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Karachi University financial crisis

KU financial crisis deepens
Karachi, Aug 27: The current year revenue shortfall of the financially starved Karachi University has shot up to over Rs443 million, making it difficult for the varsity to disburse salaries to its employees, carry on its research work, and run the affairs of its new departments smoothly, it emerged on Friday.

Sources in the KU finance department said that such a situation had arisen following a cut applied in its grant by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as the latter had approved a grant of only Rs1.104 billion as against the university's current financial year's budget of Rs2.517 billion, thus leaving a huge gap of Rs1.413 billion.

"Isn't it amazing that the HEC, which had given a grant of Rs1.246 billion to KU in 2010-11, allocated only Rs1.104 billion under the head of current financial year's grant despite knowing that the university's expenditures this year have been increased manifold owing to a 15 per cent increase in the salaries of government employees from July 1, 2011 and sky-rocketing prices of almost everything, including chemicals used in its science departments?" a senior official of KU remarked.

The sources said that the university's current year's revenue shortfall had swelled to Rs443million as the HEC had slashed its current year's grant by Rs160million as compared to its previous financial year grant while the 15 per cent increase given in salaries of government employees in the current year's federal budget had put an extra financial burden of Rs283 million on the university finances.

Deploring the HEC act of slashing the current year grant, the KU financial managers apprehended that such a huge gap in its income and expenditures would not only make it impossible to arrange salaries of its employees but would also create serious problems for the university to run the affairs of its newly established departments.

Moreover, the cut applied by the HEC in the university's grant would, on the one hand, adversely affect the research work and, on the other, create serious impediments for the students already admitted to the university's M.Phil and PhD programmes, they said, adding that the ultimate sufferers would, however, be the science students of the university as their departments would not be able to purchase the chemicals required for their laboratories.

Criticising the HEC for adopting a same formula for allocating grants to the public sector universities of the country, the KU officials maintained that the HEC should devise a different yardstick for different universities keeping in view their size and the number of students enrolled there.

Speaking about Karachi University, they said the HEC while allocating grant for KU should keep it in mind that the university has 52 departments and 24 centres, where currently around 24,000 students are enrolled. Dawn

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University staff, students collect relief goods for rain-hit people
Karachi: The staff and students of the Karachi University (KU) have collected relief goods worth over half a million rupees for the rain-affected inhabitants of Badin district.

This was stated by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Karachi University, Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, on Friday.

She said that the relief items were collected after a meeting of the Karachi University Disaster Management Corps was chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui.

The meeting was also attended by the deans of the faculties, chairpersons of the teaching departments, other staff and students.

The meeting expressed sympathies with the rain-affected of the Badin district and emphasised that steps should be taken for mitigating their sufferings.

The relief goods consist of household items, eatables, rations, clothes, and Eid gift packs for children. These would suffice for more than 100 families, it was further stated.

A delegation of Karachi University which includes faculty, staff and students will visit the rain-affected areas of the district on August 28 and distribute the relief items among the affected people.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Medical College (SMC) Alumni Association comprising students and graduates of the college initiated a campaign, "SMC Alumni Flood Relief Effort," for the flood victims in the province.

Under the campaign a team of young doctors and final-year MBBS students left on Friday morning for Tando Mohammad Khan with relief goods worth Rs2.5 million, comprising packets of dry food, medicines and clothes for the victims.

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KU holds seminar to facilitate staff, students
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) organised an introductory seminar in the Arts Auditorium on Friday in order to facilitate students and staff in availing themselves of the Erasmus Mundus Europe-Asia, a fully funded scholarship to Europe, during 2012.

Assistant Project Coordinator (EMEA) Pakistan Mariya Khan gave a brief introduction to the EMEA programme and said that under the supervision of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, the University of Karachi was selected as a member of the Consortium of Universities under the European Union Project Erasmus Mundus Europe, Asia (EMEA).

She said that the consortium was coordinated by Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi who attended the EMEA steering committee meeting held in Lund University in February 2010 and Peking University Beijing, China during May 2011 to finalise the details of the scholarship programme.

Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said that Erasmus Mundus Europe Asia (EMEA) was the fully funded scholarship programme designed to fund mobility for students of undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral level as well as for the university staff in academic or administrative position to study and carry out research in European Union participating universities in Italy, Poland, UK, Ireland, Greece, France, Sweden, Netherlands.

She said that this project would be used as platform to strengthen academic and cultural cooperation and emphasis will also be placed on capacity building in cutting edge areas of science, education and technology, specifically the ability of the universities to handle international mobility and large international cooperation projects, promoting linkages in active research and teaching groups.

Explaining the distribution of scholarships, she said that the maximum number was for Target Group 1 for students/staff enrolled at KU and some for Target Group 2 and 3 for which students enrolled in other higher education institutions and those belonging to deprived/disaster-affected, marginalised areas, respectively were also eligible to apply.

She further said that under the newly-approved project for 2012 applicants, the maximum duration of funding available for undergraduate students and for Post-Doctoral Fellows it was nine months and for PhD under Target group 1 it was 34 months but only nine months for PhD students in Target Group 2. Funding for administrative and academic staff training was available for one month only.

The scholarship covers travel, health insurance, accommodation and each student will get Euros 1,000 per month for food and other expenses. Giving further details, Dr Kazmi said that various fields of study offered by different European Universities would be uploaded in September 2011, applications will be invited from Oct 15 - Dec 1.

Assessment and validation of documents will start from January 15, 2012, consortium meeting for final selection will be held in mid-February 2012 and the selected scholars will be informed in April 2012 and they will have to select universities by September 20, 2012. Mobility of Asian scholars under the Erasmus Mundus Europe Asia Project will end in July 2015.

Prof Dr Tanveer Khalid, former Students Adviser, University of Karachi who was also present on this occasion, congratulated the selected students and paid rich tributes to the efforts of VC and EMEA coordinator for their dedicated efforts to create opportunities which can be availed by the students to improve their skills and acquire knowledge for a better future and to face the challenging job market.

During the last session of the seminar seven KU students who have been awarded EU scholarships in 2010 Batch including Waqas Uddin Khan, Jalal Uddin, Adil Ahmed, Waqas Ahmed, Jahanzeb Shibli, Faryal and Sayeda Afshan, were invited on the stage for sharing their views and experiences with the upcoming applicants for 2012 scholarships, which was followed by a very actively participated the question/answer session regarding the sequential steps to apply for scholarship and to fulfil the academic requirements of the European Union University selected by the scholar.

A number of participants raised questions about credit transfer facility, procuring of visa, accommodation, language courses, scholarships duration for undergraduate/MS/PhD level students. The scholars who will soon be leaving to join the selected European University, cautioned the new applicants to carefully follow the instructions given on the website before submitting their applications and uploading their documents including genuine transcripts and degrees along with the acceptance letter from host European university. The news

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'Unauthorised' admissions at JPMC
Karachi: The Sindh health secretary has ordered suspension of admissions to the School of Nursing at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and summoned the record of recent admissions.

According to sources, some 50 admissions have been given by the school administration without seeking the health department's permission.

An administrative officer of school said the secretary had sought explanation in this regard. ppi

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