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Establishment of 3 new universities in Sindh

Three universities to be established in Sindh
Hyderabad, Sep 28: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Javed Leghari said on Saturday that more public sector university would be established in Karachi, Nawabshah and Sukkur.

Talking to journalists after inaugurating minimal invasive surgical centre established by the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) in collaboration with HEC, Mr Leghari stressed the need for focusing on underdeveloped areas of the country and reducing gender gap in terms of higher education.

He made it clear that he would not compromise on quality of education either research or teaching and said that if the universities were interested in HEC's funding then they would have to ensure quality. "We need to increase accessibility to these areas, which remained out of reach for us. So far only cities have been focussed. There is rural-urban divide, we have federally administered tribal areas, northern areas and other underdeveloped areas, therefore, now we have to focus on them. At the same time, we have to reduce gender gap," he said.

He said that quality of education was on top of his priorities list and he would never compromise on it. "There will be no quantity at the cost of quality. If universities have to increase number of students or departments then they will have to ensure quality at all cost," he said.

He said that quality enhancement cells had been established in public sector universities to further strengthen quality of education. Performance of public sector universities had improved significantly since the establishment of HEC, he said.

For some time they had faced a decline but now they had picked up the same pace again and one day, he hoped, they would be counted among leading universities of the world.

He linked cuts in the universities' grants by the HEC to the global recession, which also hit Pakistan. All sectors, including education, health and social sector faced the cuts across the board, he said.

"But now we are back on track and back to our original budget and I hope that situation will further improve," he said.

He supported teaching of English as compulsory subject. "We also need to follow developed countries' education," he said, adding the country's education budget stood at 10 per cent while the neighbouring countries were allocating 30 per cent for this sector.

Mr Leghari said that unless maximum investment had been made in higher education socioeconomic development could not be achieved. Universities' funds had seen a steady rise over the past five to six years, he said.

He agreed that per student cost in a public sector university was less than those of private universities and it needed to be enhanced. The government had pledged to enhance funds allocation for education to seven per cent of overall GDP by 2015 and when it happened it would have direct bearing on quality of education, he said.

He avoided making a general statement on Pakistans ranking in the world in education but said that there were universities which ranked internationally.

About monitoring of HEC's funds, he disclosed that it was a precondition of the foreign funding. "We will make it stricter because I think there should be an across the board accountability and transparency," he said.

LUMHS VC Prof Dr Noshad A Shaikh, deans, heads of various departments, including Prof Dr Shehzad Leghari, Prof Dr Rafiq Memon, Prof Dr Pushpa Srichand were also present on the occasion.

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Project for the establishment of Lyari law college approved
Karachi: The Sindh government has approved a project for the establishment of a law college in Lyari town to cater to the education needs of the youth of the area.

The project will be the part of a wider government plan, aiming to revamp the existing civic infrastructure in Lyari.

A multi-pronged development strategy, focusing on improving the basic infrastructure and extending educational facilities to the youth, has been applied by the government.

According to Provincial Minister for Katchi Abadis Rafique Engineer, the proposed college will be built in the vicinity of the Lyari Degree Collage.

The minister said that initially the Sindh government would spend Rs20 million on the project.

It is pertinent to note that President Asif Ali Zardari had announced that a separate university and a medical college would be built in the area. The work on the medical college has already been started.

Initially, the building of the nursing institute behind the Lyari General Hospital is being used for the college.

The project director of the Lyari Development Package has started the renovation work of the college building which will be completed in a few months.

When the attention of the minister was drawn towards the sluggish pace of other development works in the area, he said that the slow clearance of outstanding dues payable by the town administration to developmental agencies on account of water, sewerage and other civic agencies were causing delay.

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International moot on Mirza Qaleech
Hyderabad: The Mirza Qaleech Baig Chair of the University of Sindh is organising an international conference on "contribution of Shamsul Ulema Mirza Qaleech Baig to the promotion of Sindhi language, literature and society" on Oct 3 this year.

The organising committee of the conference met here on Friday to finalise arrangements for the two-day international moot.

The vice-chancellor of the university and patron-in-chief of the conference, Mazharul Haq Siddiqui who presided over the meeting lauded contribution of the great writer to the promotion of literature and called upon the committee to ensure success of the conference.

The director of the chair, Dr M. Qasim Bughio, who heads the committee, informed the meeting that the committee had received messages from the president of Pakistan, chairman of Higher Education Commission and eminent scholars and educationists from the country and abroad, praising the university for organising the event.

The meeting was informed that more than 70 scholars from Pakistan, Iran and India had confirmed their participation and would read papers in different academic sessions.

The participants of the conference would also visit important cultural sites of the province. Dawn

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