Lahore (LUMS) becomes an ICC-accredited testing centre for suspected illegal bowling actions

ICC Media Release: https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/1293090

[Lahore] Joins Brisbane, Chennai, Loughborough and Pretoria as centres for testing of bowlers reported in international cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has been accredited as a testing centre for suspected illegal bowling actions.

The centre joins the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Loughborough University, Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai and the University of Pretoria as testing centres for players reported in international cricket under the ICC Suspect Illegal Bowling Action Regulation.

Geoff Allardice, General Manager – Cricket, said: “I want to congratulate the Pakistan Cricket Board, who worked in conjunction with LUMS to fulfill all criteria required for an ICC accredited testing centre. This reflects the PCB’s effort and commitment to deal with suspect illegal bowling actions.

“The accreditation of the LUMS University as an ICC testing centre means bowlers reported in international cricket and Pakistan’s domestic competitions can be referred to this facility, where they will be tested according to international protocols.”

The facility at the LUMS University was assessed against a range of criteria, including having an indoor area large enough to allow a player to bowl off his or her full run-up; a motion analysis system with a minimum of 12 high-speed cameras capable of producing three-dimensional data, and suitably qualified personnel experienced in using such systems and capable of implementing the ICC testing protocol.

The ICC has provided a full set of testing equipment and software to the LUMS testing centre, as it has done with the other accredited centres, to allow for a consistent assessment of bowlers across the different facilities worldwide.

Testing Centre at LUMS (Lahore)

The testing centre in LUMS (Lahore) is of five international testing centres.

Team Pakistan clean sweeps 2018 Junior Scrabble World Championship in UK!

Source: https://www.samaa.tv/sports/2018/10/pakistan-clean-sweeps-junior-scrabble-world-championship/

Pakistan team created history and won all six categories of the Junior Scrabble World Championship in Torquay, England.

Moizullah Baig won the junior world champion title. The 21-year-old was taking part in the tournament for the last time. In 2013, he had won the World Youth Championship 2013. Baig won 20 out of 24 matches, with a spread of 1,489 tiles.

Related: Three Pakistani kids becomes world Scrabble champs

Former Princess Cup Youth tournament champion Hammad Hadi Khan was the runner-up with 17 wins and a spread of 1598.

At the two-day event, Sohaib Sanaullah clinched the under 18 title, Hamza Naeem under 16, Syed Emaad Ali junior under 14, Muzammil Asim under 12 and Misbahur Rehman under 10.

Pakistan won five titles last year.

Source: https://www.samaa.tv/sports/2018/10/pakistan-clean-sweeps-junior-scrabble-world-championship/

Pakistan Junior Scrabble Team (640x360)
Image Credit: Samaa TV (Online) – Can you help us name these kids from L to R?

 

Pakistan’s Fiza Farhan appointed Member of the UN’s first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment [UN Press Release]

Source: UN Women | Asia and the Pacific [Press Release]
http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2016/02/fiza-farhan-appointed-member-of-the-un-high-level-panel-on-wee

In an announcement today Ms. Fiza Farhan from Pakistan has been named as Member of the first ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The establishment of this distinguished panel was announced in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos with UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – serving as its secretariat.

The Panel will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women and promote women’s leadership in driving sustainable and inclusive, environmentally sensitive economic growth. It will provide recommendations for key actions that can be taken by governments, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders, as well as policy directives needed to achieve the new targets and indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals which call for the economic empowerment of women, and benefits all. The panel is backed by the United Kingdom, the World Bank Group and UN Women.

Growing evidence and recognition by governments and the private sector reveal that women’s economic empowerment has a multiplier effect and boosts whole economies. Research shows that women invest their income back into their families and communities, including in health and education. McKinsey Global Institute estimates that if women in every country were to play an identical role to men in markets, as much as US$28 trillion would be added to the global economy by 2025.

Yet women continue to earn less, have fewer assets, bear the burden of unpaid work and care, and be largely concentrated in vulnerable and low-paying activities. Women spend more than twice as much time on unpaid care and domestic work as men and women on average are paid 24 per cent less than men globally for the same work. Moreover, 75 per cent of women’s employment in developing regions is informal and unprotected. These gaps constrain women’s rights and hinder economic growth and productivity. Significantly scaled up actions and political will are required to ensure that governments, development organizations and others invest in the economic empowerment of women for the benefit of whole societies.

As a Member of the first-ever High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Fiza will join leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, UN Women and a diverse range of eminent gender and equality actors, economics experts, academics, trade union leaders, business and government representatives from across the world.

Fiza is the Chief Executive Officer of Buksh Foundation and Director of Buksh Energy Pvt Ltd. She holds honoree titles of Co-Chairperson Italian Development Chamber of Commerce in Pakistan, Future Energy Leader at the World Energy Council and has received multiple honours over the years including the 2016 Influential Leader Award by AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and the 2016 Women’s Entrepreneur’s Achievement Award amongst others. Fiza was also part of the “30under30” list by Forbes magazine for Social Entrepreneurs in 2015.

Speaking of her appointment Fiza said: “It is indeed an honour for me to represent Pakistan and the women of Pakistan on this prestigious High-Level Panel. Gender equality, economic justice and the socio-economic empowerment of women are critical for us to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is time that we engage global leadership and galvanize political will to scale actions with measurable impact towards women’s economic empowerment.”

Congratulating Ms. Fiza Farhan on the prestigious appointment, Mr. Jamshed Kazi, UN Women’s Country Representative in Pakistan said: “We are delighted with this recognition of Ms. Fiza as a highly accomplished and distinguished individual from the Asia-Pacific region. While she will be providing advice as a global thought leader, we also look forward to her continued contribution in championing women’s economic empowerment right here in Pakistan in alignment with UN Women’s mandate”

For more information contact:

Faria Salman, Strategic Management and Partnerships Officer &
Communications Focal Point for UN Women Pakistan.

Email: faria.salman@unwomen.org

fiza-farhan-women-un

Fiza Farhan, Member of the High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Photo: UN Women/Buksh Foundation/Huma Akram

Pakistani scientist develops ground-breaking technology for early cancer cell detection

Source: The Express Tribune | Pakistan
http://tribune.com.pk/story/1047852/pakistani-scientist-develops-device-to-diagnose-cancer-rapidly/

Pakistani electrical engineer at the University of Texas at Arlington has developed a new cancer cell detection method that will be able to improve early diagnosis of cancer.

Samir Iqbal, an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, detailed his team’s results in a recent Nature’s Scientific Reports paper called “Effects of Nanotexture on Electrical Profiling of Single Tumor Cell and Detection of Cancer from Blood in Microfluidic Channels.”

The tool works by tracking cellular behavior in real time using nanotextured walls that mimic layers of body tissue.

Iqbal has worked on the project with Young-tae Kim, a UTA associate professor in the Bioengineering Department; Muhymin Islam, a STEM doctoral candidate; and engineering students Mohammad Motasim Bellah, Adeel Sajid and Mohammad Raziul Hasan.

Iqbal said his team observed the many layers of tissue in the human body and decided to develop something that would mimic that layering.

“The answer was in creating a nanotextured wall that fools blood samples into thinking its actual tissue,” Iqbal said. “We used inherent properties of the cell walls to create a diagnostic tool. The cancer cells behave differently as they come into contact with the nanotextured walls. They dance,” he added.

Identifying those “dancing cells” will help doctors pinpoint cancer cells and start treatment earlier than allowed with current technology.

“Discovering the cancer earlier, before it metastasizes, is essential to surviving cancer,” Iqbal said. “Our device has the potential to do that.”

The published results stem from a 2014 $480,000 National Science Foundation funding that sponsored the design and creation of the device. Iqbal has received nearly $1.4 million in grants since his arrival at UTA in 2007.

Those grants included an NSF CAREER grant to create a nanoelectronic microfluidic biochip to detect biomarkers. He also directs the UTA Nano-Bio Lab and is an affiliated faculty for the UTA Bioengineering Department.

Iqbal also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Urology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In addition to his numerous research accolades, Iqbal is a senior member of IEEE-USA, a member of Biomedical Engineering Society, American Physical Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Biophysical Society.

In 2013, Tau Beta Pi inducted him as an Eminent Engineer. Khosrow Behbehani, dean of the UTA College of Engineering, said Iqbal’s research is groundbreaking. “Dr. Iqbal and his colleagues are bringing engineering innovation to meet the challenge of early cancer detection,” Behbehani said.

“The research aligns with UTA’s Strategic Plan, particularly the focus on Health and the Human Condition. Dr. Iqbal’s device could greatly improve cancer survival rates, which is good news for humanity. There are very few people around the world whose lives have not been touched by this dreadful disease.”

Iqbal did his bachelors from NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi in 1996 after which he did his PhD from Purdue University in Indiana.

samir-iqbal-cancer-doctor-engineer

Samir M. Iqbal, Ph.D., P.E. Photo Credit: University of Texas at Arlington

Pakistan’s parliament becomes world’s first to run entirely on solar power!

Story Shared By: Maheen Islam Ahmed

Source: The Independent (United Kingdom)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistan-s-parliament-becomes-first-in-world-to-run-entirely-on-solar-power-a6873586.html

Known as the Majlis-e-Shoora, the seat of the government in the country’s capital, Islamabad, is now wholly powered by the sun.

First announced in 2014, the venture has been funded by the Chinese government as an act of friendship, with the solar power plant costing around £36.5 million.

US town fears solar panels ‘suck up all the energy from the sun’

The project was officially launched during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit last year.

Now complete, it produces 80 megawatts of electricity, 62 of which are consumed by the national assembly with the remainder going to the national grid, according to Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

Members met in the house for the first time on February 12 as it was being powered by sunshine.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to formally ‘switch on’ the program later this month.

Special secretary at the National Assembly, Munawar Abbas Shah, previously commented: “This is the first project of its kind [in a public building] in Pakistan, and later more public buildings will be converted to solar power to overcome the energy crisis.”

“The consumption of electricity in the parliament even jumps over two megawatts in summers when the house is in session.”

The move is expected to save around £689,369 ($1million) a year in bills.

India enjoys on average eight hours of sunshine 320 days a year, providing ample opportunity to harness the sun’s power.

The current electricity infrastructure is inadequate across the whole country, with an estimated 44 per cent of households not connected to the national grid.

The sub-continent suffers rolling blackouts and power outages, and solar home systems have been mooted as a possible solution to the problem.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, generates 10 per cent of its electricity from solar power.

pakistan-parliament

The Parliament of Pakistan, officially termed the Majlis-e-Shoora (Urdu: مجلسِ شورىٰ‎ — Majlis-e Šūrá); is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan.

The Karachiite who went on to detect Einstein’s gravitational waves | Dawn.com

Story Shared By: Maheen Islam Ahmed

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1239270 (Dawn.com)

Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT is a member of the team of scientists that announced on Thursday the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago.

Professor Mavalvala, whose career spans 20 years, has published extensively in her field and has been working with MIT since 2002.

Mavalvala did her BA at Wellesley College in Physics and Astronomy in 1990 and a Ph.D in physics in 1997 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Before that, she was a postdoctoral associate and then a research scientist at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), working on the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).

She has been involved with LIGO since her early years in graduate school at MIT and her primary research has been in instrument development for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors.

She also received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award in 2010.

The girl from Karachi

Born to a Parsi family in Karachi, Mavalvala received her early education from the Convent of Jesus and Mary school, an administration official from the educational institute confirmed to Dawn.com.

She later moved to the United States as a teenager to attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she is said to have a natural gift for being comfortable in her own skin, according to an article published on the sciencemag.org website.

“Even when Nergis was a freshman, she struck me as fearless, with a refreshing can-do attitude,” says Robert Berg, a professor of physics at Wellesley.

In an earlier report, Mavalvala’s colleague observed that while many professors would like to treat students as colleagues, most students don’t respond as equals. From the first day, Mavalvala acted and worked like an equal. She helped Berg, who at the time was new to the faculty, set up a laser and transform an empty room into a lab. Before she graduated in 1990, Berg and Mavalvala had co-authored a paper in Physical Review B: Condensed Matter.

Her parents encouraged academic excellence. She was by temperament very hands-on. “I used to borrow tools and parts from the bike-repair man across the street to fix my bike,” she says. Her mother objected to the grease stains, “but my parents never said such skills were off-limits to me or my sister.”

So she grew up without stereotypical gender roles. Once in the United States, she did not feel bound by US social norms, she recalls.

Her practical skills stood her in good stead in 1991, when she was scouting for a research group to join after her first year as a graduate student at MIT. Her adviser was moving to Chicago and Mavalvala had decided not to follow him, so she needed a new adviser. She met Rainer Weiss, who worked down the hallway.

“What do you know?” Weiss asked her. She began to list the classes she had taken at the institute—but the renowned experimentalist interrupted with, “What do you know how to do?” Mavalvala ticked off her practical skills and accomplishments: machining, electronic circuitry, building a laser. Weiss took her on right away.

Mavalvala says that although it may not be immediately apparent, she is a product of good mentoring.

From the chemistry teacher in Pakistan who let her play with reagents in the lab after school to the head of the physics department at MIT, who supported her work when she joined the faculty in 2002, she has encountered several encouraging people on her journey.

Landmark discovery

Although the discovery of gravitational waves, that opens a new window for studying the cosmos, was made in September 2015, it took scientists months to confirm their data.

The researchers said they detected gravitational waves coming from two black holes – extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein – that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together. They said the waves were the product of a collision between two black holes 30 times as massive as the Sun, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth.

The scientific milestone, announced at a news conference in Washington, was achieved using a pair of giant laser detectors in the United States, located in Louisiana and Washington state, capping a long quest to confirm the existence of these waves.

The announcement was made in Washington by scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

“We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy,” MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala said in an interview. “We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well.”

nergis-mavalvala

MIT Quantum Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala in an MIT lab. — 2010 MacArthur Foundation

Hockey: Pakistan beat India 2-1 in South Asian Games

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1238201 (Dawn.com)

Arslan Qadir scored two spectacular goals as Pakistan edged India 2-1 in a fierce 2016 South Asian Games encounter in Guwahati on Monday.

In a match which produced thrilling runs and end to end hockey, Qadir put Pakistan in front in the 11th minute after repeated incursions by the Greenshirts into the Indian half.

Qadir doubled the lead with another field goal in the 37th minute and though hosts India hit back with a goal through Mandeep Antil in the 53rd, the Pakistan back line ensured there were no last minutes disasters.

With the win, Pakistan won its second game on the trot at the Games and will go into their remaining matches with renewed confidence.

It was a good day for Pakistan at the Games with Zaman Anwar winning the gold medal in the 125 kg wrestling event while Pakistan’s Mohammad Azad Butt won silver in the 74 kg wrestling event.

Maria Toorpakai Wazir missed out on the top prize losing her women’s squash final Joshana Chiappa (L) of India.

2016-02-10 pak-beat-india-hockey

From KGS to Harvard: Our journey to making history for Pakistan | Dawn.com

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1238165/

By SUROOR RAHIMTOOLA

The year was 2013. Our principal proudly announced in the assembly that “Karachi Grammar School won Best Delegation Award at the Harvard Model United Nations India”.

As an ambitious 11th grader, I made it my goal at that very moment to become a part of the Karachi Grammar School Model United Nations team, with the hope of bringing laurels to my alma mater.

I started “MUN-ing” for the Grammarian team in the first year of my O’levels. I took part in the various local Model United Nation forums namely: ZABMUN, MUNIK and LUMUN, followed by Harvard Model United Nations China, where we won the coveted Best Delegation trophy and won 10 Best Delegation Awards.

When we resumed school in August 2015 as seniors, our Model United Nations Patron Ms Aysha Sheikh informed us that we would be the first students from Karachi Grammar School to ever attend Harvard Model United Nations Boston.

The look on all of our faces was priceless.

The team or rather, I would say, family consisted of: Uzair Saqib, Zainab Saeed, Ghasharib Shoukat, Taimur Ahmed Mian, Rahul Bherwani, Shahzel Najam, Hakim, Laleh Ahmed, Nasha Kanga, Channan Hanif, Zarak Quraishi, Leila Khan, Riva Effendi and myself.

Between August 2015 and January 2016, we spent time deciding the head delegate, committees and most importantly who would be sharing a room.

In early January, when our head delegate Taimur Ahmed Mian announced the committees, we all knew it was time to start researching.

The next two weeks were spent researching Norway’s foreign policy, looking for diplomatic solutions to the Kashmir issue and finding an appropriate country to host the 2024 summer Olympics.

Finally on Jan 26, we went to the airport, clutching our binders of research, ready to take on the competition and the cold.

After a long 14-hour flight, we arrived in Boston, and were greeted by various delegates from India to Colombia. Most of us spent the first night trying to find delegates in our respective committees and getting a sense of various countries’ stances, while making friends in the process.

The conference commenced on Jan 27. Before entering our respective committees, we all sat down collectively in Ms Sheikh’s room where she said a little prayer for us, which was followed by a brief speech from our head delegate.

We finally entered the committee unsure of what the next four days had in store of us, but ready to tackle any form of crisis that came our way.

Over the course of our conference, we spent nights writing working papers and draft resolutions, meeting with our respective blocs in the lobby to come up with comprehensive solutions and suitable moderated caucuses, while exchanging Facebook names and Snapchat ids.

Speaking on behalf of the entire team, having 14 people — each with their individual specialty to help whenever needed — was probably one of the most important factors that led us to victory.

Our mornings were made up of Uzair’s coffee runs to Thorntons, followed by Shahzel’s make-up tutorials. During the evenings, there were lots of long embraces, hilarious stories and great food (provided by Ms Sheikh).

On Jan 31, we congregated for the closing ceremony in our monochrome suits, all 14 of us nervous, exhausted yet excited. We sat down quietly, holding each other’s hands firmly.

As each award was announced, we would all jump with excitement.

“Best International Delegation goes to Karachi Grammar School.”

We looked at each other in shock.

Had we just won Harvard Model United Nations 2016? Did we just make history?

This announcement was followed by The Lycuem School winning the Best Small Delegation.

Both the teams held the Pakistani flag from each corner as we made our way to the front. We simultaneously chanted, “Pakistan Zindabad.”

kgs-harvard-mun

Standing in the front, I not only felt like a proud Grammarian but an immensely proud Pakistani. The talent and diplomacy that we displayed as a nation was phenomenal.

For 12 of us, it was the last Model United Nation conference as a part of the KGS team.

It was the last time we would watch Ghasharib fix all the boys ties; it was the last time we would see Channan’s scarf game; the last time we would watch Zainab “Ice Cream”.

It was the last time Taimur and Rahul would ever blast Kanye music; it was the last time that Laleh would ever wing our eyeliner and above all, it was the last time we would get to travel with Ms Sheikh — who was there for us as a mother, a friend and a faculty adviser.

This victory is for a team that ultimately became a family; more importantly, it’s for the country we call home.

Polish photographer captures stunning beauty of The Karakoram [PHOTOS]

The icy tundra of Baltoro glacier and K2 can be one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. But in rare moments, it can also be one of the most beautiful.

This landscape beauty was captured by Polish adventure-photographer David Kaszlikowski as part of his expedition to the Karakoram region to shoot for a documentary.

In additions to employing some of the best imaging tools commercially available, a Canon 5D Mark III in Kaszlikowski’s case, he also deployed a drone to fully capture the beauty and magnanimy of the Baltoro, one of the largest glaciers in the world.

He manages to capture the glacier and the mountain in a manner never seen before.

At the heart of Karakoram, a glacier formation found at Concordia at the very beginning of one of the longest glaciers on the planet, Baltoro. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

K2 mountain captured on a clear night just before sunrise. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world at 8,611 metres above sea level. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

Training climb on the ice features of the Baltoro glacier. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

LED light to ‘paint’ the snow at Karakoram. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

The porters’ tent at K2’s base camp is just a tarpaulin stretched over the stones, left, while the other tents belong to expedition members. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

Expedition members meander between crevasses with the Gasherbrum IV massif visible in the background. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

A view of the Gasherbrum IV massif. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

Balti porters carrying loads which range from 25kg to 50kg, a task they undertake often wearing only basic rubber sneakers filled with fresh grass to stop their feet slipping. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI

The porters photographed outside at base camp. They sometimes light fires using rubbish from the expeditions. PHOTO: DAVID KASZLIKOWSKI


The article originally appeared in The Guardian

17 year old Pakistani school girl top scores globally in IGCSE Math Exam

Source: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/fujairah-schoolgirl-achieves-best-maths-exam-grade-in-the-world

FUJAIRAH: A 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl has received the highest mark in the world in her mathematics exam.

Ayesha Memon, a student at Our Own English High School, beat her peers at more than 10,000 schools in 160 countries in the Cambridge IGCSE mathematics examination.

In recognition of her achievement, she will soon receive the Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cambridge Outstanding Learner Award.

“My teachers were expecting that I would get this prestigious award this year. But honestly I still can’t believe it. It’s great news for me and my family,” said Ayesha.

She moved to the UAE three years ago because of her father’s work as a doctor for a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.

The quality of education in the UAE was of a “very high standard”, Ayesha said.

“In the UAE, the student does not only stick to the studies. The schools provide lots of other activities to mould a student’s personality,” she said.

But education in the UAE was becoming too expensive, she said, adding that she might have to complete her studies abroad.

“I don’t know whether I will able to continue my college studies here despite the fact that I want to,” she said. “It must be really challenging for parents to educate more than one child.”

In Saudi Arabia she was homeschooled for seven years but did not enjoy it.

“I am totally against it, as it takes away the confidence and communication skills of the child.

“It took me a lot of time to settle down and participate in a formal school environment,” she said.

Himmat S Dhillon, the principal and chief executive of Ayesha’s school, said the UAE award would inspire students and encourage them to work even harder. The school is part of the Gems Education network.

Mr Dhillon said 13 students at Gems schools would also be receiving the Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed award for achieving top marks in their exams.

The awards, which were set up in 2003, honour students for outstanding results in Cambridge IGCSE, A and AS Level exams, as well as those who have made significant contributions to their school and the local community.

akhaishgi@thenational.ae

image

US-based NED Alum Bags $30M Funding For Cyber Security Startup

Source: http://www.lightreading.com/security/cloud-security/cyber-security-startup-elastica-nabs-$30m-funding/d/d-id/714369

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Elastica (www.elastica.net), the leader in Data Science Powered™ Cloud Application Security, today announced that it has closed its series B funding round with an investment of $30 million. Third Point Ventures led the round, with participation from Mayfield Fund and Pelion Venture Partners. Robert Schwartz from Third Point Ventures joined the Elastica board.

Forrester Research reported that the public cloud market was $58 billion in 2013, is approaching $91 billion and estimates that it will grow to $191 billion by 2020 (The Public Cloud Market Is Now In Hypergrowth, April 24, 2014). Traditional solutions’ inability to provide security and compliance for enterprise cloud usage has created demand for a new breed of security solutions delivered by Elastica that many leading analyst firms say will be adopted by 25 percent of enterprises by 2016.

As a member of the Cloud Access Security Brokers category, Elastica is competing in a market that Gartner has identified as rising in importance. In the analyst firm’s Emerging Technology Analysis: Cloud Access Security Brokers report (9/25/14), it reported: Since their emergence in 2012, CASBs have grown in importance and today are the primary technical means of giving organizations more control over SaaS security. This technology will become an essential component of SaaS deployments by 2017. The cloud app security provider will use the investment to further fuel its global expansion, channel sales, engineering, marketing and research teams as it takes a leadership role in the market. Since launching the CloudSOC™ platform last year, Elastica has experienced strong growth along all aspects of its business. Key milestones reached include:

  • Rapidly growing customer engagements, with currently more than 275 enterprise clients
  • Global expansion with the opening of offices in APAC, EMEA and Canada
  • Growth of its employee base to over 130 and the addition of a strong go-to-market and sales team with veterans from Palo Alto Networks, Qualys and Bromium
  • Significant channel growth highlighted by partnerships with national firms such as Accuvant (US) and NTT Com Security (UK), as well as regionally focused security integration firms across Europe, APAC and North America such as SecureLink, Cognition Secure, HIC, Guidepoint and RADPOINT
  • Recognition and major awards by well-known publications including SC Magazine, CRN, Cloud Awards and Info Security Products Guide
  • Expansion of CloudSOC features and functions and new product launches such as Securlets for Box, Dropbox, Office365 and Yammer
  • Leadership in introducing the industry’s firstShadow Data research report

“Elastica is the kind of company we like to invest in – one that is rapidly becominga category leader,”said Robert Schwartz, managing partner at Third Point Ventures,the venture arm of Third Point LLC. “Elastica has very strong momentum as itfundamentally changes the way the enterprise makes usage of cloud apps secure.The company’s innovative solutions, strong management and deep bench ofdata scientists and researchers have enabled a new category of security for cloudapps that traditional security solutions cannot bridge.” The financing round highlights Elastica’s rapid business growth in the United States and abroad. This growth is driven by the accelerated adoption of its SaaS-based CloudSOC™ solution that enables global organizations to take full advantage of cloud applications and services while staying safe, secure and compliant.

Elastica continuously protects organizations’ sensitive data as they adopt cloud applications and services by revealing Shadow IT and shadow data, and by providing data governance, compliance risk mitigation and powerful tools for incident response and post-incident analysis. The Elastica CloudSOC platform harnesses advanced data science and machine learning to deliver granular visibility of real-time traffic, advanced anomaly detection to identify threats and real-time content classification. Granular policies can be created and enforced in real time to prevent data breaches, compliance violations and exposure of sensitive data. The SaaS-based delivery model allows organizations to easily deploy the solution with no on-site software or hardware required.

“While cloud apps are increasingly essential for business agility and IT cost effectiveness, they have inherent information exchange and collaboration capabilities that require a new kind of security,” said Rehan Jalil, CEO of Elastica. “Our unique data science technology that delivers effective security across cloud application and services has positioned us to lead the cloud app security category. New financing will further fuel our growth.”

Lahore-based tech entrepreneur creates highest selling WordPress Theme!

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/by-selling-one-wordpress-theme-this-pakistani-based-developer-is-now-building-a-huge-house-for-his-family-2014-8

Avada, the highest selling WordPress theme on Australian tech site ThemeForest, has made its duo creative team, who call themselves ThemeFusion, more than $4 million in sales.

Based in Lahore, Pakistan, developer Muhammad Haris partnered with US-based designer Luke Beck to start their WordPress development venture.

“Right now we sell only one theme, Avada, which has over 60,000 copies sold,” Haris said.

The website theme’s success is now enabling Haris to build his dream family home in Pakistan.

The three story building will house his entire family.

“We live in an extended family system. We are able to build this house thanks to selling one theme on ThemeForest,” Haris said.

Envato CEO, the company which owns ThemeForest, Collis Ta’eed describes Avada as the “Swiss Army Knife” of website themes.

“It does everything,” he said. “The WordPress themes tend to be the largest component of the business.”

Watch the video here: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/by-selling-one-wordpress-theme-this-pakistani-based-developer-is-now-building-a-huge-house-for-his-family-2014-8

Muhammad Haris, co-creator of the Avada WordPress Theme.

Lahore-based Muhammad Haris, co-creator of the Avada WordPress Theme.

 

Five-year-old Pakistani-Briton becomes youngest ever Microsoft Certified Professional!

Source: BBC News | Technology | http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30054140

UNITED KINGDOM: A boy from Coventry has become the youngest computer specialist in the world.

Ayan Qureshi is now a Microsoft Certified Professional after passing the tech giant’s exam when he was just five years old.

Ayan, now six, whose father is an IT consultant, has set up his own computer network at home.

He told the BBC he found the exam difficult but enjoyable, and hopes to set up a UK-based tech hub one day.

“There were multiple choice questions, drag and drop questions, hotspot questions and scenario-based questions,” he told the BBC Asian Network.

“The hardest challenge was explaining the language of the test to a five-year-old. But he seemed to pick it up and has a very good memory,” explained Ayan’s father Asim.

Mr Qureshi introduced his son to computers when he was three years old. He let him play with his old computers, so he could understand hard drives and motherboards.

“I found whatever I was telling him, the next day he’d remember everything I said, so I started to feed him more information,” he explained.

“Too much computing at this age can cause a negative effect, but in Ayan’s case he has cached this opportunity.”

Ayan has his own computer lab at his home in Coventry, containing a computer network which he built.

He spends around two hours a day learning about the operating system and how to install programmes.

When the boy arrived to take the Microsoft exam, the invigilators were concerned that he was too young to be a candidate.

His father reassured them that Ayan would be all right on his own.

The test is usually taken by people who want to become IT technicians.

Ayan’s mother Mamoona is training to be a GP.

The family moved to England from Pakistan in 2009.

“I’m very happy and very proud, I don’t want to see him set a world record every day. But I want him to do his best whatever he does in his life,” she said.

Ayan says he hopes to launch a UK-based IT hub similar to America’s Silicon Valley one day, which he intends to call E-Valley.

He also wants to start his own company.

Source: BBC News | Technology | http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30054140

Youngest MCP in the world, Ayan Qureshi, at his computer. Source: BBC

Youngest MCP in the world, Ayan Qureshi, at his computer. Source: BBC

Pakistan’s Scrabble prodigy creates history in Sri Lanka

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1127312/pakistans-hasham-creates-history-in-sl

COLOMBO: It was a historic day for Pakistan scrabble contingent taking part in the 6th Sri Lanka International Scrabble Championship when its youngest member, nine-year old Hasham Hadi Khan, created a new world record by scoring an eye-popping 878 points against Matheesha De Silva of Sri Lanka.

According to the Guinness Book of world records the highest score ever recorded in a scrabble match was made by Toh Wei Bin of Singapore who scored 850 against Rick Kennedy of Scotland in 2012. No score of 800 plus has been witnessed in an international tournament.

Hasham’s scores included a triple-triple play for his word “Gruntles” and inclu­ded three more bingos in “Sheriat, Retsina and Headers.”

Poor Matheesha was reduced to a mere spectator as Hasham threw a flurry of bingos while cleverly challenging off all invalid words that Matheesha tried in a desperate attempt the reduce the deficit.

Around 80 of the world’s best players were witness of the spectacular show of vocabulary and tactical skills by a nine-year-old who is hailed as the next big sensation in scrabble.

Reigning world champ Nigel Richards personally congratulated Hasham on his record while modestly mentioning that he himself has never gone past a score of 700 in a major event.

Hasham playing his first ever international tournament will represent Pakistan at the World Youth Scrabble Championship which starts Aug 29.

Meanwhile, day two of the 6th Sri Lanka International Scrabble Championship was dominated by a New Zea­lander but it wasn’t the world champion Nigel Rich­ards but his compatriot Howard Warner, who is on top with 15 wins and a spread of 1,223.

India’s number one player Sherwin Rodrigues is curre­ntly second with 14 wins and a spread of 1,261.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2014

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1127312/pakistans-hasham-creates-history-in-sl

image

Team Pakistan sweeps debating competition in Mexico

KARACHI: For the three 15-year-old students selected to represent Pakistan in one of the largest high school tournaments in the world, The Karl Popper Debating Championship (KPDC), the first-time visit to Mexico became their time to shine.

Not only did the Pakistani team win the final against the team from South Korea, but all three participants were listed in the top 10 speakers of tournament. The titled was achieved after winning through 6 preliminary rounds, 3 elimination rounds and the grand final.

Karachi Grammar School student Zainab Hameed was named the top speaker of the competition while Azeem Liaquat, student of the Salamat International Campus for Advanced Studies in Lahore, came second. Their compatriot, Ahmed Shujaan from the Aitchison College, was not far behind either and bagged the fifth position among more than 200 participants.

Teams from 45 countries came together to debate on a mix of prepared and impromptu motions. The event was a part of the 18th edition of the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) Youth Forum held in Mexico from July 2 to 15.

This topic for the KPDC finals was “Guantanamo Bay prison should be closed down immediately”. Team Pakistan was defending the motion while team Korea had the burden to prove that the motion should not be adopted.

The teams participated in two competitions –the KPDC and the mixed team track. In the former, they represented Pakistan as a team while in the former, they were split up and paired with debaters from other countries.

First time for everything

“It was the first time that Pakistan participated but it was also the first time that any team won with all nine votes of the judges in its favour,” said team Pakistan’s coach, Daniyal Asad, also the general secretary of the Debating Society of Pakistan. Asad also won the best coach cum adjudicator award.
A two-day selection camp, comprising the top 20 speakers at the “Under-17 Pakistan National Debating Championship”, was arranged by the Debating Society of Pakistan in Lahore. The participants were primarily the O’ level or matriculation students out of which Zainab, Ahmed and Azeem were selected.

Asad told The Express Tribune that the society has been running the debating circuit across the country successfully for the past 20 years without help from the government. “Some form of patronage from the government would have helped in grooming the talent.” The expenses of trip were paid by the US-based Open Society Foundations.

Team effort

After being selected for the competition, a five-day training camp was organised by the debating society in Lahore, following which they continued to research and collaborate for about two weeks through online mediums because Zainab was in Karachi while the other two participants were based in Lahore. “We had a lot of team chemistry right off the bat and that was probably the main reason that we were successful,” said Zainab. She gave credit to the coach and other trainers for strenuously helping them all the way through.

“We didn’t actually have a lot of knowledge about topics like civil liberties and terrorism,” said Zainab while talking about the competition’s theme. “We didn’t even know that the Guantanamo Bay is actually a legal black hole but we had to defend the motion in the finals.” Zainab recaps that the moment their victory was announced, everybody except for the three stunned team members were cheering them on while chanting “Pakistan… Pakistan”.

“It was not only a competition but also a great learning experience during which we got to prove our talent,” said Ahmed.

He recalled one of the most memorable moments for the team when the three performed “bhangra” in traditional Pakistani outfits at the talent night.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/416178/team-pakistan-sweeps-debating-competition-in-mexico/

Team Pakistan sweeps debating competition in Mexico

Team Pakistan sweeps debating competition in Mexico

SZABIST student’s documentary to be showcased at Cannes International Film Festival

KARACHI: Serajus Salikin, a 22-year-old student of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist), is all set for his debut on the silver screen, as his documentary will be screened at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival.

The 67th Cannes festival will open on 14th May. Salikin’s documentary, Masters of the Sky, has been selected for the Short Film Corner and focuses on the traditional art of pigeon fighting.

The documentary was produced by the media sciences student as a final project for a course entitled Documentary Vision, according to Shehram Mokhtar, head of the institution’s media sciences department.

After winning awards at national film festivals organised by Lahore University of Management Sciences, Aga Khan University and Szabist itself, Salikin opted to try his luck at Cannes. “I cannot explain my excitement,” he told The Express Tribune. “I was not expecting the film to be accepted!” Salikin says he also hopes that the screening will enable him to meet investors interested in producing a feature film from the short documentary.

Salikin’s nine-minute documentary follows Mehmood Ashraf, a veteran ‘kabootarbaz’ [pigeon fighter] of Jamshed Road, a close-knit neighbourhood of Karachi, where pigeon fighters practice their art on rooftops and in the narrow winding streets of the pigeon market.

Salikin followed Ashraf, who has been practicing the sport for 60 years, as he passes his art to a young apprentice, Huzaifa.

“I have tried to capture the passion that drives a small group of people to train hundreds of pigeons in order to claim their worth as ‘masters’,” Salikin said. “This sport is being passed down from one generation to the next through word-of-mouth and constant practice.”

The official selection for the festival will be announced by festival director Thierry Frémaux today.


Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2014.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/696709/taking-flight-szabist-students-documentary-to-be-showcased-at-cannes/

pakistani-pigeons

TechHub Manchester’s Co-Founder Shaun Gibson Coming to Pakistan!

Shaun Gibson is a co-founder of Tech Britain, a resource that aims to promote all of the United Kingdoms tech clusters and foster greater links between them. He is also a technology advisor to the Cabinet Office and an advisor to the University of Manchester innovation centre. His aim is to see Manchester be a top 5 European startup cluster.

TechHub (www.techhub.com) creates spaces around the world for tech entrepreneurs to meet, work, learn and collaborate, and runs a load of great events, advice sessions and more.

TechHub provide physical and virtual spaces that enable technology startups to work smarter, develop faster and increase their chance of success. How? Through their one-vision global community. Every TechHub Member is working on a tech product.

Shaun Gibson and Doug Ward are co-founders of TechHub Manchester, UK. The two dynamic, passionate individuals are on a mission to not only connect Pakistan with Manchester’s burgeoning tech community but also to the rest of the world. In addition to helping position Manchester as a top 5 European tech cluster they co-manage Tech Britain (www.techbritain.com/), a resource that promotes the United Kingdom’s tech clusters and strives to foster greater links between them, a model they may replicate in Pakistan.

Shaun and Doug also act as Tech Cluster advisors to the United Kingdom government, specifically Number 10 Downing Street, where they meet with other heads of technology from around the UK on a quarterly basis!

The good news for Pakistan is that Shaun Gibson is coming to Pakistan. Shaun’s mission on this initial trip is to observe and engage with the startup scene, and secondly, to connect with the BEST developers in Pakistan. Shaun will be in Pakistan from the 29th April – 3rd May, 2013. If you would like to meet with Shaun during his stay, please email: usama@cloud9startups.com.

London Olympics ball proudly “Made in Pakistan”


SIALKOT: The official match ball of the London Olympic Games 2012 is ‘Made in Pakistan’.

The ball, “Albert”, is made by Adidas and is available for public purchase on the official London 2012 Olympics online store. Clicking the the ‘Details’ tab on the page unveils the ‘country of manufacture’ which is listed as Pakistan.

Tom Cleverley, the Manchester United player who unveiled the ball at City of Coventry Stadium speaks about Albert,

”The Albert certainly has a unique name and striking identity. It is like no other ball I’ve seen before and it is going to really stand out on the pitch. The ball looks youthful and that is what London 2012 is meant to be about.”

The Adidas Albert sports a sequence of triangular panels, thermally bonded together for a highly reliable trajectory in flight. A woven carcass and a novel bladder beneath the outer surface of the ball, give Albert increased air retention and minimal water uptake. To enhance the ball control, each panel is covered with a grip texture, supporting boot to ball contact. The extra striking colours on the ball are in line with the London 2012 Olympics colour palette.

Source: http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/12756/olympic-footballs-proudly-made-in-sialkot/

The Albert made in Sialkot

Image Credit: FootballFashion.org

Statue of Jinnah unveiled at York University

TORONTO, Canada: There’s a new face on campus, standing on the north side of the Curtis Lecture Hall on Campus Walk at York’s Keele campus – and he could be a world first for York. A sculpture of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan and the country’s first governor general, was unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 30, to commemorate the creation of a scholarship that bears his name.

The Jinnah, Founder of Pakistan Scholarship at York University was established in 2004 (see YFile  July 12, 2004) by the Consulate General and York’s Pakistan Student Association, with an initial gift of $25,000 that now stands at $50,000. The scholarship is awarded annually to one continuing undergraduate student at York who has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and leadership.

After conducting a survey among other student associations around the globe, Babar Qureshi, president of the Pakistan Student Association at York, believes it is the first monument to a Pakistani leader at a university campus anywhere in the world.

http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=7839

Mike Colle, Ontario minister of citizenship & immigration shaking hands with Ghalib Iqbal, consul general of Pakistan at the unveiling of the Jinnah statue

Pakistani honoured with UN Global Educator Award

KARACHI:  The 7th Annual United Nations Conference on Teaching Peace and Human Rights  concluded on Friday with renowned educationalist Parveen Kassim, Chairperson International Schools Educational Olympiad and Principal Karachi High School, winning the Global Educators’ award from Pakistan.

Gathering teachers, administrators, future leaders and non-governmental organizations on a single platform to acknowledge leadership in education from across the world, the two day conference run by global education motivators, teachers and educators served to highlight the role of educationalists from Karachi, Pakistan; Chennai, India; Burnaby, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Manila, Philippines and the US, whilst highlighting inspiring initiatives world-wide towards promoting and teaching peace within the classrooms.

Nominated for her notable contribution over the last two decades towards bridging distances, and gathering students from Pakistan and across the world including youth from India, UK and Australia on a single platform to boost shared learning, competition and healthy interaction through the yearly educational meet hosted by Karachi High School, every year, the global educator’s award is a tribute to  Parveen Kassim’s commitment to promote innovation in education in Pakistan by extending learning across borders and beyond the realms of the classroom.

Further acknowledged for Karachi High School’s active partnership with the British Council’s Connecting Classroom initiative aimed at forging lasting partnerships amongst schools in the UK with others around the world, Parveen Kassim won laurels for Pakistan at the conference for breaking geographical barriers by promoting peace and instilling a sense of camaraderie, trust and understanding between young people from all across the world.

Related Links:

7th Annual United Nations Conference on Teaching Peace and Human Rights
Global Education Motivators (GEM)
http://www.gem-ngo.org/UN_Teachers__Conference.html

Parveen Kassim, Chairperson
International Schools Educational Olympiad (ISEO)
http://iseo.org.pk/about/the-iseo-chairperson/

Pakistani Educationalist and winner of Global Educator Award, Parveen Kassim, with students at the GEM Video Conference

*TGN Special* England whitewashed by high-flying Pakistan

Image Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

Written exclusively for Goodnews.pk by entrepreneur and blogger, Safwan Umair.  

Dubai, UAE: In the midst of a myriad of depressing news, something truly amazing has happened. Misbah’s Men became the first Pakistani side ever to inflict a test match whitewash on the colonial masters and inventors of the game. And in winning the third and final test match in Dubai, Team Green became the first side since 1907 to win a test match after being bowled out for less than 100 runs in the first innings!

Remarkably, the last time these two sides met was in the controversy riddled English summer of 2010. Not only did Pakistan get routed 3-1 in the test match series, three of its frontline cricketing careers including a fantastic fast bowling duo were lost to the pangs of spot fixing. Preceding these terrible events was the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. How Pakistan cricket has staged a grand recovery from such deep piles of rubble is a topic alone worthy of a doctoral thesis!

Coming into the England series, Pakistan had enjoyed a very fruitful 2011. Under the tutelage of an oft dour yet a reassuringly calm Misbah ul Haq, impressive victory percentages were recorded in both the test match and ODI cricket arenas. Yet the litmus test of the progress made was always going to come against a top ranked test side.

Many critics had been questioning Pakistan’s ultra-defensive approach to test match cricket and the lack of aggressive on the field decision making. Yet by thrashing England, Misbah and his team have conjured up a befitting response. Some of the chief architects behind this stirring performance were the usual suspects themselves; Younis and Azhar shone with the bat, and Ajmal and Abdur Rehman weaved magic with the ball. Add useful contributions from Hafeez, Misbah, Shafeeq and Gul to the mix and a brewing recipe for success was duly completed.

The camaraderie amongst the team has been unbelievable too; previously Pakistani teams were famous for inciting controversy, breaching discipline codes, infighting and perpetually hinging on the verge of an implosion. This current bunch of boys seems to greatly enjoy each other’s success and their collective object is Pakistan’s victory. As a result international stature and rankings have vastly improved and most of the lost pride has been salvaged.

Now before we embark upon the limited overs leg of this bilateral series, let’s pause for a while and congratulate our team for surmounting all odds and delivering a great knockout punch.

Very Well done Team Pakistan!

Image Credit: ESPN Cricinfo


Written exclusively for Goodnews.pk by entrepreneur and blogger, Safwan Umair.  

A novel out of a rickshaw

The recent economic downturn hit Pakistanis as hard as it did people in the west, forcing many to sell off their businesses and start afresh.

Having lost the bookshop he owned for 30 years, Shiraz Ahmad decided to get on his bike. He now rides a rickshaw loaded with books and earns a living selling to bookworms.

Karen Zarindast reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16749616

When bookworms stopped coming to Shiraz Ahmad, he started going to them

TCF student gets admission into Karachi’s leading medical university

Karachi: Sidra Saleem, student of The Citizens Foundation School- Shirin Sultan Dossa Campus IV secured an admission in Dow University of Health and Sciences (DUHS). Sidra is the first TCF student who made it to Dow University which is one of the leading universities in the field of medicine in Pakistan.

This is a great achievement as admission to Dow University on open-merit is very competitive. The token of thanks that she wrote to TCF has been shared below:

Dear Ma’am,

I am extremely pleased in informing you that al-hamdulilah, I have been offered admission in the Dow University of Health and Sciences (DUHS) on open-merit. It has been a long journey, when I was admitted to TCF Primary school in class-KG, back in 1998. Since then, I had continuous successes through continuous hard work. I always took 1st Position in my class and through that confidence and from my teachers’ guidance; I secured 88.70% marks in my matriculation examination in 2009 and received Silver Medal from TCF…

… Hailing from a Katchi abadi, it could not be possible without TCF’s help and support. I am highly obliged on your help, cooperation and consideration.

Regards,
Sidra Saleem
TCF Alumnus

– A GNO (Good News Original) Report – Received through email on Nov. 27th

As of 2011, TCF operates 730 purpose-built school units nationwide with an enrollment of 102,000 students