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Universities VCs appointment process challenged

Govt reply sought on VC posts criterion
Lahore, April 14: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought a report and para wise comments from Punjab government on a petition challenging process for appointment of vice chancellors in six public sector universities and composition of search committee tasked for the appointments.

Petitioner Dr Hassan Amir Shah also sought a stay order against proceedings before the search committee as an interim relief, however, Justice Ijazul Ahsan denied the instant relief and issued notices to the respondent for April 28. Shah, professor of physics in Government College University, Lahore, through his counsel Anwar Kamal submitted that Punjab government through an advertisement on Jan 19, 2011 invited applications for the post of vice chancellors in six public sector universities of Punjab.

He also applied for the post of vice chancellor GCU, Lahore, being eligible as per criteria laid down in the advertisement. He said a candidate for the said post was required to have PhD degree in any subject from a reputed university.

However, he said, the search committee later changed the criteria and preferences and was inviting only foreign qualified candidates. He said call letters were only issued to the candidates holding PhDs from a list of 500 top foreign universities of the world.

And the candidates holding PhD degrees from Pakistani universities were not called for interview. And he, being holder of a PhDs from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, was also not called for interview, petitioner said. Petitioner s counsel Anwar Kamal stated that the exclusion of petitioner s name from the process of selection by not being called for interview was discriminatory and illegal act. He also assailed the composition/constitution of Search Committee saying there were no rules, regulations and policy guidelines for selection and appointment of its members.

The counsel argued that the reported selection of 500 top foreign universities by the search committee was arbitrary and had no basis in fact or in law. He said in fact the so-called 500 top universities of today could not be given preference over the top universities of yesteryear when the applicants/candidates completed their PhDs, he said and added that it was tantamount to a retrospective application of classification.

Counsel continued his arguments saying the exclusion of universities of Pakistan from the list of reputed universities and giving preference to foreign universities was ex-facie discriminatory, whimsical, without lawful basis and mala fide.

The counsel pointed out that none of the members of search committee had a PhD or teaching experience. As such, the academic credentials of the members of the present search committee to interview the candidates for posts of vice chancellor, who possess much higher academic qualifications than each one of them, to assess the candidates raise serious issues of credibility, he added.

He said the entire process of selection for the posts of vice chancellors was lacking legal basis and a credible mechanism and was liable to be set-aside.

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Security at UVAS
Lahore: Many cases of snatching from students and employees of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) have been reported from the premises of the university. A press release here on Wednesday said about a couple of weeks ago, two policemen had been shot dead in a shootout with burglars. The university administration had reported these law and order incidents several times but the police concerned did not register any case.

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PU result
Lahore: The PU Examinations Department has announced the result of MS in Clinical Psychology, Semester System, Session 2008-2010. Detailed result is also available at PU website. The news

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Business walk at PU
Lahore: Punjab University Hailey College of Banking & Finance students and faculty members have participated in the business walk organised by Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

A large number of businessmen, politicians, members of civil society, students and professors participated in the walk. The objective of the walk was to promote the soft image of Pakistan. The event was followed by a Business Catalogue Exhibition and an on-spot student's resume submission for employer's reference. The nation

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SZABIST programmes okayed by Dubai's quality assurance body
Karachi: Government of Dubai's international quality assurance body has approved the programmes of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of science and Technology (SZAIST).

This was announced by the spokesperson of the SZABIST on Wednesday.

"SZABIST has become the only Pakistan-based university whose programmes have been approved by the Government of Dubai's highly reputable international quality assurance body following an international peer review", the spokesperson further maintained.

It was pointed out that the academic programmes of the SZABIST Dubai Campus were reviewed by the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB) set up by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of the Government of Dubai.

Dr A Faiz M Ishaq, Head of Dubai Campus, highlighted the curriculum and key features of the programmes being offered in Dubai.

The board approved all the six academic programmes being offered in the Dubai Campus, which are the same as those being taught in the home Campus of SZABIST.

The six programme were identified as: Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Computing, Bachelor of Science in Media Studies, Executive Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Computing.

As a next step, Dr Ishaq also presented a framework of the plans that SZABIST had for further strengthening its academic programmes.

Dr Warren Fox, UQAIB Chairman and Executive Director of Higher Education at KHDA, said: "We are very pleased with what SZABIST has done, especially because this has been a joint effort with other institutions in Dubai. This really is what UQAIB is about; we are striving to guarantee the standard of higher education in our Free Zones".

The KHDA of the Government of Dubai has set up UQAIB to assist qualifications and programmes with oversight of the quality of higher education offered by foreign higher education providers operating in the Dubai Free Zones.

The 10-member UQAIB board comprises academics and quality assurance experts from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, UK, South Africa, USA, Hong Kong, India and Saudi Arabia. app

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Students reject transfer of DCET to Sindh govt
Karachi: The students of Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (DCET) Karachi staged a protest demonstration on Wednesday against the proposed transfer of college from the federal to the provincial government. A larger number of students under the banner of DCET Students' Action Committee gathered in front of the college and blocked the New MA Jinnah Road. Displaying placards and banners, the enraged students chanted slogans against the proposed devolution of DCET. Action Committee coordinator Mohammad Idress said that the proposed devolution of their college will affect the academic future of the students. He feared that after the transfer of the college to the provincial government, the quota of the students belonging to other provinces would be eliminated He demanded of the government to restore the federal degree awarding status of the DCET. The news

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Students clash leads to forced boycott of classes at SU
Hyderabad: Sindh University turned into a battle ground once again on Wednesday when activists of the Sindh People's Students Federation and SPSF-Shaheed Bhutto clashed at the Information Technology Department, creating chaos and harassment on the campus and forcing abrupt closure of classes.

Ironically, the incident took place on the occasion of 43rd death anniversary of the founder of the university, Allama I.I. Kazi, who had dedicated his life to making this institution a great seat of learning.

According to a university source, the two groups clashed over the appointment of monitor at the IT department.

The groups resorted to aerial firing which created fear and harassment but luckily nobody was hurt.

Police arrested Fazal Brohi, Sami Dashti, Aslam Zardari, Waheed Panhwar and Hafeez Sehto of SPSF and Moazzam Bhutto and Riaz Siyal of SPSF-SB group and locked them up at the Jamshoro police station.

Following the arrests, activists of the SPSF, the student wing of the ruling PPP, reportedly forced boycott of classes, smashed windowpanes of buses and held a demonstration outside the vice chancellor's office.

The pro-vice chancellor of the university, Dr Parveen Shah held talks with leaders of the two groups and had them give an undertaking in writing that they would maintain peace on the campus from then onwards.

Afterwards, the university authorities intervened and the arrested students were released.

Earlier on March 31, four SPSF activists had suffered bullet injuries at the university's International Hostel following a heated argument between activists of SPSF and JSSF while they were watching the Pakistan-India semifinal. The groups exchanged hot words and then opened fire at each other.

In the wake of the March 31 incident, the university planned to hold an all-parties conference on law and order situation on the campus.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Nazir Mughal invited leaders of different political parties to attend the conference and develop a code of conduct for peaceful atmosphere on the campus.

"All political parties are requested to join hands to restore peace on the campus, which is essential for the bright future of our next generations," he said. Dawn

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Young female schoolteacher gunned down
Karachi: A young schoolteacher was cut down by an unknown assassin's bullet in Gulistan-i-Jauhar on Wednesday.

SHO Asif Jakhrani said Sana, 24, was a teacher at a private school in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

She left the school with her friend in her Alto car on Wednesday and dropped her at her house opposite Bisma Apartments.

She then left for her own house situated in Block-8, Gulistan-i-Jauhar. On the way unidentified armed men shot her dead and fled at around 2pm, SHO Jakhrani said.

After receiving information about the incident, police arrived at the scene and took the woman to hospital.

Doctors found through an examination that a single bullet had hit her in the head, causing her death.

Witnesses told the police that the suspects were in a car and fired two bullets, of which one hit the woman in the head, while the other pierced through the car's windowpane.

However, investigators a single young suspect was involved. The family denied any enmity. They said the police had taken Sana's cellphone into custody and were looking into the call and message record. The news

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