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UHS employees protest for regularising services

24 UHS protesters arrested
Lahore, June 12: Over two dozens former contract employees of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) were arrested in the wake of their alleged plan to block the road on the arrival of Chief Minister Punjab at the varsity on Friday.

The police also resorted to baton charge to disperse the protesting employees. The former UHS employees were protesting against the UHS administration and Punjab government for not regularising their services.

The CM Punjab had to visit the UHS to attend a two-day Youth Conference on its first day held under the recently formed Chief Minister Youth Commission.

The protestors were also chanting slogans against the university administration and demanding 'justice' from the government. However, police party of Muslim Town police station reached the spot and tried to convince the protesters to clear the way of the chief minister. The police went berserk after their failure in convincing the protesting clerks and arrested over 25 former employees who were around the UHS campus in a bid to block the road before arrival of Chief Minister Punjab.

Investigation Incharge of Muslim Town police station ASI Mumtaz Ahmed said they were bound to provide a clear way to the chief minister. He said they tried their hard to convince the protesters but, on their persistent denial, they had to take legal action against them.

He said they had registered an FIR under Section 290 and 291 of Pakistan Penal Code against 22 nominated accused and put them behind the bars. Among the arrested were Waseem, Asim, Iftikhar and Khalid. However, the ASI denied charges of baton charge saying that there was a minor scuffle when they tried to arrest the accused. Abbas, a clerk who escaped the arrest, said that the CM had ordered regularization of the clerks but the university administration had terminated them. He said they wanted to record their protest before the CM against the university administration but the police brutally baton-charged and arrested them. Although the CM ordered the release of the protestors yet they were not released till the filing of this report. It is also worth mentioning that the employees of the UHS had been protesting for their rights for the last 80 days. The news

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"It is really case of political victimization. They must be back into service."
Name: Hafiz abdul Nasir
City, Country: Faisalabab,Pakistan

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PU looks for ways to meet fiscal needs
Lahore: The Punjab University administration has sought the opinion of all the deans to devise ways to face the financial crunch during the next fiscal in view of likely cut in funding by the Higher Education Commission.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran chaired a meeting of all faculties' deans, registrar, controller of examinations, treasurer, Oriental College and PUCAD principals. He said PU's current financial year budget was Rs3.63 billion, including Rs1.10 billion given by the HEC.

He said in view of Rs7 billion cut in the HEC budget, the commission would not be in a position to extend funding as per the previous years. Resultantly, he said, the university would be unable to pay even salaries to its staff and would have to generate its own resources. He sought opinion of all the deans to resolve the acute funding problem.

The meeting participants forwarded various proposals, including commercial use of varsity land, to generate revenue. It was also suggested that a vice-chancellor's committee should hold a meeting with the federal finance minister and the prime minister to apprise them of the severe financial hardships the PU was going to face as a result of reduction in HEC funding.

The VC sought a report pertaining to adverse effects and financial implications at the earliest. Dawn

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First Youth Conference
Lahore: Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that had we preferred simple lifestyle to lavish lifestyle, adopted viable economic policies and taken effective steps for the elimination of corruption over the 63 years, Pakistan would have been in a much better position.

He was addressing the inaugural session of the first 2-day Youth Conference of Punjab Chief Minister Youth Commission here on Friday. Provincial Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehamn, Members Punjab Assembly Major(R) Abdul Rehman Rana, Col. (R) Shuja Khanzada, educationist Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qureshi and 360 members of the Youth Commission from 36 districts of the province were also present in the opening session which lasted more than three and a half hours.

The chief minister said that the gulf between the rich and the poor was widening and the common man was under the clutches of price-hike. In order to make progress, it was inevitable for a country to have a fair system of justice and equitable distribution of resources.

He said that the purpose of youth conference was to develop a healthy society, purge the country of corruption, taking it on the road to progress as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

The CM said that new generation was a precious asset and it could guarantee a bright future for Pakistan. He said the Punjab Youth Commission would provide the talented youth an opportunity to participate in the formulation of government policies, legislation and reforms in the society.

He said that members of the Youth Commission had gone through a transparent selection process, adding the youth had the potential to bring the country out of the crisis and put it on the road to progress. He said that today's Pakistan did not reflect the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

He said that corruption was rampant in police stations where criminals were given respect while the oppressed were turned into the oppressor for a few bucks. He said that the elite were enjoying all facilities but the poor were moving from pillar to fulfill their basic needs of life.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government had promoted good governance and merit in the province and 37,000 teachers had been recruited on merit.

He said that the Punjab government has also decided to allot state land to agri- graduates so that they could play their role in improving the economy. He said that Punjab was an agrarian province and solid measures had been taken for the welfare of farmers, adding they had been given 20,000 tractors on concessionary rates and a subsidy of Rs. 4 billion for the purpose.

public-private partnership: Shahbaz Sharif has said that the government is taking solid measures to promote public-private partnership in the province and a separate cell has been set up in Planning & Development Department for the purpose.

He was talking to a delegation, led by the head of International Finance Corporation, Pakistan, Nadeem Siddiqui, which called on him at the Chief Minister's Secretariat, here Friday. Matters regarding the promotion of public-private partnership in various sectors came under discussion during the meeting.

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GCU poster competition
Lahore: Over 200 students took part in a poster competition organised by the Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC) of the Government College University (GCU) on Friday.

The theme of the competition was 'Many Species, One Planet and One Future'.

The posters highlighted that the world without biodiversity would be a very bleak place.

Millions of people and millions of species all share the same planet, and only together we can enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

Talking about the competition, event Coordinator Laila Shahzad said the competition showed that at least Pakistani students were well aware of the environmental issues.

She said one of the significant reasons for arranging the poster competition was to highlight the recent calamity of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill which might be growing five times faster than previously estimated and was in danger of accelerating out of control.

The GCU SDSC PhD students presented a poster that explained the tragedy of the pelicans which were hard hit by this oil spill. The news

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78pc schools in Chakwal lack facilities
Chakwal: Though literacy rate in Chakwal is 73 per cent, about 78 per cent of the primary schools in the district are without basic facilities.

Speaking at a seminar on the 'State of education in Chakwal', Rizwana Shabbir, the research fellow of an NGO, Institute of Social and Policy Sciences, quoted a report which said 19 per cent educational institutions did not have boundary walls whereas 21 per cent were without toilets and 20 per cent had no drinking water.

She said 20 per cent posts of teachers were lying vacant in the district. She disclosed that funds were transferred to 50 per cent schools but only 33 per cent of them received the allocated amount and 35 per cent of them got less than the allocated money.

According to her, net enrolment rate at the primary level was good but it dwindled in the middle and higher secondary level. Girls' enrolment at the higher secondary level presented a depressing picture. Total enrolment at primary level in 2006-07 was 73 per cent for girls and 77 per cent for boys. But this declined by 10 per cent at the middle level, she added.

Another speaker was of the view that the need of the hour was to motivate the teacher. A teacher should have a committed and devoted approach towards their profession.

Executive District Officer (Education) Prof Aziz Minhas said the government was trying its best to improve the state of education despite limited resources.

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Four teachers punished for 'misconduct'
Faisalabad: The district education officer (DEO) probing into alleged misconduct by four teachers, including district president of the Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) and three other office-bearers, has sacked three of them and ordered reduction of five stages in pay scale of the fourth one.

The teachers were charged with leaving their institutions without seeking permission from their superiors and storming another school and threatening a teacher with dire consequences there.

The inquiry officer's verdict has infuriated the teachers of state-run educational institutions and they have announced holding a protest demonstration against their high-ups on Monday.

Documents available with Dawn reveal that EDO (Education) Sohaib Imran tasked DEO Naseem Ahmed Zahid with probing into alleged misconduct by PTU's Faisalabad chapter president Malik Abdul Jabbar, of Government Pakistan Model High School, Rail Bazaar, Najamul Hassan, PTU Lyallpur Town president, and Yousaf Khilji, both serving at Government Jamia Chishtia High School, Sargodha Road, and Abdullah Zahid, of Crescent Model High School.

They allegedly left their schools unlawfully during duty hours without seeking permission from heads of their institutions and without recording their departure on movement register on Feb 12.

They reached Government J.M. Public High School and created unrest there by quarreling with a teacher, Abdul Ghafoor. They also threatened Ghafoor with dire consequences. The inquiry officer proceeded against the accused teachers under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act, 2006, and issued them show-cause notices on April 9.

However, none of the accused replied the show-cause notices within stipulated time period and, thereafter, they were afforded opportunity of personal hearing on April 23.

Only one of the accused teachers, Abdullah Zahid, replied the notice and appeared for personal hearing.

Concluding the proceedings on June 8, the inquiry officer found the four teachers guilty of misconduct. Being competent authority of all the teachers, the inquiry officer imposed major penalty of removal from service on Jabbar, Hassan and Khilji and minor penalty of reduction of five stages in pay scale on Zahid.

After the decision, teachers met at the Jamia Chistia School and decided that they would stage a protest demonstration on June 14.

PTU central president Hafiz Ghulam Mohayyudin alleged that the four teachers had been victimised as they had exposed corruption and illegal appointments made by the EDO and DEO.

He said punishment to teachers was nothing but blackmailing to stop them from exposing the wrongdoings of their high-ups. Dawn

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