HYDERABAD: Describing water shortage as a global challenge, speakers at a programme said countries like Pakistan were facing an acute shortage of the commodity.

They were addressing a welcome and orientation ceremony for the fifth batch of Master of Science (MS) students’ fall session 2018 starting at the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W), MUET Jamshoro, held on Tuesday, according to a press release.

MUET USPCAS-W project director Dr Bakhshal Lashari said water played an important role in the economic development of any nation. Water scarcity had emerged as a global challenge and the countries like Pakistan faced acute shortage of water, he added.

He said water sector played an important role in the economy of Pakistan whereas due to the diminishing of this natural source, owing to rapid growth of population, a need was created for efficient and critical management of the sector.

He said that after four-year negotiations, the United States government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the government of Pakistan through the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had established the state-of-the-art centres for advanced studies in water, energy, agriculture and food security sectors of the country by partnering with universities from the US.

He elaborated that the USPCAS-W was educating and training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and policymakers through innovative academic and research programmes crucial for Pakistan’s development in the water sector.

“The centre with its best performance will emerge as one of the global centres in the water sector. No compromise on the quality [of] education,” he added.

University of Utah (UU) Associate Res­earch Professor Dr Jeffery Layton Ullman, who is the technical advisor to the centre, said the USPCAS-W was committed to change the academic culture of Pakistan through the partnership, which also encompassed curriculum development, teaching, mentoring, research, and establishment of new laboratories.

“The University of Utah is eager to provide technical support, education and modern applied research techniques for the water sector in Pakistan,” he added.

USPCAS-W academics and research deputy director Dr Rasool Bux Mahar said research played a vital role in post-graduation studies.

He noted that the graduates of the centre through the acquired advanced research skills would contribute to the global water challenges of the world at large.

USPCAS-W career counselling and placement director Dr Kamran Ansari briefed about the academic guidelines and introduced the faculty to the enrolled students. He said that as per requirement 90 per cent attendance was mandatory which also helped the students be shortlisted for the exchange programme — the key component of the centre.

Engineer Mujawar Malik and monitoring and evaluation specialist Shahid Panhwar conducted a session on Moodle Learning Management System (LMS).

MUET students urged to do internship for experience

Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Aslam Uqaili has asked students to forget those days when students earned degrees and got jobs easily.

These days only those who had command and skills in their respective fields could get jobs easily, he said while speaking to final-year students of the varsity during a lecture on career counselling on Tuesday.

“We have degree holders who are often unemployed as they do not have work experience. How is it possible for a company or organisation to hire inexperienced persons at the starting salary of Rs50,000 a month,” he said.

He stated that until the varsity’s students would do internships, they would remain unable to gain a good status in the challenging market.

He said youths must be ready for a change and they would have to work harder in their respective fields.

He urged parents and guardians of students to let their children choose their subjects instead of forcing them to select favourite fields of parents.

He said that around 12,000 candidates appeared in pre-entry test of the varsity each year; 1,400 were admitted to various departments of the university.

He said that most of those successful candidates longed to seek admissions to civil or software engineering departments.

“We do not observe need of the market and that is why unemployment is rising day by day,” he said.

MUET student affairs and career counselling director Prof Dr Tanveer Hussain briefed students on professional ethics, practical life, employers’ demand, sharpening their professional expertise and other related matters.

“We want to groom students who are going to graduate for their career path,” he added.

Programme organiser Dr Faheemullah Shaikh moderated the event attended by a large number of students of various departments.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2018

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