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Cuba medical graduates miseries | PU world ranking

Medical graduates returning from Cuba land in miseries
Lahore, May 31: About 300 of 1,000 Pakistani students, who were studying general comprehensive medicine on HEC (Higher Education Commission) scholarships in Cuba, are facing financial constraints along with huge depression because of joblessness despite completing six-year MD (Doctor in Medicine) degrees.

After the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, Cuba had not only sent 2,500 medical and paramedical staff to take part in relief efforts, it had also offered scholarships for 1,000 students from across Pakistan, especially from northern areas, which were affected by the earthquake, to study medicine in Cuban institutions.

The scholars were expected to serve their country after completing their studies. The government of Pakistan accepted this generous offer and the HEC invited applications from talented students through advertisements. After thorough procedures, the first batch consisting of 300 students was selected for their admissions to Cuban institutions purely on merit in 2008. Later, another 700 or so students were sent to Cuba in different batches.

These medical students started facing difficulties when they started returning early this year. The first hurdle they met with was how to get a practice licence because under the latest law; they had to take a National Examination Board (NEB) test conducted by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) for this purpose.

It is compulsory for every Pakistani medical student, who has graduated from any other country, to appear in the NEB test in order to get the Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) certificate if he or she wants to start medical practice in Pakistan.

Dr Abid Ali, Dr Tayyab Mehmood Ali and other Cuban scholarship holders said that they appreciate the scholarships programme of the Cuban government and that they were imparted quality education at leading medical universities.

They said that the first batch of around 300 scholarship holders had graduated with MD degree in February 2014 while the remaining scholars would be graduating in 2015.

They added that the objective of the scholarship programme was to train 1,000 students in medicine in such a way that they could serve their own people immediately after completion of their studies.

They said that despite clearing the final comprehensive Cuban State Exam, they were now being asked to appear in the NEB test conducted by the PMDC in order to become an RMP.

They said that they have been studying in an HEC-supervised scholarship project; therefore, it was unfair to treat them like other Pakistani medical graduates of foreign institutions, which normally did not follow any merit-based selection criterion.

They said that their parents had made numerable sacrifices and efforts at various levels throughout this period to help them complete their studies.

They said that it was not a matter concerning 1,000 individuals only; rather it was a matter concerning 1,000 families; therefore, the government should take it seriously.

They appealed to the prime minister to look into the matter personally and provide them justice. Daily times

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PU at 1,613 in world ranking, PA told
Lahore: The University of Punjab stands at number 1613 in the ranking of world varsities whereas in Asia, it is on 250th number.

This was the revelation made on the floor of the Punjab Assembly during the question hour session which was related with the Higher Education Commission. Soon after receiving this answer related with the ranking of the Punjab University, the Opposition members starting criticising the government. The PA Speaker had to intervene to put the House in order. The news

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'Favouritism' hits PU Geography Department recruitments
Lahore: Those who matter at the Punjab University (PU) Geography Department have published a fake research journal to facilitate a 'favourite' candidate in his recruitment to an associate professor vacancy.

The controversy erupted after some editions of the Pakistan Geographical Review, a research journal of PU's Geography Department, were published with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), which is being used by the Pakistan Medical Forum, a Karachi-based journal. The ISSN number of both journals is 0030-9788.

Meanwhile, some of the editions of the Pakistan Geographical Review have also been published without any ISSN, which is a violation of the rules and regulations of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Geography Department Chairman Dr Abdul Ghaffar did all this in what appeared to be a slipshod manner only in order to help recruit his favourite candidate, Dr Ibtisam Butt, who is also associate editor of the journal, to an associate professor vacancy.

According to HEC's requirement, an assistant professor must have 10 publications of research articles to his or her credit for being eligible to become an associate professor. However, Dr Ibtisam had only three or four publications when the vacancy was announced.

What adds another twist to the story is that department published pending editions of more than five years i.e. 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in just two months and all these journals contain research articles authored by Dr Ibtisam. The act appears to have been done to help Dr Ibtisam complete his required number of publications (10) in order to qualify for the recruitment.

It is also notable that Dr Ghaffar's own appointment as a professor has been challenged by Science Faculty Dean Dr Haris Rasheed through an application to the vice chancellor.

When contacted, Dr Ghaffar said that journal was publishing continuously since 1950 but that he was informed in a conference in 2011 that the same ISSN had been issued to another US journal; therefore, its publication was stopped.

He added that publishing journals without ISSN was not an issue as the HEC allows publishing journals without ISSN.

To a question about favouritism, he said that all of the allegations were baseless and that these allegations were indeed politics unleashed by rival candidates.

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PU Microbiology Dept arranges exhibition on ecosystems
Lahore: The Punjab University's (PU) Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department (MMGD) organised an exhibition and competition of models on ecosystems on Saturday.

MMGD Chairperson Prof Dr Anjum Nasim Sabri, PU College of Information Technology Principal Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar, exhibition organiser Dr Rida Batool and a large number of students were present.

Students in various groups presented models on carbon cycle, sulphur cycle, aquatic ecosystem, global warming, biogeochemical cycles, nitrogen cycle and forest ecosystems.

Talking to students, Dr Sabri said that study of ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles was very important and that one could understand the importance of environment protection only with the knowledge of factors that operate in an ecosystem.

She said that due to unawareness of ecology and related factors, the environment of Pakistan was getting heavily polluted with contaminants of anthropogenic origins.

She said that while preparing the MMGD syllabi, special emphasis was laid on ecology and biogeochemical cycles in which microorganisms played a pivotal role.

Top three models were selected by a team of judges consisting of Prof Dr Razi, Abbas Shamsi, Dr Basharat Ali and Dr Imran Sajid.

Model on biogeochemical cycles designed by a group consisting of Aroona Ejaz, Rushda Tariq, Aimon Khursheed and Ayesha Rahat won the 1st position while another group consisting of Shiza Ali, Sadia, Kiran Nasir, Ibrar Iqbal and Maryum won the second position for preparing a model on global warming.

Similarly, model on human impact on forest ecosystem designed by another group consisting of Alishba Fayyaz, Shanzay Ahmad and Ambreen Naz won the third position. Prof Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar and Prof Dr Aamir Ijaz appreciated the creativity and hard work of the students. Daily times

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PU results
Lahore: Punjab University's Examinations Department has announced results of BSc Nursing (1st & 3rd year) (4-Year Programme), Supplementary Examination 2013. Detailed results are available on PU website

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PU teacher honoured
Lahore: Dr Hamid Saeed, Assistant Professor University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab, has been honoured by the European Calcified and Tissue Society with an Allied Health Professional Award on his research work titled: "Telomerase Promotes Osteoblast Differentiation by Modulating IGF Signaling Pathway". He received this award at the 41st International Congress of the Society in Prague, Czech Republic on May 20. He has also received a new Investiafator Award from the same society in 2010, Glasgow, UK for his research on stem cell differentiation and aging.

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PU results
Lahore: Punjab University's Examinations Department has announced results of MA Islamic Studies, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2013, and MSc Statistics, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2013. Detailed results are available on PU website

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IJT protest
Lahore: A number of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists staged a protest on Monday over alleged illegal expulsion of their fellows from the Punjab University.

The demo was held outside the Lahore Press Club in which the IJT activists carrying banners and placards chanted slogans against the PU administration and alleged that it was involved in expulsion of many of their fellows from the varsity who had protested against the administration. They demanded the Punjab government to take notice of the situation.

Meanwhile, in a press statement, the Punjab University spokesman said the IJT activists were doing negative politics. He termed the allegations levelled by IJT baseless and said disciplinary action was taken against the Jamiat's "miscreants" under the prescribed rules and regulations. The news

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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