Iran bans foreign social media
Today Ministry of education Iran bans the foreign social media networks in schools, amid a push by Tehran to limit the influence of outside online platforms.
Schools must “only use domestic social networks” for their communication, the ministry said in a statement, according to the reformist-linked news agency.
Telegram is the most popular social network in Iran. In 2017, the app claimed it had 40-million monthly users in the Islamic Republic. Instagram is also very popular, and companies in Iran – like elsewhere – often use both platforms to communicate directly with customers.
Less used, Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Iran, but easily accessible using a virtual private network (VPN).
During a wave of protests that hit dozens of Iranian cities over at the start of the year, temporarily foreign social media bans in Iran such as Telegram, accusing the app of allowing foreign-based “counter-revolutionary” groups to fuel unrest.
Since then, authorities have sought to develop Iranian social media networks and limit the reliance on foreign-based platforms, which Tehran accuses of hosting sites deemed hostile to the Islamic Republic.
Several Iranian platforms offering services similar to Telegram have emerged in recent months, like the Soroush network, which already claims to have five million subscribers.
US Govt. assistance in Pk. focuses on education!
KARACHI: U.S. Consul General JoAnne Wagner interacted with youth at a forum organized by the Karachi Rotaract Club and highlighted the role that youth can play for the welfare of society by promoting peace and harmony.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Screen also accompanied the Consul General on this visit. Dr. Anum Akram, Rotaract Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan provided an overview of Rotaract while Hassan Naviwala, Member Rotaract, outlined Rotaract’s programs and the Club’s role in the community.
With one of the highest youth populations in the world, Pakistan has a unique opportunity for social, political and economic progress. However, the challenge of keeping youth productively engaged is also enormous. Therefore the U.S. government is supporting the Government of Pakistan as well as private youth fora across the country and holds interactive sessions between youth and policy-makers, and provides grants to organizations that seek to promote social tolerance and community cohesion among young people.
“I’m pleased to see youth, like those gathered in this room tonight, taking steps and creating organizations and public spaces which are an essential platform for development,” said Consul General Wagner. “Many U.S. government assistance activities in Pakistan focus on education, training, employment opportunities, and more inclusive communities for youth.”
Consul General Wagner also highlighted some USAID programs supporting youth such as the Centers for Advanced Studies in various disciplines which send students and faculty on exchange programs to partnering U.S. universities. She also spoke of the support for building 118 schools and improving education in Sindh to allow millions of children to have a brighter future, as well as focused job-readiness training to youth and helping them find jobs or become entrepreneurs. Within Karachi, USAID has partnered with UNDP and Aman Foundation to provide job skills training to 21,500 young people. About 65% of those trained so far have found employment.
AIOU’s bodies welcome Dr. Nasir as Acting VC!
ISLAMABAD: Representative bodies of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Monday welcomed the government’s decision to appoint a senior most Dean Dr. Nasir Mahmood as the University’s acting Vice-chancellor.
The office-bearers of Academic Staff Association (ASA), Officers Welfare Association (OWA) and the Employees Welfare Association (EWA) met the Acting VC here in his office, assuring him their support and cooperation in running the affairs of the University in the transition period, a press release issued here said.
Presidents of their respective bodies Dr. Fazalur Rehman, Mazhar Saeedi and Sajid Mehmood Janjua said it was a positive and timely decision of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training to authorize Dr. Nasir Mahmood to look after the affairs of the University till the appointment of a regular Vice Chancellor.
This, they added, will ensure smooth working of the University for taking day-to-day decisions and maintain a conducive working environment.
The Associations’ representatives thanked the Ministry for appointing a highly qualified person on the position. It was noted that Dr. Nasir Mahmood has done his Postdoc from University of Leeds, UK and Melbourne University, Australia, besides winning the HEC’s best researchers’ award.
He had also the distinction of successfully completing the HEC-funded research-based projects. The University’s Registrar Dr. Muhammad Zaigham Qadeer was also present during the meeting.
Chinese Group offers to establish vocational university in Pakistan
BEIJING: China’s St. Fulin Group has offered to set up a vocational university in Pakistan to meet the ever-increasing demand of the skilled labor for the projects being completed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.
“At present, we are discussing the details with the concerned officials in Pakistan and the embassy of Pakistan in Beijing and hoping for a positive response and cooperation,” Scarlet, CPO of St. Fulin Group said.
“China is the best in the vocational education in the world rather even in some areas it is better than Germany and Japan and we are ready to impart quality training to Pakistani students in their country,” she told the Media in an interview.
While acknowledging that Pakistan has good universities and other educational institutions, she stressed that the country needed more vocational training institutions to fulfill the requirement of the manufacturing sector, adding Pakistan was the country of 200 million people and everyone could not be provided white collar jobs.
Scarlet said that at present China was developing roads and communication infrastructure in Pakistan and there was a high demand for skilled workers for the projects being completed under the CPEC.
She informed that St. Fulin Group established a permanent office in Pakistan was jointly working along with the Chinese education ministry and was affiliated with a number of vocational universities and institutes.
The CPO said in the beginning, a two-member delegation was leaving for Pakistan and later other delegations would also join, adding, “We will have discussions with the concerned Pakistani officials and during the meetings, we will share our experience which China achieved during last 40 years because of its reforms and development strategy.”
The delegation will have meetings with the officials responsible for setting up industrial parks and visit different universities to show what is happening in China and how Pakistan can learn from China to make it an industrial giant.
She said that her group was also willing to cooperate in water purification and bringing the CNG machinery and equipment into the Pakistani market as the technology was vital for the progress and development.
“Our group also intends to donate some training equipment and machinery to Pakistan and is looking forward to a positive response from Pakistani institutions which are interested to receive it,” she added.
She said her company would work as a bridge to further promote cooperation between China and Pakistan in logistic, vocational training, and cultural communication.