Classes I to X books shortage & new academic year
STB fails to supply books for new academic session
Karachi, April 13: Hundreds
of students and their guardians return home disappointed from book
markets like Urdu Bazaar, as the Sindh Textbook Board (STB) has failed
to supply the market with books for classes I to X prior to the
commencement of the new academic year beginning today, It has been
learnt after surveying the concerned markets.
By no means an
unusual occurrence, the STB has once again delayed textbook supply at a
crucial time, thus causing a serious inconvenience to students and their
parents, who were told by salesmen that approved publishers of the STB
were unsuccessful in printing and distributing this year's academic
material to the market to date.
Urdu Bazaar is the city's
largest and oldest book market and hundred of people throng this bazaar
to procure books, stationary and many other materials. However,
textbooks are the highest-selling item, and shopkeepers were left
waiting in confusion for the supply of their most lucrative product when
demand was at its peak.
Urdu Bazaar Welfare Association
President Nasim Ahmed claimed that the delay in providing textbooks is
pre-planned by the publishers to boost their own profits. He added that
the STB has a history of lagging behind in the printing process beacause
of the unfair practices of publishers, thus causing students to suffer
for in anticipation of their course material, without which their
academic progress is adversely affected.
Ahmed explained that he
chairman of STB issues the tenders for textbook printing to those
publishers who are registered with the board itself. However, these
publishers give priority to private sector tenders, and hence the
process of publishing books for private schools causes delays in
printing the textbooks approved by STB, he added.
He pointed to
the economics of this scenario in which the cheaper STB books yield a
12.5 percent profit, while private sector textbooks allow a hefty profit
margin of up to 30 to 50 per cent, as these are sold at a higher price
in the market. Therefore, publishers first print the more profitable
items and tend to STB approved course material later, he said.
further explained that ultimately, the parents are left with no choice
but to purchase the more expensive books in the absence of the more
economical STB ones, thus leading to a monopoly in the market for
publishers who have unfair practices.
He recommended that if STB
is serious about providing textbooks to the market on time then they
should cancel the licenses of the current publishers and issue tenders
to only those company's who are committed to printing textbooks approved
by the board on priority. He advised further that to ensure the latter
cooperation, the board should also consider increasing commission for
both publishers and retailers as added incentives.
highlighted that although STB has set a target of releasing textbooks
into the market from April 20 onwards, it will not be successful. The
printing process is not even in its final stages, hence it is close to
impossible for the board to deliver in the proposed timeframe, said
Sadly, students fear that they will be reprimanded in
school if their parents fail to purchase this year's textbooks, said
Aziz Mirza, a concerned father. "I have visited several shops in Urdu
Bazaar and each salesman has pointed to the delay in the market's supply
of textbooks," he added in frustration.
Muhammad Ali, another
disappointed parent roaming the bazaar with a list of books in hand said that he had purchased several books which were recommended
by his child's school, but the cheaper STB books were not available at
any shop he has visited thus far. The news
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ICAP holds certificate awarding ceremony
Karachi: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) organised its certificate awarding
ceremony at a local hotel Monday evening.
On this occasion,
certificates were awarded to the students who passed their final
examination held in winter 2010. Addressing the ceremony, speakers,
including Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Muhammad Hussain Mehanti,
Karachi Electric Supply Company's CEO Tabish Gauhar, Meezan Bank
President and CEO Irfan Siddiqui, former President ICAP Muniff Ziauddin,
Afzal Munif of Junaidy & Co and ICAP President Saqib Masood
felicitated the newly qualified chartered accountants (CAs).
urged graduates to keep up the hard work for betterment of economy and
society as a whole. They highlighted positive approach, hard work and
modesty as the key to success in life and underscored that in order for
CAs to continue enjoying the trust of society, highest level of
professional ethics and integrity needs to be maintained.
shed light on their experiences, student life and on emotions of the
parents, whose children were studying CA. While elaborating the
importance of the due role of accountants and accountability in the
society they said that the CAs can play a significant role in
eliminating the menace of corruption from the society.
congratulating the young CAs, ICAP president wished the graduates
excellence to achieve goals in corporate world. In this regard, he
underlined the importance of interpersonal skills and broadened horizons
to bring the best possible changes in businesses. The ceremony,
organised by the Southern Regional Committee of ICAP, was attended by
ICAP Council members and past presidents, eminent professionals,
representatives of trade and industry as well as parents of students.
the occasion ICAP president presented the Gold Medal to Bilal Asghar
for his outstanding performance in CA final examinations, while
examination certificates were distributed among 138 successful
candidates. Daily times
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Teachers reject proposed changes in MBBS curriculum
Karachi: Senior medical professionals and teachers on Tuesday took exception to the
proposed exclusion of forensic medicine from the MBBS curriculum,
expressing fears that this might jeopardise the availability of
medico-legal officers at hospitals.
The doctors and
professors said the proposal to abolish forensic medicine as a
fully-fledged subject and to incorporate it in the subject of pathology
for MBBS students would have serious fallout.
medical graduate, who has sufficient knowledge and training in the
subject of forensic medicine and is registered with the Pakistan Medical
and Dental Council, is authorised to perform medico-legal procedures
and discontinuation of the subject would affect the availability of
qualified medico-legal officers at hospitals.
the subject, being taught in two parts as Medical Jurisprudence and
Toxicology in third-year MBBS, will deprive graduates of essential and
extremely relevant medical knowledge," said Prof Qudsia Hasan, a senior
"This is already a neglected subject and we need
to focus on its improvement at the undergraduate level too instead of
doing away with it," said Prof Said Minhas.
Dr Mohammad Qutub
Siddiqui of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) said that
placing forensic medicine with pathology would lead to confusion among
the students as pathology in itself was a wide subject with its own
"This confusion will deny students of the knowledge
and enhance chances of error among graduates assigned the responsibility
to perform autopsy or any other medico-legal examination," the former
medico-legal officer said.
"The poor knowledge among doctors on
one hand may turn beneficial for the criminals or culprits and on the
other may compromise concerned doctor's proficiency to handle varied
forms of inflicted injuries, assaults or de-poison and may lead to
unintentional murder," he warned.
Prof Minhas associated with the
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre called for a proper mechanism under
which more and more teachers could be available to impart updated
training in forensic medicine to undergraduates.
Prof Hasan said
that the country would be exposed to serious shortage of MLOs and the
fallout would be most severe in small cities and towns.
to a question, she said there were around 15 doctors holding FCPS degree
in Forensic Medicine and that the postgraduate level training was
introduced by the CPSP some eight years ago.
The teachers alleged
that the move to exclude forensic medicine from MBBS curriculum was
mainly manoeuvred by private medical colleges.
"These colleges are
mainly catering to needs of international market for doctors as their
graduates rarely stay back in the country," said Dr Syed Ali Ashad.
mentioned that since medico-legal procedures were only performed at
public-sector hospitals, private medical colleges and universities were
little interested in teaching Forensic Medicine to students.
Hasan said most medical graduates, who went to rural areas, had an added
responsibility of dealing with medico-legal cases that could be done
only when the graduate had sound basic knowledge of Forensic Medicine.
referred to a Supreme Court decision passed some 15 years ago under
which women medical graduates were also to be necessarily assigned as
medico-legal examiners at all levels of healthcare facilities to ease
the process of justice in cases involving women.
"Our medical and
legal systems are in equal need of easy availability of qualified MLOs
so that justice could be ensured without any compromise," the doctors
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VC hopes for positive result of research on salt-tolerant plants
Karachi: While appreciating the invaluable research on the halophytes in the coastal
areas of Sindh and Balochistan, Vice Chancellor of the University of
Karachi, Prof. Pirzada Qasim, hoped that successful results on the
research of these salt-tolerant plants would help the economy.
Qasim said this while addressing a seminar on "Advances in
Eco-physiology of Salt Tolerance" organised by the Institute of
Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU), KU, the other day.
reminded the audience that Pakistan was an agro-based economy, and some
issues, especially salinity, was putting a negative impact on crop
cultivation. The university's scientists, in collaboration with foreign
agriculturalists, were conducting research to overcome issues of
salinity and shortage of sweet water.
Salt tolerance was among some of the major global problems in crop cultivation and there was a dire need to address this issue.
other countries, Pakistan was also conducting research of international
standards to make un-cultivatable lands cultivatable and the varsity's
scientists were playing a pivotal role in this regard.
He lauded the efforts of Prof. Dr Ajmal and expressed satisfaction over the ongoing research at the ISHU.
VC said the ISHU had conducted successful experiments in crop
cultivation with saline water in the coastal areas of Balochistan, which
might prove beneficial for cattle farming in the area. "Pakistan is an
agricultural country, but the farmers are not aware of the latest
technology and techniques of agri-business due to which they have failed
to collect their due share from the final outcome," he said, adding
that development in the agriculture sector would strengthen the local
Prof. Dr Muhammad Qaiser, the VC of the Federal Urdu
University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST), said the major
portion of our lands was facing the problem of salinity and production
and identification of sustainable halophytes had become the need of the
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KU seminar analyses fluid Middle East scenario
Karachi: The Middle East is passing through historic moments and requires a fresh
assessment encompassing both internal and external factors for a better
future of the region. People of the region are energetically moving
forward for their rights and this would lead to positive developments in
These views were expressed by Prof Dr Shahana Urooj
Kazmi, Pro-vice chancellor University of Karachi (KU) while speaking at
the inaugural session of the two-day international conference on "The
Middle East in a Changing World: a Contemporary Appraisal" organised by
the Department of International Relations in collaboration with
Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Islamabad.
Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, Dean
Faculty of Arts, mentioned that the waves of changes in the Middle East
would produce an environment conducive to peace and prosperity in the
Professor Dr Shaista Tabassum, Chairperson of the
Department, highlighted the significance of the conference and explained
why it was high time we took a fresh view of the region both for
students and scholars alike.
Martin Axmann, the representative of
Hanns-Seidel Foundation, Germany, threw light on the sweeping changes
coming in the Middle East and its potential to spread in the other
neighbouring parts of the region.
The theme of the First Session
was "Security: The Crucial Issue for the Middle East". Thomas Prenzel,
Department of Political Science, University of Rostok, Germany, in his
presentation on "The Arab-Israel Conflict: Only Costs, No Achievements"
said that the recent wave of protests in the Middle East had turned the
Israel-Palestine peace process into a deadlock. He explained briefly the
history of the conflict and pointed that the Arabs and Israelis must
realise that they are destined to live together and without it peace
would remain an elusive dream.
Dr Nazir Hussain, Professor at
Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-e-Azam University,
Islamabad, in his paper, "Iran: the contrast between diplomatic ties and
nuclear fear", raised at the beginning some questions regarding Iran's
nuclear programme and its implications for the region. He highlighted
the fact that United States was following the dual policy in the region
when it encouraged some states to acquire nuclear technology and forbade
Iran to do so.
Professor Dr Shaista Tabassum, Chairperson,
Department of International Relations, in her paper on "Water Conflicts
in Middle East" threw light upon the commonly unnoticed but extremely
important dimension of the Middle Eastern geo-political dynamics.
Jabbar, former senator, who was the chief guest, said that the region
needed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were effectively
implemented; otherwise the quality of life of people in Middle East
would remain a serious question mark.
The theme of the second
session was "Great Power Politics: Implications for the Middle East". Dr
Talat Wizarat, from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), in her
paper on "The Struggle for Oil: Competing Interests between China and
the US" said that since the oil was discovered first it had been a focus
of great powers in the region for their energy needs. She said that
China today is very cautiously following its Middle Eastern policy.
Muhammad Selim, from Department of Political Science, Kuwait
University, in his paper on "The Role of the United States in the
Arab-Israel Conflict" said that the US was a party to the conflict and
not the third party. It had barred the efforts to stop Israeli
oppression and also illegal policies in the region. He said that
sidelining the Hamas and the forces similar from the political process
would worsen the situation.
The theme of the third session was
"Politics and Economy: The Two-Sided Contiguity". Dr Rashid Ahmed Khan,
Department of International Relations and Political Science, University
of Sargodha, in his paper "The International Financial Crisis and its
impact on the Middle East" said that the fluctuation in prices of
petroleum greatly influenced international politics. The news
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Tanzeem-e-Asatza opposes HEC devolution
Karachi: President Tanzeem-e-Asatza Pakistan Prof Mian Mohammed
Akram on Tuesday criticising the proposed devolution of the Higher
Education Commission (HEC) said devolving the commission would wreak
havoc on national role of universities and research work. He said that
devolving the HEC would ultimately affect the international impact of
Pakistani degrees. He said that instead of increasing the education
budget, the government was bent on destroying higher education in the
country. He demanded that government take educationists and experts on
board while making any decision regarding the higher education system.
Meanwhile, President Pasban Karachi Chapter Saifuddin termed the
proposed devolution of the HEC a conspiracy to darken the future of
young people. He asked the government to withdraw decision to devolve
the HEC for the better future of Pakistani youth. ppi
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