented on the significance of quantum computing at CERN, focusing on the Open Quantum Institute (OQI) and the potential of quantum computing through quantum algorithms.

Dr. Marco Van Leeuwen, ALICE Spokesperson from CERN Geneva, participated virtually. He provided an overview of CERN's collaborating institutes, focusing on the ALICE collaboration, its physics, results from RUN3, and future prospects. He also acknowledged CUI's contributions to the ITS2 upgrade and physics activities.

Dr. Sumera Javeed, a scientist from PINSTECH Islamabad, spoke on the design and development of a 6-20 MeV linear accelerator for research, medical, and industrial applications. She detailed the objectives of linear accelerators and highlighted ongoing projects, seeking collaboration on various technical aspects.

Following a networking lunch/prayer break, the program resumed with discussions on Pakistani institutions' contributions to CERN's agenda. Dr. Uzma Tabassam, along with team members Dr. Yasir Ali, Dr. Jamila Bashir Butt, and Dr. Ali Zaman from the Department of Physics, discussed the ALICE experiment and physics data analysis. She outlined the processes to understand the Big Bang and the existence of Quark-Gluon Plasma, highlighting the group's research contributions.

Dr. Fahad Bhopal, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at CUI, presented on the upgrade of the ALICE ITS. He detailed CUI's role in the design and development of the Si-Pixel Detector for the ALICE experiment, focusing on technical aspects and simulations that enhance the detector's performance.

Dr. Jamil Aslam, Professor in the Department of Physics at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, discussed the Standard Model of particle physics, emphasizing the significance of the Higgs Boson and recent measurements of Pions and their implications.

Mr. Raise Akram from the CUI outlined their contributions to the ALICE upgrade project, focusing on the transition from readout system development to the commissioning of the ITS. They highlighted key achievements, including the characterization of the Investigator-1 chip, the development of the ALICE ITS Emulator, and firmware upgrades for the Beam Loss Monitor.

In the end of every Session, shields and Certificates of Participation were presented to the invited speakers as acknowledgement of their contribution. The participants were also presented with the Certificates. The event concluded with closing remarks, followed by a tea session. The hosts conveyed their sincere thanks to all the speakers and participants.

The Workshop was attended by around 100 participants including disciplinary experts from different national institutions and universities in Pakistan as well by the number of students.

Both the speakers and the participants expressed their profound appreciation for the invaluable information and knowledge they gained during the Workshop.

  • Thursday, May 2, 2024

  • CUI

  • Physics Department

COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), being a member of ALICE Experiment at CERN, is organizing a one day Workshop on 7th May , 2024. The purpose of this Workshop is to

  •   Ø  celebrate the 70th anniversary of CERN
  •   Ø  CUI contribution in ALICE experiment with outlook
  •   Ø  Providing the students with an opportunity to discuss future research and career perspectives with the personnel of CERN collaborating Institutes.

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2024

  • Business

  • International Office

I am directed to forward herewith the email along with self-explanatory letter (attached) received from HEC on the subject is submitted for perusal and further dissemination among the faculty members of your Campus. 
In this context, it is requested that the suitable nominations along with all required documents may please be submitted to this office till 15 March 2024, through the Director of the concerned Campus for further processing and onward submission to HEC. 

Please find attached file

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