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Punjab University probe against ICS director

PU probe against ICS director
Lahore, July 14, 2008: The Punjab University (PU) administration has decided probing a complaint of alleged favouritism extended by the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) director to two M.Phil candidates.

It is learnt that the PU vice-chancellor office had received an "anonymous" letter that two M.Phil students, who are also serving as faculty members at the institute, were declared successful in a paper in a specially organised re-sit examination. It was stated that the regular teacher had declared both students failed in 'Research Methodology' paper. However, the director appointed a third examiner, who examined both candidates and declared them successful in 'flying colours'. The VC office has received both the results signed by the examiners concerned, it is learnt.

When contacted, PU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology director Prof Dr Amin Athar was being appointed to hold a preliminary inquiry into the matter. "In case the initial inquiry report suggests some wrongdoing, a formal inquiry committee will be formed," he added.

It is learnt that the PU administration has withheld Higher Education Commission faculty development scholarship offered to both the students to proceed for United States for higher education. The final decision regarding allowing them to proceed for their studies abroad will be taken in the light of the outcome of inquiry.

It has so far been reported that M.Phil students Naveed Chaudhry and Shafique Kamboh were declared failed in 'Research Methodology' paper taught by Dr Bushra Hamidur Rehman.

In a later development, ICS director Prof Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh appointed former mass communication department chairman Dr Miskeen Ali Hijazi, who is currently serving as a visiting faculty member at the institute, as a third examiner. Dr Hijazi conducted the re-sit examination for both candidates and declared them pass with 'A' grade.

It was also alleged that the ICS director had earlier asked Dr Rehman to revise her assessment but she refused to do so and finally the case was referred to the department's semester committee.

Sources in the university administration said that the ICS director was not authorised to organise the re-sit examination because re-sit examination could be organised only for those candidates, who could not appear for the examination due to a valid reason. While the candidates, who fail in a paper, were required to appear in the next semester examination along with other candidates.

When contacted, Prof Sheikh said that he would welcome any impartial inquiry into the incident. Saying that some elements in the varsity administration were trying to disturb his "cordial relations" with the vice-chancellor, he added that he had held a detailed meeting with the vice-chancellor on this subject and came out satisfied.

Prof Sheikh said it was a matter of interpretation of the university semester rules and regulations whether the re-sit examination could be organised or not. He said that only a few university teachers had grip on university semester rules, which kept on changing. The ICS director said he was fully competent to organise a re-sit examination and appoint a third examiner, when the affected students had challenged their teacher's assessment before the semester committee headed by Bushra Rehman.

He said such decisions, where re-sit examinations were organised, had already been taken. "I did not change the original result and instead organised a re-sit examination, which is my privilege," he added.

Prof Sheikh said Dr Rehman had herself sought advice from him and he told her that her evaluation was unfair and she should revise her assessment. "Afterwards, Dr Rehman never made any verbal or written complaint on the subject," he added. Dawn

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Reevaluation at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU)
Lahore: I would like to draw the attention of Education Minister, Higher Education Commission and the Governor Punjab, Mr Salman Taseer towards the alarming situation developing at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU).

According to newspaper reports, the students of the Bachelors of Fine Arts programme of this university have been asked to re-exhibit their thesis work for re-evaluation by a third examiner. The thesis work was already exhibited at Alhamra and was duly evaluated. The federal secretary Mr Athar Tahir opened the exhibition.

The majority of students have rejected this decree which they think is a way to oblige two students who were not satisfied with the response of the examiners. One of these students is the daughter of a faculty member who is the head of gender studies department.

The other student's work suffers from plagiarism. For or the sake of these two favored students the whole examination process is to be repeated. The reasons quoted by the VC for this decision are unsatisfactory and lame to say the least. If the examiners didn't follow the procedures for submitting the results in time, which by the way is not the case, that is a failure of the university administration. Why are the students being subjected to re-evaluation for university's failure?

Ibraheem Ali, via e-mail (The Nation)

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Inquiry against former GCU employee stopped
Lahore: A civil court has restrained the Government College University (GCU) administration from conducting an inquiry against Tariq Malik, a former deputy director of the Computer Science Department, till the next date of hearing.

The administration had launched an inquiry against Malik in February 2008 for alleged irregularities in the purchase of computers. However, Malik submitted a petition in the civil court, stating that the administration had launched the inquiry three months after his resignation and it was illegal.

Hearing the argument, the court stopped the inquiry till the next date of hearing. The court also ordered the respondent not to harass the petitioner. Daily Times

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