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HEC to verify universities faculty degrees

HEC asks VCs to get faculty degrees verified
Lahore, June 26: With degrees of parliamentarians already under the scan, the Higher Education Commission has decided to 'verify' the degrees of faculty members serving in universities across the country.

HEC executive director Prof Dr Suhail H Naqvi has written a letter to all universities' vice-chancellors, asking them to direct their faculty members as well as administrative staff in BPS-17 and above to submit their original terminal qualification degrees for attestation by the midst of next month.

Sources in the HEC said that the commission had received several complaints about the authenticity of degrees held by faculty members serving in various universities across Pakistan.

Prof Naqvi has told the vice-chancellors that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, and Science and Technology had tasked the HEC with verifying the degrees of the members of parliament and provincial assemblies. He stated that the issue of fake degrees held by faculty members of different universities had also come up.

In this background, he stated that the HEC felt that universities should serve as a role model and volunteer to have the terminal degrees of all the faculty members, including top administration, verified from the commission.

Prof Naqvi finally urged the VCs to direct all the faculty members and administrative staff in BPS-17 and above, including top administration as well as the contractual employees on equivalent positions to get their degrees attested from the HEC. He stated that the commission would not charge fee for the attestation. "The faculty and administrative staff members' terminal degree should be submitted to the HEC by July 15, 2010," he asked.

Meanwhile, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has decided to defy the Higher Education Commission on the plea that "it was imposing inappropriate conditions on university teachers".

FAPUASA president Prof Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar, who is also Punjab University Academic Staff Association president, has stated "we will not submit degrees for attestation to the HEC until it accepts the genuine demands of 17,000 university teachers across Pakistan".

He stated that the HEC was not cooperating with the FAPUASA and instead imposing inappropriate conditions on teachers.

Prof Akhtar said FAPUASA had submitted several suggestions to the HEC officials for the betterment and enhancement of the quality of higher education in Pakistan. He stated that most of those suggestions were agreed upon and the commission had told the federation representatives that these would be discussed in the commission meeting on April 19 last and notified accordingly. However, he said, the HEC did not honour its promise despite several reminders.

The FAPUASA president said the teachers' demands included delaying the implementation of new eligibility criteria, acceptance of research articles (which have been already evaluated from technologically advanced countries) written prior to 2005 for promotion and GRE for local PhD admissions.

"Until the acceptance of teachers' genuine demands, the FAPUASA will observe non-cooperative attitude towards the HEC," he observed. Dawn

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FAPUASA to boycott HEC's move
Islamabad: All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations President Prof. Mahr Saeed Akhtar has announced to boycott the move of Higher Education Commission to verify degrees of teachers in all public-sector universities of the country.

Talking on phone, Prof. Mahr said that FAPUASA took the decision Friday to protest against HEC, which is not cooperating with the teachers body. He said that FAPUASA would only cooperate with HEC degree verification exercise if the commission fulfils its promise of solving the teachers' problems first.

He said that Dr Javaid Leghari, Chairperson, and Dr Suhail Naqvi, Executive Director, HEC, in a meeting at the end of two-day general body meeting, had promised that HEC will positively consider the demands of FAPUASA in the meetings of relevant bodies soon.

He said that the issues included new criteria of appointment in which all the articles published in journals recognised by HEC before June 2005 had been done thrown into dustbin.

When these journals enjoy the status of being HEC-recognised, how can its volumes published before the birth of HEC could be called illegitimate, he wondered.

He said that condition of accepting post-PhD experience for promotions is also harsh as it just de-legitimises whatever years spent by faculty in teaching and research for completing PhD.

He also referred to the issue of up-gradation of the stuck-up faculty in majority of universities in the civil sector but the same is denied to some others varsities. He said HEC bosses had agreed to have uniformity in this respect but nothing had been done so far. The news

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Kidnappers treated me well, says VC on return
Peshawar: Recently released vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology (Kust), Prof Lutfullah Kakakhel, said on Friday that he was treated "very-well" during his seven-month long captivity.

"The captors had been very kind to me as they took care of my food requirements and medicines along with other necessities," Mr Kakakhel said while talking to this agency at his residence.

"My captors used to take me to a far-off area in the mountainous region once a month so that I could contact my family as the area I was kept in had signal problem," he recalled.

Hale and hearty, the vice-chancellor did not appear to have been kept in captivity for such a long period of time.

With rosary in his hands, he was quite normal and was attending large number of guests and family members who came to congratulate him on his safe release. "With the grace of Allah, I did not face any problem during captivity," he said

When asked about their feelings on the safe return of the vice-chancellor, his family members thanked Allah Almighty, saying it was due to His blessings.

Mr Kakakhel was kidnapped from Dara Adamkhel on November 6, last year, when he was on his way back to his residence in Peshawar.

The vice-chancellor has worked in the University of Peshawar (UoP) in various capacities at Center of Excellence at Physical Chemistry department.

He also established computer science department in the university with an objective to raise computer literacy.

He also served as an adviser on Science and Technology to former governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iftikhar Hussain Shah, during which he set up Malakand, Hazara, Kohat, Qurtaba and Cecos universities. App

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Students protest against shifting of college building
Karachi: The students of Allama Iqbal Government Boys College on Friday staged a demonstration on the main Sharea Faisal against the transfer of the college building.

The protesters blocked the main thoroughfare of the city and suspended vehicular traffic for at least half an hour. They also burnt tyres on the road to create difficulties for commuters.

The order of transfer of the college's building was given by the court. According to the court's decision June 30 was set as the deadline to vacate the building.

The owners of the building had referred the case to the court stating that they were not interested in giving the place to the college's administration and wanted its possession back in their control.

The college (Boys Section) was operating in two shifts (morning and evening) and courses of Arts, Commerce and Science are offered at the college. Over 1200 students are enrolled at the college. According to the department of education, this college would be shifted to a new building in Model Colony. The college was nationalised during 1972 like other private educational institutes.

"The government is bound to obey the court's decision and new building is available in the neighbourhood area for these students," an officer at the Director General (DG) Colleges said. The concerned authority, DG Colleges, Professor Dr Nasir Ansar was not available to comment over the matter as his mobile phone was constantly switched off. Sources in the education department said that one of the ethnic groups had huge influence on the college's affairs. The news

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