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Beaconhouse National University departments' merger

Departments' merger leaves BNU students in limbo
Lahore, April 01: A horde of students from the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) – mostly from the department of School of Liberal Arts (SLA) – protested on Wednesday against the administration's decision to merge their department with another department – the School of Social Sciences (SSS) – and the "unceremonious" termination of their dean, Naveed Shahzad.

Gathered in the campus courtyard, the students were holding placards and posters and shouting slogans against the Board of Governors' decision to merge the departments. Some students also protested outside the campus and were not willing to end it despite security personnel stopping them.

A student from the SLA said that they started protesting as soon as they got news of the merger. He said the administration had also terminated their Dean Naveed Shahzad and decided to hand over SLA to another dean who had nothing to do with their curricula.

Incompetence: He said if the administration did want to merge SLA with another department, it could have done it with the School of Media and Communication, which was more relevant to their programme. He said a look at the profiles of SSS faculty members would prove that none of them were competent enough to teach the SLA syllabi. He also said there were three batches currently enrolled at SLA and they should be allowed to continue their programmes under the current rules, adding the merger should be effective for students who enrol for the new semester. Another SLA student said they got admission to the university only to be taught from the SLA faculty mentioned in the university prospectus and not from people who had nothing to do with their courses. She said a prospectus is a "contract" between the students and the university and should not be violated. She said she and her fellow students were satisfied with their dean and would not accept any decisions made without taking the students into confidence.

Demands: She said the students had been invited by the BNU Vice Chancellor Sartaj Aziz today (Thursday) where they will present a charter of demands, but she said they were committed to not accepting the decision. She said they would protest across the city if the administration did not withdraw its decision. Criticising the administration, other female students said they were not fool enough to allow the merger of SLA and SSS and neither did their parents want it.

Results: One of the students said the courses offered at SLA focused more towards practical and technical studies and were not concerned with SSS. She said SLA was one of the most popular departments of BNU and its faculty – under the leadership of Naveed Shahzad – was yielding desired results.

Confidence: A senior BNU faculty member said that students, faculty members and parents had not been taken into confidence over the decision, while they were equal stakeholders. He said there were some legal complications in the decision and the students' protest against the merger was justified.

Centralisation: However, Sartaj Aziz said that they would merge SSS with SLA, adding that Social Sciences, Law and Humanities were merged at LUMS as well and had not affected their academic matters. He said they were centralising administrative affairs and would merge more departments in the future. He said the notion that the film and TV department was being sidelined was totally false, adding that both SSS and SLA would be headed by separate members but would work under one dean.

New dean: He said the merger would not create any problems for the administration, which was competent enough to handle all the students together. He said Dr Hafeez Pasha would head the combined faculty, while they were not terminating Naveed Shahzad but promoting her.

However, sources said that the merger of SSS and SLA would have a significant impact on the students' futures, whereby if the students of TV, film and theatre received a degree in social sciences, it would be totally irrelevant to their field of specialisation.

Separately, academic circles are abuzz with the view that the merger of SLA into SSS is not possible since BNU holds a provincial charter – under which a university needs to have a minimum of six departments while the current merger and any future ones would reduce the number of departments at BNU to four. Academicians are of the view that a university holding a provincial charter does not need the centralising that BNU is going for.

8 VC says merger will centralise administrative affairs, more depts will be merged soon; Dr Hafeez Pasha to head combined faculty, Naveed Shahzad being promoted. Daily times

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No 'unofficial' book fair at PU: VC
Lahore: Punjab University vice-chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that no student organization would be allowed to organize separate book fair within the varsity premises.

He said this in a meeting with the facultiesí deans, principals of colleges and high ranking administrative officers here on Wednesday.

According to a press release here, the meeting decided that, as per previous practice, the PU administration itself would organize book fair, for which a suitable date would be announced in due course of time after making befitting administrative measures for the fullest participation of the students community in the book fair.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Ch and Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan also attended the meeting. The news

No classes at PU
Lahore: Punjab University administration has announced that in view of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul's presence in the City, classes would not be held on Thursday while buses will remain non-operational on Thursday. Only gate No 1 and 2 will remain open for entrance and exit of the visitors.

Meanwhile, Punjab University has announced the results of MSc Computational Physics, 2-Years (Morning), Semester System, Session 2007-2009, MSc Computational Physics, 2-Years (Evening), Semester System, Session 2007-2009, MSc Physical Education, (Morning), Semester System, Session 2007-2009 and MSc Physical Education, (Self Supporting), Semester System, Session 2007-2009. The nation

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Achievers of class-V, VIII honoured
Lahore: The education department on Wednesday honoured top position holders of class-V and VIII in Lahore district. The Punjab Examination Commission had declared the results on Tuesday.

According to results, overall top position in class-VIII was bagged by Arslan Tariq of Government Central Model School, Lower Mall, who secured 743 marks out of 800.

Shariq Nadeem of Society Public School stood second with 735 marks, while Ali Zohaib Saeed got third position with 734 marks.

Among female candidates, Mehak Sabir of Wapda Girls High School, Shalimar Town, clinched first position with 729 marks. Mahrukh Naseem of Qazi Grammar Girls School High School, Chungi Amer Sidhu, secured second position with 722 marks.

The third position was shared by Hafiza Maham Tariq of Government Comprehensive Girls High School, Wahdat Road, and Maria Kanwal of Qazi Grammar Girls School High School, with 719 marks each.

In class-V, the overall top position was clinched by Irum Shahid of Government Kinnaird Girls High School with 521 marks out of 600. Muhammad Bilal Salman and Sharafat Ali of Government Elementary School, Amritsar, Ravi Road, bagged second and third positions with 520 and 516 marks, respectively.

Among boys, the third position was shared by Nauman Ashiq and Muhammad Salman of Government Elementary School, Amritsar, Ravi Road, with 515 marks each.

Lahore EDO (education) Dr Muhammad Arshad presented medals to top position holders. Dawn

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Professor's termination stay extended
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday extended the stay granted against the termination of the Punjab University's professor Dr Muhammad Salim and fixed the main petition for April 14.

The PU had moved an application to vacate the stay but the court dismissed the same, observing that the petitioner-professor was condemned unheard in violation of law.

The petitioner, through his counsel, contended that he was appointed in the PU Botany department as professor in Grade-20 on two-year probation. He submitted that his probation ended on August 31, 2008 but he was not intimated about his confirmation.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court had held in different cases that after completion of probation period, an employee deemed to have become permanent employee of the university. He said under the University of Punjab Act 1973 the total period of probation should not exceed three years. He said instead of issue confirmation letter, he received a letter from the university administration on February 27, a public holiday, that his services were no more required.

The petitioner said that neither a show-cause notice was issued nor the opportunity of hearing was afforded to him. He said the head of department had nurtured a grudge against him and wrote adverse remarks in his Annual Confidential Report, alleging that he had violated rules and regulations. The news

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