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PU boycott, faculty divided

PU faculty divided over boycott
Lahore, May 22: A clear divide among the Punjab University (PU) faculty emerged on Monday with some teachers opposing the ongoing academic boycott by teachers while others wanted to extend the same until May 24.

The PU Academic Staff Association (ASA) on Monday announced to continue observing the academic boycott against hooliganism by the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) on campus till May 24 (Thursday).

The decision was made through a resolution unanimously passed in the ASA's general body meeting held at the PU.However, according to a press statement, the PU Academic Group, criticising the ASA for continuing the academic boycott at the varsity, expressed concerns over the boycott.

The Academic Group's executive council also met on the New Campus and maintained that the ASA was not just causing the academic loss to students but also disrupting peaceful environment of the university by toeing the line of the PU administration.

The ASA meeting was followed by a protest rally in which the faculty condemned the student organisation for misbehaving with teachers and interfering in affairs of the university. They were carrying placards and banners.

The PUASA demanded the Punjab government to depoliticise the university campus on a permanent basis and ensure their safety. Earlier, the ASA president informed the meeting that the elements involved in manhandling the PU teachers were arrested during an operation at the university hostel by police a couple of days back.

The meeting was also informed that the Punjab government had formed a three member committee, comprising Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, MPA and member PU syndicate Khawaja Imran Nazeer and the Lahore CCPO. It was decided that the PUASA's general body would meet on May 24 to decide the future plan of action.

The Academic Group also expressing concern over the abrupt departure of PU Vice-Chancellor Mujahid Kamran to the United Kingdom and maintained that the VC's absence at a time, when the university was passing through a tough, time was mysterious.

It also demanded the chief minister take notice of frequent closure of the university during tenure of the incumbent VC.However, a PU official, seeking anonymity, said most of the members of the Academic Group were pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and were following its direction to promote Jamiat at the campus.

Meanwhile, the IJT activists also staged a demonstration on Monday on the Canal Road near the PU New Campus to protest against the Punjab government's failure to nab the killers of one of its activists, Awais Aqeel. They also criticised the PU VC and ASA for denying education to students by observing academic boycott.

The IJT activists criticised the Punjab government and police and said that delay in nabbing the killers of Awais Aqeel was a proof of the government's inefficiency. They also demanded removal of the PU VC and held a protest sit-in after the demo.

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Teachers sit-in on 25th
Lahore: The Muttahida Mahaz Asataza Punjab (MMAP) will organise a protest sit-in in front of the Chief Minister Secretariat on May 25 to press the government for its demands of increase in salaries, upgrade of posts and timescale promotions.

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GCU quiz
Lahore: Government College University's All Pakistan Inter-University Quiz Competition 2012 with a title "GCU Brain of Pakistan" concluded on Monday. About 37 universities from across the country took part in the quiz contest organised by GCU Ravians Quiz Society, and the title was won by Agriculture University Faisalabad (UAF). Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad secured second position while University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore stood third.

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HEC stops work on 152 projects over non-release of funds
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has completed only 23 projects out of the total 175 initiated in the current fiscal year 2011-2012 due to non-release of development funds.

Credible sources said here on Monday that work on the remaining 152 projects was started, but it remained incomplete due to non-release of total development funds under the PSDP.

According to sources, an amount of Rs16 billion was allocated for the HEC under the PSDP for development schemes out of the total Rs22 billion budget provided by the federal government during the current fiscal year. Though huge funds for development purposes, worth Rs16 billion, were allocated, but only Rs9.2 billion were released to the HEC during the current fiscal year. Similarly, the government had allocated an amount of Rs4.6 billion in the recurring budget to the HEC, which till to date has not been released. The government also failed to release the supplementary budget of Rs2.6 billion during the current fiscal year.

Sources said that the HEC faced problems in meeting its expenses and the amount of its liabilities has touched Rs4.6 billion to be paid to different firms. The HEC had proposed to the federal government for an allocation of Rs32 billion during the current fiscal year. However it received Rs10 billion less out of the total demand for the fiscal year 2011-2012.

For the next fiscal year, according to sources, the HEC has asked the government for an allocation of Rs38 billion. However, according to information gathered from different quarters, the government has decided to give only Rs28 billion to the HEC in the next fiscal year.

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Dr Irfan appointed acting VC of AAUR
Rawalpindi: Professor Dr. Irfan-ul-Haq, Dean, Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences and senior most professor of the university, has been appointed as acting Vice Chancellor of Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.

Professor Dr. Irfan carries a remarkable academic career throughout his education.He got Doctorate Degree in Plant Pathology from University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA. He was also awarded Merit Scholarship in his academic career and obtained FAO Fellowship for PhD.

Dr. Irfan is also Dean of Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences, President of Academic Staff Association, PMAS-AAUR and senior tutor of the university. He joined PMAS-AAUR in 1999 as Associate Professor Department of Plant Pathology. Before joining the university, he also served as investigator, Pakistan Forest Institute, Scientific Officer/Senior Scientific Officer in Crop Diseases Research Institute, of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Consultant (Plant Pathology) in FAO/UNDP projects.

He is also working as the member of Editorial Boards of scientific journals 'International Journal of Biology and Biotechnology' a quarterly journal published journal by Department of Botany, University of Karachi and 'Mycopath' a biannual journal published by Department of Mycology and Plant Pathology, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Dr. Irfan is author of more than 100 hundreds international and national research publications including research papers, review and popular articles, extension bulletins and technical reports. He is former member of American Phytopathological Society, Pakistan Phytopathological Society (Life Member), Pakistan Botanical Society (Life Member), Pakistan Genetical Society (Life Member), Pakistan Society of Nematologists and Mycology and Phytopathology Society of Pakistan. The news

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IIUI seminar on Difa-e-Pakistan
Islamabad: The CRs Council of the International Islamic University is organising a seminar on 'Difa-e-Watan Main Nojwano Ka Kirdar' here on Monday at Quaid-e-Azam Auditorium, Faisal Masjid Campus, of the University. Renowned scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan shall be the keynote speaker whereas the Rector, President and Vice President of the IIUI will also grace the occasion.

Meanwhile, Iqbal International Institute for Research & Dialogue (IRD), of the International Islamic University, is organising a 2-day international conference on 'Being Muslim in the world: Everyday Ethics and Cultures of Adab', in collaboration with Center for Study of Religion and Conflict, Arizona State University (USA), from May 23 to May 24, at the University. Inaugural ceremony of the conference shall be held on May 23 at Quaid-e-Azam Auditorium in Faisal Masjid Campus of the University.

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Mushaira fills NUML atmosphere with calls of encore
Islamabad: As a first formal literary initiative under the auspices of poet and writer Iftikhar Arif, the National University of Modern Languages' Department of Urdu Language and Literature on Monday arranged a 'Mehfil-e-Mushaira' in which a number of local poets recited their poetry.

The Mushaira was presided over by top Urdu and Punjabi poets, namely Anwar Masood, Dr Tauseef Tabasum and Shabnam Shakeel. Dr Abdil Sial steered the event as the stage secretary. Over 24 poets belonging to the twin cities entertained the audience with their poems and 'gazals' for quite some time.

At the outset, Dr Sial set the mood for the Mushaira by stealing the hearts of the hall-full audience with his poem 'Umer-e-kasara bakht ko unka hisab kon day, batain jo be samar rahin, lamhay jo raigan gaiay.' Then there was a long list of poets whose poetry made those present in the hall frensied with uncontrolled streams of encore, encore (wah, wah; mukarer, mukerer).

Ali Ahmed Qamar recited his poem 'Diay ko jan ki apni pari hai, Hawa kuch kar guzrnay par aari hai.' Manzar Naqvi earned applause from young students and faculty members for his 'Aksar Sach ko jhooth bana jata hai baaz auqat, Banda thukar kha jata hai baaz auqat.' Jalil Aali's soft and romantic poem 'Idher bhi tuo usay ik din uthani han nigahain, Humay bhi tuo kabhi honay ka hai ehsas hona' was also no less than a treat for young hearts.

Moreover, Shabnum Shakeel's poem 'Dukh ka muntar pari hui hun, Man gurbat man bari hui hun; Is man waqt hi zaia huo ga, Jin baton man pari hui hun' was really a life like depiction and admired by the audience. Dr Ahsan Akbar recited his famous poetry 'Daabi pod kamad di' and Tauseeq Tausam recited 'Khilay jo phool usay qadmon man rondati hai kyun, Hawa say koi tuo poochay sar phiri hai kyon.' Iftikhar Arif also recited from his beautiful collection of poetry on the demand of the audience.

As usual, Anwar Masood entertained the big audience comprising Heads, Deans, Directors, Faculty members and students of the university with his sarcastic, mocking, satirical and humorous poetry. He actually stole the show. He convulsed the audience with his poetry that is based on very common themes but it leaves some indelible prints on the hearts of the people. His fulfilled and pun-packed 'Aaj ki khabrain', 'Nak jai mathay utay hunda', 'Pani (water)', 'Medicine kay side effects', 'Wapada' and all-time hit 'Bunian' turned the audience upside down with bouts of laughter.

Besides, Samina Siddiqui, Fehmeeda Tabsum, Ali Akbar Natiq, Aftab Zia, Shafiz Asif, Nusrat Masood, Arshad Mehmood Noshad, Arshad Mairaj, Anjum Khaleeq, Khawar Ijaz and others recited their poetry. The event was also attended by the University Rector, Maj Gen (R) Masood Hasan, DG Brig Azam Jaml and Head of Urdu Department Dr Robeena Shahnaz.

Rector Masood Hasan, while expressing his views, said: 'It is my honour that many, many poets have gathered here and provided us an opportunity to be entertained by their poetry. This event is a great opportunity for the students and faculty members to learn from literary stalwarts like Anwar Masood, Tauseef Tabsum and Shabnam Shakeel.' Daily times

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