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AIOU millions embezzlement | Governor's VCs appointing power

AIOU administration unearths Rs23 million embezzlement
Islamabad, Aug 20: A financial embezzlement, involving Rs23 million, has been unearthed by the administration of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) which immediately referred the case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to identify the officials involved in it, sources told this correspondent here on Sunday.

Sources said that the AIOU administration referred the corruption scandal to the NAB on August 15 in line with the recommendation of an inquiry committee which identified financial corruption in the amount of admission fee submitted in the account of the university.

An official confided to this correspondent that the purpose of referring the corruption case to the NAB is to ensure that there is no victimisation and everything is done in a transparent manner.

"The initial investigation was initiated in May this year after which an inquiry committee was constituted to vigorously probe into the matter. The committee reviewed the official record and confirmed in its final report that some officials are allegedly involved in the embezzlement of money," sources said.

An official confided to this correspondent that admission forms are generally disposed off after one year but this time the administration decided to carry out physical verification of these forms to ascertain whether there was any financial irregularity in the amount of fee submitted by students.

"When we reviewed, we came to know that there was a difference of Rs23 million between the fee received by the concerned officials and submitted in the account of the university," he said.

Sources said no one knew how much money was illegally grabbed out of the admission fee as all record of admission forms before 2012 has been burnt or disposed off leaving no chance for anybody to check its authenticity.

It is pertinent to mention here that the admission forms along with prescribed fee could be submitted in the countrywide branches of five commercial banks and the AIOU administration was responsible to keep vigil over the whole process.

AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr. Nazir Ahmad Sangi told this correspondent that when he came to know about financial irregularities in the amount of fee submitted by students he immediately formed a committee to probe into the matter.

He said the committee recommended internal inquiry but after pondering over the corruption case they have decided to refer it to the NAB to identify the culprits and take strict action against them in line with rules and procedures.

Dr. Nazir Sangi said when he directed the administration to also review previous record of the admission forms he was informed that all record was disposed off after one year, adding "So I directed them to review all admission fee record that is currently available to them."

"The inquiry committee unearthed financial irregularities and now I think it is necessary to take action against those involved in the case to ensure a transparent culture in the affairs of the university," he said. The news

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Governor's powers to appoint VCs curtailed
Karachi: The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed within 10 minutes an amendment to the universities laws curtailing the powers of the governor to make key appointments in higher education institutions shortly after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the main opposition party, opposed the amendment and staged a walkout from the house against it.

The Sindh Universities Law (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which was not included in the original order of the day, was introduced by law minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro after he was granted permission to present a supplementary order of the day following a noisy discussion on the local government bill and its subsequent approval.

The amendment bill restricts the powers of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad to make various key appointments in universities and higher educational institutions, making them subject to 'government recommendations'.

While MQM legislators remained calm as they opposed the local government bill through speeches and 'nays' whenever it was put to a vote, they looked surprised when the permission of the supplementary order of the day was sought and the universities amendment bill was tabled. They said it had not been shared with them earlier. When they came to know that the amendment bill would drastically reduce the powers of governor, currently an MQM nominee, they protested and staged a walkout led by leader of the opposition Faisal Subzwari.

Dr Mandhro speaking on the amendment later said that in democracies the powers of the government to appoint, make polices, etc were exercised by the chief executive, but in Sindh for the past many years these powers, particularly those relating to the higher educational institutions, were being exercised by the governor. Therefore, he added, the government decided to make the amendment to the law after which the governor would exercise these powers 'in consultation with the government'.

Following the walkout by the MQM, PML-N legislator Irfanullah Marwat said they had supported the ruling party on the local government bill but if the latter wanted to spoil the entire legislation process they (he and his party colleagues) too would stage a walkout. In response to his concerns, the chief minister and other lawmakers in the house assured him that they would be addressed. Subsequently, the amendment bill was passed within minutes.

While presenting the amendment bill, Dr Mandhro said that it was aimed at allowing elected democratic government to play an appropriate and effective role to bring uniformity to the management, organisation and control of public-sector universities and degree-awarding institutes in the province of Sindh. He said that it would improve the overall functioning of public-sector universities and degree-awarding institutes and provide equal opportunities to students to pursue higher studies at the institutes of their choice in the province. It was expedient to amend certain laws related to the public sector universities and institutes in Sindh, he explained.

Some of the higher educational institutions on which the new amendment would apply include: Karachi University; NED University; Mehran University; Sindh Agriculture University; Shah Abdul Latif University; Institute of Business Administration; Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology Nawabshah; Dow University of Health Sciences; Sukkur Institute of Business Administration; Benazir Bhutto Medical University Larkana; and Benazir Bhutto University Lyari (Karachi).

No supporting or opposing speeches were made and the amendment bill was passed into law within 10 minutes (from 4pm to 4.10pm) after being introduced. Perhaps to save time, all the clauses were clubbed together and passed through a vote.

The assembly also passed the Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 without having any debate or discussion on it. It was introduced by the law minister.

He then presented the Sindh HIV and AIDS Control, Treatment and Protection Ordinance 2013.

Two other bills - The Sindh Witness Protection Bill 2013 and The Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill 2013 - were also introduced by the law minister.

The final item on the order of the day was nomination of two members of the Sindh Assembly on the panel of Pakistan Railways advisory committee Karachi and it was deferred to be taken up in the next session after which Speaker Agha Siraj Durani read out the order of Sindh Governor Dr Ishartul Ibad proroguing the assembly sitting. Dawn

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KU Mass Communication dept's function on 22nd
Karachi: The Mass Communication department of the University of Karachi (KU) will organise a function at its premises on August 22 in connection with the Independence Day celebrations.This was announced by the Chairman of the Department, Prof Dr Tahir Masood, on Monday. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Karachi, Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, and other prominent personalities would attend the function. The news

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Urdu varsity registration
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology on Monday announced that private candidates could file registration forms for BA, BCom, and MA till Sept 12.

Meanwhile, the controller of exams, Karachi University, advised LLM final students to submit their thesis at their colleges by Sept 15 without any late fee. After the deadline, the thesis could be filed by Oct 30 with a late fee of Rs1,500, he said. app

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SMI University conducts entry test for admissions
Karachi: The Sindh Madressatul Islam (SMI) University conducted entry test for admission in various faculties at the Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Auditorium and the Junagarh Hall of the university on Saturday.

The candidates who had applied for admission in BS and MS (Faculty of Media Studies), BS and MS (Faculty of Computer Science), BS and MS (Faculty of Environmental Sciences), ADE, B.Ed (Hons), BS and MS (Faculty of Education) and BBA, MBA (Faculty of Business Administration) appeared in the test.

It would be the second batch of the SMI University that is being enrolled at this historic institution. The first batch was enrolled last year, when SMI was elevated to the university level, spokesperson of the institute said.

Vice Chancellor of the SMI University, Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, visited the centres and monitor entry test process.

During his visit, while talking to the deans and faculty members of the SMI University, he said that it was a

sign of success of the university that a large number of students hailing from various

districts of Sindh had appeared in the test for admission at the Alma Mater of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He further said that within a shortest period of one and a half year of the establishment of the varsity, it had emerged as one of the quality universities of the country, where highly qualified faculty including 16 PhDs were engaged in the teaching process.

The admissions are

being given on purely merit basis to the students of all areas of the country, as this historic institution being the Alma Mater of the Founder of Pakistan believes in providing equal opportunities to the students of all social classes, he added.

The Vice Chancellor mentioned that the SMI University has air-conditioned classrooms, modern computer labs, TV studio and FM radio station and a most modern library.

"From this year the SMI University will also give Higher Education Commission's Need Based Scholarships to the deserving students," Dr Shaikh announced. The news

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