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Punjab VCs selection process conflict

Conflict on VCs selection process
Lahore, March 28: The selection process of vice chancellors (VCs) of six public universities of the province has become controversial following strong concerns raised by most of the applicants.

The major point of concern being highlighted is the revised criteria for selection of the candidates as most of the apparently potential candidates have not been invited for interview by the VC Search Committee.

The News carried a story of this correspondent on March 4, 2011, highlighting the fact that the applicants having local qualifications were discriminated as those having foreign degrees of graduation, master's and PhDs were awarded extra marks.

A total of 100 marks were set for each candidate out of which 30 marks for his/her qualifications, 30 for experience and 40 for final interview.

Those securing maximum marks were to be scrutinised and shortlisted for interview by the VC Search Committee subsequently appointed as a VC of any of the six universities.

The News revealed that out of total 30 marks fixed for qualifications, the foreign qualified were being awarded 12 marks for graduation, six for master's and 12 for PhD while those having local qualifications were being awarded 8, 3, 8 marks for graduation, master's and PhD degrees, respectively.

However later in a meeting, the VC Search Committee revised the marks distribution fixed for qualifications. It decided to go away with marks for graduation and MA/MSc qualifications setting all 30 marks for PhD degree only. According to the revised criteria, all candidates having PhD degrees, irrespective of the facts whether they have earned the degree from abroad or locally, have been awarded 20 marks. However 10 additional marks were given to those who have done their PhD from top 500 universities of the world.

Many of the candidates believe that distribution of marks is still biased and unjust as it is totally unfair to give double benefit to the candidates having the same degree. According to them, the phenomenon of ranking of world universities surfaced in Pakistan in 2003. All the applicants for the slot of the vice chancellorship have done their PhDs much earlier than 2003, when the process of ranking of universities was not in place.

An applicant, seeking anonymity, argued that the universities were ranked on the basis of their particular disciplines, not as a whole. Giving an example, he said University of Missouri was ranked among the top 500 university of the world on the basis of its discipline of Agriculture or Mathematics. He questioned as to how a candidate earning a degree from this university in social sciences discipline could be awarded 10 extra marks, while the University of Missouri has not been ranked on the basis of social sciences. He said among the top 500 universities none was included from within Pakistan, while about 150 were from the US and above 40 each from United Kingdom and Germany.

Another applicant said the decision of the VC Search Committee was tantamount to giving preference to people of privileged class particularly those trained in the US universities.

He said through the revised criteria once again the search committee had exposed that it allegedly wanted to favour some "selected" individuals questioning as to why the condition of PhD from top 500 universities was inserted. He added the post of VC was more of administrative in nature than academic.

Another candidate said if the government continued favouring foreign qualified it would demoralise the people doing PhDs from the Pakistani universities.

It is pertinent to mention here that currently the Punjab government is looking for regular VCs of six varsities which are: the Government College University (GCU), Lahore, University of Education, Lahore, University of Sargodha, Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) Multan, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Rawalpindi and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Lahore.

However, when contacted, Punjab Higher Education Department Additional Secretary (Academics) Chaudhry Akram who is focal person dealing in shortlisting of candidates denied that the criteria was revised to favour some selected individuals.

He claimed the criteria was revised to end discrimination against those having local qualifications.

Your Comments
"Punjab VCs selection process With pre-selection and favouritism of few personalities in mind,the candidates are being short listed in the VCs selection process. I personally think that the search committee should only focus on real R &D production, patents, management and leadership abilities, and publications in the top ranked journals. Principally, it should not matter if the candidates are graduate from abroad or from local universities. I personally applied for one University VC slot. The selection process is so fake that the punjab govt neither acknowledged the candidate nor they sent the list of candiates to all applicants. They must first send (and disclose) the list of all applicants to every candidate in order to keep the selection process transparent. I think that selection committe should be transparent and unbiased and unfortunatley, the selection process has already become very dubious from the very begnining. They (Punjab Education department) neither receive any telephone calls nor they like to communicate by emails to candidates. One must disclose the candidate profile to all applicants whether he really deserves for this post or not ? What type of VC selection process is going on ?"
Name: Muhammad Nawaz
City, Country: Oslo, Norway

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PU results
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) Examinations Department on Saturday announced the results of various examinations. These exams include BSc Electrical Engineering, Semester System, Session 2006-2010, BSc Metallurgy & Materials Engineering, Semester System, Session 2006-2010, BCS (Hons), Afternoon, Semester System, Session 2006-2010, BCS (Hons), Morning, Semester System, Session 2006-2010 and BSc (Hons) Space Science (Four-Year Programme), Semester System, Session 2006-2010. The news

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PU sports gala
Lahore: Punjab University Department of Gender Studies is organising a sports gala on Monday (today) which will be inaugurated at 9:30am and will continue till 3:30pm.

Sports Director Zafar Rasheed and Shamsa will be chief guest for both categories of male and female.

Student week at PU: Punjab University Institute of Communication Studies is organising student week which will be inaugurated by Director Dr Ahsan Akhter Naz on Monday (today).

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran will preside over a "Mehfil-e-Mushaira" on March 29 in which renowned comic poet Anwar Masood will be guest of honour. The nation

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PU IBIT organises spring festival
Lahore: Punjab University's Institute of Business and Information Technology (IBIT) on Saturday organised a colourful spring festival at the institute ground.

The students put up various stalls, which were highly appreciated by PU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Mujahid Kamran, IBIT Director Dr Mansoor Sarwar, Resident Officer 1 Javed Sami and other faculty members on their visit to the gala. The participants were captivated by the performances of the students. A "ride and play" game, in which a dump trolley carried some students and took a round of the ground, was lauded by the attendants.

A group of students presented "cave men's story", dressed oddly and spoke with unusual voices. Some students took out a bicycle rally in support of the Pakistani cricket team. An IBTI "police station" was also established where Dr Mujahid Kamran was interrogated in his promotion of research culture in the varsity thus prompting students to stick to libraries. Punjabi culture was also reflected with activities like "Punjabi Nukar" and "Punjabi Panja". Food stalls were also put up, serving traditional Punjabi food. Daily times

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Public schools campaign for new admissions on what basis?
Lahore: Once again the academic session is all set to commence from April. The private sector, as usual, carried out extensive admission campaign through banners, hoardings and even cable networks, highlighting its commitment to the cause of education. The good thing is that this time, the public sector schools are also seen actively campaigning for admissions. Besides the Universal Primary Education (UPE) campaign, almost every government is displaying a banner urging people to send their children to the school. However, it has almost become an unfortunate reality that public schools are no more a choice of people, especially those who can afford. The situation is quite alarming as the government schools now offer totally free education, including free textbooks.

The areas, especially rural areas, where the number of those who live below the poverty line is big, people have no choice except to bank on the government schools only.

The deterioration of public schools is certainly not something which took place abruptly and similarly the overhaul cannot be expected at once. However, the required political commitment is nowhere in sight, hence the public schooling is continuously deteriorating as ever. This lack of commitment is also absent when we talk about regulating the affairs of private schools. This has led to their unbridled working while issues related to quality education also surface every now and then. The mushroom growth of academy and tuition centres culture is certainly linked to this absence of commitment on the part of those at the helm. The Punjab government frequently faces criticism for its Danish School System as there is general perception that instead of going for developing some select schools, the government should develop a good system of education.

At public schools, quality education remains the biggest challenge as unfortunately the level of commitment expected from teachers is also often criticised but they have their problems too. They criticise the government for assigning them extra duties for different types of surveys, elections and polio vaccination, so on and so forth.

On the other hand, private schools are better controlled, administratively, and the teachers are held accountable on a regular basis. But again despite their 'superiority' in terms of academic output over government schools, private schools are becoming a nuisance for many people.

The mandatory purchase of stationery items, uniforms; unexpected collection of dues in the name of different types of funds and above all, the governmentís inability to cap fee structure of private schools are some of the major concerns of the masses. It is also generally argued that since big names in private schools are owned by politicians, every government fails to implement any of its announcements regarding introduction of an independent regulatory authority for these schools. The incumbent Punjab government, led by education-friendly Shahbaz Sharif, had also claimed some three years back to introduce a regulatory body on private schools but since then, it has proved a mere slogan and nothing else.

Another "silly" argument which surfaces quite often in this regard is that the governments (successive) do not want to improve public schooling at all as by doing so interest of politicians who own big chains of schools is mostly likely to be hurt!. The news

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GCU to celebrate 60 years of Pak-China friendship
Lahore: The Government College University (GCU) Lahore is going to celebrate 60 years of Pak-China friendship today (Monday) in collaboration with the government of Punjab. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Liu Jian, would be the chief guest while the provincial ministers, parliamentarians and government officials would also be present at the celebration.

The university has organised a special ceremony on the topic of "Pak-China Friendship – Past, Present and Future," which would be addressed by the Chinese ambassador, Pak-China Bureau CEO, Zafaruddin Mahmood, provincial Minister Chaudhry Ghafoor, GCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr Ikramul Haq, and international relations experts, including Professor Hassan Askari and Professor Anwar Mahmood Khan. Daily times

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Fake teachers' appointment referred to ACE
Lahore: The Chief Minister's Secretariat has referred the case of fake appointment of 15 PTC teachers to the Anti-Corruption Establishment for necessary action.

Complainant Amjad Ali had submitted an application to the chief minister regarding the fake recruitment of 15 PTC teachers in various schools of Lahore division. The complainant stated that fake appointments of PTC teachers were made from 1979 to 1997 due to which a loss of over Rs25 million was inflicted to the national exchequer.

He alleged that many inquiries were conducted by various teams of the Education Department but proper action was not taken due to influence by trade unionists who had also obtained jobs as PTC teachers on fake orders.

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Annual sports of UVAS concludes
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) organized its eighth annual sports at the university's main ground which concluded here on Saturday.

The annual sports began with a grand march past which was attended by hundreds of students, university faculty members and alumni.

The sports featured various events, including horse dancing, musical chair (guests and staff), a tug of war (UVAS students Vs CVAS, Jhang students), chatti race, high jump, 800 meter race (boys), 200 meter race (boys), 100 meter race (girls), 4 X 400 meter relay race (boys), javelin throw (boys and girls), 400 meter race (boys), shot-put (girls and boys), staff children race, discuss throw (boys and girls), three leg race (girls), martial arts and gymnastic.

UVAS director sports Rana Muhammad Amjad said that all varsity campuses and departments took part in the annual sports.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz said that healthy nation could play a vital role in strengthening country's status in the comity of nations.

He said healthy persons were better placed to generate ideas and implement them in a better manner.

Former Pakistan hockey team captain and Olympian Dr Tariq Aziz said it was the need of the hour that students should participate in co-curricular activities along with studies. He said games helped persons to grow physically and mentally and enable them to meet the modern world challenges.

Livestock additional secretary Khalid Awais Ranjha distributed prizes among position holders in various sports events. The DVM fourth semester students bagged maximum prizes. app

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Pakistan 3rd largest milk producing country: UVAS VC
Lahore: Pakistan has become the third largest milk producing country and the production can be increased further by 50 per cent with proper management of animals and disease control, said University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Prof.Dr.Muhammad Nawaz in an exclusive interview with APP here on Sunday.

He said, "We are striving to produce human resource to ensure food security and safety for health and better income of stakholders". He said that problems of livestock production were related to health, genetics, nutrition and marketing. "Young professionals should be capable of improving production and yield through better management of nutrition and disease preventive measures.

"Competence of graduates in technologies, value addition in milk, meat and fish, wool, skin, hides and casings will facilitate equitable development of rural and urban livestock as well." He explained that 21 million low milk producing cattle and buffaloes should be preferably slaughtered to export meat and earn substantial foreign exchange.

To a question on enhancement of meat production, he said that 4.2 million ton meat was available if we replaced low potential animals with best genetic animals. He added that one third of fodder and water was being wasted due to such animals.

Responding to another query, Prof Dr Nawaz said that Pakistan could save $6 billion annually which were being used on the import of poultry vaccines by manufacturing biotechnology products. "The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) has the potential to produce all types of livestock vaccines to save precious foreign exchange," he added.

At present, he said, only 10 percent vaccines are produced in the country while the rest are imported from abroad.

"The UVAS not only can help save foreign exchange but also earn it through the export of all types of vaccine. Regarding research work, he said that the UVAS had developed research collaboration and signed 24 MoUs with many national and international institutions to upgrade the standard of education.

He said that they were facing resource constraints otherwise the university had the potential to perform miracles in the field of livestock and animal sciences. The nation

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