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Karachi University MS, PhD programs' delay

Timings, dearth of resources may delay MS/PhD classes
Karachi, Dec 15: The MS and PhD programs of University of Karachi (KU) are likely to face a delay as university teachers have opposed holding the programs until the availability of basic resources and formulating flexible timings for classes.

"Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) has unanimously opposed holding classes of MS and PhD as it is a tough task to spare time for taking doctoral classes besides teaching in the morning and evening shifts," a highly placed source in Board of Advances Studies and Research (BASR) said.

He said that BASR had proposed timings between 9:00 am to 2:00 pm for the one-year course work of MS classes as well as of PhD. "KUTS views that the proposed timings are in conflict with the morning shift at the university which starts at 8:00 am and ends at around 2:00 pm," the source added. He said that the timings would be a problem when the second year of the MS program starts where the candidates will have to write a thesis.

"At present, each KU department has two or three Higher Education Commission (HEC) recommended supervisors for research work. It will be impossible for the supervisors to simultaneously manage teachings shifts of the university and to guide candidates during their thesis," the source said.

Apart from the time management issue, the availability of resources and separate classes for doctoral degrees may also delay the starting of the session. The separate block meant for the MS and PhD classes is still under construction.

With classes commencing from January 1, 2009, the university has issued the final lists of candidates for MS and PhD courses. Some 1,600 candidates have been selected in 53 departments of arts, science and pharmacy faculties for doctoral degrees.

Dean Faculty of Science Prof Shahana Urooj Kazmi is heading the committee for MS and PhD admissions. She opines that time management should not be a problem for the doctoral classes as the candidates have to attend two courses at their chosen departments and two at any other department as per need of their course work. "This will ease the load on the teachers and they will be able to adjust their timings for the classes."

Kazmi said that the timing issue has emerged because it is the first time that admissions in the MS and PhD programs were given simultaneously while earlier the doctoral degree admissions remained open throughout the year.

'Issues to be settled before MS/PhD classes'
Karachi: Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) said that all issues should be settled before the start of MS and PhD classes. A KUTS spokesperson said that the teachers have no problems in taking classes but the schedule should not exhaust the teachers either. The spokesman also said that necessary resources like a separate block for doctoral classes does not exist and it should be made to ensure that candidates hand in quality research work.

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Edu dept to include BB, others in syllabus
Karachi: The Sindh Education department has taken the decision to include the profiles of important personalities and their works along with major historical events in the syllabus.

Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, G M Syed and Hosh Muhammad Sheedi are some of the personalities who would have chapters dedicated to them in textbooks.

The Sindh education ministry has directed the curriculum wing of the education department and concerned officials with recommendations to take appropriate steps in this regard so the policy can materialize.

Apart from personalities, important events like the case of Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar presented at Khaliqdina Hall, the resolution passed in the Sindh Assembly in the favour of the creation of Pakistan and other important events will, also be included in the text syllabus.

Education experts will be consulted for making the syllabus more in line with the modern times. The sources also said that a director will be appointed in the curriculum wing in this regard and soon a meeting will be called where high officials will take part and a decision will be taken.

Sindh Minister for Education Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq has confirmed the inclusion of personalities and their work in the text syllabus. He said that personalities that will be considered are the ones that have worked for the welfare of the people and the province so that the new generation would get to know the real value of these people. Daily Times

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Is selection for govt jobs credible?
Karachi: Interviews of hundreds of people from interior Sindh were conducted on Sunday at the Sindh Home Department for vacancies in the District Public Police Safety Commission. These candidates, however, were not hired even after passing through several tests and fulfilling the criteria.

Sources said that these interviews were a mere formality because after this process, a list of "selected" candidates will be provided to the authorities concerned for issuing job letters.

The officers took a whole day to conduct interviews at the Sindh Home Department. Most interviewees had come from Larkana and Sukkur after incurring huge expenses. None of them would be hired, though. It may be noted that the authorities had recently invited candidates for a similar exercise at the Civic Centre and other places but none of the candidates was hired, and the fate of these applicants remains unknown. The News

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Karachi University plans institute for printing education
Karachi: Plans are afoot to transform the University of Karachi's Bureau of Compilation, Composition and Translation (BCC&T) Press, which turned 50 in 2007, into a fully-fledged institute that would impart education pertaining to the printing process as well as the maintenance of rare and damaged books, it was learnt.

Professor Dr Mansoor Ahmad, the current director of the bureau, told this reporter that the university wanted to make the BCC&T not only the country's first centre for printing education, but also an institute that would teach the rules of translation, compilation and composition, while students would also be taught techniques on how to maintain library books and scientifically preserve rare manuscripts.

Asked when he envisaged the institute to be launched, Dr Ahmad, who took over as head of the bureau 10 months ago, said 2010 was being considered for the potential launch. "The vice-chancellor is taking keen interest in this project. The course and the syllabus are in the process of being thrashed out, though right now the progress is not very fast. We aim to produce something at par with international standards."

About the BCC&T's current activities, the director said that the bureau acquired modern printing machines in 1989 and now, along with meeting the university's publishing requirements, it is also operating the press on a commercial basis, taking on external projects from across Pakistan, as it is the only institution of its kind in the country's public and private sector universities.

"We also translate into different languages, not just from Urdu to English and vice versa. We also translate to and from German and Persian," said Dr Ahmad. The original mandate of the bureau, established in 1957, was to formulate relevant Urdu expressions for English terms, publish teachers' lectures, books and translations.

He added that the bureau publishes textbooks, as well as a monthly magazine titled Jareeda. One of the BCC&T's bigger machines is capable of printing 5,000 pages per hour. The bureau also publishes international journals on botany, Urdu, Arabic and chemistry, amongst other subjects.

When asked if the focus on publishing external literature on a commercial basis was taking the priority away from research publications, Dr Mansoor Ahmed claimed that this was not so and that academic work was getting due attention at the bureau. When asked to give an estimate of the BCC&T's yearly publications, he said offhand he could not come up with a number, "but it goes into the crores (of rupees)."

He admitted that during the past few years the bureau had seen some lean days, however, he said efforts were on to make it as productive as possible. When it was pointed out that the Bureau of Compilation, Composition and Translation's 50th anniversary passed off without being noticed last year, he said something would be planned to mark the event befittingly.

Publishing houses attached to universities are part of a venerable global academic tradition, for some of the world's leading varsities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Harvard all have notable presses. Closer to home, the Scientific Society of Aligarh, founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in the mid 19th century, played an integral part in making modern scientific literature available to Muslims of the subcontinent. Dawn

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