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National Internship programme youth employees stipends

Youth employed under NIP not paid stipends for three months
Karachi, Aug 24: Hundreds of youth employed under the National Internship Programme at different government institutions in Sindh have not received their monthly stipends for the last three months.

While delayed payments in the NIP are a major concern, especially for youth belonging to resource-constrained families, experts believe that the host organisations where these young people have been employed for a year need to formulate a strategy for the proper utilisation and training of interns.

More than 25,000 interns are enrolled under the NIP in the country. Of them, 5,466 are in Sindh. The programme, launched in 2007, offers young unemployed masters degree holders, doctors and engineers an opportunity to work at a government organisation for a year at a monthly stipend of Rs10,000.

The federal government has allocated Rs3.6 billion for 2009-10 for the programme, and it plans to induct more interns this year. In 2007, about 26,000 interns were registered with the NIP. There were no inductions in 2008 because of the government's weak financial position.

The University of Karachi has so far received about 50 interns, according to KU registrar Prof Raees Alvi. Others are posted at public sector colleges and different government departments.Interns complained about the delay in payment of their stipends which, they said, had not been received for three months.

"Now, it has become difficult to pay for transport and other expenses from our own pockets. Many of us left our jobs and got enrolled under the NIP in the hope that it would help us earn a better income and, at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to have professional experience. Unfortunately, things have not turned out the way I had expected," said an NIP intern at the KU.

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"here, i would like to aware that until we have not been received may-june two months months stipends.accoding to director general nip he said said that stipen had been sanctioned till september but we have not received. "
Name: RAmesh
City, Country: hyderabad

Trivial jobs
Karachi: According to her, she was being asked to do 'trivial jobs' at the university which, she said, wouldn't improve her job prospects. "Initially I managed the library and later I was asked to help in the lab. But my job seemed pretty useless since there were already two cooperative teachers present to help the teacher in the lab.

"My posting letter doesn't specify the area of my work. If that had not been the case, things might have been different," she said.

Though other NIP interns,teachers at the KU say the host organisation, especially the KU administration, should devise a strategy to help these youngsters train in specific areas which could enhance their job prospects. "The programme is no doubt a commendable initiative of the government. But the feedback I have got on it is not that encouraging. In many cases at the KU, interns are not being utilised properly, which is a sheer waste of government resources," said Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, dean of the science faculty.

She complained that the university administration didn't take the deans into confidence while sending interns to different departments. "I have no list of students being sent to the science departments. It appears that interns are contacting heads of departments on their own and there is no strategy in place on how to utilise them."

The university, she said, had a large number of cooperative (ad hoc) teachers and it was time that the officials reviewed this administrative strategy. "The federal government is spending billions of rupees on the interns and, at the same time, the university is paying a huge amount of money every year to cooperative teachers. Why can't we devise a strategy to reduce the KU bill by cutting the number of cooperatives and taking these interns instead?"

"Many interns," she said, "are able, talented and well qualified. What they require is training."

About the delay in payments, Ashiq Hussain Abbasi, the NIP director-general based in Islamabad, said the government had sanctioned funds and the interns would be paid soon. "Rs163.98 million has been sanctioned for Sindh and the officials have been asked to clear all dues."

Regarding the training of interns in specific areas, he said the objective of the programme was to give young people a chance to get an idea of how things work in professional life. "We have asked the institutions to send interns to different sections so they learn as much as they can about different aspects of a job. It's practically not possible for us to specify areas, but institutions can definitely help interns achieve better results." Dawn

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Baqai Medical University planning to increase intake
Karachi: The Baqai Medical University (BMU) is planning to enhance the intake to the MBBS course from the current 100 seats to 150 in the coming years. This was stated by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Dr Syed Azhar Ahmed. He said that the Baqai University had already approached the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) in this regard.

Prof. Azhar said that the Baqai University conducted written tests for admission to the MBBS course on August 15.Some 850 candidates appeared. Prof Azhar said that the admissions would be made purely on merit.

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Tributes showered on Sharar for his verse
Karachi: Professor Younus Sharar is known for his thematic and realistic poetry that conveys different thoughts with varying intensity. His poetry is considered a combination of classical tradition with modern sensitivity.

The Chancellor of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Zille Ahmed Nizami, said this at a ceremony held by SSUET in the honour of the famous Urdu poet, Professor Younus Sharar who has recently come from the US, according to a press statement issued here on Sunday.

Presiding over the ceremony, Nizami pointed out that Sharar had a wide range of expressions that intrigued readers with soul-stirring poetry. "He beautifully uses metaphors and similes in his poetry to bring force and lyricism to his work," he said.

While speaking on the occasion as chief guest, the Honorary General Secretary of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys' Association, Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan, said that it was difficult to see any change in Pakistan. "I am thankful to Younus Sharar for coming to see us here at the University otherwise whoever lands in Pakistan from America goes to either the President's or the Prime Minister's House," he quipped. The news

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