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KU employees union vs Administration

A university of discontent
Karachi, Aug 30: The employees union of the University of Karachi (KU) has stopped the rampage at the university (albeit for the time being). The union wanted the KU to pay them the leave encashment (LE) amount in one go, instead of two equal installments. Although nothing wrong with that demand, they faltered when they locked the departments, disrupted the classes and warned their co workers, who wanted to continue working, of dire consequences. If it was not enough they kept the students and the administration hostage for two days.

The students who are the main stakeholders were aghast. "Why it is being done to us," a third year student of Mass Communication Department asked the teacher while standing outside the locked department. The teacher had no answer. Some other students had the answer. "It is because the administration is weak. All the top notch officials' main concern is to project them. They love the photo sessions and their conscience is not pricked by the sufferings of the students. And we do not have a students union to protect our interests", others agree.

The employees union is not a Collective Bargaining Association (CBA) as it had ceased to be two years earlier and no elections were held to elect new CBA. So the question is why the university administration is playing a silent spectator's role? Is it afraid of the muscle flexing by the employees or some strings are being pulled from the citadels of power?

An officer in grade 20 said that even if the present union was a CBA, it has no right to deprive 24,000 students of their basic right the education. "They (CBA) could protest only after the office hours. The protest should be in a civilized manner, not the way showed by them recently. The Sindh High Court has already given many rulings and some employees of Garden department have been suspended because their protest was illegal", he elaborated.

The painful thing about the episode was the inaction and disinterest shown by the administration. The two Pro Vice Chancellors proved to be white elephants because instead of taking any action they were waiting for the VC. The VC, is keeping aloof with the day to day affairs of the university. He is only happy with the assenters and shows his fangs who try to tell about the bad governance of the university. He is perched in his elevated seat knowing well that it is safe because he has the blessings of high and mighty in the government.

In the meantime, the university is being run like a badly-managed factory, the classes are not held due to one or other reasons. Nobody is interested. Some, very minute minority among the teachers, employees and the officers, know it was not right but they have no power or sufficient courage to say: Enough is enough. Stop plundering and destroying the university, after all you get your bread and butter from here.

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Entrance test for PhD Law held at KU
Karachi: The entrance test for admission to PhD Law at the University of Karachi was held on Sunday from 10am to 12:00 noon in the Arts Auditorium. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Karachi (KU), Professor Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said that at least 140 candidates had applied, whereas 101 candidates appeared in the test while 39 were absent. The list of the successful candidates in the test will be displayed on the university's website soon, a spokesperson for the KU said. The successful candidates will be interviewed by the committee, along with proposed research project, synopsis duly prepared in consultation with a qualified supervisor. The date and venue for interview will be communicated later, he added.

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Land mafia occupies plot tagged for girls' college
Karachi: Powerful land grabbers have been occupying an eight-acre government amenity plot allotted for setting up a girls' college in Shahnawaz Shar Goth, UC-12, Gulshan-e-Iqbal town, for almost two years, while police and concerned civic departments seem reluctant to take action against the land mafia.

It was learnt that some two years back, the villagers had written to the Sindh education minister to set up a girls college in this low-income area, as 80 per cent of matriculation passed girls could not get higher education because their poor parents could not afford their commuting and other expenses for getting education in other parts of the city.

They said this college would also be beneficial for the girls of Sachal Goth, Ayub Goth, Abdullah Shah Gazi Goth, Marroura Goth, Muhammad Khan Goth, Chapel Sun City, Sohni Chalet, Bilawal Shah Noorani Goth, Ganhwar Khan Gabol Goth, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Goth, Haji Ramzan Gabol Goth, Pario Gabol Goth, Abdullah Raho Goth, Baloch Khan Goth, Qasim Goth, Safoora Goth and the adjourning areas. They also offered an eight-acre plot of their village for this purpose.

On March 11, 2009, Nazim Union Council 12, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Dr Shaikh Sultan wrote to the district officer (Education Works-II), W&SD, CDGK, that the villagers had voluntarily surrendered their land for setting up a girls' college there, and the director general of colleges had also approved the scheme; therefore, the construction work for the proposed college, already included in the provincial ADP No 1199 (2008-2009) should be started. He also offered all-out help from his union council for the construction of the said project.

However, the powerful land mafia covertly backed by some influential ruling politicians, encroached upon this amenity plot and set up cattle pens and shanties (Jhugis) there. The villagers then approached the DIG East and the home secretary, who ordered the concerned police officers to remove the encroachments; however, due to the influence of land mafia and their powerful backers, the police could not take any action to get the college amenity plot vacated.

On May 6, 2009, the City Nazim Secretariat, CDGK, ordered the executive district officer, revenue, and the executive district officer, works and services, to submit a report regarding encroachment of this amenity plot so as to take further necessary action.

On April 22, 2010, the Mukhtiarkar (Revenue)/, Scheme 33, CDGK, wrote to the DDO (Rev), Scheme 33, CDGK, requesting him to ask the SHO Sachal police station to take action against the encroachers and retrieve the grabbed government land.

On May 5, 2010, the chief engineer, Works and Services Department, CDGK, told the District Coordination Officer, CDGK, that the land earmarked for construction of a girls college had been occupied; therefore, construction work was not possible till the encroachment was removed.

On May 14, 2010 the DO (Revenue), CDGK, wrote to the deputy inspector general of the Karachi Police, East, requesting him to ask the concerned SHO to deploy sufficient force at the time of removal of illegal encroachments from the land, for which date and time would be communicated by the Mukhtiarkar and the DDO (Revenue). Later, it was decided to launch an operation to remove encroachments on June 15, 2010, and the concerned departments requested to provide line staff and required machinery for the purpose; however, the operation could not be launched due to bureaucratic reasons.

On July 22, 2010, the EDO (Revenue), CDGK, wrote to the director general Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) and the DIG Operations (East) and the CCPO that the CDGK was planning to launch an operation for removal of encroachments from the site that would last for 2-3 days.

He requested provision of adequate police force along with leady searchers to make the operation successful. However, the operation was again postponed due to the 'law and order situation'.

The residents of Shahnawaz Shar Goth and adjourning localities feel that some powerful hands are moving behind the curtain to sabotage the efforts regarding removing encroachments from this precious eight-acre plot worth millions of rupees. They said the delay in construction of this proposed college would deprive girl students of this poor locality from getting higher education. The news

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