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New QAU VC | Readers Club membership

Dr Eatzaz assumes charge of QAU VC
Islamabad, Mar 01: Dr Eatzaz Ahmad, Senior Dean, Quaid-i-Azam University, assumed the charge of Vice-Chancellor after President of Pakistan approved his name till the appointment of a regular VC.

The case to appoint a VC for the time being was pending before President Mamnoon Hussain but he went to Lahore and then to Karachi and the file remained on his table for a decision.

Consequently, QAU remained without a VC for ten days as the outgoing VC Dr Masoom Yasinzai did not ask senior Dean as per tradition to look after the VC till the time the President nominates someone after expiry of his term on Feb 8.

Dr Eatzaz was working as Dean Faculty of Social Sciences since April 2011. He became Senior Dean in February 2013.

He joined QAU as Lecturer in Economics Department in 1978 which he left for higher studies. He rejoined QAU in 1999 as Professor of Economics.

Born in 1955, he did his Masters in Economics from QAU in 1977 and MA from McMaster University, Canada, in 1983. He did his doctorate from the same university in 1988.

Dr Eatzaz has several awards to his credit for his research work as well as for extra-curricular activities including HEC's best paper award in 2013 and awards from McMaster University. In addition to QAU, he also taught in University of Newcastle and University of New South Wales in Australia. He had been on visiting faculty as well as conducted training courses in many national and international institutions. He has 128 publications to his credit. He supervised 17 doctoral theses and was co-supervisor of four dissertations. He also supervised 94 MPhil dissertations.

Dr Eatzaz had been member or head of key university bodies including twice elected President of as Academic Staff Association. He has a nag for cooking and twice marinated the ASA bar-be-que dinner. The news

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COL declares AIOU academic programmes of world standard
Islamabad: The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has verified the quality and the standard of academic programmes launched by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), stating that they meet the international standard. The final verification of report's results indicate that AIOU has achieved the highest rating on quality assurance with the status of "Verified" by COL. Prof Dr Asha S Kanwar, president of COL, in a letter congratulated AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi and members of his team for their meritorious achievements, keeping up the quality of their academic programmes. The report was prepared by the COL-RIM consultant, Prof Uma Coomaraswamy, former president of Open University of Sri Lanka. The verified institution noted that AIOU has the capacity to respond to changing environment and strives to meet stakeholders' needs and expectations. The letter further said, "All the members of self-review and verification team of AIOU deserve much appreciation for their strenuous and dedicated work, under the guidance of Dr Nazir A Sangi for achieving the best outcome for their institution." The COL executive officer said they are grateful to all the deans, professors and heads of academic and administrative departments for sparing their staff and providing all the documents and records for the verification/auditing process of the AIOU. A third party quality assurance evaluation took place at AIOU by COL-RIM last year. It was developed in response to two key drivers, increased global emphasis on the quality of higher education and secondly on rising concern about the cost and uncertain benefits of conventional approaches to external quality assurance.

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Around 20,000 book lovers get Readers Club membership
Islamabad: The National Book Foundation (NBF) has taken a number of steps to inculcate book-reading habit among the masses, and in its recent drive of reviving the Readers Club Scheme, around 20,000 book lovers got the club membership cards.

Under this scheme, members can purchase books of their choice at a 50 percent discount, an official of the foundation told APP on Monday.

He said the most-awaited and popular Readers Club scheme earlier remained suspended for four years due to financial constraints and was launched again in November last year to promote the habit of book reading among the people.

"The scheme has been launched again in all major cities across the country," he said. He further said, "The Planning Commission has released funds amounting to Rs 30 million for the purpose, and books will be sold to the members at a 50 percent discount."

The NBF is endeavouring to revive the book-reading culture in the country, especially among the youth, to engage them in a healthy activity.

Besides promoting reading habits, he stated, it would encourage the overall book industry, help increase literacy rate, create reasonable demand for good quality reading material and motivate the younger generation to promote the reading culture in society.

The NBF is also running a number of schemes for book promotion and encouraging the reading habit among the masses, which include 'book clubs', 'book ambassadors', 'donation of Pakistani books abroad', 'promotion of children literature', 'books for children and neo-literates' and the 'Braille press'.

Giving details, the official said that under these schemes, the NBF had established book clubs in villages and cities, Children's Book Clubs, Prisoners' Free Minds Book Clubs, Senior Citizens' Book Clubs, Travellers' Book Clubs (books on wheels), Flying Book Clubs and Hospital Book Clubs.

"The NBF has come up with another novel idea to appoint book-loving celebrities of the country as book ambassadors to play their role in promoting the book-reading habit," he further said.

The scheme 'donation of Pakistani books abroad' aims at improving Pakistan's image and introducing Pakistani culture abroad through books. Under this project, books are sent to Pakistani missions abroad and Pakistani chairs in foreign universities.

Printed copies of the selected manuscripts and books for children are purchased for free distribution to school libraries all over the country under the 'promotion of children literature', the NBF official said.

He added that cash awards were also given to the authors on their best books.

"The 'books for children and neo-literates' scheme envisages development of suitable manuscripts and publishing of good quality supplementary reading material for children," he maintained.

The Braille books are provided to the visually disabled persons, almost free of cost. The Braille books include the Holy Quran with Urdu translation, which is one of its kind in the world, Bang-e-Dara, Bal-e-Jabriel along with more than 108 other publications of national importance, the official said.Daily times

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HEC boss rejects breach of contract charge
Islamabad: The Executive Director of Higher Education Commission, who is the custodian of over 10,000 scholarships, has got engulfed in a controversy of not fulfilling the post-scholarship requirements of serving at least five years in the same government organization, a breach of his contract.

Questions are being raised as to how a person who himself has been engulfed in such a controversy could be a custodian of thousands of scholarships that the HEC is sponsoring.Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Director HEC while denying the impression says that he was bound to serve within the country and not the same university and he has done so since last two decades. The ED held that for an HEC scholar it is mandatory to serve the same organization or within the country for at least five years after completion of the foreign degree.

He said that if the scholar has gone through the institution then he has to serve the same institution for five years and if he has won open scholarship then he is bound to serve the country for at least five years on his return.

In his case, the ED maintained, he served within the country after completion of the foreign degree.Documents available with The News reveal that Dr Mukhtar Ahmad went on foreign scholarship programme in 1990 and returned with two degrees, i.e. PhD in Botany and Masters in Business Administration in 1995.

He joined his parent university, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi but after three years, he resigned to join Hamdard University Faisalabad Campus as Professor of Business Administration.

The university administration took serious notice of Dr Mukhtar's resignation and asked him to pay back Rs 838,412 of the scholarship money spent on him, the documents reveal.The university administration pursued the case for almost five years and later, after the change of command at the university, the case was silently settled and Dr Mukhtar was allowed to go free.

The issue of his leaving the university without completion of five years after availing the scholarship was also raised by the audit in 2000-01, the documents reveal. Sources said that the controversy surrounding Dr Mukhtar is a routine issue as many scholars do not even return to Pakistan after completion of their degrees but if such a scholar is posted as custodian of over 10,000 scholarships then it does raise many questions.

However, Dr Mukhar Ahmad, ED HEC said that he returned to Pakistan after completion of his degree in 1995 and joined another institution but did not breach the contract as he was serving in the country and had not stayed or gone abroad.

He said that the University of Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi did send him notices and raised the issue because it was more of university's politics and less of the strength in the case. Dr Mukhtar admitted that latter after the change of command at the university, was cleared by the university syndicate.

When asked that he was PhD in Botany while Masters in Business Administration, and for a Dean or Professor one has to be PhD in the same subject how come he became a Professor in Management Sciences, Dr Mukhtar replied that he was Professor of Botany and it was horizontal movement and he shifted his department because he was holding a Masters Degree in the relevant field.

He said that by 1999, there were no hard and fast rules of possessing PhD degree to become eligible for the post of Professor/Dean. He said that he as custodian of thousands of scholarships, has ensured that the contract of serving the country after completion of scholarship is strictly enforced as HEC now involves guarantors and if there is no reply from the scholar and guarantors then HEC pursues its case in the courts.He said that he has served the country and could never imagine breaching the contract.

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HEC workshop
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), under its National Digital Library Programme, organised a workshop on 'How to publish research work in journals' in collaboration with the Cambridge University Press.

Over 100 participants, including faculty members, researchers, librarians from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, attended the workshop.

Ms. Caroline Kerbyson, sales executive of the Cambridge University Press, delivered lectures on 'How useful the CUP journals online be in their research work' and 'How to get published in the academic journals'. The news

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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