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No relaxatation in Britain's visa rules

Students don't need agents for UK visa
Islamabad, Oct 28: Britain's visa rules have not been relaxed and applicants do not need an agent to apply for a UK visa, UK Border Agency South Asia and Gulf Regional Director Chris Dix has said in a letter.

In response to a news item "Travel agents tempt students seeking UK visas", he said the rules were toughened on October 1 with the introduction of the maintenance rules, requiring funds to be held for 28 days.

"All applications are subjected to thorough document checks including bank statements and education certificates. In addition, applicants must pass tough checks that we have introduced around the world for anyone applying for a visa to enter the UK [in which] we check biometric data (finger scans and photographs) against the UK police and immigration databases," Dix said.

He said guidance was available for those applying for a UK visa. "We have taken every step to ensure that the student visa rules are clear, with advice on the application process available on our websites (www.ukvacpk.com; www.ukvisas.gov.uk). It is important that the applicants do not follow the misleading advice of some agents."

He said if applicants wanted additional advice, they should choose an agent carefully. "Agents should charge a reasonable fee. They cannot guarantee that someone can get a visa they have no influence over the visa decision. Applicants should not allow agents to submit false information or forged documents on their behalf they will be refused, and they will be banned from travelling to the UK for 10 years," he said.

Dix said the UK welcomed genuine international students who wanted to make the most of an unparalleled quality education system in the UK. "The UK Border Agency is working hard to reduce processing times for visa applications and is committed to providing an efficient visa operation for all customers in Pakistan." staff report. Daily times

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Enrolment in seminaries rised by 40pc
Islamabad: The Ittehad Tanzeemat-i-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) has claimed a whopping 40 per cent increase in enrolment of students during 2008-09.

According to a press release issued by the ITMP on Tuesday, dozens of seminaries registered with its five boards are offering courses on banking, journalism, computer science and other modern subjects which appeal greatly to students.

It claimed that strict admission criteria were being followed, much like the regular educational institutions. "We had to refuse admission to several thousand students because of shortage of seats," the statement said.

Five boards comprising the ITMP had over 20,000 seminaries registered with them, while 5,000 institutions were not registered with any board, the statement said.

It said many of its students had secured positions in the examinations given by the boards of education. The Wafaqul Madaris Al Arabia of the Deobandi school of thought had over 12,000 schools. Their enrolment increased from 1.9 million to over 2.5 million during the year, it said.

The number of students in 632 institutions of the Rabataul Madaris Al Islamia run by the Jamaat-i-Islami increased from 64,000 to over 90,000.

Enrolment in 466 seminaries registered with the Wafaqul Madaris Asalfia of the Ahl-i-Hadith school of thought increased from 43,000 to 55,000. The number of students in 6,000 seminaries of the Tanzeemul Madaris following the Brailvi school of thought increased to 120,000 from 80,000.

The 507 seminaries registered with the Wafaqul Madaris Ashia also recorded an increase in enrolment from the previous 7,000, the press release said. The government has registered only 507 seminaries under its madressah reforms.

According to official statistics, there are over 12,000 madressahs with over 1.5 million students and around 55,000 teachers. Dawn

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FG College to have MCom block
Islamabad: Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will inaugurate the newly constructed Masters in Commerce (M Com) Block at Federal Government College of Commerce H-8 in the first week of November.

The facility of first-ever Commerce Block at public level will facilitate the students ensuring their access to commerce studies at economical rates, an official of FDE told the agency.

The commerce block completed at the cost of Rs30 million will accommodate 60 boys and 40 girls, he said.

Previously, there was no facility of commerce studies at postgraduate level in government sector.

The project aimed at facilitating the students who wanted to specialise in the field of Commerce and were forced to pay huge amounts at private colleges.

The most heartening aspect is that students will get quality education by spending Rs 37,000 while the private commerce colleges charge Rs 200,000 to Rs 300,000 for the degree.

In the area between Lahore and Peshawar, the college will be the first one to offer postgraduate degree in this discipline. Director General of FDE, Shaista Pirzada has issued special instructions to complete the project work and make it functional for the students. The process to give admissions to students will start in due time, the official said. APP

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All Pakistan Naat, Qiraat competition organised
Islamabad: All Pakistan Naat and Qiraat competition was held here Tuesday at F.G. Sir Syed College auditorium. In Qiraat competition, Muhammad Noman of FG College Wah obtained first position while Mohsin Zaheer of F.G. Sir Syed College Rawalpindi and Hammad Hakkani of FG College, Hyderabad got second and third positions respectively. Similarly, in Naat competition first position was obtained by Muhammad Ahmad Tufail of FG Sir Syed College Rawalpindi while Ali Abbas of F.G. Degree College Jhelum and Zain-ul-Haseeb of FG Degree College Wah Cantt won second and third prizes. On the occasion, Additional Director FGEI(C/G) Directorate, Brigadier Fazl-i-Rabbi appreciated performance of the participants and their institutions. The chief guest also gave away prizes to the winning students. The news

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Doctors trained in data designs,techniques for genuine research
Islamabad: Islamabad Medical & Dental College (IMDC) organised a one-day National Symposium on 'Data Management in Medical Sciences' at its auditorium Tuesday that was attended by as many as 50 participants - all of them doctors - from various medical colleges and hospitals of the twin cities.

The main objective of the symposium was to strengthen the skills of the participants, including young researchers, postgraduate trainees and beginners, in effective study designs, sampling techniques, data summarisation and data analysis in order to promote genuine research culture in Pakistan. The IMDC chairman was the chief guest of the symposium.

Principal IMDC Professor Dr Qazi Muhammad Rizwan in his welcome address highlighted the importance of medical writing in the life of a doctor. "Writing dissertation/thesis may be taken as a pre-requisite for those intending to have postgraduate qualification, while for others, publishing of research articles may be needed for promotions in teaching institutions," he said.

The main speakers and facilitators of the symposium included Head of Community Medicine IMDC Professor Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chaudry, Assistant Professor Community Medicine Dr Farwa Rizvi and Senior Research Officer IMDC Muhammad Afzal.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ashraf said the best method of learning statistics is doing as many exercises as possible. He briefed the audience on the importance of learning statistics, types of data, summarisation of data and various methods of displaying data. He said persons active in research find that a basic understanding of statistics is useful not only in conducting their investigations, but also in the effective presentation of their findings in papers and reports for publication, at professional meetings, and also to evaluate research proposals.

He also apprised the participants about the various types of data such as qualitative (categorical) and quantitative (numerical), and discussed various methods of data summarisation and data display. "Various methods of data summarisation are mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, percentiles and coefficient of variation. Data can be displayed with the help of tables, charts, graphs, dot plots, stem-and-leaf plots, box and whisker plots, scatter diagrams, etc. Categorical data is usually presented with the help of bar charts and pie charts whereas quantitative data is usually displayed with histograms and frequency polygons. Scatter diagrams are used to present the relationship of two quantitative variables," he said.

Dr Farwa Rizvi highlighted different types of epidemiological study designs used in the purpose of carrying out a basic research study with accuracy, brevity and clarity. She emphasised the need to understand and create a synchrony among the SMART objectives with appropriate study designs for accurate data analysis.

Dr Farwa also discussed different study designs with examples as well as their strengths and weaknesses, and reiterated the importance of randomised controlled trial as being the best study design. Real case scenarios were given to the participants for conceptualising and better understanding.

Muhammad Afzal briefly explained inferential statistics in which he highlighted the concept of inference, estimation (point and interval) and hypothesis testing. He gave description of the main points involved in hypothesis testing including the formulation of hypothesis (null and alternate hypothesis), level of significance, and tests of significance.

At the conclusion of the symposium, Vice Principal IMDC Professor Dr Bilal Karim distributed certificates among the participants. He also advised the young doctors to engage themselves in serious research. The news


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