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HEC budget | Summer vacations

HEC likely to get Rs48.5 billion in budget
Islamabad, May 31: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is likely to receive an allocation of Rs48.5 billion in the annual budget for the next fiscal year 2012-2013 compared to Rs26 billion received in the current fiscal year 2011-2012.

Credible sources in the HEC told 'The News' here Wednesday, that out of the total allocation being made in the budget for next fiscal year, an amount of Rs15.8 billion has been earmarked for developmental schemes to be carried out under PSDP. According to the plan chalked out by the HEC, only 14 new projects of high nature have been included in the over all programme for the next fiscal year. While 149 ongoing mega schemes have been put in the development works lists during the year 2012-2013. Though works were initiated on 149 development schemes by HEC during the current year, but could not be completed only due to non-payment of the allocated funds in the last year's budget under PSDP by the federal government. Though government had allocated development funds worth Rs14 billion to HEC in the current year, but the total funds of the allocated amount were not released, marring developmental works, which otherwise were to be completed by June, 2012.

Among the total development funds of Rs15.8 to be allocated this year, major share of the amount would be earmarked for indigenous scholarships to be awarded to students, who are also sent abroad for studies. Giving details of the major projects to be carried on during next fiscal year, the official sources told that over 5,000 scholars would benefited under PhD scholarship scheme and a sum of Rs625 million has been earmarked for this purpose in the next fiscal year. Similarly, Rs645 million would be spent on indigenous scholarship programme. For House Job Scholarship plan, an amount of Rs200 million would be sanctioned. For improvement of infrastructure of universities in Pakistan, a sizeable amount has been allocated in the next fiscal year. For the improvement and revamping of Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Rs100 million would be spent, whereas Rs78 million would be granted to State Technology Institute and for Karakoram University Rs34 million would be earmarked during the next fiscal year.

Similarly, according to sources, the HEC had demanded a total allocation of Rs58.5 billion for the next fiscal year from the government however, Rs10 billion less is being allocated against the demand. During the current fiscal year, HEC is facing a shortfall of Rs14 billion amount, which has yet not been released by the government despite allocation in the budget for the year 2011-2012. Due to deficit of Rs14 billion, the HEC has been unable to pay the emoluments to the employees according to 15 per cent raise made in salaries during the year 2011-2012. Over 85 thousand employees have been affected due to insufficient funds provided in the annual budget for the year 2011-2012. They even protested for their right but till now no positive outcome has been achieved till this period. Moreover, the government had during a conference assured the HEC for provision of amount of Rs2.5 billion in April, but even this has not been released. When HEC authorities demand off the government for clearing the dues to this department enabling it to clear up the liabilities of the employees, ministry of finance comes with an excuse of shortage of funds.

HEC spokesman when approached for comments confirmed all information provided by the official sources to this correspondent.

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Parents want early summer vacation
Islamabad: The parents of students of federal government and private academic institutions have demanded of the government to announce early summer vacation in view of start of severe heat wave in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

They pointed out that a number of students have been suffering from heat-related diseases, including high fever and severe headache.

According to a survey, the problem is more critical for students who travel in pick and drop vans.

Sources said that the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has already sent a summary to the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division to start summer vacation in federal government schools and colleges from June 22, but the final decision is yet to be taken. "How children will spend these three weeks," one of the parents said.

The problem of frequent outages of electricity had also added to the miseries of students and teaching staff whereas the shortage of water is also another big problem. In a number of schools, even drinking water is not available.

It may be pointed out here that the maximum temperature in Islamabad remains 40+ degrees centigrade during the last three weeks of May and according to forecast of the Meteorological Office, there would be no let up in heat wave during next four days.

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9th class student commits suicide
Islamabad: A ninth class student Wednesday committed suicide by shooting himself in his house at Sohan after being scolded by his family members for not going to school, police said.

Police, quoting the statement of Safdar Ali, resident of House no. 4, Street 1, Old Street, Sohan, said that his son, Khursheed Ali, a 9th class student, had not been going to school for the last two days. When his family members rebuked him, Khursheed Ali somehow managed to get the pistol of his father and committed suicide after shooting himself in his chest.

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Student's suicide: FIR registered against Abbottabad school admin
Abbottabad: The police on Wednesday registered the first information report (FIR) against the principal, a schoolteacher and owner of the Pakistan International Public School and College, Abbottabad, after a student of the institute committed suicide in protest against alleged harsh attitude of the school administration two days ago.

Sources said the police were conducting raids to arrest the principal Brigadier (r) Ihsanullah, schoolteacher Sohrab Khan Jadoon and owner of the school Brigadier (r) Ijaz Akbar.The 12-year old student, Abdul Mubeen, who was enrolled in grade 7 in the school, committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence. A letter found in his pocket revealed that he took the extreme step due to the attitude of schoolteacher Sohrab Khan Jadoon. District Police Officer (DPO) Karim Khan said the accused would soon be held to stand trial.Meanwhile, on the directive of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, commissioner of Hazara division will submit the inquiry report on the incident within a week. The news

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Numl cancels exams as students protest
Islamabad: Students of National University of Modern Languages (Numl), Islamabad continued their protest on Wednesday, forcing the management to cancel the master level examinations in five subjects.

However, the management claims that they have revisited the policy and most of the students will be allowed to participate in the exams.

Earlier, tension in the university mounted when 500 students came to the campus on Wednesday morning and stopped the Numl buses
from moving out of the campus and started chanting slogans against the management.

Exams in International Relation, Mass Communication, Education, Economics and Pakistan Studies were to be started but the protesting students did not allow anyone to sit the exams.

Management tried to keep the students away from the examination centres and had to call the police but in the end decided to cancel the exams. Protesters continued their protest till evening.

On Tuesday, Numl management introduced a new policy making 70 per cent attendance mandatory for participation in the examination.

Over 300 students were asked that they could not sit the examinations beginning from Wednesday as their attendance was less than 70 per cent.

The new rule took the students by surprise and they constituted a delegation which met the university Rector Maj Gen (retired) Masood Hasan in a bid to convince him to implement the new policy from next session but he refused to entertain their request. Later, the students gathered outside the management block and started chanting slogans against the management and the new policy. They also blocked the transport of the university.

Some students said that in the past the students having overall 70 per cent attendance were allowed to sit the examination but now the management had changed it making 70 per cent attendance in each subject mandatory. A teacher of the university on condition of anonymity said: "Even teachers were not aware of the new policy otherwise they would have made the students to attend all the classes."

The Numl spokesman, Malik Amir said during orientation ceremony in February this year, all the students had been informed about the new policy.

On the other hand the students contested the management's claim saying if they had informed the students in orientation ceremony then why they had been allowed to sit the midterm exams.

A student said: "It seems some elements in the management are trying to tease the students and want to tarnish the image of the university".

A student who has come to give exam said that because of irresponsible behavior of the management, the students having 70 per cent attendance were also being affected.

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QAU students, management reach accord
Islamabad: Tension between the students and the management of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) that began on April 27 finally came to an end on Wednesday after the former accepted all their demands including the readmission of 11 expelled students.

Appreciating the decision of the management, students and faculty members expressed the hope that it would pave the way for creating a healthy environment in the university.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, the tension between the two reached at its peak when the management announced to seal the hostel and later called police. Students alleged that the police arrested 12 students from the hunger strike camp and shifted them to the police station, but released them later on.

However, the things began to calm down when Vice-Chancellor Masoom Yasinzai, in goodwill gesture, went to the camp of hunger strikers at 12noon and announced that he was ready to accept all their demands and invited them to send a delegation to his office, an official of the university said.

He said a students' delegation went to the office of the VC, where faculty members were also present and they resolved all the issues amicably. The student leaders expressed the hope that the management would fulfill their promises. VC Masoom Yasinzai said that as the matter had been resolved the MS and BS classes would start from Thursday. He said students were like his children and he did not want any clash with them. Dawn

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'Own-a-School' plan to be inaugurated today
Islamabad: The government has commenced 'Own Islamabad Initiative' to make the federal capital a model metropolis and is pursuing a proactive approach for the development of the city and provision of quality services to the residents. To begin with, 'Own-a-School' programme has been given practical shape, which will be inaugurated on Thursday.

Prime Minister's Chief Coordinator on Islamabad Affairs Faisal Sakhi Butt while addressing students and faculty of the Preston University on Wednesday apprised that as a part of his agenda to transform the facilities in Islamabad as a resident of the city, the first three schools in the rural areas of Islamabad have been upgraded into model schools through physical renovation, academic invigoration and improved educational quality for the unprivileged children as a pilot project. He would invite the affluent citizens to own their fabulous city and their fellow citizens by sharing the responsibility of government towards the development and better upkeep of the city of Islamabad.

Faisal Sakhi Butt said that the federal capital lacks basic facilities even after the laps of more than 5 decades. The news

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