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Inter humanities exams | Karachi University plagiarism probe

Intermediate humanities exams from 18th
Karachi, June 03: Over 70,000 regular and private candidates of the humanities group will appear in the Higher Secondary School Certificate annual examinations-2009, scheduled to commence on June 18.

According to chairman of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, the exams will be conducted from 2.30pm to 5.30pm on weekdays, except Friday when their timing will be from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

The intermediate board set up 90 examination centres in colleges, he said, adding that the institutes which were blacklisted during the recent exams were not included.

He further said that exam centres were also not set up in those colleges, which had not got their sanctioned new establishment approved so far, because such institutes generally assign invigilation duties to outsiders in the wake of teachers' shortage.

He said that the board had formed 32 vigilance committees to check incidents of unfair means during the exams.

He said admit cards of regular candidates had already been sent to their respective coll- eges while those of private candidates were being dispatched on their residential addresses through a courier service.

The private candidates have been advised to contact the board's arts section for duplicate cards if they do not get their admit cards by June 9.

Practical exams
BIEK chairman said that the practical exams of the recently concluded HSC (Part-I and -II) pre-engineering, pre-medical, computer science and home economics groups' annual examinations would begin from June 8.

Prof Zai said that centralised assessment of the recently concluded exams would begin from June 10 so that results could be compiled by the end of July and announced in August.

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Officer appointed to probe plagiarism case in KU
Karachi: The Karachi University administration has appointed retired Justice Saleem Akhtar as inquiry officer to investigate the case of plagiarism allegedly by Prof (Dr) Jalaluddin Ahmed Noori, dean of the faculty of Islamic Studies, who has been suspended along with two other senior teachers of the university.

They were suspended following a unanimous decision of the KU syndicate about two weeks ago.

Retired Justice Saleem Akhtar is presently serving as the director-general of the Sindh Judicial Academy.

The latest decision taken by the KU authorities after a delay of over two weeks has quashed speculation circulating in the university that the administration is considering going back on the decision taken at the last syndicate meeting.

Higher Education Commission chairperson Shehnaz Wazir Ali has sent a letter to KU authorities with directives to conduct an inquiry into the credentials of Dr Noori.

It may be mentioned here that Prof (Dr) Noori's case has been one of the most publicised cases of plagiarism in the history of the KU and the extension given to the professor as the dean of the faculty of Islamic studies for the second time by the chancellor of the university led to protests by the faculty concerned, who also accused him of holding fake educational certificates and having two identity cards with different dates of birth.

KU registrar Prof Mohammad Raees Alvi confirmed that the inquiry officer's appointment and said that some other names were under consideration to carry out the investigation into the cases of Prof (Dr) Saeed Arayne, chairman of the chemistry department, and Prof (Dr) Najma Sultana, wife of Dr Arayne and former dean of the faculty of pharmacy who is currently teaching at the department of pharmaceutical chemistry.

"First inquiry officer has been appointed and the university administration will soon appoint other officials to conduct investigation into the two other cases," he said.

"The inquiry officer is independent and can investigate the charges of fake educational degrees levelled at Dr Noori," he said.

According to sources, the other names under consideration are of Justice Haziq-ul-Khairi, who is the Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court and, retired justice Mamoon Qazi, adviser to the State Bank of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Dr Zakia Bibi, a cooperative teacher at the department of chemistry, whose services as cooperative teacher were recently terminated on charges of plagiarism, has approached the office of the provincial ombudsman and requested that her case be reviewed.

It's worth recalling that the KU syndicate had unanimously approved the findings of a committee on plagiarism over two weeks ago and decided that a formal inquiry should be instituted against three senior university teachers on charges of plagiarism. Dawn

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KU L.L.B. Examinations
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) has announced that the Annual Examination-2009 of L.L. B. (Part-1) will commence from June 8 and conclude on June 22, 2009. Departments of Zoology, Biochemistry and Library & Information Science will be the centres of the examinations. Meanwhile, The University has appointed Urdu Department Chairman, Dr Zafar Iqbal, as the Enquiry Officer in the beating of a KU security guard by the students on May 26. He has been requested to submit the Enquiry Report within a week.

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Evaluating the KU Quality Enhancement Cell
Karachi: The Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) at the University of Karachi (KU), which was founded by the vice-chancellor a couple of years ago, seems to be striving hard to achieve the given task but overall, as the general standard of the university show, things have not met the expectations, a senior professor at the Faculty of Arts, who wished to remain anonymous said.

Other teachers and students shared the same observation, while many students and even a few teachers expressed their astonishment that such a cell was indeed in the university.

Director of the Cell Prof Sajideen had no such misgivings. "We have worked hard and hope to get results. These things (Quality Enhancement) take time. Our prime targets are the Masters students who have passed out and we want to know if they are doing well in their respective fields. For that, we have issued questionnaires to the respective employers, who send us their feedback. We study their response and focus our attention towards grey areas to improve the performances of the students who are currently enrolled," he said.

The Cell has asked the departments to submit their self-assessment report, and two departments – Commerce, Public Administration and Institute of Environmental Studies have obliged. The Commerce Department has declared as their mission "produce well-skilled human resource capable of carrying out financial, managerial, commercial and research activities in national and international organisations", while the programme team has also conducted surveys on graduating students, teachers evaluation, employers' opinion and that of faculty. The other two have worked on the same pattern.

The Cell has envisaged an 'Implementation Plan Summary' that will work on the recommendation of the assessment teams' findings. The paper will have the comments of the chairpersons of respective departments, Deans and Director of QEC and will then be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for his action.

"The evaluation of teachers is a difficult task. It is very sensitive matter. Students are also required to assess their teachers and report to the chairperson of their departments. It is very dangerous in the semester system. The chairpersons will be unable to maintain the confidentiality and the students might be in hot waters", the professor said.

The QEC encourages departments to hold conferences that would be instrumental in increasing the knowledge of teachers and students. Two international conferences were held but the choice of participants from home and abroad made these programmes lacklustre as they didn't benefit the audience.

The QEC had a monthly budget of one million rupees which was increased to 1.5 million recently by Higher Education Commission (HEC). The total number of staff at QEC is three – a peon, an analyst and a Computer Programmer in addition to the Director and it is really surprising that the university expects this cell to work wonders.

In a rather interesting development that in a meeting of Federation of Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), held in Lahore recently, the umbrella association of the teachers demanded the abolition of QEC in all the universities. The association has not given reason for the demand but insiders say that teachers felt insecure in the face of certain actions by the QEC. One of the actions that QEC wants to take is the demand that the attendance sheets of all the teachers should reach QEC by the 5th of every month. This would allow the QEC to know about the attendance of the teachers and the students. "Teachers were wary of the move because they are not very regular in taking the classes. They want to draw salaries but refuse to perform", a senior Professor confided.

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ICCBS acquires subscription of prestigious online database
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) has acquired subscription of an online database titled "Community of Science (COS) Funding Opportunity".

The facility has been sponsored by the Dr Panjwani Memorial Trust, while the database is being placed at the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) at the KU.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, an official of the ICCBS said that the afore-mentioned database is the world's most comprehensive source of funding information for researchers, containing more than 25,000 records, representing over 400,000 funding opportunities worth over $ 33 billion.

"The database will be accessible to all faculty members and KU scientists through the ICCBS local area network. This initiative of the Dr Panjwani Memorial Trust has an strategic importance because there is hardly any funding currently available to Pakistani scientists, while globally there are many multinational and international funding agencies who support research projects that are meritorious and relevant to human needs," he said. The News

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SHC restrains SPSC from announcing results of CCE
Karachi: A division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Bin Yamin on Tuesday restrained the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) from announcing the results of the Combined Competitive Exams (CCE) 2008 till a decision is reached in a constitutional petition before the court.

The bench was seized with the hearing of a petition filed by Uzma Rafique, Raja Lowe Kush Permandani  and four others candidates who were to appear in the paper of 'Civil Law' in the CCE.

The petitioners maintained that as per schedule provided to them, the paper was to be held from 2 pm to 5 pm on April 18, 2009, but when they reached the examination centre, the watchman told them that the paper was held in the morning from 10 am to 1 pm.

The petitioners maintained that they then reached the office of the SPSC Chairman SSN Abbasi and staged a protest.

The chairman was in his office but the SPSC controller examination, a respondent in the petition, prevented them from meeting the chairman, who slipped away from a back door, the petitioners maintained.

They maintained that on their protest, a senior member of the SPSC Anwar Haider also reached the SPSC office and asked them to moved applications on oath, which they did. They also maintained that they resorted to all methods to get their issue registered and solved, but failed and as a last remedy filed the instant petition.

The SHC bench after hearing the initial arguments by the counsel for petitioners restrained the SPSC from announcing the results of the CCE exams till a decision is reached in this petition.

The bench also issued notices to the respondents for July 6. Daily Times

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