KEMU varsity status issue | PU 'selective' policy under fire
KEMU to oppose move to withdraw varsity status
Lahore, April 06: The Punjab government is likely to face strong resistance from
medical community in general and the King Edward Medical University in
particular against what is believed to be a 'unilateral' decision to withdraw
its university status.
It is not likely to be smooth sailing for the
Punjab government as the KEMU is set to hold a special meeting of the Academic
Council on Monday (today) to discuss the matter threadbare and come up with a
strategy to counter the move to undo the elevation of former King Edward Medical
College to a university. The KEMU administration and faculty is literally fuming
over the health secretary, Dr Amer Aziz, and the vice-chancellor of the
University of Health Sciences, for working to the detriment of their
institution. They believe that the PML-N government under the leadership of Mian
Shahbaz Sharif, which is the flag-bearer of justice, should not implement the
decision unilaterally when the KEMU remains unheard.
The KEMU Academic
Council, in one of its previous meetings held some six months ago,
overwhelmingly supported university status of their institution. During secret
voting conducted on behalf of the Punjab government, at least 59 senior faculty
members rejected the idea to deprive KEMU of its university status against a
single vote cast by Prof Dr Nausheen, Professor of Preventive Paediatrics, who
also happens to be the wife of Dr Amer Aziz, in favour of institution's
restoration to original status of a college.
The UHS, which derives its
strength from Section 37 of the UHS Ordinance awarding exclusive mandate of
affiliation in Punjab, is once again going to be the main beneficiary of the
fresh move after the UHS has been given the right to conduct entrance tests for
admissions to medical/dental colleges in the province, while KEMU remains a
loser on both counts. It is learnt that KEMU's incumbent vice-chancellor had
faced opposition from within the varsity for surrendering the right to conduct
entrance test in favour of UHS without offering any resistance.
comparison with the KEMU, the UHS has been extremely lucky to have complete
support of the provincial government as it immediately sent the KEMU VC packing
with the reversal of reemployment policy, while the UHS VC, despite serving post
retirement, escaped the sword. The provincial government, on the one hand, fully
empowered the UHS VC, while on the other it failed to appoint a regular VC at
the KEMU to independently run the affairs of the university.
PML-N provincial government, despite relentlessly pursuing Farah Dogar's case,
did not bother to hold any inquiry, or make it public, regarding the complaints
of anomalies in the UHS entrance test, which in a glaring example, incorporated
218 candidates one day after formal declaration of the result of entrance test.
As a result, the affected candidates had to challenge their results in the court
as a last resort. Furthermore, it has also been pointed out that the UHS had the
smallest whole time faculty as one professor was heading three different
departments of basic medical sciences. "The UHS is banking on 'adjunct faculty'
from amongst the full-time employees of medical colleges and hospitals, many of
whom are part-time teachers or never attend the university," former UHS
professors have said.
Besides the medical community, faculty and staff of
the KEMU, students are simply stunned as their alma mater is set to be restored
back to its previous status of a college. The students, who fulfilled highest
merit in Punjab, may be deprived of a degree of their own university. About 159
foreign students at KEMU, who got their respective scholarships from their
countries for KEMU, are also uncertain about their future after spending a few
years in Pakistan.
Dr Amer Aziz said he fully
supported the KEMU to be restored to its original status yet the Punjab
government had not taken the decision at his or the health secretary's behest
because the CM had approved the summary in this regard before the imposition of
governor's rule in Punjab. He said the decision was in fact taken on the basis
of third party audit conducted by Prof John Biggs, Dean of Academics at
Cambridge University, and recommended withdrawing KEMU's university status on
the basis of its poor performance.
He observed that the KEMU had
miserably failed to make any significant mark since its elevation despite
increase in funds from Rs 170 million to present Rs 510 million annually. "There
is not a single anaesthetist in Lady Wellington Hospital," he said.
observed that the KEMU had launched 'third class' postgraduate diplomas to churn
out nothing but 'qualified quacks'. When asked about the Pakistan Medical and
Dental Council's recognition of KEMU's diplomas, he said that the PMDC had
recognized some of the diplomas only now, but most of the diplomas were still
not recognised. "I have also written a strong letter to the PMDC for its role in
ruining the standard of medical education," he said.
He claimed that the
UHS had performed far better than the KEMU as it declared results within two to
three days, while KEMU 'authorities' had done nothing but award positions to
their sons and daughters. He said the KEMU was offering MS and MD courses
arbitrarily, while he had got approved MS and MD courses at the UHS only after
KEMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Zafarullah Khan expressed his dismay over
the government's decision to withdraw university's status unilaterally without
taking varsity on board. He regretted that those, who were earning millions in
private sector, were deciding the fate of public sector institutions.
said the Health Department had stopped the varsity from appointing assistant
professors and associate professors to fill 30 vacant posts at KEMU to the loss
He claimed that the KEMU had made several strides towards
academic and research development more than any other university, but those
could be presented only if the varsity was given a chance to respond to the
wrong impression being created by the detractors of the university. He said that
if, at all, there were shortcomings in the working of the university then they
should be improved rather than demolishing the whole institution.
Prof Hussain Mubashir Malik was unavailable for comments. The UHS spokesman,
however, denied any role in the government's decision to withdraw KEMU's
When contacted, Health Secretary Anwaar Ahmad Khan
said that the provincial government had meted out equal treatment to both
medical universities i.e. KEMU and UHS without any discrimination, and added
that now the competent authority had approved the summary of the repeal of KEMU
Act and they would just have to implement it as obedient servants of the
government. He said that if the KEMU administration and faculty should write to
the Health Department or directly convey their concern to the Punjab chief
minister if they had grievances.
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PU 'selective' policy under fire
Lahore: A Heated debate on the implementation of "One Man One Post"
decision at the Punjab University (PU) is ongoing ever since a senior faculty
member who was director of an institute as well as dean of a faculty was
"deprived" of directorship of the institute.
Prof Dr Mughees Uddin
Sheikh, Dean Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences who was also Director of
the PU Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) was removed from directorship of
the institute by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran recently.
PU officials believe the decision to remove Dr Mughees from directorship of the
institute was taken following the varsity's Academic Staff Association (ASA)
passed a unanimous resolution demanding implementation of university's syndicate
decision of "One Man One Post".
Majority of faculty members, however,
have been criticising the VC for his "prompt" action alleging the ICS director
was "victimised" as the decision was implemented exclusively in his case while
many others who had been holding more than two offices were still performing
their duties against the "coveted" posts.
A senior faculty member said
Prof Dr Muhammad Ehsan Malik was not the only Dean Faculty of Economics and
Management Sciences but he was also holding offices of Director PU Institute of
Business Administration and director general of the PU Gujranwala
He also said that Prof Shaista Sonnu Siraj ud Din was Dean
Faculty of Arts and Humanities as well as Chairperson of the Department of
English Language and Literature, Prof Dr Liaquat Ali Dean Faculty of Commerce
and also Principal Hailey College of Commerce, Prof Dr Javaid Ahmad Dean Faculty
of Engineering and Technology and also Principal of College of Engineering and
Emerging Technologies and Prof Dr Muhammad Jamshaid was Faculty of Pharmacy dean
and also principal of the PU College of Pharmacy.
PU teachers are of the
view that if the VC was really sincere in ensuring implementation of "One Man
One Post" decision, then he should have removed all those holding two or more
than two offices. They said removal of Dr Mughees as ICS director was being seen
as "a pure case of victimization" as he had been quite critical of the VC's
policies in recent past and above all he did not belong to the VC's 'camp'.
The PU VC had to face criticism in connection with removal of Dr Mughees
during a function held last week. The event was organised by the ICS in the
honour of its outgoing director Prof Dr Mughees Uddin Sheikh.
One of the
speakers even said: "Dr Mughees is the first and last victim of the incumbent
VC's "one man, one seat" policy as nobody else has been displaced from his dual
duty in the university."
Dr Mughees himself was seen quite "aggressive"
during his speech. Speaking on the occasion, he even suggested that the VC
"announce amnesty for all his opponent faculty members to have real peace of
"I criticize openly as I am not a coward and I am never afraid of
tomorrow, but I never hoodwink my friends, I am blunt," he said.
Mujahid Kamran, however, showed patience and preferred to avoid discussing the
issue of "One Man One Post". --firstname.lastname@example.org (The News)
PU wins two diplomacy awards
Lahore: The Punjab University Model United Nations (PUMUN) team has won
two outstanding diplomacy awards at the Harvard World Model UN Conference 2009
at The Hague, the Netherlands.
According to PU, the 11-member student
delegation, accompanied by adviser (students) Prof Dr Makshoof Athar and Law
College assistant professor Samee Uzair, participated in the major student model
UN conference from March 22 to 27.
PU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid
Karmran and Law College principal Prof Shazia Noreen Qureshi have congratulated
the team on their performance. The students who won awards included Syed Nishat
Kazmi and Sher Afghan Malik.
It is noteworthy that this was the
first-ever participation by a PU student delegation in world model UN
The students also visited the International Court of Justice
and attended the Pakistan Day reception at the Pakistani Embassy at Hague.
Last year, the PU team participated in the European model UN conference
and won awards.
5-day workshop on molecular markers of diseases at PU
Lahore: The Punjab University's School of Biological Sciences
(SBS) will hold a five-day international workshop on 'Separation Science and the
Omics' from today (Monday) until April 10.
Researchers and scientists
from Bangladesh, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and those from various universities of the
country will participate in the workshop, which would deal with the latest
techniques used in the detection and quantification of specific protein markers
in various forms of cancer and other diseases. These studies are essential for
correct diagnosis of many diseases and assessment of the stage of diseases in
human. SBS Director Prof M Waheed Akhtar said the workshop programmes included
lectures as well as hands-on training on some of the modern analytical
techniques. He further said leading scientists in the field of proteomics would
deliver lectures on the different aspects of the studies of the complex protein
samples and their applications in the diagnosis of diseases.
activity in the field of proteomics is currently one of the most widely pursued
areas of research. The deliberations of the workshop will help young scientists
and researchers in learning the latest developments. This will not only give
impetus in research in this important field, but also in developing population
specific diagnostic procedures. App
Lahore: The Punjab University School of Biological Sciences (SBS) will organise a five-day international
workshop "Molecular Markers of Diseases'" from April 6-10. Researchers and
scientists from Bangladesh, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and from various universities
of the country will participate in the workshop. The News
Law College students' protest
Lahore: Despite holiday, a large number of PU Law College
students protested here in front of vice-chancellor office against the
humiliated bevahiour and publication of baseless news item in the Daily
'Khabrian' against PU vice-chancellor and principal Law College. The students
were carrying banners against the reporter and administration of the Daily
'Khabrain' and they said they would take strict action if university faculty
members were insulted next time and they would also demonstrate in front of the
Governor's House and Lahore Press Club. F.P. Report
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LCWU offers virtual classes
Lahore: Lahore College
for Women University (LCWU) started a joint programmr in Museum Studies with
John Hopkins University (JHU) in Washington DC, providing local students an
opportunity of having virtual classes with US students to study modern methods
of museum management in cities and at archaeological sites.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Bushra Mateen signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
the JHU. "LCWU is offering foundation courses for two semesters to resolve the
problems faced by the museum," said Mass Communication Department Head Dr Anjum
"Admission to LCWU will be accepted on the basis of merit.
Candidates must have a MA degree in History, Archaeology, Pakistan History,
Business Management, Computer Sciences, etc," sources said.
NAVTEC, BMZ and DFID sign declaration
Islamabad: National Vocational & Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC), German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
(its German abbrevation - BMZ), and UK Department for International Development
(DFID) on Saturday signed a joint declaration to support vocational training
reforms in Pakistan. NAVTEC Chairman Adnan A Khawaja, BMZ Director General
Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven and DFID Country Director Eric Howthorne signed the joint
declaration. The declaration says that Pakistan had requested the German
ministry, DFID and the donors to support implementation of National Skills
Development (2009-13) Strategy programme. It says Pakistan gives development of
professional skills a high priority to achieve sustained economic and social
development, remain globally competitive and respond to the changes in
technology and work patters. NAVTEC representative termed this partnership
unique. He said it was one of the most comprehensive assistance programme in
TVET in Pakistan. Daily Times
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