QAU teachers flays HEC PhD, MPhil criteria
Islamabad, Feb 03: The teaching faculty of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has expressed displeasure over Higher Education Commission's stance that it will not recognise the PhD degrees, which do not fulfil quality criteria and the development funding of the institutions violating the criteria would also be curtailed.
In this regard, a meeting of Academic Staff Association (ASA) of QAU held the other day where the members of the body passed a resolution that all the PhD theses submitted so far, should be processed without further delay whether anyone passed the GRE or not.
The professors condemned the HEC's threatening letter that the funds of the university would not be released if it did not follow the quality criteria for the award of PhD and MPhil degrees.
In order to deliberate on this issue with HEC, the teaching faculty also constituted a 7-member committee.
The members of the association agreed on the point that there must be a uniform rule for all the departments.
It is unfair, discriminatory and against human rights that the students of some departments had to pass the GRE test for PhD admission while the other had to pass the test developed by their own departments.
"Anybody can go to a court of law and challenge it and we should not indulge in such things which can invoke suo motu action just to please educational bureaucracy sitting in HEC", said a faculty member. If the departments are asked to design their own tests, then most of the departments not having designed the entry tests will have to start it from scratch.
If university accepts the HEC proposal for the sake of argument, then a vacuum will be created in the university leading to chaos and there will be no admissions in many departments.
One of the members said that although the GRE International was only available in 5 subjects and remaining departments have to take their own tests but opposition by "non-affectee departments" prove that they are in principle against the GRE because according to them it is against the promotion of higher education in the country.
He criticised those faculty members who were saying that faculty members oppose GRE just because HEC will pay them Rs5,000 per student.
Another member pointed out that most of the faculty members do not have PhD students with HEC scholarships so no money factor was involved in it. He further elaborated that it was just a false and fabricated propaganda.
Another professor said if GRE were implemented on the universities then only those students belonging to elite class would benefit while those with humble background, especially from less developed area will be left out.
They said that if the GRE was such a panacea, why all the universities of the world including many in USA and all in Europe did not opt for it.
One participant quoting his experience said that there was no link between research and GRE. He said that ASA would raise voice against the Higher Education Commission's stance that it would not recognise the PhD degrees, which do not fulfil quality criteria and the development funding of the institutions violating the criteria would also be curtailed. The nationYour Comments
Search committee for VCs' appointment reconstituted
Peshawar: The search committee for appointment of vice-chancellors of public sector universities in the province has been reconstituted.
The immediate task before the new committee is to recommend the right persons for appointment as vice-chancellor of the NWFP Agricultural University and Hazara University.
Provincial Chief Secretary Javed Iqbal would be the chairman of the new committee while members of the committee are Secretary for Higher Education Attaur Rahman, Special Secretary to Governor Sikandar Qayyum, former principal of the Khyber Medical College Prof Dr Nasiruddin Azam Khan, retired bureaucrat Col (R) Alamzeb Khan and educationist Prof Zahoor Ahmad Awan said.
No former chief secretary has been included in the new committee this time. Several erstwhile chief secretaries like Abdullah and Azam Khan had remained the members of the committee in the past. Other members of the previous committee were former governor of NWFP Maj Gen (R) Khurshid Ali Khan, Dr Shaheen Sardar Ali, the-then chief secretary, higher education secretary and secretary to the governor.
The job of the search committee is to collect applications from aspirants for the vice-chancellor's job, shortlist them, conduct panel interview and suggest at least three names to the governor/chancellor for the appointment of the vice-chancellor, said the sources.
It is, however, the discretion of the governor to appoint anybody even other than those proposed by the search committee. But as per tradition, the governor always selects a vice-chancellor on the proposal of the search committee from among the three names recommended to him, the sources said.
There were allegations that the governor did not follow the recommendations of the search committee on some occasions and that majority of the vice-chancellors were appointed on the recommendation of the ruling Awami National Party.
Some reports suggested that the governor also appointed those known to him as vice-chancellors at some universities despite the fact that they were not meeting the Higher Education Commission criteria.
The sources said according to the HEC criteria, a vice-chancellor should be a PhD and a full professor. But the vice-chancellors of at least two universities - NWFP University of Engineering and Technology & Islamia College Peshawar - are neither PhD nor professors. The vice-chancellor of the NWFP University of Engineering & Technology is stated to be a friend of the governor.
The general perception about the previous committee was that it was ineffective and the governor took all the decisions. The sources in the Governor House were, however, of the opinion that all the vice-chancellors were appointed on merit and on the basis of the recommendations of the search committee.
The effectiveness of the new search committee would be judged from the appointment of VCs for the NWFP Agricultural University and Hazara University.
The incumbent vice-chancellor of the Agricultural University, Prof Dr Said Khan Khalil, has been holding the office for the last over five years while according to chapter 3 Section 10 of university statutes one person can serve as a vice-chancellor for four years at the most.
He got retired as professor on January 2 last and was given acting charge as vice-chancellor on January 16. The post was formally advertised on January 21 and 10 days were given for submitting applications, which expired on February 2.
Necessary process for the appointment of the Hazara University vice-chancellor has almost been completed and final decision to this effect could be taken anytime, the sources said.
FCPS, MCPS trainees course
Rawalpindi: A two-week extended preparatory course for FCPS (Part II) and MCPS organised by Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Unit-I of Holy Family Hospital concluded here on Tuesday.
Professor of Gynaecology at Rawalpindi Medical College and Head of Gynae/OBS Unit-I at HFH Dr Rizwana Chaudhry supervised the training course that was attended by 92 students who have to appear in the examination to be held by College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan (CPSP).
The main objective of the course that started on January 21 was to bring skilled and motivated specialists of future in the field. The 13-day course was structured in a way to impart factual evidence-based knowledge of the specialty in a situation similar to the original examination scenario.
"Multiple case presentations, interactive sessions, counselling sessions and Task Oriented Clinical Skills stations along with hands-on practice of important procedures were arranged to properly train the future health experts," said Dr Rizwana Chaudhry.
All the sessions were conducted by senior health professionals, belonging to twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore and Hyderabad, who are considered experts not only in their specialized fields but also known for imparting knowledge to the post-graduate trainees in an effective manner.
The candidates, who attended the course, belong to Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Abbottabad, Multan, Faisalabad and Hyderabad. "This was an extensive and well-organised training course which would certainly help post-graduate trainees in gaining comprehensive quick review of their syllabus and essential skills to pass through the CPSP examination," said Dr Rizwana. It is worth mentioning that Dr Rizwana is considered as one of the best students of RMC of her time.
Dr Rizwana said that to ensure better services for future mothers, Pakistan needs qualified and skilled gynaecologists. "By enhancing quality of services in the field, certainly the health professionals can save thousands of lives of mothers," she said.
Principal RMC and In-charge Allied Hospitals Professor Dr Mohammad Mussadiq Khan presided over the concluding ceremony of the course held at the HFH auditorium. Professor Khalida Adeeb Khanum Akhtar, who is considered as the first teacher in the field of gynae at the HFH was the chief guest in the concluding ceremony. She awarded shields to the team of organisers and certificates to the participants of the course. The news
Book club at PIMS
Islamabad: National Book Foundation (NBF) has established a book club in Children Hospital at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to delight and educate the children admitted there for treatment.
An official of the foundation said that the book club with over 700 books of children's interest was opened in the East Medical and Surgical Wards.
The hospital administration extended full support to the foundation by providing space for the club, he told. The collection contains books on religion, science and fairy tales of eminent writers.
National Book Foundation (NBF) is also working to establish children book clubs in remote areas of the country to promote reading habits. The clubs will not require much resources as they are being set up in far flung areas where already collections of some books exist, the official said.
The objective behind establishing book clubs is to provide reading environment to the sick children, their parents, relatives and attendants.
The club is the first of its kind in any hospital and a number of more children book clubs in various hospitals are also in the pipeline. The nation
English course certificates
Islamabad: US Ambassador Anne W Patterson on Tuesday distributed certificates among 60 students of Sir Syed School, Rawalpindi who had participated in a special US-funded English language course.
At a ceremony held here, Patterson congratulated the students and highlighted the significance of this scholarship programme.
"We believe in helping students develop English skills that will give them tools to further their academic goals, enhance their career prospects and build a strong relationship between the two countries," said Patterson.
She said the programme would be expanded to include 800 new students from around the country this year.
The students were able to transform their English-language ability over a two-year period through intensive after school classes and summer learning activities.
Sir Syed School Principal Waqar Ahmed Shaikh, teachers and parents were also present on this occasion.
The US government-sponsored English Access Micro-scholarship programme at the Sir Syed School was the first in the Islamabad and Rawalpindi region. It included over 400 hours of after-school language study. APP
Students paintings competition
Islamabad: In order to express solidarity with Kashmiris, students belonging to different educational institutions of the twin cities enthusiastically participated in an event here on Tuesday.
The event was organised by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) in collaboration with the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Council. As many as 20 schools and colleges participated in the event and expressed solidarity with Kashmiris in their own unique way.
Students depicted their anger over the merciless killing of innocent Kashmiris by the Indian forces and urged for a peaceful Kashmir. Clad in colourful Kashmiri costumes and traditional jewellery, the performers tried to present a real-life picture of Kashmir.
The items presented on the occasion included a puppet show by the National Puppet Theatre, a tableau depicting the plight of Kashmiris, folk dances on Kashmiri songs, national songs, a magic show, a speech contest on the Indian occupation of Kashmir and a painting competition.
Special children were given an equal opportunity to vent out their feelings over the Kashmir issue. The innocent children, although not able to speak or hear, effectively conveyed their messages through powerful gestures. The children not only danced marvellously on various songs but also carried intense expressions on their innocent faces, condemning the Indian act, and called for the international community to play its effective role in bringing a halt to brutalities.
The participating educational institutions included Army Public School for Special Children, FG Girls Higher Secondary School G-6/4, Margalla College for Women F-7/4, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Memorial School, National Special Education Centre for Mentally Retarded Children, The City School Islamabad Campus, National Training Centre for Special Persons, Government Postgraduate College Sixth Road, Hassan Academy for Special Education and Anglo Islamic School.
Besides these performances, a painting competition was part of the event in which different themes were given to the students, while after the competition, their art pieces were displayed at the National Art Gallery.
The students in their paintings focused on the concepts of peace in Kashmir, landscapes and the natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley in a variety of mediums. They used different mediums that included pastels, oil paints, poster colours, pencil colours and collage work. The news
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