BCom paper new schedule
Karachi, Feb 17: The University of Karachi has announced that the BCom paper-III (Introduction to Business) for regular candidates which was scheduled for Feb 15 but postponed will now be held on Sunday (Feb 20). ppi
History, she wrote
Karachi: The 2nd Karachi Literature Festival will be remembered for a number of reasons, one of which is it managed to assemble a decent variety of writers and thinkers under one cosy roof. Among them was Alex von Tunzelmann, who was there to anchor just one panel discussion, though her achievements as a writer could've easily made her the keynote speaker of a session on history. Maybe next time!
Alex von Tunzelmann reviews historical films for the Guardian, and if you've read any of her no-holds-barred pieces you'll know she has no patience for fools. She uncovers (sometimes locates) factual faux pas and silly mistakes in movies and comments on them in a manner that tickles the reader and hits the filmmakers where it hurts the most. That's not it. Tunzelmann's claim to fame in the subcontinent is her book, Indian Summer, an account of partition of India that ruffled a few feathers in New Delhi because apart from other things it also sheds light on a romantic liaison that existed between Jawaharlal Nehru and Lady Mountbatten. So where to begin the discussion? Films first.
She listens very carefully to the argument that most creative endeavours use hyperbole or some kind of exaggeration as a tool. She often discounts that and makes fun of successful films. "My column is supposed to be funny, amusing. Besides, a lot of research goes into it."
There are many movies that Tunzelmann has found lacking in verisimilitude. The critically-acclaimed Frida is one of them. She makes an interesting observation about the film which relates Trotsky's assassination to his involvement with Frida.
"The film implies Trotsky moved into the less safe accommodation where he would soon be murdered to avoid falling in love with Frida Kahlo. This isn't true: she moved to Paris and he continued to live in her house, eventually moving out perhaps because of a disagreement with her husband, Diego Rivera. So the film implies that she was somehow responsible for Trotsky's death, which is completely untrue," she says in her talk during the literature festival.
It's been 63 years since India and Pakistan became two separate geographic entities. Yet partition continues to fascinate historians and students of literature. Tunzelmann's Indian Summer caused quite a bit of stir in some quarters, particularly with the Nehru-Edwina affair that not many people talk about or they refrain from discussing. "All the five characters at the centre of my story are important, not just the two you've mentioned. When you research any love affair in history you'll find no one tells the truth. So you can't tell if the relationship was ever consummated," she says.
Can't take issue with that. The subcontinent's partition is usually looked at with a predetermined mindset. Tunzelmann elaborates on the subject she's focused on in the book.
"Often, not always, those people who lived through partition are reluctant to talk about it. It was a profoundly traumatic event, and left very deep scars on the people who endured it. That is a separate thought from the fact that Gandhi and Jinnah are elevated to such revered status that they almost become deified, and then it becomes impossible to see them as human beings. What I have tried to do about them in the book is write about them as three-dimensional people, human beings who had greatness and flaws in them just as we all do. In my opinion the fact that these men were men, not saints, makes them more interesting - perhaps even more sympathetic."
Hold on, Gandhi seems to be one of the topics Tunzelmann wants to expand on, because she feels his character needs to be seen in the light of not just what he brought on; there was also a Hamlet-like delay.
"Gandhi's insistence that his own followers reach a state of moral perfection often meant he drew back from his own campaigns at crucial points - the incident at Chauri Chaura is one example. I do think this contributed to delaying Indian independence. I think it is feasible that India could have won some sort of semi-freedom, like the Irish Free State or even dominion status, much earlier if Congress had run its campaigns differently, and the fly in the ointment was very often Gandhi."
So the five protagonists weren't solely instrumental in cleaving undivided India into two.
"By 1946-47 the British government under Clement Attlee was desperate to get out of India by any means necessary, and that was very strongly connected to the terrible state of the British economy after World War II."
Enough of partition and its untold tales! Is she excited about her next book?
"Red Heat is actually about the Cold War in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Cuban Missile Crisis is the big event, but there are lots of others: the book is actually coming out for the 50th anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, which is another centrepiece of the book."
The post-lunch sessions of the literature festival are about to begin. Tunzelmann's big, bright eyes become a bit restless, trying to discover a potentially historical moment in that part of modern Karachi where English is spoken with at least a dozen different accents. Time to put an end to the chitchat.
Rawalpindi high school exams face delay
Rawalpindi: The annual Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations-2011 are expected to be delayed as the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi has not yet started the process of preparing the roll number slips for the candidates, it has been learnt.
"This year the Punjab Higher Education Department initiated a project for the online registration of the candidates and issuance of online roll number slips to them with details of their examinations but no process has yet been started by the board in this regard. The examinations are scheduled to commence on March 5," said an official of the board on condition of anonymity.
The online admission forms for regular students were received by the project director of the Higher Education Department through their schools and the private students were asked to contact nearby government schools to get themselves registered online this year. The students were also directed to send the attested copies of their online forms after downloading them from the official website, the official said.
Now the difficulty being faced by the BISE Rawalpindi is that the board has neither received the online data well in time from the project director nor has verified the information provided by the candidates through internet. It is being feared that the errors will crop up regarding the names of the candidates, their parents, addresses and selected subjects after the students have been sent the roll number slips with designated examination centres, the official who is concerned with the conduct of the examinations said.
He pointed out mistakes in some admission forms; like in one case the address of London had been mentioned. In some those subjects were mentioned which were not offered by the BISE and identifying male students as female. There could be more mistakes which the candidates might identify themselves after they receive their roll number slips, the official added.
Sensing these expected hiccups in the conduct of the exams, the Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen held a meeting in Lahore on February 14 and it was decided that the relevant boards would prepare the roll number slips that would be forwarded to the project director for uploading the documents for the candidates. The candidates would be able to download their roll number slips using the pin codes which had already been allotted to them, the official said.
Earlier on Jan 25, Director Online Project Dr Majid Naeem sent an email to all the nine examination boards of the Punjab to prepare and send the roll number slips with detailed date sheets to the candidates. This situation had created many problems for all the boards as the online data was received and collected by the project director, the official further said.
This scribe tried his level best to contact Director Online Project Dr Majid Naeem for his version on the issue but he did not respond.
"After two weeks, the examinations are scheduled to be started but the board has not prepared and issued the roll number slips to the candidates that are in thousands. Moreover, it would rather be impossible for the BISE to rectify the mistakes in the admission forms and start the examinations on the due date", concluded the official.
Mehr Akbar, general secretary employees union BISE Rawalpindi appealed to the higher authorities to resolve the issue so that the examination might be started on the given date and the students might not face any problems.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, data processing officer BISE Rawalpindi and the official spokesperson for the online project said that the board had enough time to prepare and send the roll number slips to the students and the examinations would be held on time.
Regarding the rectification of the mistakes in the online forms, he said though this year complaints could be more than the usual but the board had sufficient time to rectify all the mistakes before the start of the examinations. Dawn
Teachers announce complete strike
Islamabad: Determined not to get trapped by the promises of Ministry of Education any longer, teachers affiliated with the schools of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have finally announced complete strike till the fulfilment of their demands regarding their upgradation and uniformity in education system.
In a joint meeting of the general body and executive council here on Tuesday, teachers announced a total boycott of classes, examinations (both internal and external) and any assignment given by the administration from today (February 16) till the approval of their demands and issuance of its notification.
February 15 was the deadline given by the Federal Government Teachers Association (FGTA) to the FDE for the acceptance of their demands but the FDE director-general (DG) came to the meeting only to ask teachers to extend the deadline for implementation of their demands.
The negotiations between FGTA representatives and FDE director-general continued for about an hour behind closed doors but could not reach any conclusion. "She asked us for extension in the deadline, which we could not do, as we have already extended our deadline many times," said a teacher who was in the meeting.
Later, while addressing a meeting, FGTA President Azhar Mahmood Awan said that the ministry and directorate were befooling them by not implementing the teachers' package and extending deadlines. "They have first promised us that teachers would be upgraded on July 27, 2010, but then the federal minister for education said that the prime minister would announce a package for teachers soon. Then we came to know the prime minister would announce teachers' package on October 10, 2010, but it was also postponed at the eleventh hour. Finally, the package for teachers was announced on November 8, 2010, but it has not been implemented so far," he said.
He said that a notification was issued to constitute a committee for implementation, which clearly mentioned that committee members would constitute sub-committees to facilitate the process for implementation. "Neither sub-committees were constituted nor the ministry has given any satisfactory reply in this regard," he said.
FGTA Vice President Khizer Rehman said that teachers have been waiting for the implementation of the package with patience but now it's time to react. "The strike ill continue till acceptance of all demands. Let me assure you that the decision for strike has been taken in consultation with teachers," he added.
FGTA Adviser M A Shahid, while talking to this scribe, said that the FGTA has handed over its demands to the Ministry of Education and the FDE in December last year and the strike would continue till the acceptance of all demands.
He said that the first part of COD dealt with uniformity in education system in ICT which included uniform nomenclature of all institutions under the FDE, uniform service structure for all teachers and administrators under the FDE, uniform administrative structure for all institutions under FDE, uniform administrative structure of control and command authority, uniform syllabi in all institutions of all levels under the FDE, uniform fee and fund structure for all levels and for all institutions under the FDE, uniform distribution of financial resources among all institutions, uniform infrastructure for all institutions under the FDE, uniform distribution of transport facility among all institutions under the FDE, giving priority to remote rural areas, uniform curricular and co-curricular activities annual calendar for all institutions under the FDE, uniform assessment-examination system for all institutions under the FDE and uniform admission policy for all levels and for all institutions under the FDE.
On the other hand, he said, the second part of COD dealt with the upgradation of teachers which included upgradation and redesignation of all teachers of all cadres (BPS-9 to BPS-15) to EST (BPS-16), upgradation and redesignation of all teachers of all cadres (BPS-16) to SST (BPS-17), immediate suspension of notorious 'Four-Tier Structure for Federal Government Teachers 2000' that protects recruitment and promotion rights of only 791 administrators, rescheduling and redesignation of notorious 'Four-Tier Structure for Federal Government Teachers 2000' into proposed 'Five-Tier Structure for Federal Government Teachers 2010' which will protect the recruitment and promotion rights of all about 7,000 teachers and administrators of all proposed five cadres (BPS-16 to BPS-20) equally and uniformly without any kind of disparity and discrimination.
While the third and last part dealt with the residential ceiling with pay to all teachers, administrators and non-teaching staff working under FDE. A copy of COD has also been sent to implementation committee constituted by minister for education for the active implementation of teachers' package.
QAU inks MoU with PCSIR
Islamabad: The Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) with an aim to enhance research and academia linkage. QAU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai and PCSIR Chairman Dr. Shoukat Parvez signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations. Under the MoU, PCSIR will provide access to the students of QAU in their laboratories to carry out applied research under the supervision of scientists. The news
Two arrested for 'killing' QAU employee
Islamabad: The Secretariat police on Tuesday arrested two persons for allegedly murdering an employee of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on February 10 after they robbed him of his car.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Liaquat Niazi said that three persons – FU, SHU and MS from Karak – were behind the murder of Imran Pervez, who worked as assistant in the university's information technology department. After murdering Pervez, the killers along with the vehicle took away Rs1,100, his cellphone and CNIC.
But they abandoned the vehicle after it broke down. Pervez, 28, a resident of Muslim Town, Rawalpindi, used his vehicle as cab after finishing his duties in the university. Married eight months ago, his role as cabdriver would start with dropping some of university colleagues at their homes.
He last talked with his family on the cellphone around 8:15pm, promising to return home in 30 to 45 minutes. At 9pm when the family called, his cellphone was switched off. The worried family informed the Rescue 15. A policy party found his abandoned car on the old University Road and his body was recovered from the wooded area nearby.
The two arrested accused told police that their third accomplice had escaped to Karak, taking with him Pervez's cellphone. According to police, they hired Pervez's cab for a trip to Adiala Road from the University Chowk. On the way back, they asked Pervez to take them to a shrine of Kakajee Sarkar near the Gate 5 of the QAU. There on the deserted road they overpowered and took him to the nearby wooded area. Police said when Pervez yelled and a car passed by, they strangled him. They drove away the car but it broke down, forcing them to abandon it.
Police said the three accused, who had been living in a rented room of the newly-established Muslim Colony near Bari Imam for the last four months, were committing robberies in Rawalpindi. On Tuesday, when two of the accused returned to their room, police arrested them. Police said the residents of the colony were also wary of their activities. Dawn