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Private varsities reservations | PU book fair on April 23-25

Private varsities express reservations
Lahore, April 11: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to take vice-chancellors (VCs) of all public and private universities on board over the proposed legislation regarding restoration of student's unions, as All Private Universities and Institutes (APUI) has rejected the draft bill expressing serious reservations.

In view of the strong resistance by the private varsities, HEC is going to convene a meeting of the VCs of all universities through a videoconference today (Saturday) at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore where the federal secretary education will brief the VCs about the background of the case.

Draft legislation for restoring the student unions has already been sent to the private and public universities for consideration. The vice-chancellors have been asked to ensure attending the meeting.

Meanwhile, the representatives of All Private Universities and Institutes (APUI) held a meeting on April 8 to study the pros and cons of proposed law. The APUI, representing country's all private sector universities and institutes, strongly rejected the proposed draft bill as formulated by a tripartite commission.

Sources in HEC said earlier, provincial police officers of Sindh and NWFP had also expressed their strong reservations over the restoration of students unions while an intelligence agency had advised observation of code of conduct and prior consultation with heads of political parties and also pointed out certain lacunas in the sentence of office of the unions.

In view of sensitivity of the issue, special assistant to Prime Minister on Social Sector, in a meeting of the 'Cabinet Committee on Restoration of Students Unions' held last month, had also opined that it was equally important to take VCs of the public and private varsities into confidence as they had a lot of reservations on restoration. It was also suggested in the meeting that HEC should organise a meeting to brief the participants for ascertaining their views on the issue. The Nation

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HED rejects allegation
Lahore: A spokesman of Higher Education Department has strongly rejected the allegation leveled by "so-called" chief librarian Punjab Public Library Zahir Mir against Secretary Higher Education in a press conference and termed it mere an effort of character assassination. The spokesman stated that Zahir Mir had tried to conceal the facts regarding Punjab Public Library (PPL) and his alleged illegal occupation of Chief Librarian post. The spokesman, clarifying the real facts about PPL affairs, said Zile Hussain, Librarian PPL, was directed to take the charge of the library as per decision of 51th meeting of the management committee. The News

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Thousands of pirated books of Textbook Board seized
Lahore: The Chief Minister's Complaint Cell on a tip off raided a printing house and confiscated thousands of pirated books of Punjab Textbook Board.

According to an official handout, Convenor of Anti-Pirated Books Khalifa Abdul Majeed Bhatti informed the Incharge, Chief Minister's Complaint Cell and Political Secretary Qamar-uz-Zaman about the printing of thousands pirated books of Punjab Textbook Board in a street opposite to Police Station Gawalmandi.

Taking immediate action, Qamar-uz-Zaman directed Director Pubic Affairs Shahid Qadir to pay a surprise visit and take pirated versions of books into possession and take action against the culprits.

The raiding party comprised Deputy Secretary, Punjab Textbook Board Noor Muhammad, Field Assistant Punjab Textbook Board Zakir Hussain, Ijaz Ahmad besides President Anti-Pirated Books Committee Ahmad Najeeb and Convenor Khalifa Abdul Majeed Bhatti.

The accused offered bribe on telephone to the staff of the Textbook Board, upon which, police started tracing out the caller and has registered a case against the persons involved in preparing pirated books.

During the raid, Convenor of Anti-Pirated Books told that Board gives a security sticker to the approved publishers, which is not available with any other except the Board.

Hundreds of fake security stickers recovered during the raid were taken into possession.

In addition, books of class 5 to 11 of Punjab Textbook Board and pirated books of private schools were also recovered in a large number.

The Convenor further told that not only Punjab Textbook Board was facing loss of millions of rupees due to fake books but the publishers of the Board also had to bear a heavy financial loss. The Nation

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PU book fair on April 23-25
Lahore: The Punjab University administration has decided to organize the book fair 2009 from April 23-25. The decision was taken in a meeting held in the Vice-Chancellor's Office Committee Room on Friday. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier the PU had announced to hold book fair from 9th to 11th April but it was postponed due to security concerns.

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UK varsity team calls on UVAS VC
Lahore: A two-member delegation from the University of Northampton, UK, called on vice chancellor University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) on Friday and discussed with him the areas of collaboration between the two universities. The delegation, comprising Paul Evans and Dr Warren Weinsten, also discussed initiation of a joint degree programme in Leather Technology in near future after making available all necessary facilities for the purpose.

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134 PhDs awarded
Lahore: The Punjab University awarded PhD degrees to 134 candidates, approved PhD topics of 238 candidates, 315 faculty members were appointed through 47 Selection Boards and 155 meetings of various committees were conducted from January 2008 to date. Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, Additional Registrar Prof Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir and their Deputy Registrars presented the performance report in a meeting with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran at New Campus on Friday. The vice-chancellor showed his satisfaction over the performance of the Registrar Office and its constituent departments and instructed to preserve all record of the university and solve promotion cases of administrative officers as soon as possible. The News

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Peace promotion course introduced at FCCU
Lahore: A curriculum on peace promotion, the first in the country, is being introduced at various educational institutions and the Forman Christian College University (FCCU) is the first institution to endorse it.

The Interactive Resource Centre (IRC) initiated the course. Classes for the course will start this month at the Bachelors level. In the beginning, only mass communication students of the third and fourth semesters will be allowed to opt for the course, and it will account for three credit hours.

Experts who have studied peace promotion at foreign universities have prepared the course outline. The course will include studies on gender sensitisation, sexual harassment, human rights, social rights and other important issues.

Course: Fulbright scholars, people working with communities on human rights and peace, along with people from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) designed the course after long consultations, IRC Programme Manager Nasir Sohail said. He said three Fulbright scholars, Kamaluddin Tipu, Ali Gohar, and Jennifer, UN Fellowship holder Iqbal Haider Butt, and Dr Fauzia designed the coursework. He said it took them a year to design the coursework. He said managements of various local universities and officials from NGOs had submitted their recommendations to improve the coursework. He said the final coursework was presented to the FCCU and the university accepted it.

The course includes 40 hours of teaching and another 80 hours of class work, which would often include the screening of videos and documentaries. Students would be allowed to either write a research paper or make a documentary of 10 to 15 minutes. Students can also use any other innovative ideas, with the teacher's approval, to complete the course.

FCCU Vice Rector Dr CJ Dobash praised the course and approved it. Jennifer, an IRC consultant, said the course would engage the youth. She said that this was a 'self-reflective' exercise. She said peace would not be taken in lose meaning and the course would train media students so they can convey this knowledge to other segments of the society.

IRC Director Muhammad Waseem said the course was likely to commence on April 15 at the FCCU. He said negotiations regarding introducing the course at institutions such as Kinnaird College and LUMS were also underway. He said teachers' training sessions had also been conducted for the course, adding that IRC experts would assist the teachers in teaching it. Daily Times

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