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organic chemistry lab courses in Pakistan

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Old 01-01-2004, 04:17 PM
Allan Adler
Posts: n/a
Default organic chemistry lab courses in Pakistan

Mohammed Farooq writes:

Thanks for the definition.

One thing one would need to know in order to consider remedies for the
lack of certain protective devices is: what kinds of raw materials and
tools are available in case one wants to improvise? Archimedes wrote,
"Dos pou sto" (Give me a place to stand). What is one standing on?

Would it be correct to guess that power tools are not available, nor reliable
electricity for using them? Correct to guess that scrap metal is not freely
available for recyling into things possibly useful in a laboratory?
Correct to think that maybe there are not even garbage heaps filled
with discarded plastic bottles formerly containing soft drinks such as
Diet Coke?

A couple of the books published by Lindsay Books ([Only registered users see links. ])
deal with building your own plastic injection molding machine. I think that
would let one take discarded plastic bottles, as described above, and make

Are eye droppers unavailable? What about plastic syringes? The ISTEP books
I mentioned assume that these are available and inexpensive. However, it also
shows how to make one's own eye droppers. If one has a pipette and an eye
dropper, what prevents one from putting the bulb from the eye dropper on
the pipette to avoid mouth pipetting? Or improvising a syringe by putting
a stirrer in a pipette, coupling the two with a length of flexible plastic
tubing, and then pulling on the stirrer to create the necessary suction?

The question of what international efforts are being made for higher
education in developing countries is of interest in its own right.
What USENET news groups might be appropriate for that question?

Another issue is whether, since it is mostly the elites that receive
higher education, international efforts are less focused on helping
them than in helping with more general levels of education.

I have a copy of an older edition, under the alternate title, "700 science
teaching experiments for everyone". It seems to be mostly physics, astronomy
and a little bit of biology. No fume hoods, no goggles.

I just checked the UNESCO website. They do sell some books online but
that seems to be temporarily suspended ([Only registered users see links. ]).
I haven't figured out where the UNESCO might describe its efforts to produce
new teaching materials, including equipment. Are they just selling the
results of their old efforts, with incremental improvements?

Are there a lot of old MIR publications circulating in Pakistan?
If you feel like selling them, you could by fume hoods, or at least goggles
and bulb pipettes... Someone on this newsgroup described them as collector's

Popular among whom? For certain courses?

Amazon says the list price of Vogel's Qualitative Inorganic Analysis (7th
edition) is $72. That must be pretty expensive by Pakistani standards.

Amazon lists several versions of Vogel's Practical Organic Chemistry.
The 5th edition, apparently revised by Furniss et al, lists for $161.25.
An earlier edition, including "Qualitative Organic Analysis", sells used
for about $260. Something called "Vogel's Elementary Practical Organic
Chemistry: Preparations" sells used for about $49.

Here is something that MF can perhaps clarify. He says it is the elites who
attend universities. The books mentioned above are pretty expensive. Are
students expected to pay for books like that? There is certain lab equipment
that is unavailable to students. I would guess that bulb pipettes and goggles
costs a lot less than the books. Do students pay a fee to cover the costs
of the laboratory equipment they use? What is preventing the fee from being
increased to cover the costs of bulb pipettes and goggles, or increased further
to pay for the costs of fume hoods over a period of time? Is it that the
people in charge of laboratory purchases and design don't think these safety
features are necessary, even if funds are available (chemists often have a
certain macho about scorning lab safety)? Or are there international sanctions
preventing purchase? Or does the Pakistani government have bureaucratic
regulations which make these things take a long time? Or, perhaps, does
the university in fact purchase some of these things but either can't
prevent them from being pilfered or simply keeps them in reserve for
higher status users, such as for the professors who perhaps use them
privately in their own labs?

Thus, one really needs to know more about the context in which these
educational difficulties occur in order to have an opinion about them.

Has anyone written a book in recent memory about the problems of higher
education in Pakistan?

Hmmm... I just noticed that Amir Mughal has a FAQ for soc.culture.pakistan.*,
which I just skimmed briefly on soc.culture.pakistan.education. He mentions
discussion groups for Pakistani students and also includes invitations
for academicians interested in Pakistani educational reform to participate.
Can MF perhaps comment on these efforts, particularly as they pertain to
higher education in chemistry? I hesitate to cross post to
soc.culture.pakistan.education since I am not sure yet how things work there.


Allan Adler
[Only registered users see links. ]

************************************************** **************************
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* Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT Artificial *
* Intelligence Lab. My actions and comments do not reflect *
* in any way on MIT. Moreover, I am nowhere near the Boston *
* metropolitan area. *
* *
************************************************** **************************

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Old 01-02-2004, 06:43 AM
Mohammed Farooq
Posts: n/a
Default organic chemistry lab courses in Pakistan

If Allan Adler is interested in the new proposed curriculum of
chemistry for Pakistan he can visit
[Only registered users see links. ] and
[Only registered users see links. ]

The process of recycling would be far more expensive than buying a new
product.As far as I know there is no plastic recycling utility here.
The question is not the "lack" of money, the problem is that no one
(from government) ready to spend money on the higher education sector
specially on natural sciences. As I had told you, studying sciences
such as physics, chemistry, botany, zoology are confined to mostly
those students who "do not" get admission in medical, business or
engineering schools. Hence the outigoing students have difficulty in
getting a job.

Perhaps you misunderstood, I said that the elites and their children
go to foreign universities usually in Britain or USA.The public
univeristies cater to the middle class segement. From our president to
MP's , mostly thier sons are studying/staying in US.

This is a very intructive book, it was available for free in pdf

No. One usually sees them at old book stores, perhaps ex-library
books these books are much cheaper and of good quality. Usually the
problem lies in translation from Russian. Sometimes the wording is

Yes pretty expensive, therefore students rely on copies of relevant

English Language Book Society ELBS publishes low cost books for Asian
countries. The same book "Practical Organic Chemistry" revised by
Furniss and others, is available for $27 here. It is still expensive
from Pakistani standards. A lot of good book came from Indian authors
and publishers, and international publishers such as McGraw,Prentice
Hall publish their booksin India labelling them as EEA (Eastern
Economy Edition) on low quality paper.

As I said the elites go abroad for higher studies. Hence they do not
care what happens in their own univeristies. The library services are
also very poor. Either the book are locked in wooden cupboards with
glass doors, and one has to request the attendant to unlock them, or
one has to write the call number from the catalogue on paper and
request the clerk to bring it. The clerk collects all the requests
papers when he gets ten or fifteen such requests he brings them. Calls
out the name of the person who requested the book. In the meantime one
has to wait for atleast 30 minutes. In both cases we unable to see or
browse the books by ourselves. Graduate and undergraduate students can
borrow ONLY ONE BOOK at a time 15 days!! Hence the "quality of

The fee is $45 per semester, what can be bought from this meagre
amount? The fee was $6 about 8 years ago, when the increased it to $45
there was lot of agitation among student political bodies agianst this
fee hike.

The lab attendants are mostly uneducated, poor people. You are right
that there is certain macho about lab safety, one of the lab attendant
was telling methat he has worked in the Inorganic lab for 40 years and
thing has ever happened to him, even though two teachers died of
cancer at a relatively young age of 45 in his lab.

I am not aware of any such sanction, and I think no sanction would
prohibit common lab equipment.

That is an important factor.

Perhaps, one can not see everybody's room and lab.

Many, I feel that those reports rather than books might not be
available to Allan Adler. If he is interested I can write the names of
those books or reports.
I have never visited that group and I don't know how thing work there.
Try posting such topic, most probably it will go unnoticed.
Sure! But the public is not interested in this discussion.
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Old 01-02-2004, 08:34 AM
Bruce Hamilton
Posts: n/a
Default organic chemistry lab courses in Pakistan

Allan Adler <[Only registered users see links. ].mit.edu> wrote:

I still do that when I'm in a hurry, but all new staff are required to use
bulbs, because they never seemed to have learnt how to keep the tip under
the liquid surface. I learnt pipetting whilst monitoring electroplating plant,
including a 30oz/gal cyanide bath, and bulbs always perished, so many of the
weaker solutions were pipetted by mouth.

Since the 1950s there has been several strong programmes of negotiating very
low copyright fees on UK and some US textbooks for those parts of the thrid
world that use English as the teaching medium, however the conditions for the
low fees included a provision that the books would not be exported without
approval of the copyright holder. The UK govt and publishers had a wide
programme ( ELBS ) and the US had individual programmes like the Joint
Indian-American Textbook Programme.

The problem is that the low copyright textbooks now are being exported, and
also copyright violations are becoming more obvious.
[Only registered users see links. ]

You probably should ask the British Council ( or it's US equivalent ),
if you wnat to find out who is running texbook programmes in Asia etc. I read
somewhere that the UK govt stopped ELBS books into Pakistan in 2000, not sure
if they have been restarted.
[Only registered users see links. ]

Vogel's last edition, the third, is still widely used, and I bought a copy in
India in the 1980s for about US$8.

Many still believe the third ( 1956) , which mainly deals with multiple
examples of experimental techniques, is the best version, and it probably
commands a premium. It also doesn't have such an instrumental bias.

If I recall correctly, one of the WWW illicit drug sites has scanned the whole
text in, so it's freely available to those who don't care about copyright.
[Only registered users see links. ]

Vogel issued a set of thin EPOC volumes , but only the Preparations section
seems to be still around. I use my copy fairly regularly. It tends to cover a
wide range of laboratory experiments. It includes various general safety stuff,
but the later editions have much more complete safety sections.

Bruce Hamilton
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:18 AM
Josh Halpern
Posts: n/a
Default organic chemistry lab courses in Pakistan

Bruce Hamilton wrote:


Zeneca also sponsors a series of Oxford University Press Chemistry
Primers, which cost something like L10 each. You can find the list at
[Only registered users see links. ].
Some are really good, excellent supplimentry material, but YMMV

josh halpern

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