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PU sexual harassment & accused reinstatement

Penalised PU Prof ganging up for reinstatement
Lahore, June 10: The Lahore High Court on Thursday restrained Governor Latif Khosa, chancellor of the Punjab University, from taking any step to restore former Principal of College of Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES) of PU, Dr Iftikhar Hussain Baloch, who was dismissed from service after the university's syndicate found him guilty of sexual harassment of two female students.

Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry issued the interim stay order on the writ petition filed by Shabina Gul, a PhD student and visiting lecturer, who had alleged Mr Baloch of harassing her.

The court also issued notice to the governor, Iftikhar Baloch and PU VC for June 24.

The petitioner had challenged the likely reinstatement of the former principal by the governor with whom Baloch had filed an appeal against his dismissal. Through her counsel, she submitted that she had taken admission for PhD to the College of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2009 and was also a visiting teacher there. She said at that time, the college was headed by the respondent, Iftikhar Baloch, who was its principal.

She alleged that Baloch had made immoral overtures upon her but her unresponsive and discouraging posture resulted in threat and coercion with attempted sexual abuse against her by the latter. She alleged that the event created deep anxiety and anguish for her and she registered a complaint with PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran on May 27, 2010. She said the VC had initiated an inquiry by a committee headed by Dr Ahsan Malik and latter by Prof Dr Amin Athar, Director Institute of Bio-Chemistry and Bio-Technology. The petitioner said that during the inquiry, a repetition of criminal and sexual abuse occurred against her female colleagues/students and another complaint was filed by Miss Shafaq Ejaz, administrator of CEES, against Baloch. This complaint was forwarded to a four-member enquiry committee, headed by Prof Dr Mehmood Akhtar, Dean Faculty of Islamic Studies, which gave submitted its findings to the VC on December 8, 2010. The matter was then put up before the PU syndicate which decided to impose dismissal of Baloch from service since he was found guilty of the sexual harassment. She said the syndicate reaffirmed its findings unanimously on May 25.

Ms Gul said that Baloch had filed an appeal before the PU chancellor, Governor Latif Khosa. She said the appeal was pending and was being decided in utter haste due to extraneous considerations while Baloch also used political influence. She said the matter was also taken up by the Standing Committee on Government Assurances of the National Assembly, headed by Mahmood Hayat Khan Tochi Khan. She alleged that Tochi Khan, being in league with Baloch, unlawfully summoned the VC who attended the proceedings of the committee on March 10, 2011 and the VC was treated in the most un-honourable manner, she said. She said he was ridiculed and unlawfully directed "to resolve the matter relating to the dismissal and reinstatement of Baloch." She said the direction was a blatant violation of the law and the constitution as the matter did not fall within committee's domain at all. Later on, she said, the syndicate conducted its own proceedings and recommended dismissal of Baloch while the VC also agreed with the recommendations which resulted in a letter of dismissal of Baloch from service on April 21, 2011.

Shabina Gul said the action of the syndicate and VC infuriated the chairman of the Standing Committee who had written a letter on May 9 to the PU chancellor (governor) asking him to accept the Baloch's appeal and reinstate him. He also wanted the chancellor to suspend the VC for "violating the instructions of the Committee."

The petitioner said that to the best of her knowledge and belief, the chancellor has already conducted a 'hearing' of appeal of Baloch and tried to influence the present officials of the PU to resolve the matter through reconciliation. She said that the VC wanted the reinstatement through amicable mode instead of realising that he did not have any jurisdiction in this matter. This was because after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the Ministry of Education stood abolished and the domain of education was transferred to the exclusive legislative/administrative domain of the province of Punjab, she said, adding that the governor (chancellor) did not have any jurisdiction in such a matter and he could only act upon the advice of the chief minister of the province.

The petitioner said that as per media reports, the Punjab governor had written a letter to PU VC Mujahid Kamran to restore Baloch as principal PU's College of Earth and Environment Science. The governor had summoned the VC in Governor's House on June 4 and expressed displeasure at the inquiry report into incident, she said, adding that the governor also asked the VC to restore Baloch to his post within seven days or the governor would do so himself in his capacity as chancellor.

Shabina Gul said she was disturbed by the above events, the unlawful mode and manner of the actions being taken in the matter and the unlawful assumption and exercise of jurisdiction by the chancellor, the governor. She prayed to the court to declare that the proceedings on the appeal of Baloch by the governor were without jurisdiction and without lawful authority and might be struck down. She further pleaded the court to declare that the chancellor did not have any jurisdiction to reverse any finding of fact rendered by the Syndicate of University of Punjab and he be restrained to hear, deal or adjudicate the appeal of Baloch. The news

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PU restores MA exam centre in Nankana
Nankana Sahib: The announcement regarding the restoration of sole MA examination centre of the Punjab University in Nankana sparked jubilation among students and their families and they expressed immense happiness and gratitude over the decision.

Several hundreds male and female students and their families from across the district were very upset and disturbed over the closure of PU examination centre in Nankana last month.

After publication of appeals in different national newspapers from the students, social circles, Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran, educationists and special efforts by Deputy Director (Colleges) Malik Ihsan Mukhtar and Boys College principal Riaz Cheema, the Punjab University administration restored the exam centre.

A delegation comprised of VTI Principal Prof Saeed, Prof Sajjad, Dr Abid and Prof Malik Mukhtar along with notables of the district called on PU Controller (Examinations) Dr Liaquat. During the meeting, the PU controller promised that the examination centre in Nankana will be functional for MA part-II exams from July 7.

On the occasion, the PU controller also expressed his regret over the indifference of the Nankana DCO and the Deputy Director (Colleges) towards the security of the examinations centre and protection of the invigilators and other staff of the examination.

He pointed out that the PU exam centre was closed due to poor security measures and if the Nankana district administration failed to provide foolproof security to centre, it would be closed permanently and the district administration would be responsible for this act. The nation

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VC selection criteria challenged: Court allows plea seeking governor as party
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Thursday allowed an application praying to implead the Punjab governor as a necessary party, being chancellor of public sector universities, in several petitions against the process for appointment of universities' vice chancellors and composition of "search committee".

The application was filed by Dr Bushra Khan and Dr Hasan Amir Shah, two of the petitioners in the case.

Their counsel pleaded before the court that after the perusal of report and comments filed by respondent authorities it had transpired that the chancellor/governor had reconstituted the search committee in 2009, therefore the notification in this regard be placed on record and a report sought from the governor.

The court allowed the application and adjourned hearing on main case for Friday (today) as additional advocate-general Hanif Khatana was not available to represent the government. He was busy at Supreme Court.

The court will also take up another application of the two petitioners wherein they requested to implead 18 candidates whose names had been recommended by search committee for the post of vice chancellors. Three candidates for each of the six public sector universities were recommended.

Dr Hasan Amir of the Government College University was represented by Anwar Kamal and Rana Asadullah Khan appeared on behalf of Dr Bushra of the Lahore College for Women University.

In their petitions, the professors had submitted that they applied for the post of vice chancellors being eligible as per criteria laid down in an advertisement. They said a candidate for the said post was required to have Ph.D degree in any subject from a reputed university.

However, the search committee later changed the criteria and preferences and was inviting only foreign qualified candidates. They said call letters were only issued to the candidates holding Ph.D. degree from a list of 500 top foreign universities of the world. And the candidates holding Ph.D degrees from Pakistani universities were not called for interview.

They also assailed the composition/constitution of search committee saying there were no rules, regulations and policy guidelines for selection and appointment of its members.

They said none of the members of search committee had a PhD or teaching experience. As such, the academic credentials of the members of the present search committee to interview the candidates for vice chancellor, who possess much higher academic qualifications than each one of them, raised serious issues of credibility.

They said the entire process of selection for the posts of vice chancellors - from the constitution and composition of the search committee to selective interviews - was lacking legal basis and a credible mechanism and was liable to be set side.

The Punjab government had already filed its reply saying the petitioners were not called for interview because they did not meet the criteria. Dawn

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SSUET students prepare Drone model
Karachi: Students of the Electronics Department of Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) have prepared a model of drone 'Shahbaz: The Doom Drone' that proved to be the centre of attraction for the visitors at Karachi Expo.

This drone, with other innovations from the SSUET students is being displayed in the three-day exhibition "Exposition on Current of Pakistan" organised by the Academic and Social Circle, SSUET.

The students have designed and prepared the American type drone, which has surveillance cameras, temperature system and Global Position System (GPS) technology. This drone has the ability to fly 150 metres high in the sky and it travels at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

Students Muhammad Ali and Asad Anees, while giving details about their invention, said that the drone had a 1-litre fuel tank in which hi-octane petrol was used. The plane was controlled by Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) and during flight it captured the pictures of the concerned target through surveillance cameras and transmitted its images to the Controlling System Receivers (CSR) on the ground. The creators of the project claim that they could install missile fire technology in the drone if provided with sufficient funds.

The other inventions included Pak Energy Ramp, Solar & Electric Powered Vehicle, Solar Power Generating System, Intelligent Engraver, Laser Torch Based Sound Transmitter and Receiver, Prepaid Gas Meter, Wireless Switching, Wireless Doors, Automatic Street Lights, Intelligent Water Level Controller, Ball on Plate Balancing System, Students' Attendance Information System etc.

Vice-Chancellor SSUET, Prof Dr Saiyid Nazir Ahmed, appreciated the efforts of the students in making such novel projects particularly the drone and commented that he was pleasantly surprised to see that his students were so talented.

Minister for Industries and Trade, Muhammad Abdul Rauf Siddiqui; Sindh Health Minister, Dr Saghir Ahmed; Sindh Minister for Youth Affairs, Syed Faisal Ali Sabzwari; Former Naib Nazim of CDGK, Nasreen Jalil; and Vice-Chancellor University of Karachi (KU), Prof Pirzada Qasim visited SSUET stalls and appreciated the skill of the students that were reflected in their innovative projects.

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A prodigy named Nida Lashari
Karachi: Nida Anjum Lashari, 15, teaches English to students at graduate and postgraduate levels although she is a student of Class IX at Baba Cambridge School in the lower-middle class locality called Pak Colony.

She is talented and very ambitious and wants to indulge in business, sports and teaching simultaneously.

Nida was eight months old when her father Anjum Lashari, a senior journalist at Daily Jang bowed out. Lashari worked at the News Desk of Daily Jang. He was also a poet and wrote the first novel in the Seraiki language, according to Nida. She was admitted to Baba Cambridge School, near Bismillah Hotel in Pak Colony when she was 3.

Right from the beginning she has showed some extraordinary talents; she is a quick learner, has participated in debates, written poetry and played and also acted in school plays.

"I learnt English through watching TV plays and reading tickers," said Nida.

"I was also a good spy," she said innocently. "I traced a 'chapal chor' who would steal them and take them to our rooftop," she elaborated.

Nida has done compering at a school and at a 'Grand Gala' organised in Nazimabad. She said she had taught English at two institutes in Pak Colony during her summer vacation. She has also been an intern at one of the institutes.

"I have also become a member of National Students Federation," she said. "I want to become a journalist like my father and also emerge as the best short story writer and poet," said Nida.

Nida said she had read at least 100 books, including "nange paon," "Akhri Jazeera" and "Meri zaat zara-e-benishaan." She has also benefited from Oxford Dictionary for Beginners and similar books to become proficient in English.

Nida along with her mother visited the Karachi Press Club on Thursday and evinced keen interest in its library where stacks of books have lain idle for decades because nobody is interested in reading them.

"Can I become a member of the KPC library and borrow books?" she asked, with a glint in her eyes. The news

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