IBA sign MOU with Orange Tree Foundation


Karachi(Cliff News)The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Orange Tree Foundation (OTF) agreeing to provide scholarships worth Rs. 2 million each year for a period of 2 years to undergraduate and graduate students.  The objective of the scholarship is to provide the Institute’s promising young students a stepping stone to self-efficiency. The eligibility for the scholarship will be based on the candidates’ academic record and their requirements of financial assistance.In the ceremony, the Institute was represented by Acting Executive Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Sayeed Ghani; Head of Corporate Relations and Communications Department, Malahat Awan; Director National Talent Hunt Program, Dr. Junaid Alam; and Director HR Department, Mashooque Bhatti while OTF was represented by CEO and Board Member, Omer Mateen Allahwala; Chairman Board, Faisal Khalid Abdullah; Board Member and Head of Academic Program, Arfa Hasnain, Senior Coordinator, Tazeen. A. Qadir, and Senior Member Fundraising Committee, Riaz Ahmed.The IBA Resource Mobilization department is striving to create new avenues for helping the financially constrained students at the Institute. Every year 4000 students get enrolled in the six undergraduate as well as eight graduate programs of the IBA Karachi. Out of these 4000, 1500 students apply for financial assistance. Along with the limited resources of the IBA Karachi, many individuals, businesses, and governments make regular funds available to provide scholarships to the underprivileged students of the Institute.The OTF is a tax-exempted, not-for-profit Educational Society based in Karachi working towards the cause of education in Pakistan. Established in 2011, Orange Tree Foundation aims to provide equal opportunities to financially challenged individuals of our society through quality education, healthcare and family support.Scholarships worth Rs. 2 million each year for a period of 2 years.

World Scrabble Championship:Nigel Richards of NewZealand hold firm at second day

Torquay(CliffNews)The defending champion Nigel Richards of New Zealand continued to hold firm at the end of day-two of the World Scrabble Championship at Torquay, England.Richards has won 13 of the 17 matches played so far and maintains a spread of 1573.David Koening of USA in now 2nd with the equal number of wins and a spread of 693 while former world champion David Eldar of Australia is 3rd with 12 wins and a spread of 1293.The Pakistani players continued to be impressive among a pool of great players. At lease three of them climbed into the top ten at some time during the day.At the end of the day two the wonder boy Syed Imaad Ali who is also the youngest player in the premier division is tenth with 10 wins while Moiz Baig is 11th with the same number of wins.Division B of the World Scrabble Championship appears to be an all Pakistan affair with the Pakistani youngsters chalking up impressive wins against far more experienced players.Taha Mirza hit an incredible purple patch winning 12 games on the trot. Taha remained No. 1 throughout the day and ended day two on 14-3 with a spread of 1289.The second spot kept changing hands between the Hadi twins. As usual the twin brothers have an equal number of wins but Hassan Hadi is on 2nd due to a better spread while Hammad Hadi is 3rd.Daniyal Sanaullah after a poor start came back to his own later in the day ending at the 4th position. Daniyal also recorded the highest score of the championship with a massive 728 against Kara Twaits of England.Little Monis Khan staged a strong rally late in the day to snatch the 5th spot from Maureen Hoch of Israel.Omijeh Osas of Nigeria and James Wilkie of Scotland are the only players giving a stiff competition to the young players from Pakistan.

Syed Imaad Ali became youngest player to win Junior World Scrabble Championship


London(Cliff News)Pakistan’s wonder boy Syed Imaad Ali at 13, became the youngest player ever to win the Junior World Scrabble champion here at Torquay, England.Imaad remained in the lead right throughout the championship and was declared a champion with one match to go with a 17/3 record and a spread of 2159. He is only the second player in history to have won both the World Youth Scrabble Championship (now renamed WESPA Youth Cup) and the Junior World Scrabble Championship; the first one being compatriot Moiz Baig.Pakistan players dominated the championship throughout and walked away with a number of trophies as well as the top five positions.Daniyal Sanaullah capped a great tournament by winning the runner up trophy with 15 wins and a spread of 1335. Hassan Hadi finished third with 15 wins and a spread of 1024 while Sohaib Sanaullah and Hammad Hadi finished 4th and 5th respectively

Following are the age category titles

Under-18 World Champion, Taha Mirza (Pakistan)
Under-16 World Champion, Rory Kemp (England)
Under-14 World Champion, Saim Waqar (Pakistan)
Under-12 World Champion, Monis Khan (Pakistan)
Under-10 World Champion, Misbah ur Rehman (Pakistan)

Former world champion Brett Smitheram awarded trophies to the winners.

Artificial Intelligence can boost education efficiency:Jibran Jamshad

Karachi(Cliff News)“The Middle East and Africa has reached a key chapter in its education story. Up until now, the conversation around education has revolved primarily around improving the standard of education across the region. But as digital transformation continues to sweep across the globe, there’s a unique window of opportunity to fast-forward to a completely revolutionised era of education.” These thoughts were expressed by Jibran Jamshad, Microsoft Country Education Lead for Pakistan.He further explained that for years, the general level of education across the region has been improving at a steady pace. “According to the World Bank, the average level of schooling in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) has quadrupled since 1960, with the rate of illiteracy having almost halved. At the same time, statistics tell us that the region has made significant strides when it comes to school enrollment. But despite this progress, the general standard of education across the region still varies significantly, with many countries yet to attain the level of learning to which they aspire”, he added.Research shows in many cases curriculums favour an approach to education based on rote learning, which means students are not always exposed to 21st century skills, such as working in teams, problem solving and innovation. Skill sets such as these are only going to become more important as automation begins to replace lower-skill jobs. Recent Microsoft research conducted in collaboration with McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice shows that by 2030, the fastest growing occupations will require higher-level cognitive skills in areas such as collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. Already as many as 30 to 40 percent of jobs in growth industries require soft skills.Though the need for social-emotional skills is clear, teachers don’t always feel adequately equipped to teach these skills. And to build crucial cognitive, social and emotional skills, educators need training, technologies and time. Technology can play a critical role in helping to overcome these challenges – AI, in particular, has significant potential to increase the efficiency of education, whether by freeing up educators’ time or helping them develop a more student-centred approach to learning.Microsoft’s research shows technology can free up as much as 30 percent of teachers’ time, making it easier for them to respond to individual and group needs. And the same study shows students who receive personalised instruction perform better than 98 percent of traditionally taught students. AI-enabled tools are also far more easily accessible than educators might realise. Those found in Microsoft Office 365, for example, are available in programmes such as Word, OneNote and PowerPoint, meaning they are free and easy to use.Immersive Reader, for example, helps students with learning differences such as Dyslexia build reading confidence. Students can use features like Line Focus, which reduces visual crowding and highlights text to improve readability. On the more sophisticated end of the spectrum, AI can provide educators with greater insight as to how students are progressing so they can adjust their approach, supporting students’ individual needs.Many schools have improved the academic interaction between students and educators through applications like OneNote and Teams. The tools not only promote better collaboration and productivity, but also enhanced interaction between the students and their teachers. The schools digital transformation has a strong impact on student performance, from day-to-day activities to official exams, completely transforming the entire learning journey. These technologies are particularly effective in breaking down the barriers in communication between students of different abilities. By drawing on AI, these tools can help ensure every student has a voice.Even simple AI-enabled features like those found in Office 365 can help tertiary-level students with their academic pursuits. PowerPoint Editor, for example, draws on machine learning and natural language processing, enabling students to proof read their content more effectively. The tool even provides helpful suggestions as to how students should refine their style of writing.This is a promising sign that we are moving in the right direction as incorporating technology in today’s classrooms can help catapult the region’s education sector into the digital era. And ultimately, empowering young people to become successful, capable, and active contributors to the digital economy will create prosperity.

NdcTech and TEMENOS vision for Bank of the Future

PR photo

Karachi(Cliff News)National Data Consultant (NdcTech), a leading financial technology firm in Pakistan and Temenos Group AG; the world’s #1 banking software company based in Geneva, Switzerland jointly hosted their 9th annual ‘Bank of the Future’ Forum 2019, at Marriot Hotel Karachi. This year approximately 150+ senior banking delegates and leadership representing over 20+ banks attended this forum.This full day event serves as a platform to share insights of global practices and develop and strengthen business relationships among leading global fintechs and banking institutions in Pakistan. Speakers shared strategies on transforming the future of digital banking, accelerating the journey to be a Digital Bank and how Banks of the Future are complying with the evolving regulatory frameworks and standardizing processes and procedures. This year’s event also highlighted the recently acquired US #1 digital banking SaaS company – Kony by TEMENOS. Chief Enterprise Architect of Temenos – Mr. John Schlesinger core message to the delegates was on readiness for the future architecture which will be a radical change for the banks and being able to take advantage of the massive opportunities for profitable growth and improved efficiencies.Mr. Behram Ahmed, Chairman, NdcTech commented that: “We are delighted to witness the participation of such prestigious group of banking leaders and global technology experts in our forum which is so well attended and clearly shows the value that this brings to the banks.”  Adding to this Ms. Ammara Masood President & CEO, NdcTech said “Our company has been a major contributor for last 19 years to bring real transformation in banking through best practices and innovations of our global partners Temenos and other global fintechs EFS Technology, Abris, HID Global and Validata. Our talent is now contributing significantly in Pakistan and in global markets very effectively. Jean Paul Mergeai – Managing Director, Temenos Middle East & Africa said that: “As the 9th annual event of its kind taking place in Pakistan, my team and I are always honored to be involved in the Bank of the Future Forum with our partner NdcTech in Karachi. The 2019 forum once again proved to be an ideal opportunity to network and share knowledge with both Temenos’ existing Pakistani clients and those we are yet to work with. Temenos has been steadily growing its presence in the Pakistani market alongside NdcTech since 2000 and the presence of 15 Temenos experts at this event from not only the region, but around the globe, truly demonstrates our continued commitment to the country. This year’s event also gave us the opportunity to fully introduce our updated Temenos Infinity digital offering since the acquisition of Kony in August, a truly next generation, best-in-class digital banking solution.”

Intbau Pakistan’s three day International Conference successfully ends in Karachi

Participants of panel discussion after the conclusion of discussion

Karachi(Cliff News)Day three of the international conference on green architecture Earth and Heritage Calling – The case of Makli and Karachi successfully closed here today at Beach Luxury Hotel. Prior to the session a digital exhibition on Karachi’s Historic Architecture and Malaysia’s Colonial Period was declared open, as part of the conference. The inauguration began with recitation from the Holy Quran by    . Mr Mumtaz Ali Shah, chief secretary government of Pakistan addressed the audience, followed by his excellency Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner. Accompanied by Robert Adam chair INTBAU, Harriet Wennberg executive director INTBAU, Hamdan Majeed executive Director Think City, the guests of honour inaugurated the exhibition brought about by the efforts of ace Pakistani photographers Amean J and Tapu Javeri, and Future Architects, Think City, coordinated by veteran architect and photographer, Tariq Qaiser.The fifth and final session then formally began with Tariq Qaisar member executive committee, INTBAU Pakistan giving the introduction. Chief guest Asad Umar chair standing committee on finance, revenue and economic affairs gave the opening remarks. Prof. Pervaiz Vandal author and rector, Institute of Art and Design, Lahore then delivered the keynote lecture on Colonial Architecture in Lahore: input by the ‘native’. Duncan Cave chair INTBAU Malaysia/Think City) then gave the keynote lecture on Malaysia and British Period Architecture.Yasmeen Lari member of CHF International advisory committee gave an introduction to the Commonwealth Heritage Forum on behalf of Philip Davis, chair CHF.A panel discussion featuring Ameena Saiyid, Muneeza Shamsie, Iftikhar Shallwani, Tapu Javeri and Nighat Mir then took place.The session came to an end with concluding remarks by the session chair




Blood donation drive at Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi

Karachi: Blood Donation Drive was held at the premises of the Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi,
 in cooperation with Afzaal Memorial Thalassemia Foundation(AMTF) of Karachi. Staff of the Consulate General along with their families and Karachi-based Indonesian community, including Indonesian students, as well as a number of Pakistani guests
participated the event.It has been for the fifth consecutive years that Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi in collaboration with AMTF, organised blood donation drive in Consulate’s premise. This event is
the second time during this year. It is the commitment of Indonesian Consulate General to spread the message of love, care, and benevolence to our fellow human beings and voluntarily share something with them that may be indispensable in saving their life.The blood donated would be used for transfusion for children suffering from Thalassemia in
Karachi through AMTF.