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HEC to continue working

HEC to continue working, says Khosa
Lahore, April 21: The University of Veterinary and Animal Science (UVAS) chancellor/Punjab governor Sardar Latif Khosa said on Wednesday said the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will continue working because the 18th amendment did not absolve the federal government from its responsibility to promote higher education in the country.

Speaking at the third convocation of the UVAS at its Ravi Campus, Pattoki on Wednesday, the governor urged the prime minister and political leadership to ensure maximum fund for the HEC. He said the universities should continue their research work for the development of the country and provide the youth hands-on training for the up-lift of the livestock and agro-economy. "I will manage the universities and students issue with the federal government as a representative of the centre," he said.

He also urged the Pakistani scientists to introduce gene transfer technology expertise, especially in the livestock sector and agriculture to enhance production potential. Khosa said that universities were the most powerful tool to accelerate the development of a country helping it attain a respectable position in the comity of nations.

The governor said that the budget allocation for the education sector was very low, and hoped that the PPP government will allocate maximum resources for the development of the sector. He said that enhanced livestock growth and productivity were essential to meet the challenging food demand for the increasing population and to alleviate poverty. Beside provision of food in the country, it is a source of rural employment and income-generating raw material for the industrial sector, he said, adding that it also earned foreign exchange.

He appreciated the universityís role in the field of education and research, saying the varsity was not only producing qualified graduates to boost the livestock sector in Pakistan but also expand the horizon of its educational system by affiliating with other national and international universities.

The governor strongly condemned suicide bombing in the country, saying that terrorists were not serving Islam. Livestock and Dairy Development Department Secretary Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan, UVAS controller examination Sajjad Hyder, Deans Faculty of Veterinary Sciences Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, Faculty of Animal Production and Technology Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, Faculty of Bio-sciences Prof Dr Ijaz Ahmad, Faculty of Fisheries and Wildlife Prof Dr Muhammad Akram were also present.

Earlier, UVAS vice-chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz said that the convocation had been arranged for the award of degrees and medals to 633 students qualifying DVM, M Phil and PhD degrees. He said that the university had the distinction of being the first Muslim World veterinary university. He said that the university had made tremendous improvement since its last convocation when only five scholars had earned PhDs as compared to 26 this year.

He said that, over the last four years, the university had initiated seven new undergraduate degree programmes as well as introduced nine postgraduate programmes. The universityís prime objective was to train manpower capable of enhancing production of good quality milk, meat, eggs and biopharmaceuticals, he said and added that the varsity had finalised various projects. He said that the HEC had done a great job for the universities.

The VC said that 20 per cent development work had been completed with the cost of one billion rupees. The university was waiting for the release of five billion rupees to complete mega development projects, already approved by the HEC. The governor also inaugurated a Wheat Hrvesting B Block. Later, he presented degrees, medals and cash prizes to the position holders.

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PU wins award
Lahore: The Punjab University Department of Electrical Engineering students have won the second best paper award in All Pakistan Technical Paper Competition (APTEC). The event was organized by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in collaboration with IEEE, Lahore section, according to a press release here on Wednesday. PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has congratulated College Principal Prof Dr Javed Ahmad, Chairman Prof Dr Rafique Ahmad, Lecturer Umar Farooq and students on this achievement.

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UHS entrance test process questioned
Lahore: A Lahore High Court division bench on Wednesday sought reply from the secretary health on May 3 on a petition against the process of entrance test for admission to medical colleges and existence of the University of Health Sciences.

The bench, comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Asad Munir, also admitted the petition for regular hearing and issued notice to respondents.

Mehvish, a student of FSc, filed the petition and pleaded through her counsel that the admission board of the UHS had announced the schedule of the entrance test but changed the old format. She pointed out that previously the students of FSc and O-level were given entrance test papers according to their curriculum but the UHS now had introduced a uniform entrance test for the students coming from the two streams of education.

She pleaded that the new uniform policy was a discriminatory act and based on malafide intention. Besides, seeking a court order to declare the new policy null and void, the petitioner also challenged the jurisdiction of the UHS to hold the entrance test, saying the establishment of the university was in violation of the constitution. She pointed out that after the promulgation of 18th Amendment, the law relating to the UHS was to be presented and passed by the Parliament in 120 days but the same had not been done which had put a question mark over the establishment of the university.

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Reply sought on plea against VC's appointment
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday again sought replies from Punjab government, chief secretary, health secretary by May 10 on a writ petition challenging appointment of university of health sciences vice chancellor, Malik Hussain Mubashar.

On Wednesday, it was told to Justice Sh Azmat Saeed that no reply was submitted by any respondent. Upon this, the judge adjourned hearing, observing that a retired officer (Dr Mubashar) was reappointed after summoning from home. The court would not declared case infructous (ineffective) rather would decide it on merit.

Recently Punjab government has reappointed Dr Mubashar as chairman of UHS on the expiry of his term. The instant petition was filed during his previous tenure.

Tahir Hameed filed the petition claiming his right to agitate the impugned appointment being a taxpayer citizen of Pakistan.

Advocate Nasir Mehmood Qureshi representing the petitioner submitted that the University of Health Sciences (UHS) was an autonomous body which was established under the University of Health Sciences, Lahore Ordinance, 2002. He said at that time, pursuant to section 12, respondent Malik Mubashar was appointed as vice chancellor on April 12, 2003.

The counsel pointed out that section 12(5) of the Ordinance says that any person who is not eligible to be appointed as professor, is disqualified for appointment as vice-chancellor.

He said the respondent after attaining age of superannuation/retirement on July 31, 2005, was not eligible to meet criteria for his appointment as vice chancellor, so his presence in office was without lawful authority.

He argued that the appointment of the respondent was made in sheer violation of appointment policy as no applications from other eligible candidates were invited before the appointment neither other equally eligible candidates were provided with an opportunity to compete for that.

Therefore, the appointment was void and of no legal affect, counsel said and prayed to the court to seek an explanation from the respondent VC under what authority of law he was holding the office particularly after completing his four years terms in the office.

And the office of the respondent might be declared vacant and the authorities concerned be directed to appoint a qualified person who would be eligible for the post, he further prayed.

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LCWU presents selected films today
Lahore: The Lahore College for Women University Lahore in collaboration with The Little Art is presenting selected films from the Lahore International Children s Film Festival on Thursday (today). The venue of the film screenings is the auditorium of the Lahore College for Women University Lahore where short films will be shown for educational purposes.

The festival had its flagship event in March 2011, which met a wonderful success while bringing near 8,000 children and young people together to experience some of the world s best children s films in Lahore.

The festival aims to provide alternative learning opportunities to children in Pakistan and introduce arts as a positive learning vehicle to children and young people.

For LCWU show, the films are specially selected for education, media and film students to know how children can be educated by using the medium of film. The purpose of screening the films to Lahore College for Women University students is to sensitise the future teachers and artists who will be working with children and youth towards understanding film as educational tools and its possible use in teaching.

The festival is being organised by The Little Art, an organisation dedicated to produce innovative arts education projects for children and young people in Pakistan. It is a youth-led organisation that is determined through numerous artistic avenues, media in particular, to promote the principles and ideals of democracy, equality, civil rights, community, prosperity, higher education, religious and cultural tolerance and sustaining cultural heritage. Children and young people are its audience.

Dr Uzma Qureshi, Head of the Education Department of Lahore College for Women University, says Arts Education is an essential component of a comprehensive educational experience.

Learning through the arts often results in greater academic achievement and higher personal development and the LCWU is committed to improving educational practice by promoting values of democracy, social justice and cultural tolerance in the country .

The partners for this project hope to raise awareness among students and academia regarding arts education and demonstrating film and media as an effective arts education tool to work with children and young people.

Festival Director Shoaib Iqbal says The festival is proudly becoming synonymous with a sense of wonder and delight, cultivating the young hearts and minds destined to become our future leaders.

And we are proud of leading the innovation in arts education in Pakistan. The show we are organising with the LCWU gives us great pleasure and pride because we are introducing alternative means of education to future teachers and educated youth. The news

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