National scene: Remote sensing satellite system in the offing
Islamabad will soon launch a remote sensing satellite system (RSSS). The project will cost Rs19.3 billion and will ensure an unrestricted supply of satellite remote sensing data for any part of the globe.
According to sources, the project will be executed by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) over a period of six years. President Pervez Musharraf has already approved the project.
The project is expected to require a recurring expenditure of Rs150 million a year. Sources said the president had directed Suparco to develop the capability to make and launch different types of satellites, especially those meant for communications, remote sensing and weather forecasting.
Upon completion, the project will provide high-resolution satellite images, which may be used to enhance national security. The images will also enable universities and non-profit organizations to carry out research. — Sci-tech World Report
Pacts with Indian companies
Seven Pakistani companies signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth $102 million with two steel companies based in Chhattisgarh, India, earlier this week.
Six of the companies signed MoUs with B.K. Engineering, while the seventh inked an agreement with Raipur Alloys Limited for importing Ferro-manganese. The MoUs were signed at the residence of Chhatisgarh’s chief minister, who was among those present on the occasion.
Under the agreements, Pakistan would be setting up some steel plants based on Indian technology. An institute may also be established in collaboration with Indian experts. — PPI
A delegation from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research was in Pakistan recently to review some projects with Pakistani officials and entrepreneurs.
The projects discussed included the Pak-Australian joint research and development project on fruits and vegetables, for which a memorandum of understanding has already been signed. During their visit the members of the delegation met chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc), Dr Badaruddin Soomro, besides others.
During the meeting Dr Soomro said there should be a permanent arrangement so that the experiences of agricultural scientists from the two countries could be shared for mutual benefit. The Australian delegation expressed similar views.
They also underlined the importance of regular exchanges of experts and scientists, besides holding workshops, seminars and training sessions. — APP
Child prodigy honoured
Arfa Karim Randhawa, the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world, was honoured at a function held in Dubai last week. At the event organized by the Pakistan Information Technology Professionals Forum, Arfa was given a number of gifts, including a wireless laptop.
She was also awarded a scholarship. Arfa passed her MCP examinations on Nov 9 when she was only nine. Last month she went to the US where she met Bill Gates, the owner of Microsoft Corporation.
She recently received the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal for Science and Technology as well as the Salam Pakistan Youth Award. She also met President Pervez Musharraf on his invitation. — PPI