Impact of State Bank of Pakistan Regulations on the Real Estate Sector | Graana.com Blog

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Introduction

In countries where construction financing is a separate product, housing finance is not provided for under-construction projects. However, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has developed guidelines to help mortgage providers provide housing finance for under-construction projects. The procedures mentioned by the SBP are extremely detailed and require many bureaucratic documents. This can have a negative impact on the adoption of the process as it will be costly and time-consuming. It can also be argued that some of the functions defined by the SBP fall in the ambit of a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). However, the guidelines also ensure that developers have all the necessary documentation and approvals before selling to anyone, thereby increasing transparency in the sector. Continue reading to understand the impacts of SBP regulations on the real estate sector of Pakistan.

 

State Bank of Pakistan as Regulator of Real Estate

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) plays a vital role in ensuring the financial sector’s stability. As a central bank, it has been entrusted with the responsibility to regulate Pakistan’s monetary and credit system under the State Bank of Pakistan Act 1956. As no aspect of any industry can act independently of the financial system, the real estate sector of Pakistan is also susceptible to policy shifts from financial institutions. Commercial banks have always remained reluctant to provide loans and mortgages based on allotment letters only. However, under the new SBP scheme, housing finance providers will give assurances to the purchaser that once the building has been developed according to the approved layout plan, the funds will be given to purchasing the unit, thereby allowing for financing of under-construction buildings, apartments, and homes. This will also limit the risk for financial institutions, as in the case where the developer does not complete the installation, the funds will not be discharged. The SBP has also laid out clear and extensive guidelines on multiple aspects of the process, such as checking necessary ownership documents and approvals by regulatory authorities. However, it has also stipulated that a No Objection Certificate (NOC) be obtained for every unit sold under the financed project. This is a peculiar detail that might cause many bureaucratic delays in the completion of the project.

Banks will also have to devise a selection criterion for project assessment and eligibility criteria for those developers who can apply to the program. The builder criteria may include the builder’s/developer’s financial soundness, track record, compliance background with legal and urban planning issues, and milestone completion on previous projects.  These builder’s/developer’s can be private or government entities. Furthermore, the banks will ensure a physical and legal inspection of all relevant documents such as title documents, NOCs, and approved site and layout plans. The selection criteria may also include access to schools, hospitals, transport, utilities, and marketability of the housing units. Once all verification has been done, the banks will sign a Master Financing Agreement (MFA) with the builder/developer. This agreement will include the construction plan, milestones, project completion time, and loan disbursement and repayment plan. The SBP has also stipulated that the mortgage provider for units under the project must be the same as the construction lender.

 

Possible Impacts of SBP Guidelines

The function of the central bank in any country is to strike the right balance between market structure and regulatory frameworks to ensure the functional efficiency of the economy. Over-regulation can suppress financial innovation, while an imperfect market structure can reduce the efficiency of the system and affect consumer interests. Regulations are introduced to change the behaviour of regulated institutions because unregulated market behaviour can lead to suboptimal outcomes.  A majority of commercial banks in Pakistan usually invest in government-backed securities as they offer high returns and large capital buffers. However, some of the conditions set by the SBP for approval of housing finance in under-construction projects indicate a foundation lack of confidence in commercial banks. It says that banks do not have the capacity and capability to assess the credit risk of construction projects. In contrast, a majority of these commercial banks have risk departments stacked with well-qualified risk professionals. Suppose the SBP pursues micro-management of housing loans on such a level. In that case, it is feared that commercial banks will prefer to invest in government-backed securities instead of economy-driving and consumer-serving products.

Furthermore, the builder and legal counsels should agree upon any agreeable structure for the security of purchase. In the case of defaulters, the builder usually has access to deposits made earlier and can use them to sell the unit at a discounted price later. Therefore, as long as the bank has completed due diligence, other approvals from authorities like NOCs should not be required for the sale of units. Moreover, dealing with delinquent purchases also falls under a real estate regulatory authority (RERA). Overall, the guidelines can bring a positive change in the real estate sector and increase the number of housing finance in Pakistan; however, the establishment of RERA in each province is vital for consumer welfare and bringing transparency to the real estate sector.

 

Conclusion

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has initiated a new scheme that allows commercial banks to give housing finance for under-construction projects. However, the central bank has imposed several guidelines and processes for the approval of projects and developers. Tight guidelines and strict conditions can lead to a show of mistrust of commercial banks in their capacity for risk assessment. Furthermore, requirements like obtaining NOCs for each unit in a high rise are bound to increase bureaucratic delays in projects. Therefore, establishing a real estate regulatory authority is necessary for the real estate sector to release financial institutions from the burden of carrying out tasks of a real estate regulatory body.

 




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CDA announces uplift of Arts and Crafts village

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ISLAMABAD: After visiting, The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has announced to uplift the Arts and Craft village.

Under this initiative, the artisan’s pavilion will be divided between all the provincial governments, where the respective art of each province will be showcased.

Apart from this, the authority will also rehabilitate the existing food court, which will be rented out through a transparent process.

The recreational venue will be declared a Car-Free Zone after setting up a designated car parking.

 

For news and blogs, visit Graana.com.




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China Port, Karachi: Location, Features & More!

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There is a never-ending list of places in Karachi that you can visit for leisure, relaxation, and recreation. The city is widely famous for its coastal belt among tourists. From Sea View Beach to Port Grand and Manora Island, the largest city of Pakistan hosts a number of outing spots from where you can enjoy the mesmerising views of the Arabian Sea coastline.

Named after the country’s friendly neighbour—’China Port’ is yet another remarkable addition to the list of coastal attractions in the city. So, what can you expect from your visit to China Port in Karachi and where is it located? To answer all your questions related to this fascinating place, we have put together this blog, so make sure to read it till the end.

Why Is it Called ‘China Port’?

China port is a breakwater
China Port is a man-made breakwater to protect the port area from lethal sea waves (Credits: Facebook / Sabieh Ahmed)

China Port is not actually a port, instead, it is a breakwater to protect the port of Karachi from the lethal forces of ocean waves. The artificial breakwater was built by ‘China’ for the protection of the ‘port’ of the city, so these are the two key factors that have inspired the name of this place. Its unique location has made it a part of Oyster Rocks—Karachi’s very famous series of small islands, located near the coast.

Why Was China Port Banned for Tourists in 2018?

In mid-2018, pictures and videos of China Port started to make rounds on social media all of a sudden. After being discovered by Karachittes, the place was thronged by massive crowds of sightseers almost every day. However, as discussed above, China Port wasn’t primarily designed as a tourist attraction, so there weren’t any adequate arrangements to handle the trash of such large mobs. As a result of which, in only a few months, the beauty of this man-made breakwater was ruined as piles of trash littered the entire place. And, this could be one of the biggest reasons behind the closure of this recreation spot, which remained inaccessible by the general public for around three years up until now. 

Prominent Features of China Port

features of china port
The main attraction of China Port is the ‘tetrapod rocks’ (Credits: Facebook / China Port)

Now, that the place has been reopened, you can finally explore it. The main attraction of China Port is the ‘tetrapod rocks’, which have been laid across the entire length of the breakwater. The place also lets you enjoy a closer view of amazing natural islands and small rocky formations rising from the sea with a backdrop of tall cranes working at the South Asia Pakistan Terminal (SAPT) and container ships entering and leaving the port.

Location of China Port in Karachi

The route of Sea View Road, which converts into Marine Promenade once you cross Bin Qasim Park in Clifton, will take you straight to China Port. If you are coming from Sea View Beach, after crossing Noor Ali Ground and Summit Tower, you’ll need to take a left turn and follow the trail of a narrow road, which makes China Port directly accessible for vehicular traffic.

Other Key Attractions Near China Port

Upon your trip to China Port in the area of Clifton, you can also visit plenty of other popular attractions nearby, some of which have been listed as discussed as under:

Bin Qasim Park

Bin Qasim Park in Karachi
Located in Clifton, Bagh Ibne-Qasim is the largest park in Karachi

Counted among the best urban open spaces in Karachi for family outings, Bin Qasim Park is one of the largest parks in the city. It is also located on the main Sea View Road in the area of Clifton Block 4, just a few minutes’ drive away from China Port. 

The place offers you greener in the form of well-maintained gardens and ample seating arrangement with shaded spots as well as picturesque views of the Arabian Sea. Some of the other noteworthy features of Bin Qasim Park include a turtle pond, rose garden, and dinosaur murals that kids usually find very intriguing.

Dolmen Mall

Centred around a large atrium and home to world-class facilities, Dolmen Mall is another very prominent shopping and recreation spot near China Port. It is considered one of the best malls in Karachi. Its food court has outlets of many different local and international food chains.

The large-scale mall offers an ideal arrangement for an international supermarket chain like Carrefour. Their outlet has occupied a large portion of the ground floor of the mall. So, if you have saved some time from your trip to China Port, you can spend the rest of your day while buying groceries at Carrefour, which is also one of the best supermarkets in Karachi.

Sea View Beach

things to do at Sea View beach in Karachi
There are a host of fun activities available for people visiting Sea View Beach

Finishing your trip with a quick visit to Sea View Beach is how you can make the most of your experience. It is probably the most famous and easily accessible seashore in Karachi. You can simply take an evening stroll or sit on a bench by the beach to watch the setting sun, which is a captivating sight in itself.

Places like Mcdonald’s, Clock Tower (the Grand Food Bazaar), and Chunky Monkey are some of the most prominent landmarks established on Sea View Beach to offer visitors a memorable experience filled with fun and excitement. Also, if you are visiting the beach by car, you’ll find ample parking space in the service lane of Sea View Road, which further adds to your convenience so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

This marks the end of our detailed blog on China Port in Karachi. Since the coastal attraction is now publicly accessible, you could plan to visit it during the upcoming weekend with your family and friends. Or if you have already been to this place, please share with us your experience at blog@zameen.com. Your valuable input could help us improve our pieces and we can make them more informative and interesting for our readers.

On a side note, if you want to visit other picnic spots along the coastline in the region, try reading our guides on some famous beaches near Karachi, a few of which have been listed below:

For more interesting travel and tourism guides, keep following Zameen Blog, Pakistan’s best lifestyle and property blog, and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.

*Cover Credits: Facebook / China Port Karachi



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Here’s A Guide On Best Boxing Clubs In Lahore

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Traditionally revered for kabbadi, a contact team sport, Lahore has seen a rapid transformation in sports and athletic development over the years. Here, you’ll see numerous cycling tracks, gymnasiums, cricket pitches, and open grounds that encourage physical exertion among the youth. In this blog, we will look at the best boxing clubs in Lahore, and trace how the traditional sport of kabaddi has come to be modernized.

Best Boxing Clubs In Lahore

If you are looking to channel your energy in a creative way that will energize you, boxing is a technique that experts believe comes in handy. This is especially essential for people working in high-pressure environments who want to feel energized after a long day’s work. Moreover, as most jobs these days create a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to adopt healthier practices that can put one out of this vicious cycle.

If you are someone who is going through these feelings and are looking for some cathartic exercises, check out the best boxing clubs in Lahore.

UFC Gym, Pakistan

UFC Gym is an international chain of holistic fitness that is also now available in Pakistan’s city of Lahore. At UFC Gym, clients have access to internationally certified and trained professionals who can help overcome all obstacles in the journey of fitness and rebuilding.

Apart from boxing, you can also learn:

  • Total Body Barbell
  • Killer Cycle
  • Power Pilates
  • Zumba
  • Kickass Kick
  • Muscle Makeover
  • PiYo
  • Below The Belt
  • Circuit Breaker
  • High Octane Conditioning
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Hot Hula Fitness
  • Jiu Jitsu

UFC Gym is available in multiple cities across Pakistan, like Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta, and Rawalpindi. To cater to a larger number of clients, separate classes are available for both male and female. Moreover, a dedicated youth class has also been designed so the young children can learn all about physical fitness from a young age.

Address:

Gym: Defence Road, Opp, Valancia Gate No. 9, DHA Rahbar, Phase-II, Lahore – Pakistan

Head office: 46-A, Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg – V, Lahore – Pakistan

Phone: +92 42 357 755 82-4

Timings: Always open.

Synergy: Fitness & MMA

Synergy Fitness & MMA is the place for you if you are looking for good fitness training

Synergy is a place that helps prepare its clients for a stronger body. As you go through a training ring, you are exposed to a myriad of workouts that help tone the body and prepare it for the ring. What’s even better is that Synergy offers separate classes for women, men, and children. Moreover, their schedules vary and anyone can pick the time slot of their choice easily.

The following workout regimens are easily available:

  • MMA
  • Boxing
  • Kettlebells & Kickboxing
  • Jui Jitsu

Address: 163 H, Phase 1, DHA, Lahore

Contact: 042 373 92609

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Iron Box

Iron Box is a fitness studio and a Cross Fit 963, that specializes in strength training. If you are looking to gain muscle and push your body beyond your own limits, this is the place for you!

Here, you’ll have everything from learning to box, to Kickboxing and Power Dance, which are the essentials of a fully-toned body. Iron Box has internationally certified trainers who specialize in each category of fitness. With one of the best athletic mentors, anyone can be motivated to learn boxing here!

Address: 186 Y, St 12, DHA, Lahore.

Contact: 0321 4766269.

Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM

Brave Gym

Brave Gym for your everyday gym needs.
Brave Gym offers a number of body training exercises.

Brave Gym is a physical exercise facility that specializes in

  • Boxing
  • MMA
  • Muay Thai
  • Olympic lifting – CrossFit
  • Strength & Conditioning
  • HIIT

This training facility is particularly famous for its HIIT workouts and boxing, and on any given day, you’ll see large groups of people gathered here. For many, this is a fun recreational activity as well, primarily because of its location, inside Packages Mall.

Here, you’ll also find separate classes for women and girls, whereas dedicated programs for children are also in place, in case you want to inculcate fitness and strength training in young children.

Address: Packages Mall, Stadium, Arena & Sports Venue

Contact: 0322 5133336

Timings: 9 AM to 10 PM

The DOJO

Recently, the DOJO has really upped the ante by providing an open-air strength workout space, that’s based on the rooftop of the plaza. Apart from being trained by some of the best trainers in the city, you get to experience the greatness of the city, Lahore.

They offer:

  • Kettlebells & kickboxing
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • 360 degree fitness
  • Self-Defense Classes

This open-air space boasts dedicated classes for women and men. You can even get one-on-one sessions with the trainers, each of whom specializes in a particular fitness category. So, if you are looking for an open space that’s also not too crowded, the DOJO is the place for you. They have a dedicated schedule that keeps changing, so be sure to check out their Instagram page.

Contact: Instagram page, thedojo.pk

Address: 64 B, Gulberg 2 Mega Tower Plaza, Lahore.

Timings: 5 PM to 9 PM

Let us know if you know of any other boxing club in Lahore. If you’ve tried any of the above mentioned, write to us at blog@zameen.com with your reviews. Also, keep checking Pakistan’s largest property blog, Zameen Blog, for all the latest on Pakistan’s property. 



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Breaking the Cycle of Animal Abuse

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Introduction

Animal cruelty is on the rise and constantly becoming a generally accepted norm in Pakistan. The plight of the voiceless victims can only be heard by the select few, those who can reflect on the sacredness of life and feel the suffering of others as their own. Indeed, that is a quality that is fundamental to ending the misery of humans and those who have coexisted with humanity since the very beginning of society. One can successfully argue the urgency of many problems in modern societies such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and rising rate of crime; however, taking the responsibility to help, care, and pay attention towards the needy and helpless animals can instil the values of gentleness and respect for other living beings, ultimately leading people towards working for the general welfare of others. Continue reading to understand why animals must be treated with respect and care and why their coexistence is a blessing for humans in modern society.

 

Be Kind to Animals

A rising number of animal cruelty cases in Pakistan indicate the total disregard for the welfare of animals on a societal level. Although there is a minority that voices their discontent with the way animals are treated in the country, their voices are, at best, noise for the ears of policymakers and the general public. As living beings, animals too feel pain, need water and food, want to hide in shelter, and if not loved, kindness will do just enough for them. For most of those who live the busy life that urban centres offer, giving thought to stray animals wandering in the streets, eating out of garbage, and finding shelter from extreme weather under cars is a very unwelcome proposition. However, on the other end of the spectrum, people can also be found feeding birds and cats in search of divine reward. Therefore, one stands to ask whether a bit of empathy and care for these living beings is too much to ask for? Be it on account of any reason, divine reward, or respect for the sanctity of every living being, and animals deserve that their rights be given.

Pakistan is a member of the World Organisation on Animal Health. Under the membership, Pakistan must ensure five basic freedoms for animals; namely recognised, freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition, freedom from fear and distress, freedom from physical and thermal discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, and freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour relevant to the animal organisation includes a sufficient diet, water, comfort, space, hygiene, medical treatment, painless surgical procedures, and mental and emotional security. Being kind to animals embeds into the socio-ethical and religious norms of Pakistani society and promotes civic values such as kindness, care, and respect. Suppose humans do not understand the feelings of animals due to them not being able to communicate theirs effectively. Does that warrant a free pass to subject them to cruelty and suffering? Therefore, be kind to animals. It will not take much.

 

Breaking the Cycle of Animal Abuse

Pakistan amended the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890 in January 2018. It remains to be asked why it took so long for the country’s lawmakers to realise the importance of doing so. Although the new amendments increased the fines and punishments of offenders, a holistic approach towards animal welfare could not be seen. Animals need to be recognised as sentient beings with intrinsic values needing protection and care. The current legislation does not include the entire categories of animals and their roles, such as companion pets, therapy dogs, farm animals, aquatic and wildlife animals, and those used in the sport. The act still needs to include standards of health, breeding systems, veterinary services, vaccinations, and stray animal management. If animal welfare is not adopted in a holistic approach in the country, the cycle of animal abuse will remain rampant in society. In that which can be termed as the best example for the world to follow, Turkey has passed laws that recognize the importance of animal welfare and ensures that animals are not regarded as mere items; instead, they are given a recognised status in the country with rights. Following the example of Turkey in this regard can prove to be a very successful model for Pakistan. Stay tuned to find out more about how Turkey gained animal rights after 15 years of struggle.

 

Conclusion

The world is a vast and resourceful place coinhabited by many species. From humans to animals, to fish and beyond, the sanctity of life of every living being is the fundamental right that upholds the moral fabric of any society. Once a society loses compassion for its weak and the voiceless, destruction and despair are not far behind. In an attempt to rectify human behaviour with the animals that live and thrive along with urban households, breaking the cycle of animal abuse is the first step towards ensuring that the young generation of Pakistan learns to love, share, and coexist with all the stray and wild animals surrounding their habitat. Be kind to animals.

 




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Rethinking Master Plans in Pakistan

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Cities are considered the engines of economic growth; from the literature of the evolution of cities. It can be deduced that urban centres worldwide have evolved owing to the cities being hubs of trade. If observed keenly, life in cities is organized around commerce and trade, and the people in the cities move from rural areas to do business or work in the country’s services sector. Population growth, increasing businesses, and expanding opportunities in the city are diminishing the boundaries between city and villages.

Graana.com, through this blog, highlights why there is a need to rethink the master plans of the city. Travelling through GT Road, we can observe that the boundaries between cities and suburban areas have diminished haphazardly. It is difficult to differentiate between the boundaries of Lahore and its periphery because the city administrations have been unable to implement the master plans.

 

Master plans and Cities

Urban regeneration has always dominated a special place in policymaking. Providing quality services and lifestyles has emerged as a challenge for the authorities, and governments have dedicated numerous resources for comprehensive planning; however, cities have been expanding in a disoriented manner. Despite adopting various strategies, the practical solutions are not in foresight. This is probably because our master plans of the cities are obsolete in managing the contemporary needs of the cities.

Simply put, masterplans are the blueprints of a city’s development as they act as a guide to the city’s development. Masterplans are all about the farsightedness of the urban planner since it interconnects social and economic aspects of our daily lives along with providing housing and leisure activities to urbanites. Masterplans are dynamic and should be altered as per the requirements of the city.

The new thinking in the master plan should revolve around the following

 

Vertical Development

It is the right time that the master plan in Pakistan should include vertical development in their master plans. As the influx of people is increasing in the cities and housing demand is also increasing, vertical development can be a panacea to all of these issues. For making this a reality, the civic authorities should alter their by-laws in favour of vertical development. One of the advantages of vertical development is that it increases, provides mobility, provides easy access and reduces unnecessary congestion.

 

Public Inclusion

The public should also have a say in the development of master plans. It has been observed that the master plans of the cities of Pakistan are criticized for not including the inputs of the public. Moreover, the master plans are considered a product of an elitist mindset that only caters to the interests of a very few people in the city. As a remedy, the master plans should focus on accommodating the peripheral segments of the society as the cities promote inclusive and sustainable development.

 

Mobility Enhancing Measures

One of the major problems that Pakistani cities are contemporarily facing is the exponential increase in vehicles and redundant public transport. Modern cities across the world are discouraging the use of private vehicles as it causes environmental pollution and chokes the avenues of the cities. Against this backdrop, the new thinking on the master plan should give attention to mobility issues and encourage the use of public transport. Similarly, the new master plans should emphasize encouraging pedestrian movement as it is one of the practical tools for avoiding vehicles in the city.

 

Trade Hubs and Business Centers

Cities contribute in a myriad of ways to the development of a country. As mentioned earlier, the nature of cities has evolved owing to the business activities taking place in an urban locality. One of the advantages of vertical development is that it increases, provides mobility, provides easy access and reduces unnecessary congestion. one thing that is pertinent to mention here is that trade hubs or business centres should be planned in a manner that people can easily access these centres without resorting to the use of vehicles. The new master plans should have a special place for the business centres in the cities as economic activity is a key to economic growth.

 

Effective Civic Authorities

Finally, there should be one authority responsible for implementing a master plan. In Pakistan, the situation is quite contrary; there are various departments responsible for governing a city. Problems exacerbate when there is no clear distinction between the responsibilities of multiple authorities and the departments lack harmony. As a result, the master plan of the cities hangs in the balance, and the development plans become ineffective. Similarly, there is also a need to strengthen the local government system as the people can directly give their feedback in the implementation of the master plans. 




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Pros and Cons of Online Education

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The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases has affected the entire world greatly. Be it any sector, business, or academic this pandemic has changed and affected many things drastically. Talking about the education sector, due to COVID-19, the schools have shut down worldwide. This means that over 1.2 billion children globally are out of classrooms.

This has brought a massive change in education, opening the door to e-learning. With e-learning, tutorials and lectures are delivered to students at their convenience on a digital interface.

According to the research, online learning has shown increased retention of information and has been time efficient at the same time. This indicates that the changes made due to the pandemic might be helpful to the students.

Although in different countries, the ratio of COVID-19 cases is at different points, over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries have been affected by school closure immensely. In Denmark, students until the age of 11 go back to nurseries and schools after initially closing on 12th March. However, in South Korea, students are to attend online classes.

Due to this sudden shift from physical learning to e-learning, many people wonder if this trend of e-learning will continue as a post-pandemic practice and how this shift will impact the education market worldwide.

Before COVID-19 struck the entire world, there was a high rise in educational technology, with global tech investments reaching US$ 18.66 billion in 2019, and the overall market of online education was predicted to reach US$ 350 billion by the year 2025. Be it language apps, video conferencing tools, online tutoring, or online learning software; there has been a massive surge in usage since COID-19.

However, there is a downside to this as some believe that this unplanned and rapid shift to online learning- with little or no training, less preparation, and insufficient bandwidth will result in poor user experience restricted to educational growth. In contrast, others believe that online learning will benefit children and should remain in practice for the long term.

What Are the Advantages of Online Learning?

Efficiency

Online learning provides teachers an effective way to deliver lectures to their students. Online learning has a variety of different tools such as videos, PDFs, podcasts. Online learning offers teachers an efficient way to deliver lessons to students. By extending the lesson plans by incorporating updated tools beyond the textbooks in the online teaching routine, teachers can become more efficient instructors.

Accessibility Of Time and Place

Another massive advantage of online learning is that it offers students to attend classes from any location. It also allows the students to reach out to an extensive number of students who have many different ideas to share. Instead of being limited to geographical boundaries, online learning brings together all the students from different locations to learn and build diverse concepts. Moreover, online lectures have the feature to be recorded, archived, or shared for future reference. This helps the students never miss a class, and they can see the recorded version whenever they are comfortable.

Hence, online learning allows students accessibility of time and location in education.

Synergy

The online platform offers a dynamic interaction between the teacher and the students. Resources and concepts are delivered productively. It allows a continuous synergy that is formulated during the learning process. Every student makes an observation and discusses or comments on the work of others students. Students can also interact, debate about different topics, and share their stances on different concepts. This synergy and productivity created in the virtual classroom are the most beneficial and vital aspects that an online learning format provides to the students.

Level Playing Field

In online learning, there is a certain level of obscurity among the learners. There is no limitation of age, dress, disabilities, physical appearance, gender, race, etc. instead, the primary focus or the purpose of online learning is the student’s ability to respond and contribute intellectually and thoughtfully to the material present.

Affordability

One of the most important advantages of online learning is that it reduces financial costs. Online education is highly affordable as compared to physical learning. The main reason behind this is that online learning eradicates the cost of transportation, student meals, and real estate. Furthermore, all the studying material and courses are available online, which creates a paperless learning environment that is more affordable and smart.

Improved Student Attendance

Since online lectures can be attended from home/ location of choice, the ratio of absent students also decreases.

Suits A Variety of Learning Styles

Every learner has a different learning style. Some students are virtual learners, whereas some learn concepts based on audio. Some students are more comfortable learning in the classroom, while on the contrary, some learners learn best individually.  The online learning system, offering various options to its users, can be personalized according to the student’s preference.

What Are the Disadvantages of Online Learning?

Inability To Focus on Screens

It is a daunting task for students to stay focused on what the instructor explains during the lesson. Since the lectures are delivered online, it is easy for students to get distracted by different websites and other social media platforms. Thus, teachers need to keep the course interactive and crisp so that the students do not get bored or distracted by other things and stay focused on the lesson.

Technology Issues

Another challenge that is faced during online classes is internet connectivity. Although there has been improvement in internet connectivity, there are certain remote areas in smaller towns and cities where internet with a decent speed is not available. Without a sound internet connection, the lecture cannot be delivered or attended with ease. This will result in distortion, and the students won’t pay attention to the lecture properly.

Sense Of Isolation

Students learn very effectively when they are with their peers. In online classes, there is less physical interaction between the students and teachers. This results in a sense of isolation, which can be a hurdle in learning. To prevent this, schools must allow other forms of communication among teachers, students, and peers. This involves online messages, video conferencing, emails, etc., to lessen the sense of isolation.

Teacher Training

Online learning has a few prerequisites, such as the teachers need to have basic knowledge on how to operate certain features to execute an online lecture. However, this is not always the case because sometimes, teachers have very little basic knowledge of using digital forms of technology. Sometimes, teachers do not have enough resources or tools to operate an online class.

To solve this issue, schools must invest in training workshops to train the teachers with the latest features and technology updates to conduct online classes with great ease.

Manage Screen Time

Parents are very concerned about the health hazards of their students spending a lot of screen time. This screen time is one of the biggest concerns and disadvantages of line learning. Many students develop bad posture and other physical issues such as weak eyesight from staying hunched to their computer screens.

Conclusion

To conclude, online programs provide technology-based instructional environments that enhance learning opportunities that provide a top-quality education through different modalities and features. The Institution of higher education has found that online programs are imperative in accessing better education. For any online program to be successful, factors such as curriculum, facilitator, technology, and the students must be considered carefully and equally to make the best of the online program.

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PM says industrial development among top priorities

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Tuesday, stated that industrial development was going to be a priority for the government to ensure all small and medium enterprises were provided with the opportunity to receive employment. 

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar briefed the Prime Minister on the projects that were currently underway. He also gave an overview of the 1500 actress industrial zone in Karachi and SME policy.

“Significant growth in large-scale industry is welcome, despite the corona factor and this is due to the government’s positive policies. Employment opportunities are being created in the country by the industries running at their full potential,” stated. 

 

For more news and information, visit Graana.com




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CM Balochistan approves over Rs7bn for development projects

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QUETTA: The Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has approved over Rs7 billion to complete various development schemes.

A sum of Rs7 billion has been approved to complete 135 road projects. The CM also allocated funds for the construction of low-cost housing schemes in five districts and ordered the authorities to submit the feasibility study for the project. In addition, 114 schemes will be worth Rs1.7 billion were okayed.

A total of Rs100 million were approved for the first ‘smart building’ under the provincial information department.

The CM sanctioned a sum of Rs1 billion each for 114 schemes to be developed for the Sports department – including a Sports Complex in Qila Abdullah and a Go-cart Track project in Quetta and the Poverty Alleviation Programme.

 

For news and blogs, visit Graana.com.




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بلوچستان کے ترقیاتی منصوبوں کے لیے فنڈز کے اجراء کے احکامات جاری

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کوئٹہ: وزیر اعلیٰ بلوچستان جام کمال الیانی نے صوبے میں نئے اور جاری ترقیاتی منصوبوں پر عمل درآمد یقینی بنانے کے لیے اربوں روپے کے فنڈز جاری کرنے کے احکامات جاری کر دیے۔

وزیر اعلیٰ بلوچستان نے 7 ارب روپے کی لاگت سے 135 سڑکوں کی تعمیراتی بحالی اور لائیو سٹاک کی 114 اسکیموں کے لیے 1 ارب 70 کروڑ روپے جبکہ صوبے کے پانچ اضلاع میں کم لاگت گھروں کی تعمیر کے حوالے سے منصوبے کی بھی منظوری دے دی۔

وزیر اعلیٰ نے قلعہ عبداللہ میں کھیلوں سے متعلق 114 اسکیموں کے لیے 1 ارب روپے، صوبے میں پہلی قرآن اکیڈمی کے قیام کے لیے 10 کروڑ جبکہ سیلاب سے بچاؤ کے دیہی منصوبوں کے لیے 1 ارب روپے کے فنڈز جاری کرنے کے احکامات جاری کیے ہیں۔

مزید خبروں اور اپڈیٹس کے لیے وزٹ کیجئے گرانہ بلاگ۔




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صنعتی ترقی حکومت کی اولین ترجیح، وزیرِ اعظم

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اسلام آباد: وزیرِ اعظم عمران خان کا کہنا ہے کہ انڈسٹریل ڈیویلپمنٹ اُن کی حکومت کی اولین ترجیحات میں سے ایک ہے۔

اُن کا کہنا تھا کہ اسمال اینڈ میڈیم ڈیویلپمنٹ انٹرپرائزز کو مراعات دینے کا سلسلہ جاری ہے جس سے روزگار کے مواقع جنم لے رہے ہیں۔

اُنہوں نے کہا کہ کورونا وبا کے مہلک معاشی اثرات کے باوجود لارج اسکیل صنعتوں کی ترقی خوش آئند ہے۔

وزیرِ اعظم کو نئی ایس ایم ای پالیسی اور 1500 ایکڑ پر محیط کراچی انڈسٹریل زون پر تفصیلی بریفنگ دی گئی۔

علاوہ ازیں، وزیرِ اعظم کو آزاد کشمیر ڈیویلپمنٹ پیکج اور ترقی کے 5 سالہ پلان پر بھی بریفنگ دی گئی۔

اُنہوں نے کہا کہ حکومت آزاد کشمیر میں بہترین سیاحتی انفراسٹرکچر کے قیام کیلئے کوشاں ہے جس سے علاقے میں معاشی ترقی یقینی ہوگی۔

مزید خبروں اور اپڈیٹس کے لیے وزٹ کیجئے گرانہ بلاگ۔




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Chevening Scholarship Applications Are Open Until Nov 2, 2021, Apply Now!

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IN THIS POST
About the Chevening Scholarship
Chevening Scholarship Coverage
Eligibility Criteria
Work Experience
Choosing the Universities
Required Documents
Application Process
Application Timeline
Contact Details 

Have you ever thought about enrolling in a Master’s course at an international university but couldn’t do so due to lack of funds? If you are a qualified individual with leadership qualities, impeccable academic history and two years’ worth of full-time work experience under your belt, you can consider applying for the Chevening Scholarship for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study at a prestigious university in the United Kingdom. 

Since the applications for Chevening Scholarships 2021 are opening on August 2, 2021, we are bringing you a detailed guide focusing on the eligibility criteria, work experience requirements, application process and timeline of the programme.

So, get your degrees and transcripts in order because you only have until November 2, 2021, to submit your online application for Chevening Scholarship.

About the Chevening Scholarships

The Chevening is considered one of the most prestigious scholarship programmes in the world (Credits: Facebook/Chevening)

Introduced in 1983, Chevening is an international scholarship programme funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government. Since its inception, over 50,000 professionals from across the world have been a part of the Chevening Programme – including at least 17 current and former heads of the state or government.

The Chevening offers two types of awards, Chevening Scholarships and Chevening Fellowships, to emerging leaders and outstanding professionals from more than 160 countries. The recipients for each of the programmes are handpicked by the British embassies and high commissions based on the applicant’s exceptional academic background, the potential for leadership, strong drive, and ambition.     

The Chevening Scholarship allows the leaders of tomorrow to enrol in a one-year Master’s programme at a partner university in the UK. The applicants are free to choose any subject that suits their future goals and aspirations. For the duration of the award, the recipient will live and study in the UK, which is a great opportunity as it would allow them to develop academically, grow professionally, experience the diverse culture of Great Britain, and build a strong network. 

At the end of the award, the scholars will have to return to Pakistan and stay here for at least two years. 

Moreover, it is important to mention that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) serves as the nominating partner for Chevening in Pakistan. You can find out more about HEC scholarships in Pakistan here.

What Does the Chevening Scholarship Cover?

UK government scholarships for international students
This scholarship program allows students to pursue their studies without worrying about their basic expenses

These UK Government scholarships for international students allow successful applicants to study and explore the UK without worrying about their tuition fee and other expenses.

Here is what the Chevening Scholarships for Pakistani students cover:

  • Tuition fees
  • Monthly stipend
  • Cost of visa application
  • Economy class return airfare to and from the UK
  • Arrival allowance
  • Departure allowance
  • Travel grants to attend Chevening events

Eligibility Criteria for the Chevening Scholarship

eligibility criteria for Chevening Scholarship
This programme does not have an age limit for its applicants (Credits: Facebook/Chevening)

If you want to study in the UK, you must fulfil the following eligibility criteria for Chevening Scholarships.

  • The applicant must be a citizen of a Chevening-eligible country or territory. Pakistan is among the countries included on the program’s eligibility list
  • After the award ends, the recipient must return to their country of citizenship for a minimum period of two years
  • The applicant must have completed all components of their undergraduate degree, typically equivalent to an upper second-class 2:1 honours degree in the United Kingdom, by the time they submit their Chevening Scholarship application. 
  • They must have at least two years of work experience, equivalent to 2,800 hours
  • The applicant must apply to three different Chevening-eligible university courses in the UK and receive an unconditional offer from at least one of them by July 15, 2021
  • They must meet the English language requirement by taking the IELTS Academic (or another) test by July 15, 2021

Here are some more conditions that can determine your eligibility to be a Chevening scholar.

  • The applicant must not hold British or dual British citizenship
  • They must not be a refugee in a non-Chevening eligible country. However, it is pertinent to point out that citizens of a Chevening-eligible country living as a refugee in any of the Chevening-eligible countries are eligible for these UK Government scholarships for international students
  • The current and former employees of the British Government, as well as their families, are not eligible to apply for the award
  • The current and former employees of the Chevening Partner Organizations, as well as their family members, may apply to study in the UK. However, they will not be eligible to apply through the said organisation 
  • The applicant must not have previously studied in the UK through a UK Government-funded scholarship programme 

Required Work Experience

study in the UK with Chevening Programme
Having work experience is a mandatory requirement to apply for this programme

Though most international scholarships for students in Pakistan only require a brilliant academic record, the Chevening Scholarship also focuses on the applicant’s work experience. 

In order to apply for the Chevening Scholarship, the applicant must have at least two years of full-time work experience – or a longer period, in case of part-time employment. They must meet the minimum work-experience requirement to be eligible to submit their online application.

Now, you do not need to be employed at the same organisation for two years to be able to apply. Fortunately, the Chevening Scholarship accepts all types of work experiences the applicant may have completed before, during or after their undergraduate studies. However, any mandatory employment experience as a part of their degree programme will not be acceptable.

Moreover, the applicant can submit as many as ten different employment periods to meet the criteria. If currently employed, they are also not required to resign as long as their employer is fine with it.

Here the types of work experiences that can help you win a Chevening award:

  • Full-time employment
  • Part-time employment
  • Voluntary work
  • Paid internships
  • Unpaid internships

Depending on the type of employment, the required duration may vary a lot. Therefore, the easiest way to make sure you are eligible to apply for the Chevening Scholarship is to calculate your total work hours. 

For your reference, a working day comprises about 8 hours, which means a 5-day work week consists of 40 hours. If you work about 35 to 60 hours per week, your job will be deemed full-time employment. Anything above that, however, will be deemed ineligible.

In total, one must have 2,800 working hours under their belt.

How to Choose Your University Courses 

This is perhaps the most crucial (and overwhelming) part of the entire Chevening Scholarship application process. 

As mentioned above, the applicant is required to select three Masters-level courses at the Chevening partner universities in the UK. This means you can either select three different courses at the same university, three similar courses at three different universities, or any other combination that works for you. Just ensure the programmes you chose perfectly reflect your future ambitions and career goals.

The list of partner universities offering one-year eligible postgraduate courses in the UK can be found on the official Chevening website under the ‘Course Finder.’

Furthermore, a point that a lot of students seem to miss, is that your scholarship application is not the same as your application to get admission into your chosen university.

Once you have selected the three courses you want to apply for, make sure to carefully read their admission criteria and then submit an individual application for each course, fulfilling all of their documents and language test requirements. If you want to receive a Chevening Scholarship, you must have an unconditional offer from at least one of your chosen programmes by July 15, 2021.

Your chosen programme must be:

  • Full-time
  • Starts between September and October
  • Taught-Master’s with a duration of 9 to 12 months
  • Based in the UK

Pre-sessional courses are usually not allowed, but you can directly contact the Chevening Secretariat for further confirmation.

List of Required Documents for the Chevening Application 

Required Documents for the Chevening Application
You can submit your English language test results even after submitting your application

Let’s take a look at the list of required documents for the Chevening Scholarships 2021:

  • Valid green passport or CNIC 
  • University transcripts
  • Degree certificates
  • Three choices for master’s courses

While you must upload the documents above at the time of submitting your online application, the ones mentioned below can be uploaded at any time before their respective deadlines.

  • English language test results for Academic IELTS/ TOEFL iBT/ Pearson PTE Academic/ Trinity ISE II (B2) or C1 Advanced
  • Unconditional offer from the selected university
  • Two reference letters
  • Educational certificates (if any)

The scanned copies of these documents must be uploaded in JPG/PNG/PDF formats. You also need to make sure the attached files are under the size of 5 MB and have titles shorter than 51 characters.

How to Apply for the Chevening Scholarship Programme  

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the Chevening Scholarships through the Online Application System (OAS).

Before we begin, please note that you can complete your application over some time. All you need to do is save your progress before logging out and hitting the submit button preferably a few days before the due date to avoid any issues at the last moment.

Step 1: Visit the official Chevening website and click on the ‘Apply’ tab in the top navigation menu

Step 2: Select ‘Pakistan’ from the first drop-down menu and then select ‘Scholarship’ from the second. Click the ‘Search button.’

Step 3: Register for the scholarship programme by entering your details in the relevant fields. It is recommended to write down your username and password somewhere safe

Step 4: Start filling your online application form. Make sure to click ‘Save’ before logging out and refrain from using the Back/Forward button on your browser. Instead, utilize the arrow keys appearing on the OAS

Step 5: Upload the required documents. The reference/recommendation letters for the Chevening Scholarship can be uploaded until late April 2022.

Step 6: Someone’s application questions have a certain word count. It is recommended to write your answers offline and then copy/paste them on the OAS. However, you must avoid plagiarism

Step 7: Choose three Master’s courses and confirm the status of your application

Step 8:  Once your application is complete, carefully read it before clicking the ‘Submit’ button

Candidates shortlisted for the interviews will be informed through email. 

Chevening Scholarship Application Timeline 2022

Chevening Scholarship timeline
The deadline for Chevening Scholarship 2022 applications is November 2, 2020

Here is the application timeline for the Chevening Scholarships 2022:

  • Applications open on August 2, 2021
  • The Chevening Scholarship 2022 deadline is November 2, 2021
  • The applications will be sifted and assessed between mid-November and December.
  • The applicants are shortlisted for interviews from early to mid-February 2022.
  • The deadline for submitting the pending reference letters and education documents is from February till late April 2022.
  • The interviews will take place between February 28 and April 29, 2022.
  • The Chevening Scholarship results will be announced in June 2022.
  • The deadline to receive an unconditional university offer is July 14, 2022.
  • Studies will commence in the UK between September and October 2022.

Instead of trying to contact your local British embassy or high commission to ask about the scholarship programme, you should visit the official Chevening website and click on ‘Contact Us’ to submit an online query.

This brings an end to our guide detailing all about the Chevening Scholarship Programme. If you have any queries or suggestions, you can write to us at blog@zameen.com.

Meanwhile, if you cannot apply for the Chevening Scholarship due to your insufficient work experience, you can still study for free in the UK by applying for the Commonwealth Scholarships.

You can also take a look at the Fulbright Scholarship Program and Chinese government scholarships if you are interested in pursuing higher education in the United States or China. Those looking for opportunities in domestic universities may find our guide on scholarships in Pakistan rather useful.

To learn more about different scholarship programmes, stay connected to Zameen Blog – the best lifestyle and real estate blog in Pakistan. You can also subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter and Facebook page for more updates.



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