South Asian university setup
South Asian University in soup
New Delhi, March 13: India's plans to start courses from August in the first South Asian
University established in New Delhi as a knowledge hub for the region have gone
awry because of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal disputing not only its proposed
statute but also rules for appointment of its president, funding and issue of
visas to students and faculty.
Unable to sort out the differences, all
matters have been now been referred to the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) standing committee of foreign secretaries that is scheduled
to meet in Bhutan (ahead of the SAARC summit) in its capital Thimpu, on the 28th
and 29th of April.
The university has been set up as part of a resolution of
the eight-nation SAARC, with its linked campuses supposed to be established in
the seven remaining South Asian countries.
Pakistan is in the forefront
raising objections to the way India wants to run the university and it has roped
in Bangladesh and Nepal to stall the statute under which the university is set
to function. India was all set to start the first academic session from August
to coincide with the new session in various Indian universities.
main campus is in New Delhi, land for which was allotted last year, India wanted
an Indian to be the president for the operational reasons, and hence it amended
the draft statute that otherwise provided for, "filling the topmost post of the
university by rotation from all eight countries".
The draft statute provided
that the first president will be from the host country for a "certain term", and
then the post will be filled by rotation from the SAARC countries by the
governing council from the "panel of names sent by the concerned
India has changed this clause to provide that the "president shall
be a nominee and representative of the host government".
Islamabad has also objected to the visa rules proposed by India for the
students and faculty joining the university. An Indian Home Ministry
representative suggested at a meeting convened for finalising the logistics that
India will be granting the visas as per the existing bilateral arrangements with
Sources said Pakistan is insisting that there should be a
more liberal and separate mechanism for issuance of visas for the university
since it is going to be a SAARC institution in which the host country should not
impose its own rules, at least not the bilateral arrangement.
India's proposal that the university will be responsible for recommending and
facilitating visas, Pakistan wants the university statute to have a provision
for the special category visas.
The SAARC resolution provided for India
bearing 50 percent cost as the host country, and the remaining 50 per cent to be
shared by the seven-remaining members. Accordingly, India had sought $7 million
dollars from Pakistan as initial cost. Pakistan and other countries have,
however, disputed the cost worked out by India and demanded a meeting to
finalise the budget. There is a dispute also on the salary structure of the
The university is the brainchild of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh who had proposed the idea of launching a South Asian University at the
13th SAARC summit held in Dhaka, and made the governments of all SAARC nations
sign an agreement at the 14th SAARC summit held in New Delhi in 2008. Daily times
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Dispute between SU and MUET settled
Hyderabad: The land dispute between the University of Sindh and Mehran
University of Engineering and Technology was amicably resolved on Friday,
lingering on for last 60 years, in a meeting between the two vice chancellors,
reports our bureau.
Later, University of Sindh decided to shift the Centre for
Health and Physical Education from Faculty of Social Sciences to that of Natural
The decision was taken in a meeting on Friday, presided over
by the Vice- Chancellor, Prof Dr Nazir A. Mughal and attended by the Dean
Faculty of Social Sciences Dr Parveen Shah, Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences Dr
Mohammad Tahir Rajput, Director of the Centre Dr Yasmin Iqbal and others.
Dr Yasmin Iqbal said that presently the Centre was offering a four-year
bachelors degree in Health and Physical Education, MPhil, PhD, BHPE, MHPE in
evening programme and postgraduate diploma in sports therapy degree programmes.
She said that some universities were offering Masters of Science in
Health and Physical Education under science degree and the difference of cadre
was posing problems for students in job markets. The Board of Studies had
approved the proposal for changing the cadre of centre from social sciences to
natural sciences faculty, she said. Dawn
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