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Hazara University exams | KU biology moot

HU exams delayed after fire at hostel
Mansehra, Nov 30: The Hazara University (HU) postponed the midterm examinations for a week after an inferno reduced to ashes over 25 hostel rooms early Monday.

The fire, which erupted in the Boys Hostel because of the short-circuiting, engulfed entire building within a short span of time. Over 102 students were present inside the hostel when the fire broke out but all remained safe while their goods and the building were reduced to ashes.

A student told reporters that some of the students busy in preparing for the examination, which were scheduled to be held on Wednesday, awakened the sleeping students, however, no casualty was reported in the incident.

The fire tenders and rescuers of the Mansehra Tehsil Municipal Administration reached the spot and extinguished the fire after two-hour efforts. HU Vice-Chancellor Dr Sakhawat Shah, who rushed to the scene along with the faculty members, postponed the midterm examinations for a week and constituted a committee to probe into the incident. The committee, being headed by Dr Habib, the chairman of the Botany Department, would present its report within a week.

Dr Sakhawat Shah also met the affected students and said the boarders would be shifted to a new hostel, where construction was still underway.

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Varsities reopen as teachers call off strike
Peshawar: Academic activities in all the public sector universities of the province were restored on Monday after 21 days as the teacher community called off their strike against the kidnapping of Ajmal Khan, vice-chancellor of the Islamia College University.

After the release of the second video of Ajmal Khan on November 7, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter, announced boycott of the classes and demanded of the government to expedite the efforts for safe recovery of the kidnapped vice chancellor. The decision was seconded by the vice-chancellors committee of all the 14 government-run universities and the next day they had announced to close down the academic institutions of the province for indefinite period.

The vice-chancellors committee later announced that the universities would reopen on November 26. But, the teacher community decided to resume academic activities from November 29. The teachers were wearing black armbands to register their protest against the kidnapping of the ICU vice chancellor.

Students of various faculties expressed satisfaction over the reopening of their departments. They said that due to teachers' strike for their salaries and security issues, their studies badly suffered. They hoped that the academic session would now continue uninterrupted so that they could cover their course before their preparation leaves of examination.

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KU biology moot from Dec 1
Karachi: The 10th Biennial Conference of Pakistan Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology is being organised by Dr A.Q.Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetics Engineering (KIBGE),University of Karachi, in collaboration with Department of Biochemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry), Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, and National Centre for Proteomics, University of Karachi, from December 1-5, 2010. The aim of the conference is to explore and understand the impact of new development and enhancements of biomoleculars involved in different complexities of life. The news

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Convocation 2010 of IBA Karachi
Karachi: The Convocation 2010 of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi will be held at its main campus on Nov 30 (today). An official of the institution said on Monday that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan,, who is also the patron of the institute, has been invited as the chief guest at the ceremony. The governor will also award medals, shields and certificates on the occasion. 187 BBA and 103 MBA degrees would be conferred at the Convocation. In all seven gold medals, to those who excelled in various disciplines, will also be awarded on the occasion. app

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Roots Olympiad concludes at NAG
Islamabad: The four-day Roots Olympiad 2010 came to an end in a ceremony held at the National Art Gallery (NAG) here on Monday in which students rocked the audience with their enthralling performances.

Singing, dancing and much more glued the audience to their seats who kept on applauding the performers with their claps and hooting. The classical performance by Salik Shah was among those performances which depicted the talent hidden in young people of the country. In order to show the strong ties between the students of Roots and Beaconhouse, Salik Shah and Mubin Shakoor performed a duet.

Addressing on the occasion, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) Director General Maria Sultan stressed on the role of a teacher in inspiring and motivating young people. "No country can progress on the road of prosperity without its most precious human resource - the teacher," she said.

She said that the new education policy has been announced and "we are introducing reforms to bring in qualitative change so as to raise the standard of education at par with international standards." "We have embarked on a journey and to be able to enhance our quality of education we are imparting rigorous training to teachers so as to equip them with modern skills and knowledge to be able to educate our children in the best possible environment. We know it would require commitment and dedication of the government and all members at the helm of affairs in the field of education to work on war-footing to be able to realise the ambitious targets set forth by the government. We plan to achieve universal primary education by the year 2015," she said.

Maria Sultan appreciated the performance of students and said that Roots achievements have raised our heads in pride and has further strengthened our belief in the tremendous potential of our young generation who indeed are the leaders of tomorrow's Pakistan.

Roots School System (RSS) Director Faisal Mushtaq said: "We are committed to improve the educational experience of our students and with this in mind, we came up with the idea of holding the Roots Olympiad to stimulate interactive learning among the youth."

Over 1,000 students from Saint Mary's Academy, Lahore Grammar School, Westminster College, The City School, Imperial International, Sheikh Zayed International Academy, ACE International Academy, Bahria College and Roots College International, DHA, & Roots College, Satellite Town, were present in the ceremony.

In the end, awards were distributed among the winners and formal closing of the Roots Olympiad was announced with a pledge to come together with the same enthusiasm and spirit next year. Earlier, a live concert featuring 'Noori' was organised on Sunday night at NAG. The concert was a part of social events organised in connection with the Roots Olympiad 2010.

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Internet cafes
Islamabad: Taking notice of the spread of pornography among children through unregulated Internet cafes, the Child Complaint Office (CCO), Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, has started working on a draft of suitable government legislation and monitoring mechanism.

The monthly review report of CCO from January to October 2010 mentions that the office has requested Save the Children Sweden to assist them in formulation of the draft so that such malpractices can be stopped at this stage by following the best practices of other countries.

The report mentions that in the past few years, the access to Internet in Pakistan is growing at a very fast rate and major number of users access it at the numerous unregulated net cafes spread throughout the country. It says that the vast majority of the clients at these cafes are children and young people.

"Many cafes have been openly displaying dirty movies, pornography and gambling games on their computers and due to this reason children are facing several protection issues at these cafes which not only include viewing of pornographic material but also the risk of them being sexually abused and exploited."

The issue that was raised by civil society members was then taken up before the Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) by sending them letters attached with a concept notes dealing with the background, legal status, what needs to be done and the way forward.

The PTA in their reply stated that the matter falls under the purview of Ministry of Information Technology (MoIT) and also attached a copy of the letter that had been issued by MoIT for the regulation of cyber cafes in the year 2003.

The letter stated that MoIT is already in the process of preparing a graft computer related crime bill, which will encompasses prosecution and punishment for all computer related crimes. Besides that, they said that they had already ordered for blocking of pornographic websites.

However, the MoIT also mentioned that the cyber cafes should not be licensed as they do not offer any services falling in the regulatory domain of PTA. "Such a regulatory setting could impede the usage of computers and internet through cyber cafes," the MoIT expressed concern. Keeping this in view, MoIT stated that no policy instructions under Act of 1996 seemed necessary.

Head CCO Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi said that they have proposed MoIT that the CCO would provide them with information regarding best practices in the world where such restriction had no impact on the overall use of Internet. "We are constantly perusing the case as we believe that there should be some monitoring mechanism for the Internet cafes."

Qureshi said that issue of unregulated Internet cafes is in the agenda of Child Rights Steering Committee (CRSC), a committee of 20 members that include representatives of all relevant ministries and civil society organisations working for the rights of children. He said that once the model law is formulated, it can be provided to provinces for its adoption in Provincial Assemblies. The news

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