Tackling the fallout of Bt Cotton

The observation that BT Cotton sowing area especially in Punjab is regularly on the rise at the cost of wheat and sugarcane mainly due to the longer germination period of this variety of cotton is something that must not going unnoticed on the part of the agriculture managers as this factor would trigger to much extent the food security issue in the country which is already experiencing a critical situation in terms of severe water shortage for agriculture purposes and low yields. The government

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Diamer Basha Dam

This refers to the letters appearing in a section of the press regarding the Diamer Basha Dam Project.In view of the increasing needs of water and electricity in the country, Wapda is implementing a number of projects in the two sectors on priority, including the Diamer Basha Dam.This dam is a multipurpose project, which aims at storing water for agriculture, providing low-cost hydel electricity and mitigating floods. The project, on completion, will store 8.1 million acre feet of water and

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Solutions to the energy conundrum

UNITED NATIONS has designated 2012 as the international year of sustainable energy for all’. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading a global initiative on Sustainable Energy for All to mobilize action from all sectors of society in support of three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030: providing universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.Given the

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Ignoring hydel energy

Reader after reader talks about the energy shortage but completely ignores hydel energy. An eminent writer also talks of wind and solar energy for replacing oil produced energy which is not only expensive but also very polluting. He has asked for developing cost effective technologies relating to renewable energy. My question is, why are they ignoring hydel energy for which technology is already available with us. And will solar, wind and nuclear give us water or do they think we can do without

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Corrective approach needed on mangoes export

Pakistani mangoes are treated as the best fruit in most of the states in terms of taste and variety. In principle, the export of this fruit to the world should have been on the constant rise, but the situation is entirely different as export of this fruit is not portraying a progressive picture. The reduced production of mango due to the multiple factors like climatic changes as well as conventional post-harvest technology in the country are considered the most potential reasons behind the low

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Another sham ICT funding project

There are two main things that are currently causing out growth in ICT to stall. One is the lack of original ideas, so most of the entrepreneurs either copy what is already around internationally or locally, we still have not hit the jackpot with someone creating something. The second issue always lamented by entrepreneurs is lack of any funding sources in Pakistan.One of the few funding sources in Pakistan is National ICT R and D Fund which has loads of cash sitting around idle, but not a lot

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Fair recognition sought!

Thought the government has placed the research activities amongst its top priorities, yet there are still a lot needs to be done to regulate the whole procedure of assessing the nature as well as quality of research work being done by scholars, research and academia. The Impact Factor, as published by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia in its Journal Citation Reports (JCR), is used by some department heads in some countries in faculty assessments. But nowhere in the

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Chaos in alma maters

QUAID-E-AZAM University (QAU), Islamabad stands tall as an institution that imparts quality education, good governance and solid work ethics. Unfortunately, this institution is playing havoc with students’ lives due to its shoddy mismanagement. There is a frequent increase in tuition and hostel fees. Students come here from all over the country to seek quality education. Most of these students are from remote, poverty-ridden areas, unable to afford heavy fees. Vice Chancellor gave those

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Bt Corn in Pakistan – Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed case

ABOUT ONE year back, the Biotech regulatory process in Pakistan was jolted due to the issues surrounding Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed’s conduct with reference to Monsanto’s Bt Corn recommendation case in the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). It had been admitted by Monsanto Pakistan that the report had been prepared by it as per instructions received!The relevant news story was published in national newspaper, titled: "Foreign company speaks on GM corn field trials".Even after the passage

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Alternative energy

REFERENCE THE talks of alternative energy solutions to reduce load shedding. I was thinking that, will solar energy or even wind energy by itself revive half the industry of the country which is shutdown and fleeing the country? We need mega quantities of power which only mega dams can give in the long run. Alternate means of energy and even Thar coal will not give us the required quantity of water for irrigation. Shortage of power has blinded us to the bigger problem of shortage of water which

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Targeted research panacea to multiple crises

DECADES BACK, the modern world had set itself on the track to progress, now it is the government of Pakistan which has started realizing the gravity of the situation or backwardness or increasing dependence on others for almost all needs. The government is regularly making commitments for giving priority to initiating need-based research activities in order to put the country on the path to progress on a sustainable way. To prove these pledges, it is also arranging seminars, workshops,

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Green benches needed in Sindh

The news Hazardous discharges in Ravi: Green Bench summons Wasa, EPA officials’ (April 13), wherein the green bench in Lahore High Court had taken up its first case involving an environmental issue, filled me with joy that the environment has assumed judicial importance in Pakistan. This also led me to wonder why Sindh High Court, despite the orders by the Supreme Court, has not yet established such benches as could deal with environment-related cases.There is a dire need for establishing such

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Pak students in China in financial distress

WE are PhD and master’s students studying in China under the cultural exchange scholarship programme of the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC Division) sent in September 2011.The IPC was bound to pay $400 to students of PhD and $300 to master’s students a month as subsidy plus the return air ticket in addition to the monthly stipend paid by the Chinese government, which is in fact a very small amount.When we were finally selected for the said scholarship, the IPC had made

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Ill-intention behind BtCotton seed pack-up

THE DEBATE on introducing Bt Cotton in Pakistan had engaged all the stakeholders in arguments and counter-arguments for the last couple of years. Though the government a couple of months back had decided not to go for commercial use of this seed due to the various negative factors attached with this crop variety, there are certain groups still pleading for adopting this seed or have been involved in plaguing the situation for the farming community. Following the introduction of Bt Cotton seed in

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Solar energy set-ups on lease

WITH THE high increases in electricity prices, it is (high) time alternatives were considered. Citizens and the government should start working on projects that can save a lot of cost and help produce energy through natural ways, such as solar power and the generation of electricity through windmills.The increasing durations of loadshedding and the multiplying of electricity charges have made it difficult for people to use a lot of electrical appliances.Many of the people can now no more afford

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Technology misused

WITHOUT ANY doubt Pakistan have a lot of hidden talent in the field of technology. Our nation has given us great icons like Abdus Salam and recently the youngest Microsoft Certified professional (MCP) Arfa Abdul Karim. Despite all this we still have a long way to go. Our neighbor country, India who got their independence just one day after we did, is growing massively, and is regarded as one of the leading technological nations in the world.Science and technology is served as an important part

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Environment: Concern over lack of legislation

Speaking at a ceremony entitled `South Asia conference on environmental justice`, CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry expressed his concern over the lack of legislation regarding environmental protection in Pakistan.The indiscriminate disposal of untreated wastes, water logging and salinity, ineffective sewer outlets, emissions of greenhouse gases and chronic noise exposure are some of the unpleasant realities of environmental pollution today.Besides this, the introduction of massive development projects and

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