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Punjab University administration eases up on IJT

Corrupt elements not to be spared: VC
Lahore, Apr 21: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has said that no leniency would be shown to those who indulge in character assassination of university's faculty and want to make the institute 'a den of their illegal activities.'

He was addressing a joint meeting of chairmen, directors and principals of the PU at the New Campus, a press statement said on Tuesday. Interestingly, unlike the past, the PU press statement replaced the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) with 'a particular students group' while its activists were mentioned as 'elements'. Ever since April 1, 2010, when some IJT activists thrashed and injured a senior faculty member, the PU press statements clearly mentioned Jamiat while the one issued on Tuesday was certainly a different one, highlighting the softening tone of the university administration.

Dr Kamran said the present administration had no prejudice against any particular students group while the universityís performance in academic and research fields had been far better and praiseworthy as compared to that under the previous administrations. He said the elements which were bent upon destroying the peace of the oldest and largest seat of higher education and playing with the destiny of the younger generation were the real enemies of education.

The VC said that for preserving peaceful environment in the university, the new chief security officer had also been appointed in addition to 30 trained guards. The security force along with police officials had been strictly instructed to effectively check the distribution of handbills after Friday prayers in the Jamia Mosque which contained baseless immoral allegations against the faculty members.

Dr Kamran asked the departmental chairmen, hostel wardens and superintendents to carry out their official duties honestly to run the university affairs on positive lines. With a view to identifying non-student elements, they were also directed to make sure that the students invariably displayed the university ID cards on the campus. The PU VC lauded Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif for the arrest of three out of four main accused who carried out the attack on Prof Iftikhar Baloch and for his interest in the maintenance of peace atmosphere at the university. He said ever since the issuance of instructions from the CM, the police force had been extending cooperation to the PU administration.

He said only 65 students had been expelled during the last over two years in the light of disciplinary committee recommendations after impartial inquiry proceedings. He said the students who had demonstrated good behaviour had also been given relief to save their future.

Later, the faculty members, while offering their comments and suggestions, noted with satisfaction that the teaching process had restarted and expressed hope that the loss of studies caused due to boycott would be covered through additional classes up to June 30. The meeting was informed that with effect from Tuesday, the PU transport fleet would start plying buses from the New Campus to the different points at 4:30pm instead of previous 4:15pm while the same departure timings would also be observed on every Saturday, which had already been declared as a full working day.

The teachers pointed out that the teachers and students want riddance of the miscreants from the univesity. After the recent brutal attack on Prof Iftikhar Baloch, the entire teaching fraternity had given preference to the upholding of their honour and over their all other affiliations and they would also put up a similar united fight against those who tried to insult and humiliate the faculty. The news

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PU academic activities partially resume
Lahore: Academic activities at the Punjab University resumed partially on Tuesday as most classes could not be held according to the schedule while students continued roaming around their departments.

In some departments, the students said that they did not see the full strength of their teachers present and those present did not take their classes.

Meanwhile, PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran chaired a joint meeting of chairmen, directors and principals and stated that no leniency would be shown to those who indulged in character assassination of faculty members and wanted making the subcontinent's premier seat of higher learning as a den of their illegal activities.

The vice-chancellor said that security force along with police officials had been strictly instructed to effectively check the distribution of handbills after Juma prayers outside the university's main mosque, which contained baseless immoral allegations against faculty members.

Prof Kamran expressed his thanks to the chief minister for ensuring the arrest of three out of four suspects, who carried out assault on varsity's Discipline Committee chairman Prof Dr Iftikhar Baloch..

The vice-chancellor acknowledged that the police were now fully cooperating with the varsity administration after instructions from the chief minister. Refuting IJT activists' claim that the varsity administration had expelled 107 students, the VC said only 65 students were expelled during the last over two years in the light of Discipline Committee recommendations after conducting fair inquiry proceedings.

He said those, who had demonstrated good behaviour, had also been provided relief to save their academic future. He said the present administration had no prejudice against any particular students' group but those bent upon destroying the academic peace were the real enemies of education.

In order to ensure peaceful academic environment, the vice-chancellor said the university had hired the services of 30 trained guards besides appointing a new chief security officer. He said the security guards would also check the distribution of handbills after Juma prayers in the varsity mosque, which contained baseless allegations against faculty members.

He also asked the departments' chairmen, hostel wardens and superintendents to carry out their official duties honestly and judiciously so as to run the university affairs on positive lines. With a view to identifying non-student elements, he said, the varsity officials should also ensure that the students should invariably display their identity cards on the campus.

Later, the faculty members who attended the meeting claimed that teaching process had been restarted and expressed their hope that the loss of studies caused due to boycott would be covered by taking additional classes up to June 30.

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KC principal withdraws registrar slot ad
Lahore: Kinnaird College principal Dr Bernadette L. Dean has, reportedly on the instructions of "under-pressure" board of governors, withdrawn the advertisement issued on April 11 regarding the position of a registrar.

The post of registrar, which was introduced last year, had become a bone of contention since the principal selected an applicant from within the college faculty, which was consequently ratified by the board of governors.

The appointment of Dr Naima Khurshid as registrar had drawn a strong reaction from within the faculty members, including the vice-principal. Following massive protests, which were also joined by the college students, the Punjab higher education secretary objected to the action of the college principal. The secretary also reportedly said that KC's law needed to be reviewed and brought under the control of the government.

Sources claimed that this "threat" worked and the BoG "reviewed" its appointment ratification decision and the board chairman reportedly asked the registrar to resign. Dr Khurshid consequently resigned.

Now again, sources say, the board has asked the college principal to withdraw the advertisement seeking applications for the post of registrar. Sources also claim that the BoG has reservations over two out of three requirements given in the advertisement – requirement of PhD and age limit.

When contacted by media persons, BoG member Eric Massey said he did not know anything about the withdrawal of the advertisement regarding the position of a registrar.

When contacted, Dr Dean said she was asked to withdraw the advertisement, which she did. She said the BoG would review whether the college needed a registrar or not. Dawn

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UHS BSc nursing result
Lahore: The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has announced the result of the First Professional BSc Nursing Post RN (2-year programme) annual examination. According to a press release here on Tuesday, a total of 141 candidates from four affiliated Nursing colleges appeared in the exam out of which 122 passed and 19 failed. The pass percentage remained 86.52. Suraiya Jabbar of the Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing, Lahore, got first position securing 344/400 marks. Riffat Sultana of the Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing, Lahore and Fazilat Naz of the same college got second and third positions securing 334/400 and 330/400marks respectively. The news

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SkiTamasha at LUMS
Lahore: Dramaline, the dramatics society at LUMS, celebrated its 20th anniversary by organising a three-day SkiTamasha 7, from April 16.

The event held for the seventh consecutive year showcased 18 performances in different genres, including comedy and serious plays; some dealt with issues prevalent in society, while others lightened the mood with jokes. All skits were performed by LUMS students and the scripts were all originals, written by students themselves. The plays were performed in both English and Urdu.

On the final day, ex-presidents of the society watched the performances.

Later, judges Raheel Ibn-e-Ali, Jalal Bukhari and Aqdas Waseem gave award for the best director to Shehzad Ghias, who directed four productions. The best serious play award went to "What's the Distance", while "Waja, Kyun, Aiween, Acha" bagged the best comedy award. The best script award went to "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi", a play that was predominantly in verse. Taha Mir secured the best male actor award and Anum Zaidi the best female actor. Dawn

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Over 60 FJMC employees regularised
Lahore: In accordance with the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, over 60 contractual employees of Fatima Jinnah Medical College have been regularised.

Chairman Board of Management FJMC Chief Justice (Retd) Mian Mehboob Ahmad made the announcement at the event here on Tuesday.
He was the chief guest on the occasion while Principal FJMC Prof Abdul Majeed Chaudhry also attended it.
On this occasion, Mian Mehboob said that regularisation would give new hope to temporary employees families. He advised them to work hard with honesty and sincerity. Prof Abdul Majeed Ch also praised workers performance and showed gratitude towards government for taking interest in the welfare of low-grade employees.

Later, workers thanked Punjab Government directives for their regularisation and chanted slogans in favour of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The nation

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Ghost schools continue to haunt students
Layyah: Five of the 11 ghost schools in different parts of the district have reportedly been shifted to other places but will it change their status remains to be seen.

The five schools, which were operational on paper (fulfilling all requirements other than studies), were damaged by floods in 2005.

They have been shifted to other places on the recommendations of PML-N MPA Mehr Ijaz Ahmad Achlana.

The education authorities have shifted the government primary schools of Bait Gaddiwala, Sakhaniwala, Basti Sethar, Tayyabwala and Mahmood Khan-wala to other places through office order No 369-70 of Feb 24 last and No 2817-19 of Aug 24, 2009.

The authorities took the plea that the population nearby has shifted to 'safer places' and that the school buildings were damaged by the flood.

It all sounds illogical because there has been no flooding in the riverine area in the last five years, except river erosion at Sumra Nasheb union council. One may ask why these very officials have not even once thought of repairs and renovation of these institutes during the last five years and why these schools have not been shifted to the far-flung areas deprived of education.

In another 'cosmetic' step, the deputy district officer (education) has suspended two teachers Muhammad Saleem Zubair and Abdul Ghafoor of the school at Bait Gaddiwala "for being absent from the school after its shifting".

The DDO also asked them to produce the five-year record of the expenditure of school management committee.

Mr Bilal Qureshi, an educationist, questions why the staff of other schools has not been asked to come up with the expenditure record and why they have been drawing salaries without performing any duty.

The other ghost schools are Girls Maktab School at Chak No 424 TDA and primary schools at Conahywala, 426-TDA (Oadanwala), Jhook Hassan Khan, Shah-wala and Irshad-wala. All these schools have not been functional for the last few years but the teaching and not-teaching staff have regularly been drawing salaries.

Similarly, the primary school for girls at Sanjraniwala has been closed as few of its students were already studying in primary schools for boys nearby. The staff of this school also has been drawing salaries.

EDO (Education) Hafiz Abdul Wahid Aulakh, when contacted, denied existence of any ghost school in the district.

He said he had recently been posted here and would verify it after visiting the schools. Dawn

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