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Friday, April 13, 2018

Need for a National Innovation and Science Agenda

The Agenda

Extraordinary technological change is transforming how we live, work, communicate and pursue good ideas. We need to embrace new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity. The National Innovation and Science Agenda is an important step in the right direction.
Innovation is important to every sector of the economy – from ICT to healthcare, education to agriculture, and defence to transport. Innovation keeps us competitive. It keeps us at the cutting edge. It creates jobs. And it will keep our standard of living high.
The National Innovation and Science Agenda  will drive smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


  2. SECONDARY: Here are a few of the best:
Coursera. Coursera works with top universities from around the world to offer classes online for free. You can take classes from a variety of disciplines including computer sciences, psychology, and Spanish.
OpenStudy. OpenStudy is a social learning network that allows you to connect with individuals with the same learning goals as you.
Khan Academy. I freaking love Khan Academy. You’ll find over 4,000 videos covering topics ranging from algebra to finance to history. My favorite part of Khan Academy, though, is math exercises. You start with basic math and work your way up to calculus in an adaptive, game-like environment. I’ve been slowly going through the exercises to freshen up on my math.
Duolingo. Free website to learn foreign languages. It’s a pretty cool set up. As you progress through the lessons, you’re simultaneously helping translate websites and other documents.
Code Academy. Learn to code for free with interactive exercises. I wish Code Academy was around when I was learning how to build AoM. It would have helped a lot.
edX. Harvard University and MIT partnered together to create interactive, free online courses. The same world-renowned professors that teach at Harvard and MIT have created the courses on edX. You can find courses for just about any subject. I’ve signed up for a class called The Ancient Greek Hero. Class started last week, but you can still sign up. Join me!
Udacity. Udacity is similar to edX and Coursera. College level classes taught online for free.
CreativeLive. I discovered CreativeLive a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting concept. You can watch the live stream of the course being taught for free, but if you want to view the course later and at your own pace you have to pay for it. The courses focus on more creative and business subjects like videography and online marketing. I’ve sat in on a few of the free courses and was impressed with the curriculum.
TED. TED compiles speeches and lectures not only by professors but interesting people from many different walks of life. TED talks are lighter than academic lectures, often quite funny, and concentrate on interesting ideas and concepts. And most are 20 minutes or less, so they’re great for those with a short attention span.
iTunes U. Download thousands of free podcast lectures taught by the best professors from around the world and learn while in your car.
YouTube EDU. Instead of watching a bunch of auto-tuned cats, enrich your mind by browsing through YouTube EDU. They have thousands of videos that cover a variety of topics.
    2. ENERGY
    4. FINE ARTS
    6. Humanities
    7. Mathematics
    8. Science
    9. Social Science
    10. Society
  2. SKILLS:

The Construction and Building Technology sector covers all the skilled areas that are related to the construction world. This encompasses everything from the foundation, grounds, building, finishing and maintaining of all sorts of buildings.
The Creative Arts and Fashion sector covers all the skilled areas that are related to fine arts and fashionable design and creation. This encompasses everything from multi-media creative, interior decoration and fashion.
The Information and Communication Technology sector covers all the skilled areas that are related to information services. This encompasses everything from network creation and maintenance to development and finishing information technologies.
The Manufacturing and Engineering Technology sector covers all the skilled areas that are related to industrial development and creation. This encompasses everything from the design, creation, making and maintaining of anything involving electronics and machines.
The Social and Personal Services category covers all the skilled areas that are related to the service industry. This encompasses services related to the food and beverage industry as well as the hospitality and personal care.
The Transportation and Logistics sector covers all the skilled areas that are related to the transportation world. This includes creating, repairing and maintaining transportation vehicles.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A pluralist society begins in the classroom

By Gabriella Rowe

March 23, 2018 Updated: March 23, 2018 2:22pm

Photo: Altaf Qadri, STF / Associated Press - IMAGE 1 OF 8

Aga Khan, right, spiritual head of Ismaili Muslims and the founder Chairman of Aga Khan Development Network stands with Indian Vice President Venkiah Naidu, center, and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal ... more

In our increasingly globalized world, it is a pluralist cosmopolitan society that thrives. This is a society that recognizes and affirms diversity from within, and not only accepts those differences, but seeks to understand and learn from them.


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This year marks His Highness the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee, his 60 years as the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Ismaili Muslims. With the Aga Khan’s visit to Houston this week — one of the most diverse cities in America — to celebrate this milestone, the Ismaili community here is using the opportunity to reflect on his commitment to faith, pluralism and improved quality of life across the world. A particular focus of his is bringing pluralism — a capacity to see those from different backgrounds as equals — into the classroom.

As Head of School at The Village School in Houston, I place the highest value on diversity. Our student body represents six continents and more than 60 countries. We celebrate the diversity of our international community every day.

This pluralistic outlook is not an in-born skill — it must be learned through education.


To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below.

Select Language


ETORIAL: Word of Houston mash-up of culture and ethnicity is spreading like a Texas wildfire.

Classrooms must aim to influence how students interact with others and choose to contribute to the world. Through open and deliberate collaboration and dialogue with people from varied cultures, languages and values, students should be encouraged and expected to make a positive impact on those around them. Working and contributing on a global scale was once far-fetched. With today’s technology, making a difference in the world has become simpler and much more practical.

Technology and globalization is moving at a rapid pace — and education must keep up. A shift in attitude toward tolerance and openness, the ability to accept pluralistic views, and a well-rounded, unbiased understanding of diverse social environments must be considered in education. Whether learning about a different cultures holidays or encouraging students to volunteer and get involved with their own community, pluralistic values should have an essential role in our educational environments.

If we’re not teaching this in school (and home and at work), as the Aga Khan has said, “The inability of human society to recognize pluralism as a fundamental value constitutes a serious danger for our future.”

EDITORIAL: As Ramadan ends, so should ugly rhetoric about Muslims

We all have a responsibility to ensure our children are well prepared to lead a successful and purposeful life as engaged world citizens.

It is a lesson I learned in person last summer while visiting The Ismaili Centre in London with Mayor Sylvester Turner and a group of Houston leaders assembled by the Greater Houston Partnership.

As an educator in Houston, I welcome the Ismaili community’s effort to further progress the humanitarian works of the Aga Khan in their local communities — as well as the global community through the Aga Khan Development Network and its Aga Khan Academies.

Those schools, which currently serve India, Kenya and Mozambique, aim to develop future leaders from all backgrounds with the skills and knowledge to support positive development in their societies and beyond. Pluralism is taught there — the kind of pluralism that Houstonians learn every day in our own schools.

Danish Jamal, a graduate from the Aga Khan Academies, said, “We were taught to be more open-minded and less judgmental of others… We learned and experienced cultures of people across the worlds… I can live, attend college and work in almost any country.”

Deliberately embedding diversity into school is a necessity to help our students confront the new and complex realities of living and thriving in a global society. It’s an honor to have the Aga Khan in Houston this week to share his and the Ismaili community’s contributions and commitment to pluralism in this diverse city of ours and well beyond it.

Rowe is the head of school for The Village School, part of Nord Anglia Education.

Friday, February 16, 2018


Onslaught from Mafia ---- Something dirty in offing.

The Military is under pressure like never before.
The once mighty lion is now beleaguered, brought to it's knees, bled by a thousand little cuts ministered by the rapacious political wolves and their minions.
Confused, defensive, apologetic.
Zardari has cut a deal, he turned out to be too wily, too well linked up internationally to be taken to task.
That despite an Uzair Baloch in custody, and millions in unexplained properties worldwide.No NAB case nor JIT for him!
In closed door meetings he drops hints and names, impishly winks, gives knowing half smiles, leaves sentences hanging, loud conspirational whispers during telephone calls implying that a "certain person" or somebody from "The Institution" is on the other side. 'They' watch helplessly and silently as this sorry charade plays out in slow motion.
He deliberately and consciously creates a sense of high confidentiality in small and large groups, swearing all to secrecy about what they overheard or what he told them, knowing fully well that it'll travel far and wide, quicker than a hot knife through butter.
And yet the Army, unable to adequately grapple and deal with a Sharif on the rampage, far from realizing the dangers, shies away from opening a second front.
The Supreme Court has ereed and failed, not being strong enough and capable enough to do what is right under the law and the Constitution. And that is to mete out justice to all and sundry, especially the high and mighty. They have been slow, they have been divided, they have blundered.
Justice delayed is justice denied. They have collectively denied, betrayed, let down and abandoned the helpless masses.
Serious is the drafting of two key constitutional amendments impacting the Army and the Superior Judiciary in months to come.
These are planned to be presented and passed by the PMLN government, after getting a majority in the forthcoming Senate elections and prior to dissolution of the assemblies before the next general elections.
The first is about the appointment of Judges and their retirement age.
The amendment proposes to reconstitute the Judicial commission and take away its power to appoint judges.
The new Judicial Commission will comprise the Chief Justice, Minister of Law, other law officers of the government plus parliamentarians, comprising government and opposition members, proportionally based on their assembly strength.
Under the planned amendment, the incumbent Chief Justice will only have authority to recommend a roster of names and the Judicial Commission, by majority vote, will approve names before forwarding to the President for appointment.
The proposed amendment will also do away with the seniority rule, whereby currently the senior most judge is automatically elevated to become Chief Justice. In future the Judicial Commission, again by majority vote, will chose any person from amongst the Judges, they deem fit to become the Chief Justice.
In summary, the ruling party, in this case rhe PMLN, will have total power to appoint judges.
But the second change is what will completely change the current makeup of the Supreme Court during the incumbency of the current government!
This amendment to article 179 aims to reduce the retirement ages of the Judges and the Chief Justice from 65 to 60.
What is seriously questionable, are the very evil and nefarious designs, behind such moves and attempts to amend these clauses, and even more importantly, why now!
Hypothetically were this amendment to pass, by say early March, the Supreme Court would be immediately wiped clean of the following Judges who will automatically retire being over 60 years of age.
1. Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.
2. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
3. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan.
4. Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
5. Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed.
Then the new Judicial Commission will appoint a Chief Justice of its choice and fill the vacancies with Nawaz toadies.
What a really neat Constitutional Coup! And we are headed that way!
Imagine the horrors and the terrible consequences of such a nightmarish scenario, for Pakistan, for our already shaky rule of Law and for our indecisive Superior Judiciary!
Over the last 10 years judiciary has at least somewhat attempted to become an independent institution, working to wipe the scars on its honour and mete out evenhanded justice. Granted they're certainly not perfect.Pakistan cannot allow this wholescale destruction of our Superior Judiciary into becoming Patwaris once again.
The second "Shubkhoon" ia planned on the office of the Army Chief and other two Chiefs of the Air Force and the Navy by taking away their authority to promote officers to two and three star ranks, make key command and staff appointments and limit their authority of command over their respective institutions.
Here's the plan being cooked in The Devil's Workshop"
1. The three Armed forces Chiefs will no longer be members of the National Security Committe. They will be represented by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Currently Gen. Zubair Hayat.
2. Promotions to all two star and three star ranks, Maj. Gen, Lt. Gen, Air Vice Marshal, Air Marshal, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, will be vested in the National Security Committee of which CJSC will be but one member! And by majority vote, which will rest with civilians!
3. All Principal Staff Officer and Corps Commander and similar Air Force and Naval appointments will be made by the National Security Committee.
4. DG ISI will be appointed by the National Security Committee.
5. ISI and ISPR will report directly to CJSC.
6. The Corps Commander Conferences and similar conferences in the Air Force and Navy, will be presided over by the CJSC and Minister of Defence.
A complete destruction of the only two institutions that have survived the savagery of our peculiar brand of democracy, And the only two that stand between total loot, plunder, pillage anarchy and ultimate disintegration.
Politicians are hell bent to destroy any institution in Pakistan, perhaps even the country, and go to any lengths to accumulate wealth and retain power.
No one today remembers how the hungry Zardari raped and crippled the Steel Mills with brute vengeance soon after becoming President. Or how grieviously the nation has been weakened and wounded by that horror, the 18th amendment.
In his attempt to destroy the Judiciary and the Army, they stand united and increasingly brazen attempts such as Memogate attempt via Haqqani and the infamous Dawn Leak by Tariq Fatemi- both lamentably remained unpunished by a hesitant army.
Lest we forget our estranged ally certainly has major "assets" within our government at key places.
Many a Quisling such as the sly pygmie Aizaz Chaudry in DC will do the needful. In fact he continues to play a singular role in whispering poison into key American ears against our Military at the behest of his mentor, promoter and benefactor Tariq Fatemi.
Justice Saqib Nisar and Gen. Bajwa!
Gentlemen, you both have been duly forewarned!
Weakness begets but more attack.
-As Received-

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Citizen Engagement in Development Planning for Village and Neighbourhood Councils

Putting local communities at the centre of their own development means that interventions will be directly relevant to their needs, and contribute to long-term sustainability. 
#AKDN currently supports 123 grasssroots Village Development Organisations in Cabo Delgado,

Self Reliance is a big part of the ethics on which #AKDN is built.
To help these organisations become effective and self-reliant, AKDN offers resources and 
training for essential administrative skills such as record-keeping, accounting and methods 
of good governance. It also helps communities to lobby for change by working in collaboration 
with other villages when liaising with the government.
Constitutional obligations of voluntary leadership applicable to all tiers (including LC):
5.6©   Analyze fundamental problems confronting the Jamat and their relationship to underlying trends in the national and international development process, and set short range and long range goals for the Jamat.


"Societies can best strengthen themselves by mobilizing their own dynamic forces rather than relying on external support and direction." Imam has desired REORIENTATION since 2002; I have so far not succeeded in influencing the mindset of local leadership as well as institutions towards this direction, read and listen to this in the DJ webcast:

Towards understanding: QURAN

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

CONCLUSION: Leadership and Institutions must follow the CIVIL SOCIETY LEARNING MATERIAL and the new SECONDARY TALIMAT CURRICULUM as the BEDROCK towards building a BETTER TOMORROW.


Hisamullah Beg
Constitutional obligations of voluntary leadership applicable to all tiers (including LC):
5.6© Analyze fundamental problems confronting the Jamat and their relationship to underlying trends in the national and international development process, and set short range and long range goals for the Jamat. 
Hisamullah Beg
"Societies can best strengthen themselves by mobilizing their own dynamic forces rather than relying on external support and direction." Imam has desired REORIENTATION since 2002; I have so far not succeeded in influencing the mindset of local leadership as well as institutions towards this direction, read and listen to this in the DJ webcast:
My analysis is more relevant to Pakistan and in no way deals globally. The thematic guidance I shared is also in relation to the specific guidance for institutions in Pakistan. The four DJ goals have global implications yet more relevant to the rural populations in the Asian and African region.
Recommend priority accorded to these goals over those advocated by LIF Task Force.
Ahmed Jami Sakhi
 Civil Society is effective and active in those countries where people have sound economy.It is a myth for smaller populations living in high mountains. Same is true for the whole of GBC, those who have acquired good knowledge and professional capacity are devoid of economic resources and they have to spend most of their lives struggling for survival. But some of those who are resourceful in economic terms are unwilling to support people within their own community because they have obtained it through hard means and perhaps for the first time and are fearing of losses. It is therefore, imperative to work through government departments or AKDN's professional institutions meant to plan and execute projects in their specific fields. (Wild thoughts)
Hisamullah Beg It is theTKN that I am advocating, which does not depend on sound economy. A population motivated from Imamat teaching - CIVIL SOCIETY LEARNING MATERIAL and the new TALIMAT CURRICULUM are the foundations for a BETTER TOMORROW. If you critically analyse the performance the institutional REORIENTATION on this base is long overdue.
Take the example of 14 centers contributed to GB through PDCN, none of these is functional and no one feels responsible.
Read this assessment by the Imam: "We have a system in Pakistan of Jamati governance and AKDN activities which is actually dysfunctional. What I have said to the leaders is that I have been aware of this functionality for a long time, but I have never put it on the table because it was not the right time. I put it to you now because at that time the environment was unpredictable"
See the belated development in detachment of three service companies to Islamabad - December 2015 against target of June 2000 given by the Imam.
Ahmed Jami Sakhi You are right Brig. Sahib! TKN is a big source of contributing time and Knowledge nazrana, again to do so, either the TKN Volunteer has to be resourceful for bearing one's boarding/lodging and traveling costs or the inviting institution has to be resourceful to do so. However, I agree that volunteerism one of the biggest sources of social change and advancement among Ismaili community worldwide.
Hisamullah Beg I view TKN in the context of contributing from the place of residence.
Overhaul of existing Organization such as TMS, KWA, BRSO, LC etc towards their mandates by getting rid of BEGGING BOWL/QARATANG mentality is the need  and a better solution than creating additional entities., otherwise despite the noble intentions the state of affairs will continue on the same trend as the recently conceived brain child namely HUNZA DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT.