June 2014

Poor performance of transport sector costing Pakistan 5% of GDP

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*Railway enduring worst crisis mainly due to locomotive shortages

The World Bank estimates that poor performance of the transport sector is costing Pakistan about five percent of its GDP. Furthermore thirty percent of agriculture output is currently wasted due to its inefficient farm to market channels, lack of cold storage facilities and an obsolete underpowered trucking fleet, says Pakistan Economic Survey 2013-14. According to the survey, Pakistan Railway is enduring the worst crisis mainly due to locomotive shortages. Passenger and freight services substantially declined during last five years. This is evident from above table that gross earning of Pakistan Railway has declined during last five years. Due to over aged infrastructure and rolling stock, increase in Read More »Poor performance of transport sector costing Pakistan 5% of GDP

Google Android software spreading to cars, watches, TV

technology-googleSAN FRANCISCO: Google set out Wednesday to expand its Android empire beyond smart phones to cars, watches and televisions.

 

The technology titan laid out a sweeping Android vision at the opening of a sold-out developers conference in a keynote presentation streamed online to millions of people across the world.

 

“We are beginning to evolve our platforms beyond mobile,” Android and Chrome teams chief Sundar Pichai said of how Google´s twin operating systems are being adapted to work with one another and with new types of computing hardware.

 

Google´s goal, according to Pichai, is to have its software serve be a foundation for applications, services or digital content delivered seamlessly across the increasingly diverse array of Internet-linked screens in people´s lives.Read More »Google Android software spreading to cars, watches, TV

KARZAI—DESPERATE BREATHING

ALI SUKHANVER

ALI SUKHANVER“Go back—Go back—It is the time to go back”, the hard and stony mountains of Afghanistan are yelling at Mr. Karzai but he is not willing to listen to them; he never imagines himself going out of the political realm, he has been ruling over for the last thirteen years. He whispers to himself, “I am Hamid Karzai; only death can throw me out of my realm.” It is something very hard on his part that constitutional bindings did not let him contest the presidential elections for the third time but even then he is stubbornly striving to cling to the power and authority. Karzai doesn’t know how important is the peace and prosperity in Afghanistan particularly when the western forces say good-bye to the Afghan lands; all he knows is that he must remain a part of this power-seeking game. So he is always found involved in designing new schemes and new plans to satisfy his insane desire of remaining a player of the power-seeking game in Afghanistan.Read More »KARZAI—DESPERATE BREATHING

Three UK varsities, 57 colleges banned from sponsoring international students

Three universities and 57 private colleges have been told they cannot sponsor any new international students in a major crackdown on suspect English language qualifications.

In a statement to the House of Commons on June 24, immigration minister James Brokenshire said he was taking the action in the light of “detailed and wide-ranging investigation into actions by organized criminals to falsify English language tests for student visa applicants”.

It follows a BBC Panorama exposed in February, which revealed systematic cheating in tests from an organization called the Educational Testing Service (ETS). More than 29,000 invalid results and 19,000 questionable results had been identified so far, though “it is likely that the true totals will be higher,” said Brokenshire, who condemned the organized criminality behind the fraud.Read More »Three UK varsities, 57 colleges banned from sponsoring international students

Rich growing richer at the cost of poor

Pakistan’s economy has not done badly in the last two decades and per capita income in the country rose from $612 in 2003 to $1,295 in 2013 despite deteriorated internal security and frequent natural disasters, according to the International Monetary Fund. But participants in a discussion on inequality, arranged by SDPI and Oxfam here on Wednesday, learnt that the doubling of national income benefited the poor of the country the least.

“In urban areas, the top 20 per cent of the population take 61 per cent of the monthly income in comparison to 3.45 per cent of the bottom 20 per cent,” informed Babar Jamal of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.Read More »Rich growing richer at the cost of poor

Highlights of Punjab Budget 2014-15

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Broadening  the tax net instead of burdening the existing taxpayers and setting up of coal and solar power plants from own resources are the highlight of Punjab government’s over Rs1 trillion budget for the next fiscal year

Following in the footsteps of the federal government, the provincial administration would also propose a 10 per cent increase in the salaries and pensions of its serving and retired employees.Read More »Highlights of Punjab Budget 2014-15

The immediate agenda to get Pakistan out of this mess

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This may sound a bit drastic to many interested parties and vested interests and some may say I have gone out of my mind, but the fact is that Pakistan and its critical institutions have collapsed and it is now time for a major, immediate, almost earthshaking, political and administrative renovation effort, to get back control before everything spins out of hand.Read More »The immediate agenda to get Pakistan out of this mess