Fund shortage: 4,000 HEC scholarships put on hold
HEC yet to receive total amount of development budget
Islamabad, May 28: Over 4,000 scholarships approved by the
Higher Education Commission (HEC) have been delayed due to non-release
of funds amounting to Rs13.82 billion.
Besides, not only over 150 development projects of the commission
remain unfinished but their cost has also gone up due to the delay.
According to sources, in August 2011 the revised funds allocated for
the HEC stood at Rs48 billion (31.5 billion non-development and Rs16.5
billion development), but so far only 77.5 per cent of the
non-development (Rs24.41billion) and 58.95 per cent of the development
(Rs9.76 billion) budget have been released.
An official of the HEC requesting not to be quoted said: "The
development grant caters to the core strategic areas of access, quality
and research of higher education sector. The infrastructure, human
resource development, research lab facilities etc., are the key drives in the move toward the objective. It can really
affect the enrollment rate which is still 7 per cent in the country. The
overall expenditure on higher education is 11 per cent in Pakistan
though according to Unesco and international standard, 25 per cent of
the total education budget may be spent on higher education."
The official said lack of essential research facilities, particularly
lab, library and hostel, was the key barrier for the students,
researchers and faculties. The PSDP portfolio of HEC has been
encountering the challenges of higher education sector. But reduced
allocation, non-inclusion of new schemes and non-release of development
grant on time has severely affected the execution of the projects, he
Another official said more than 150 development projects had been
affected and due to the delay in their completion, the costs have also
"The ongoing academic programmes are at stake due to unavailability
of funds. More than 4,000 PhD scholarships have also been delayed for
six months," he said.
The scholarships were of various disciplines, including social
sciences, engineering, medical, natural sciences, arts etc., and the
students have been waiting for funds to continue their studies. Majority
of them have been studying in foreign countries but some are also stuck
in Pakistan as their fees could not be paid, he said.
"The requirements to enhance access to rural communities and support
the weaker institutions are not met due to non-execution of new
projects. Eight newly-established universities, including Hazara
University, Swat University, Saheed Benazir Bhutto University and
Shringal University in Upper Dir, have not been awarded even a single
development project, he added.
According to sources, seven newly-established sub-campuses in the
far-off areas also required immediate support to take off their academic
activities. Most of the 67 schemes proposed by the HEC in the budget
plan for financial year 2011-12 were not allowed. The HEC proposed
Rs16.50 billion for fiscal year 2011-12 against which Rs14.00 billion
were allocated. However, the case of additional Rs2.50 billion was also
taken up which is yet to be materialised.
They said the government was not giving any preference to the
education sector due to which the fourth quarter of the current fiscal
year has almost passed without release of any grant.
An official said the quality initiative of hiring new Tenure Track
Faculty would have to be put on hold. In order to meet the growing
needs, indigenous scholarships (500 additional) from the newly-approved
schemes till September 2012 require around Rs350 million during the
fiscal year 2012-13. However, no fiscal space on development side is
available to accommodate this requirement, he said.
Adviser to HEC Dr Riaz Qureshi said that they had
been in touch with both the Planning Commission and the Ministry of
Finance. "They have assured us that despite the financial crunch some
amount will be released soon," he said.
Chairman Vice Chancellors Committee Imtiaz Gilani said a few days
back he had a meeting with parliamentarians in Lahore and tried to
convince them to ensure release of funds forhigher education.
Chairman National Committee on Development of Social Sciences Dr
Nizamuddin said the finance ministry had promised that funds would be
released soon. If the funds are not released within a few days, we will
consider our future strategy, he added.
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College teachers criticise 'pick & choose' upgradation policy
Islamabad: College teachers working at different institutes under Federal Directorate of
Education (FDE) have expressed reservations over 'pick and choose'
policy in the upgradation of their scales.
The decision of
upgradation of the teachers was announced in 2010. Only school teachers
have been upgraded so far while around 700 teachers of federal
government institutions and 1,300 from model set-ups are still waiting
According to the college teachers, the
officials of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) in
the recently held 'Thanksgiving Ceremony' only invited the teachers from
model colleges and federal government institutions, ignoring the
college teachers and their representative body.
APP, Federal Government College Teachers Association (FGCTA) President
Professor Zahid Ali Shah said, "When the school teachers were
celebrating their upgradation at the Convention Centre, the college
teachers were kept far away and treated like step children."
General Secretary Professor Tahir Mahmood said, "According to the
directive issued by the Prime Minister Secretariat regarding upgradation
of teachers on February 17, the relevant department is adopting a pick
and choose policy.
"School teachers under the FDE were
upgraded whereas college teachers are still waiting for the upgradation
which was announced simultaneously for all teachers on 8 November 2010,"
The Time Scale Formula for promotion was approved but not being implemented in its true spirit, he said.
authorities concerned at AGPR are helpless in understanding the chaotic
situation created by the Education Wing of CADD and the Finance
Division by notifying 'upgradation through Time Scale' the term which
does not even exit in financial and audit rules administering the whole
official routine in the country, he lamented.
Vice President Professor Khalida Makhdoom and Vice President Professor
Yasmeen Bokhari claimed that Minister for CADD Nazar Muhammad Gondal,
during his meeting with the office-bearers of FGCTA in his office on May
21 invited them to the ceremony and asked them to bring the college
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Re-arrangement of FSc Chemistry paper demanded
Islamabad: The students of FSc Part-I taking examination under the Federal Board of
Intermediate and Secondary Educational (FBISE) have expressed grave
concerns over out of syllabus Chemistry paper.
talking to INP they said that some questions of the Chemistry paper were
out of the syllabus, which could seriously affect their grades as
science students have to get higher marks to get admission in medical
and engineering colleges.
They complained that out of
syllabus questions are becoming a routine as some parts of questions of
biology paper were also out of course.
Parents and students demanded of FBISE chairperson to take notice of the matter and re-arrange Chemistry paper.
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ICU syndicate approves promotion of 56 teachers
Peshawar: The syndicate of the Islamia College University has approved promotion
of 56 teachers of the Islamia Collegiate School to next grade and
removed several heads of different departments and administrative
officers on various charges.
The decisions were taken
in a recent meeting of the body with acting vice-chancellor Prof Dr
Haider Shah in the chair. The meeting was attended by 14 out of total 19
members of the body. The meeting took some drastic decisions. It
approved promotion of the teachers of Islamia Collegiate School, which
had been pending for the last two years. Some 56 teachers were promoted
to the next grade. As many as 31 teachers were promoted from BS 16 to
17. Seventeen teachers were promoted from BS 17 to BS 18 and six
teachers went to BS 19 from BS 18, sources informed.
meeting also removed chairman of the Department of Urdu Prof Dr Javed
Badshah on the charges of plagiarism against him. The meeting decided
that further action would be taken against him after the Higher
Education Commission's decision in his case, the sources said. The
additional charge of chairman of the department was assigned to Prof Dr
Abdul Salam Khalis, dean faculty of languages and literature.
meeting removed Prof Dr Shazia Naeem as chairperson Physics Department
on the charges of having fake degree on the basis of which she had
attained promotion. Prof Dr Sakhi Jan was made chairman of the
department in her place, the sources further added.
deputation of two officials of the university was not extended. They
included former controller examination Javed Khan and Farid Khan.
Sikandar Khan, director works and services, was made officer on special
duty (OSD), allegedly on the charges of financial corruption against
him. Separate inquiries were ordered in all these cases, the sources
Prof Dr Naeem Khalid, a member of the body, who did
not attend the meeting terming it illegal and violation of the court
order. When contacted, he said that the court of Civil Judge Sohail
had stayed the meeting. He said he was going to file a contempt suit
against those who violated the court orders.
He was of
the opinion that the meeting was illegal. He said the vice-chancellor
had tendered resignation from his office in a meeting of the senate held
on April 27. "How come a resigned vice-chancellor is chairing such an
important meeting?" he asked.
Prof Dr Naeem Khalid
remarked that the vice-chancellor himself had signed the minutes of the
senate in which it had been clearly mentioned that he had resigned from
It worth mentioning here that the high court
had stayed the proceedings of the senate meeting held at the Governor's
House on April 27, restraining the vice-chancellor from implementing the
decisions taken therein.
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Blood donation camp held at IIU
Islamabad: The Pakistan Thalassaemia Welfare Society held a blood donation camp for
thalassaemia patients at the women's campus of the International Islamic
University (IIU) The camp was organised in collaboration with students
of the IIU Centre of Media and Communication. Director of Women Campus
(IIU) Dr. Zaitoon Begum speaking on the occasion said that it was the
moral and religious obligation of every Muslim to contribute in all
possible ways to save precious lives of his or her brothers and sisters.
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Pakistani scientist wins accolades in top international university
Islamabad: Dr. Zaheer Uddin Babar, head of Pharmacy Practice at the School of
Pharmacy, University of Auckland, has been awarded the prestigious
'Early Career Research Excellence Award' from the University of
While conferring the award on Dr. Zaheer, the
vice chancellor of Auckland University, Professor Stuart N. McCutcheon,
praised Dr. Zaheer for his commitment to research and for making his
work available to practitioners and others interested through
publications in journals of international repute as well as writing in
Dr. Zaheer has PhD in pharmaceutical policy and
a master's degree in social pharmacy. He has taken keen interest in the
pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan and has many research studies dealing
with issues of medicines process, pharmacy education, regulatory
control and management of pharmaceutical sector in the country. He
visits Pakistan frequently and delivers lectures at universities around
Dr. Zaheer has extensive work experience in
Asia-Pacific countries, especially in New Zealand, Malaysia and
Pakistan. His research areas are access to medicines, medicines pricing,
generic medicines, mapping pharmaceutical situation and the broader
issues related to pharmaceutical and health policy.
has active research linkages with leading universities in Australia,
Europe and in the Asia-Pacific Region. He has worked with World Health
Organisation on medicines pricing issues and has published over 50
scientific research papers in leading international journals.
has also acted as a consultant to Health Action International,
International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and
Pharmaceutical Management Agency of New Zealand. Dr. Zaheer is also the
founding editor of a peer-reviewed medicines policy journal 'Southern
Med Review.' Dr. Zaheer's services abroad have brought a good name for
Pakistan. It is hoped that his work will be shared extensively within
the country and will be used in improvement of the pharmaceutical sector
and betterment of its consumers.
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NUST rewards winners of Microsoft Imagine Cup
Islamabad: To recognise meritorious efforts of its winning team at Microsoft Imagine
Cup, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) held an award
giving ceremony at its main campus here on Monday. NUST Rector Engineer
Muhammad Asghar graced the occasion as the chief guest.
award of Rs5000 was given to each member of the winning team namely
Celoks comprising Qasim Ikram, Salman Mazhar, Usman Bin Wahid and
Muhammad Azeem from NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer
Science. The team's project SEED was about donating leftover food to the
needy through Windows Phone Application.
As many as
11,000 students from different universities of Pakistan actively
participated in the contest. It was the first time in the history of
this competition that a team from NUST had won the national final of
Microsoft Imagine Cup and was to represent Pakistan at worldwide finals.
Marking its tenth year, Microsoft is now going to hold the Worldwide
Finals of the Imagine Cup in Sydney, Australia early July.
principal speaking to the audience, highlighted the collaboration
between Microsoft and NUST over past few years by explicating how it had
been nourished to bring mutual assistance for greater benefits of
While speaking at the occasion, NUST Rector
Engineer Muhammad Asghar commended the remarkable performance of the
winning team. He also paid a rich tribute to Shabbir Khan, the faculty
advisor for the team Celoks, for altruistic endeavours and continuous
support he offered for the team. NUST rector cajoled the team members
into making a result-oriented as well as a compatible plan with NUST
Community Service towards poverty alleviation. He urged the winning team
to further maintain the tempo and bring international acclaim to NUST
by winning the worldwide finals to be held in Australia. Engineer
Muhammad Asghar stressed that universities should realise their
responsibilities towards building knowledge-based economy.
Imagine is the world's premier student technology competition that aims
at bringing together the young technologists from across the globe who
come up with projects/solutions helpful in resolving both the present
and impending challenges of unprecedented nature. The news
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