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Fatima Jinnah Medical College affiliation with PU

Court allows FJMC to retain PU affiliation
Lahore, May 12: A special division bench of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday restored the affiliation of the Fatima Jinnah Medical College (FJMC) with the Punjab University by setting aside a provincial government's notification under which the college was affiliated with the University of Health Sciences (UHS).

The bench comprising Chief Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan observed that the government had failed to provide any valid reason to justify the affiliation of a historical medical college with a small university in place of the Punjab University which was a historical institution.

Earlier, counsel of the PU, the UHS and FJMC students concluded their arguments along with an additional advocate general, who defended the provincial government. The UHS counsel pointed out that almost all major medical colleges of the country, including Allama Iqbal Medical College and Quaid-e-Azam Medical College, Bahawalpur, had already been affiliated with the UHS.

He said section 37 of the UHS Ordinance 2002, which dealt with affiliation of medical institutions, required every medical institution to be affiliated with the university unless there was any legal cover to an institution.

He said exemption from affiliation with the UHS earlier granted to the FJMC and the KEMC was temporarily, however, the King Edward Medical College was made university later. And the FJMC had to be affiliated to the UHS.

The law officer defending the government said the affiliation of the medical college was purely a policy matter and the government had to see different aspects with regard to upgrade of colleges.

He said two committees were formed by the government, which took the impugned decision after giving an opportunity of hearing to FJMC students.

The law officer said that the PU was only an examining authority and it even did not have a medical faculty.

The PU counsel pleaded that the government had failed to produce in the court minutes of meetings wherein decisions of FJMC's affiliation with the UHS and retaining its affiliation with the PU were taken.

He pointed out that neither the PU nor the FJMC were given any prior notice by the government and they failed to give reasons behind the government's decision.

The counsel for FJMC students said that the college was not given any hearing prior to the decision. He said a large number of foreign students studying in the historical medical college also expressed concern over its de-affiliation with the PU. The UHS also failed to produce required results, he said.

The government showed gender discrimination and did not give a status of university to the FJMC like the KEMU, the counsel added.

After hearing the arguments, the bench set aside the notification and allowed the Punjab University to retain the affiliation of the FJMC.

CJ seeks reply from AGP: The Lahore High Court Chief Justice, hearing a suo motu against shortage of judges in accountability courts of Rawalpindi and Lahore, sought a reply from the Attorney General of Pakistan.

Earlier, a Deputy Attorney General informed the court that in Rawalpindi accountability courts new judges had been appointed to the required strength while shortage of judicial officers in Lahore would be met soon.

The chief justice, however, expressed displeasure over the delay in appointment of judicial officers and directed the Attorney General to file a reply by May 18. The news

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Private institutes cherish independent status
Lahore: As the faculty and students of the Fatima Jinnah Medical College are jubilant at the Lahore High Court's decision to revoke their institution's affiliation with the University of Health Sciences, the private medical institutions are also feeling encouraged to "maintain their independent status".

The Punjab government a few months ago had notified affiliation of the FJMC with the UHS. The decision was taken in view of the fact that it is the only public-sector medical institution in Punjab which was not affiliated with the UHS, thus, providing a 'genuine' reason to the private institutions to resist affiliation with the varsity.

"The court's decision will encourage the private medical institutions to resist affiliation with the UHS in Punjab in future and even those already affiliated with it will seek de-affiliation," said a source in the provincial health department. He further said the government was contemplating to challenge the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.

Interestingly, the University College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD) which got affiliated with the UHS on the orders of the Punjab governor in March 2008 is still not allowing its students to appear in the UHS examinations.

The UCMD was established in early 2000 and had been functioning without getting affiliated with any public-sector university of the country till 2008. Under the UHS Ordinance section 37, "all the medical institutions operating within the geographical boundaries of Punjab shall be affiliated with the UHS." Thus the college's status was 'illegal'.

Before its affiliation with the UHS, the UCMD was the constituent college of the University of Lahore, a private-sector charter varsity, which was also conducting its examinations.

"The UCMD is conducting its exams in violation of the rules and thus the degrees it is issuing will not be recognised in Pakistan and abroad," an official of the UHS said. He said the World Health Organization had also declared that it would not recognise the degrees of the UMDC.

Like the FJMC, the UCMD did not want its affiliation with the UHS because it is said to have "strict examination system". Dawn

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PU faculty member blows the lid on 'corruption on campus'
Lahore: A senior faculty member of the Punjab University has made startling revelations regarding irregularities and favouritism on the part of two top officials of the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), who illegally granted grace marks to their "favourite" students and made them eligible for the PhD programme despite the fact that they had failed their MPhil exams.

In a five-page application to the PU vice chancellor, former coordinator of the ICS examination committee and assistant professor, Dr Afirah Hamid Ali has sought action against Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Dean Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh and Institute of Communication Studies Director Dr Ahsan Naz, for jeopardising the historic institution and putting the credibility of their Masters, MPhil and PhD programmes at stake.

Illegal admission: Dr Afirah said that she had proof of every thing and will present the evidence at a proper time. In her application to PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, she alleged that Dr Ahsan had illegally re-admitted a student, Abu Bakar of MA Replica Journalism, who had been suspended by the ICS Admission Committee for a year in 2008. She said Abu Bakar had been suspended, as another student Rab Nawaz Mehdi was found taking an examination in his place.

She said he was supposed to rejoin university a year later, which he did not, citing "medical reasons", and was hence dropped from the programme. Dr Afirah alleged that Dr Ahsan also sought her signature on the re-admission documents, which she signed as she was in a hurry and because Dr Ahsan had told her they were just routine documents. Dr Afirah said she had demanded an inquiry and had resigned as the examination coordinator after this.

Replacement: Another issue that she highlighted was that Dr Mughees had replaced the original result sheet of MA Mass Communication exams, submitted by an external examiner Dr Shaista Nuzhar (deputy information secretary), with a fake one. She said Dr Shaista had confirmed that the signatures on the mark sheet were forged. She disclosed that an inquiry had been conducted into this criminal act by a faculty member Dr Amin Ather, director of the School of Biochemistry but to no avail. A PU faculty member said that Dr Amin is notorious for covering up illegalities of pro-Islami Jamiat Taliba teachers and demanded PU Chancellor Salmaan Taseer restrict the VC from assigning further inquiries to Dr Amin, and initiate an inquiry against him.

Special exam: Dr Afirah also highlighted that Dr Mughees, using his position as the ICS director, had illegally arranged a "special exam" for two of his favourite junior colleagues, Shafique Kamboh and Naveed Iqbal, who had failed their MPhil exam and received 11 and 12 marks, respectively. She said after the "special exam", the students were granted 45 and 40 marks. Dr Afirah informed that an inquiry into the matter had been conducted and its report is still awaited, however, the two candidates were granted admission to the PhD programme. She asked the VC how the admissions were possible when the inquiry report's results had not been released yet.

Illegal admissions: Another major issue that Dr Afirah brought up was that Dr Ahsan Naz had illegally formed a committee to grant admissions to certain students in the MPhil programme. She said an inquiry was conducted into the matter and the inquiry head, Dr Ross Masood, had declared the department's MPhil admissions illegal.

Dr Amin Ather said he had released the report of the inquiries that were assigned to him, adding he was gathering information on Abu Bakar's case and will release a report soon.

A senior faculty member said any action over Dr Afirah's application is unlikely and the government needs to intervene in the varsity's matters. He said the chancellor and Higher Education Commission should take notice of the issues and ask the VC why action had not been taken when corruption was highlighted. The faculty member said the chief justice of Pakistan should also take notice if the government is not interested in eliminating corruption from the university.

PU Additional Registrar Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir said that the VC had instructed to review Dr Afirah's application and conduct an inquiry. He said the inquiry officer will review the application according to the rules and regulations. Meanwhile, Dr Mughees said he is unaware of this application and will face the allegations in court. Daily times

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PU results
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) declared the results of various examinations on Tuesday. The exams are: BS Computer Science, First Year, Annual Examination 2009, BS Computer Science, Second Year, Annual Examination 2009, BS Computer Science, Third Year, Annual Examination 2009 and DMRD, Part-II, Supplementary Examination 2008 and Annual Examination 2009. Detailed results are available at the PU website www.pu.edu.pk. The news

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LACAS librarian dies of burns
Lahore: Ayesha, the Lahore College of Arts and Sciences (LACAS) librarian who sustained severe burns when a fire broke out at the college on Monday, died in hospital on Tuesday. Mukhtar, a sweeper, had earlier succumbed to his injuries. Ayesha's body has been handed over to her family. Daily times

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School guard injures four people
Lahore: Four persons, including two children, sustained bullet wounds when a security guard of a private company opened fire at Islampura on Tuesday.

Police said the accused identified as Shahid Maqsood of a security company was hired by a local school as a security guard. He had an exchange of harsh words with some boys and opened fire. As a result, Mrs Tariq and Azeem and two children Zeeshan and Shahbaz sustained injuries. The news

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Bus runs over schoolboy on Walton Road
Lahore: A 12-year-old schoolboy was crushed to death by a bus on the Walton Road on Tuesday.

The victim, Muhammad Attique, a resident of Model Colony, was riding his bicycle to school when a speeding bus bearing registration number LER-2487 hit him, resulting in his instant death. Residents of the area caught the bus driver and handed him over to police, but he was allegedly released after he bribed the arresting officers. On the other hand, police claim the bus driver had fled the scene.

Attique's body was handed over to his family without an autopsy. The residents of the area staged a protest against police for releasing the driver. They vandalised the bus, burnt tyres and blocked the road, which disrupted traffic. Police then baton charged the protesters to disperse them. Senior police officers were also on hand during the protests and tried to assure the demonstrators that action would be taken against the bus driver and the police officials who had released him. Daily times

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