Allama Iqbal Open University irregularities
Audit want recovery of millions from AIOU VC
Islamabad, Jan 9: Unearthing serious irregularities in the Allama Iqbal Open University
(AIOU) affairs, an external audit team has recommended the recovery of Rs
2,655,921 from the vice-chancellor (VC) of the university on account of
irregular withdrawal of pay and allowances, The News learnt here on
"The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mahmoodul Hassan Butt, has completed
his four-year term on October 24, 2009 and as per the university act, the
vice-chancellor cannot be granted an extension but the incumbent VC is still
holding the office," an official source said, requesting
"During the course of audit of the AIOU for the year 2007-09,
it was observed that the VC was appointed by the President of Pakistan being
chancellor of the university as per Section 8 of the act vide U O No
229/32(15)Dir (C-1)/05 dated 8 October 2005 for a four-year term," says the
audit report, a copy of which is available with The News.
Hassan Butt on Thursday told The News about the audit objections and
irregularities that it was the right of the audit to raise objections but in
various instances they had quoted old rules, which have already been
He said the AIOU was properly responding to the audit
objections. He, however, did not comment on the expiry of his service
"It was mentioned in the letter that the terms and conditions
of the VC will be settled later on. In the absence of the settled terms and
conditions, the VC fixed his pay package Rs 134,000 per month plus 30% (40,200)
allowances. The terms and conditions of the VC was settled vide UO No
229/33(8)Dir (C-1)/2005 dated 22 May, 2008. According to the terms and
condition, payment of house rent together with a free furnished university
accommodation is not permissible under the rule. Only one facility can be
available at a time," the report points out.
"Prior approval of the
chancellor was not obtained for the enhanced salary Rs274,000 per month from
25-10-2005 to 10-05-2006 already drawn by the VC. The Finance Division has not
recommended regularisation of the provisional salary," it adds.
report says that the utility bills on account of the VC house, paid by the
university for the period from October 24, 2005 to June 30, 2007, have not been
calculated along with the excess withdrawal of pay and might be calculated and
recovered along with salary overpayment.
The report says that no reply
was furnished to the audit objection by the university.The official also pointed
out that the incumbent AIOU VC is a US citizen and was especially invited by
former President Pervez Musharraf to head the university. He said the AIOU has
36 regions all over Pakistan and in Azad Kashmir and the region head, Ali Asghar
Hasnain, is working on 89-day contract since April 25, 2009. He said the post of
region head is a permanent position and, as per the university act, nobody could
be appointed in this position on contract basis.
In para 1, the audit has
pointed out a loss of Rs3.160 million on account of interest due to retention of
deposits into current account instead of PLS (National Income Daily Account)
The departmental reply stated: "That there is no hard and fast
rule/specific time schedule available for the banks to transfer funds from
current account to PLS neither there is any clause included in the agreement
with banks, therefore, we can't charge any bank of 'retention of deposit' into
the current account instead of PLS account. Similarly, the amount computed and
declared as loss of Rs3.160 million by the external audit is not based upon
The audit, however, commented that the reply is
unsatisfactory because non-formulation of fee transfer to AIOU account is a
fault on the part of the management. Due to this fault, the AIOU is losing
profit on this account, it added.
In para 2, the audit has pointed out
irregular collections of Rs45.078 million from students violating the State Bank
of Pakistan (SBP) order. The audit quoted the SBP BPRD circular letter No 06
dated March 14, 2007 that instructed all the banks to refrain from levy of any
kind of service charges on collection of educational fee from the students of
It stated that the SBP has not prohibited banks from
recovering their postal/courier cost from the students on account of collection
of their educational fees but as per the SBP order, the banks could only recover
their postal/courier charges from the students. It pointed out that no evidence
(bills/voucher) of the payment of the amount to postal/courier service provider
was shown to audit, therefore, the collection of fee from the students by the
banks is held irregular and unjustified.
In the departmental reply, the
AIOU management tried to justify these charges, which according to it, are
allowed by the SBP vide letter No BPRD (LCGD-a)/8635/2007 dated August 24,
The audit, however, described the reply unsatisfactory because,
according to it, in the SBP letter, cost of courier is allowed while the banks
are charging service charges as well in violation of rules. It says the AIOU
reply is silent about courier charges by the banks located on the AIOU
In para 16, the audit report has recommended recovery of Rs2.212
million on account of conveyance allow. "During the course of audit of AIOU
Islamabad campus for the year 2007-09, it was observed that the following
officers and staff were residing in the university colony but were also drawing
monthly conveyance allowance. As per government rules, officers and staff
residing in the premises of the office could not allow conveyance allowance,"
the audit report says.
"The recovery pointed out by the audit is for the
year 2007-09 while they are residing since long. Accurate calculation may be
worked out and the amount paid on account of the conveyance allowance may be
recovered from the concern under intimation to audit," it adds.
connection, it is submitted that no official of the university is residing at
the main campus who is being paid conveyance allowance. The same university
employees are provided residential accommodation at the employees colony
situated at the distance of about one Km from the main campus.
conveyance allowance being paid to the university employees is, therefore, in
order and in accordance with the instruction/order of the government on the
subjects," the department reply stated.
The audit team, however,
commented that the reply is unsatisfactory. It stated that the colony is
situated on the premises of the AIOU, therefore, conveyance allowance is not
allowed under rules.
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Task Force to help implement education reforms
Islamabad: Prime Minister's Task Force on Education will focus on building
capacity of federal and provincial governments to implement the education
reforms envisioned in the National Education Policy (NEP).
sources informed that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani set up the task
force on the recommendation of the Education Ministry.
The task force
will steer the federal and provincial ministries in setting priorities and
marking targets for bringing changes in school system and for garnering positive
The Task Force recently met for two days to thrash out issues
and take a fresh look at the state of affairs in education and gauge performance
of various stakeholders.
The meeting took stock of the ongoing private
public partnership in school system and stressed the need for bringing
uniformity in education sector.
It called on devising an effective
mechanism to ensure the upgradation of the education system to meet modern day
Advisor to PM on Social Sector and Co-Chairperson of the
Task Force Shahnaz Wazir Ali told APP the task force has been entrusted the
responsibility to improve education
with a renewed emphasis on equity,
quality and governance. The task force will set eyes on meeting the target of
achieving 86 percent literacy rate by 2015. The news
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Girls primary education
Islamabad: To accelerate progress towards gender parity and
equality in education and its achievement by 2015, the second meeting of the
Federal Chapter of the Gender in Education Policy Support Project (GEPSP) was
held on Friday which forms part of a national coalition to mainstream gender in
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of
Education, Ministry of Women Development, Ministry of Social Welfare and Special
Education, members of academia, representatives of the non-Governmental
Organisations and representatives of donor organisations including DFID and
specialised agencies of United Nations.
Ministry of Education JEA Aurangzeb
Rehman speaking on the occasion remarked the GEPSP models to strengthen the
government's knowledge and capacity for evidence-based planning of gender in
education offers a sustainable solution to address the prevailing gaps in
policy-making and planning.
The project aims to build linkages between the
various research and knowledge development institutions in the country and
abroad. It also seeks to build and enhance capacities of the policy makers,
managers and the implementers, he added.
He highlighted that with a primary
male enrolment of 57 percent compared to 43 percent for girls, Pakistan had yet
to achieve the MDG targets of gender parity and equality.
Lack of school
readiness, delayed school entry, high-grade repetition, low achievement and low
completion all contribute towards the low participation of girls in education
thus reflecting problems of gender equity in Pakistan. The nation
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CDA planned Education City in federal capital
Islamabad: Capital Development Authority (CDA) has planned to establish an
'Education City' in the federal capital and identified a huge strip of land
located near Shakarparian for the establishment of the campuses of renowned
educational institutes and hostels on public-private partnership.
want to make the federal capital an educational hub. The City will be developed
on public-private partnership," Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi told this news
agency on Friday.
The concept of Education City has been derived from
developed countries where such cities are serving well since years as Dubai
Knowledge Village, Education City Qatar, Education City UK, Kuala Lumpur
Education City and Hong Kong Education City.
He said the idea is in its
concept phase and the Authority would work out all options to make the project
feasible for CDA that is currently facing a severe financial meltdown for the
last couple of years.
"The Education City aims to be the centre of
educational excellence in the region, instructing students in various fields of
education. It is also conceived as a forum where universities share research and
forge relationships with businesses and institutions in public and private
sectors," said Imtiaz Inayat Elahi.
The CDA chairman said that land has
been specified, owing to its ideal location near Islamabad Highway and is easily
accessible to the people of the twin cities of Islamabad and
He said renowned local and international universities have
approached the Authority and expressed their interest in establishing their
campuses in the Education City, as the federal capital was facing a dearth of
land for the purpose.
Besides the educational campuses, the land would
also be specified for the construction of hostels for students as well as
teachers and other professionals, as presently, the students and professionals
avoid coming to Islamabad, just owing to residential issues.
Inayat Elahi said the Authority has also got the consent of Prime Minister Syed
Yusuf Raza Gilani in this regard, who has applauded the idea and assured
He said the Authority is also planning to establish its own
educational institutions in the City where students would be provided education
of international standard to bring them at par with the students of other
When questioned, he said CDA would not hire any consultant
for the purpose; rather it would assign the task to its own team. However,
educationists would be engaged for the purpose.
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BCA students artwork
Rawalpindi: The students of Bachelors of Computer Arts at Fatima Jinnah
Women University presented their artworks in collage at an exhibition here on
In all, 54 students displayed the art under the course of
paintography, taught by Nasir Malik.
The display provided an opportunity
to the young and aspiring artists to exhibit their talent through displaying
their creative endeavours in an innovative manner.
Vice Chancellor FJWU
Professor Dr Saeeda Asadullah Khan, while inaugurating the exhibition,
appreciated the efforts and hard work of the students, terming their diverse and
creative work as remarkable and worth watching.
She also appreciated the
efforts of Nasir Malik, saying that the work done by the students is very
impressive and indeed a showcase of their hard work amalgamated with the support
and dedication of their teachers.
Dean Faculty of Arts & Social
Sciences Professor Dr Samina Amin Qadir and a large number of faculty members
were also present on the occasion.
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KEF education goals
Rawalpindi: The Kashmir Education Foundation (KEF) held its 24th Board of
Trustees meeting at its head office here on Friday. It was chaired by KEF
Chairman Vice Admiral (r) Farooq Rashid.
The board reviewed the KEF's
progress during the previous year and set new goals for the current year, aimed
at imparting quality education to the underprivileged segments of society in
The board also resolved to undertake futuristic
improvements at its Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) near Rawat, aimed at
producing quality teachers for English medium schools.
affiliated with the Bahria University, conducts a postgraduate diploma course in
education for rural female graduates.
The board appreciated the excellent
performance of KEF's Pearl Valley Public School and College in the SSC and HSSC
examinations. The chairman said that the KEF planned to open new schools
subsequently in every tehsil.
The upcoming projects include schools in
Gujar Khan, Pattoki, Bahawalnagar, Sialkot and Mirpur.
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IIU mosque construction
Islamabad: A meeting of the special committee for the construction of
Jamia Masjid at the new campus of the International Islamic University (IIU) was
held here on Friday.
The meeting was jointly chaired by IIU Vice
President Parveen Qadir Agha and Professor Munawar Iqbal Ahmed, convener of the
masjid committee. Participants of the meeting decided to constitute
sub-committees to undertake the project.
The Fundraising Committee will
be headed by Professor Dr. Sahibzada Sajid-ur-Rehman, while its members would
include Dr. Habib-ur-Rehman Asim, Dr. Muhammad Saleem Shah, Dr. Abdullah Riaz,
Dr. Suleman Al-Hawamda and Dr. Ubaidullah Khan. The Press & Media Committee
will be headed by Muzammil Hussain Shah. Financial Planning Committee will have
Attiquzafar and Ishtiaq Ahmed.
Alumni Committee would have Dr Hafiz Muhammad
Bashir and Dr Rehmat Ellahi. Students Participation Committee would have Charagh
Ali. Main Steering Committee would have Munawar Iqbal Ahmed.
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Students sports activities
Rawalpindi: Sports play a pivotal role in the makeup of a young athlete,
especially in middle to high school years when student athletes are much more
mature and mentally developed.
These views were shared by Syed Dalawar
Abbas, president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation, at the inauguration ceremony
of a tennis event held at the Roots School System (RSS) in Satellite Town here
The president was of the view that the first thing the
students need is a good core of coaches that understand the great responsibility
placed upon their shoulders to help shape and prepare these student athletes not
only in sports but in their everyday lives.
Dalawar also made the
assurance to promote tennis at Roots School System and showed his interest to
have a competition amongst the students at the intercity level.
Malik, coach and captain of the Pakistan National Tennis Team, was also invited
on the occasion, who encouraged the students to adopt tennis as a sport.
Director RSS Walid Mushtaq said tennis is a lifetime sport that builds
self-confidence and self-esteem, and teaches self-discipline, self-reliance and
respect for others.
The base of the world's tennis structure is the school and
club, so RSS would encourage the students to be part of this game and be a
regular member of the 'RSS Sports Club', he said and added that building a love
for the game of tennis starts with learning proper grips, footwork, strokes and
volleys in an effort to develop into a total player.
"For that, RSS is providing
all coaching guidance and counselling to the students," he said. The news
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