4-year degree programmes in Punjab
Four-year degree programmes may raise equivalence issues
Lahore, Aug 02: The Punjab government is ambitious to launch 4-year degree
programmes in 26 selected colleges and Skills Based Degree Programmes
in some public colleges of the province from the coming academic
But, the government seems to be oblivious to the fact
that graduates with 4-year degrees from universities are already
suffering owing to equivalence issues.
The most recent example
in this regard is the rejection of a candidate by the Punjab Public
Service Commission (PPSC) for the post of Assistant Director Research/
Research Officer in the Punjab Environment Protection Department.
candidate was having 4-years BS degree in chemistry which the PPSC
"think- tanks" declared as not equivalent to the MSc chemistry as
advertised for the post.
Afterwards the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) wrote to the Punjab Higher Education Department to
create awareness among the students, saving them a great deal of
Higher Education secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said that
the equivalence issues had already been sorted out. However, he added,
the issues pertaining to nomenclature of a particular degree programmes
were taken up on case to case basis by the department.
Education Commission's executive director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said the
problems were arising because of lack of awareness. He added that the
Commission would hold meetings with the Federal Public Service
Commission (FPSC) and the Punjab Public Service Commissions to create
maximum awareness on equivalence of degrees in coming days.
the launch of demand-driven and job-oriented degree courses in public
colleges, academic circles said that the issues pertaining to
equivalence should be settled at the earliest, saving the students
They said that the launch of Skills Based Degree
Programmes would be another milestone in the academic history of the
province as the traditional BA/BSc was losing its practicality in
rapidly changing scenario. Undoubtedly, the government alone is the
biggest employer of graduates having conventional degrees. An
academician has rightly said: "The present system is churning out
thousands of graduates with little or no marketable skills."
Punjab government, realizing the changing trends and market demands, has
decided in principle to launch 4-year degree programmes gradually.
Parallel to this, another initiative the government is embarking upon is
the Skills Based Degree Programmes under which the Punjab Higher
Education Department plans to impart practical training to students in
the fields relevant to local industry, organizations and institutions,
to prepare them for new market place.
It is learnt that the new
associate degree programmes would be launched in partnership with public
universities of the province, just 4-year degree programmes in
Sharing details of the proposed associate degree
programme, an official of the department said many talented students
were deprived of admissions to engineering, veterinary, computer and
management sciences, etc, in public sector higher education institutions
due to limited seats. They have no option except to join degree
colleges for BA/BSc degrees where they study conventional subjects, he
The official said the huge chunk of population could not
learn advance skills in emerging disciplines, depriving them of suitable
He added the government had planed to
offer associate degrees in the fields of agriculture, applied
engineering, business management & finance, health sciences, arts
& design, information technology, mass communication & media,
tourism & hospitality management, livestock production, management
& dairy development and sports & health education, etc, in
selected colleges across the province from upcoming academic session.
in HEC budget pushes varsities to wall: The substantial cut in budget
of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) by the Federal government
vis-a-vis adhoc increase in salaries, medical allowance and increase in
pension of employees has started ëtroublingí (in terms of finances) the
Failing to convince the government to enhance the
HEC funding, the varsities have now started shifting the burden on poor
students by increasing fee.
In a recent meeting with the HEC,
the vice-chancellors (VCs) from across the country had demanded the
government restore the budget to its original level of Rs 28 billion
Recurring budget and Rs 30 billion Development budget, as agreed upon by
the Ministry of Finance for fiscal year 2010/11.They had also demanded
the federal government provide a supplementary recurring grant of Rs 7
billion to cater to salary increases. Otherwise, they warned, the
varsities would have no option but to increase fee.
University (PU) is perhaps the first varsity to increase fee for its
off-campus students. It is learnt the PU VC has also demanded the Punjab
government provide a grant of Rs 515 million to cover the deficit the
varsity is likely to face in the wake of 50 percent increase in salaries
It is learnt that almost every university has
seriously been weighing the option of increasing fee. Reportedly, the
University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore, has already
proposed over 100 percent increase in tuition fee for its students,
though a final decision in this regard is yet to be taken.
The emerging situation will add to the problems of the poor who are striving hard to survive in the fast increasing inflation.
"It not possible for a single individual to start Ph.D program for all discipline. I am unable to understand how a person can manage all the task and understand terminology of all fields. It is also not fair for seniors to conduct classes for completing coursework, as most of seniors have conducted national/ international workshops on research methods."
Name: Muhammad Ibrahim
City, Country:Lahore, Pakistan
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KEMU starts PhD programme despite faculty shortage
Lahore: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) has pointed out that the King
Edward Medical University is facing acute shortage of medical faculty
and 44 seats of medical teachers are lying vacant. Despite this
situation, the varsity administration has started a PhD programme.
According to a press release issued here on Sunday, the YDA
office-bearers, including Dr Rana Sohail, Dr Salman Kazmi, Dr Aslam Rao
and Dr Talha Sherwani, have shown serious concern over this decision of
the varsity administration and said that KEMU administration had failed
to fill the vacant seats of the medical teachers for the MBBS students
but were planning to start the PhD programme in the presence of only PhD
teacher in the Pathology Department of the university. The news
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Taxila UET staff demand 50pc increase in salaries
Taxila: Over 400 employees including academic staff of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila have said they did
not get 50 per cent increase in their salaries for the month of July.
Talking to newsmen they said this has created unrest among a large
number of employees of UET Taxila including professors, assistant
professors, lecturers and other administrative staff.
percent increase in their salaries has not been included in their pay in
sheer violation of the federal and provincial government orders. They
said the current salary did not match the inflation.
of employees demanded of the government to increase their salaries as
they did in other governmental departments including public sector
The employees said inflation had made their life
miserable, as the prices of all edible commodities had gone out of their
reach making their survival difficult. "We demand 50 percent increase
in our salaries as announced in federal budget," they said.
Taxila UET Director (planning and development) Musharf Sabih Sheikh said that the increase in salary had not been denied but delayed.
He said that most of the public sector universities in the country had
failed to pay 50 per cent increase in the salaries of their staff for
want of funds.
He said as soon as funds were released the employees and staff of the university would get increase in the salaries. Dawn
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