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HEC interference in universities' affairs condemned

Teachers condemn HEC over 'interference'
Lahore, May 25: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) has condemned the Higher Education Commission's interference in the affairs of the universities and its refusal to solve the problems of teachers. The federation also announced holding of protest demonstrations against the commission in all the big cities on June 10.

Through resolutions adopted at a meeting held here with Professor Kalimullah Barech in chair, the federation also called for audit of the HEC and appointment of a Ph.D professor with university teaching experience as it chairman. It also stressed separating the offices of the governor and the chancellor and demanded appointment of a full-time chancellor in view of increase in number of universities. It also demanded abolition of the quality enhancement cells.

The federation rejected the cut in the recurring budget of the universities and demanded posting of serving Ph.D professors as vice-chancellors and pro-chancellors. The 80-year-old superannuated Sind University vice-chancellor and retired officials manning the administrative posts should be removed. The participants of the meeting also demanded abolition of the Model Universities Ordinance and running of universities in accordance with the universities' acts. Teachers in all the universities should be allowed upgradation on hardship basis on the pattern of Peshawer, Balochistan and Gomal universities.

The federation demanded equalisation of Ph.D Allowance and other allowances for all the teachers and all M.Phil teachers should be paid Rs5,000 allowance.

It demanded posting of 12.5 per cent BS-21 professors against BS-22 posts and raising the superannuation age limit for university teachers to 65 years. Promotion should not be linked to the publication of research articles in the HEC approved journals alone. Enforcement of new eligibility criteria should be deferred till 2012 because the HEC had not been able to formulate the policy in this regard.

The federation expressed sympathies with the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Swat, Buner and other tribal areas and decided that the teachers of all public-sector universities would donate one-day salary to the relief fund. The participants of the meeting were of the view that there was no justification in restraining the IDPs from going to any part of the country. Dawn

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Libraries plunge into darkness
Lahore: The city's libraries, which are otherwise lighthouses of knowledge, remain engulfed in darkness during half of their opening hours due to the incessant load shedding and the absence of any substitute form of electricity.

It was learnt that the students and general public visiting the libraries suffer a lot, as they are unable to even find a corner in the libraries where they can pursue their reading and research.

The Quaid-e-Azam Library, one of the most prestigious libraries of the country, which offers its membership only to scholars and Masters degree holders, is also gripped by darkness during the massive power outages. In an attempt to counter the problem, the library's administration has arranged two electricity supply lines from different feeders. However, the power supply is often disconnected to both the supply lines during a power outage. The students and public have to leave the building due to the dark. Waseem, a student preparing for the CSS examination said that much of his time was wasted due to load shedding. He said students preparing for various exams suffered the worst, as load shedding and heat made it very difficult for them to concentrate. Another candidate, who is preparing for the PMS exams due to start in the first week of June, said libraries should arrange alternate electricity sources on their own, if the government fails to provide any substitute.

A senior official of the library said it was not feasible for the library to buy a generator, as it would disturb the environment. "The library requires a very big generator. Since the library is located in the garden, the generator will disturb the environment, " he said. He said the proposal was discussed in a meeting of the library's Board of Governors, but was rejected and two different electricity supply lines were arranged for the library.

Other public libraries like the Punjab Public Library and Dayal Singh Trust Library also suffer a lot due to the load shedding.

However, the libraries of some private educational institutions are provided uninterrupted power supply due to the institutions owning large generators. Daily Times


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Secretary BISE Lahore transferred
Lahore: Higher Education Department has transferred Secretary Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore, Haji Muhammad Dogar on Saturday.According to Education department sources, the interviews for appointment against the vacant post were held by the Secretary Higher Education, Azhar Hussain Shamim this morning. Sources said that three shortlisted names were sent to Additional Chief Secretary, Javed Aslam for the aforementioned post. colleagues and staged a sit-in at adjacent road. Meanwhile, Governor Punjab has suspended four policemen allegedly involved in abusing the journalists and ordered an inquiry in the incident, sources added. App

Over Rs400m needed to meet teachers' demands
Lahore: The Punjab Higher Education Department has calculated that it would cost over Rs 400 million to the government if it meets teachers' demands such as increase in PhD allowance and incentives etc.

The calculation was done after a detailed study conducted by the department in the wake of teachers ongoing protest against the government. Teachers had taken to streets to press for the acceptance of their demands, including increase in salaries, up grade of posts, regularisation of contract lecturers and increase in PhD allowance for social sciences etc.

College teachers, including contract lecturers and honorary teaching assistants (HTAs), have been protesting against the government for the last many days.

The study revealed that the government would have to bear around Rs 5 million annually in case it increased PhD allowance from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 for faculty members having PhDs in social sciences. At present, around 200 teachers have PhD degrees in Arts.

Keeping in view the reluctance of employees to serve in 'unattractive' areas, the Higher Education Department has suggested the government to provide Unattractive Area Allowance of Rs 3,000 per month. An amount of Rs 216 million has been calculated under this head on an annual basis.

It would cost Rs 111 million annually to provide incentive allowance to teachers on showing good results.

The department has also calculated that the amount required for provision of allowances to principals of the colleges. It has suggested that the government give Rs 7,000 per month to principals serving at 'unattractive' areas. It has also been suggested that principals of colleges in big cities should get Rs 4,000 per month as allowance. An amount of Rs 31 million has been calculated for the provision of these allowances. At present around 2,500 HTAs are serving in colleges across the province for Rs 8,000 per month. It would cost Rs 60 million to give them a raise of Rs 2,000 per month.

A senior official of the Higher Education Department requesting anonymity said that regularisation of contract lecturers would not cost anything extra to the government as these lecturers were already getting 30 percentextra than those serving on regular basis. He said some of the demands, including increase in PhD allowance of social sciences, and up grade of posts one step up like university teachers were not feasible as huge financial resources would be required. The News

Edu Dept to prepare list of subject specialists
Lahore: Secretary Education Department (School) Nadeem Ashraf has directed to ensure the implementation of the orders of Chief Secretary Punjab regarding holding of open katchery for three days in a week, and also stressed to dispose off the pension cases on priority.

He was addressing the provincial meeting of Executive District Officers (Education) and District Monitoring Officers of the Punjab, here on Saturday. Additional Secretary (Education Reforms) Nadeem-ur-Rehman and Additional Secretary Schools were also present.

Nadeem Ashraf said the process of recruitment of Educators had been completed in-time transparently so that staff could be provided to schools. He further said that the vacancies of Head Teachers would be 100 per cent fulfilled after summer vacations. He said that the projects of basic necessities should be completed timely so that funds could be utilised for welfare of the people.

He directed to prepare list of vacant posts of subject specialists so that recruitment could be made for these posts. He further said that comprehensive programme for teachers' training has been prepared during summer vacations and EDOs (Education) should play active role for implementation of this programme. The meeting reviewed the pace of development schemes and recruitment process in all the districts.

Secretary Schools for early disposal of pension cases
Secretary School Education Punjab, Nadeem Ashraf has directed to ensure the implementation of the orders of Chief Secretary Punjab regarding holding of open kutchery for three days in a week. He also stressed to dispose of the pension cases on priority basis.

He was addressing the meeting of Executive District Officers (Education) and District Monitoring Officers of the Punjab here on Saturday. Additional Secretary (Education Reforms) Nadeemur Rehman and Additional Secretary Schools were also present.

Nadeem Ashraf said that the process of recruitment of Educators has been completed transparently for the provision of staff to the schools. He further said that the vacancies of the headmasters would be fulfilled after summer vacations. He said the projects of basic necessities should be completed timely so that funds could be utilised for welfare of the people. He directed to prepare list of vacant posts of subject specialists so that recruitment could be made for these posts. The Nation

UVAS, BU to collaborate in LDLH research
Lahore: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern Switzerland, here Saturday signed an MoU for collaboration in a research project on landless pastoralists in Northern Pakistan (Hindokush-Himalayan mountains). The UVAS VC Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz and Senior Researcher/Project Coordinator Dr Inam-ur-Rahim from Bern University signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides and the MoU will remain effective till completion of the research project in 2012.

The objectives of the research project on landless pastoralists is to understand the sustainable use of natural resources in the mountainous region of NWFP; the situation of access to pastures for long distance landless herders (LDLH); to understand socio-economic, institutional and political framework under which the LDLH operates; to improve and secure future access to pasture land for LDLH and to improve the access and efficiency of services for LDLH. Under the MoU, both varsities will explore options to improve relation between social and natural environment with sound trans-disciplinary research backing in the face of rapid population growth and expansion of cultivated and constructed land affecting the key pastures previously used by the livestock of long distance landless herders(LDLH).

The UVAS will provide co-sponsored and co-supervised MPhil and PhD students to undertake research assignments on the issues related to LDLH and upland-lowland relationship, as assignment in the Landless Pastoralist Research Project (LPRP). The co-sponsorship will include successful completion of the required course work in the university. While, the Centre for Development and Environment will co-sponsor and co-supervise the selected students in their research assignments. The co-sponsorship will include the provision of stipend to PhD students, field expenses and technical support, necessary equipment and cost of publication and dissertation and peer-reviewed articles. App

UVAS, Swiss university sign MoU
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern, Switzerland, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration in a research project on landless pastoralists in Northern Pakistan (Hindokush-Himalayan mountains). According to a press statement, UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz on behalf of the UVAS and Senior Researcher/Project Coordinator Dr Inam ur Rahim from the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern signed the MoU. The News

Hand washing activity at UVAS
Lahore: The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) here Saturday arranged a hand washing activity with the theme "Save lives, clean your hands." The university staff and students participated in this activity in large numbers, while, the experts performed step by step hand washing demonstration in front of participants. Then the practical training was held on the IPS Premises. Later, Dean Faculty of Bio-Sciences, Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf distributed certificates among the training participants. App


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