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Higher education funds in budget 2012-13

Plan to raise funds for higher education in budget
Islamabad, May 19: The government has decided to earmark 4.1 per cent of the development budget for higher education in 2012-13, mostly for maintaining and rehabilitating the state-run universities in the country.

In absolute terms, the allocation for the Higher Education Commission will be Rs14.509 billion as against the revised estimate of Rs14 billion for the current fiscal year.

This means that higher education will get about a half billion rupees more in the new financial year, not for new higher scholarships but for non-development projects.

Official documents available showed that the HEC, which has shelved many projects because of paucity of funds, had sought Rs22 billion to complete its ongoing projects, particularly scholarship schemes for PhD students.

The HEC has not proposed any new scheme, but has earmarked an amount of Rs2.874 billion for stipend of students who are studying in various universities in Europe and the US.

The remaining Rs11.635 billion will be spent on improving infrastructure, acquiring new equipment and setting up new departments in public sector universities.

An amount of Rs625 million will be spent on PhD fellowships for 5,000 scholars, Rs1.494 billion on overseas scholarships for MS and MPhil leading to PhD in selected fields and Rs200 million on post-doctoral fellowship programme, an amount of Rs155
million overseas scholarship scheme for MS, M.Phil and Ph.D, Rs28.789 million for MS and M.Phil leading to Ph.D scholarships in engineering, natural and basic sciences, humanities and social sciences for teachers of weaker universities.

An amount of Rs350.42 million has been allocated for indigenous PhD fellowships for 5,000 scholars, HEC phase-II.

Balochistan is the only province where HEC's funding declined substantially and approximately a few million rupees were allocated for rehabilitation of seven to 10 state-owned universities and departments in the province.

Contrary to this, the federal capital will get funds for more than 17 departments, universities in the next year development budget; mostly to be spent on NUST and Comsats universities.

The second province to get low priority in higher education was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where only 20 universities or departments were provided nominal funds for rehabilitation and capacity strengthening.

Punjab left other provinces behind by allocating more funds for rehabilitation of more than 50 departments or universities, especially the universities in the constituency of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

More than 25 departments or universities have been allocated funds in Sindh, mostly for universities in Karachi. Dawn

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IIU starts admissions for fall semester
Islamabad: The International Islamic University (IIU) has started admissions for the Fall Semester and applications in this regard can be submitted by June 29. Details for admission tests are available on university's website and no other letter would be issued to students in this regard, said a circular issued by university administration.

According to circular the university has started its admissions in Faculties of Arabic, Basic and Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Management Sciences, Islamic Studies (Usool-ud-Deen), Language and Literature, Social Sciences, Shri'ah and Law and in the International Institute of Islamic Economics. Result awaiting students can also apply for bachelor and master's programmes but they have to submit their degrees by October, 30.

Admission would be rejected of those students who would fail in any paper or not get required marks. Admission form can be obtained from the university New Campus, Sector H-10, branches of Habib Bank, First Women Bank and Allied Bank in Islamabad and also can download the admission form from the university website www.iiu.edu.pk and post it to admission office IIU sector H-10 Islamabad.

There are 9 teaching faculties, 39 departments and 130 degree programmes. The university has the enrolment of over 22,000 students including 2200 doctorial and post-graduate students from more than 50 countries.

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Workshop held at IIU
Islamabad: A workshop was organised by the Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) of the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIU), at the Central Library of the New Campus of the university here on Thursday, says a press release.

Air Commodore Engineer Muhammad Ismail, Director Quality Assurance (QA), National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was the resource person of the workshop.

The workshop was presided by Professor Dr Sahibzada Sajid-Ur-Rehman, Acting President IIU whereas Professor Dr. Muhammad Riaz, Director QEC, IIUI and other faculty members of IIUI attended the workshop.

Dr. Sajid-ur-Rehman said that after this workshop all assessment team members will be aware how to identify weaknesses in current academic programmes. He thanked Higher Education Commission (HEC) to accelerate the quality improvement process of education in the country. He appreciated the role of QEC to fill the gap between HEC policies for academic programs and IIU Policy. The news

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FDE chief sent packing
Islamabad: Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) on Friday discontinued the services of Atif Mehmood Kayani, director general, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).

The removal came after a three-judge Supreme Court bench observed that in the presence of highly qualified persons, a bachelor degree holder that too in a third division was managing the affairs of the most important organisation that looked after all the educational institutions of the capital.

Following the Supreme Court observation the secretary CADD Imtiaz Inayat Elahi assured the Supreme Court that a qualified officer would soon replace Atif Mehmood Kayani.

The three-judge bench comprised Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain.

Joint Secretry CADD Rafique Tahir confirmed that a notification in this regard had been issued. However, he said, Atif Mehmood Kayani will continue to work as Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) chairman.

New DG FDE will be appointed on Monday, he said.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed: "This is the height of incompetence and maladministration that a person who had a third degree in BA and also had a partnership in private schools had been appointed as DG of the FDE,"

The court was hearing a petition of Shahnaz A Riaz, a PhD who had questioned the appointment of Atif Kayani arguing that despite an earlier decision in her favour she was being sidelined and not being considered for the post. Atif Kayani was appointed the DG in May 2011.

Secretary Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Imtiaz Inayat Elahi however assured the court that due process would be initiated to appoint a qualified person and a summary, in this regard would soon be sent to the prime minister.

The summary will also contain the name of petitioner Shahnaz Riaz.

However, the fact was disputed by the petitioner who argued that the recommendations for the appointment of DG-FDE were never sent to the prime minister rather a senior officer from the directorate was appointed at the top slot.

At this the chief justice observed that the court would examine the appointment process and postponed the proceedings for ten days to enable the secretary to complete the job.

This court has the authority to look into any order given in violation of the law even if by the prime minister, Justice Khawaja emphasized adding all the institutions, including the judiciary and the prime minister, were subservient to the law.

"This shows how much importance we are giving to the education, at least a competent and suitable person should have been appointed in the FDE," the chief justice observed lamenting that the future of the children were being put at stake.

Imtiaz Elahi however claimed that Shahnaz Riaz who had also served as the DG-FDE in 2010 was removed from the post because of poor administration.

When the court inquired as to how Atif Kayani was handed out the lucrative post, the secretary replied that under the rules he had the authority to employ any person for the post of DG on temporary basis.

At this Justice Khawaja though admitted that the secretary CADD can appoint a DG-FDE for three months on a temporary basis and then can even grant extension for the same period but the ultimate authority to appoint on permanent basis vests with the prime minister only. (Ikram Junaidi also contributed to this story). Dawn

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AIOU to host annual moot of Asian open universities
Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will host the Asian Association of Open Universities Annual Conference 2013 to strengthen regional cooperation to fight illiteracy and ensure quality education through distance-learning and e-learning systems.

Addressing the 25th Meeting of Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR), AIOU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi said that necessary preparations for this purpose were already underway.

He said that the AIOU will promote research work at higher education level for resolving community-based problems and national issues like energy crisis, illiteracy and unemployment.He said that university students, while doing research work, must concentrate on socio-economic problems faced by the country. They should lend a helping hand to the government and relevant institutions to resolve issues of national importance.

"There is a need for bringing about necessary amendments in ongoing research methods to meet contemporary needs. We must promote productive and creative research work in universities so that it could be beneficial for formulating policies of public importance, he asserted.

More than 60 research papers and proposals of MPhil and PhD level offered by AIOU's faculties were presented in the board's meeting for consideration.

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Mass Communication Festival held at NUML
Islamabad: The 'Mass Communication Festival 2012' was held at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) here on Friday, says a press release.

Faces were glowing with shining bliss, the hall was echoing with cackles of students, feet were thumping on the beat of the music and course-clapping was thrown to appreciate amateur singers, performers and producers. This was the mood of gathering in the festival.

"We always encourage students to participate in extra-curricular activities as it helps them in enhancing their communication skills. It will ultimately help them in becoming better professionals in future," said the coordinator of the event, Babar Iqbal.

Irum Shehzadi of the 4th Semester said: "Students of Mass Communication always want expression of their skills, talents and abilities. When your department and university care to patronise these needs, it always help us to streamline our hidden and unexposed abilities and learn what as a student of media would suit us best in practical life. I am sure this tradition will go a long way and help us in future."

From decoration of the hall to arrangements from singing to acting, from radio features to documentaries, and paintings to showcasing of magazines, everything was done in a skilful and artistic manner. It would be no exaggeration if one says that they put their ideas into practice in a journalistic way.

The skits by Haseeb and his team and Azhar Sumra and his team were the feature of the festival. Documentaries titled 'Meri Zaat Zara-e-Benishan' and 'Puppets never Die' were greatly appreciated by the audience.

The festival was attended by NUML Rector Major General (r) Masood Hasan and Director General Brigadier Azam Jamal.

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Graduation ceremony of Roots held
Islamabad: The Roots School System (RSS), Montessori Section, Satellite Town, held its 'Annual Graduation Ceremony' at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) here on Thursday evening.

Ambassador of Argentina to Pakistan Rodolfo J. Martin-Saravia and Ambassador of Ukraine to Pakistan Volodynyr Lakomov were present on the occasion.

Students of the RSS showcased stunning performances on the theme of 'Rhythm of Life'.

Roots School System Executive Director Walid Mushtaq said that students would achieve their goals if they remain motivated in the classroom.

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Protest against funfair on UoP campus
Peshawar: Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba (IJT) activists on Friday staged a demonstration against holding of a funfair at the Psychology Department of the University of Peshawar and termed it a bid to promote vulgarity. The news

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