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Punjab PhD scholarships | PU bus crushes youth

Punjab government to offer 5 PhD scholarships to civil servants
Lahore, June 11: The Punjab government will sponsor five PhD scholarships in foreign universities in the next academic session for the capacity building of civil servants in policy making.

Sources said that the Chief Minister's Secretariat had allocated Rs 15.7 million in the next financial year 2009-10 to initiate the scheme for civil servants serving in the province. They said the scholarships were originally meant for officers of the provincial services (PCS, PMS and PSS), but the CM's Secretariat had now reserved two of the five scholarships for officers of the District Management Group (DMG).

BS-18 officers less than 42 years in age, with a Masters degree from a foreign university, would be eligible for the scholarships, the sources said.

The Planning and Development Board (P&D), in the second week of May, moved a summary to the CM stating that the government was hiring the services of professionals with doctorates as consultants in formulating policies. The sources said the summary stated that the consultants cost the government a hefty amount, and lacked empirical knowledge of the local dynamics of delivering services to the people. These consultants often relied heavily on foreign methods of formulating policies. They completed the task at hand and did not leave any mechanism to follow the results.

The sources said the P&D observed that in order to create a pool of qualified and professional policymakers in the province, it was worthwhile to consider a scheme of PhD scholarships for civil servants. The P&D recommended that the scholarships must be offered to a select group of civil servants on a highly competitive basis. The P&D recommended that these civil servants should already have a Masters degree in disciplines related to economic and social uplift from foreign universities.

The CM referred the summary to the Finance Department for comments. The department observed that the scholarships should not only be limited to economics or social policy areas, and other disciplines like transport planning and management, financial management, urban planning and development, and human resource management should also be included. The Finance Department recommended the improvement of eligibility criteria in view of the existing educational profile, age bracket, grades, length of service and service cadres, the sources said.

The sources said the CM's Secretariat observed that the programme was specifically meant for policymakers, and only civil servants working on policy formulation should benefit from it. The secretariat reserved two of the scholarships for DMG officers, on the condition that they would return and serve the province for eight years. The sources said the decision was not strange as the top civil administration was packed with DMG officers.

A number of officers alleged that the DMG officers got a lot of such opportunities from the federal government, donor agencies and foreign countries, but the provincial cadre had no such openings.


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Punjab issues guidelines for promotion of degree-holding government officials: No benefits for officers who studied at illegal sub-campuses
Lahore: The Punjab government has issued new guidelines for the promotion of those public servants who attained higher qualifications from private universities that are operating illegally and without the issuance of a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Punjab Education Department, sources said.

The guidelines have been circulated to all the heads of administrative departments to streamline the mechanism of promoting officials on the basis of degrees acquired from private universities. On the complaints of government officials regarding hurdles in getting promotions, the Punjab government constituted a high power committee to prepare criteria for the promotion of officials working in government departments, who had acquired degrees from private universities including Al-Khair University and Preston University.

The committee was informed that various private universities had their campuses in various districts including Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Multan, Muzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on September 12, 2005 declared all these campuses "unlawful and illegal".

Private universities charter: The Education Department maintained that various universities had sub-campuses in Punjab without the approval of the department and the respective public-sector universities of the region. The charter of private universities neither allows establishing and operating sub-campuses outside the territorial limit nor does it allow affiliation with any other institution for conducting academic courses on behalf of the university. The committee observed that the affiliated campuses of the private universities, which were operating without NOCs in the jurisdiction of the public-sector universities, and were illegal even according to their own charter. The HEC had already published a list of the illegal campuses for creating awareness among stakeholders. Sources said the committee directed all administrative departments that the cases of officials who acquired higher qualification from private universities needed to be considered on a case-to-case basis for promotion and other matters on the following conditions.

In order to be eligible for claiming a promotion, officials claiming degrees obtained from private universities need to have had obtained study leave or taken permission from the competent authority to attend classes for acquiring higher qualification. The officials are also required to present their degrees along with original transcripts and proof of attendance issued by the university. The campus the candidate attended must be located within territorial boundaries of the private university. If the degree was obtained from an affiliated campus of the private university operating in the jurisdiction of a public sector university, the degree would be considered invalid if the sub-campus did not obtain the NOC of the education department.

Sources said a good number of officials obtained professional degrees from universities but they were being declined promotion as the universities were illegal according the guidelines issued by the Punjab government. Every department would now outline mechanisms under the guidelines of committee to streamline the promotion of the deserving officials. Daily Times


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PU bus crushes youth to death
Lahore: An 18-year-old youth was crushed to death allegedly by a rashly driven bus of Punjab University in Ghari Shahu police limits on Tuesday.

Meanwhile his cousin's both legs were damaged when a vehicle hit him as he rushed to the spot after hearing about the death of deceased Muhammad Faizan.

Faizan's all other family members were settled in Dubai for the last several years. He arrived in Pakistan a few days back. His parents allowed him to go to Pakistan when he expressed his wish to meet his maternal uncle residing at Misri Shah area in Lahore.

The deceased's relative Asad said Faizan left his uncle's residence along with his cousin Salman to go to a hairdresser's shop. He dropped his cousin at the shop and went to a local market on a motorcycle. When he reached some yards away from the shop, a speedy bus of the Punjab University crushed him causing his instant death. Relatives of the deceased later rushed to the spot and found Faizan lying dead on the road.

While lamenting upon the inhuman attitude of the police and the Rescue 1122 officials, Asad said shortly after the incident, the Rescue officials reached the spot on an emergency call by the injured Salman.

They returned back and said their job was to shift the injured people to the hospital not the dead bodies. He said later a call was made on police emergency 15 asking them to reach the site. Misri Shah police officials reached there in half an hour. The police officials also went back saying that the area where the incident took place did not fall in the jurisdiction of Misri Shah police.

He further said the victim's relatives again called on 15 and requested them to sent the concerned police. He said the relatives of the deceased waited for half an hour but no police official reached there. Later they themselves shifted the body to the Mayo Hospital city morgue, he said.

The deceased's relatives launched a strong protest against the attitude of police and Rescue 1122 asking the Punjab government and the police high-ups to take serious notice in this regard.

The bus driver, however, fled the scene leaving the university bus on the spot. The parents of the deceased had been informed in Dubai about the incident. No case was registered till filing of this report. The Nation


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Members of PU committees elected
Lahore: A meeting of the Punjab University Academic Council on Monday elected members of different committees, including Finance and Planning Committee, Advance Studies and Research Board (AS&RB) and Oriental College Committee.

According to a press statement, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the meeting while Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan and over 100 professors of the varsity attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the Academic Council elected through secret ballot, Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS) Director Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Jadoon and Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (IBB) Director Prof Dr Amin Athar as members of the PU Finance and Planning Committee for a period of three years.

Prof Dr Mahar Saeed Akhtar, Prof Dr Abdul Ghaffar and Prof Dr Muhammad Hafeez were elected members of the Advance Studies and Research Board (AS&RB) for three years, as per the university rules.

Faculty of Islamic Studies Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar and Prof Dr Zakariya Zakir from Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) were elected unopposed as member of Oriental College Committee for two years.

The Academic Council after a detailed discussion also decided that Punjab University's each department would be entitled for only one university gold medal for its basic masters and one for its 4-years BS programme. All sponsored gold medals by other organisations will remain intact and granted as per donors and university policy. The meeting decided that sponsored gold medal should not be worth less than Rs 200,000.

The Council constituted a committee to improve the syllabi of Pakistan Studies at graduation level. The VC with the consent of the House constituted committees to review those agenda items which were opposed by the House.

PU results: The Punjab University has declared the result of Diploma in Childhood (DCH) Supplementary Examination, 2006, MBBS, Third Professional (Re-Organised Scheme), Supplementary Examination 2008 and MBBS, Third Professional (New Re-Organised Scheme), Supplementary Examination, 2008. According to a press statement, detailed results are available at the PU website www.pu.edu.pk. The News


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One official gold medal each for BS, Masters in PU
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) Academic Council on Monday decided that each department would be entitled to only one university gold medal for its Masters programme, and one for its four-year BS programme. The meeting decided that all gold medals sponsored by donor organisations would remain in place. It also decided that no sponsored gold medal should be less than Rs 0.2 million in worth. The council met in the auditorium of the Centre for Undergraduate Studies. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran presided over the meeting. Over 100 professors, including Prof Shaista Sonu Sirajuddin, Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Chaudhry and Registrar Prof Dr Naeem Khan attended the council meeting. It was the academic council's third meeting in the last five months. Daily Times


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AIOU land valued at Rs72 million
Gujranwala: The District Price Assessment Committee has fixed the price of 12 kanals at Rs72 million allocated to the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Gujranwala campus, and asked the university administration to deposit one third of the price with the district government to get possession of the land, learnt on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced giving the land located in Peoples Colony to the AIOU for its Gujranwala campus a few months ago. The district administration directed the price assessment body to fix the price of the land.

Earlier, the assessment committee had valued the land at Rs24.7 million in 2007. After the passage of two years, the rates of property had gone up. AIOU Regional Director Prof Mian Muhammad Aslam said laboratories and a multipurpose hall besides offices would be built at the land.

Earlier, the AIOU has been running its Gujranwala campus in rented buildings for the last many years. The administration faced a great deal of inconvenience to conduct examinations and workshops. Dawn


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