PMDC exempted Afghan students from entrance test
PMDC forgets past lesson: 'Unwarranted' exemption to Afghan students
Lahore, Dec 28: Refusing to learn from its past mistake, the Pakistan
Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) has exempted Afghanistan students from
entrance test or Scholastic Aptitude Test (Part-II) examination for the session
2011-12 under the Prime Minister's Scholarship Scheme.
This holds them eligible for admission to public-sector medical colleges of
the country, raising questions about discrimination with the local
The decision is learnt to have been taken at the 119th general council
meeting of the PMDC in the light of the prime minister's directions to "win
Afghan hearts and minds" by offering better educational facilities, an official
said. The meeting was held in Islamabad on Dec 22 last.
It is ironic that the decision is against the PMDC Regulations of 2010, which
say that entrance test or SAT is mandatory for the foreign students to get
admissions. Worse, this is the second attempt of giving exemption to the foreign
nationals from the minimum criteria of examinations for admissions to the
country's public-sector medical institutions.
In the previous experience, the PMDC had to face resistance from the Pakistan
Medical Association and other stakeholders.
Presided over by Prof Sibtul Hasnain, the meeting was attended by 65 PMDC
members including Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, vice chancellors, principals and heads
of medical and health institutions from all over the country.
The source said the PMDC had granted one-time exemption to the Afghan medical
students from the examinations by relaxing its rules on the instructions of
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani who directed the authorities to materialise the
proposal through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr Khalid Hussain Memon, director Afghan Trade and Development Cell of the
ministry, has sent a letter to the PMDC regarding exemption of entrance test for
Afghan nationals. In the letter of Dec 2, a copy of which is available with
Dawn, Dr Khalid apprised the council that "the Afghan students who are selected
for scholarships under the PM Scholarship
Scheme may not be judged by our
higher educational standards and therefore PMDC is requested to grant them
waiver/exemption from entrance test for admission to the medical and dental
institutions in Pakistan."
In another letter of Dec 9, he again asked the PMDC that "the Prime Minister
had been pleased to announce 200 scholarships in various disciplines for Afghan
nationals to build their capacity in education. The Afghan students come from
all provinces of Afghanistan where scant educational facilities exist due to
"Pakistan is making efforts to win Afghan hearts and minds by offering better
educational facilities so that these students do not prefer other neighboring
countries over Pakistan.
With the help of PMDC we hope we can make the Prime Minister's scheme a
The letter further said, "Foregoing in view, it is requested that one year
entry test exemption for year 2011-12 may please be granted as a special case.
We shall endeavour to prepare the students to meet the desired criteria for the
coming years in coordination with and guidance of the PMDC."
Earlier, the council had given similar relaxation to 63 foreign students in
September 2010 on the intervention of the EAD and directed the Punjab government
to admit these students to its medical institutions, which had stirred agitation
among the medical community as well as students.
The action was taken on the repeated requests of embassies of 19 countries,
which continued to exert pressure on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan
"to relax its laws" and accommodate their 63 students without entrance test or
SAT-II exam. Dawn
"I'm afghan student i like apply for mbbs at any medical college pls also i can aply on contact pls confirm me"
City, Country: Peshaewer, Pakistan
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Evening students likely to get laptops
Lahore: The Punjab government is contemplating the possibility of including evening programme
students for the free distribution of laptops under the Chief Minister's youth
The government has also decided in principle not
to provide free laptops to all those individuals enrolled in PhD programme who
are employed at government or private organizations and are drawing salaries.
A preliminary meeting in this regard was held at the Punjab Higher
Education Department here on Monday. The meeting, chaired by Minister for
Education Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, was attended by Higher Education secretary Dr
Ijaz Munir, the P&D Department representatives and other officials.
The meeting discussed the subject in detail but could not reach any
policy decision, except agreeing to collect data of students enrolled in evening
programmes at public sector colleges and universities across the province as the
According to the Punjab government's criteria, students of
BS (Hon) MA, MSc, LLB, MBA of public sector colleges and universities who
obtained 60 percent marks in last annual examination or 70 percent marks in last
semester; students of public sector engineering universities and medical
colleges who obtained 60 percent marks in last annual examination or 70 percent
marks in last semester; all registered students of PhD, MS, LLM and MPhil and
top hundred students of the matriculation examination of each the board of
intermediate and secondary education (BISE) were eligible for free
The government has allocated about four billion rupees for
distribution of free laptops among 100,000 students enrolled in public colleges
and universities across the province. It is pertinent to mention that, while
many people have been appreciating the Chief Minister's laptop initiative, there
are also those who term the same a political stunt to attract youth in the
rapidly changing political landscape of the country.
For the last couple
of days, a number of students from the Punjab University (PU), enrolled in
evening programmes, have been demanding through protest demonstrations that
students of evening programmes should also be provided the facility of free
Sources said the participants in the meeting were of the view
that, since evening programmes were offered on almost self supporting basis, it
was quite difficult to find out deserving students from among them.
They, however, agreed to collect data of all the evening programme
students to know how many of them were eligible for the laptops. If the number
of such students is not very high, a summary will be moved to the Chief
Minister, Punjab, to include such students in the scheme, the meeting decided.
When contacted, Minister for Education Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that
a final decision was yet to be taken regarding inclusion of evening programmes'
students in the scheme. However, he added, it had been decided to collect data
of such students.
Higher Education secretary Dr
Ijaz Munir said regular students enrolled in evening programmes in institutes
where such programmes were launched at par with morning programme and did not
fall in category of self supporting programmes would be considered for the
He confirmed that the department had received lists of over
91,000 students from the colleges and universities, adding that the department
would now verify these lists and exclude all such individuals enrolled in PhD
programme who were employed in government or private organizations and were
drawing salaries. Dr Ijaz Munir added that the date for registration had been
increased from December 31, 2011 to January 10, 2012.
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Lahore: Punjab University's Vice-Chancellor visited the university's Faisal Auditorium on its
New Campus here on Tuesday to review the arrangements for the varsity's 120th
convocation to be held on Saturday, December 31.
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PU girl students stage demo
Lahore: A number of female students from Punjab University's Department of Political
Science on Monday staged a protest demonstration against the examination branch
for allegedly unjustly declaring them fail and not correcting the
Carrying posters and placards, the female students staged the
demo outside the Lahore Press Club and alleged that they were declared fail in
the subject of Ideology unjustly and when the issue was brought to the notice of
the exam branch, nothing was done to address the issue.
alleged that errors were made in the preparation of their results but no one was
ready to accept responsibility in this regard. The students demanded the
authorities to look into the matter and resolve the issue at the earliest.
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Political appointees cause of PU trouble: VC
Lahore: Vice Chancellor Punjab University Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said faculty members, who
were appointed on political basis were a real hurdle in progress of the
Inaugurating polymer and material research laboratories here at
the Department of Polymer Engineering & Technology on Monday, as per a press
release, he added PU had the potential to become one of the top 500 universities
of the world but it was facing problems due to such faculty members for whom
merit was sidelined. He said such people distort reality, adding the university
must get rid of culture of speaking lies and negative politics for development.
He said disturbance happened where teachers on senior positions were involved in
politics. Moreover, he said, the number of PhD faculty members in the varsity
had been increased and it enhanced capacity of the faculty to utilize research
funding. Later, the VC and others also visited the laboratories and inspected
experimental instruments there.
It is pertinent to mention here that PU
Academic Staff Association (PUASA) has recently circulated pamphlets among
faculty members and media alleging that tenure of Dr Mujahid Kamran as PU VC
would be remembered as the "darkest" period in the history of the varsity. ASA
had termed Dr Mujahid's claims regarding increase in research funding as totally
baseless. It is obvious that Dr Mujahid Kamran's statements issued on Monday are
in reply to PUASA's allegations against him.
GCU wins UET contest: The
Government College University (GCU) has won the Brainiac 2011 Speed Programming
Competition organized by the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore's
Al-Khawazmi Institute of Computer Sciences on the concluding day of the 5th
International Conference on Open-Source Systems and Technologies.
as 255 students from all over the country took part in the competition which was
won by the GCU Computer Sciences Department team comprising Muhammad Saqib Ali,
Ajmal Ismail and Kiran Sarfraz. The Punjab University College of Information and
Technology (PUCIT) stood second in the competition. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof
Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman has congratulated the university's Computer Sciences
Department students on their achievement.
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Punjab teachers warn of strike
Lahore: Punjab Teacher Union (PTU) warned on Tuesday that if practical steps were not taken by the
authorities concerned to address the grievances of teachers, it could have
In a press release, PTU central president Sajjad
Akbar Kazmi, Ch Sarfaraz, Rana Liaquat, and others called on Secretary Schools
Punjab Mohammad Aslam Kamboh and apprised him of problems being faced by the
They briefed the secretary about the decisions taken by
PTU's central leadership about issues faced by the Punjab teachers and miserable
attitude of district officers towards them. They were of the view that neither
service promotion had been given to them for the last several years nor the
teacher package 2010 had been implemented.
They regretted that teachers
were being victimised due to lack of students' attendance. They were of the view
that examination system of the PEC was ridiculing teacher fraternity. The PTU
representatives also alleged that in many districts, EDOs were involved in
corruption and the time had come to initiate action against them. They said in
such circumstances teachers could not remain silent and would go on strike if
their grievances were not addressed.
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Poultry industry seeks UVAS help
Lahore: Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has asked the University of Veterinary and Animal
Sciences to conduct research on diseases affecting poultry and update poultry
farmers IN this connection.
At a meeting here at UVAS on Tuesday, PPA
members said the poultry industry was being affected by contagious and fatal
viral diseases like newcastle, H9 avian influenza and infectious bursal disease.
They said the diseases were killing poultry and adversely affecting farmer's
income. Dr Munir Ahmad Sahi said newcastle and avian influenza persisted in
extreme weather conditions twice a year.
He said that poultry workers
lacked poultry management skills and henhouse infrastructures were not proper.
He suggested that UVAS should conduct refresher poultry courses and training
workshops in this regard.
Director UVAS Diagnostic Laboratory Prof Dr
Masood Rabbani said PPA should collaborate with the university in collection of
suitable sample which would be used for ongoing international funded research
projects on newcastle disease.
He further said the monitoring of flocks
and good management practices were must to get rid of poultry diseases. Vice
Chancellor UVAS Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said the university would provide
technical support to the poultry industry to address its problems and
challenges. He said linkages between farmers and poultry scientists were a must
to overcome the problems.
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GCU library society body set up
Lahore: The 13th executive-body of the Government College University's Library Society was formed
on Tuesday for academic session 2010-11 here.
Vice Chancellor GCU Prof Dr
Muhammad Khaleeq ur Rahman administrated oath to new office-bearers at a
ceremony. Chief Librarian GCU Abdul Waheed was also present on the occasion.
Syed Atif Hussain has been appointed Library Society President, Abdul
Munim (vice president boys), Ummar Amin (vice president females), Anum Jamil
(assistant vice president), Usman Zamurrad Khan (general secretary), Faiza
Khaleel (joint secretary) and Attiya Khan (finance secretary).
on the occasion, the VC appreciated efforts made by the students of Library
Society to organize several lectures, exhibitions, book fairs and seminars for
promotion of booking reading among students.
GCU wins contest: The
Government College University's Debating Society has clean swept the All
Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Urdu speech contest. According to a press statement, the
orators from 40 educational institutions took part in the contest. The GCU's Ali
Abid stood first while Adnan Farooq of the university secured the second
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UHS institute of research
Lahore: Vice Chancellor, University of Health Sciences (UHS), Prof. Dr. Malik Hussain
Mubbashar has said the university is all set to establish a state-of-the-art
Institute of Research Excellence with the support of the Punjab government in a
bid to revolutionise basic medical sciences' research.
He was addressing
at a seminar on "Cancer Stem Cells" organised by the UHS on Tuesday. Prof
Mubbashar further said the university was developing a cohort of young
scientists which would be trained at top ranking universities of the world.
He said that recently University of Liverpool, UK, under an agreement
with the UHS and agreed to offer 10 PhD scholarships to Pakistani students in
the fields of cancers, obesity, genetics, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular
diseases, hypertension, biomedical engineering and neuro-sciences. He said the
institute would be established on Kala Shah Kaku campus of the university for
which the Punjab government would provide funds.
Earlier, delivering a
lecture on cancer stem cells, Director Laboratory of Viral Oncology and
Proteomics Research, University of South California, Los Angeles, USA, Prof.
Suraiya Rasheed said that stem cells were present in human tissue. During early
stages of development, they created all organs in the body including brain,
heart, bones, muscles and blood. In adults, those cells were important for
repairing the damaged tissues, she said added that mutations in some of these
cells due to environmental or genetic factors could change those cells into
different types of cancers.
Prof. Rasheed further said that stem cells
could be used to screen and test new drugs. "They are being tested to repair
damaged tissues or create new tissues for patients awaiting organ
transplantation through tissue engineering", she informed.
that stem cells could be used to create new bone marrows for people suffering
from leukaemia. Prof. Rasheed was of the view that basic medical research into
functions of stem cells could provide insight into how these cells worked and
how they might be able to combat diseases. The lecture was attended by medical
professionals and researchers. The news
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