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PU academic activities after turbulent week

Détente at Punjab University not in sight Lahore, May 21: Will the Punjab University will open and resume academic activities on Monday – after the turbulent last week that witnessed protests and strikes in the aftermath of IJT leader's murder and thrashing of university teachers on campus?

This is the question students are asking. A simple answer is that the classes may not resume.

However, the situation within Punjab University is not so simple. The PU Academic Staff Association was on strike last week and had urged (even threatened) the Punjab government, particularly Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to intervene and ensure security to university teachers. The ASA got no response. Only an 'eyewash' operation was conducted late on Thursday night in university hostels and over two dozen IJT activists were arrested. They all were released within a day and they celebrated their release at university Hostel no 1.

The PUASA executive body, which was hopeful of having a meeting with the chief minister and wanted to come up with solid assurances for their colleagues, will be going 'empty-handed' to the association's general body meeting scheduled for Monday (today) at 10am. "In the present situation, the executive body will seek its colleagues' opinion that what they should do next," says PUASA President Amer Sarwar. "Classes cannot be held on Monday, because all university faculty members will be in the general body meeting that may last two hours or more," he says.

On the other hand, the IJT – which is in direct confrontation with the PU administration and ASA, says the classes will resume on Monday (today) and they will go to take their classes.

IJT PU Nazim Rai Haq Nawaz is very critical of PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and says he is instrumental in boycotting classes through its "pocket association executive body." He says the VC is using association for his personal gains. "A majority of teachers wants to take classes and an overwhelming number of students are eager to join classes," he asserts and adds that academic process must resume on the campus. "We respect teachers and continue to do so."

Mr Nawaz says the Punjab government and the PU administration should listen to students' problems and play their visible role in arresting killers of student Awais Aqeel and security guard Imran. "We will continue to protest in a peaceful manner for the arrest of killers," he says.

Responding to PU Syndicate member Prof Dr Shaukat Ali's word of warning that "either the IJT or we will stay in the university," the IJT Nazim says the Jamaat would stay and the teachers should also stay and focus on teaching and research. "VC Prof Kamran should, however, go because in his tenure four people have been murdered and girls abducted from the university campus. Moreover, financial corruption worth Rs1.5 billion had been unearthed under Prof Kamran's administration and a final probe report was lying with the Punjab Assembly secretariat," he alleged.

PUASA President Amer Sarwar says the association is highly concerned about teachers' security and wants to ensure a sense of enabling environment for teaching and research. There is no concept of teaching without teachers.

The association general body meeting will discuss issues including Punjab government's response, continuation of protest, boycotting of classes and presence of IJT activists and outsiders in university hostels. Dawn

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IJT activists granted bail
Lahore: Judicial magistrate Rizwan Hanif Sheikh on Saturday confirmed bails of 11 Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists allegedly involved in attacking police and violating section 144 by holding protest on The Mall against the killing of an IJT activist.

It is pertinent to mention that the Lahore has issued orders not to hold any protest demonstrations on The Mall.

The court confirmed post-arrest bails of accused Hafiz Abul Majid, Muhammad Usman, Umar Mujahid, Irshad Khan, Zubair Awan, Rana Zikria, Hassan, Saad and three others.

The court granted bail to said accused on submission of surety bonds of Rs. 10,000 each in two cases registered in Islampura and Muslim Town police stations.

Two assailants, Abrar Watto and Imran Tarar, shot multiple fires at IJT Law College nazim Awais Aqeel.

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Plea for laptops for private students
Lahore: A writ petition has been moved in the Lahore High Court against ignoring students of private educational institutions in the laptop scheme.

The petition has been moved by a local lawyer who says that Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif launched a laptop distribution scheme but it had been restricted only to the students of public sector institutions while the students of private institution had been ignored altogether. He says that under the constitution all citizens enjoy equal status. He said this act of the Punjab government was discriminatory and violation of the constitution.

He prays to the court to direct the Punjab government to include the students of private institution in the scheme.

Police deployed outside PU: A police contingent remained deployed outside Punjab University (PU) Old Campus on Saturday. A clash had taken place between Islamia Jamiat Talaba (IJT) and police near Old Campus on Friday after police barred Jamiat activists from rallying towards Lahore High Court. A number of activists were also arrested on the occasion. The news

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Teachers and parents
Lahore: When 6th graders were asked what the biggest problems with Pakistan are, the first response was: "Dengue mosquito". Then other voices pointed the other important ones, "Electricity shortage, corruption, gas shortage…" and down the line came "terrorism".

Our curriculum right now simply does not address the last decade of history. How do parents and teachers feel about education our children on current affairs? Why are things they way they are?

"Children should be taught what is happening and they should be taught the different perspectives so they are aware of all aspects," said Rukhsi Hassan, mother of a boy in O levels.

"These things should be addressed in the curriculum and teachers should be sensitized, but it can't be done because teachers themselves might hold opinions that are different from what the curriculum might ask them to teach," said the Vice Principle of a renowned school in Rawalpindi, expressing her helplessness.

"I am teaching a curriculum which contradicts many of the things that are happening today and confuses the kids.

They notice the barricades and the security but how does it affect them? They can't go on a field trip like their older school fellows used to, so they think 'why did we have to live in such a time?' and they feel dejected. They want to get out of Pakistan because they think there is nothing left here and things are really bad," said Shahnaz Akhtar, teacher of Pakistan Studies. Dawn

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UVAS approves new degree programmes
Lahore: University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences (UVAS) Academic Council on Saturday approved the launch of new degree programmes including MBA Banking and Finance and BS (Hon) Food Nutrition & Dietetics.

The Academic Council's meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha also approved not to offer admissions to those graduates who had passed DVM from non-accredited institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Pasha said UVAS, the newly established university, had to face the severe financial crunch due to non-availability of funds from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) after the 18th Amendment. He hoped that the Punjab government would not leave alone the varsity and would facilitate it in the promotion of education.

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Distinction
Lahore: Moeez Riaz stood third in a student profession conference of Bits Pilani University held on Dubai campus under the auspices of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. Moeez of University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, presented four car designs, elastic potential energy car, solar energy car, wind power energy car and electric energy car in the ASME Student Design Competition and got third position.

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Distinction
Lahore: Three Pakistani students Shiza Gulab, Mahnoor Hassan and Bushra Shahed have represented Pakistan with an award-winning project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2012.

The world's largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a programme of Society for Science & the Public, announced its top winners in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shiza Gulab, Mahnoor Hassan and Bushra Shahed were the winners of a fourth place grand award in the animal sciences category and awarded $500.00 for their project entitled 'energy square for cattle.' Jack Andraka, 15, of Crownsville, the US, was awarded the first place for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer. The news

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Scholarships worth Rs3.5m distributed
Taxila: The scholarships worth Rs3.5 million were distributed among 525 children of Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) employees.

POF chief Lt-Gen Mohammad Ahsan Mehmood was the chief guest at the ceremony organised at a local hotel on Saturday.

The students of various medical and engineering colleges as well as religious institutions have clinched prominent positions in their respective disciplines.

They were awarded scholarships under nine different schemes launched by the POF administration to encourage them for their achievements and provide financial benefits to the employees.

In his address, Lt-Gen Ahsan Mahmood said that education was a panacea for all the problems being faced by the countrymen and only those nations could achieve glory which excelled in the field of education.

He said it was a blessing that Pakistan had great youth potential which should be exploited for the good of the country.

He said instead of spreading disappointment among the youth, the positive aspects and success stories of the country should be highlighted.

He said the scholarships distributed among the students were aimed at recognising their performance in the academic career.

He called on the recipients of the scholarships to work hard and bring good name to their parents, teachers, institutions and the country. Dawn

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Rescue 1122 trains KEMU students
Lahore: The Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 has conducted a three-day training workshop to impart training of Basic Life Support to the students of King Edward Medical University Lahore.

About 250 students were trained on initial assessment of patient, rescue breathing, treatment of foreign body airway obstruction, cardio pulmonary resuscitation and management of spinal injury patients. The training organised at KEMU auditorium by the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations was the sixth in series of the BLS courses for KEMU students.

The specially designed training course was conducted by the Community Training Wing of the service, and students were imparted hands-on training through practical exercises for the management of emergencies along with theoretical lectures. Medical students appreciated the expertise of Rescue Instructors who imparted training of lifesaving measures using mannequins.

Dr. Rizwan Naseer, Director General PES, appreciated the learning spirit of medical students for taking initiative and organising such a useful training of lifesaving skills. He expressed satisfaction that the emergency training initiated by the Rescue 1122 in the long neglected field of emergency management had now reached international standard within a short span of time and the service was conducting training for other organisations such as KEMU, Social Security Hospital, College of Dentistry and Motorway Police, LUMS, Lahore University and Girls Guide Association. The news

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