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Rawalpindi exam fraud by MNA | QAU development funds

Exam fraud may cost MNA his seat
Islamabad, May 2: A member of the National Assembly from Rawalpindi is likely to lose his seat after he was allegedly found guilty of examination fraud by an inquiry committee set up by the Pakistan Muslim League-N.

The committee was set up after MNA Haji Parvaiz Khan's nephew was caught red-handed while taking intermediate examinations in his place.

The inquiry committee, comprising Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Parvez Rashid, Begum Nuzhat Amir and Asim Khan Ayazee, was to hold public proceedings, but media personnel were barred after the party decided to hold an "in-camera inquiry".

The committee started its proceedings late in the evening which were continuing till the filing of this report.

Statements of Haji Parvaiz Khan MNA, Chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi, Prof Mohammad Riaz Akhtar, the board's secretary, Humayun Iqbal, the controller of examinations, Prof Azam Khalid, member of the special inspection committee Dr Naeem Bajwa, superintendent of the examination centre Asmat Ali and deputy superintendent Liaquat Ali Khan, had been recorded.

The regional inspector of examination centres and the principal of the Government Gordon College, Rawalpindi, also deposed before the committee.

Haji Parvaiz had said he would resign if he was found involved in any irregularity. The committee is likely to recommend PML-N president Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the Punjab chief minister, to strip him of his status as a parliamentarian. The MNA is likely to be asked to resign before any action is taken against him.

Dr Naeem Bajwa, who caught Bilal Javed appearing in place of the PML-N parliamentarian, said he had received several threats to his life since the incident.

"I have not met my family members for the past three days I am staying with a friend under police protection."

Mr Bajwa said he was brought to appear before the inquiry committee under protection of a police squad. He said that he had taken away Bilal Javed's mobile phone on which he was talking since the inspection team entered the examination hall.

He said no one could enter the examination centre without the superintendent's consent. "All that was happening illegally was going on with the consent of the superintendent."

Earlier, the inquiry committee held a separate meeting with officials of Rawalpindi Board, during which it was revealed that Parvaiz Khan had twice failed to clear intermediate examinations as a regular candidate in 2008 and again reappearing in supplementary examination held in the same year. He had enrolled to clear Pakistan Studies and Civics-II for the third time in 2009.

The sources said the statement of Dr Naeem Bajwa and record provided by the board officials would play a decisive role in finalising the committee's recommendations.

The sources said it was clear that no one had played foul against Haji Parvaiz Khan, adding that hand-writing on papers would prove that his nephew had appeared in the exams on his behalf. They said the committee would also take people to task who influenced the change of the chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Rawalpindi, after the scam was unearthed.

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Planning Commission's observation: QAU needs to learn how to spend money
Islamabad: The Planning Commission (PC) has decided not to consider new projects from the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) after discovering that it lacks the capacity to utilise development funds.

A PC monitoring report, completed recently and available with us, found that of all the funds released to the university under the 2008-09 Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), Rs212.64 million remained unspent by the end of December 2008.

In fact, the PC shut down two ongoing projects -- training of master trainers in Physics and strengthening of Taxila Institute of Asian Civilization -- for that reason.

It also stopped the Higher Education Commission (HEC) from providing more funds to QAU projects until it had used 90 per cent of the money already released.

In a stark warning to the university, the monitoring report says: "The PC will not consider any development project of the QAU until management capabilities of the university are improved and appropriate actions are taken on its recommendations."

The report was given to HEC which forwarded it to the Vice-Chancellor of the QAU.

In one of its observations, the report noted that although seven projects being implemented at the QAU cost more than Rs100 million each, none of them had an independent project director.

This issue was raised in last year's monitoring report of the PC but the university paid no heed to it. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) also recommends that big projects should have their own project director.

However, the monitors sent by PC this year found that the planning directorate of the QAU was still being looked after by an assistant registrar of BPS 17 and he was also project director of two mega projects with an approved cost of Rs1,100 million.

There is also lack of coordination and faulty flow of information between various departments of the Quaid-i-Azam University, which is rated one of the best public sector universities of the country.

The report also unearthed variance in cash balance as per balance books and bank statements as well as re-appropriation of funds without mandatory approval.

According to the report, the PC has asked the HEC to review all its projects being implemented at the QAU so that necessary measures can be taken for their timely implementation.

Taking special notice of the inordinate delay in implementation of the projects, the PC directed the HEC to have an overall review of tendency adopted by universities to appoint faculty and non-faculty members for the implementation of the projects and issue policy guidelines in this regard.

The PC recommended that the planning and development directorate of the Quaid-i-Azam University should be strengthened by taking all stakeholders on board. The university should not start any new civil works until the constructed buildings are occupied.

It is worth mentioning here that due to deep cuts imposed on development grants of the HEC during the current financial year, public sector universities have suffered a lot. But looking at this report, it seems money is not the only issue and universities are also responsible for delay in completion of their projects. Dawn

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NUML to hold job fair on 6th
Islamabad: National University of Modern Languages (NUML) Department of Management Sciences will organise a job fair for its students on May 06 inviting about 25 private sector companies and organisations in the event.

The job fair would be sponsored by embassy of Mexico, Gunj Glass and Shamoo Jee Carpets, faculty members of the Management Sciences told this agency.

Lecturer of MS department Syed Zaheer Abbas Kazmi who is actively involved in arranging the job fair said "this type of jobs fairs are very useful for capacity building of the students". Our aim is to familiarize students with the market requirements and provide them opportunity of getting jobs before completing their degrees, he added. He said during commencement of degree programs holding of such job fairs also furnish their interviewing skills and building their confidence so that they don't face these problems when they enter in the professional life.

Companies participating in the job fair will introduce themselves with the students conducting on the spot job interviews and offering jobs to those who are about to complete their degrees, he noted.

Companies to take part in the job fair include Serena Hotel, Mobilink Pakistan, Pak-Cement, Bank-Al-Falah, Skans School of Accountancy, Brightspyre, Coglinet Solutions and others. The News

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Hoax callers to school arrested
Islamabad: Police have arrested two persons on the charge of making hoax calls to an English medium school that terrorists were planning to blow up the institution sparking panic among students and their parents and forcing closure of several other private schools for two days.

One of the hoax callers turned out to be a lower division clerk at the Higher Education Commission while the other was a security guard at Froebel's International School.

Shortly after the administration of Froebel's International at Sector F-7/2 received the threat call, they informed the police and the Islamabad district administration, who put in place tight security arrangements around the school building and decided to close the institution for two days.

A police official said: "It was the worst hoax call he had ever dealt with. It created panic among hundreds of children and their parents and drove teachers into distress."

A police spokesman said taking strict notice of the threat call, SSP Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan had formed a police team comprising ASP Muntazar Mehdi, SHO Kohsar Inspector Ashraf Shah, Rahat Javed and Irshad Ali to trace the culprits and bring them to justice.

The police team started investigation and finally rounded up the culprits who were later identified as Zafar Ali Khan and Qasir Khan, both residents of Karak. A case has been registered against the culprits under the telegraph and anti-terrorist acts. An investigation has also been launched to ascertain the motive behind making the hoax calls.

A source close to the investigation revealed that the accused had said in their statements that they made the calls to enjoy the April fool's day.

Meanwhile, thieves and robbers struck at various places in the city and took away cash and valuables on Thursday, police said.

Mohammad Naseer Khan told Airport police that four gunmen entered his house and looted cash and gold ornaments worth Rs400,000. Mansoor Ahmed was deprived of Rs84,500 by thieves who broke into his house in the absence of his family in the RA Bazaar area. Mohammad Mukhtar Khan lodged a complaint with the Westridge police stating Rs20,000 cash, gold jewellery and a cellphone were stolen from his house. Dawn

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