Finance Ministry refused HEC budget
Finance ministry refuses to release Rs7.7b to HEC
Islamabad, April 09: Exerting
more pressure on the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the Ministry of
Finance refused to release instalment of recurring budget worth Rs7.7
billion for fourth quarter of the year 2010-11, which would ultimately
make it difficult to provide funds to 71 public sector universities for
payment of salaries to their employees, sources told this scribe here on
Sources said the Ministry of Finance maintained that
the future of the HEC is uncertain and it will not be able to release
any more funds unless it gets clear that which department will monitor
higher education sector in the country.
According to the HEC, in
the recurring budget for the financial year 2010-11, an amount of Rs28
billion was agreed upon by the Ministry of Finance, of which Rs23.2
billion were approved with a reduction of Rs4.8 billion.
stated that the instalment was a part of the commitment made last year
by the Ministry of Finance and it was highly needless to attribute it
with the present crisis regarding the future of the HEC.
recurring budget is provided to public sector universities for payment
of salaries to their teaching and non-teaching staff and the HEC never
uses this amount for any other purpose. Non-provision of funds would
create severe financial problems for employees who are already facing
unprecedented price hike in the country," sources said.
pertinent to mention here that the Ministry of Finance took similar step
last year that led to countrywide protests by teachers' federations due
to which the prime minister intervened into the affair and ordered
release of recurring budget to the HEC.
Sources said that the HEC
has sent an email to administrations of public sector universities
informing them about stoppage of instalment for recurring budget by the
Ministry of Finance that may result in non-provision of funds for
payment of salaries.
Talking to this scribe, former HEC chairman
Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said that the Ministry of Finance is trying to put
hurdles in the fast growth of this prestigious institution but "these
types of steps may prove fatal to the nation."
He hoped that the
president and the prime minister would play their due role as demanded
by the vice chancellors of 71 universities because continuation of HEC
would help bring higher education sector at par with international
Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman opined that Implementation
Commission Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani should tender his resignation
because, according to him, he (Raza Rabbani) is directly responsible for
all this mess that would push the country backward in the higher
"The HEC is fully protected under the 18th
Amendment and I wonder how the Implementation Commission can devolve it
against the spirit of this landmark amendment," he said.
education minister Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali told this correspondent that
representatives of political parties talk in support of the HEC when
they face the media but they hold entirely different viewpoint in
meetings of the Implementation Commission.
He said that the
federal government has nothing to do with the HEC devolution as
representatives of political parties in the Implementation Commission
approved it and they are directly responsible for this situation.
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YDA to announce deadline for possession of RMC girls' hostel
Rawalpindi: The Young Doctors Association (YDA), Rawalpindi Chapter, will announce the
deadline for getting possession of the Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC)
Girls Hostel building from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
YDA Punjab Chapter is also planning to involve provincial government
authorities to play their due role in getting possession of the
building, which was supposed to be vacated in the first week of March
this year as promised by the NAB high-ups.
The YDA Rawalpindi
Chapter could not give due attention to the issue of the RMC hostel
building due to strike in public sector hospitals across the province
for 38 days on issues of increase in salaries of young doctors, revision
of service structure and increase in health budget of the province,
said YDA Punjab General Council Chairman Dr. Muhammad Haroon on Friday.
He said that in a day or two, the YDA would announce the deadline for NAB to vacate the hostel building.
January 29, the YDA Rawalpindi Chapter organised a peaceful
demonstration in front of the RMC Girls' Hostel near Ali Nawaz Chowk
along Rawal Road and gave the deadline of February 28 to NAB high-ups
for vacating the building. In February, NAB high-ups assured the YDA
office-bearers that they would vacate the hostel building in the
beginning of March.
On February 3, PML-N MNA from Rawalpindi
Muhammad Hanif Abbasi assured the YDA that NAB would vacate the building
of the RMC hostel in February. The MNA had said that on his
directives the Rawalpindi commissioner met the NAB director general, who
assured that the NAB would vacate the RMC hostel building in February.
However the building has not been vacated so far.
The NAB has
been utilising the RMC hostel building for nearly 10 years and as a
consequence students, particularly female ones, have been suffering
badly. At times, the RMC has to accommodate even six students in a
single room, which makes the environment in no way conducive to studying
Meanwhile, on Friday, the young doctors resumed
their duties in outpatient departments of allied hospitals after 38 days
of strike. However, the influx of patients in OPDs remained thin.
young doctors have already started serving in emergency wards, ICUs,
CCUs and indoor patient departments after reassurance by Punjab Chief
Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif that the demands of the YDA would be
accepted. The CM constituted a six-member special committee, comprising
three members from the government - Senator Pervez Rashid, Punjab Law
Minister Rana Sanaullah and Senior Adviser to CM Zulfiqar Khosa, while
three members from the YDA - Dr. Nasir Abbas and Dr. Abu Bakr Gondal
from Lahore and Dr. Haroon from Rawalpindi. The committee will forward a
summary of the demands to the CM within two weeks.
meeting of the committee was held late Thursday evening to prepare the
Charter of Demands to be presented before the Punjab CM," said Dr.
Haroon while responding to a query.
He added that the Charter of
Demands apart from increase in salaries of young doctors, includes
revision of service structure, medical entitlement of doctors and their
families and district health issues. "Also the YDA demands cancellation
of appointment of 317 doctors inducted during strike," he said.
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NIP to start issuing placement letters to 1,600 internees
National Internship Programme (NIP) will start issuing placement
letters to 1,600 internees, to be deputed in federal capital, from April
NIP Director General Muntazir Hussain
said that out of total scrutinised applications for year 2010 as many
as 2,200 candidates preferred to be deputed in the capital. The
candidates are given choice in the application form where they can
mention the city of preference. "We called all 2,200 but only 1,600
confirmed. They will be issued placement letters on April 11, 12 and
13," he said.
Initiated in 2007, the National Internship
Programme (NIP) provides one-year job experience to youth while
side-by-side addressing the chronic shortage of staff in various public
sector organisations. The internees are also provided with an attractive
monthly stipend of Rs10,000.
This is the first badge of
candidates that will be placed after the devolution of Ministry of Youth
Affairs. The project remained at the standstill for few months after
the implementation of 18th Amendment. As it was attached with the
Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) which made part of the first five
ministries that were devolved under 18 Amendment, its funds were
surrendered to the federal government along with the funds for all other
projects under MoYA and the NIP was shifted to the Establishment
The process delayed the placement of internees for the
year 2010 creating confusion among the candidates about the future of
this project that is considered to be the most popular project among
The NIP employees receive hundreds of calls everyday on
its toll free number 080033330 mostly from the candidates that have
applied for NIP in the year 2010. Many of them and their parents visited
the NIP office to enquire about the status of their application. In
past three years, the NIP has offered internships to 85,000 boys and
Muntazir Hussain said that NIP targets to place 30,000 to
40,000 interns by the end of current fiscal year for which, the
department has received 100,000 applications. "The department has placed
the list of candidates on its website as well," he said while hopping
that the placement of next badge will start within nest three months.
said that provinces have almost completed the placement process.
Talking about the shortage of staff, he said that NIP has finally
received surplus staff from the devolved ministries which includes three
officers and three lower staff members. "Three more seats of officers
are vacant which we believe will be filled soon," he said.
NIP is running four different programs at this stage which include
programme offered for master level students from all over country with
an age limit of 25 years, internship programme for displaced persons
with the age limit of 28 year and condition of graduation and programmes
for Malakand Division, Baluchistan and rural Sindh with the same
conditions as are offered for displaced persons.
nearly Rs2.1 billion funds are exclusively available for NIP out of the
total allocation of Rs3.6 billion for the payment of stipend to the
interns. The NIP expects Rs1 billion surplus funds by the end of
financial year due to delay in placement of fresh interns in view of the
recent devolution business and shortage of staff with NIP office. The news
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Teachers' promotions delayed
Rawalpindi: Elementary and secondary schoolteachers
in Rawalpindi looking forward to promotions were left empty handed on
A District Promotion Committee,
headed by district coordination officer (DCO), could not hold its annual
meeting on Friday for the second consecutive day to decide about their
promotions. The committee was formed in 2007 under a special chief
minister package for promoting the primary, elementary, and secondary
Under the special package thousands of teachers
wait for upward mobility from their original scale as there is no
regular timescale for promotions. Schoolteachers usually retire in the
same scale they start their jobs in.
"The committee was to meet on
April 7 to decide the cases for promotions but the matter was deferred.
It was to meet on Friday but it did not," said Chaudhry Saghir Alam,
president Rawalpindi chapter of Punjab Teachers Union.
education department has completed the process of promoting teachers in
all other districts except Rawalpindi. Only the promotion cases of 3,000
primary schoolteachers have been decided in Rawalpindi. The elementary
and secondary schoolteachers are still waiting for their promotions,
said Chaudhry Alam, who is a secondary school teacher.
under the special package, 50 per cent of the elementary, primary and
secondary schoolteachers – based on their seniority – are promoted in
the next scale every year.
Fifteen per cent of the 'most senior'
primary school teachers will move to BPS-14 from BPS-9 and 35 per cent
will be promoted to BPS-12. And the 15 per cent secondary school
teachers will move to BPS-18 from BPS-16 and the 35 per cent will be
promoted to BPS-17.
But the promotions under the special package have been irregular.
promotions were made in 2009 and last year they were delayed. I am
going to retire by the end of this month. I will lose some financial
benefits if the promotions are delayed," said Nasira Shafiq, an
elementary schoolteacher, who started her career 30 years ago as primary
Executive District Officer Education Qazi Zahoorul Haq
said all the cases for 'due promotions' were ready for 'final approval'
of the district committee. He said the committee could not meet because
of prior appointments of DCO.
He said the committee was likely to meet in two to three days depending on the availability of DCO. Dawn
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Students suffer as teachers busy in census duty
students of the Punjab government schools are badly affected as
teachers have been assigned duties for population census in various
parts of the Rawalpindi division.
Parents seeking admissions for
their children in the government schools are also facing difficulties as
no one is entertaining them. On the other hand, dozens of teachers are
facing suspension for refusing to perform population census duty.
Rawalpindi Division Teachers Association President Chaudhary Saghir Alam
said that teachers in all the government boys and girls schools are not
attending schools since March 20 last as census would continue till
April 19, he said.
He said that new session has started from
April 1, but due to non-availability of teachers students are facing
problems in their studies.
Parents are also facing difficulties
to get their children enrolled due to the reason. "The Punjab government
is forcibly assigning duties to teachers for population census and
those who are refusing to perform the duty have to face suspension," he
He said that names of more than 100 teachers of Rawalpindi division are on the table of the authorities for suspension.
said that teachers would come back on April 19, but they have to join
the second phase of population census starting in June. But we are not
worried about the second phase because we would be on summer vacation at
that time, he said.
Executive District Officer (EDO) Education
Qazi Zahoor-ul-Haq admitted that teachers are not doing their job
because they are busy in ongoing population census. "We are not
assigning duties to those teachers who are sick, but we are obeying
orders of the authorities in this regard," he said. He said that
teachers would join schools very soon and we would extend admission date
to end parents' worry.
It is learnt that only clerks in
every government school are handling the situation. Boy and girl
students are attending schools but not studying for the last over two
Parents and students said that the
government should select other unemployed persons to perform the duty of
population census. The government has destroyed the education
department, they alleged. Noman Aftab, a student of Government Islamia
High School, said that all teachers are on duty of population census.
"We remain free without any study for the whole day. Even we could not
start our first lesson due to the absence of teachers," he said.
Kausar, Shabana, Noreen and some other students said that their
teachers have been absent for a week that is affecting our education.
Ali Shah, a father, said that the government is least concerned about
the future of students because hundreds of children are waiting for
admissions. "We are regularly visiting the schools and waiting for
teachers return to get admissions for our children," he said.
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QAU students organise 'Faiz Mela'
Islamabad: Students of Quaid-i-Azam University with the collaboration of National Students
Federation organised 'Faiz Mela' in the lawns of Central Library here
The stage was adorned with a banner having the famous verse of Faiz 'Yeh dagh dagh ujala, yeh shab-gazeeda sahar.'
Ashfaq Saleem Mirza said that Faiz Ahmed Faiz is being celebrated as a
celebrity figure whereas he was a common man, and that is also what his
poetry is about. Faiz's message was for the workers, the peasants, the
students, and his message was a complex one, which needs to be
understood in depth. He congratulated the NSF for organising this event
and hoped that there would be more such events organised by students on
Professor Ahsan from National Institute of
Pakistan Studies said that unfortunately Faiz is being presented on the
official level as merely a humanist, detaching his poetry and message
from his politics. He said students need to revive the tradition of
resistance and revolutionary politics of which Faiz is a symbol.
on the occasion, Hassan Shah, President of Employees Welfare
Federation, demanded restoration of students unions in the universities.
He said that it is the unity among students, faculty and employees that
can help them secure their common rights.
Ammar Rashid started
with 'Aaj bazaar mein pa-bajolan chalo' but the landmark poem 'Hum
dekhain ge' enthralled the audience, mostly students of QAU.
Arieb Azhar known for his association with Progressive
Movement in his typical cap with the help of guitar presented 'kalam'
of some others but the message was the same as that of Faiz. The first
was Khawaja Ghulam Farid's 'Tenun wajib te imkaan kahun.' Shaikh Ayaz,
he said, was a friend of Faiz. His 'Aaj to keh de' was one of Urdu poems
Arieb performed on.
'Moun aai baat na rehndi ay' of Bulleh Shah
that provokes us to speak the truth in the face of tyranny and
oppression was Ariebs next choice. The last was Sakhi Shahbaz Qalandar's
'Qalandar Jhoolay Lal'. If analysed deeply, the message of all the
mystics, as Arieb said, including Faiz called by some writers as
'Mulamati' Sufi was a mystic par excellence and same is the case with
other progressive poets.
The last was a 'farmaishi' renditions
'Get up, stand up for your rights' of Bob Morley, the famous English
singer which made the students to get up and dance to the tunes which
included a Baba Jee whose stick was by another student as a dance prop.
Sohaib Bodla thanked the audience for their participation.
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IIU Spring festival
Rawalpindi: A two-day Spring Festival will start at the International Islamic
University Schools, F-1045, 6th Road, Satellite Town Campus, today
(Saturday). According to a press release issued here Friday, the spring
festival is being jointly organised by the Jang Cultural Wing and IIU
Schools. International Islamic Univeristy Rector Professor Fateh
Mohammad Malik will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the
festival. International Islamic University Schools Vice President
Professor Gulzar Khwaja will be the chief guest at the concluding
ceremony of the festival on April 10. The news
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