Nine-year-old Pakistani girl beats Indian professor to set world record in chemistry

The fastest time to arrange all elements of the periodic table is 2 min 42 secs, and was achieved by Natalia Najam in Lahore, Pakistan, on 18 July 2020 (Photo Courtesy: Guinness World Records Limited)
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Updated 03 August 2020

Nine-year-old Pakistani girl beats Indian professor to set world record in chemistry

  • Lahore’s Natalia Najam wins title after arranging all elements of periodic chart in just 2 minutes and 42 seconds
  • Record previously held by Indian economics professor Meenakshi Agarwal who completed the task in 2 minutes and 49 seconds

ISLAMABAD: A nine-year-old Pakistani girl from Lahore has broken the record of an Indian professor to become the fastest and youngest person in the world to arrange the chemical elements of the periodic table.

“The fastest time to arrange all elements of the periodic table is 2 min 42 secs, and was achieved by Natalia Najam (Pakistan) in Lahore, Pakistan, on 18 July 2020,” the Guiness Book of World Records said on its website. “Natalia broke the previous record by 7 seconds.”

The record was previously held by Indian economics professor Meenakshi Agarwal who completed the task in 2 minutes and 49 seconds.

Local media reported that Najam has never had formal education and was home schooled by her parents. Videos on social media showed her screaming and jumping with joy as the judges announced her time.


Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

Updated 18 September 2020

Pakistan to establish 18 markets on Afghanistan, Iran borders to boost trade, curb smuggling

  • Under the plan, the government will set up 12 markets along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier
  • Prime minister approves setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by February next year

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has decided to set up markets along its borders with neighboring Afghanistan and Iran to boost trade opportunities, foster peace and check smuggling, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
Main crossing point into Pakistan for both goods and people from Iran and Afghan also serve as major smuggling routes.
“The border markets will help create job opportunities and establish a peaceful relationship with the neighboring countries,” Aisha Humera Moriani, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, told Arab News.
Under the plan, the government is establishing 18 markets: 12 along the border with Afghanistan and six along the Iran frontier.
In a meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan approved setting up two border markets in Balochistan and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as a pilot project, to be functional by February next year.
Moriani said the markets would contribute to local development and help the government address “smuggling and boost legal trade across the border.”
Pakistan is fencing its borders with Afghanistan and Iran to check cross-border militancy, illegal movement of people and smuggling, which is a major source of income for people living along border towns and villages.
Sardar Shoukat Popalzai, President Balochistan Economic Forum, said the government should have built “common markets” along the Afghanistan and Iran borders with the mutual consent of the neighboring governments to maximize benefits for people on both sides of the borders.
“The government has not released a feasibility report, if there is any, of these markets as to how are they going to help the local population,” he told Arab News.
Popalzai said Balochistan border areas were sparsely populated and establishment of a few shopping terminals would “hardly make any difference in the lives of the people.”
He said cross-border smuggling was a major source of income for people living in the frontier areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, so “this requires a lot more effort than mere setting up of markets to check this undocumented economy.”
Zubair Motiwala, chairman of the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the government should establish cold storages and warehouses in the border markets to boost the export of perishable and other items to the neighboring countries.
“The taxation system on the exports and imports of different items through the land routes should be well defined to encourage businessmen and locals to boost the legal trade with Afghanistan and Iran,” he said.