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LCWU, UE outgoing VCs | LUMS survey

LCWU, UE outgoing VCs resent govt 'cold shoulder'
Lahore, Dec 01: The outgoing vice-chancellors of Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) and University of Education (UE) feel they have been dealt unceremonious exits by the provincial authorities who did not take into account their services for the department, as senior faculty members of both varsities were given additional charges of the vacant offices.

Both LCWU and UE vice-chancellors Prof Dr Bushra Mateen and Prof Dr Munawar Mirza, respectively, completed their four-year tenures on Nov 20 and were waiting for an official instruction whether to continue till the arrival of new regular incumbent or not.

Prof Mateen had reportedly been asking the Punjab higher education department for the last one year that since her tenure was going to end on Nov 20, 2010, the government might nominate a person for the slot, whom she would hand over the charge on the completion of her tenure.

Sources close to the VCs say it would have been better if the government had granted look-after charge to any person on the expiry of the date.

At a time when the Punjab government had granted another term to the VCs of University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and University of Gujrat, both LCWU and UE VCs have felt the government did not find them trustworthy as the were not allowed to retain the charge for another three months or till the arrival of the new regular incumbent.

When contacted, Prof Dr Bushra Mateen said she had been asking the higher education department to nominate a person to take the charge after her term expired. "However, every official concerned was saying that she should continue holding the charge since she was no more an applicant for another term as the vice-chancellor," she said.

It is learnt the higher education department had initially recommended that both Prof Mateen and Prof Mirza be allowed to continue with the charge. However, the summary was returned and the department was asked to suggest a panel of three senior faculty members from each varsity from which to select a name for assigning of the 'look-after' charge. The needful was done and a panel from each varsity was forwarded to the chief minister.

"The new higher education secretary, Haseeb Athar, did not even explain the exact position as he was approached to know about the latest position in the case," said Prof Mateen, adding it was also for the first time that the Punjab government asked the department to suggest a panel for selection of an incumbent for the grant of look-after charge of the varsities' top offices.

Prof Mateen said the treatment meted out to her was shocking for her as she had served the college and then the university for 20 years, taking the both institutions to new academic heights by starting masters classes in 26 subjects instead of the initial six. She said that she also introduced PhD programme in 11 subjects.

Meanwhile, the Punjab higher education department on Tuesday notified two senior-most faculty members to look after VC offices of the two varsities. Prof Dr Farhat Saleemi of LCWU physics department has been asked to look after the VC office in addition to her own duties for three months or till the appointment of regular incumbent. Similarly, Prof Farhat Saleem, principal of the University of Education's Bank Road Campus, will look after UE VC's office in addition to her own duties. -Mansoor Malik

Sources in the higher education department say the VCs' posts in the both varsities will soon be advertised.

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LUMS survey on politics: Educated youth seek mid-term elections
Lahore: The LUMS team comprising Kashif Ali Shaikh, Junaid bin Zubair, Arsalan Anwar, Muhammad Arsalan Yaseen and Zara Farooqui conducted the survey to assess the opinion of university students as youngsters are the key players in the current Pakistani politics.

"One thing is for sure that the perceptions and the way Pakistani youth see the country's politics and the governance is totally different from that of those who actually cast their votes," the surveyors find.

Asked whether Pakistan really needed a revolution to turn around its fate, around 40 per cent of the people replied in the affirmative. Around 56 per cent believe that for a country to once again move forward, people simply need a leader with some visionary and futuristic prospect. While others feel that a real leader would never come without revolution.

Apart from the few questions on the current government, the survey was focused on former president Pervez Musharraf, now considered a key player as a civilian in Pakistani politics as well as on international arena. He has launched his party and aspires to contest the election with a belief in his prowess to enlighten the country's dark politics, offer hope to the despondent nation, boost the falling economy and ensure security for the citizens.

As for the question that who could be the choice for steering the country out of the crisis, the survey results showed that only 28 per cent of the people said Pakistan needed Musharraf and around 70 per cent argued that the country needed Imran Khan as its saviour.

The poll also suggested that the likely voters of former prime minister Nawaz Shaif were just around two per cent. Most of Musharraf's supporters were female students who cited the retired general's efforts for women emancipation and empowerment reason for their stance.

Around 75 per cent of the people stressed that Musharraf should be held for judicial trial for the atrocities he committed in the form of Martial Law, Kargil issue, military coup etc.

About Musharraf's vision of "Enlightened Moderation" and "Moderate Islam", around 57 per cent of the youth were found in his favour with a claim: "We don't need stern interpretation of Islam but rather need Moderate Islam and only it can take the country forward."

About some questions on the present democratic government, more than 90 per cent of the students expressed dissatisfaction with the current leaders and their style of governance. Around 60 per cent of those surveyed feel that the country should go for midterm election so that Pakistan may get rid of these leaders.

Analysing the survey outcome, the LUMS team says though a majority of the youngsters do not want Musharraf as Pakistan's leader, many acknowledge his leadership qualities. The vision of enlightened moderation and Moderate Islam is appreciated by the Pakistani youth, they say.

More than 95 per cent feel that he should take part in the political process of the country but at the same time 66 per cent of the people argue that Musharraf should undergo judicial trial. The problem that people seem to have with Musharraf is his misrule and blunders he committed like Lal Masjid issue, the judicial crisis, the Kargil episode, the military coup, they say. Still many believe he is a better option than the present lot.

A majority of those surveyed said the country was going in a wrong direction; almost nine out of every 10 people seem hopeless.

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Youth festival concludes: Mature performances by amateurs
Lahore: The ninth Youth Performing Arts Festival concluded on Tuesday after week-long performances in the disciplines of theatre, dance, music and mime.

On the concluding night, there were two major performances at the festival - a play by the Lahore Grammar School and a music night in which students from various universities entertained the audience with pop and light singing.The play by LGS, "Naang Wala" was a wonderful performance. Among the young performers Alia stole the limelight. The play was a message to promote the Punjabi language at such festivals. It was kind of a monologue in which the characters highlighted the common attitudes of people in life.

The jam-packed hall gave a thunderous applause to the cast and director Huma.

The music night was a mix of singers from various universities such as the University of Central Punjab, the University of Management and Technology, the Lahore College for Women University and the University of Engineering and Technology.

The singers came up with pop and light singing and also Punjabi Rap Bhangra. Songs such as "Mein tainu samjhanwa ki", "Mitwa" and "Mora saian mosay bolna" drove the crowd crazy and the singers received applause.

Faizan Peerzada, the creative director of the festival, told media that the event proved a success. He thanked the Lahore Arts Council for providing venue and the Norwegian Embassy for their collaboration. He said the Punjab police cooperated in organising the event by ensuring security and now the possibility of holding Sufi Mystic Music Festival in April had brightened up. He said 36 groups participated in the festival in which amateurs also screened films. Appreciating the performance of the LGS team, he demanded that the authorities concerned should give due importance to the Punjabi language. Dawn

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