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KU M.Phil & PhD enrolment | SU & Moscow varsity collaboration

M.Phil and PhD enrolment from May
Karachi, April 24, 2008: The University of Karachi (KU) has decided to admit the students for M.Phil and PhD research from May 2008. The admissions will be limited to the departments which have prepared courses for the students who will be enrolled.

The decision was tentatively taken in a meeting of the Board of Advance Studies and Research (BASR), chaired by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Pirzada Qasim. It was decided that a comprehensive programme for the fresh intake will be announced in a couple of days.

Moreover, Prof. Rais Alvi said on Wednesday that the university will conduct tests for prospective students and then they will have to complete a one year course of 24 credit hours before they are admitted to the M.Phil/PhD course. He said that many departments have failed to prepare the prescribed courses due to which the university had been unable to initiate the fresh admissions.

Prof Alvi explained that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has introduced stringent methods for the courses in order to enhance the standard of research and the university was following those rules. The departments that have no PhD teachers will not be allowed to take the research students. The university will also decide as to how many students can be accommodated in a department. The News

KU institute gives up on Oct 18 probe
Karachi: A police investigation into the Oct 18 attacks on Benazir Bhutto's homecoming procession has reached an impasse as the Dr A.Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, which was given the remains of killed men for possible DNA matching, has not taken up the challenge of identifying all the remains with the relatives of the missing persons.

Instead the scientists at the institute focused DNA profiling only on the remains of the suspected suicide bomber. This disclosure has come as a rude shock to the inefficient police force relying heavily on scientific expertise of the prestigious institute.

Some of the senior faculty members have confirmed that the institute was never supposed to go for what they described as an impossible task of matching DNA profiles of the human remains with those of citizens claiming that their loved ones have been missing since the fateful day. This moment of truth has come out after six months of delay with the change of guard at the institute in Karachi University.

This disclosure is also earth-shattering news for the families of half a dozen missing persons, who deposited blood samples twice on the instructions from the institute and police so that they could get a sense of closure.

Despite the burial of the remains of unidentified victims of the Oct 18 carnage last month in Garhi Khuda Bux by the Pakistan People's Party, such families hoped that the scientific search would one day resolve the mystery of their missing relatives.

"With the latest disclosure, I think my family will never come to know about my brother," said Farooq Awan, elder brother of Rizwan, who is among more than a dozen people missing since Oct 18.

With tears welling up in his eyes as he came out of the university, where he was informed by an official of the Dr A.Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering about the DNA test reports, Farooq said he believed that with the burial of the unidentified victims' remains, unexpected reports from the institute had left his and other families of missing persons in an unending pain, grief and desperation.

More than half a year after the incident, the whole exercise appears to be a story of non-professional and insensitive attitude of the professionals, institutions and the law-enforcers investigating the case.

First the police delayed the delivery of the blood samples to the institute and then it was the Dr A.Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering that took more than four months to finalize the process.

"It was a fault of the previous management, which put on hold the whole exercise without any logical reason," said a senior official at the institute.

"With the start of the process, we requested our seniors to inform the investigators that the institute could only compile DNA test reports for the suicide bombers and not the missing persons."

He said the sacked management of the institute neither informed the police about its capability nor it initiated the process on time, which caused disappointment to the missing persons' families and could also damage the reputation of the institute.

"Actually the process, required for the missing persons' identification, demands too much cost, which the institute could not afford. Some 54 samples collected from the unidentified remains were not contaminated and required extremely precise process," he said.

All such facts, he added, were in the knowledge of the previous management but it mysteriously remained tightlipped and did not come up with facts before the police and the families of the missing persons.

The official claims may satisfy the current management of the Dr A.Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, but it has put a question mark over the discipline of the accountability within the institution.

The families of the missing persons, keenly waiting for DNA test results, are least bothered about the capability of the institute. Most of them feel deceived both by police and the institute.

More than 20 people went missing after attacks on the welcome convoy of Benazir Bhutto near Karsaz on October 18, 2007, which killed more than 150 people and left over 400 injured. Disappointed with the lethargic and hectic process to trace them either dead or alive, most of the families of such missing persons later gave up the search.

By the end of the process some half a dozen families, however, were found determined for the search of their loved ones and deposited their blood samples with the police to match those with the DNA profiles created from the remains of unidentified victims of the tragedy some four months ago.

However, police find themselves in shock. A senior police, who was in liaison with both the missing persons' families and the institute, said he was never given any indication about the process and its outcome.

"We were very much confident that we would be handed over complete results whenever the tests concluded," he said, and added: "That's why I was personally in touch with the families and shared their grief and hope that one day it would be clear whether their relatives were alive."

He said the institute provided police the report about the 'suspected suicide bombers' and reached the conclusion that the samples sent to the institute were of three different persons.

"The test report concludes that all the three tissues of brain, face and head are of male individuals. The DNA profiles generated from each tissue were different from one another. It concludes that the three tissues from brain, face and neck belong to three different individuals and they are not biologically related to one another," the official quoted the report as saying.

After more than half a year, which ended with no results for the families of missing persons, now appears another challenge for the new political administration, as the families want the government to take up the issue of enormous carelessness and inhuman approach of the officials and institutions concerned.

"When the incident took place and by the time such an exercise began, it was not the PPP government that took up the initiative," said Farooq, brother of missing Rizwan. "Now at this point of time, we expect our party will take up the issue and hold the people accountable for such irresponsibility."

SU plans collaboration with Moscow varsity
Hyderabad: Sindh University syndicate at a meeting on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding with the Moscow State University, Russia, to undertake collaborative research and exchange of faculty, students, and research projects.

The meeting was presided over by University Vice-Chancellor Mazharul Haq Siddiqui.

It approved the names of noted scientist Prof. (Dr) M.Y. Khuhwar, Project Director High-Tech Central Resource Laboratories and Professor (Dr) M. Umar Dahot, Director Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering for a committee from University of Sindh and Dr Maluchenko N.V, Deputy Dean of International Cooperation, Dr Alexander I. Netrusov and renowned Scientist Dr Alexander M. Semenov from Russia University who would monitor the progress of agreement and review future directions as well as programmes.

The meeting also appointed Dr Tanver Junejo as Chairperson of the department of Sociology and Dr Mohammad Ali Bhatti as Director of the Institute of Art and Design.

To appoint the professor emeritus in the university the syndicate constituted a committee headed by the vice chancellor with learned scholar Dr N.A Baloch and Dr A.Q. Mughal as its members.

The syndicate meeting enhanced the medical allowance from rupees one thousand to two thousand for university employees from BPS-1 to 22.

Syndicate of University of Sindh member nominated
The governor of Sindh, who is the chancellor of the University of Sindh, has nominated Professor (Dr) Iqbal Ahmed Panhwar, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences as member Syndicate of University of Sindh with immediate effect and till Jan 9, 2011, the date of his retirement.

LLB examination forms date extended
The controller of examinations, University of Sindh, has extended date up to April, 30, 2008, with late fee of Rs500 for submission of examination forms for LLB Part-I, Part-II and Part-III (fresh and failure) under annual examination 2007.

Meanwhile, the registrar of the university has extended the date up to May 2, for provisional admissions to MA, MSc and M.Com (previous) for the session 2006-2007, in affiliated postgraduate colleges of the university. Dawn
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