COMSATS does commendable work of translation for Pakistani students, youth

‘One Hundred Reasons to be a Scientist’ now available in Urdu

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—A good book can change and influence lives and minds of millions of people so is “One Hundred Reasons to be a Scientist”. First published in 2004 by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, the book so far has been translated into almost every major language of the world. As luck would have it, COMSATS (Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South) under its Executive Director Dr I.E. Qureshi thought to translate the valuable work into Urdu and after a period of six years, finally the book has now hit the stalls with inspirational stories to tell, move our budding scientists of Pakistan, students and youth. In Dr I.E. Qureshi’s own words, “Would that I had this book in my hands when I was a student! No doubt, I would be a scientist but of a different kind.”
The 480-page book at the cost of Rs1250 gives you a glimpse into the lives of world’s great physicists, chemists, mathematician, biologists and others and tells how they burnt midnight’s oil and achieved their goal by dint of hard work, passion and dedication. A formal launching ceremony of the book took place at the Higher Education Commission’s illuminating auditorium here Thursday. In Urdu the title of the book is “Mai Saiensdan Kesay Bana: Saiensdan Bananay Kay Aik Sau Jawaz”
A large number of representatives from scientific, academic and literary circles attended the function. Chief Guest of the ceremony, renowned literary critic, Prof. Fateh Muhammad Malik termed the book a major achievement and a highly valuable addition to Urdu literature. He said, “Urdu translation of scientific literature, such as this book, is a commendable effort for scientific renaissance in our society”. He stressed the need for integrating science with society in such a way that art, literature, religion, and meta-physics all are absorbed in scientific pursuits. The book comprises the achievements of 91 contemporary scientists who played a major role in shaping the science and technology in the world during the course of last 50 years.
COMSATS’ Executive Director, Dr. I.E. Qureshi, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the book translation project, said it took enormous efforts to render this book into Urdu because of the brevity of articles and complexity of highly advanced scientific narrative and terms. The aim of the book is to inspire our students to become scientists as science provides sustainable solutions to many of development issues in Pakistan and other countries of the South. He informed the audience that the book is available on COMSATS’ website and softcopy can be accessed free of cost.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director of Higher Education Commission, Dr Ghulam Raza Bhatti, in his welcome remarks, noted that information and its dissemination are two important ingredients of a knowledge-based society and said that COMSATS has done great work for rendering this book into Urdu which would help in spreading scientific information across wider population of the country.
Dr. Anjum Hameed, Director, National Language Promotion Department (NLPD), read out the message of Irfan Siddiqui, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage.
While paying tribute to COMSATS Secretariat and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology for the initiative of translating and publishing this book, Mr. Siddiqui, in his message, said that Urdu version of the book would be a useful source for science education and popularization in Pakistan and inspire the young students to opt for science-related higher studies and careers.
The book is translated by eminent translator and scholar of both English and Urdu languages Zaheer Javed under the editorship of Dr. I.E. Qureshi, Executive Director COMSATS, with the support of a panel of distinguished scientists and academicians. The NLPD facilitated the translation process. Advisors of CIIT, Syeda Nasreen Sultana, Dr. Ashraf Atta, Prof. Dr. M. Aslam Khan, and Dr. Mumtaz F. Jafri, also shared their remarks at the occasion.

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