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HEC-TIAC project | Book on Faiz

TIAC submits Rs57m project to HEC
Islamabad, Jan 10: A project concept worth Rs57 million for Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisations (TIAC) has been submitted to the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The Quaid-i-Azam University has already provided one acre land for the project while civil work (building) would cost Rs47 million, human

resource development (Rs6.3 million), project staff (Rs0.7 million), computerised networking (Rs2 million) and contingencies (one million rupees).

The project would be completed in 48 months.

The building would comprise classrooms, lecture theatre, computer lab, documentary section, and conservation lab, modelling section, managerial staff office, library, seminar hall, common room and cafeteria.

The HEC has yet to approve the project by providing space, essential research equipments, books, journals and facilities to researchers with an aim to produce excellence in the field of cultural heritage and ancient civilisations.

It was proposed in the PC-I to enhance enrolment in MSc, MPhil and PhD up to 120, 40 and 15 respectively.

Similarly, it has also been proposed to increase the strength of faculty members from nine to thirteen.

The syndicate approved the institute as a constituent part of the university and permitted to enrol students for MPhil and PhD programmes to produce qualified trained manpower in specialised areas of comparative civilisations, languages, linguistics and comparative religions.

TIAC Director Dr Ashraf Khan said the TIAC has produced 10 PhDs from 2001and published regular biannual journals that included research articles on Central and South Asian studies.

"Our prime objective is to create students and young scholars with a broader view of the whole of Asia.

"To achieve this goal comparative studies of the world civilizations that

arose in Asia will be undertaken and, on the basis of their findings, we will work together to bring the Asian people on a common platform," he added.

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HEC tells ECP not to recognise fake degree holders
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has told the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to recognise graduation degrees of 330 parliamentarians until they furnish original documents of matriculation and intermediate certificates.

"These MPs' graduation has no legal standing without valid previous education record," well-placed official sources said here on Sunday.They maintained that neither the MPs were discharging their responsibility of meeting the legal requirements nor they were being pressed enough for submitting their missing degrees. "They are intentionally overlooking the reminders and warnings issued in the last couple of months.

"In practice, no action such as temporary suspension of their membership has been initiated on violation in providing basic education and filling up a prescribed form i.e. the Degrees Supplementary Information Form (DSIF)," they pointed out.

The Commission has formally informed the ECP that it should not be blamed for further delay in disposing of and penalising those from within the pending case as they might have acquired counterfeited certificates in their pre-graduation.

An MP, they elaborated, would be a fake graduate and liable to be referred to trial court if he/she holds a bogus certificate in an earlier period. "How is it possible to qualify for BA examinations while bypassing or obtaining phony documents in earlier educational career?"

"In our view, the members found with bogus matric or inter would be a non-graduate as it is out of question that we recognise his/her BA," said the HEC focal person Rahim Bakhsh Channa when contacted for comment.

Asked about the exact legal status, the official said that the 330 MPS had no legitimacy to their BA till they followed their 100 colleagues who had submitted the relevant information after reminders. "We accept only those papers that got attested from HEC through production of original high school and inter certificates."

He confirmed to have communicated to the ECP the factual position and the procedure, adopted by the HEC not only in the MPs but also in ordinary cases before his department's verification. "We have no authority under the law of the land to force the MPs for presenting their missing documents and that is why we wrote to the ECP and then the ECP asked the relevant members through Speakers to furnish the information."

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's June, 2010 order, six months have been consumed in formalities, with the ECP hardly forwarding 13 fake degree cases (two MNAs, eight from Punjab, two from Balochistan and one from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly) to relevant District Coordination Officers (DCOs) for trial in district and sessions courts.

Another six months, analysts believe, could pass in the ongoing process in reaching a logical conclusion. "After this, the assemblies will be left with one year tenure, not such a long period to rescue sitting members and get them elected through dishonest means from very beginning."

Of the 330 pending cases, due to rigidity on part of the MPs and non-availability of practical action against them, there might be dozens more fake degree holders willfully avoiding to present their required documents.

The National Assembly, Senate and four provincial assemblies have collectively 1,170 members. Around 600 were cleared at the initial stages after duly verified by the HEC and the universities and eight were pending before different courts.

As 330 MPs' are in pendency, the HEC traced 54 MPs among others for having invalid graduation but, in the process of weekly hearings, the HEC cleared eight of them and transmitted 13 to the DCOs for FIR registration and transmitting their cases to the courts. The news

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WB to give $300m loan to HEC: Leghari
Taxila: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Javaid Leghari has said the World Bank would provide $300 million loan to the HEC soon.

The World Bank loan would help the commission overcome its financial crunch. It would also enable the commission to carry out research and manpower and infrastructure developments of universities, Mr Leghari said.

He was talking to journalists at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila after addressing the university's first faculty conference here on Saturday.

The HEC chairman said after the flood, Pakistan had to face economic constraints, and the higher education had to suffer due to cut in development budget. As many as 600 scholars could not proceed abroad for PhD as the project was shelved. He said projects to establish universities at district levels and university sub campus had also been done away with.

Responding to a question, he said: "The government has started thinking that spending on education is not expenditure but investment and that is called knowledge economy."

He said the example of Far East countries like Korea should be followed to get the knowledge economy concept implemented in Pakistan. He said Libya had also planned to establish 11 universities realising the importance of knowledge economy.

"Investment on education is like making diamond from coal," he added.

Dr Leghari said Pakistan had rich human potential and it could be explored through opening new horizons in the higher education.

Responding to another question, he dispelled the impression that there was any political pressure on the HEC regarding the verification of MPs degrees. He said the commission received graduation degrees of 1,100 MPs and 900 were verified while 55 proved bogus and their cases were referred to the Election Commission for further action. He said all the MPs degrees issued by the Punjab University were verified. He said despite many reminders, Election Commission had not provided any SSC and HSSC of any member of the parliament.

Earlier, addressing the first faculty conference at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila as chief guest, Mr Leghari said culture of appointments of vice-chancellors in the country had been changed and now vice-chancellors were being appointed through transparent procedure through a selection committee and not with political affiliation.

He said despite drastic cut in funds for research and scholarship, according to US-based journal Pakistan ranked at top in higher education among the world community. He said that due to focus on quality of education, two Pakistani universities clinched a position among the 300 universities of the world. He said that despite financial problems HEC was supporting various research and infrastructure development projects of various universities. He said that during the current fiscal year, Rs800 million was allocated for the promotion of research. He said that as many as 700 PhD scholars were produced during year 2009 and as many as one thousand PhD scholars were expected to be produced during this year. He said that during 1947 to 2002 only 14 people got PhD degrees in engineering and technology while during last 7 years 131got PhD degrees as a result of the aggressive policy of the HEC with special emphasis on the higher education. He said that as many as nine research papers were received by the HEC last year and five among them were approved with the allocation of Rs14.77 million similarly 18 projects of infrastructure worth one billion rupees were approved.

He said that recurring grant to the UET in year 2006-07 was Rs125 million while in years 2010-11 it was Rs138.85 million. Former chairman PTA Mian Mohammad Javaid, Federal Tax Ombudsman Dr Shoaib Suddle and Vice-Chancellor University of Engineering and Technology Taxila Dr Abbas Chaudhry also spoke on this occasion. Dawn

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Book on Faiz to be launched
Islamabad: As 2011 has officially been declared the Faiz Centenary Year, the National Language Authority (NLA) gears up to introduce the first book on Faiz Ahmed Faiz titled 'Faiz Saddy - Muntakhab Mazameen'. Published by NLA, the book is compiled by renowned poets and scholars Professor Yousaf Hasan and Dr. Rawish Nadeem.

In present times when the identity of the Pakistani people has been severely tarnished by the self-appointed protagonists of religion who are engaged in heinous crimes against humanity, there is no one better than Faiz Ahmed Faiz to project the real self of the nation. Through Faiz, we can show the world that the people of Pakistan are a happy lot - tolerant, accommodating, peaceful, loving and warmhearted. It will be a befitting tribute to the memory of Faiz if this occasion is made the platform to project the real image of Pakistan by widely disseminating his message of humanity, peace and brotherhood.

To start the Faiz's centenary celebrations, Progressive Writers Union, Islamabad-Rawalpindi chapter, is organising the launching ceremony of the first book on January 13 at the National Language Authority's Aiwan-e-Urdu, Pitras Bokhari Road, Sector H-8/4, at 3:30 p.m. The ceremony will be chaired by International Islamic University (IIU) Rector Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik and the chief guests will be Professor Yousaf Hasan and Dr. Rawish Nadeem.

Renowned writers and scholars Agha Saleem, Kishwar Naheed, Ahmed Saleem, Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, Haris Khalique and Dr. Salahuddin Derwaish will discuss the contents of the book on Faiz, his poetry and personality.

The PWU had announced earlier that the year 2011 will be the 100th birth anniversary of Faiz, which will be celebrated throughout the world by admirers of this great poet of the twentieth century.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz was one of the most prominent Pakistani poets who won unparalleled global acclaim. He symbolised all that is humane, dignified, refined, brave and challenging and patriotic in Pakistani society. His poetry reflects his intellectual resentment and resistance against an unjust and archaic social order, which he rejects on rational grounds as anti-human; yet it has no bitterness. He remains loving and loveable, respected and respectful.

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'Astronomy Night' organised at NUST
Islamabad: Space Science, including Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astronautics, has been neglected and consequently an under-developed field in Pakistan, said Dr. Mohammad Mujahid, adviser to the NUST Science Society.

According to a press release, he was talking at the 'Astronomy Night' organised by the NUST Science Society to promote all fields of Space Science through an interactive platform.

However, he said, resources are gradually being provided and institutes being set up due to heightened interest in the field. "It is a small effort on our part to cater to this interest and we hope that it will not only be enlightening but also enjoyable and interactive," he said.

The 'Astronomy Night' was organised to have a closer look at the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies through the eye of a telescope. The event got under way at the SCME, NUST Campus, Sector H-12, Islamabad.

Despite weather reports predicting clear skies on the eve of the scheduled event, cloud cover was a constant hindrance to view the scene that met the eyes of the participants.

Dr. Sarwar Naqvi, professor and former head of the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Institute and Space Technology, Islamabad, was the guest speaker for the session. In coordination with Pakistan's Amateur Astronomers Society, two telescopes were installed in the lawn to see the heavenly bodies. The automated telescopes were positioned so that Jupiter, the largest planet of the Solar System, and four of its moons could be gazed upon by onlookers. Students and faculty members queued up behind the two telescopes to look through its protruding lens and wonder at the marvels of the universe. The news

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