King Edward Medical University VC appointment issue
Seniority no more needed for KEMU VC
Lahore, Sept 16: The Punjab governmentís freshly incorporated amendments to the
newly-promulgated King Edward Medical University (Amendment) Act 2010
have removed seniority as key condition for the appointment of
vice-chancellor of the varsity.
The section 13(5) of KEMU
(Amendment) Act 2010, effective July 23, says: "A person shall not be
eligible for the post of the vice-chancellor unless he is, at least,
qualified to be a professor in a medical college, institute or
This has replaced the original provisions in KEMU Act
2005, as section 13(1) says: ìThe vice-chancellor shall be appointed by
the chancellor on the advice of the chief minister of the province for a
term not exceeding four years from amongst the eminent medical
professors, who have worked for at least three years in the province of
Punjab, provided that such advice shall be made by the chief minister on
the recommendation of the Search Committee notified by the government.
may further be mentioned that an attempt was also made earlier in 2008
to amend section 13 as the then Punjab governor, in exercise of powers
conferred by clause (1) of Article 128 of the Constitution when the
Punjab Assembly was not in session, promulgated King Edward Medical
University (Amendment) Ordinance 2008, which in section 13(1) says, "The
vice-chancellor shall be appointed by the chancellor on the
recommendation of the chief minister of the province for a term not
exceeding four years. Provided that such advice shall be made by the
chief minister on the recommendation of the Search Committee notified by
the government; whereby the Search Committee after advertising the post
in national and international press may call person/persons for
interview whose credentials, in the collective assessment of the
Committee, or more compatible with the requirement of the job."
amendment aimed to accommodate candidates from any other field in
addition to the medical community, which faced tough resistance from
within the medical community and was enforced only in letter but not in
However, the fresh amendments have created an upheaval within
the medical community as it allows an associate professor who is
eligible to become a professor, could become vice chancellor of KEMU.
The senior medical teachers alleged that the fresh amendments were based
on malafide intentions, which had been introduced just to accommodate
the 'favourites'. "The amendments have allowed a student to become a
boss of even senior most teachers," commented a senior professor of the
varsity. There would be more than 10,000 eligible candidates for the
post, he added.
Senior medical teachers further claimed that the
provincial government had wasted precious national exchequer by
frequently publishing advertisements in national and international press
for seeking applications from suitable candidates, when it had not even
held interviews of the short-listed candidates. The government, now,
would have to again publicize the post to allow all eligible candidates
to compete under the newly-promulgated KEMU (Amendment) Act 2010,
inflicting further damage to the national exchequer.
professors term the move a conspiracy, saying another medical varsity in
connivance with top bureaucrats of the Health Department wanted to
deprive the KEMU of its university status, in order to affiliate the
150-year-old premier medical institution with a nascent medical
university, whose performance was also questionable, especially in the
absence of an attached medical college and a hospital. Meanwhile, it has
also been learnt that the status of both the vice-chancellors, who had
previously served on the post on ëacting-chargeí basis in the
university, was stated to be 'illegal' as there was no provision of an
Acting Vice Chancellor in the KEMU Act 2005.
However, the Punjab
Health Department, through a notification under section 13(7) of the
KEMU (Amendment) Act 2010, which says, "If the office of the
vice-chancellor is vacant or the vice-chancellor is absent or unable to
perform the functions of his office due to illness or some other cause,
the pro vice-chancellor shall perform the duties of vice-chancellor"
assigned Prof Asad Aslam Khan, KEMU Pro-VC, to perform the duties of the
vice-chancellor with immediate effect till such time the appointment of
the VC is made by the competent authority.
An official of the
Health Department confirmed that Pro-VC's appointment "to perform the
duties of Vice Chancellor" was first legal appointment of a VC in the
university as per the provision 13(7) in the Act, suggesting now the
Pro-VC, performing the duties of VC, would be purely an interim
arrangement, rather than taken as an appointment of a full-fledged VC on
acting charge basis, as in previous two cases.
Similarly, he said,
Prof Asad Aslam Khan's appointment as Pro-VC was also as per provision
of the Act because there was no provision of seniority for eligibility
of the post either, quoting section 15(1) of the Act, which says: "The
Pro-Vice Chancellor shall be appointed by the Chancellor on the
recommendation of the government and in consultation with the Vice
Chancellor from amongst the professors of the university and shall hold
the office during the pleasure of the Chancellor for a term not
exceeding four years." When contacted, Health secretary Fawad Hassan
Fawad was not available for comments.
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College in school building irks children
Lahore: The Punjab government's failure to shift a college from school
premises, situated in constituency of provincial education minister,
has become a constant nuisance for school administration and for
innocent students some of whom were manhandled by the college staff on
The unfortunate incident took place when, owing to
paucity of space, administration of Government Muhammadia Girls High
School, Data Nagar, Badami Bagh, tried to accommodate the students in
the school's veranda.
However, staff of the Government Inter College
(Ravi Road), which has been occupying a portion of school building, did
not welcome the move and even manhandled innocent students and a female
teacher by forcing them to leave the place, which is originally owned
by the school.
According to documents available, the
college has been occupying a portion of school building, which was given
temporarily, for 27 years now. Over the years, the district
administration issued notices to the college authorities on a number of
occasions to vacate the school building but to no avail.
seriousness of problems being faced by the administration of Government
Muhammadia Girls High School, situated in constituency of Punjab
Education Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, can be gauged from the fact
that the school has over 2100 students for whom there are only around 20
rooms while eight classes are managed in the corridors and open
courtyard. On the other hand, the college has merely around 200
According to the documents, locals of the area have also
written to the government that owing to the reluctance of the college
administration to vacate the building, it is becoming difficult for
their children to continue education.
A number of locals said that Wednesday's incident was height of government's insensitive
attitude saying it seemed as if the government was not interested in
solving the problem faced by people of the area over the years.
Salahuddin Malik, a local, said he had made efforts to provide a
portion of the school building as temporary camp for the college some 27
years back. He added it was unfortunate that, despite the lapse of many
years, no government could ever ensure a permanent and separate
building for the college.
Sources in the office of EDO Education
Lahore said since no government land was available in nearby area, a
number of places had been identified for shifting of the college to
rented building but to no avail. They said the college administration
demanded time on a number of occasions to shift the college but no
shifting took place. They said the recent meeting was held before summer
vacation in the presence of Education Minister so that shifting process
could be completed in holidays but this could not happen too.
locals of the area, including school students and their parents, have
demanded Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif take serious
notice of the issue and arrange a separate building for the college as
early as possible to ensure peaceful academic atmosphere.
Inayat who is having additional charge of District Officer (Ravi
Town/Shalimar Town) when contacted said it was a congested area and no
suitable place was available nearby. He said the college could not be
shifted far off, as the locals would suffer. He claimed efforts were
being made to find some suitable place for the college, adding the issue
would be resolved soon amicably.
When contacted, EDO Lahore Dr
Muhammad Arshad confirmed receiving of the report of manhandling of the
students and a teacher by the college staff. He said the college
authorities had been issued notices on various occasions but to no
We could not contact Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman for comments despite repeated attempts on cell phone. The news
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Pak students' picture grabs UNDP award
Islamabad: A photograph of female and male students in Pakistan working
together on a circuit board in their engineering class was one of the
three winning photographs of a global anti-poverty photo contest, UNDP
said on Wednesday.
The second annual "Picture This: We Can End
Poverty" photo contest was organised earlier this year by the UNDP in
partnership with Olympus Corporation and The Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Foundation. Nearly 1,400 contestants submitted more than 3,000 photos in
both the professional and amateur categories, and three top prizes were
awarded in each of these categories.
Additionally, the public voted
online for a People's Choice award. The first prize winners are Prakash
Hatvalne, an Indian photojournalist, in the professional category; Tran
Vinh Nghia, a videographer from Viet Nam, in the amateur category; and
Agha Rizwan Ali from Pakistan in the People's Choice category. The other
two winners, judged by UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and
internationally-acclaimed actor Antonio Banderas and four photo
journalists, feature a boy on his way to school in India and fishermen
in Viet Nam bringing in the day's catch.
"By showing what people
around the world are doing to eradicate extreme poverty in their
communities, we see that the Millennium Development Goals are not just
abstract targets, but are about making a tangible difference in people's
lives," said Helen Clark, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Administrator. "It is our hope that through showcasing these real and
positive actions, more people will be motivated to contribute to this
effort," he said. The nation
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