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Jinnah University of Health Sciences status

Govt move on future JPMC status opposed
Karachi, March 19: Faculty members of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) have opposed the move to convert the federal government-run hospital into a constituent hospital of a medical university, proposed to be established under a charter of the Sindh government.

An emergency meeting of the JPMC academic council on Thursday discussed the upgrade of the hospital to the 'Jinnah University of Health Sciences (JUHS)', and unanimously resolved that the "JPMC has the prestigious legacy of being the oldest postgraduate medical institution in the country and also has the exalted status of having the name of Jinnah, the Father of the Nation."

The council re-endorsed the resolutions passed at its April 6, 2007 and November 26, 2008 meetings that a federal government medical university should be established at the JPMC Karachi with its head office in Islamabad as proposed by the director-general of health in a letter dated November 5, 2008 like the Federal Urdu University (Islamabad) with its principal campus in Karachi already having been established.

It was also resolved that the JPMC academic council, faculties and employees should not join any other university, like the proposed Sindh Medical University, proposed to be established at the Sindh Medical College, Karachi.

"The academic council and faculty may accept the proposal of Sindh Medical College, Karachi, for affiliation as a constituent part of the JUHS or otherwise to de-affiliate the SMC, Karachi, and create its own medical college at the JPMC, Karachi."

According to JPMC sources, the council has lately received information that a group of SMC old boys settled abroad are to meet in Islamabad in a couple of days to revive the issue of upgrading the SMC to the status of a university, particularly at a time when the Sindh government has already upgraded some medical colleges and hospitals to medical universities or degree-awarding institutions.

The council has also learnt that some vice-chancellors of the medical universities in Sindh have also been invited to attend the Islamabad meeting, where a top political figure of the country is likely to be present. Dawn

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Idea of the Karachi Literary Festival
Karachi: A two-day event aimed at promoting literature will begin here on March 20, organisers announced on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference, the organisers - the British Council and the Oxford University Press - briefed mediamen about the background to the literature festival.

OUP's Ameena Saiyid said Pakistan had a number of good authors and researchers but their works were not being recognised the way they merited.

She said while being at events like the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Galle Literature Festival, she witnessed how writers and researchers earned respect and recognition throughout the world. Such events became the genesis for the idea of the Karachi Literary Festival and she was ably supported by writer Asif Farrukhi and the British Council's Mashhood Rizvi in materialising the concept.

Talking about the benefits of such an event, Ms Saiyid said that the festival would help people interact with esteemed writers and develop the culture of book reading.

She said of late Pakistani authors had made it big internationally and Mohsin Hamid and Daniyal Mueenuddin had been shortlisted for prestigious literary awards. She added the Jaipur Literature Festival began on a smaller scale but subsequently expanded to a larger level. There a businessman announced that he would institute a $50,000 award for the best literary work from South Asia; Pakistan also needed a similar incentive.

British Council Director Mashhood Rizvi said the council's contribution to the festival was immense because it wanted to be known as a cultural organisation. He said people thought that the way to connect with one another globally was through trade, commerce and information technology, but in reality societies got connected through literature and languages. "Pakistan's youth must get the opportunity to express itself and expression needed space. Such occasions provide them with space," he said, and added that the council and OUP's collaborative effort would try and make the festival bigger than its Jaipur counterpart, though that's not the aim. He said the event would be held annually.

Speaking at the press conference, founding member of the Karachi Literature Festival Asif Farrukhi said the idea behind the event was to create space for various forms of discussions and literary activities. He said the three key words (Karachi, literature and festival) denoted three important aspects: Karachi is a cosmopolitan, polyglot city and has produced giants in the world of literature; literature that's imaginative and relates to the social sciences; to celebrate creativity with a festive air.

He then informed journalists about the different programmes (panel discussions, conversations, book launches, book signings, poetry symposium and dance & theatre by Tehreek-i-Niswan) that were lined up for the two days of the festival. While doing that, he put emphasis on the fact that renowned author Shamsur Rahman Farooqi, poet Zulfikar Ghose, writers Aamer Hussein, Bapsi Sidhwa and poetess Zehra Nigah would also take part in the two-day programme. Dawn

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Lecture on Jinnah
Karachi: Eminent historian, author, lawyer and political analyst A.G. Noorani will deliver a lecture on "Jinnah and Tilak: Comrades in the Freedom Movement" at the Mohatta Palace Museum at 5.30pm on Tuesday, according to the organisers, the Trustees of the Mohatta Palace Museum and the Oxford University Press.

This will be the third of a series of lectures on cultures, politics and change in South Asia, said a press release issued here on Monday. APP

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