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Punjab MBBS seats for unrecognised colleges

Punjab gives MBBS seats to four unrecognised colleges
Lahore, July 27: The Punjab government has allocated 100 MBBS seats each for the under-construction four medical and dental colleges in the public sector which are not recognised by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), sources said on Monday.

The PMDC officials called it a serious violation of the council's ordinance and rules.

Sources said the Punjab government had allocated 100 MBBS seats each for the under-construction medical colleges in Sialkot, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sahiwal. These colleges are not recognised by the PMDC so far and are not functional as yet.According to sources, the Punjab health department directed the University of Health Sciences (UHS) to grant affiliation to these four colleges.

Punjab health additional secretary Mushtaq Ahmad Sulehria said the provincial government had allocated 100 seats each for the four under-construction colleges nearing their completion.

He said though these medical colleges had not been recognised by the PMDC so far, the Punjab government was authorised to allocate seats for these medical colleges before recognition by the council.

He said the health department had directed the UHS management to affiliate these medical colleges so that eligible candidates could get admissions in these colleges after the declaration of Entrance Test results. He said the construction of these colleges was likely to be completed by the end of this year.

To a question, the official said the Punjab government would apply for the recognition of these colleges after the Entrance Test results.

PMDC registrar Dr Ahmad Nadeem Akbar said the four medical colleges were not on the list of recognised public sector medical colleges in the province.

"The PMDC has not recognised these medical colleges. So, the Punjab government has no right to allocate MBBS seats for these colleges," he said adding, such step would be considered a criminal act and serious violation of the PMDC Ordinance.

The registrar said the Punjab government's decision would also be considered a violation of the Para 279 of a Supreme Court's reported verdict (PLD 2007 SC 323).

According to the apex court's judgment, Dr Akbar said, no provincial government could allocate seats for MBBS classes if the medical college did not fulfill requirements of the PMDC.

He said the Punjab government was playing with the future of students, as the PMDC would not allow them to get admissions in the said colleges unless these colleges got recognition certificates from the council.

He said the PMDC had recognised 13 government medical colleges across the province which are: Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore (being re-inspected for seat allocation), Army Medical College, Rawalpindi (allowed 200 MBBS seats per year), Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore (250 seats), King Edward Medical University, Lahore, (being re-inspected for seat allocation), Nishtar Medical College, Multan (250 seats), Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad (being re-inspected for seat allocation), Quaid-i-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur (300 seats), Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi (being re-inspected for seat allocation), Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore (150 MBBS seats), Sargodha Medical College, Sargodha (100 seats), Shaikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan (100 seats), Nawaz Shairf Medical College, Gujrat (50 seats) and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Medical College, Lahore, (100 MBBS seats per year). Dawn

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PU verifies another 53 degrees
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) on Monday sent 53 degrees of parliamentarians back to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) after verification.

A PU spokesman said that out of these 53 degrees, two were of senators, 16 of directly elected MNAs, three of MNAs elected against reserved seats, 17 MPAs directly elected and 15 MPAs elected against reserved seats of the Punjab Assembly.

The spokesman further said the PU had already returned 18 degrees to the HEC with the request to furnish intermediate result cards and equivalence certificates.

The PU received a total 358 degrees out of which three were sent twice which were already verified, he concluded.

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HEC calls VCs meeting to discuss degrees verification
Lahore: The Higher Education Commission has convened a meeting of vice-chancellors of public sector universities across the country on July 28 to discuss the issues of degrees verification and their financial crunch.

Sources privy to the developing situation said the invitations extended to the vice chancellors by the HEC mentioned the emergent meeting was being called on their pressing demands, however the verification issue is being treated as "hidden" item of agenda.

According to the sources, the HEC authorities wanted to sensitize the VCs, of those varsities involved in leaking confidential information regarding fate of MPs degrees, of serious repercussions they might face because of the rapidly changing scenario.

It is further learnt that the VCs would also be sensitized about the situation emerging after the efforts made to involve the Election Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education in the verification process parallel to the HEC.

The EC's demand to send a questionnaire to all the universities to answer three questions before giving a decision on fake degrees has already caused concern in the HEC authorities. Reportedly, the EC had asked the HEC to obtain information such as the basis on which any degree was determined to be fake or genuine, naming the signing authority and the name of the respective college. The move is being seen as a delaying tactics.

Similarly, heated debate has started after Federal Minister of Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali issued statement a couple of days ago, claiming the report on the MPs' degrees could be reviewed again as "It was not the Higher Education Commission's domain to verify the degrees."

It is learnt that the VCs would be asked to share details in case any university was pressurised by the MPs, to take it up with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who had assured of his support to the HEC in the verification process.

The sources said the financial constraints is also an important agenda item, as the VCs had been highlighting the same, after the HEC faced Rs 7 billion cut in its budget this year. The HEC's funding for 2010-2011 has been reduced to Rs 15.7 billion from Rs 22.5 billion in 2009-2010. The VCs have been highlighting the likely deficit their universities might face from the recently enhanced government servants salaries and pension as well as other allowances and expected low funding from the HEC because of the financial cut.

According to reports, the Punjab University is likely to meet huge deficit of Rs 760 million, University of Engineering & Technology Lahore a deficit of Rs 166 million and University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Lahore of Rs74 million.

It is learnt that the upcoming meeting at the HEC would discuss various possibilities of revenue generation by the universities, to minimize the "worst effects" of cut in the HEC budget.

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ACCA student murdered
Lahore: A 25-year-old student of ACCA was strangled by some unidentified killer/s in the Sattukatla police area on Monday.

The deceased was identified as Abdul Jabbar, the son of Zulfiqar Ahmad. Police suspected that the victim might have been murdered by his some unidentified college fellows over some dispute. Satukatla SHO Inspector Qamar Abbas said that the deceased's brother, a student of a local college, had stated that when he returned home from his college, the body of Jabbar was lying in his room. "From his apparent condition, it seemed the deceased was severely tortured before his murder," the inspector added.

According to the deceased's brother, Jabbar had been tense for the last few days and, when asked, he had replied that some of his fellows were annoyed over some issue at the college.

The body was shifted to the Jinnah Hospital morgue for autopsy. Police have registered a case against unidentified accused with no arrest till filing of this report. The news

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