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Ex-MAO College principal committed irregularities

'Ex-MAO principal committed irregularities'
Lahore, July 12, 2008: A former MAO College principal gave a free hand to a political student group to use college premises for their activities and manipulated admissions against merit after extorting hefty amounts from the candidates, according to an inquiry report by the Education Department.Being the final authority to allow admissions, former principal Maksudul Hasan Bukhari was "very much part of illegal activities" carried out by his "front men" in the college.

The inquiry was launched to look into the complaints regarding admissions to BCom classes over and above the allocated seats as well as extortion from candidates for allowing 'out-of-merit' admissions.

The report submitted to the Punjab higher education secretary says the former principal "purposely" kept the admissions' record in shambles to support their motives. It said the authorities kept the admission process continuing till February this year, much beyond the last date of admission notified by the Punjab University.

Thirty-five students recorded their statements, saying they had given Rs15,000 each to activists of a student group, named in the report as Muslim Students Federation, to get admission. The administration gave two college rooms to the student group's office-bearers Shahid Sheikh, Shahid Chaudhry, Sunny Prince and Iqbal Khan.

It said the students union was running a parallel admission office in the college with the connivance of the administration. In a police raid after a violent incident, 300 admission forms were found in the union "office".

The report said the marks obtained by the majority of the students were far below than the marks declared on merit lists of the college.

Mr Bukhari submitted his reply to the probe body, but that was contrary to the facts. The principal stated that the number of allocated seats for BCom part-I session 2007-09 was increased by the Punjab University, for which, he attached letters pertaining to 2006-07.

He also denied the existence of any students union operating in the college during his tenure, the report said, but the factual position was that Mr Bukhari patronised the student group and allowed them to use two rooms in the college as well as permitted them to make admissions. As the former principal presented a college admission advertisement to the inquiry committee, where general public was issued a warning to guard against those operating in the college illegally, the inquiry report said the document turned out to be his confession of his involvement in illegal admissions.

The former principal submitted that he had admitted students more then the allocated strength on "verbal" orders of the Punjab governor, the chief minister and the education minister. The inquiry officer states that the verbal permission of an authority cannot be implemented.

The inquiry officer also revealed that Mr Bukhari did not allow the constitution of an admission committee and its notification in the college prospectus to function.

The Punjab University has been taking strong exception to Mr Bukhari's violation of rules and regulations times and again.

A university senior official said that the MAO College had been admitting students over and above the sanctioned seats limit since 2004. In 2006, he said, the PU got an undertaking from Mr Bukhari that the practice would not be repeated. But, he said, the college admitted 2,500 students against sanctioned 1,450 seats. This time, he said, the university put its foot down and refused to entertain any admission made above the sanctioned intake.

Punjab higher education additional secretary (academics) Maqsood Mumtaz said that the department had received the inquiry report and was in contact with the incumbent MAO College principal.

Mr Mumtaz said, "The department is examining how to proceed in the case."

He also said the MAO College's incumbent principal had recently met higher education secretary Arifa Subuhi and informed her that all affected students' fees had been returned. He, however, admitted that the hefty amount extorted by the union activists had not been returned to the affected students. Dawn

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Unions use college walls to publicise manifestoes
Lahore: Massive wall chalking on boundary walls of public sector colleges, which increased soon after the government decided to lift the ban on student unions, is being employed by several rival unions to publicise their control zones.

One can easily know which organisation is having control over a particular college by simply reading large-font slogans written on its boundary walls.

During a survey, it is learnt that wall chalking outside most of the colleges has been done by the Muslim Students Federation (MSF-N), student wing of PML-N, while Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) and People's Students Federation (PSF) have also been doing wall chalking on boundary walls of the colleges where they have majority.

Some of the colleges where massive wall chalking by different student organisations could be seen include Government Islamia College Civil Lines, Government College Township, Islamia College Railway Road, Government Dayal Singh College, Government College of Science Wahdat Road, Govt College of Technology Raiwind, Government College of Commerce Allama Iqbal Town etc.

Apart from sloganeering in connection with motto of a particular student group, the wall chalking also includes slogans in favour of top leadership of a particular political party.

It is pertinent to mention here that wall chalking on boundary walls of Government MAO College has recently been removed following an incident in which some outsiders tried to take control of the college from an already operating student organisation, previously associated with the PML-Q government.

A senior official of the Government College (GC) Township, seeking anonymity, said no student organisation existed in the college, adding however as per the slogans on the college walls, it was a common perception among the people that a student organisation, MSF-N, was operating in the college.

He maintained that some activists of the said student group had asked the college administration to allow them working inside the college, adding the request was denied as no notification had yet been issued to colleges in this regard.

"Despite our refusal, the student organisation managed to do wall chalking on the college walls," he added.

A number of people from different walks of life expressed concerns over massive wall chalking on the boundary walls of public sector colleges saying government should ensure sanctity of educational institutions and should not allow any student organisation to completely cover the college walls just to promote themselves and the political party with which they are affiliated.

Rizwan Khan, a citizen said massive wall chalking on boundary walls of government colleges was not a good initiative on part of student organisations, adding it appeared as if a college was party-office of a particular political party and not a place of learning. A principal of a college, seeking anonymity, said the higher education department should take notice of the prevailing trend, adding colleges' administration were unable to prevent student groups from such activities because of support from their political parties. The News

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