ISLAMABAD: The students of the country’s largest distance learning university on Thursday presented unique ideas to solve environmental and health problems.
At an exhibition, the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) chemistry department’s students of BS, MSc and MPhil programmes showcased their research projects in the form of posters and 3D models to elaborate their synopsis.
Research areas highlighted included environmental chemistry, photochemistry, electrochemistry, medicinal chemistry and material chemistry.
The event aimed at promoting quality research among students, a teacher said.
“Through such projects, students learn how to present their work and instill confidence in them”, Dr Uzma Yunus, a professor at the Chemistry Department said.
She cited the issue of water contamination. “The fluoride and arsenic water contamination issue in Kasur has caused irreparable damage to people’s health. Students have proposed low-cost methods of reducing these hazardous chemicals from drinking water”, said Yunus.
Other projects on display proposed methods to decompose polythene bags without causing environmental damage, as well as exploring the effects of medicinal compounds on anti-bacterial medication.
“Water is supplied to Islamabad through a 50-year-old pipeline. The lead from these old pipes gets scraped off mixing with the water and this amount of lead in water exceeds the World Health Organization’s permissible limit,” she said.
Our students have presented ways to purify water, said Prof Dr Naghmana Rashid, Dean, faculty of sciences and Chairperson of the chemistry department.
Prof Dr Uzaira Rafique, Dean, faculty of sciences, Prof Dr Nasir Mehmood, faculty of education, Dr Ansar Yasir Khawaja from Azad Jammu and Kashmir University, department of chemistry and Dr Humaira Nadeem, associate professor, Riphah International University were the judges to evaluate the projects.
AIOU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui who was chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony appreciated the efforts of the students for designing innovative projects which may potentially solve some of the country’s environmental problems.
Tahir Nawaz won the poster competition, while Sidra Amber, Javeria Begum and Ghulam Mustafa were the winners of the model competition. All four students belong to the MSc chemistry Department.
Prof Rashid also acknowledged the quality of research. She encouraged students to develop a research aptitude that would enable them to resolve scientific issues at a national level. She thanked the VC for his time, guidance and interest in promoting such scientific research activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2015.