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Pakistan Institute of Development Economics degree status

PIDE gets status to award degrees
Islamabad, Apr 13: President Asif Ali Zardari signed a bill on Monday giving the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) a degree-awarding status in major fields of economics and business.

The Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Bill, 2010, was approved by the National Assembly on January 1 and the Senate on March 24.

Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the occasion, President Zardari said signing the bill into law was recognition of the role played by PIDE in education sector and its capacity to produce competent economists.

He said there was a need to strengthen the human resources of the country with highly trained economists in the public and private sectors. The bill that would enable the institute to award PhDs, MPhils and masters in economics and business would help meet this requirement, the president said. Dawn

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Preston university's 'spring splash 2010'
Islamabad: Students of different universities expressed a strong urge of peace, spirituality and liberation through a variety of symbols and mediums used in a sketching and painting competition held at Preston University here on Monday.

The competition was a part of the weeklong festivities titled 'Spring Splash 2010' organised by the Preston University at its main campus. A colourful and energetic environment combined with happy faces marked the first day of the festivities that started with the inter-university cricket tournament.

The sketching and painting competition among 10 universities was the second event on the list. Students enthusiastically participated in the event and made inspiring sketches and paintings in a limited time of only three hours. Students used symbols of spirituality from eastern as well as western literature on the topic 'Splashes of Spiritual Life'.

The symbol of spirituality used by majority of the participants was the Turkish whirling saints. Some gave space to all forms of spirituality symbols that exist in the world whereas others portrayed shrines as the source of spirituality for the common man in this region. One painting depicted the Holy Quran as the centre of spirituality for the whole world.

The judges' panel for the event included eminent artists such as Director Jharoka Naheed Raza, Riffatullah Khan and Ahmed Habib. Universities that participated in the event included Federal Urdu University, National University of Modern Languages (NUML), FAST, Institute of Space Technology, Iqra and International Islamic University. Hunerkada Chairman Jamal Shah was the chief guest on the occasion.

Interestingly, almost all universities that took part in the event do not have a visual or performing arts department on their campuses but the depth of message and skilful use of mediums by each student clearly depicted their maturity level and grasp over the use of oil and watercolours in a harmonious and artistic way.

In the painting category, Nousheen Butt of Iqra University won the trophy for first position whereas Huziafa Arshed of Institute of Space Technology and Hamid Afzal of Preston University stood second and third respectively. For the sketching competition, Haider Ali of Institute of Space Technology won the first prize, followed by Imran Hassan of FAST and Awais Saeed of IIU for second and third positions.

On the occasion, Jamal Shah said that art is the most affective, accessible and least dangerous way to communicate, adding that science has gone in the wrong hands and brought destruction to society through its twisted ways. He was of the opinion that art provides a medium to voice these concerns and promotes peace and harmony. He said every human being possesses an artistic sense but the manifestation is different. "Anyone who has the desire to engage creativity with life is an artist, be it a soldier, a cobbler or a shopkeeper."

Jamal Shah said Pakistan is fortunate to have 65 per cent of its population falling in the category of youth. "I hope and pray that decision-makers become wise enough to invest all resources in youth, so they can play a responsible role tomorrow and change the country forever."

Speaking on the occasion, Chancellor Preston University Dr. Abdul Basit said the competition was aimed at promoting peace, love and harmony among the young generation, adding that other activities planned during the 'Spring Splash 2010' include badminton, table tennis, dramatics, bilingual debate, bridal dress and singing competitions. "In the end, the participating universities will hold a comedy 'mushaira'," he said.

Highlighting the history of Preston University, he said established in 1984, it was the first-ever private higher education institution in the country. "Currently, the university has the largest network of any private institution in the country and also has its campuses in United Arab Emirates and China. Preston University has also been granted the highest category A by the Higher Education Commission (HEC)," he pointed out. He said the journey has not ended here, as the university is planning to expand its scope by including newer departments to link its students and the country with latest technological developments and industrial trends.

In the end, shields and trophies were distributed among the winners and judges of the painting and sketching competition.Later, the Preston University organised an auspicious roll of honour award ceremony for the students of BBA and BS-IT of fall semester 2009. Registrar Preston University AW Baloch was the chief guest at the event, attended by a large number of students and parents.

On this occasion, the chancellor urged the students to focus on their studies and utilise their energies in positive activities. He said their target should be to achieve success at every stage of their life and bring laurels for their country. "This roll of honour should not be the end but the start of your journey of success," he said.

Rs21 million allocated for sports events in universities
Islamabad: A five-day inter-university sports extravaganza organised by the Preston University as part of its 'Spring Splash 2010' started here on Monday with students showing great zeal and enthusiasm to earn victories in their respective competitions.

On the first day, the students competed in four categories, including Twenty20 cricket, badminton, table tennis and painting and sketching contests, which were held at different venues.

Speaking on the occasion, Talat Khurshid, director general (sports) at the Higher Education Commission (HEC), said that an amount of Rs21 million has been allocated for organising sports events in universities operating across the country. He said that more than 13,600 students of different universities would compete in 40 events this year that would itself be a record participation in sports activities during the calendar year.

"It is very encouraging that three female students have been selected for the national women's cricket team and two male students are participating in the Cricket Patron Trophy (Grade I and II)," he said.

Talat Khurshid said victories in the field of sports would certainly help build a soft image of Pakistan in the comity of nations, so there is a need to ignite the spirit of sports at all levels in educational institutions.

Dr. Abdul Basit, chancellor of the Preston University, said sports activities make students learn about rising after facing defeat and maintaining a momentum when success comes their way. "The main purpose of organising sports events is to focus on personality development of students, who will be our future leaders and architects of the country's development process," he said.

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Black day observed, FAPUASA demands removal of NUML rector
Islamabad: Academicians in the public sector universities in all the provinces of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan observed Black Day at the call of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) on Monday to protest against the apathy of authorities over the recurring incidents of violence against teachers.

Talking to this scribe, Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar, President of FAPUASA, who is also President of Punjab University teachers body, said that black flags and banners were hoisted in the campuses to mark the day and teachers wore black armbands and black gowns in classes.

He said that so far the show-cause notice against Prof Tahir Malik of National University of Modern Languages had not been withdrawn, so FAPUASA demands removal of Brigadier (r) Aziz Khan, the Rector of NUML who is heading that institution for more than last 10 years.

The teachers of universities in the federal metropolis including Quaid-i-Azam University, Allama Iqbal University and National University of Modern Languages wore black armbands throughout the day as a mark of protest against the torture perpetrated by some elements in the universities. AIOU had already displayed Black Day banners in the university to show solidarity with the teaching community in universities.

Prof. Kaleemullah Breech, General-Secretary of FAPUASA, talking to this scribe from Quetta urged the government to seriously pursue the case of kidnapped VC of Kohat University. He said that if the government cannot provide protection to the teaching community, FAPUASA would chalk out its strategy and future course of action in consultation with FAPUASA members. He congratulated the teachers for observing a successful Black Day.

In a statement, Badar Soomro, President of Sindh University Teachers Association, fully endorsing the resolutions passed by FAPUASA in its general body meeting held at AIOU last week, asked Federal and NWFP governments to immediately recover Prof. Lutfullah Khan Kakakhel, Vice-Chancellor of Kohat University, who was kidnapped six months ago. He also asked the Punjab University authorities to take action against the activists of a outfit of a politico-religious party who thrashed Prof. Iftikhar Baloch.

Prof Soomro also asked for removal of retired army officers and bureaucrats from the posts of vice-chancellors. He asked for arresting those who attacked Prof. Nasim Abbas Abbasi in University of Sindh and AJK University and withdrawal of cases against Dr Mehtab Ali Shah and others for exercising their right of freedom of expression.

He also demanded removal of the acting Vice Chancellor of Government College University, Faisalabad, for his revengeful activities against the elected representatives of Academic Staff of the university. The news

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'Fake degree' issue: LHC summons MPA, CEC
Rawalpindi: The Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices to Chief Election Commissioner and the provincial assembly member from PP-240, asking them to respond by the end of this month to a petition challenging the MPA's qualification.

Justice Asad Munir of the LHC's Rawalpindi bench, while taking up the petition of two voters from Taunsa Sharif tehsil of Dera Ghazi Khan district, directed the CEC and the MPA to respond to the petition, alleging that the legislator's degree was not genuine.

Citing Election Commission, MPA Meer Badshah Qaisrani and University of Sindh Jamshoro as respondents, petitioners Sardar Imam Qaisrani and Khizar Hayat Qaisrani through their lawyer Malik Qamar Afzal has maintained that the PML-N's MPA had a fake bachelor degree. They claimed that the University of Sindh had confirmed the degree as fake.

The petitioners said the returning officer of the constituency rejected the nomination papers of Meer Badshah in 2002 general election after the university had said that no degree had been issued to him.

They said Mr Badshah later got himself qualified from the high court where he submitted another fake document showing fake university confirmation report on his degree.

The petitioners said the university later publicised through media that no degree was issued to Meer Badsha.

Separately, Justice Asad Munir withheld his decision about an office objection on the application of Rana Faqir Hussain seeking acquittal in the case of twin suicide attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf.

Office of the LHC objected that for acquittal a complete petition should be moved instead of a mere application but advocate Mohammad Akram Awan representing the appellant said that under section 561-A of CrPC the high court entertained his application.

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Islamic heritage showcased at IIUI
Islamabad: A landmark Islamic heritage exhibition opened at Faisal Mosque campus of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on Monday.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Palestinian Ambassador Hazim Hussein Abu Shanab.

Female students set up 36 stalls representing several countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Kenya, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Malaysia, Palestine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, Qatar and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan was well represented. Students from Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and the NWFP set up separate stalls.

Students from Gilgit-Baltistan also set up an exclusive stall to portray their region. Besides, a stall also represented Chitral.

All stalls displayed uniform pattern of exhibits such as traditional ladies garments, knick-knacks, food items and musical instruments. However, the Chinese stall displayed Arabic calligraphy.

There was a novelty in the Italian stall which presented girls dressed as gypsies. The stall from Rajasthan, India, took the cake for its quaint dresses and plastic bangles which reached right up to the shoulder level. Here we found Bagga (from Bahawalnagar) playing on the single stringed instrument, Iktara.

At the Iraqi stall, a lady, Zahra, named her country's tasty dishes and said Iraqi dates had no parallel in the world. The Palestinian stall was crowded with all sorts of visitors. The prize for the best stall will be announced on Tuesday.

IIUI president Anwar Hussain Siddqui, vice-president Parveen Qadir Agha, female student adviser Qaisarah Ali and exhibition coordinator Rubina Siddiqui took the Palestinian ambassador around the stalls. The ambassador presented a plaque with an image of Al-Aqsa Mosque to the IIU president.

The envoy appreciated the efforts of the organisers. Dawn

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