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PU faculty unrest over Rs6m grant

Unrest among PU faculty over Rs6m grant for four teachers
Lahore, Dec 19: The Punjab University Overseas Scholarship and Travel Grant Committee has approved an amount of Rs6 million as 'relief' for PhD of four faculty members who, otherwise, do not qualify for the university's overseas scholarships grant, it is learnt.

The move has caused a great unrest among the PU teachers who have termed the move "a waste of university resources" in the name of relief and injustice to the candidates within notified requirements.

According to PU rules, approved in 2006, the university teachers/ officers with a minimum of three years regular service and maximum age of 40 years, on or before the last date of receipt of applications, are eligible for overseas scholarships. Though the instant cases do not mean full scholarships yet according to university teachers, the condition of 40 years also applies in the particular cases.

It is pertinent to mention here that in a recent meeting, held on November 30, the Overseas Scholarship and Travel Grant Committee, chaired by PU Vice-Chancellor Mujahid Kamran, approved cases of four faculty members who were around or in some cases even over 50 years of age. For each of the faculty members, the committee approved a 'relief' of Rs1.5 million for their PhD. These faculty members are Ms Rabia Arif, Assistant Professor, of the PU Institute of Education & Research (IER), Aamir Sarwar, Assistant Professor, of the Institute of Business & Information Technology (IBIT), Mrs Nighat G Ansari, Assistant Professor, of Institute of Administrative Sciences and Ms Khalida Sarwar, lecturer at the IER.

Sources privy to the developments said that some of these faculty members had earlier applied for full overseas scholarships but their cases were rejected because of the age limit; however, they had now been 'accommodated' under the relief package.

A faculty member, seeking anonymity, said the condition of age limit was meant to spend varsity resources on teachers who, after completing their PhDs, could serve the university for quite some time.

"It is, therefore, the Higher Education Commission has also set the age limit condition and it does not award scholarships to government employees who are over 40 years," he said, adding that there was no precedent in the PU history that relief had been provided to faculty members for overseas PhD scholarships.

It is important to mention here that Dr Mujahid Kamran would complete his term as PU VC on January 2, 2012. The post has already been advertised and Dr Mujahid Kamran is once again candidate for the post. Many of the PU faculty members believe that the recent relief episode does not go in favour of Dr Kamran and it can also damage his candidature.

However, PU Overseas Scholarship and Travel Grant Committee's Secretary Tariq Majeed Qureshi terms the relief a result of the VC's vision to enhance the number of PhD teachers. The news

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PU main library membership increases
Lahore: The membership fee of the Punjab University main library, the largest in the country with a stock of half a million books, swelled from 10,000 to over 32,000 during the last four years. Chief Librarian Chaudhry Muhammad Hanif, who is also the Pakistan Librarian Association Punjab chapter president said on Sunday that four years ago, the total membership of the library was nearly 10,000, which gradually started increasing after the free provision of Wi-Fi and Internet facilities to teachers, researchers and students. He said the library had emerged as the largest in Pakistan, with 500,000 pieces of rare material and special collections with 10,000 books, magazines and international journals being added every year. app

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PU ceremony
Lahore: Punjab University's Department of Mathematics organised a ceremony in honour of Prof Dr Asghar Qadir on Saturday.

PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said Dr Asghar Qadir and Dr Riaz-ud-Din had greatly contributed to the field of mathematics and trained young people to do research. He also paid compliments to Dr Shahid Saeed Siddiqui and said he had transformed the culture of mathematics and promoted research culture in the Mathematics Department.

PU VC said the original language of physics was mathematics and all the formulas were of mathematics. He said mathematics and physics were the subjects without which no progress in technological filed was possible. Prof Dr Shahid Saeed Siddiqui and Dr Muhammad Sharif also spoke.

In the end, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Prof Dr Asghar Qadir, Prof Dr Shahid Saeed Siddiqui and Dr Muhammad Sharif cut a cake to celebrate the 65th birthday of Dr Asghar Qadir. Meanwhile, PU Centre for Clinical Psychology (CCP) organised a one-day workshop on "Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)." The news

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Admission form processing fee irks students
Lahore: Students have expressed concern over the processing fee of Rs 100 being charged by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) for admission forms.

BISE had advised the students to download online forms, for which it is charging Rs 100 per form from the students as processing fee. There is no option available in the admission form for submitting the fee in the bank.

Earlier, BISE had ended the online form system due to faults in its computerised system, but this year, it was launched again.

Anjuman Shehrian Kot Lakhpat, Citizen Form Model Town and Model Town Society Kot Lakhpat have demanded the officials of the education department to take notice of the processing fee and to rid the students of the undue fee. app

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No candidate with 3rd division to be appointed VC or dean: CM
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed on Sunday that no teacher with third division should be appointed vice chancellor or dean of any university throughout the province in future. Official sources said that it was brought to the notice of the chief minister that some of the candidates with a third division, or grade C, in their academic careers, including two deans of Punjab University, Hafiz Dr Muhammad Iqbal and Dr Zafar Iqbal Jadoon, Institute of Education and Research (IER) and Institute of Public Administrative Sciences had applied for the slot of VC in violation of the merit policy of the Punjab government. Another candidate, Prof Dr Jamil Anwar, while serving in PU as Pro VC, is still facing the charges of spending huge funds without observing formalities even after retirement and authorities blocked his pension pending the final decision. The chief minister directed the concerned quarters to drop those candidates who did not fulfil the criteria during the short-listing of candidates. app

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100th anniversary of GCU Botany Dept
Lahore: The three-month 100th anniversary celebrations of the Government College University's Botany Department kicked off at the university with a grand reunion of the alumni of the Botany Department that was established in January 1912.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman chaired the reunion while GCU Botany Alumni Association President Syed Muhammad Akmal Rahim was also present.

Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman urged the alumni to play an effective role in the development of their alma mater through financial, moral and intellectual support.

GCU Botany Department Chairperson Prof Dr Zaheerud Din Khan announced that the 100th year celebrations of Botany Department would last for next three months and an international conference on "environment and biodiversity" in the month of March would conclude these celebrations.

Addressing the ceremony, the alumni shared experiences and interesting incidents from their student life at GC University Lahore.

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Blind students demand 10% quota in 100,000 laptops
Lahore: Blind students of the Punjab University on Sunday demanded that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif allocate at least a 10 percent quota for blind students of public sector varsities on the same terms and conditions on which 100,000 laptops will be given to brilliant students across the province.

Blind students Nadeem Aslam, Shamasul Zia, Sarfraz Ahmad, Qaisar and several others, while appreciating the decision of the chief minister for the distribution of 100,000 laptops among outstanding students said, "We need special attention of the chief minister that 10 percent quota on same terms and conditions be reserved for blind students."

Nadeem Aslam said that blind people the world over were contributing to national development and were even playing a vital role in space science. He claimed that blind students in Pakistan could compete with all foreign blind students, provided the same environment was available to them.

They hoped that the chief minister would consider their genuine demand and issue orders in this regard. app

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Students' protest against bus owners
Pakpattan: Students from different colleges blocked Sahiwal Road for three hours against transport owners for not allowing them to sit in their buses.

The protesting students alleged that the bus owners did not allow them to sit in their buses and misbehaved with them. Police reached the spot and restored traffic after dialogues with students. The news

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