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Rumours of explosives floating in schools

Lahore, March 14, 2008: Rumours of explosives in two schools on Thursday caused panic among students and teachers, and compelled the administration of one of the schools to announce a two-day holiday. An anonymous caller 'informed' the administration of the Government Girls School, Mughalpura, about a bomb in the school, which would explode in some time. Students and teachers ran out of the school premises to save themselves. A bomb disposal squad immediately reached there and searched the building for explosives, but found nothing. Another anonymous call was received about a bomb planted in Beaconhouse School Thokar Niaz Baig branch, after which the school administration immediately had the building vacated and informed the authorities concerned. A bomb disposal squad reached there and searched for explosives, but it turned out to be a prank call. The school administration announced a two-day vacation and closed the school. A member of the administrative staff said that students' parents had also requested them to close the school for a few days. Colleges in neighbouring areas as also considering closing the institutions for a few days until the situation settles. Meanwhile, a rumour of a bomb explosion at Chauburji Chowk also created panic among people.

Beaconhouse National University (BNU) students display work
Lahore: The Beaconhouse National University (BNU) Media School (MS) students on Thursday displayed their work on campus.

Sixteen students showed up with different projects dealing with different tolls and procedures for launching a successful media campaign.

A student Hina Butt's project was on the Tourism Industry. She documented a ten-minute documentary showing various tourist spots of the city. The documentary's main purpose was to highlight the importance of tourism and to find factors that had affected it. The documentary said, "Lahore offers several tourist places, like the Lahore Fort, the Shalamar Gardens, Badshahi Masjid and Masjid Wazir Khan.

Neha and Anum projected the working of the SOS (Save our Soul) Village. They emphasised that money was not everything, as it could not buy love. The slogan of their media campaign was 'Time Not Money'. They said many people were ready to donate money for the children at the SOS, but very few agreed to spare time for them.

Babrak Khan's work was about the preservation of culture. He focused on miniatures and other art motifs reflecting culture and the need to protect them. Ridha's work was about an educational institute. It showed how an organisation could effectively launch its media campaign with limited resources to raise funds.

Mariam and Khadeeja's work documented the hazardous effects of smoking and sheesha. They said, "Many parents do not mind their children smoking Sheesha before them, considering it a status symbol. Sheesha is as bad as smoking."

Momina's work projected the advertising campaign of a cellular company. She showed how an effective campaign could attract a large number of customers.

BNU MS Dean Dr Mehdi Hasan visited the stalls and appreciated the students. He said, "Such exercises will help students to use media tolls appropriately and stand by the truth and validity of news." Daily Times

Punjab University promotes 14 assistant professors
Lahore: The Punjab University has promoted 14 assistant professors, having PhD degrees and 13 years of services in the university to their credit.

These assistant professors will be given the financial benefits of BS-20. A notification D/2215-40/Est I Dated 13-03-2008 has also been issued in this regard.

Addressing the assistant professors, Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran said that it was very important to promote deserving teachers because when teachers were deprived of their due right then they fell victim to the frustration which affects their academic and research performance.

He said the promotions on merit would help eliminate frustration and group politics from the campus. He said he wanted to provide a congenial atmosphere to the teachers so that they could perform their teaching and research duties in a better way.

The promoted assistant professors thanked the vice-chancellor, and said merit based decision had established a healthy relationship between PU teachers and the administration, and the university atmosphere had been improved a lot compared to the previous years.

Among those who were promoted include Dr Fahim Aftab of Botany Department, Dr Amtul Jamil Sami of IBIT, Dr Sikandar Sultan of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Dr Ghazala Nasim and Dr Salik Nawaz Khan of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Dr Shagufta Begum of Philosophy Department, Dr Shahida Manzoor of College of Art & Design, Dr Riffat Munawar of Sociology, Dr Kanwal Ameen of Library & Information Science, Dr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui and Dr Ghulam Ali Khan of Islamic Studies, Dr Naumana Amjad of Psychology and Applied Psychology, Dr Hafiz Abdul Khaliq of Institute of Education & Research and Dr Miss Aisah Sitwar of Clinical Psychology Department. It is worth mentioning that the university has already promoted 19 assistant professors with having 17-year service and now the number of promoted assistant professors has been raised to 33.

Thesis topics of 20 PhD scholars approved
Lahore: The Punjab University's Advance Studies and Research Board (AS&RB) on Wednesday approved thesis topics of 20 PhD scholars of various departments and institutes of the varsity.

The board also raised objections to some topics and recommended modifications and corrections. The board members asked the scholars about rational and methodology of their study areas, and recommended various improvements in methodology, universe of the research and proposed time periods.

The board's meeting was held under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran in the committee room while Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan and other officials were also present. In the second session after studying reports on two PhD theses, the board recommended awarding degrees to the research scholars in the light of suggestions and recommendations by their examiners.

Those PhD scholars whose thesis topics were approved include Masha Maqbool of Clinical Psychology Department, Muzna Zahur, Muhammad Younas Khan, Muhammad Qasim and Atteeq-ur-Rehman of Molecular Biology Department, Asad Shabbir of Mycology and Plant Pathology Department, Sher Muhammad Sherawat of Zoology Department, Ashraf Hussain of Environmental Science Department, Bushra Haider of Physics Department, Muhammad Samiullah and Naseem Mahmood of Islamic Studies Department, Syed Ali Raza of Kashmiryat Department, Rafya Tahir and Mamoona Khan of College of Art & Design, Qamar Fatima of Political Science Department, Muhammad Nadeem Iqbal of Special Education Department, Mushtaq Ahmad, Muhammad Shabbir Ali, Muhammad Rauf and Abdus Sattar of Education Department. The News

35 students trained in archaeological skills
Taxila: Experts from the Federal Department of Archaeology and Museums have imparted training in excavation, exploration and preservation to a batch of 35 students from the Peshawar University.

According to officials, the experts including Project Director Mohammad Bahadur Khan and Assistant Curator Abdul Ghaffor Lone taught the students the basic techniques of identification of cultural material, stratigraphy and archaeological investigation during the week-long session at the ancient Buddhist Monastic Complex, locally known as Jinna Wali Dheri, some 15km from Taxila Museum.

The students, both male and female, were also trained in drawing and conservation methods adopted for the preservation and restoration of ancient sites.

Earlier, other students from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, and University of Peshawar also underwent a comprehensive training programme at this site.

It may be mentioned here that the Buddhist site has its own significance in the field of archeological and the Buddhist history of Pakistan, especially the Taxila Valley civilisation.

The site measuring 500 X 400 metres was a big complex of religious activities. A fair quantity of minor antiquities, like coins of the Kushan dynasty, including Kanishka, Vasudeva, Kidara Kushans and one silver coin of the White Huns; glass and shell bangles; stone and terra-cotta beads; earthenware storage jars, bowls and small spouted pots; metal objects consisting of large copper bells, iron arrowheads, fragments of daggers and spear heads and nails; stucco heads of Buddha and Bodhisattva had been excavated from the stupa area.

The most remarkable discovery from Jinna Wali Dheri was the Buddhist mural painting, which most likely depicted Lord Buddha surrounded by his followers.

In the past, excavators discovered paintings of Gandhara civilisation in China and Central Asian states, but this recent discovery was the first of its kind in Pakistan.

This type of mural painting has yet not been discovered in any other Buddhist sanctuary of Gandhara. Due to this unique discovery, now it is very clear that the mural paintings discovered at sites in Afghanistan, China and Central Asia belonging to the 5th-6th century originated from the soil of Gandhara.

Further excavation of the site may reveal more information about this important medium of the Buddhist art of Gandhara.

Keeping in view the importance of this site, the US government through the cultural wing of its embassy in Islamabad has approved a $31,000 grant for the restoration, conservation, preservation and publication of the site.

The preservation, restoration and provision of tourists facilities at the site is in progress since 2000 and is nearing completion. Recently, the main stupa of the monastery was successfully exposed and its conservation is in progress. Dawn
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