Public medical colleges in Punjab
Plea against new medical colleges
Lahore, Jan 23: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court challenging the
establishment of four public medical colleges in different cities of the
The petitioner, Advocate Noshab A Khan, has said in his
petition that the Punjab government has inaugurated four medical
colleges without fulfilling the basic requirements. He said the
government should have approved recognition of the Pakistan Medical and
Dental Council (PMDC) for validation of medical qualifications.
said the government opened these medical colleges in Sialkot,
Gujranwala, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan. He said there was allocation
of 100 seats in each college and admissions for the academic session
2010-2011 had already been completed. The government remained oblivious
to students' genuine concerns over lack of recognition by the PMDC of
these colleges, he said.
The petitioner said that the government
needed to seek the PMDC's recognition with retrospective effect in order
to give validation to the qualifications awarded by the afore-mentioned
medical colleges. He said there was no precedent regarding grant of
recognition by the PMDC in retrospect to any medical or dental college
in the country.
He submitted that in these colleges, the
qualifications would be invalid without recognition by the supreme
governing body regulating the medical and dental education. He said the
Punjab government did not even bother to apply to the PMDC for
recognition todate. This attitude of the respondent envisages malafides,
he said. As a matter of fact for seeking recognition by the PMDC, the
government should have fulfilled the eligibility criteria, including
college building, qualified faculty, attached teaching hospital, fully
equipped laboratory and library and hospital but the newly opened
colleges lack all these basic requirements.
He said the Supreme
Court, in its judgment, had categorically declared as fake all the
medical and dental colleges lacking the PMDC's recognition. He prayed
to the court to declare the opening of these colleges as illegal and
having no legal authority. He also prayed to the court to stay the
functioning of the colleges till final disposal of the petition. The nation
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Landless Swat University starts functioning
Peshawar: Though the newly established Swat University has formally started functioning,
land for the project could not be acquired owing to the lethargic
attitude of the provincial government.
The first semester in
seven disciplines at the university is about to be completed, a senior
official of the university said. "The university is currently
being run in the Information Technology block of the Jahanzeb College
and in a girls' school in Saidu Sharif," he said on condition of
The Swatis believe that they have been given a
university 36 years after the merger of the state of Swat in Pakistan
and are thankful to both the federal and provincial governments for
approving the project.
Many Swatis are, however, concerned about
the proper materialisation of the project, as the provincial government
was slow to follow a proper procedure for acquiring land and
constructing a building for the university.
Vice-Chancellor of the university Prof Dr Farooq Swati, when contacted,
was also concerned about the land issue. "Unless and until we have our
own land and construction work is started, we cannot apply for regular
grant from the Higher Education Commission," he pointed out.
Dr Farooq Swati said the provincial government should take the issue
seriously and immediately start the land acquisition process. He,
however, felt the building block acquired from the Jahanzeb College was
enough to run the university for the time being. "But we cannot
undertake any expansion work in this building or add more disciplines
and hire staff," he said.
The acting vice-chancellor also
stressed the need for following merit in the true sense of the word
while making the project a real success. He said merit should be
followed at all costs. "If all the decisions and recruitments are made
strictly on merit, the university will achieve its targets and become a
great seat of learning," he argued.
The plan for establishment
of the university was first announced as part of the peace deal with the
militants in 2007. At that time, the government had announced to set up
an International Islamic University in Mamdheri, the hometown of
Tehrik-e-Taliban Swat chief Maulana Fazlullah near Mingora. The
government, however, changed its plan and decided to set up a general
university after the collapse of the peace accords and military action
against the militants.
Dr Mohammad Farooq Khan, who had been
appointed as project director-cum-vice-chancellor of the proposed
Islamic University, was asked to continue in the same capacity when it
was converted into a general university and its site was changed.
October 2010, Dr Farooq Khan was assassinated at his private medical
clinic in Mardan. The position of the vice-chancellor was later
advertised and a number of applicants applied for the job. It is not
clear as to when a regular vice-chancellor would be appointed.
Dr Farooq Swati, a former dean of the faculty of social sciences and
former chairman of the Archaeology Department at the University of
Peshawar, was given acting charge of the university. He will be managing
the university affairs till the appointment of a regular
vice-chancellor. Dr Farooq Swati, it may be added, is also a candidate
for the job. The news
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Police torture protesting UoE students, reporters
Lahore: A large number of students of the University
of Education (UoE) on Wednesday staged a demonstration against the
termination of varsity's science and technology division director Prof
Dr Anwaarul Rehman Pasha and his wife, Dr Shaheen Pasha.
protesters turned violent as the police resorted to launching a baton
charge on them for blocking College Road in Township. The police did not
spare the media personnel, who were covering the demonstration, and
deliberately beat them up too, leaving education reporters Zaheer Abbas
and Rizwan Nazir injured.
The adamant police, in a hot pursuit,
caught some students from Akbar Chowk, about a kilometre away from the
UoE campus, and thrashed them for damaging public and private property
there. However, all arrested students were released on the directives of
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, who pacified the protesting
students by promising reinstatement of the teachers.
protesters chanted slogans against the police as well as the UoE
administration and vowed that they would continue their protest until
both teachers were restored.
The Punjab Assembly Press Gallery
members observed a token boycott against the police's highhandedness
against education reporters. The government, however, assured the
journalists that the SP concerned would be summoned in the assembly
chambers on Thursday (today) and would be asked to explain his
conduct.Meanwhile, a two-member committee consisting of the law minister
and the higher education secretary, or his nominee, has asked UoE
acting vice-chancellor Prof Farhat Saleem and the two teachers sacked by
the VC on Monday, to appear and explain their points of view.
contacted, Prof Farhat Saleem said she was satisfied with her decision
to sack the two faculty members. She said she would not revise her
decision. She said Prof Pasha had been ousted from four institutions and
the UoE was the fifth one from where he had been sacked. She said these
two faculty members were sacked and could not be restored but
"I will not reappoint them and won't mind even if I am told to relinquish the acting charge," she said.
Saleem claimed that only those students, who were instigated by Prof
Pasha and his wife, were protesting and not even a single faculty member
protested in favour of the sacked couple.
She said all
examinations except that of information technology papers held
peacefully. Owing to students' protests, she said, the IT papers'
date-sheet had been revised and the examination would now begin from Jan
Earlier in the morning, the IT students boycotted
their examination and came out of the university to stage a
demonstration as the media was not allowed to enter the campus to cover
On vice-chancellor's call, the police rushed to the
scene and tried to disperse the students so that traffic on the
thoroughfare could be restored.
Later, students boarded on
university buses to go to Punjab Assembly chambers to record their
protest. However, the students were chased and intercepted at Akbar
Chowk and were beaten up there. The policemen also used abusive language
Students protested against the police and
damaged public and private property that led the police to arrest a
number of protesters.
Later, the students reached The Mall and
staged a protest demonstration and a sit-in in front of the Punjab
Assembly for about three hours. Eventually, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah
invited a delegation of the demonstrators to the assembly chambers and
assured them that the sacked teachers would be restored while arrested
students would be released forthwith.
Meanwhile, the Lahore
Education Reporters Association (LERA) condemned the police's
highhandedness on education reporters. The LERA executive body demanded
of the government to take strict action against the policemen involved
in torturing students and the media personnel.
The Islami Jamiat Tulaba also condemned the police torture on journalists. Dawn
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GCU sizzles with live performances on Bonfire Night
Lahore: The Government College University (GCU) rocked with celebrity
performances and eminent music bands when the GCU Welfare Society
organised a Bonfire Night in a series of events to help the poor
students of the university through the campaign, "Help the Helpless" on
Tuesday night at the amphitheatre.
Eminent singers, including
Shafqat Amanat Ali, Arif Lohar, Annie, Jassie, Amanat Ali Khan, and
music bands, including Raga Boys and Call, rocked the Bonfire Night with
their popular tracks.
Noted industrialist and GCU Endowment
Fund Executive Committee President, Iqbal Z Ahmed, inaugurated the event
by starting the fire, while the Punjab Education Minister and Old
Ravian, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, US Consul General Carmella Conroy,
US Consulate Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Larson and a large number
of other dignitaries also attended the event.
The bonfire, kicked
off with a medley sung by twin sisters Rida and Nida, who are students
of BSC (Hons) at GCU. The Indian song "Inn Ankhon Ki Masti Ka",
presented by GCU Welfare Society students, added fuel to the fire. The
traditional dance by five Baloch students and Five Baloch students
performed a traditional dance while another student, Basir Ahmad,
performed a dance featuring moves by Michael Jackson.
A skit by a
student of GCU, Ahmed Sahi, in which he mimicked noted politicians, was
the most popular performance of the night. GCU students Hassan Maqsood
and Imran Fida also sang at the event. The amphitheatre resounded with
shouts, whistles and shrieks when Shafqat Amanat Ali, who is also an Old
Ravian, came on stage. He performed an unscheduled live performance due
to the popular demand of his old friends of GCU. Shafqat sung his
famous songs "Khamaaj", "Terey naina" and "Mitwaa". A thirty-second
silence was observed for the sad demise of Jamil Fakhri's son on
Arif Lohar also gave a sizzling performance in his traditional folk style, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the US diplomats.
Welfare Society adviser, Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, said that GCU does not
only lead in research and academic activities, but also provides
opportunities to its students to participate in extra-curricular
activities. He said that the best thing about the Bonfire Night was that
the students by attending it also supported a cause to help the
deserving students who could not afford their academic expenses. All the
proceedings that GCU Welfare Society generated through this campaign
would be spent on deserving students. Daily times
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