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Discrepancies in UHS library | PU divided over strike

Discrepancies in purchase of books for UHS library
Lahore, Apr 15: Certain discrepancies, pointing out the alleged misappropriation of funds, have been noticed in the purchase of books for the library of the University of Health Sciences.

It has been learnt that the UHS has been purchasing library books from a corporation at higher rates for over five years despite the availability of same books of the same quality from other book corporations at much lower prices.

According to information, the UHS has purchased books worth Rs 8,926,229, including the expense of Rs 3,935,194 from UHS funds and Rs 4,991,035 from funds under the HEC project, from the same book store since 2004.

'In view of the purchase of books worth of millions of rupees, the smallest of variations in the prices of books result in embezzlement of tens of lakhs of rupees over the past several years,' the officials alleged while adding that the university officials concerned were getting commission in the purchase of books. They said that the dying stocks of books at the book corporation were also sold to the university.

The UHS employees, the UHS Unit of All Pakistan Clerks Association, also brought the matter of irregularities in the purchase of library books into the notice of the UHS vice-chancellor.

In a letter addressed to the VC, the employees observed: 'The assistant librarian of the UHS purchased most of the books from a company because her father is an employee there, which is against the purchase policy under the government's rules.' The prices of books in the said book corporation are comparatively higher than those in other book companies in the market. The books of same title, author and even same number of pages have been purchased from the book corporation at high rates and from other companies at lower rates which also shows the said officialís corruption. It also shows that director (Admn & Coord) and the chairman Library Committee fully supported the said official to purchase the books.

When all these irregularities were brought into the notice of higher authorities, they decided to change the library staff instead of the responsible official.

The employees, in a letter to the VC, requested him to take action against the authorities concerned at the earliest to avoid the misuse of library funds. The employees regretted that the UHS administration neither responded to their letter nor held any inquiry or took any action against the persons concerned for the alleged irregularities.

It may be mentioned that the Library Committee, in its meeting held on February 24, 2010, headed by Convener Prof Dr M Tahir, expressed concern over the theft of books from the library and recommended that entire auxiliary staff might be replaced.

While quoting certain examples, the UHS purchased five books on Medical Physiology by Gayton from the said book corporation despite the fact that the HEC had already provided 150 books of the same title to the university.

Similarly, a couple of books of Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (4th edition) were purchased at Rs 4,498.92 from the said book outlet after having purchased the same books at Rs 3,677.35 from another book store in the market. A book of Lippincottís Illustrated Reviews Biochemistry (3rd edition) was purchased at Rs 895 from the said book store after purchasing three books of the same title at Rs 2,105.04 from market. A book of Lippincottís Illustrated Reviews Pharmacology (3rd edition) was purchased at Rs 795 from the said book corporation after purchasing two books of the same title at Rs 1,272 from the market. A couple of books of Goodman & Gilmanís the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (11th edition) were purchased at Rs 7,590 from the said book corporation while earlier two books of the same title were purchased at Rs 6,799.02 from the market. A book, Matindaleís The Complete Drug Reference (34th edition), was purchased at Rs 36,742.75 from the said book store although another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 29,394.20 from the market. A book titled Handbook of Pediatric Drug Therapy and Immunization was purchased at Rs 402.50 from the said book corporation, whereas earlier three books of the same title were purchased at Rs 966 from the market.

A book, Basic Medical Endocrinology (3rd edition), was purchased at Rs 957.95 from the said book store after having purchased two books of the same title at Rs 1,532.72 from the market. Interpretation of Diagnostic Test (8th edition) was purchased at Rs 1,327.50 from the said book store although earlier two books of the same title were purchased at Rs 2,081.52 from the market. Medical Problem in Dentistry (5th edition) was purchased at Rs 8,600.17 from the said book store although earlier two books of Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (11th edition) were purchased at Rs 13,485.02 from the market. Introductory Clinical Pharmacology (8th edition) & Photo Atlas was purchased at Rs 3,974.53 from the said book store after purchasing two books of the same title at Rs 6,474.98 from the market.

Emeryís Elements of Medical Genetics (13th edition) was purchased at Rs 4,008.82 from the said book store whereas another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 1,544.71 from the market. Two books of From Genes to Genomes: Concepts and Applications of DNA Technology (2nd edition) was purchased at Rs 8,956.80 from the said book store and another book of same title was purchased at Rs 3,582.72 from the market. Hematology: An Illustrated Color Text (3rd edition) was purchased at Rs 3,711.76 from the said book store while another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 2,969.41 from the market. Principles of Biochemistry (3rd edition) was purchased at Rs 4,325.40 from the said book store while another book of the same title was purchased for Rs 3,210.41 from the market.

Atlas of Head and Neck Pathology (2nd edition) was purchased at Rs 33,545.88 from the selected book store and another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 23,482.12 from the market. A book, Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (10th edition), was purchased at Rs 1,249.56 from the said book store and another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 1,073.18 from the market. Essential Clinical Anatomy (3rd edition) was purchased at Rs 3,171.96 (three books already purchased) and later two more books were also purchased at Rs 4,339.80 from the said book store, while a single book of the same title was purchased at Rs 1,749.60 from the market. Anatomy of Head, Neck & Brain was purchased at Rs 918.91 from the said book store and another book of the same title was purchased at Rs 768.24 from the market. Three books of Growth Disorders (2nd edition) were purchased at Rs 40,103.10 from the said book store, which were available at a price of Rs 20,051.55 from the market.

When contacted, the UHS spokesman said that, on the complaint of employees, an inquiry committee, comprising Registrar Dr Asad Zaheer and Library Committee Convener Prof Dr M Tahir thoroughly investigated the allegations into the purchase of books and found no anomaly, declaring that the purchase of library books was done in a judicious manner. He said the purchase of books was not made from any particular book corporation at high rates, adding that some book corporations were giving concession on single books and others were giving concession on the whole set of books. In this regard, the university purchased books from such book stores as were suitable so the allegations were unfounded, he maintained. The news

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PU teachers divided over strike
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) faculty was divided on Wednesday on the issue of strike as one group wants to slow down the protest campaign and call students back to their semester studies while the other favours the continuation of the boycott with full vigor.

The PU faculty has been on a complete academic boycott for the last 13 days in protest at alleged torture by a band of activists of the Islami Jamiat Tulaba on PU discipline committee chairman Prof Dr Iftikhar Husain Baloch.

The Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) general body meeting remained divided on the issue, though a majority of teachers wanted to launch "the second phase of the protest campaign" by ending the academic boycott and calling students back to their classes.

Speakers argued that most of the nominated accused had been arrested, while police were after the other accused. They said students were facing massive academic loss as their semester studies would be affected and they might need more time to complete their syllabus. They also argued that all these students would also face problems in getting admissions to next classes because the Punjab University as well as other varsities would conduct admissions as per schedule.

Though the general body seemed convinced to call students back on Monday, the debate went hot when some teachers made provocative speeches and decided to remain adamant that the complete academic boycott would continue. Some sources confided that the teachers, who wanted to prolong the complete academic boycott, were also trying to fail vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran.

Sources said PUASA leaders tried to calm the speakers and suggested that another general body meeting be organised on Thursday (today), but those advocating complete academic boycott said the strike should continue and the general body meeting be called on Monday.

After the general body meeting, the PUASA held its executive body meeting that remained in session for hours but again without any conclusion.

Sources said that the PUASA had called its executive body meeting on Thursday (today) to sort out the matter. They also claimed that the executive body wanted to call the association's emergent general body meeting on Friday (tomorrow) so that a decision could be taken to call students back on Monday, who had already lost their two precious weeks. Dawn

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PU's ICS department reeling from IJT nazim's readmission
Lahore: Just as many feared, another student expelled from the Punjab University (PU) Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) has sought readmission at the institute, following the precedent set in the case of a former Islami Jamiat Taliba (IJT) nazim, who was recently readmitted to the ICS having been dropped from the programme in 2006, it was learned.

Asif Raza, who dropped out of the 2007-2009 ICS programme, submitted an application to the PU VC, requesting that he be readmitted just as the ICS committee had readmitted former IJT nazim Ahmad Abu Bakar. "Isn't the law equal for everyone? If it is, then I am eligible for readmission," Raza wrote in his application.

Court: Raza said that he has twice submitted readmission requests to the VC, adding that following Bakar's readmission, he will even go to court if the VC refuses to listen to him. Bakar's readmission had sparked protests by teachers already enraged over the brutal torture of senior PU faculty member Dr Iftikhar Baloch by IJT activists. The teachers are demanding the expulsion of all IJT activists from the university.

Inquiry: PU Additional Registrar Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir said that the PU vice-chancellor had taken strict note of Bakar's readmission and had ordered an inquiry into the matter. Following the VC's instructions, Alamgir spoke with the ICS Examination Committee members, who according to him, filed 'irrelevant answers' to the questions asked by the inquiry committee. By readmitting Bakar to the ICS programme, the committee blatantly violated the PU semester rules, which state, "In case of a valid reason, the period of the study will be extended for one additional year and the students who do not complete studies within the stated period shall be automatically dropped from the programme".

Mess: At the time when Bakar was readmitted to the university, a senior PU official warned that the IJT activist's readmission will put the VC in "a lot of trouble" as hundreds of expelled students would take it as a precedent and would submit readmission applications.

He said the PU administration has expelled around 107 IJT activists over the last four years and now they were all demanding that they be readmitted. By allowing Bakar's readmission, the VC has 'gotten himself into a big mess' as all expelled students will go to court if the VC does not readmit them at the varsity, the official said. Bakar said some of these IJT activists were expelled because they were caught cheating in exams. He said the majority of PU teachers agreed on the fact that when the coordination committee had termed Bakar's readmission illegal, there was no basis for the former IJT nazim to be readmitted at the varsity.

ICS Director: Denying all allegations against him, ICS Director Dr Ahsan Akhtar Naz claimed that he has never interfered, influenced or issued orders to the ICS Exam Committee. He denied that any meeting of the committee was ever held at his office. Naz said every member of the committee had the freedom of speech, and the committee took all decisions according to the PU semester rules and regulations. He said Bakar's readmission was approved by all ICS Exam Committee members, where each member independently signed the approval document. "It is not possible for the director to trick an experienced and qualified member into signing any document," Naz said. Daily times

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PU team declared Best Winning Team
Lahore: The Punjab University students' team has been declared the 'Best Winning Team' for claiming the maximum positions in various events at "Students Week" organised by the PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, from April 9-10.

In the 2-day Students Week, Mian Faraz Ahmad of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) got first position in Solo Performance. Hafiz Tayyab of the Hailey College of Commerce and Hafiz Ghulam Mohyud Din of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) claimed third positions in Qiraat and Naat respectively. Toheed of the College of Art & Design bagged first position in Arfana Kalam. Short film, produced by Hassan Raza, Atif Waheed and Ayesha Mirza of the Institute of Communication Studies, clinched second position.

About 17 teams from the GC University Lahore, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Lahore, Agriculture University Faisalabad, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Gomal University DI Khan, Karakoram University Gilgit, UET Taxila, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, International Islamic University Islamabad, University of AJK, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and Peshawar University participated in the competitions.

Moreover, PU students' team clinched "Team Trophy" in 'All Pakistan Bilingual Declamation Contest 2010 organised by the College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (NUST) Rawalpindi from April 10-11. The PU team comprised of Fahad Ali Kazmi of the Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) and Hafiz Ghulam Mohyud Din of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS). It is an honour to mention that the PU completed hat-trick by winning Team Trophies from the NUST for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Mudassar Iqbal of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) participated in the Extempore Speech Contest and qualified for the final round. About 33 prominent teams (66 speakers) from the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Lahore, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Gomal University DI Khan, etc participated in the contest.

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PU announced BSEd results
Lahore: The Punjab University Examinations Department has announced the results of Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd), First Professional, Second Annual 2008, and First Annual 2009, Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd), Second Professional, Second Annual 2008, and First Annual 2009 and Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd), Third Professional, Second Annual 2008 and First Annual 2009. The news

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Kinnaird College faculty protest
Lahore: The Kinnaird College faculty staged a demonstration on Wednesday against 'non-payment' of salary to teachers serving on contract.

A number of teachers wearing black armbands and holding placards bearing slogans against the principal participated in the demonstration. College's acting registrar Rukhsana David was also part of the protest.

Protesters also demanded removal of former registrar Dr Naima Khursheed from the college.

Principal Dr Bernadette L. Dean said there was no issue of salary payment. She said the teachers having reservations about their promotion on attaining higher qualification should go to the finance committee of the college.

She said faculty members were just using this salary issue to hold a protest demonstration and pressure the board of governors (BoG) to remove her. She said protesters were also making a strange demand that the former registrar should be removed from the college faculty as well.

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PEF to build capacity of private teachers
Lahore: The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) has decided to revamp its Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPDP) for capacity-building of low-cost private sector schoolteachers and administrators at their doorsteps in 29 districts. The purpose of revamping is to strengthen the working of the teachers so that they could give quality education to their students.

Raja Muhammad Anwar, who is chairman of the Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education as well as the PEF, said this while presiding over a meeting at his office on Wednesday.

Anwar stressed that teachers of the PEF-partner schools should be fully trained so that they could optimally exploit their potential. He said the foundation had already trained 80,000 teachers. He hoped that joint collaboration with the British Council for training the master trainers of English language would improve standards of education in partner schools. The participants of the meeting were told that the PEF had computerised the CPDP data.

PEEF: The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) on Wednesday conducted a workshop to develop soft skills and leadership qualities among its scholarships holders.

At the workshop organised in collaboration with the volunteer support of Akhuwat and the University of Central Punjab, speakers including Khalid Zaheer and Hadia Awan stressed the importance of such workshops in enabling the scholarship holders to face future challenges and contribute towards the welfare of the country.

PEEF vice-chairman Dr Amjad Saqib and UCP dean Prof Azhar Ikram said such workshops would help in creating a critical mass of the talented youth for the welfare of the country.

In-charge minister of education Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman urged the scholarship holders to improve their leadership and communication skills to face future challenges and stressed that more workshops should be conducted on the same lines.

WDL: The Government College University will represent Pakistan at the World Digital Library (WDL) conference in Washington, United States, in June this year.

As many as 64 WDL partner institutions from 41 countries including the GCU, Lahore, will take part in the deliberations at the conference. GCU chief librarian Abdul Waheed is scheduled to attend the conference. Dawn

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