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KU 22nd convocation & students protest

Protests mar KU convocation
Karachi, Dec 19: A group of students of the University of Karachi staged a demonstration against the KU administration during the 22nd convocation of the university on Saturday. Chaos occurred due to mismanagement on the part of the administration which was later sorted out temporarily by the intervention of one of the pro-vice chancellors and some senior teachers.

In an attempt to handle the protestors' the security guards and other staff deployed at the convocation pushed back the students' as well as media personnel who were busy trying to converge on the event.

These students were enrolled for the BS Programme at the University but the top position holders were not awarded gold medals which they deserved like other students.

Around 400 students were enrolled in the BS Programme in different disciplines offered by the University, said Zainab, a student of Department of Chemistry, who was chanting slogans among other BS students against the Convocation Committee and the KU administration.

There were almost 58 students who got overall first position in BS Programme in their respective departments and institutes.

First Position holder from the Department of Economics and Finance Shazia Kazmi said that KU administration told her to bring a sponsor herself if she wanted to get a gold medal. The students who were protesting claimed that they had higher percentage and cumulative grade point average as compared to the students of other disciplines.

"The University does not give gold medal to the students itself. Such awards are sponsored by individuals, industries and companies. As it was the first batch of the BS Programme, no sponsorship was present for them. As such, these students could not their gold medal which they surely deserved," one of the members of Convocation Committee said.

In a meeting which was recently conducted in connection with the convocation, it was decided that 'letter of acknowledgement' would be offered to these students. By principle, KU agreed that position holders of the BS Programme are eligible and equivalent to the position holders of other degree programme. KU offered gold medal to the students which were already sponsored by the philanthropists, he further said.

The former President of Karachi University Teachers' Society, Professor Dr Abid Hussain, commenting on the issue said the situation was not serious but it was mishandled. The KU used to get gold medals for the position holders of B.Sc (Honours) and M.Sc Programme. Meanwhile BS Programme was equivalent to B.Sc (H) and M.Sc Programme, which means they could easily offer one gold medal to the deserving person, he further said. KU administration just has revised the MoU with the sponsors to get gold medal for the students of BS Programme, he added.

The general secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League, Haleem Adil Sheikh, who left the convocation in the middle said that there was a need to morally support the students but, unfortunately, an unpleasant scene was observed today. The education sector, he said, was not heading in the right direction. The students who clinched positions in their departments and faculties had done remarkable job which should be appreciated at the higher level. The KU administration should solve this by giving appreciation the talent of position holders and do not break their hearts, he said.

The senior education minister and Pro-Chancellor of the KU, Pir Mazhar Ul Haq, who was the chief guest on the occasion, expressed disappointment over the demonstration during the convocation. The behaviour of these young and immature students was not a good sign, he said. They should not act in a way they demonstrated here, it showed their childish attitude, he added.

"You could grab your rights, but not an honour. It is an acknowledgment which is given to someone not taken forcefully," he further said. They should have shown respect when KU was announcing to award honorary D.Sc Degree to well-know Dr Adib Ul Hassan Rizvi,. The doctor was not present and Dr Anwar Naqvi received his honour.

Pir Mazhar announced one gold medal on behalf of the Pir Elhi Bux Foundation and asked philanthropists to help KU in this regard. The Foundation would provide Rs1 million to KU while Sardar Yaseen Malik, member of the KU Syndicate inform the education minister that he would provide Rs2.5 million to the institute. Senator Abdul Haseeb also informed the minister that he would provide a gold medal for a student from next year.

A group of students, who were protesting against KU administration, would now meet the Vice Chancellor, KU, Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqi on Monday at 9:30am to resolve this matter permanently.

Meanwhile, well-known surgeon Dr Adib Ul Hassan Rizvi was awarded the (Honorary) Phd Degree by the administration of University of Karachi (KU) during its convocation held at Valika Ground, KU, on Saturday. However, since Dr Rizvi could not turn up in person, his colleague Dr Anwar Naqvi received the degree.

At least 1,875 degrees and over 100 gold medals were conferred on the graduates and students who got top positions in their respective departments during the Convocation KU.

Faiz Rasool from Department of Sociology received two gold medals, and earned overall first position in entire Arts Faculty. Rasool, a blind student, said he was hired as a lecturer in the Government Degree Allama Iqbal College (Boys) and take an off day to attend the convocation.

"It was my dream to become a teacher, I was hopeful that I would get a gold medal but not 100 per cent sure," he said.

The KU Convocation-2011 confers degrees on students who completed their bachelors and masters programmes during Academic Session of 2009 and 2010. This year the KU distributed degrees to the students who were enrolled at the University in the morning and evening shift. There were 3, 718 graduates and masters students in 2009 while 5, 602 students completed their post-graduate and graduate programme in 2010 from the University.

In 2010, 125 students had obtained their PhD Degrees whereas 190 students completed their PhD's in 2010 whereas in 2009. As many as 19 students from the Faculty of Pharmacy collected their PhD Degrees during the convocation. A total 68 students from various departments of the Faculty of Arts also received their PhD Degrees in the convocation.

Moreover, 27 PhD Degrees were conferred on the students of Islamic Studies, four students of Management and Administrative Sciences also collect their PhD Degrees in the convocation. The degrees were awarded to the students of 58 departments in the faculties of arts, science, Islamic studies, engineering, management and administrative sciences, medicine and pharmacy.

KU Pro- Chancellor and senior minister for Education, Pir Mazhar-ul Haq said that education was the second highest priority of the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition government who is trying its best to improve the education standard in the province.

The present government has started recruitment of teachers to education institutions to overcome shortage of teachers in the public sector, he further said. "The Sindh Public Service Commission has recruited teachers and deployed them to various parts of the province to restart what were formerly ghost schools which had stopped functioning due to unavailability of work force," he added.

"All appointments were made purely on merit and I am also working to present a bill in Sindh Assembly to make a law to hire teachers according to certain criteria," he told the participants. The education department is also working on a policy to offer grade BPS-18 to the college-based lecturers in future, Pir Mazhar announced.

The Vice-Chancellor, KU, Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui highlighted different projects of the institutes and future plans during the event. According to him, new campuses of KU would be opened in Dubai and Mauritius. He lauded the commitment of Pir Mazhar to education.

In 2004, the institute awarded 61 PhD degrees and in 2011 the figured reached to 238 students. Up to 1, 000 highly trained KU teachers are busy imparting education to the students, he added.

In 2007, the University had prepared its first master plan and now the new buildings are constructed by following this mega plan, and the KU administration has established financial aid office for those students who could not bear the expense of education and number of philanthropist from all over the country have joined hands with KU for this noble cause. The news

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DCET to be upgraded to university level
Karachi: Efforts would be made to upgrade the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (DCET) Karachi to the level of university.

This was stated by Principal of Sindh Madressatul Islam (SMI) Karachi Dr. Muhammad Ali Shaikh having an additional charge as Principal DECT. He was talking to the faculty of the DCET on Saturday after assuming the additional charge of the principal post. An act in this regard would be got approved from the Sindh Assembly in this regard, he added.

Shaikh said that his immediate goal would be to also ensure that the DCET emerged as a distinguished institution of engineering in the country.

He assured the faculty that all the problems of the DCET would be resolved.

Principal SMI and DECT directed that the admission process at DCET, which had been delayed, would be initiated in a week time. Shaikh is an engineer and has been on the faculty of Mehran university of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro for several years. app

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KMC graduates awarded degrees
Peshawar: Governor Masood Kausar on Saturday awarded degrees to more than 180 graduates at the convocation of the Khyber Medical College (KMC) for the session 2009.

Addressing the students, their teachers and parents, he said that medicine was a challenging profession and demanded complete devotion and sense of responsibility.

"The oath administered to the graduating doctors provides guiding principles that they must be conscious of the fact that every patient deserves care," he added.

More than 180 graduates, including 13 gold medallists, were awarded degrees for achieving distinctive positions in the annual examinations and in different subjects. Eleven ex-faculty members were also given lifetime achievement awards.

Kausar said the development of the institutions of medical education was a long journey and the steps underway for this purpose would accrue results during the coming few years.

Dr Asadur Rehman was adjudged the best graduate of the session with four gold medals. KMC VCr Dr Hafeezullah also addressed the gathering.

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NUST excels at 'Global Entrepreneurship Summit'
Islamabad: Two students from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Syed Muhammad Bilal Khalid and Fahad Islam Tiwana, once again proved their mettle and brought laurels to Pakistan at the Second Global Entrepreneurship Challenge, Istanbul.

They received international acclaim by coming in the top three teams presenting innovative and business ideas, among 25 competing teams from across the world. They were also the proud winners of the previously held grand challenges; 'Discover: NUST Business Plan Competition' and 'Lean Startup Machine Conference' in Pakistan.

The 2nd Global Entrepreneurship summit featured technology ideas competition titled 'GIST Battle of Ideas World Cup' organised jointly by US state department and CRDF Global. It selected the best technology and business ideas on the basis of innovation and feasibility. The selected ideas were then uploaded on the internet for global voting. The idea presented by these youngsters from NUST topped this round of the competition in the entire world becoming the 20th most watched video on YouTube.

On December 2, they were invited to participate in the Global Summit under the theme 'Entrepreneurship, Values and Development: A Global Agenda', hosted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this context, 275 Muslim entrepreneurs from 59 countries participated in the Summit. Along with that, US Vice President Joe Biden, Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg delivered keynote addresses on the occasion. The participants received rigorous trainings with speaker sessions and mentorship from MIT professors and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley.

There were two NUST teams among the eleven teams to be selected for the semi-finals on 4th Dec. The Nustians proved their mettle once more by making it to the final round. Grand finale was held on the next day where the finalists pitched their ideas in front of an illustrious panel of eleven judges from around the world. They came with an amazing amount of energy, passion, and commitment to see their projects through. One NUST team comprising Bilal and Fahd received immense adulation and praise for making to the victory stand by coming in the world top three teams.

They were also among the two teams who were sponsored by the US State Department for a trip to Silicon Valley, California, to meet with venture capitalists and technology firms. In addition to it, they were awarded cash prize of US$5,000.

This has been the culmination of NUST pioneer venture at National level to encourage and support entrepreneurship through Prime Minister's entrepreneurship challenge 2011. In it more than 1200 participants from 30 universities across Pakistan participated. The competition was conducted in phases spanning over 6-7 months. Good number of mentors from academia, industry and business sector contributed usefully.

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Teachers training programme ends
Islamabad: The National Academy of Higher Education's 50th Professional Competency Enhancement Programme for Teachers (PCEPT) concluded at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Taxila.

PCEPT is a month long in-service teacher training programme held at universities, and comprises seven modules spread over 72 sessions. A team of qualified resource persons were invited to train 23 faculty members representing various disciplines of UET Taxila and surrounding universities.

Speaking on the occasion HEC Quality Assurance Agency Managing Director Dr. Khawaja Azam Ali said that teachers are backbone of an institute and training of teachers is one of the most important components to improve the quality of education.

PCEPT University Coordinator Dr. Riffat Asim Pasha, elaborated the programme objectives and highlighted its major achievements.

Dr. Mumtaz Ahmed Kamal, Acting Vice Chancellor, UET Taxila appreciated HEC for organizing teacher trainings and praised the appropriateness of the course. The news

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