Logic is Variable

an argument starts here

What is a better option – keep dollars or invest?

Mubeshir Ali Kazmi, ACA

This article appeared in Pakistan Accountant July-Sept 2010 issue


Memories are valuable in life. I still remember that day when my uncle gave me a ten US dollar note on my tenth birth day. I could not buy an ice cream from general store against the currency but it did create interest and I started collecting and saving foreign currency notes and coins. I have extended family living broad hence my collection started growing steadily. At that time the rupee was trading about 29.40 to dollar (imagine now when Pak currency has fallen to the lowest level verses dollar on the inter-bank market for buying and selling at almost 86.00.) Graphical representation of Pak rupee value to dollar is as shown in the diagram.

Why is rupee falling so fast? Most economists are of the opinion that the main reasons behind the fall of the rupee are an increased demand for dollars due to a spurt in crude oil prices and the flight of foreign funds from the local markets. Demand for rupees, simultaneously, has dipped because capital inflows are down.

Our currency is staggering in a see-saw fashion and declining trend in the value of Pak rupee is increasing day by day. As a result people have started having foreign currencies at their homes and in bank lockers after purchasing it from the local market. This is another reason of escalating the value of dollar. They believe that keeping dollars and other demanding currencies in their pocket is good option rather than investing it some where else. I have asked number of my friends who are in the know of the matter as to why they are doing this? They simply reply that they do not see a better alternative to invest their money. Sadly, this perception is wrong. There are number of options available in the market at this time even when liquidity crunch has caught our economy in vice-like grip. There are alternative that would not only secure for our savings at very competitive rate but can also contribute to our national economy. I remember what Quaid-e-Azam had rightly said, “Thrift as a national asset is going to play an important part in the building up of the state”. So save and invest in Pakistan saving certificates.

Government of Pakistan has issued number of certificates including Defense Saving Certificates, Special Saving Certificates, Regular Income Certificates and Bahbood Saving Certificates. Among all Bahbood Saving Certificates for senior citizens and widows are more lucrative than others in terms of rate of return that is 14.16% p.a. This return is exempted from deduction of withholding taxes and Zakat and is far better than the annualized rate of increase in dollar historically that is clearly shown in the  diagram except for the year 2009. Further, volatility of exchange rate in favorable direction is quite uncertain, however profit against saving certificates would remain definite as finalized at the time of purchase.

Most of the people are not very much aware of the pros and cons of these saving schemes. Normally retired people are interested to place their retirement funds in any one of the schemes offered by saving centers to make ensure their monthly returns. Some people including businessmen who have ability to judge the main risk, that is the cost of opportunity would reluctant to invest in these schemes. Since this kind of securities offer a very low risk, the interest rate is also lower than the ones offered by private entities.

However, still there is a margin of arbitrage gain that an investor can obtain through replacing their investment in dollars with Behbood scheme. In coming future current offering rates of return against these schemes would be decreased as market correction. Where is the best place for our investment in today’s scenario considering all risk factors? I posed this question to my colleagues, peers and market experts. Most of them who continuously watch market dimensions like Mr. Tahir Hussain Raza (Director Finance of Acro Group of Companies), working in financial market for many years agree with this analysis and have suggested the same. This understanding can help anyone to make an informed saving decision and not “putting all eggs in one basket.” On the other hand, this would be a good step to reduce a little portion of the undocumented  economy worth Rs.100-200 billion of our country.

About the author:
The author is Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, Acro Spinning and Weaving Mills, lahore.

Mubeshir Ali Kazmi is an economist, writer and a blogger. He can be reached here.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:35 AM, , links to this post

The Future of Surveillance

This article appeared in daily Dawn Oct 11, 2003 issue

How biometric technology works? Any of the biometric identifiers of a person is measure. The sensing device checks all possible dimensions like length, width, thickness, and surface area of the identifier. Resultant unique characteristics are processed and stored on computers as a sample. A mathematical representation of the identifier is retrieved when the user’s identification is required and verified by comparison with the pre held records. In addition, the sensor updates the configurations every time identifiers of the same person are read. The results are automatically processed to cater for different changes over time. Database of biometric identifiers may be stored at a central location, or at place where it is to be used, or on electronic devices.

Biometric in desktop computing has been around for some fifteen years now but it still is a relatively newer concept for the general users to grasp.

Read at Dawn

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 2:57 PM, , links to this post

The Fad That Fades

This article appeared in daily Dawn

Sending greetings on occasions is a traditional part of our culture, and people from all age groups, particularly children, revel in sending and receiving greetings. With Eid around the corner, the custom is once again triggered, but unlike earlier many years, when it was greeting cards that ruled the roost, this is now the age of electronic messaging.

While greeting cards hold a charm of their own, most young people prefer the ‘techie’ way of exchanging greetings, since it is far more hassle-free, and definitely more affordable. And hence, the this age-old custom of paper cards gave way to e-greetings, courtesy, the hundreds of site which offer free e-greeting cards with spectacular graphics, funky, innovative messages and background music. But the latest fad today is greetings via text messages on cell phones.

Cell phone mania has taken over the entire nation and has become an inseparable part of everyday life almost everywhere in the world. Their usage is exponentially growing, thanks to the tough competition among many cell phone brands; the word is that more companies are coming in operation soon. And while the gadget may be used for other purposes as well, like listening to music and capturing pictures, the most popular function – other than talking of course – remains messaging, which comes out full throttle during Eid.


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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:03 PM, , links to this post

Blogging Review - 2010

End of another year again, the New Year just around the corner, time to reflect back, to look back on accomplishments, setting goals! This year, I would try to assess my blogging pursuit. I don’t really remember when blogging became part of my job (it started as a hobby and ‘me too’ thing). For me, fine art of blogging is addictive and blogging satisfaction makes a huge difference in my overall happiness. I may like it or not, but if things remain as they are, I will be spending a huge portion of the next year blogging.

Obviously, one of the biggest (tangible) values I received from blogging is blogging revenue. I have continued my making money experiments at different platforms and with variety of affiliate programs with sufficient degrees of success (here I am posting some of the images to get the idea). Before I discuss making money by blogging, let me hasten to add that money is not the only measurement of blogs’ worth.

During 2010, I mainly concentrated on two of my blogs - Light Within (Personal) and Doodh Patti (Travel and Food) - and started third by the name Logic is Variable (yes, I dated it back from 2009) where I achieve my articles that appear in print media. Others few where I write have been primarily supporting my main blogs.

This year, I experienced with blog flipping, a blog model that is yet new here in our local blogsphere. In that blog contents were pulled, composed and hopefully will come out in book form next year; 2011. I have seen the dummy of the coming book and it feels good to hold. I am celebrating the success to flip my blog by planning more of blog flipping and am already working on two; one in the field of Social Media and another about Collaborative Web Technologies next year.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, local market is now ready to work with bloggers and pay them for their work. During 2010, I persuaded three different organizations to start, run and maintain their blogs. Even individuals are showing interest to start personal branding and reputation management through blogs. I hope to go ahead with this segment where I will urge whosoever I can to start a personal blog.

Fact that SEO professional are approaching bloggers to get help in their SEO efforts might come as a surprise to some. I have been working with one of the reputed SEO companies supporting their projects with contents and links. It is win win situation for both bloggers as well as those working in the field of SEO. 

Last but the one I take most pride and pleasure is that I pushed some friends into blogging. They all started from question like what is a blog and are now in the middle of blogging fusion and as far as I can say are enjoying. Three of them are now substantial bloggers. Two of them have already monetized their blog efforts and already making money.

My blogging had a year of tremendous growth during 2010, in both revenue and networking. For this I extend my most gracious thanks to ever one who has ever been here; reading, lurking or commenting. The sheer amount of content I was able to develop this year is impressive, both in scope and depth.

My goal for the next year is to convert awareness into commitment. It is simply not enough to know. One needs commitment to convert awareness into reality by action to make a change.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my friends and readers in the blogsphere

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:46 PM, , links to this post

Winner of Pakistan Blog Award 2011

Lahore School of Economics wins Pakistan Blog Award 2011. The Awards were announced during grand and colorful Gala Night held on December23, 2011 in Karachi.

Blogging, or ‘the new marketing and business communication tool’ as it is sometimes referred to, definitely seems to be the future of the Pakistan corporate world. Lahore School blog started on September 20,  2004, when the word blog was not much known, and has come a long way. This blog has become a source of inspiration for large number of Lahore School young scholars and senior faculty members to start their own blogs where they propagate their points of view, talk about topics of interest to themselves and meet like-minded individuals and or take the opportunity to explore subjects they are truly interested in.

And on this occasion, I take the opportunity to call all young scholars and alumni of Lahore School to start their own blogs and join the ever expanding blogosphere.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:49 AM, , links to this post

Effective Test Item Construction Techniques

Higher Education Commission and National Testing Service Pakistan organized Fourth Workshop (first ever in Punjab) on very important area of “Effective Test Item Construction Techniques." Such workshops provide an opportunity to the faculty to share and learn from one another’s knowledge, expertise, experience and skills.


Pakistan‘s transition to a middle income economy is critically dependent on the scale and performance of its tertiary education sector and performance that is quality and standards as per international parameters which is pre requisite for our international standing. Institutions of Higher Education have a leading role in this transition through the production of skilled, innovative and enterprising knowledge.

Efforts of HEC have resulted in revolutionary changes in higher education sector throughout the country within last few years. Now Pakistan s’ degrees are being recognized throughout the world and Pakistani universities are now ranked in top 500 universities. But still we have a long way to go in this important sector. Universities should produce such graduates who may also be a good citizen through upholding the values of tolerance, peace and respect for rights of other citizens. Therefore, I strongly recommend that Civic Education may be introduced at all level of education.

The research at universities should focus on the issues and problems of direct relevance to the socio economic development of the country and build the economy by pioneering the commercialization of innovative ideas, products, and processes resulting from research work. Inter disciplinary and inter university collaborations within and outside the country, can be greatly helpful in this regard. Last year, it was great matter of pleasure and proud witnessing the outcome and products of higher educational institutions of the country in a showcase conference organized by Higher Education Commission at Islamabad.

Universities have a leadership role to play in society. They must nurture close relationship with their local community, industry and organizations employing their graduates.

Governance of universities must reflect the principles of merit, efficiency and transparency. This however comes when admissions, recruitments and promotions are done on merit and with great transparency. I believe that standardized testing being done by NTS is a step towards the promotion of merit, and transparency in education system which needs to be followed by other sectors. This will also lead towards good governance.

Caption: VC UOG Prof Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin and other participants with Governor Punjab

Thanks to Zubair Amanat

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اردو کے ضرب المثل اشعار۔ایک اہم کتاب ، ایک اہم کارنامہ

راشد اشرف
اردو کے ضرب المثل اشعار۔ایک اہم کتاب ، ایک اہم کارنامہ

نوے برس کے محمد شمس الحق صاحب کو خدا سلامت رکھے کہ باجود اپنی پیرانہ سالی ، زبان زد

عام ہوئے اشعارکی کھوج میں شہر کراچی میں در در بھٹکتے ہیں۔ یہ دو چار برس کی بات نہیں ،اس آشفتہ سری میں وہ پورے ساٹھ برس بتا چکے ہیں۔ آپ سے پہلی ملاقات جناب سید معراج جامی کے گھر اس وقت ہوئی جب ایک روز اتوار کی صبح وہ ہاتھ میں تھیلا لیے آن پہنچے۔ تھیلے سے کتابیں برآمد ہوئیں جنہیں جامی صاحب کو سونپ، ان کے کتب خانے سے کتابوں کی اگلی کھیپ کو کھوجنے کی فکر میں لگ گئے۔ اس سے قبل ایک مرتبہ ان سے فون پر اس وقت بات ہوچکی تھی جب راقم کو ایک شعر کے خالق کی تلاش تھی، شعر یہ تھا
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4:55 PM, , links to this post

Progeny and companions of Imam Husain martyred in Karbala

Banu Hashim

Hazrat Imaam Hussain Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abbas Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Ali Akber Bin Hussain Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Ali Asghar Bin Hussain Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Jafer Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Usman Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abu Baker Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abu Baker Bin Hasan Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Qasim Bin Hasan Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Hassan Bin Ali Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Aun bin Abdullah Bin Jafer Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Mohammad Bin Abdullah bin Jafer Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abdullah Bin Muslim Bin Aqeel Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Mohammad BIN Muslim Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Mohammad Bin Saeed bin Aqeel Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Abdul Rehman Bin Aqeel Alaye Salaam
Hazrat Jafer Bin Aqeel Alaye Salaam

Read more »

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:22 PM, , links to this post

Geography Comes to Life


Introduced in the fall of 2007 and based on the National Geographic Atlas, 8th edition, the Giant Traveling Map of Asia is our largest map. The map’s unique projection, in which the North Pole appears on the map, invites discussion about how the direction of North appears to change depending on your location on the map. The map also features measurements of latitude and longitude, and is an effective tool for teaching how to find a location using coordinates. Students can explore the continent using this educationally powerful and fun map.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:28 AM, , links to this post

Drug sale at universities

Joshua Robinson

Students say Columbia University has long been a haven for casual drug sales. Then an anonymous complaint brought New York City police to campus, resulting in a major bust.

Like Captain Renault reacting to gambling at Rick’s Café, Columbia University officialdom was shocked, shocked by Tuesday morning’s police raid on three fraternities accused of dealing illegal drugs to the privileged student body.

Columbia authorities offered a chagrined open letter a few hours after the New York Police Department announced one of the biggest campus drug busts in memory—the arrest of five students and three alleged off-campus dealers in an undercover sting popularly dubbed “Operation Ivy League.”

“The alleged behavior of the students involved in this incident goes against not only state and federal law, but also University policy and the principles we have set—and strive together to maintain—for our community,” the letter insisted. “Please rest assured we are taking this matter very seriously.”

Maybe they will now—especially since one of the accused suppliers, according to law enforcement authorities, tried to hire a youthful undercover cop to kidnap a rival dealer, and possibly torture and murder the miscreant. In other words, Columbia’s cosseted undergrads were allegedly involved with some truly dangerous thugs.

But, in fact, the prestigious institution on Manhattan’s Upper West Side has long been “ripe” for drug trafficking, a knowledgeable 2009 Columbia graduate told The Daily Beast. “I think the permissive environment of Public Safety”—as Columbia’s campus police force is known—“makes it a no-brainer proposition,” said this former student, who described himself as a recreational drug user who dabbled in selling. “I always felt safe.”

Another recent grad and former residential adviser confirmed these observations. “It is permissive,” the former student adviser told The Daily Beast. “I got the sense that it wasn’t a priority…When you suspected illegal drug use—which means pot, because it’s the only one you’d be able to tell from the hall—you’d have to call Public Safety. Of course, there was the understanding that Public Safety would take so long to respond that there would be no evidence still apparent. I don’t know if it was deliberate, but after 45 minutes or an hour, you’d have to be a moron to get caught. You’d have to be still holding a joint.”

The headline-making bust came after a five-month investigation in which undercover officers purchased nearly $11,000 worth of various controlled and illegal substances—including marijuana, cocaine, Ecstasy, prescription stimulants such as Adderall, and liquid LSD swabbed on Altoids and SweeTarts—from the accused students and their alleged off-campus connections in Manhattan’s East Village and Brooklyn.

“I always felt safe,” said one former Columbia student who dabbled in selling, calling the campus a “permissive environment.”

In an exclusive interview, New York’s top cop, Commissioner Ray Kelly, said the investigation was prompted by an anonymous complaint.

“We treated this as we would any other illegal activity,” Kelly said. “This surfaced as a complaint from someone in that community. So we did the investigation just as would do in an apartment house or a business establishment…These cases are largely driven by complaints of residents or people who see themselves as somehow victimized by it.”

Kelly declined to comment on the specifics of the sting operation, in which a narcotics officer reportedly made 31 purchases. “We never get into that,” he said. “But we call it a ‘module.’ A module usually consists of a couple of undercovers, a sergeant, and five investigators. But they do a series of cases. They’re not only focused on one case. They were doing other things” besides running the Columbia sting.

The scene of the crime is a strip of brownstones along West 114th Street known as “Frat Row.” The fraternities involved in the alleged drug sales were Alpha Epsilon Pi, Pi Kappa Alpha and Psi Upsilon. Late Tuesday afternoon, as reporters and television crews converged on the block, Columbia officials attempted to control the damage, stationing a Public Safety cop in an idling sedan to keep the unwelcome journalists at bay.

Students emerging from the frat houses immediately responded with, “No comment,” as if they had been instructed not to talk to the press. And some were even hostile. One student, sitting on the stoop of one of the brownstones, yelled, “Can you please leave!” when The Daily Beast tried to speak to someone else on the public sidewalk.

In interviews, a few students admitted to dabbling in drugs on campus, but said they never heard about thuggish dealers. They said they were getting marijuana from “friends of friends” and were also hearing about other kids going downtown to New York University.

The knowledgeable Columbia University alum and erstwhile “dabbler” estimated that about 30 percent of the undergraduate population is somehow involved with drugs, mostly as buyers. “You have your people who are into weed,” he said. “You have your people who are really into coke. And then I had the kids who had never done drugs in their life and wanted to study for finals.”

He added: “I had some really awkward, really shy kids come to me and say, ‘I want to buy some Adderall.’ I’d say, ‘Do you drink?’ No. ‘Do you smoke?’ No. ‘And you want to get fucked up on speed?’ That, to me, was really kind of shocking.”

He said the fraternities sell primarily to freshmen and casual users, using a single disposable cell phone with all the customers’ information stored on it.

"AEP [Alpha Epsilon Pi] is the first phone number that any freshman at Columbia is going to get,” he said, adding that AEP was known for its door-to-door delivery service in the dorms, selling “cubes” of marijuana. These usually came in sizes between 2.8 grams and 3.5 grams and sold for $50 to $60 apiece. Unless you bought on Mondays, the frat’s re-up day, when you got a $15 discount. (The local AEP chapter president did not respond to a request for comment).

The most prevalent drugs on campus are marijuana, cocaine, DMT, mushrooms, LSD, and Adderall, the recent grad said, adding that there is no particular supplier for on-campus sales. “In my experience, the people who are actually distributing have their own connect.”

The arrested students were collared at dawn and later appeared in court shackled together and sporting Columbia and fraternity sweat shirts. They were identified as Chris Coles, Harrison David, Adam Klein, Jose Stephan Perez, and Michael Wymbs and charged with a litany of offenses. One of the accused, a senior, is on the Columbia University student council, and another, a sophomore, was the salutatorian of his high school, authorities said. One of them allegedly was selling drugs to help pay for Columbia’s $50,000-plus annual tuition—prompting Ray Kelly to say at Tuesday’s press conference: "This is no way to work your way through college.” (The students have been held pending bail).

The alleged off-campus suppliers, who were arrested earlier, were identified as Miron Sarzynski—also accused of trying to hire a kidnapper—and his girlfriend, Megan Asper, who were collared October 27 in Sarzynski’s East Village apartment, and Roberto Lagares, who was arrested in Bedford-Stuyvesant, on Sunday.

In his interview with The Daily Beast, Commissioner Kelly noted dryly that the cops didn’t even plan to announce the bust on Tuesday. “It came up in a press conference about something else,” Kelly said, adding that a reporter asked a question apparently prompted by a press release issued by a special narcotics prosecutor without his knowledge. And until Tuesday, Kelly revealed, he had never even heard the tabloid-ready term, “Operation Ivy League,” with its frisson of class warfare between future hedge fund managers and cops on the beat.

“I think that was a media conception,” Kelly said. “Nobody referred to it with me using that name internally.” Kelly insisted, rather, that he still thinks of the sting, prosaically, as “the most recent arrest that was made by a particular module in Manhattan North Narcotics.”

As for the illegal drug problem in New York generally, “It’s hard to quantify,” Kelly said. “It’s much less than it was years ago, but it’s still an issue.”

Related: Gallery: Ranking The 50 American Druggiest Colleges

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:04 AM, , links to this post

Flood - memories of 2010


Villagers, displaced by floods, lead their livestock through flood waters on August 22, 2010 in the village of Baseera near Muzaffargarh.

Related: Flood 2010 coverage at Light Within and Logic is Variable

Follow Logic is Variable on Facebook and follow sAJs on Twitter for much more all day long.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:58 AM, , links to this post

A cameo of a man of vision

By Prof. Humayun Ghauri

“The two things that can satisfy the soul are a person and a story; and even a story must be about a person.” opines G.K Chesterton. Today I intend to explore the profile of a person; Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin the vice chancellor, University of Gujrat. He is a legend in his own life time. His life is a progress and not a station. He conjures up great visions and is perpetually on the move; always in practice; scaling ever new heights. He keeps his associates and affiliates also on the move, towards achievements; towards pinnacle of glory. His motto appears to be in Browning’s words “the best is yet to be”.

Grafted on to the budding University of Gujrat (UOG) by the government, earlier on, as the Vice Chancellor, in Sept 2006; he has shaped history with his stupendous courage, matchless brain power, unflappable will and iron determination.“The brave find a home in every land” says a proverb.

This son of the soil initiated his higher education at university of Karachi way back in 1965 by earning his MA in sociology /social work. He was later on groomed in the best possible universities of USA .In 1969 he passed his MA in demography /social science, from the University of Chicago with flying colors. In 1979 he successfully achieved his PhD from university of Michigan, by bringing out his thesis on “the impact of community and program factors on the fertility of rural Pakistani women,” which he based on Pakistan fertility survey data under the supervision of professors Yuzuru Takeshita and Frank M. Andrews. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great is produced suddenly, since not even the grape or the fig.” 

His traineeship was again conducted in many prestigious universities of USA. In 1968 John Hopkins University on survey methods; in 1969 university of Chicago; 1977 university of Michigan; 1978 university of Chicago. He was left no raw diamond by them.

He has achieved to his credit fellowship of Carolina population center – university of North Carolina (1979-1984) and fellowship of Battle Memorial Institute at Seattle, Washington (1977-1981). He co-chairs International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) since 2003 to present. He wields membership of three remarkable international associations: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) 1979 to present; International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) 1980-to present; Population Association of America (PAA) 1977 to present.

His academic appointments inter alia include Clinical Professorship and Program Directorship at Columbia University since 2003.

His honors include: Ford Foundation Fellowship of PhD studies at the University of Michigan (1976-1979); USAID – SIDA Fellow ship for master studies at university of Chicago 1968-1969; merit scholarship university of Karachi 1962-1965.

He holds 37 years of national and international experience in the field of Population, Public Health and Development; 23 years in the United Nation System ; for several years in Academia and in Research Institutions. His jobs prior to coming to Pakistan have been mostly in prestigious international institutions ,and he has moved around the world, besides USA in countries like Egypt, Uganda, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Jordan, Somalia. His publications of international standard are more than thirty, by now. In the words of Socrates, “Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.”

With a curriculum vitae (CV) spanning to the size of a booklet, he has proved his worth by being tested and tried in many a situation around the world ; with credentials of a progressive intellectual ,matchless administrator; disbursing his academic excellence around the world and simultaneously adding on to the reservoir of his knowledge, experience and expertise. In the words of George Eliot, “strong souls live like fire hearted suns to spend their strength in furthest striving action.”

It is no less than a miracle that this gem of a man; with sterling qualities of head and heart; is available in the UOG as helmsman to steer the ship of UOG towards new horizons of creativity, growth and development. It is his undoubted genius in tandem with the blessings of God almighty that within a short span of four years, he has propelled the UOG unbelievably rather miraculously on the way to his destined goal of a world class university . Kudos to his accomplishments. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s worlds, “when we see a soul whose acts are all regal, graceful and pleasant as roses, we must thank God that such things can be, and are …”

What has been his modus operandi? It is an admixture of dedicated committed work combined with diligence; spiced with emotions of love and devotion. His strategy has been to select a galaxy of scholars, whom he singlehandedly inspired and enthused with a spirit of honest labor, devotion to duty, conscientious work; thus harnessing their intelligence, creative skills, expertise and dexterity towards the rich growth of the UOG. Again according to Emerson “There can be no excess to love, none to knowledge none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense. The soul refuses all limits .It affirms in man always an optimism, never a pessimism...”

Dr Nizam is charismatic in the sense that with the available resources and stuff at hand, he is conjuring up a myth of a grand design: symbiosis of knowledge and research; interspersed with high ideals, spirituality and humanism; shaping them up into a mosaic of modern paradigm.

In Dante’s words,
Love kindled from virtue; if its flame be shown
Of power to light a kindred flame will prove.

In spite of all the honors heaped on to him; as a person he is simple unassumingly simple; of course kind hearted, benign, charitable, and compassionate, but all the same gracious and generous .Therein lies his greatness as a person . In the words of Shakespeare, “some are born great some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Of the three phrases of Shakespeare, the terminal one speaks of Nizam’s greatness.

Research activities have shaped his aesthetics towards novelty, newness, innovation and invention .He is always ready to introduce new initiatives, new drives, new strategies and tactics into the Academia. In a way he is an iconoclast; in that his approaches to running of university are very novel, if not unique. Bypassing traditional canons, he thrusts into professional business with dramatically original innovative moves. In Cervantes words “diligence is mother of success; and experience constantly verifies its truth.”

In spite of all his qualities as a pragmatic intellectual, the basics streaks and traits of his character remain mystical. This towering figure of a great humanist, wields an element of respect and love in his heart, for all and sundry .A pleasant smile of confidence and generosity, on his face goes, a long way in dispelling fear and gloom from a jittery, problem- ridden person. He not only reinvigorates confidence in individuals but simultaneously moves his available resources for the redress of grievances of the complainants and in most cases comes to offer viable solutions to the problems. He is a great troubleshooter .It is all because “Love never fails.”

He wields a fantastic balance between Idealism and Realism. “Sky is the limit”, may be his vision but his metaphysics is always firmly grounded in natural probabilities. He himself is like a tall, luxuriously grown, shady tree whose roots are firmly rooted in the soil. In the words of Keats “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

Establishing a public sector university with 10 faculties and 27 departments, including a medical college, and an engineering Faculty, Faculty of law, School of Art and Design; short of a basic infrastructure (which is still in the making), is no mean achievement, judged by any standard .Today UOG stands head and shoulders above many others; a tangible reality; directing its future gaze, “To be a world class university”.

Dr Nizam is a person of Immaculate professional competence embedded with the best possible skills and traits of character. I find him already a legend-a person so inspiring, so motivating, so considerate, so kind and so affectionate. He has the heart of a lion; immensely courageous and bold, with an iron will to move heaven and earth, in achieving his targets and academic goals.

In Chaucer’s words,
“The god of Love, the god of Love, ah me!
How mighty and how great a lord his he!
There is no power on earth that can withstand
The miraculous men work at his command.”

In spite of his preoccupations with administrative affairs, he has not divested himself from teaching activities. It is so inspiring to visualize him meeting his M Phil class teaching Philosophy of Social Sciences and his MPS students, Demography of Aging. But all the same he does not believe in dispensation of knowledge alone, but has a passion for creation of new knowledge through research. That is the ultimate goal towards which he always persuades and directs his students; and in this process multiplies his research skills among others; and this remains the crux of his creative endeavors. He in a way says, “Go back to life; to nature, to society, to the perpetual womb of all creation”. This is where theoretical knowledge is embedded into Reality through the practice of Research, and thereby renovate and reshape itself a new. This is the shaping power of his imagination and intellect; which ultimately finds its way in writing and publishing research based new books-the store house of real wisdom which may be used by present and subsequent Governments in shaping policies on social issues; rectifying wrongs in the best interests of populace and Govt. at large “Truth is always the strongest argument” says Sophocles.

Dr Nizam is a democrat and believes in democratization of Education. He believes in delegating authority at different levels; creating platforms where all can participate in corporate management. An Arabic proverb reads: “Liberty enkindleth love: Love refuses no labor and Labor obtained whatsoever it seeketh.” 

Dr Nizam is a marvelous brain; a brainy intellectual who always brain storms before taking any direction for action. He is the magnet brain of UOG who magnetizes other brains that come his way. It is the real mystique of his power-the power to wield influence over others and get things going the right way; which in his vision is no other than the practice of best possible academics in the university based on research and innovation .This practice takes the seven ships of wisdom and knowledge of UOG towards a world class university. Dr Nizam is a movement unto himself- a man of passion for progress and the will to power, to achieve the impossible. He is a beacon light for others at this university.

In the words of Goethe, 
“There can none but Man
Perform the Impossible
He understandeth :
Chooseth and Judgeth:
He can Impart to the
Moment, duration. ”
Author: Prof. Humayun Ghauri is assistant professor, English literature, University of Gujrat



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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:35 AM, , links to this post

Best of Blogsphere - Top Ten Blogs – 2010

I am glad to learn that Logic is Variable has been named number eight in Best of Pakistan Blogsphere - Top Ten Blogs – 2010 list published at Light Within. Thanks for this recognition.

For me, blogs are resources for my writings. More often, I blog informally, sharing impressions, generating ideas and seeing how they invoke reactions, keeping track of others’ work in fields of my interest, or simply ranting or pointing out things that come to my attention. Also, I use blogging as a platform to prune ideas. This is where I meet others and share thoughts.

In addition to my other interests, at Logic is Variable, I keep a record of my articles that appear in print media.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:48 AM, , links to this post

Best Schools for Foreign Students

For students immigrating to the United States for their higher education, Newsweek ranks the 25 schools that provide a diverse environment, as well as financial aid and services to help with adjustment.

Methodology: To find the best 25 schools for international students we relied on four data points: each college’s score for diversity from College Prowler, which takes into account student responses and statistics on whether the school has, among other things, international students with a large presence on campus; the amount of financial aid per international undergraduate student receiving financial aid with data from the College Board; the percentage of student services compared to total core expenses with data from the National Center for Education Statistics; and the percent of international students among the total undergraduate population, also from the NCES. Each data point was weighted equally using z-scores (a measure of how close or distant each school is to the average within each category).

Here is the list.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:01 AM, , links to this post




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