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GCU expelled students 'forces' to sign undertaking

Govt College University 'forces' expelled students to sign undertaking
Lahore, Nov 11: The Government College University (GCU) on Monday re-admitted five expelled students after they and their parents gave written undertakings, however, they alleged that they were put "under pressure" to sign the documents.
One of the aggrieved students and his father said that instead of receiving applications from the expelled students, the Government College University registrar insisted that they signed the already written undertaking.

They alleged that the said undertaking consisted of baseless and false facts and the students were asked to admit that they had violated the university's discipline by confronting teachers and staging the protest demonstrations. According to the undertakings, some outsiders were also accompanying the students when they were protesting against the university, they added.

One of the students, Usman Latif, said the undertakings also barred the students from interacting with media over the issue, adding: "We told the registrar that it would be infringement of basic rights but he insisted that we sign the undertaking."

He further said the students and parents were reluctant to sign the undertakings, however, they signed it after they talked to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah who assured them that he would seek an explanation from the Government College University regarding the content of the undertaking.

"Sign the undertaking to save academic career of students so they might sit in exam commencing on 12 Nov," he quoted the minister as advising the students and their parents through his mobile phone.

Usman said the students had been claiming that they had staged a peaceful demonstration, however, the undertaking was against their claim, questioning how they could sign such a document. "A peaceful protest is right of every individual," he added.

He said as per directions of the law minister, the students had submitted an application about the whole incident to him as well as to the Punjab Higher Education secretary, adding that they would also submit the same application to the Lahore High Court registrar on Tuesday (today).

"The students have protested on apology rendered by them as it was taken under pressure," he alleged.When contacted, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said he was informed about the whole incident, adding: "I asked them to sign the undertaking so that the students might not miss their exams." He added he had asked students and parents to submit application in this regard so that it might be processed to seek explanation from the Government College University and to get impact of the said undertaking removed. When contacted, Government College University Registrar Sahibzada Faisal Khurshid refuted the allegations that students and their parents had given the undertaking under pressure.

"Most of them, except one or two, signed the undertaking without objecting to it," he said, adding: "those who were reluctant also signed it after some time." He said the decision about taking the undertaking from the expelled students for their restoration was not his own, rather it was taken by the university's competent authority, i.e. syndicate on court orders.

"The undertaking was duly prepared by the syndicate after its members deliberated in this connection for many hours and got it approved," he said. The registrar further said that out of total seven expelled students, five had been restored and the rest of the two would be restored on Tuesday (today) as their parents were unable to come on Monday.

Those who have been restored include Usman Latif, Hassan Sardar, Haroon Mehmood, Muhammad Ali and Asfandyar Khalid. It is important to mention here that the students have been restored w.e.f. 30.10.2008 instead of 10.11.2008. The News

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GCUF VC tenders resignation
Faisalabad: The vice-chancellor of the Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF) has tendered his resignation, however, it is yet to be accepted by competent authority, it has been learned.

Dr Arif Ali Zaidi has sent his resignation to Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who is chancellor of all public sector universities in the province because of personal reasons. The VC announced this decision during a meeting with GCUF heads of departments on Monday.

Source privy to the meeting said that Dr Zaidi chaired the monthly meeting to review the university affairs where he announced his decision to tender resignation because of personal reasons.

They said abrupt announcement of the institution head was shocking for the participants, especially woman members of the meeting.

They all asked the VC to withdraw his decision for the betterment of the institution. But, sources said, the VC expressed his inability to recall his decision and said he could not stay any more because of personal problems.

A senior faculty member said his colleagues wanted Dr Zaidi to continue as head of the institution for his rendering excellent services during his stint.

The college was upgraded as university in October 2002, and Dr Asif Iqbal was appointed its first vice-chancellor. Dr Zaidi replaced Dr Iqbal as vice-chancellor on Nov 23, 2006.

Sources said the chancellor had orally accepted the resignation, however, no notification had been issued in this respect and Dr Zaidi was still performing his duties.

Dr Zaidi was selected by the Higher Education Commission for a capacity-building study tour to the United Kingdom, and he along with a dozen other vice-chancellors is leaving for the UK on Nov 17.

Sajid Ali, a student, said he and other students would miss a great teacher and leader who had worked hard to revamp the institution. He appealed to the chancellor not to accept vice-chancellor's resignation in the larger interest of the institution.

Dr Zaidi confirmed that he had sent his resignation to the chancellor owing to personal reasons. He, however, dispelled reports of any sort of pressure or other problematic issues that compelled him to resign.

"I am not resigning because of any pressure or power politics," he added. He made it clear that this was a decision purely based on his personal considerations. Dawn

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Aitchison College wins debating nationals
Lahore: Students of the Aitchison College defeated the Karachi Grammar School (KGS) in the Debating Society of Pakistan finals at Aitchison, according to a press release issued on Monday.

The topic for debate was, 'This House Welcomes a Pan-Islamic Federation,' with KGS proposing the motion and Aitchison opposing. Of nine judges, eight favoured Aitchison. The tournament started on November 7, with teams from all over Pakistan participating. Twenty debaters were short listed during the event, of which five will represent Pakistan in the World Schools Debating Championship in Greece in 2009. Daily Times

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