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Master degree for Central Superior Service (CSS) examinations

World Bank for raising CSS educational level
Islamabad, Apr 02: With elected public representatives need not have any education, the World Bank (WB) and a number of would-be bureaucrats strongly want the future civil servants in Pakistan to carry a Master's degree as their basic qualification.

Not only the WB but also the candidates have floated almost similar kind of proposals to set minimum required education to masters level for the Central Superior Service (CSS) examinations, well-placed official sources said here on Thursday.

When contacted for comments, Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) Chairman Justice (Retd) Rana Bhagwandas confirmed that the candidates do desire an increase in the education standard for the future CSS hopefuls.

"But I have no knowledge whether a World Bank proposal is also there as it may be a development prior to my assuming the position," the FPSC chairman responded to a query. Rana Bhagwandas maintained that neither the proposal had been discussed at the commission platform nor it was being under active consideration at present. "Therefore, you can say that there is no as such substance in it."

The FPSC chairman is engaged in conducting interviews of those successful candidates who qualified the written examinations in the CSS 2009. It is a suggestion on part of the candidates whom the commission is interviewing these days.

The FPSC sources insisted that there was a pending WB proposal and said that the same could be discussed at the next meeting of the full commission, all members, chairman and the secretary to accept or reject the new arrangements.

The age limit for the CSS aspirants, these sources said, would be increased at least by two years, bringing it to 30 years from the present 28 years for the fresh postgraduate degree possessors.

At present, the age restriction for the regular government employees, wishing to attempt the CSS, is 30 years and the new one would be 32 years in order to accommodate them in view of being in the service.

While explaining the process, they said that the proposals would be discussed first at the platform of the commission and then, if approved, would go before the Establishment Division and finally to the prime minister for an approval.

To another query, the sources within the commission said that the FPSC would have to make public at least two years before implementing the new mechanism. It would done thru be massive advertisements in the national newspapers in the two-year time. The news

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UK HC announces new visa fees for 2010-11 financial year
Islamabad: British High Commission in Islamabad Thursday announced new UK visa fees for the 2010-11 financial year, these new fees will come into effect on April 6,2010.The fee increase, which applies globally, is reviewed regularly and agreed by parliament. The new fees ensure a firm and fair immigration system, and will support a robust and enhanced visa service using the latest technology, with the cost of processing included.

In most visa categories the maximum fee increase is 2.5%. Some fees continue to be set at a level lower than the actual processing cost because it is considered to be in the interests of the UK to do so. Examples of subsidized visa categories include tourist visas and also the Tier 4 student visa which reflects the contribution made by international students to the UK economy and education.

In setting the fees, the UK government aims to strike the correct balance between maintaining secure and effective borders and improving the visa service to customers, and ensuring that the fee structure supports the UK's ability to attract those migrants and visitors that make a valued contribution. App

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127 training centres to be established
Islamabad: As many as 127 National Technical Training Centres, under a comprehensive plan with at least one in every district, will be established to raise the level of education in the country.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali to discuss various areas of education with the provincial/area education secretaries and managing directors of national and provincial education foundations.

The participants of the meeting were informed that these centres would provide state-of-the-art training, ranging from soft skills such as language, social engineering, etc, to highly technical areas of IT fabrication, operation and maintenance of heavy machinery, and modern agriculture skills in line with local and national needs.

The choice of skills/technical training to be offered would be decided according to the requirements of the local market/industry and the availability of raw material/natural resources.

These centres would arrest the dropout rate in education and provide opportunities for employable skills, making education to yield economic benefits that would help reduce frustration and agony among the educated youth, thus making them more skilled and productive.

The initiative, at an estimated cost of $692 million, has already been approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and the provinces have already conveyed their concurrence for the same. Initially, the project would be financed by the federal government in collaboration with international partners/donors.

The centres would become self-sustaining/income-generating after a period of five years and would be taken up by the provinces/areas accordingly.

The meeting stressed the need for the provision of missing facilities in schools like electricity, classrooms, drinking water, latrines, boundary walls, building and furniture.

The issue of up-gradation of primary schools to secondary level to increase access, especially for females in the rural areas, was also discussed and it was suggested to provide stipends to students at school level to arrest dropouts and increase the retention rate.

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Computer graduate seeks govt help for job
Rawalpindi: Short in height but high in spirits, three feet and eight inches tall Khurram is a graduate in the field of computer sciences, but is a little disappointed for not being able to get a job since August last after clearing his final examinations.

Khurram Ishfaq Qazi, 23, completed his BSc (Honours) in Software Engineering from the University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Taxila, and was confident that after getting his degree, he would not only get a suitable job but also be able to continue further studies. However, so far, he has failed to get a positive nod from any government or private institution where he took written tests and gave interviews.

Currently, he is doing an internship with EDO Health through the National Internship Programme, but he is not getting a chance to show his skills in Software Engineering. Khurram has also sent a proposal to the health department for establishing their IT department and creating their official website free of cost, but he is still waiting for a response from them. Four research papers by Khurram have already been published in different publications of Malaysia, Korea, Greece and England.

Khurram said, "I didn't make my short height my weakness and competed many other normal boys at UET Taxila. During my study period at the university, I didn't consider myself as a disabled person, but now I am thinking I was wrong, as despite clearing the tests and interviews in many government and private organisations, I failed to get a job," he said and added that he also applied in UET Taxila for the post of laboratory assistant, but he is still waiting for a response from even his own university.

"I want to continue my studies, but because of my limited resources, I am not in a position to do so, which is why I am looking for a job to bear my expenses. I want to work like other normal persons and want to support my father, who is running a technical education school since 1976, where he provides free education to young boys," Khurram said.

"I got free education at UET Taxila because of the former Punjab governor, Khalid Maqbool, when he visited the university and after meeting me ordered waiving off all my university fees," he added.

Khurram appealed to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Governor Punjab Salman Taseer to help him get a suitable job, so he could not only help his family but also continue to get higher education in Software Engineering.

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'Information Week & Expo' from 5th
Islamabad: In order to enhance information literacy and virtual learning environment among students, faculty members and knowledge seekers, Riphah International University will hold 'Information Week & Expo' here from April 5 to 9.

This is a unique activity that will promote information culture among the world of academia and information professionals and providers, says a press release.

The opening ceremony of the Information Week will be held on April 6 at 10:30am while the closing and prize distribution ceremony will be held on April 9 at 10:30am at the main University Campus in Sector I-14.

During the week, an exhibition will be held on April 6-7 at the I-14 University Main Campus, in which book sellers, publishers, information providers, news agencies, print & electronic media, cellular companies, FM radios and educational institutions will participate.

An essay writing competition on the subject 'Libraries are the Beating Heart of the Nation' in English and Urdu will also be held among students and faculty members, in which all students and faculty members of colleges and universities can participate. The last date for submission of essays is April 2 (Friday).

TV talk shows and lectures on various topics related to Information Technology with particular reference to the role of libraries will be held on April 7-8 from 10:30am to 12:00 noon at Al-Mizan Campus of the University.

Riphah Information Portal, developed by Zulfiqar Library of Riphah International

University, will also be formally launched and inaugurated on April 6 for the benefit of all.

The Information Services Department of Riphah International University is giving final touches to the arrangements for observing the week.

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Class V exam distinction
Islamabad: Fakiha Saleem secured second position in the Federal Government Girls Model Middle School, Sector G-7/3-4, by securing 419 marks out of 600 in the Class V Centralised Examination conducted by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), says a press release. She is the daughter of Saleem Akbar Usmani, senior sub-editor at the 'The News'.

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Beaconites revive world eras on fashion ramp
Islamabad: With the academic year drawing to an end, Beaconhouse School System All Girls A Level Branch in Sector F-10/3 hosted its much-awaited second annual fashion show titled 'Eras of the World' here on Thursday.

The competition show was participated by a total of 35 'models' and 13 'designers' on exotic themes of 'Egyptian Allure', 'Greek Paradise', 'Arabian Aura' and 'Mughal Galore'. It was a closely contested show, as all designers and models had followed the guidelines provided and had come up with excellent original designs and modelling.

A lot of care and painstaking effort was put in to ensure that the dresses were specifically designed to fit the themes and not just picked out from the wardrobe and showcased on stage. It was also evident that a great deal of research went into the designs.

The worthy judges, Anum Cheema - a young designer in her own right, and Saman Imtiaz and Asma Jahangir - both from within the Beaconhouse School System - announced the results. The winning designers included Madiha Zulfiqar for the theme 'Greek Paradise', Raeesa Jahangir for 'Mughal Galore', Shumaila Javed Bhatti for 'Egyptian Allure' and Fariya for 'Arabian Aura'. The Overall Best Model prize went to Hina Raja, who modelled an outfit designed by Shumaila Javed Bhatti.

Anam Cheema appreciated all participants for their efforts. She said: "It is worth appreciating the way students pulled it off so well. Hats off to the event management team!"

Principal Mrs Gulraiz Husain said that such platforms help nurture and bring out the talent in young girls. "At the Beaconhouse All Girls A Level Branch, our aim is to provide a variety of enriching experiences to our students," she said.

Kiran Zia, the head of the Event Management Committee, along with her team worked diligently to make the event a great success. "The fashion show was well-organised, amazing and a fun-filled experience," remarked one of the girls.

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College teachers warn of protest
Peshawar: Sarhad Collage Teachers Association (SCTA) Thursday threatened to launch protest drive if the government failed to accept its demands. The warning was given at a meeting of the association held here with provincial president Sabz Ali Marwat in the chair.

The participants of the meeting declared that the college teachers were facing immense problems, but the Pakistan People's Party-led government did not pay any heed to their rightful demands.

The president of the association said the government had failed to materialise its slogan of "Quality Education and Prosperous Teacher." He said the government should implement the time-scale formula for the welfare of teachers. He maintained that the government had also failed to fulfil the promise it made with the teachers of giving them one-step promotion on the pattern of university teachers. The teachers also demanded sizable raise in their salaries in accordance with hike in the price of items of daily use. The news

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