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Punjab University fee lowest in world

PU fee lowest in world with excellent academic results
Lahore, Dec 29: Punjab University, an oldest seat of learning, has emerged as one the best academic leading public university having maximum number of faculties and disciplines with lowest fee for postgraduate and under graduate courses. Vice Chancellor, PU University, Dr. Mujahid Kamran in an interview said that a record number of new teaching departments, new programs at master's level and disciplines at bachelor's level have successfully been introduced. He said during current academic session,a total of 4909 students were given admission to various BA.BSc and MA, MSc courses on merit.

Punjab University re-structured several faculties of various teaching departments,raised new constituent colleges, inducted teachers on merit and colleges were affiliated. The number of students increased manifold with highest ever strength in the country. Mujahid Kamran said that in view of high academic performance of PU, Higher Education Commission has allocated adequate funds for the promotion of quality education. VC claimed that despite high standard of education PU charges lowest semester fee not only in the country but also in the world, ranging from Rs 3,265 to 8,987 for post-graduate programmes. Total members of the faculties and number of students in PU in all teaching disciplines is also higher than all other universities across the country. He said science students of PU always compete with foreign students in certain areas of specialization.

Mujahid Kamran said that decades old syllabi and courses were revised and updated to meet future challenges. He said not a single student was admitted out of merit. "Punjab University has a unique privilege to be the only educational institution in the country which is imparting knowledge to students in all disciplines ranging from social science, humanities, science, computer, law and foreign languages, including Hindi and French". Regarding PU Law College, which is older than PU itself, he said that academic working and functioning of this prestigious institution is being streamlined on modern scientific lines. Principal Ms.Shazia Qureshi has been directed to make sure that all its academic meetings be held accordingly without any interruption. He said that first time in PULC history,Chief Justice Lahore High Court Sayed Zahid Hussain has nominated two sitting judges Mr.Justice Nasim Sikandar and Mr.Justice Umar Ata Bindial as member of the graduate studies committee of Law College which he added is good addition to further improve the standard of law education. About PU library he said that the facility of most modern largest library in Asia equipped with latest books, magazines, internet and computerised catalogue is also available to students for study and research. App

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Complaints prompt probe into Punjab University Music Dept affairs
Lahore: A controversy has erupted over MA Musicology programme at the Punjab University following which the vice-chancellor has ordered a thorough investigation into affairs of the department.

The Musicology Department has remained one of the neglected departments of the Punjab University (PU) which is quite evident from the fact that the infant department has been operating at Alhamra, The Mall, not at either of the two campuses, the Old and the New Campus of the university.

It is reliably learnt that PU vice chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has asked Dean Faculty of Arts & Humanities Prof Shaista Sonnu Siraj ud Din to investigate the affairs of the department following some students cried foul at the results of the first-ever batch in which only three students were reportedly declared successful.

It is further learnt that in an email to the VC, some aggrieved students of the first batch have expressed concerns about the overall working of the department since its inception in 2006.

The students have also questioned the rules related to semester system besides expressing reservations over the performance of some teachers. They have urged the VC to investigate claiming "all is not well at the department of musicology".

The email was sent to the VC by some students following it was reported that only three students Nadeem Riaz, Ghulam Abbas and Hina Khalid had passed the final exam.

A student, seeking anonymity, said the department had been ignored by the administration in past owing to which issues related to performance of teachers and results were surfacing. "The situation would have been different if the administration had owned the department", he said. He further said it was a matter of great concern that the department of musicology had been operating in a building of Alhamra since 2006. He added the administration had never paid attention regarding the faculty development.

It is important to mention here that the musicology program was started at Alhamra, reportedly, to avoid any confrontation with the activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) who had openly opposed the said program saying it is against Islam and the ideology of Pakistan.

A senior official of the university, however, claimed that the department would soon be shifted to the university campus. He said the administration might reshuffle administrative authorities of the department of musicology once the investigation was completed.

He said some circles within the PU were also misleading the students and teachers that the department would be closed down. "The PU administration has firm stand regarding continuity of the music department", he concluded.

Campaign for PUASA polls in full swing: The campaign for Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) elections, scheduled for December 30 is in full swing these days.

Representatives of different teachers' bodies are seen canvassing for their candidates.

The PU teachers have been expecting a tough contest between Academic Group and Teachers Alliance this year. They believe it was for the first time that contesting groups had clearly emerged as pro-administration and anti-administration.

It is important to mention here that the PU Teachers Front and the Academic Forum have already joined hands and have announced a joint panel under the Teachers Alliance against the Academic Group.

Meanwhile, some members of the PU Senate and the Academic Council on Sunday announced their support for the Academic Group. According to a press statement those who announced their support for Academic Group include Syed M Naeem, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Sadia Farooq, Majid Ali, Dr Mohammad Aslam, Dr Rizwan Akram Rana, Muhammad Ahmed, Sami Uzair Khan and Ahsan Iqbal. The News

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Punjab University academics wrestle in political bout
Lahore: Campaign for the Punjab University Academic Staff Association elections for 2009 is in full swing as the two rivals Academic Group and Teachers' Alliance are doing door-to-door canvassing to woo around 450 voters on the varsity campuses. The polling is scheduled to be held on Tuesday (tomorrow).

The Academic Group is confident that it will win the election as it is banking on its past record, telling the prospective voters that it has always fought for teachers' respect and dignity and got major projects completed during its tenure as association's elected office-bearers.

The Teachers' Alliance, which is a joint panel of the Academic Forum and the Teachers Front, is going for elections without making any tall claim. "We contested elections even when we were sure of our defeat. The exercise is done every year to maintain continuity," said Teachers' Alliance's presidential candidate Prof Dr Saeed Ahmad Nagra.

Referring to the `propaganda' that the alliance is banking on the support of the university administration, including vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Prof Nagra said the panel was not getting any election support from the vice-chancellor. "The only difference is that the alliance this year is not facing opposition of the university administration, which is same for the rival group," he claimed.

Academic Group President Prof Dr Haris Rashid, who has again fielded Dr Mumtaz Salik as presidential candidate, said that the group had been winning polls for over a decade. It had got materialised a number of major projects for the collective welfare of the university teachers, he said.

Being PUASA representatives, he said, they got the Model University Ordinance shelved after a year-long campaign in the country, got the Tenure Track System implemented after removing its shortcomings, got land for university teachers as well as got 28 new houses constructed on varsity campus during the last two years.

He said the Teachers' Alliance's candidates were part of the present administration and would never be able to act as a watchdog against "wrong or anti-teacher" policies of the administration. "It would serve only as a pocket union and nothing more," he added.

Several Academic Group candidates alleged that the vice-chancellor was supporting the alliance by paying visits to different departments and holding selection board meetings to gather votes. A source said it was a tradition that the VC schedules meetings in a way that it should neither favour nor go against any contesting group.

Meanwhile, the case of Prof Dr Naseer Ahmad's detention by police is also being exploited for election gain. The Academic Group leaders say Resident Officer-I Prof Dr Bashir Ahmad sent police officials to Prof Naseer's residence and a majority of university teachers, at a PUASA general body meeting, was of the view that he (Prof Bashir) should resign from his post.

A source said the university administration had assured that Prof Bashir would be removed from his RO-I seat, if the PUASA did not pass resolution by name. The university administration, however, did not honour its commitment afterwards because of all those who were contesting elections.

When asked from a key university officer, he said, "Raat gai baat gai".

Prof Nagra said Prof Bashir's associates had right to react. "We would have reacted strongly, if Prof Bashir was removed from his office," he added. He also said the point was that police went to Prof Naseer's residence because his son-in-law was involved in Dec 3 firing incident in a university hostel. He said the accused, Hafiz Farhan, had always taken refuge in Prof Naseer's residence after doing subversive activities in the university.

Meanwhile, a press statement says the PU syndicate members Prof Dr Haris Rashid, Dr Mumtaz Anwar and Syed Ziaullah Shah -- have announced their support for the Academic Group panel in the forthcoming elections. The same news release stated that Academic Group's candidates Dr Mumtaz Salik (president) and Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar (secretary general) slated the university administration and said "the vice-chancellor wants to hijack the representative forum of PUASA from the university teachers to protect his bad governance and nepotism".

For the last 10 months, they alleged, the university administration was polluting the academic atmosphere, creating insecurity among the academics and allowing the police to raid teachers' residences. They also alleged that the university machinery was being used to help win the election by its group. Daily Times

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Punjab University Law College admissions opened for six diploma courses
Lahore: Punjab University Law College will start simultaneous admissions to six different diploma courses from January 2009.

Admissions to six diploma courses, including taxation, labour law, environmental law, intellectual property law, international trade (World Trade Organisation) and banking law will start next month, said Shazia Qureshi, Law College principal, on Sunday. She said that the students will be admitted strictly on merit basis that follow the Punjab University (PU) admission policy criterion.

Working professionals with requisite academic qualification and adequate experience in multinational companies, public and private sectors, will be given preference in their relevant field. The main objective of the courses is to produce qualified people in different areas of specialisations, she said. Press adverts will provide a weeks margin for admission, she added. afp

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