HEC has finalized an agreement with World Bank to launch the Rapid Response Research and Innovation Program to combat the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan to focus in subject areas like infectious diseases, AI and big data
The Corona Virus has made the entire international community halt their daily lives and routines. Pakistan has also been a victim of the virus as over 800 cases have already been reported. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has recently finalized an agreement with the World Bank to launch the Rapid Response Research and Innovation Program for Corona virus.
The Rapid Response Research and Innovation Program aims to combat the exponentially increasing rate of COVID-19 situation in Pakistan. This agreement worked after the hard work and commitment of the HEC alongside their Research and Development Team who have worked throughout the previous to make this initiative and partnership happen. Out of the team that worked on this initiative, it included the leadership of Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Maj Gen Aamir Ikram, Dr. Asad Hafeez, and Dr. Sarosh Lodhi.
The agreement included grants of US$ 100,000, US$ 50,000, and US$35,000 that will be used in work for Rapid Research, Technology Transfer, and Entrepreneurship. This grant will be under 3 different grant windows that will end quickly and priority will be given to the following subject areas:
- Infectious Diseases Surveillance Systems using AI & Big Data
- Analysis of success and weaknesses of alternative epidemic control measures
- Disease Epidemiological Modelling
- Immune Patterns of COVID-19
- Treatment Modalities and Strategies
- Information collection and dissemination on IT platforms
- Indigenous manufacturing of low-cost equipment or materials, e.g., diagnostic kits, intensive-care equipment (e.g., ventilators), or personal protective equipment
- Development of disinfectants, particularly using indigenous herbal or natural ingredients
If any individual is interested in this noble work in the hope of saving lives and work on this research, they can qualify for the grant and must need to apply before April 3, 2020 to get a quick response. They have also planned to have a conference call in a few days to brief academia and interested principal investigators to make sure candidates are well aware of the program.
Socializing During Social Distancing: 5 Video Games During Lockdown
With the ongoing effort to prevent yourselves from coronavirus by spending time at home in Qurantine, users eventually lose interest in spending time at home and need a way to want something to do. Hence, there couldn’t be a better time for users to be a self-quarantining gamer. As users hope for an immersive experience that helps them go on with this time, here we highlight the best games that users can play for their value in terms of story, character and time spent.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A newly released game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch brings a whole new world to explore. Its Multiplayer feature implies that users can play with their friends and they can visit their friends’ islands where they can chase bugs, gather resources, discover secrets, and design an entirely new life for themselves. One of the main selling points is that Animal Crossing provides a mountain of zen. It’s a digital zen garden and users can invite their friends over to play in.
World of Warcraft
A Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) sets users on a grand adventure. Regardless a user is a new player, or a veteran, there are thousands of hours of fun to be played on the lands of Azeroth.
From the makers of Halo, they launched a fantasy sci-fi shooter with Destiny back in 2014 and then released Destiny 2. They fixed a lot of the problems from the original game and is one of the best first-person-shooter experiences that one can have with their friends. It is an open-world, dungeon-exploring galaxy awaits in Destiny 2, and the grind for weapon and gear drops will surely last users the remainder of your isolation.
Brawlhalla is a free-to-play platform fighting multiplayer game with cross platform support, developed by Blue Mammoth Games and published by Ubisoft. Users can play with up to 8 friends online in casual free-for-all, ranked matches and many more. It’s a hard game to master for new players but the graphics and the animations makes it really fun and appealing to everyone. Plus, it’s a free game on Steam, PS4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch so it’s perfect entertainment for gamers and non-gamers alike.
Sea of Thieves
This game allows users to sail the harsh seas of a pirate infested world, singing shanties, searching for treasure, hunting skeletons, and capturing outposts in this first-person team-based game. It laters involves taking ships that demand attention and hands, and sail out onto the waters to find out what the pirate life is like.
Learning In The Time of Corona: 5 E-Learning Tools
The Corona Virus has made the entire international community halt their daily lives and routines. It has changed how business work and people are now stuck at home for the time being. However, users can use this opportunity to pick up new skills or expand their knowledge from the comfort of their home. Here is a list of the some of the best online learning platforms you can use and explore to brush up on your skills during the quarantine period:
Udemy and Coursera
MOOC platforms have taken a stride in the past few years and platforms like Udemy and Coursera are a great choice if users are looking for a very large catalogue of courses at a reasonable price. It offers courses from business development, finance and accounting, to design, marketing and office productivity. These platforms are currently offering numerous free courses for the quarantine period, hence, users are advised to take full advantage of it.
Skillshare includes courses on numerous technical subjects, business and entrepreneurship, programming, writing, painting, personal branding and other creative topics as well. Skillshare works on a subscription model, which translates into a monthly or yearly fee allowing users to dive into a wide range of skills.
freeCodeCamp is an open source community that helps users learn how to code. They start with basic HTML and CSS, and then proceed to learning the programming language of the user’s choice. The platform covers practical tasks and small challenges that users can process at their own pace. They can also earn certifications for every milestone they hit, and get inspired by a supportive community. Moreover, freeCodeCamp has recently released the Coronavirus Academy, it’s own collection of distance learning programs for coders.
Duolingo is a large platform where users can learn any language with ease and is split into small interactive challenges. Users can choose their own path, unlock rewards, and suddenly decide to learn more than one language
Online cooking classes
This app allows you to learn how to cook from a Michelin chef. Massimo Bottura, whose name is associated with one of Italy’s finest restaurants, Osteria Francescana, recently announced the launch of his Instagram cooking course. It’s called Kitchen Quarantine and it’s a fun video guide to cooking basic stuff at home.