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European project launched at the University of Baltistan jointly with IBA Sukkur aims to bring quality education in GB Academic Collaboration between University of Baltistan and IBA: Vice Chancellor of IBA University Sukkur Strengthens Ties with University of Baltistan, Skardu and Online Education Center under Erasmus Project- RPID. Skardu, August 9, 2023 – A historic moment in academia transpired on August 8, 2023, as Prof. Dr. Asif Ahmed Shaikh, the esteemed Vice Chancellor of Sukkur IBA University, embarked on a momentous visit to the University of Baltistan, Skardu. This significant event marked an important stride in fostering academic partnership and sharing of best practices within the realm of higher education. The visit commenced with a highly productive meeting between Prof. Dr. Asif Ahmed Shaikh and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Baltistan, Skardu, Professor Emeritus Dr. Muhammad Naeem Khan, along with the Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences, Registrar UOBS, Controller Exams, Treasurer, Director External Linkages and administrative officers of the university. Both Vice Chancellors pledged their dedication to cultivating an enduring academic relationship, aimed at facilitating a dynamic exchange of knowledge and innovative ideas. A notable milestone during this visit was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two distinguished institutions. Vice Chancellor UoBS, Prof. Emeritus Dr. Naeem Khan welcomed the distinguished guests and appreciated jointly launched project under the EU sponsored for developing educational skills for the local community of Baltistan. In this connection, project Board meeting Lead by Professor Dr. Abdul Matin and Dr. Ishtiaq Hussain Mondoq was conducted to discuss modalities and all deliverables of the Erasmus+ CBHE project and Board Meeting with all key stakeholders including the HEC. The RAPID project, supported by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ CBHE program, aims to capacity building of online education for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Pakistan. In continuation to this, the UoBS university is now part of Erasmus funded project with many organization including IBA Sukkur, IBA Karachi, University of Baluchistan, LUMS Lahore and HEC Islamabad. Subsequently, in the afternoon, Prof. Dr. Asif Ahmed Shaikh delivered an enlightening address to the attendees of the LUMS-UoBS Summer School 2023. The session held at the Hotel Mashabrum, Skardu. During the interaction, Prof. Shaikh passionately shared his insights on leadership, innovation, and the transformative potential of education. His words resonated deeply with the receptive young minds present, leaving an enduring impression. A standout feature of the visit was the comprehensive tour of the under-construction Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) project site at the University of Baltistan's Sarfaranga Campus. Prof. Khan briefed the delegation about the progress during the visit to the venue. Prof. Shaikh Prof. Dr. Shaikh appreciated the efforts of the Vice Chancellor UoBS, and his team in the development of the university. Prof. Shaikh said that the UoBS will become a beacon of modern education and a center of excellence in the region. He further said the commitment to ensure successful conceptualization and implementation of the Sarfaranga Campus project underscored the commitment of the UoBS leadership towards providing world-class learning environment to the communities. The visit concluded to extend further partnership between UoBS and partner organizations through external linkages for the promising future ahead. The partnership between Sukkur IBA University and the University of Baltistan holds the potential to redefine the educational landscape of the region and beyond.

TODAY'S PAPER | AUGUST 02, 2023 Automated Weather Stations installed near K2 Base Camp Scientists from the University of Baltistan Skardu, KIU, Gilgit and the University of Milan, Italy jointly install Automated Weather Stations near K2 Base Camp, on August 2, 2023. GILGIT: Automated Weather Stations (AWS) have been installed in Askoli, Urdukas, and Concordia near the K2 base camp in the Shigar district of Gilgit-Baltistan. These installations aim to support environmental conservation, promote eco-tourism, improve livelihoods, and enhance the management of protected areas. Moreover, they seek to facilitate scientific research on glaciers and hydrology in the mountainous regions, with a specific focus on the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and Himalayan Mountain Ranges. According to a statement issued by the GB information department, the AWS installation on glaciers offers numerous benefits such as enhanced glacial research as it will contribute to comprehensive glacial research, enabling scientists and researchers to study the effects of climate change on glacial retreat, mass balance, and melt rates. It can further be used for early warning systems for glacial hazards, safeguarding vulnerable communities downstream from potential disasters. Moreover, the collected AWS data will be made accessible to researchers and policymakers through the Gilgit-Baltistan Enviro­nmental Protection Agency which will serve as a custodian of AWSs and the data collected. Glacial meltwater contributes significantly to downstream rivers and lakes. AWS data aids in understanding water resource availability and planning for sustainable water management. This initiative is part of the project “Glaciers and Students,” implemented by EvK2CNR, executed by the United Nations Development Progra­mme, and funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. In 2022, AWS was installed on Passu, Ghulkin, and Shisper Glaciers as part of the ‘Glacier and Students Project’. The collaboration between EvK2CNR, GB Environmental Protec­tion Agency, Karakoram International University, University of Baltistan, and the University of Milan successfully deployed AWSs in Askoli, Urdukas, and Concordia, near the K2 base camp in the Shigar district, contributing to climate research and efforts to address climate change challenges. The AWS will continuously monitor meteorological data in real time, providing valuable insights into weather conditions and their impact on glacial dynamics. The inclusion of academia and the GB Environmental Protection Agency in the project and their role as a custodian of AWSs and the data will make the project a success and sustainable. Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2023