Day One: Arrival

Searching For Street Art

After 15 hours of traveling, I finally made it to Melbourne! Luckily, I knocked out for the 12 hour flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand, and I spent the three hours between New Zealand and Melbourne catching up on my favorite shows. Side note — New Zealand looks beautiful, even outside of the airport window, and I hope to visit in the future.

The Melbourne airport was incredible — when I arrived, I was greeted with two walls painted with paper planes that led to a sign: “Welcome to Melbourne.”


I feel like Melbourne is a city of art — most of the street shops I’ve encountered feel more home-made than like a franchise. Melbourne even supports local artists on their regional maps through commissioned artwork. Here’s my collection of maps by Emma Leonard:


After moving in to my new home, I walked around North Melbourne. Without intending to, I…

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Why Can’t Balochistan Play?

Malik Siraj Akbar

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to establish five provincial under-19 training coaching academies cross the country. According to the official plan, the academy which will be located at Abbottabad Cricket Ground will cater to the needs of young cricketers of Abbottabad, Sialkot and Peshawar region.

In Islamabad, the proposed academy will be established at Diamond Cricket Stadium which will provide an opportunity to the budding players of the federal capital and Rawalpindi.

The third academy is scheduled to be established in Multan Stadium which will cover the Lahore and Faisalabad region. The PCB intends to establish its fourth academy at Hyderabad and the fifth at Karachi’s National Stadium.  These training academies will impart training among the budding cricketers from July 25th to August 20th.

It is not surprising to  see PCB once again discriminate the country’s largest province, Balochistan, in such important initiatives but this news…

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Deakin Uni, waurn ponds campus, Geelong, Australia

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus is located on the western edge of Geelong.
The campus features expansive landscaped grounds and extensive sporting facilities. The campus is home to the Geelong Technology Precinct, which provides research and development capabilities and opportunities for university-industry partnerships and new enterprises in the region…
Deakin Uni Waurn ponds Campus

Deakin Uni waurn ponds campus (video and pictures) captured by iPhone 4s.

Address 75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds Geelong Australia.

Elections 2013 in Pakistan and my predictions of seats


Pakistan is going through an election year and we would be having it on 11th May 2013 just a week later. I am following Pakistani politics for few years now and seat prediction given in this post is based on guess work.

Brief Background

Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. There are many factors on which voters decide their choice. These include region/province, language, ethnicity, urban/rural, religious/sectarian affiliation and Income level. There have been two main stream political parties having appeal and representation throughout Pakistan, i-e. Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz and recently Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf has emerged due to hard work of cricketer turned politician Imran Khan.

Election 2008

There are 272 directly contested national assembly seats, while 60 reserved seats for women and 10 for non-Muslims (minorities). PTI, JI and some other regional parties boycotted the 2008 elections (results given below)


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How to get PhD Admission in Newzealand and Australia

PhD Admission:

New Zealand offers domestic tuition fee of 6000 NZD for international students and is very much tempting to go there.


First of all, you need to know that there is no assurance to get PhD admission. You have to meet minimum standards for academic alibility and research potential.

The basis requirement of PhD admission is 16 years of education for countries like UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia etc. and 18 years education in USA, Europe etc. (it mean B.Sc. hon. degree holders can get direct admission to PhD in some countries like Aus. and NZ)

Admission Criteria:
The basic requirements for ideal PhD candidate for admission committee are
1. Strong evidence of research potential
2. Excellent grades, e.g., at least A-minus
3. English ability (IELTS 6.5 overall and no individual band less than 6)

Research ability may be demonstrated in a variety of ways:

  1. An Honours degree (an undergraduate degree plus an additional year of supervised research)
  2. Comparable qualifications from international universities including a research project or thesis of 10,000 to 20,000 words
  3. Relevant postgraduate research experience
  4. One or more independently peer-reviewed journal articles, publications, or conference papers
  5. Professional reporting or prior learning
  6. Research related awards or prizes

Additional necessary Documents:

  • Research Proposal:
  1. Give a strong plan of study as a research student. It should give relevant background of your topic. Topic should be selected with consultation of your proposed supervisor in University. It should be executable with respect to resources and facilities.
  2. If you communicate effectively with your proposed supervisor then your chance of acceptance as a PhD candidate are very bright as this person would be solely responsible of your progress in the University.
  3. Research supervisor can write a letter of recommendation to admission committee, also mention his name clearly in admission forms as contact person, so that university choose him as your supervisor.
  • Study Aim or statement of purpose:
  1. Give clear and concise descriptions of work you have already done. This is your opportunity to show that you are already developing these research presentation skills. Explain the bonus points and significance of your work.
    Recommendation/reference letters:
  2. Universities ask you to submit at least two letters from people who (a) know your work and (b) know what is expected at a major research university.
  3. Ask your faculty members or your research guides from your bachelor program to give detail information about your previous experience.

Other Points to Note:

  1. Some universities want to assess your documents (bachelor degree etc.) to see whether your qualification is up to their standard or not.
  2. Some Universities want good GRE scores as well for PhD scholarship in addition to admission.
  3. PhD admission process differs for course work and by research degrees. Also it depends on your study area.

Before starting a PhD, Ask one thing from yourself Are you committed to a research career? Secondly do you know what you are getting into? PhD research degree is very much challenging business.

What appears on this post represents my personal views, there may be variations