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Higher Edu Dept entry banned | Private universities research

Ban on entry to Higher Education Dept irks people
Lahore, June 11: Contrary to the Punjab government's tall claims that it was following an 'open-door' policy, the new secretary of the Higher Education Department has banned the entry of visitors to various sections of the department.

Visitors are not allowed to enter the upper floor of the department which houses most of offices of senior officials, including the additional secretary (establishment), deputy secretaries (general, establishment, budget, universities and boards etc).

Offices of many under secretaries and section officers (SOs) are also situated there. A large number of people belonging to various parts of the province visit these offices on a daily basis for solution to their problems. They said the fresh move had multiplied their problems.

During a visit to the department on Monday, this correspondent observed many people complaining about the new "policy". Visitors were informed that the department was computerising the record owing to which they could not be allowed to enter. On the other hand, department employees were also seen expressing displeasure over the new exercise as they had to clear all cupboards containing hundreds of files.

People criticized the department high ups for banning their entry to the department. They said the move had added to their miseries. A visitor, Saleem, said the government had claimed to have adopted an open-door policy while in reality people were suffering as usual because of such practices. He said banning entry was like violating rights of individuals who come from various parts of the province for solution to their problems. He suggested instead of barring people the department officials should chalk out some other plan so that the visitors might not suffer as in most cases they come from far flung areas.

Another visitor said he wanted to meet SO (Boards) about an issue related to the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Lahore but was denied entry. An employee seeking anonymity said most of the wings and sections were understaffed owing to which the new exercise had created troubles.

Another commented that the new secretary was working on an additional post - an arrangement that was not meant to last for a long time. "It seems the boss (secretary) wants to pass this period without getting into troubles people bring with them on a daily basis," he added.

When contacted, Secretary I&C (S&GAD) Omer Rasool who has recently been given additional charge as the higher education secretary said visitors were not allowed as the department was computerizing the record. "Everything is topsy-turvy in the department," he claimed adding "Once things are in order, this will help visitors". "We are doing this for their benefit", he added. "Visitors should come to my office as I am here to serve them," the secretary said. The News

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"One Window Operation - a much needed - is breakthrough at Punjab Secretariat Lahore. However, it needs vigilence to avoid loopholes and pitfalls; since the enclosure is the same, the files moves in the same hands and decades old klerkocracy-habits ( especially among rankers ) would not diminish overnight. It was alarming to find a secretary of education removed off her office by these rankers. Some of the negatively opinionated officials - pcs as well as the rankers, play Brute; taxing the the whole business of affairs. Similarly, the planners and evaluators hardly succeed, falling easy prey in the hands of veteran-malpractioners, opine objectively on merit. A Joining-Report submitted in person to the DPI in 2004, remains undecided; the DPI could not evaluate the educational asset of an English teacher, returning from an English speaking country. Further more, some of the deputies and SOs at the Punjab Secretariat are trying not to make use of the cognizance and exposure to a worldwide-experience of a teacher. Their professional requirement - as HRM, is to facilitate in providing the world experience of the teacher to the student-community. But they fail to practise professionally. The One Window Operation return date was August 16, 2009 on the petition ( No. 221 with 46 pages of exhibition - inclusive of medical certificate with covering letter of Mr. Basit the Pakistan Consul New York USA, English language teaching licenses and certificates from USA ; British Council English language training at Aberdeen University Scotland UK ). However, every telephonic inquiry on the subject is hushed up with responses: CASE IS IN PROGRESS; the file is lost; the boss is on leave; the file is with boss; the clerk is on leave; you tell me how to do it; you come next week and it will be done; it is not easy to do it etc. The asset resource must be used - for it is in the benefit of the students and the nation at large; much has been wasted by the ill-opinionated workers at the offices of DPI and Lahore Secretariat."
Name: Amjad Farooq Shah
City, Country: Lahore

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Private universities lag behind in research
Lahore: A majority of the city's private universities lag behind in research and go without contributing any major publications to the peer-reviewed journals, a report on universities by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has revealed.

HEC has compiled a report by taking into account publications by Pakistani universities, which appeared in peer-reviewed journals indexed by Thomson-Reuter, ISI Web of Knowledge during the years 2007 and 2008.

The databases used for this analysis were Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, and Art and Humanities Citation Index.

According to the report, the Quaid-e-Azam University tops the list with 544 publications in 2008 and 409 publications in 2007. University of Karachi comes in second position with 419 publications in 2008 and 276 publications in 2007. Aga Khan University is the only private university that comes in the top five universities on the basis of research publications. The university is third in the list with 311 publications in 2008 and 186 publications in 2007. The University of the Punjab is the only university from Lahore that comes in the top five universities. The university is fifth with 278 publications in 2008 and 162 publications in 2007.

Private universities: The report shows that the majority of private universities in Lahore are not focusing on research and have only a few publications during 2007 and 2008. Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is the only private university in Lahore that has contributed in the internationally recognised journals. LUMS is fourth in the list of universities from Lahore. The university has 27 publications in 2008 and 19 publications in 2007. No other private institution in Lahore has produced research based publications.

Many reputed government institutions including the Forman Christian College University (FCCU) and Kinnaird College did not publish any research material. FCCU has three and Kinnaird College only one publication in 2008.

HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said this ranking had nothing to do with the overall positions of the universities and was only a research-based report on universities. He said many reputed private institutions focused on market-oriented courses and Bachelors degrees and were less focused on the research. "Besides, most of the research is possible with government funding. For some years, HEC has been providing scholarships to the private institutions like LUMS and Aga Khan University which are doing really well," he added. He said the research work in the universities has now improved as compared to the previous years. Daily Times

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KEMU students apprise CS of problems
Lahore: A Delegation of 20 students of Student Action Committee of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) met the Punjab chief secretary.

According to a press release here on Monday, the delegation led by Qazi Yasir included Furrukh, Tariq, Shahzad, Hammad, Tayab, Kamran, Yasir, Aamir, Mehsen, Shabnum, Tayyaba and Kinza.

The chief secretary, after listening to all queries of students, referred them to the provincial health secretary whom they briefed about problems in the examination system in the King Edward Medical University.

They demanded transparent examination system in the King Edward Medical University, which, according to them, was based on nepotism/favouritism as well as discrimination.

They informed the health secretary that two key officials, controller of examinations and additional controller of examinations, had been changed in the King Edward Medical University a few months back without properly notifying it which raised doubts about this covert decision of the KEMU administration.

The health secretary told the students that after having a meeting with KEMU vice chancellor of King Edward Medical University, he will inform them about the decision probably tomorrow and assured that every possible relief would be provided to students. The students are also expected to meet Punjab governor. The News

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Unregistered schools : LHC issues notice to edu secretary
Lahore: Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices to the Punjab education secretary and other respondents on a petition challenging the opening of unregistered branches by a private school in the city.

The petitioner, Muhammad Shahid Chohan, through his counsel Asif Mehmood Khan, submitted that his son was a student at the private school's Gulshan-e-Ravi branch, which was unregistered.

He said 20 of the school's branches were unregistered. He said this was unjustified and unconstitutional. He alleged that the school administration was deceiving the public at large. He requested that the unregistered branches of the private school be shut down under the Punjab Private Education Institutions Ordinance, 1984. Daily Times

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Urdu translation of Churchill's book
Lahore: Islam bring light to the dark world and it has been the greatest and the moist enlightened religion of the modern age which has rekindled the diminishing sprit of humanity in a world of materialism.This was the consensus opinion of renowned speakers at the book launching ceremony organised by the Jamhoori Publications at the Adabi Bahitahak at Al Hamra Arts Council, The Mall on Monday.

The book which was launched on this occasion was the Urdu translation of Sir Winston Churchill's world-renowned book 'Jang Malakand 1895.The speakers who included Former Federal Minister for Law SM Masood, Furrukh Sohail, Hassan Nisar, Oriya Maqbool Jan, Shujaat Hashmi, Nisar Safdar and others , were of the opinion that the book by Churchill still has a lot of significance since it narrated about the people of that area who had not changed much in all those years but the things have certainly changed a lot in the last century. The News

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