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PU campus battlefield, IJT & PU staff clash

IJT activists, PU staff clash
Lahore, May 11: The Punjab University (PU) Old Campus turned into a battlefield on Thursday when the varsity officials and activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) clashed with each other.

The incident was the result of the university administration's move to cancel of room allotment to two IJT activists who had misbehaved with senior teachers on May 8. The teachers had barred the students from pasting posters at the wall of the hostel's Khalid Bin Waleed Hall.

The PU officials said that on Thursday evening, a large number of IJT activists, mostly outsiders from the nearby Govt Islamia College, Civil Lines, visited the hostel and once again misbehaved with the teachers and staff. They alleged that Jamiat activists not just thrashed the PU officials but also caused loss to the property. A PU official, on condition of anonymity, said some IJT activists, including Asif and Rashid of Hailey College of Banking & Finance (HCBF), had allegedly misbehaved with the PU teachers, Asif Sohail, Shahid Farid, Hasan Khan and M Farooq, on May 8, following which their allotment was cancelled.

In a statement, the Punjab University spokesman strongly condemned the humiliating attitude meted out to teachers by the 'rogue elements'. The spokesman said some scoundrel elements of only one student organisation wanted to destroy the peaceful academic atmosphere of the campus. He said the organisation wanted to establish its hegemony in the Punjab University but the administration would not let it do so.

However, a Jamiat statement alleged that the PU officials, with the help of security guards, had badly tortured the students owing to which one of the students was shifted to hospital in critical condition.

The PU Academic Staff Association also strongly condemned the incident and demanded the Punjab government take action against the IJT activists.

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PU results
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) on Thursday announced the results of various examinations. These exams included MA Archaeology, Part-I, Supplementary 2011, MA Diplomacy and Strategic Studies, Part-I, Supplementary 2011, MA Political Science, Part-I, Supplementary 2011, MA Urdu, Part-I & II, Supplementary 2011, MA Economics, Part-I & II, Supplementary 2011, MA Islamic Studies, Part-I & II, Supplementary 2011, MSc Mathematics, Part-I, Supplementary 2011, MSc Physics, Part-I, Supplementary 2011 and MSc Statistics, Part-II, Supplementary 2011. The detailed results are available at PU website

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Sargodha varsity six depts get accreditation
Sargodha: National Agriculture Education Accreditation Council and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) teams visited University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha for accreditation of different disciplines of the college.

The accreditation of six departments Agronomy, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Horticulture and Plant Breeding and Genetics was given. Committee of each department inspected the college building, visited research labs, computer lab, library and research area. The committees also evaluated the academic activities, faculty students-interaction, publications of faculty, quality of education, fiscal allocation, adequacy of lab staff/lab material and curricula revision. The members of different committees included Dr Ghulam Jilani, Dr Muhammad Naeem, Dr Muhammad Ashraf, Dr Rashid Ahmad Shad, Dr Tahir Saleem, Dr Safdar Ali, Dr Muhammad Jamil Ahmad, Dr Ishfaq Ahmad Hafiz, Dr Muhammad Arif Chohan, Dr Muhammad Bashir, Dr Dilnawaz Gardezi and Dr Shahid Masood. Naseer Alam Khan, secretary NAEAC, and Malik Kashif Anwar, coordinator, represented managed the whole activity. The news

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AIMC girls stage sit-in for hostelfacility
Lahore: A number of female medical students staged a sit-in outside the office of Allama Iqbal Medical College principal for two hours or so to protest lack of hostel facility.

The girls occupied waiting lounge of the principal office, entrance and the parking lot reserved for the senior faculty of the college to draw attention of the authorities concerned towards their demand for accommodation facilities.

Some 226 female students of MBBS Part-I and Part-II were facing an acute shortage of hostel accommodation, a source said.

He said at least six girls were sharing a room having capacity of two to three students particularly in the hot weather. The frequent and unscheduled hours-long loadshedding had intensified their miseries.

Most of the protesting students belonged to far-flung districts like Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Layyah, Mianwali.

The source said the accommodation problem started arising since the quota system for admissions to the public sector medical colleges was replaced by open merit system and subsequently girl students outnumbered boys in the medical profession.

According to the previous system, male students made up of 90 per cent of admissions and the female 10 per cent.

Particularly, the trend of female students to join the medical profession increased sharply some three to four years ago owing to availability of equal opportunities, he said.

However, the accommodation situation started aggravating for female students when the Punjab government had increased 425 seats in the existing medical colleges in 2010 but constructed no new hostels for them.

Likewise, no new hostel had been established for girls for the last five years or so despite the fact that the institute turned into female dominated with a ratio of 70 per cent girls and 30 per cent boys.

After the induction of new batch of 117 first-year MBBS female students in November 2011 at AIMC, its administration had promised to create accommodation facilities for them but to no avail so far.

The source said the gravity of the situation could be gauged from the fact that at present 226 female students were staying in hostels having capacity of only 112.

Prof Dr Javed Akram said 68 per cent of the total admitted medical students were female. He said the institution had taken up the matter of shortage of accommodation facility during the visit of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani a couple of years

He said the PM had announced a grant of Rs30 million at that time for establishing new hostels but the institution was yet to get the amount.

Meanwhile, he said the institution prepared a PC-I and forwarded the same to the health department containing an estimated cost of Rs30 million for the construction of new hostel for the affected female students which was yet to be approved.

To a question, Prof Javed said the issue would be again taken up during the visit of the chief minister who was due to address the convocation of AIMC this month.

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Peshawar university teachers get deaththreats
Peshawar: Two professors at University of Peshawar have received threatening letters, ostensibly sent by Taliban, for including 'controversial' material in the courses of MPhil and PhD, according to police.

Police said that the letters asked them to be prepared for death for their friendship with a writer, Taliban deemed offensive.

"The two letters, scripted in Urdu and sent by Darra Adamkhel-based Taliban commander Mohammad Tariq Afridi, say that both the professors are liable to be killed for their friendship with the writer," said Campus police official Mohammad Younas Khan. He said that both the professors got identical letters on May 1.

"I was deeply shocked to know about your friendship with the writer," said the one-page letters. Recently, there was a controversy over some books of the said wrier that were included in MPhil and PhD courses at the University of Peshawar.

"We are providing them (the professors) security. They have been advised to take extra precautionary measures," police said.

One of the professors, who received the letters said that inclusion of the books by the said writer in MPhil and PhD courses was never suggested by the academic council of the university.

"We don't have his books in our library then how can we include his novels in the course. While selecting material for students, we download several names in the respective field and then make proposal regarding any course which is sent to the academic council. It gets approved in the meeting of syndicate," he said.

Police said that many teachers had received threatening letters and telephone calls but they (teachers) were tightlipped.

In August 2010, Taliban threatened a professor of Islamia College University to help them make bomb. He approached the university administration that provided him a police constable for his protection.

Campus SHO Abdul Salam Khalid said they were investigating the matter to determine if the threats were genuine.

"The letters were sent from local post office. According to preliminary investigations, it seems a result of some internal politics of teachers," he said.

He said that a few months ago, some other teachers had also lodged complaints about receiving threatening telephone calls.

"When the matter was investigated, it was established that the telephone calls were made from the same number," he said.

The SHO said that since abduction of Ajmal Khan, the vice-chancellor of Islamia College University, they had enhanced security but nonexistence of boundary wall near Professors Colony made it easier for people to enter the colony from Nasir Bagh and nearby villages using the one-kilometre open area near Agricultural University.

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Literacy rate dropped in Mansehra after 2005earthquake
Mansehra: Besides causing massive deaths and large-scale damage to property, the 2005 earthquake also led to a lower literacy rate in Mansehra, district coordination officer Dr Amber Ali Khan said on Thursday.

Speaking to a National Management College, Lahore, delegation here, the DCO said Mansehra's literacy rate had dropped to 64 per cent from 67 per cent since October 2005 when an earthquake devastated the district.

He said the unmatched natural calamity killed over 18,000 people and destroyed more than 1200 schools in Mansehra.

"Though the district is gradually returning to normalcy, we have still to go a long way for its complete recovery from the disaster. Until now, we're able to reconstruct 60 per cent of the destroyed infrastructure," he said.

Mr Amber said Mansehra had a historic background and was made a district in 1976.

He said historic Ashoka rock edicts were found along Karakoram Highway in Mansehra city, while Siren, Kunhar and Indus rivers passed through the district.

The DCO said Mansehra was also famous for natural resources and beauty, and attracted lots of tourists every year.

He said the October 2005 earthquake destroyed local tourism industry, which was considered a vital source of income in Balakot tehsil of district. He said Mansehra district consisted of 59 union councils and Mansehra, Balakot and Oghi tehsils.

Meanwhile, a local representative of US charity Catholic Relief Service (CRS) on Thursday said it was wrapping up its post-2005 earthquake rehabilitation activities in Mansehra district.

"We rebuilt 46 schools and initiated numerous water and sanitation schemes in Konsh and Siren valleys and are going to depart," said CRS project manager Shah Saud at a function in Bugermung area.

Programme manager Malik Saeed Akhtar and local elders also spoke on the occasion.

Mr Saud lauded the locals' cooperation to CRS for completion of projects. He said besides reconstructing 46 schools, CRS imparted training to 163 male and 68 female teachers in targeted union councils under an 'Integrated Education Programme.'

Mr Saud said under the project, 71 male and 28 female parent-teachers associations were also formed to enhance child enrolment at schools and address issues faced by teachers and schoolchildren in targeted areas.

He said CRS would close down its office in Mansehra by the end of the current fiscal.

Local elders thanked CRS for its efforts to improve educational, water and sanitation facilities in the areas. Dawn

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