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Karachi University criminology department mistake

Students in shock as KU concedes 'mistake'
Karachi, Apr 28: Research students who were given admission to the Karachi University's 'criminology department' are in a state of shock upon receiving a letter from the university that says their department does not exist on the campus and they are required to get themselves registered with the sociology department.

According to the letter recently sent by the university's Board of Advanced Studies and Research (BASR) to 10 MPhil/PhD students of the 'criminology department', "the criminology department does not exist in the University of Karachi.

"However, criminology as a programme is approved for master's degree in the evening classes only. In case any admission granted in criminology by mistake will be treated under the sociology department. You are advised to ensure that your admission is confirmed only in sociology department, otherwise it stands cancelled".

Naturally upset, these students, some of whom are in the middle of completing their PhD thesis, are not willing to accept any excuse from the varsity for running a fake department and warned that they would sue the university if they did not get justice.

"It is simply unacceptable and unbelievable that the university gave us admission in the research programme of a department, which does not exist on the campus. And, this too happened by mistake as they are claiming it now. What we do know is that our admissions were done through a proper channel and all our documents show the same. If this is a fraud, they (the university) cannot get away with it by just saying it was an oversight," one of them said.

Three of the students got enrolled in the MPhil/PhD programme in 2005.

A fake department
Earlier this year, media reports had exposed a department (criminology department) being run parallel to the KU's sociology department, though no paperwork had been done at the university to establish such a department.

Admissions were being offered in the fake department for the master's and MPhil/PhD programmes for many years. Last year, the university also awarded a PhD degree from the 'department of criminology' at its convocation. Interestingly, the PhD thesis was completed in two-and-a-half years while normally it takes five to seven years to complete a PhD thesis.

Upon this 'disclosure', the KU administration whitewashed the board bearing the name of the criminology department, formed a fact-finding committee and announced that there is no criminology department on the campus and students must ensure that they are enrolled in the sociology department.

However, the fact-finding committee is yet to present its report.

It is worth mentioning that the KU offers the subject of criminology only as a master's level course at the sociology department on a self-finance basis under its evening programme. The master's level programme that cost between Rs50,000 and Rs60,000 is approved by the university's academic council.

The master's level course is one of the most lucrative programmes of the university from which it earns over Rs10 million, according to Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat, a former chairperson of the sociology department who is a PhD in sociology and supervising most of the students doing their PhDs in criminology.

Question mark over competence of KU administration
Voicing their concerns, the students said that their future is at stake and the university officials involved in what they called a 'crime' must be brought to book.

"Karachi University is not a private school being run in a bungalow. It's one of the most prominent institutions of the country, having a history of 50 years. I have all documentary evidence that include my enrolment and university cards as well as letters from the BASR, approving my admission in the MPhil/PhD programme of the criminology department," said Jawed Aziz Masudi, a lawyer and a member of the American Society of Criminology.

According to Mr Masudi, he had written a number of papers on his area of specialisation and had also represented the country at an international conference on global security organised by the Turkish National Police in 2007 where he was the only Pakistani who read a research paper.

"I received a shield there bearing my name and the name of my department. I presented the shield to Dr Burfat as an honour for the department. I have also set up an NGO to provide services to law-enforcement agencies in the field of criminology," he said, adding that he was unable to come to terms with the fact that the amount of money and time he spent to specialise in an area had gone down the drain.

"My enrolment card is valid till 2012. I have all the vouchers and fee slips, showing my admission to the criminology department. I passed the test for research methodology and got a certificate. I appeared before a BASR board comprising senior professors who interviewed me. Now, how can I accept that a criminology department does not exist? My reputation is at stake and the issue is affecting my work, my mental and physical health. Who is responsible and who would pay the cost?" he asked.

Some of these students had been enrolled in the department of criminological sciences, a few in the department of applied criminology while others in the criminology department.

Another aggrieved student, Nabi Bakhsh Narejo, who heads the criminology department of Sindh University, had similar worries.

"Currently, I am acting as the official in charge of the department since I am not an associate professor. A PhD degree from the criminology department would have strengthened my credentials to apply for the post. Now, when I am about to receive the degree, I am being told that my department does not exist."

After receiving the BASR letter, Mr Narejo contacted the chairperson of the department, Dr Rana Saba Sultan, who told him that the letter was for new students and not for old ones and that the criminology department would be set up soon.

KU Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Shahana Urooj said that the varsity was investigating the matter and a committee had been assigned the job. "I think there had been some misunderstanding. But we took up the matter and have tried to rectify the mistake. The career of many students has been saved now, otherwise their degrees could have been questioned at any stage and this would have jeopardised their future," she said. Dawn

Your Comments
"what a shocking news for me that the department of criminalogy doesnt exist.i had intention to take admission in criminalogy from uok because i can not afford a fees of private university. the behaviour of university administration is unacceptable.i request honourable president asif ali zardari,pime minister yousuf raza gillani,chanceller and governor sindh israt ul ibad to take strick action against university administration.thanks"
Name: ashfaq ahmed
City, Country: karachi,pakistan

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LLB exam form, fee submission date announced
Karachi: Controller of Examinations, KU has announced that the examination forms and fee of LLB-1/LLB-II/LLB (Final) Annual Examinations 2010 will be accepted from May 3 to May 17, 2010. Moreover, the examination forms and fee of regular candidates of MA (Previous & Final) Annual Examinations 2009 will be accepted at the respective colleges from May 3 to May 18. All those candidates who had enrolled in 2003 or earlier are eligible to appear in MA (Previous or Final) Regular (Colleges) Annual Examinations 2009 as a last chance on the payment of Rs.5000/- extra in addition to the normal examination fee.

Your Comments
"Dear friends , plz tell the exam form date of LLM (previous). I shall be very thankful to you."
Name: Mubasher
City, Country: Pakisatn

"plz muja ya batay ka mirpur board ka matric ka result kab aay ga date kayia ha"
Name: raja yasir
City, Country: muzaffarabad ajk

"can u tell me whats the process to get admission in llb"
Name: kashif ali
City, Country: karachi,pakistan

"i would like to ask u that the whatis fully procidure to take admission in MA (Crim) there is no any write path to don this"
Name: Mehmood
City, Country: karachi

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KU workshop
Karachi: The inaugural ceremony of 'Advances in Physiological Ecology of Salt Tolerance', a workshop jointly organised by the University of Karachi (KU) and UNESCO's Chair in Sustainable Halophyte Utilization was held on Tuesday.

Addressing the session, Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said that Pakistan is an agro-based economy on which more than 60 per cent of the rural population relied. Talking about climate change and how KU intended to create opportunities, she said, Pro-Vice Chancellor-Dr Nasiruddin Khan- said that in Pakistan, there are vast surfaces of barren and abandoned marginal lands that are commonly believed useless.

A Korean expert, Dr Taek-Ryoun Kwon said that he is willing to participate in networking with all the Asian universities especially KU. "A three dimensional collaboration will be fruitful in this regard, which includes the exchange of scientists, organization of mutual academic activities and signing MoUs with various research projects. Dean Faculty of Science, Prof. Dr Darakhshan Haleem also spoke. The news

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Balochistan University professor killed in act of target killing
Quetta: Unidentified assailants riding a bike gunned down a University of Balochistan assistant professor of media and journalism on Tuesday. Nazima Talib was shot thrice from behind near the private residence of the Balochistan governor on Saryab Road as she was travelling in a rickshaw to Radio Pakistan for participation in a programme. The governor's security guards who called in an ambulance said they heard no gunshots. The body was initially taken to Civil Hospital, and later sent to the professor's hometown of Karachi. A case has been registered against unidentified attackers and an investigation launched. Police described the attack as a target killing. Daily times

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PUTA concerned at govt failure to recover VC
Peshawar: Kidnapped vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology Prof Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel is still untraceable despite a lapse of six months, as the authorities have failed to take effective steps for his safe recovery.

Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) in its general body meeting on Tuesday expressed serious concern over the government failure to recover the head of a prestigious institution.

The participants of the meeting were of the opinion that almost half-an-year had passed and the authorities concerned had failed to ensure recovery of the vice-chancellor.

The academicians were particularly critical of the role being played by the governor. They were of the opinion that main responsibility rested with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, who was also the chancellor of the public sector universities and was looking after the tribal areas' affairs on behalf of federal government.

Above all the kidnapped vice-chancellor is a former advisor to the governor and he had very cordial ties with him. But to the utter disappointment of his family members and the teaching community, the governor did not bother to make even a phone call to them and console them in this hour of trial.

"The governor should resign if he is unable to perform his duties properly. It is his duty to provide protection to the officials of public sector universities," said former president of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, Dr Arbab Khan Afridi.

Prof Dr Lutfullah was kidnapped by unknown armed men on November 6, 2009, while he was on his way from Peshawar to the university located in Kohat. Crossing the restive semi-tribal region of Darra Adamkhel, when he reached Akhurwal area, some masked men intercepted his car and took away him along with his driver and vehicle. His driver was, however, released soon.

The political administration of Frontier Region Kohat and the security forces busy in an operation in semi-tribal valley against militants since January 2008 came into action after the kidnapping of the vice-chancellor. They raided the suspected hideouts of militants and took a number of elders of Akhurwal tribe into custody to ensure release of the vice-chancellor, but to no avail.

Later, the political authorities also launched a hunt against Akhurwal tribesmen in the region and settled areas of the province to mount pressure on them for recovery of the vice-chancellor.

The business concerns of the Akhurwal tribal people in Peshawar were also sealed. But all these measures proved a futile effort, as Akhurwal tribesmen were not able to put pressure on the powerful militants who have captured Dr Lutfullah.

There were reports that Dr Lutfullah had been kidnapped by the men of Darra Adamkhel head of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Mohammad Tariq. Some reports suggested the militant commander had also forwarded a list of demands to the authorities for releasing the vice-chancellor.

But the authorities have neither given any response to the demands by the militants nor taken any other step to ensure safe recovery of the academician, the reports said.

Administrative staff, teachers and students of different universities across the province were active in the initial days of the kidnapping of the vice-chancellor. Everyday they were seen staging protest, observing class boycotts and holding meetings to press the government for early recovery of the vice-chancellor. But they also turned silent when the issue lingered on for such a long time. The news

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