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PU protest against IJT Summer vacation

PU teachers, students protest against IJT
Lahore, June 25: The Punjab University's Department of Philosophy's faculty members and students on Friday boycotted classes and took out a rally from the department to VC office where they staged a sit-in to protest against the hooliganism of the Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT).

The students were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the IJT. The vice-chancellor, on the demand of protesting students, assured strict action against those involved in the hooliganism.

Talking to the media, VC Dr Mujahid Kamran said the IJT should realise that time had changed and all offices of the IJT, including the ones at Hostel No. 1, Hailey College, had been sealed. He said the present administration had already taken stern action against the IJT activists, vowing to take further necessary measures. The VC said some elements recruited against merit in the varsity, had now been backing and providing shelter to these IJT activists who were involved in car-theft and other criminal activities. Some influential personalities had also reached police stations when FIRs was registered against the culprits, he added.

The Philosophy Department faculty members and students dispersed peacefully when the VC assured them of stern action against the activists of IJT involved in torturing students and misbehaviour with teachers. Later, a group of IJT activists approached the administration block, raising slogans against the teachers. They also beat the university guards, when the guards tried to forbid them from using abusive language against the teachers. The news

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VC assures action against IJT
Lahore: Punjab University Department of Philosophy's faculty members and students boycotted the classes and took out a protest rally from the department to VC office where they staged a sit-in against the hooliganism and misbehave of Islami Jamiat Tulba's (IJT) activists to teachers and students here on Friday.

The students were holding placards and banners. The Vice-Chancellor, on demand of protesting students, assured a strict action against those who involved in hooligan activities.

Talking to media on the occasion, VC Dr Mujahid Kamran said IJT should learn that the days were not like the past and now and all the offices of IJT at Hostel No 1, Hailey College and all others, had been sealed. He said the present administration had already taken stern action against the IJT activists and now would also take necessary measures. The vice-chancellor said some elements, who were recruited against merit in the varsity, had now been backing and providing shelter to these IJT activists who are involved in car-theft and other criminal activities.

Some of influential personalities also reached police stations when FIR is registered against the culprits, the VC added. The nation

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GCU hosts interactive session with editors, journalists
Lahore: Government College University (GCU) Young Journalists Society (YJS), on Thursday, hosted an interactive session with eminent editors, columnists and journalists, titled "Evening to Remember", on the issue "Challenges confronting fourth pillar of state".

Daily Times Editor Rashed Rahman, Daily Pakistan Editor Mujeebur Rahman Shami and renowned anchorperson and columnist Aftab Iqbal were the chief guests of the event. GCU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Ikramul Haq was also present on the occasion. While addressing the audience, Rashed Rahman said that a historic turning point occurred when the printing press was invented, which was soon followed by the advent of newspapers. He said that the printing press played a crucial role, both in the pre-partition and post-partition periods.

"The journalistic world today has been introduced to two new terms, namely new media and old media," he said, adding that new media is the most democratic form of media. He added that during General Ziaul Haq's regime in 1980s, a term had been invented, called "Lifafa Journalism".

Rahman further said that media was losing the country's youth as its audience and if the trend continued, it would become very difficult to steer them back towards fields of media and journalism. He also shared some of his student life memories when he was a student at GCU and also a member of GCU's Dramatic Club.

Separately, Mujeebur Rahman Shami said that free media reflected the true picture of a society and only countries having complete media freedom could excel in all spheres of life. He added, "The growth of electronic media over the past few decades has been very rapid in Pakistan. The media can shape and have deep impact on public opinion."

Meanwhile, Aftab Iqbal said also shared some memories of his student life at GCU. "In my opinion, the major challenge we face at the moment is of maintaining high quality news reports and upholding journalistic values in such a small yet extremely competitive market," he said.

Speaking at the event, Ikramul Haq said that the media was a watchdog of public interest, carrier of information, promoter of a free and balanced debate, and was the most dynamic institution representing the civil society.

Towards the end, Mujeebur Rehman Shami and Rashed Rahman distributed shields amongst the members of Lahore Education Reporters Association (LERA) and YJS members. The event was followed by dinner and a musical night. Daily times

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Pleas against VCs' selection process dismissed
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Friday dismissed several petitions challenging the entire process relating to appointment of vice-chancellors to six public universities and formation of a search committee tasked with making the appointments.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh reserved verdict on the case on June 14 and announced his decision on Friday, observing that he found no reason to interfere in search committee's proceedings.

Dismissing petitioners' argument that committee members were not qualified to do the given job, the judge said: "The search committee consists of renowned educationists and there is no illegality in its formation." He said the court was not convinced that there were any irregularities in vice-chancellors' appointments.

After the judgment, petitioners' counsels Anwar Kamal and Rana Asadullah Khan told the media that they would challenge the decision in a division bench through an intra court appeal.

Dr Hassan Amir Shah of the Government College University and Dr Bushra Khan of the Lahore College for Women University are among the petitioners.

The petitioners had pleaded that they applied for the posts of vice-chancellors, as they were eligible as per the criteria laid down in the advertisement.

They said a candidate for the post was required to have PhD degree in any subject from a reputed university. However, they said, the search committee changed the criteria and preferences and invited only foreign qualified candidates.

They said call letters were issued to candidates holding PhD degrees from top 500 foreign universities. They assailed the composition/constitution of the search committee, saying there were no rules, regulations and policy guidelines for selection and appointment of its members. They said

none of its members had a PhD or teaching experience.

The petitioners said the entire process of selection of vice-chancellors from formation of the search committee to interviews had no legal basis or credible mechanism. They said preference to candidates having PhD degrees from foreign universities put a question mark on the degrees of local universities.

They said this practice would discourage people doing PhD in local universities and ultimately minimise opportunities for local qualified persons.

They said only the rich would thrive in Pakistan if the government preferred foreign qualified people.

Representing the Punjab government in this case, an additional advocate general highlighted the credentials of search committee members. He said committee member Syed Babar Ali was pro vice-chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Sartaj Aziz was vice-chancellor of the Beaconhouse National University.

The law officer said the petitioners failed to attribute any illegality to the search committee and asked the court to dismiss the petitions. Dawn

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Re-examination
Lahore: With reference to Punjab University s Board of Studies of Mathematics recommendations and approval of Vice-Chancellor, there will be re-examination of MSc Mathematics, Part-I, Paper-IV (Mechanics), Annual Examination 2011. The re-examination of the said paper will be held on Monday at 9:00am only for those candidates who appeared at PU Examination Hall, Wahdat Road, Lahore, at the same Centre. All those candidates who appeared at other centres will get 10 grace marks.

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PGMI entrance test
Lahore: Entrance test for academic session 2011-12 at Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) will be held on Sunday (tomorrow) at University of Health Sciences. The test will be conducted in two sessions at 10:00am to 12:00noon and 1:00pm to 3:00pm. PGMI administration will announce the result on July 2 which will be followed by interviews of the candidates. It may be mentioned that PGMI admission cell has received 1,353 applications for admission from all over the country for various degree and diploma courses. The news

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VU holds speech contest through video conferencing
Lahore: Pakistan's first speech contest through video conferencing was held at the Faisal Town campus of Virtual University (VU) on Thursday.

Students from various campuses of the university participated in the contest through video conferencing. More than 20 students from three campuses, including Faisal Town Campus, Gujranwala Campus and Faisalabad Campus presented their speeches in both English and Urdu. The speeches were presented on different topics such as "Hay nishan e manzil kahan", "Bhook mita deti hai tehzeeb kay adab", "Bijli hai na pani dil hai Pakistani" and "I was born intelligent but education ruined me".

The speakers at the occasion, through their debates stressed upon the youth to change the country's present situation. They said that if opportunities were provided to the Pakistani youth, there was no doubt there might come a revolution in Pakistan's history. The speakers said that students and youths should participate in politics to handle the legislative and administrative departments of the country.

The students and speakers at the event appreciated the efforts of the VU to provide them with such a unique platform through video conferencing. A speaker at the event, Osama Khan, who obtained the third position in the contest said that the general view was that the students of VU lack in presentation skills and confidence but he had proved that the students are competent enough to compete with anyone in the world if given the chance. Daily times

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Pak students visit German universities
Lahore: A delegation of position holder students, on the study tour of Europe arranged by Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, visited two prominent universities of Germany, Aachen University and Dortmund University, according to a handout here on Friday.

In Aachen University, Prof Dr Ing Dieter Moormann and Philp Miessner told the students about different faculties and areas of the university like aerospace engineering, and supersonic science. They stated that the university established in 1870 as Polytechnical Institute now had 35,000 students, nine faculties, 5,019 foreign students, including 81 Pakistanis. Later, Prof Strauss of Dortmund University told the students that the university was established in 1968. There are 24,000 students in the university with 16 faculties in science fields, 293 full professors and 3,000 staff members. The special areas are chemical biology, biotechnology, chemical and biochemical engineering. They have latest technologies in chemical laboratories and they perform every experiment which they study theoretically during their lectures, he added.

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Teachers do not get salaries during summer vacation
Rawalpindi: The teachers working in private academic institutions have not been paid their salaries for the three-month summer vacation, which started this month.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the teachers affiliated with different private academic institutions said that the school managements had already charged fees for June, July and August from students but salaries were not paid to them on the pretext that their experience is less than three years.

It is a great injustice with the teachers who are graduates and teaching higher classes, they said.

The affected teachers claimed that the private school managements were violating the verdict of the superior court, which had ordered them to pay at least Rs7,000 as salaries to all teachers, including those who have less experience. However the managements were violating the court orders, they alleged.

A large number of senior teachers, who have done masters and teaching higher classes, are being paid meagre salaries in private educational institutions. Sometimes, senior teachers are directed by the managements to take extra classes for which no additional payment is made to them. If anyone resists the orders then he or she is immediately shown the door, they said.

The teachers regretted that the concerned authorities have failed to take any step to redress their grievances.

Executive District Officer (Education) Qazi Zahoor, when contacted said that the problem of teachers was genuine. He said that people were running private educational institutions in every nook and corner of the city and charging heavy fees from students but not paying handsome salaries to teachers.

He said that the school managements were violating the orders of the superior court. However, the EDO regretted that officials sitting in the education departments have no power to check such practices adopted by the private school managements. We do not have power even to cancel the registration of private schools which charge huge fees and do not pay salaries to teachers during summer holidays. We are helpless, the EDO said.

According to Qazi Zahoor, the district coordination officer has the power to cancel the registration of private schools or take action against them. The news

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QAU body set to upgrade Registrar's post 'unlawfully'
Islamabad: The Syndicate of Quaid-I-Azam University (QAU), the highest decision-making body of the university, is going to meet Saturday (today) to upgrade the post of Registrar in violation of all the rules of the university.

It has been learnt that the registrar of the university who has been working on probation period in grade 20 and do not meet the required criterion would be upgraded to grade 21 violating the rules and regulations despite that the finance and planning body of the university has rejected the proposal on various grounds.

The post had already been upgraded two years before when the teaching faculty and other posts of librarian and controller examination were upgraded thus it cannot be upgraded again.

According to rules an employee only be upgraded to the higher grade when he or she works in the same grade for over 10 years and could not be upgraded due to any reason but in this case the registrar is not a permanent employee and working on probation and have the experience of less than two years.

It is also important to mention that in other universities it is the post of grade 20 while in QAU the post is going to be upgraded to 21.

Meanwhile, a two-day executive council meeting of Academic Staff Association was also held on Friday wherein various issues were discussed.

The teaching faculty and deans and the elected members of the syndicate who were also attending the meeting expressed their views and were of the opinion that the QAU administration is marginalizing faculty's views while introducing new courses while it is essential to obtain their input regarding academic parameters by routing these matters through the university statutory bodies.

The university is planning to establish School of Law and School of Culture but the relevant university bodies have been bypassed.

The ASA resolved that if the administration fails to consult the relevant departments and bodies the ASA will have no choice but to mobilise the community to boycott the spring 2011 final examinations.

After the EC meeting, all the EC members went together and handed over the resolution to the Vice Chancellor and expressed their reservations and the VC in response pledged to consult relevant faculties and decision making bodies.

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AIOU training workshop
Warburon: Briefing and training workshop of Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad for Nankana Sahib was held at the Government Guru Nanak High School. Mian Muhammad Aslam, the Regional Director AIOU Lahore Campus, appointed about 300 male and female tutors and delivered them tutors' files for the evaluation of assignments of SSC, HSC, BA and BEd students of Spring Semester 2011.

He advised tutors to evaluate students' assignments utilizing maximum abilities you have. Tutor's expertise and integrity can identify the talented students to bring affirmative change in society, he added. The nation

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Beaconites begin United Kingdom study tour
Islamabad: A group of over 60 students and teachers from different campuses of the Beaconhouse School System in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were seen off at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, says a press release.

They will join more than 500 Beaconhouse School System students from all over

Pakistan to an educational and cultural tour of the UK this summer.

The school undertakes international trips to different locations every year and this is the largest gathering of students from Pakistan visiting the UK for a short study course at the Newlands School in East Sussex, UK. The course comprises tutorials and academic courses, sports and co-curricular programmes along with field visits to the sites of historical and educational value among other aspects.

The Beaconhouse students will have the opportunity to interact with teachers and students from the UK and to participate in a diverse range of activities. The news

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