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Rs26bn for public universities

LAHORE, Aug 7: Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbul has said the government has allocated Rs22 billion for the establishment and development of universities in the country with the cooperation of the Higher Education Commission while the Punjab government has increased the block allocated for public universities from Rs2 billion to Rs4 four billion.

Talking to reporters after the concluding session of the four-day consultative conference of project directors and vice chancellors of 17 public universities on Monday, he said the government had provided "unlimited" resources to the universities to impart international standard education to the children of white collar families. The government also ensured introduction of scholarships to cover the educational expenses for the students from the poor families so that no intelligent boy or girl was forced to discontinue education because of inability of their parents to pay the fees.

He said maximum resources had been provided in the past five years not only to old universities, including Punjab University, Lahore; Agriculture University, Faisalabad; and Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, but also to the newly-established universities as well.

A block allocation of Rs300 million has been made for the improvement of 10 campuses of the University of Education in different cities. A sum of Rs80 million would be spent on the renovation of the largest students hostel in the provincial metropolis consisting of 139 rooms in the Lower Mall Campus of University of Education adjacent to the Central Model School. At the moment, only 30 rooms of the hostel are being used by students but the remaining 131 rooms are locked due to their dilapidated condition. Up to Rs50 million have been allocated to improve hostels of the University of Education on Bank Road and Lahore Township.

The governor said Rs170 million had been allocated for the construction of classrooms and establishment of libraries at Fiasalabad, Multan and Joharabad campuses of the University of Education. A campus of the University of Education will also be established in Okara very soon. Separate teachings blocks would be built for language labs, curriculum and instructional labs, vocational and technical teachers education centres and postgraduate and advanced studies.

Extension of the Provincial Education Assessment Centre in the University of Education, Lahore Township Campus, would be arranged with the financial assistance of the provincial government.

He said that a block allocation of Rs740 million had been made for the Islamia University, Bahawalpur. Departments of management sciences, commerce and computer sciences departments being run in the Abbasia Campus of the university will be shifted to new buildings being built at Baghdad-i-Jadeed Campus. A sum of Rs120 million will be spent on the construction of live sciences department and Rs50 million on the establishment of college of art and design.

He said that a block allocation of Rs200 million had been made for the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, under the Chancellor's Campus Development Programme for the construction of a sports complex, a fitness centre, a student teacher centre, a shopping centre, a post office and a university club.

He said that development projects of Rs550 million had been approved for the Government College University, Faisalabad. New hostels, academic block and video conference room will be built at the university. The intermediate section of the university will be built at a cost of Rs150 million after demolition of the abandoned primary school building in the Dhobi Ghat Ground adjacent to the university campus.

He said the master plan for the development of the new campus of the Government College University, Faisalabad, on 401 acres had also been reviewed. Development projects of Rs80 million were approved for University of Sargodha. Programmes for development of University of Gujrat at a cost of Rs95 million were also finalised. The programmes include networking and video conferencing facilities for four campuses of constituent colleges that are 12 kilometres from the university, provision of modern equipment in laboratories and construction of ladies gymnasium, hockey stadium and table tennis court. Dawn
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