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PU IMPP female and male students protest

Fiery protest at Punjab University
Lahore, Feb 11: The Punjab University security guards and police manhandled female and male students of the Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology (IMPP) on Wednesday in front of the Vice-Chancellor's Office when the students were holding protest demonstration and some of them also attempted to commit self-immolation over non-recognition of their degrees.

The students tried to commit-self immolation by dousing themselves in petrol while one student set himself on fire as the varsity administration did not bother to discuss the issue with the protesters for hours.

The office of PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran turned into a battlefield as the law enforcers and students clashed with each other over holding protests outside the Administration Block on the New Campus.

Amidst heavy contingent of police and university security guards, the students continued protesting and chanting slogans for almost six hours. They broke the barricades, placed to keep them away from the vice-chancellor's office, and damaged the iron bar gate of the vice-chancellor's office.

Frustrated by the varsity administration's lack of response to their protest, IMPP five students - Muneeb, Asif, Tariq, Lubna and Madeeha- doused themselves in kerosene oil but the police controlled them. Soon afterwards, another student Wajid Husain sprinkled kerosene oil and set himself on fire. Rescue 1122 workers rescuers, who were present on the occasion, saved the student from getting injured. Still, Wajid's shirt and hair got burnt. He also sustained burn injury on his wrist. He was given first aid by the Rescue 1122. In hours' long protest, some male and female students also fainted and were given first aid.

The police and PU security guards forcibly tried to disperse the students and in the process beat them. Later, police arrested the male students and bundled them into a police van. However, the female students protested and lay down in front of the police vans carrying their class fellows. However, police released the male students when they found no abate in the protest.

Students were chanting slogans against VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and VC's advisor Ikram Ullah over non-recognition of their degrees and non-acceptance of their demands by the administration. The students were intercepted and also tortured by the police. However, Rescue 1122 staff provided first aid to the injured students.

The PU administration also banned the entry of the media persons to avoid media coverage of the incidents. PU security guards also manhandled journalists.

Meanwhile, journalists staged a peaceful demonstration against the PU VC's advisor Col (Retd) Ikram Ullah and security in-charge Arif for manhandling the journalists.

Finally, PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran held a long meeting with a five-member delegation of students on the intervention of senior police officials. The VC sought one month's time to resolve all their issues at university level as well as with the Higher Education Commission and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

Later, in a briefing to the media, Iqbal Town SP Romail Akram said the students discussed all their issues. including their degrees' recognition, deficiency in curriculum, faculty members and matters related to the Higher Education Commission. He said the VC had assured the students that their all issues would be resolved within a month. The IMPP students said the university administration listened to their genuine problems when they staged such a massive protest demonstration. They said the VC must ensure that students' degrees should be recognised.

They said the students had also staged a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday but the varsity administration showed cold shoulder. They said the students as well as some graduates of the department had taken up this issue and had staged protest demonstration after objections were raised by the Higher Education Commission's accreditation committee.

Meanwhile, a PU spokesman, in a press release issued here on Wednesday, said that Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, in the follow-up of the Tuesday's meeting, held a meeting with the students of Institute of Plant Pathology (IPP) here on Wednesday and removed all their reservations.

The vice-chancellor assured the students of resolution of their problems and the due process would be expedited in this regard. The students had already been assured that no delay will be made in the solution of all their matters falling in the jurisdiction of Punjab University He said that coordination regarding the solution to pending matters, which were due to be resolved by other institutions like Agriculture University, Faisalabad, would also be expedited so that the matter could not face even a minor delay.

In a light mood and pleasant meeting with the IPP students, all the issues were discussed in detail and after mutual understanding, the vice chancellor proposed solutions to their problems, which were accepted by the students. The students thanked Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and said due to his personal interest and deep understanding of the issue, his name would be remembered in the history of Punjab University. The Vice Chancellor hoped that now the students would focus on their studies in the line of the saying of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and would contribute to the development of the varsity and bring its name to limelight.

The vice chancellor assured the students that permanent relevant director for the institute would be appointed by the end of the current month. He said that the vacancies of the relevant teachers would be advertised as soon as possible and all the consultation regarding their qualifications and specialization would be completed soon. "As the varsity is already following the rules and regulations, the criteria regarding recruitment of the teachers would be fulfilled according to HEC and Punjab University will be met again," he added.

Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that he himself and other university officials were available round the clock whenever the students wanted to meet them.

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World's mathematicians gather at GCU
Lahore: Mathematicians from all over the world have gathered at the Government College University for fertilisation of new ideas through sharing of knowledge and interaction. European Mathematical Society President Prof. Dr. Marta Sanz-SolÈ was the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the 5th World Conference on 21st Century Mathematics 2011. Over 200 research papers are scheduled to be presented at the five-day conference spread over 22 scientific sessions besides meetings and talks.

Delegates from 40 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Norway, Nepal, China, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Turkey, USA and Vietnam, also attended the opening of the biggest-ever international conference in Pakistan.

Addressing the conference, European Mathematical Society President Prof. Dr. Marta Sanz-SolÈ congratulated GCU Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences on organising the fifth edition of a series of successful congresses, the World Conference on 21st Century Mathematics, under the auspices of the National Centre for Mathematics, the Higher Education Commission Pakistan, the European Mathematical Society, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy, the International Mathematical Union and UNESCO. She said the mission of such conference was to provide the nation of Pakistan with the scientific base, innovation and workforce it needed to compete with the world in 21st century for a prosperous future.

Prof. Marta said that Mathematics was the language of all natural sciences. Historically, she said mathematics had played, and continues to play, a crucial role in the scientific, technological and cultural development of humanity. Mathematical theories underpin many of the most brilliant discoveries in physics, chemistry, life sciences and economics. Mathematics is one of the fundamental sciences that drives most of the advances in applied science and in technology. It is also a crucial ingredient in industrial innovation. In these ways, mathematics brings economic wealth and development to society.

Prof. Marta said that GCU ASSMS and some other top-class research centers outside the Europe had been declared the Emerging Regional Centres of Excellence by EMS. She said that the EMS strongly believed that the expertise and extensive connections of the large and diverse network it was representing could be successfully used to reinforce these Emerging Regional Centres of Excellence in countries outside the Europe.

The idea is for the EMS to select, endorse and help a number of such centers to offer training to MSc level to students in their region. Subsequently, the EMS will provide help to those who may wish to and who are capable of continuing their studies, either in their countries of origin or (partially or totally) in European research institutions. The EMS can also facilitate and collaborate in the organisation of lectures and courses at the Emerging Centres of Excellence, given by leading researchers, and provide grants for members of the centres to attend conferences abroad. We see several advantages of this project, among others.

Addressing the conference, GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khalid Aftab said the conference would provide a platform to the mathematicians from all over the world to exchange ideas about mathematics, education and research and such an interaction could lead to fruitful long-term collaborations which would be beneficial for the development of mathematics in Pakistan. He also termed the conference an opportunity for young Pakistani scholars to interact with well known mathematicians from abroad and learn from their knowledge and experiences.

Prof. Aftab laid a stress on promoting research culture in the country's universities, saying that it made teaching-learning more effective. "It contributes in developing the culture of reading and writing, publication, paper presentation, using libraries and participating in workshops, conferences and seminars," he added.

Addressing the ceremony, GCU Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences (ASSMS) Director General Dr. A. D. Raza Ch credited the success of holding such huge gathering to the scientific committee of the conference chaired by Prof. Gert-Martin Greuel, Director of the world-famous German Mathematics Research Centre, Oberwolfach.

He told the conference that in years 2009-2010, the GCU ASSMS students and faculties published more than 270 research papers in core areas of mathematics in good international journals and out of these 148 papers were also published by the PhD students.

"The activities at ASSMS have provided a direct or indirect upward push for a large number of Pakistani mathematics institutions. This push resulted in a remarkable increase of graduate students in Pakistan as well as significant enhancement in the quality of research. The news

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Students throng Dawn Education Expo
Lahore: Hundreds of students seeking foreign qualifications and quality programmes being offered by country's top universities on Wednesday visited the Dawn Education Expo 2011.

The visiting students sought information from representatives of a wide range of top educational institutions in the world, including British, American, Canadian and Pakistani universities.

The two-day Dawn Education Expo 2011 began at Pearl Continental Hotel, with over 100 world's top universities offering a wide range of academic programmes to the students who came as individuals, groups, as well as students' visits organised by their institutions.

Representatives of various universities told Dawn that students' response was very positive and they got themselves registered with various universities to process their applications for admission.

The universities are offering several academic programmes, including business, engineering, accounting, information technology, fashion, sports, healthcare and arts.

The students asked respective universities' representatives about academic programmes, duration, admission processes, admission requirements, fee structure, visa requirements and scholarships.

Representatives of the UK universities also held sessions with students explaining them recent changes in requirements for the UK visa.

They also discussed students' prospects of doing jobs during the course of their studies and other avenues after completing respective degree programmes.

The students, who sought information from various universities' representatives, said that it was a great opportunity to seek information about degree programmes in top universities in the UK, the USA, Canada, the Middle East and Pakistan.

An O-Level student, Tariq Jillani, said the Dawn Education Expo had offered a great opportunity for young students to know about the higher education scene in Pakistan and abroad and make informed decisions while selecting programmes and consequent careers.

Varsities' representatives explained their academic programmes and related information in detail under one roof, he said and added that it would not be possible to seek this information on internet.

Some 60 per cent foreign universities as well as Pakistani universities, including LUMS, FCCU, UMT, ICMA, ACCA and Virtual University, had set up their stalls at the Dawn Education Expo exhibition.

The education expo will continue on Thursday (today) from 11am to 7pm.

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Canadian team visits UVAS
Lahore: A two-member Canadian trade delegation called on University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz and discussed prospects in the livestock sector.

Senior trade commissioner at the Canadian High Commission Robert N. Webb and trade commissioner Ali Khan visited the UVAS and met Prof Nawaz and other faculty members at the syndicate room on Wednesday.

Faculty of Veterinary Sciences dean Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, Faculty of Biosciences dean Prof Dr Ijaz Ahmad, Faculty of Fisheries and Wildlife dean Prof Dr Naureen Aziz, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences director Dr Farzana Chaudhry, Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology director Prof Dr Masroor Elahi, University Diagnostic Lab director Prof Dr Masood Rabbani, Quality Operation Lab director Dr Atif Hanif and UVAS registrar Dr Kamran Ashraf were also present.

The Canadian delegation told the meeting that a research showed that canola seed cake instead of cotton seed cake could increase milk production by a liter per cattle per day. They said Canada led the world in production gains over the last 10 years for milk-recorded Holsteins, according to the International Committee for Animal Recording in France.

Prof Nawaz explained the role of livestock sector. He said despite a plethora of challenges the livestock industry was growing by 4.1 per cent and

cattle population grew to 65 million in 2009-10.

The delegation visited various laboratories of the university. Dawn

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British Council, PEF to work on education
Lahore: The British Council and Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) have decided to explore new avenues of cooperation in teachers' training and education-quality improvement in the population-wise largest province of Pakistan to open the doors of quality education for the children of economically deprived strata.

Managing Director Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani, in this regard, held a detailed tripartite meeting with Ms. Lynne Heslop, Director Education, Central & South Asia, British Council & Ms. Rukhsana Asim, Project Officer, British Council, through video conferencing, at his office, on Wednesday.

Ali Sarfraz, CEO of Punjab Skills Development Fund Company along with Ms. Sara Saeed, besides PEF-DMD (Ops.) Tanvir Zaffar, PEF-Project Officer (Donors Relations) Ms. Samreen Sajjad and Subject Specialists Rehana Qaisar & Huma Mir, also attended the meeting. The news

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