NUML incident stirs Presidency, parliament
Islamabad, Feb 07: The public beating of a professor of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) by a retired Army brigadier has triggered a chain of activities in the Presidency and parliament on how the university is being run in a totalitarian fashion.
The thrashing incident has prompted the Presidency to give the first-ever reading to the NUML's Ordinance to determine if the presidential powers are really encroached since the president, as Chancellor of the University, has never been informed about the university's business since he assumed office, let alone seeking his approval.
Chaudhry Nisar, the opposition leader in the National Assembly and Chairman of the PAC, condemning the barbaric incident of the professor's thrashing, said that the retired brigadier brought a bad name to the institution of Army. He demanded full protection of the victim, Professor Tahir Malik.
He said that he would not only demand an investigation and strict action against the brigadier and the setting up of an inquiry committee to probe how the university was being run recklessly, the official will also be called.
The NUML, which was established through a presidential ordinance in 2000, is financed like other universities by the federal government; nevertheless, the civilians have zero involvement. The president of Pakistan is its chancellor and federal education minister the pro-chancellor, yet the university's affairs are intriguingly run by the Army with a lieutenant general, the nominee of the Army chief, presiding over the meetings of the most powerful board of governors.
The chancellor, according to Article 7 of the NUML Ordinance the copy of which is available, "shall preside over the convocations of the University and meetings at which business of the University is transacted."
But President Asif Zardari as Chancellor has never been informed about the business transacted there, confirmed the Presidency's Additional Secretary Ishaq Lashari when contacted. "The president has never been involved in the university's business," he said.
As the shady affairs of the university have come to light after the thrashing of the professor by its registrar Brig (retd) Obaidullah Ranjha, the Presidency has, for the first time, realised that the university is in a state of messy affairs. In order to understand the laws governing the university and the role of the president in discharging its affairs, the copy of the ordinance was sought that the Higher Education Commission dispatched on Saturday, Lashari confirmed.
As far the issue of presiding over the board of governors meeting that has the authority to appoint the rector, article 13 of the ordinance has just mentioned the names of those who will be its members, including the Army chief/its nominee, the nominee of the chief justice of Pakistan, the rector himself, secretary defence/nominee, secretary education/nominee, secretary finance/nominee, foreign secretary/nominee, chairman HEC and senior professors of the university.
The ordinance doesn't mention that the Army chief or his nominee would preside over the meeting, yet his nominee Lt Gen Azhar Hayat is doing the same thing. He couldn't be reached for comments. The rector's phone was remained switched off.
However, Dr Sohail Naqvi, Executive Director of the HEC, admitted that the ordinance was vague on the question of who would preside over the board of governors meeting. He further said that the HEC rules governing the public sector universities affairs were not different for the NUML, yet it assumes a 'peculiar position'. Responding to a question why the president was not even intimated about the NUML's business, he said this shouldn't be the case as other universities inform even about the appointments of new deans and recruitment on other key posts.
Further elaborating the 'peculiar position' of the NUML, he said though the positions of the university vice chancellors/rectors were advertised and an HEC research committee determined their candidature keeping in view their research record, it doesn't happen in NUML where the board of governors, instead of the HEC, plays a role in appointments. He also confirmed that the budgetary grants for the NUML were allocated by the federal government, not by any particular department like the defence ministry or the GHQ.
Ch Nisar, condemning the thrashing incident, said that he would raise this issue in Monday's session of the National Assembly. "We condemn, in the strongest possible term, the action of the retired brigadier in subverting and trampling over, not only the rules and regulations of his own university but also sending a very wrong and damaging message across the country as to how his time-honored profession should act and behave.
I consider it a very serious issue and ask the government to take a serious notice of this incident, give full protection to Professor Tahir Malik and carry out a detailed inquiry into what's happening in the NUML. I intend to raise this issue in the National Assembly on Monday.
What's most disturbing is how an individual can take the law into his own hands and then use the name of the Army to justify and protect himself. The action of the retired brigadier has in no way raised the image of the Army. To the contrary, it has tarnished the name of this institution much the same way as Gen (retd) Musharraf's action and shenanigans did to bring down the good name of the armed forces in the eyes of the people," he said.
He said he would urge the PM in his Monday's speech to set up a detailed inquiry into how the NUML was being run in a reckless manner. The newsYour Comments
BISE officials 'playing truant'
Lahore: Senior officials of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Lahore are constantly absent from their offices despite the fact that the chief minister's (CM) essay writing, speech and sports competitions concluded last month, it has been learnt.
According to sources, the officials were still taking advantage of the already-concluded competitions and using them as an excuse to avoid work, which further adds to the miseries of the students and the board staff.
Students suffer regularly due to the non-availability of the chairman and secretary BISE, when they visit the office to have forms and other documents singed by the above-mentioned officials. When asked about the continuing absence of these functionaries, board officials told the students that the chairman and secretary were busy making arrangements for the CM's competitions. Students are forced to accept this excuse, even though the competitions concluded on January 11.
A board official alleged that for the last three months, the board chairman and secretary seemed unconcerned with the day-to-day technicalities, as making the CM's competitions 'successful' was their only priority. BISE Secretary Mushtaq Tahir, when contacted, dispelled the impression that he remains absent from his office and alleged that only 'corrupt' board officials were not working. Daily times
Honorary teachers demand regularisation of services
Islamabad: The teachers working in different government schools of Wah Cantonment staged a protest demonstration in front of National Press Club on Saturday and demanded regularisation of their services.
The teachers said they had been serving in different schools as honorary teachers for the last 25 years and due to their hard work results of these schools remained 100 percent. They said Regional Office of FGEI-Wah Cant had awarded them certificates for their best performance.
They said about 450 teachers had been serving in different schools of Wah Cantonment and they were being paid only Rs 2,000 to 5,000 monthly honorarium.
They said the Ministry of Defence had assured them in the past that their services would be regularised, however the Federal Cabinet Garrison had refused to do so on the plea of funds shortage. They appealed to the government to regularise their services.
No salary for last three month: Some 2,487 newly appointed educators in Education Department of Rawalpindi district, who have not got their salaries for last three months, have demanded that the government pay them salaries on priority basis.
The educators said they were facing financial crisis due to non-payment of salaries.
However, the Education Department said the newly appointed educators were not being paid salaries, as their profiles and documents were under scrutiny. After completion of checking process the educators would be paid salaries, they added. APPYour Comments
Navtec technical courses
Islamabad: National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (Navtec) have started new technical courses, in collaboration with three leading institutes Construction Technology Training Institute, National Institute of Electronics (M/O Science & Technology) and Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital to train youth in 23 disciplines.
The courses were commenced in collaboration with CTTI included building construction, steel fixer, turner machinist, carpenter, masson, plumber, building painter, basic plant operator, basic mechanic thread, AutoCAD and material testing. These courses will be of 3-4 months duration and started from February 1,2010, at CTTI.
Four Navtec courses for youth will be conducted at Al-Shifa Trust Hospital, here, including Ophthalmic Technician, Ophthalmic Nurses, Equipment Technician and Refractionist. Navtec Chairman Adnan A. Khawaja, has appealed to the youth having age from 18-35 years to take full advantage of the Navtec courses to become useful citizen of the country.
He said the selection of the candidates will be purely on merit basis.
However, the priority will be given to the youth from Baluchistan, Fata and earthquake affected areas. Successful participants of the courses will be given Rs2,000 stipend per month alongwith tool kit of the relevant disciplines. The news
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