Lahore exams and World Cup matches

Students upset as World Cup coincides with exams
Lahore, Feb 22: Students who love cricket are keen to watch their favourite cricket teams in action in the cricket World Cup 2011 despite their annual examinations. Students had shown their frustration over the fact that no matches were being held in Pakistan.

Usually, annual examinations are held in March every year in Pakistan. Thousands of matriculation students are upset because of the overlap of their exam date sheet and cricket World Cup schedule.

A conflict between parents and children is on the rise over whether to watch the World Cup matches or to prepare for exams.

A student of grade 10, Hamza, said, "My parents have declared that there will be no matches for me. They are getting ready to pack up the TV." He added that he had requested his parents if he could just get the updates of the ongoing matches, but his parents even rejected that. "To make matters worse, my parents are on the lookout and have forbidden me to use my cell phone, so that I don't receive updates of matches," he added.

Hamza said that he really wanted cricket matches to be held in Pakistan. "I really wished to see the matches live in the stadium but unfortunately the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not allow matches in Pakistan due to security reasons," he added.

But not everyone is giving up without a fight. Mudassir, a class 11 student, has his battle plan ready. "Me and my parents have worked out a plan. They have agreed to allow me to watch the last overs of Pakistan's matches." He added that he had already told his parents that all study and no leisure will not be good for him. "Watching TV, especially cricket, will ease the exam tension," he said.

He further added that he wishes luck to the Pakistan cricket team. He said, "I wish that Pakistan would win this World Cup the same way it won the T20 World Cup in 2008."

Another cricket lover and student of class 10, Rida, said, "As most of the matches would be day-night matches, I have changed my study schedule to give more time during the day for the preparations of my exams. I have also planned to view the exciting parts of the matches, especially the slog overs and power plays if not the complete match."

She complained about the deteriorating law and order situation of the country, which took away from Pakistan the opportunity to co-host the World Cup. Rida hoped that international cricket matches would restart in Pakistan.

One can almost hear their collective complain, especially as parents and teachers are known to put a lot of stress on academics. The parents and teachers, meanwhile, are in no mood to relent.

A secondary school teacher, Hassaan said, "In no way can the students afford to take exams lightly because it could alter the course of their future. Parents would guide their children in a proper manner during this period." He said that parents had to stop their children from watching matches but should at least allow them to get match updates.

The much-awaited cricketing extravaganza started on Saturday and it would continue until April. Being hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, cricket fans are in for a treat spread for 49 days. Daily times

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GCUF scam brings former head in the dock
Faisalabad: A former acting vice-chancellor of the Government College University Faisalabad (GCUF) is in the dock after an inquiry team has declared him guilty of awarding construction contract to a 'dubious' company.

It was learnt on authority that Dr Shahid Mehboob Rana had awarded a contract of Rs146 million for the construction of the GCUF Social Sciences block to a fake company in December 2007. Dr Mehboob's tenure ended on Oct 24, 2010.

Amid complaints about wrongdoing by the previous varsity administration the syndicate allowed the present setup to conduct a special audit of the academia affairs and the report has declared the former vice chancellor guilty of corruption.

The contract - one of the three major projects of the university â€" was awarded to the Campaigner Associates in December 2007 despite the fact that the company was not registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).

The PEC rules say: "No engineering work can be constructed except by a constructor or operated except by an operator licensed as such by PEC."

It further says "construction of an engineering work includes surveys, sub-soil and other investigations, erection, installation, testing and commissioning and execution of any other activities required to achieve the desired final shape of an engineering work, and also includes extension, remodeling, rebuilding and repair works."

The then university administration ignored the rules by facilitating the company and caused a loss of more than Rs4 million to the national exchequer by evading sales and income tax on supplies of services and purchases for execution of civil works. The administration did not deduct amount of sales and income tax from the firm.

Documents available with Dawn show that the university had issued tenders to get the new social sciences block constructed and a few companies applied for the project which was awarded to the Campaigner Associates, a non-registered company.

Projects and Campus Development Director Muhammad Latif, a retired lieutenant colonel, had issued letter of acceptance after the approval by Dr Mehboob on Dec 3, 2007. The company had also been informed that "the time of completion was the essence of the contract and the entire work shall be completed within 455 days from the date of issuance on notice of commence."

However, after three days of the acceptance letter, the university administration enhanced days from 455 to 546 for reasons best known to them. The varsity officials had also enhanced the project cost from Rs115 million to Rs146 million though they were authorised to enhance up to 4.5 per cent price of the project.

The administration is alleged to have tampered with the varsity documents to show that the contract was initially awarded to Campaigner Associates (Pvt) Ltd (a firm registered with the PEC) and thereafter subcontracted to Campaigner Associates, a fake company.

The subcontracting process was completed in a day (Dec 19, 2007). The PEC rules don't allow subcontracting.

Sources said despite relaxations extended to the company the administration had failed to get the project completed.

The investigation found that former GCUF registrar Muhammad Mushtaq had also taken up the issue of award of contract to a fake company with the acting VC through a letter GCUF/Reg/10/3707 of Aug 24, 2010, and other officials but to no avail.

The registrar alleged in the letter that the project director received million of rupees in commission.

Dr Arif Ali Zaidi (VC) sent Latif packing on charges of corruption. However, the latter managed to regain his position. Dawn

Former registrar Mushtaq, who is now serving at the GCUF as director administration, told that Dr Shahid had been warned against entering into an agreement with the fake company but he did not pay heed. He said Dr Mehboob had made payments of millions of rupees to the firm.

The inquiry committee has reportedly sent report to the Anti-Corruption Establishment for an appropriate action. Dawn

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UoE students boycott exams
Lahore: A large number of the University of Education (UoE) students, protesting against removal of their teacher, boycotted exams on Monday.The protesting students blocked the main road outside the university campus for quite some time and warned the administration of a long march from the universityís Township campus to the Governorís House. They demanded immediate reinstatement of Dr MA Pasha. It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Shaheen Pasha, wife of Dr MA Pasha, has already been reinstated through the varsityís syndicate. The news

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Bahawalpur gets AIOU campus
Bahawalpur: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is expected to lay the foundation-stone of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) sub-campus here on Monday (tomorrow).

This was stated by AIOU Vice-Chancellor Nazir Ahmed Sangi at a press conference here on Saturday.

He said the campus, to be completed in three phases, would be built over a piece of eight acres near the airport. Dawn

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GCU Urdu Department declares 2011 year of Faiz
Lahore: The Government College University (GCU) Urdu Department has declared 2011 the year of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and announced holding lectures, seminars, mushairas, competitions and publishing papers and books to highlight the life and works of the renowned poet.

Addressing "Faiz Ahmed Faiz Seminar" in connection with his 100th birth anniversary at the GCU, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Aftab said the university was proud to be the alma mater of great poets like Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz and it would keep their traditions alive. "These traditions have been handed over to us by a generation of good teachers and students and we will keep transferring them to the future generations. These are like lampposts which guides us to prosperity, peace and progress," he said.

Dr Aftab also highlighted the various aspects of Faiz's personality. "Faiz was a very humble person. His love for humanity was free of the prejudice of race, colour or nationality," he said.

Addressing the seminar, Hammed Akhtar, the chief guest of the ceremony, said that Faiz had a very positive approach towards life. "Apart from a being revolutionary poet, he was also a poet of beauty and love, and there was no difference between the three; love, beauty and revolution had become identical in him," he said. He also shared several incidents from Faiz's life with the audience.

Dr Saleem Akhter, Prof Dr Saadat Saeed, Prof Tariq Zaidi and Dr Tabussum Kashmiri also addressed the seminar.

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UVAS to raise academic, research indicators: VC
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) is making all-out efforts to raise its academic and research indicators to bring them to international standards, UVAS Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz said on Saturday.

Dr Nawaz said this while speaking at the concluding session of three-day internship orientation workshop for DVM final year students, organised by the faculty of veterinary science at the seminar hall. Veterinary Science Dean Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, Biosciences Dean Prof Dr Ijaz Ahmad, Australian Support Linkage Programme (ASLP) representative Dr Russel David, Dr Hassan Warraich and UVAS Registrar Prof Dr Kamran Ashraf attended the workshop.

Dr Nawaz, while addressing the students, said the workshops was a new beginning towards professional life. He urged the students to focus and concentrate on their targets and goals. "There is no shortcut in life, be innovative and work hard, success will be the ultimate destiny," he said.

Dr Nawaz said UVAS would be made the world's top veterinary university by providing quality education. Our best has yet come and we would work to achieve it, he added. Daily times

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PU VC critical of 'politicised' environ
Lahore: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran says the university's over-all environment has always been politicised and the current Academic Staff Association is trying to further it to protect their "political designs".

In a formal get-together with education reporters and columnists at varsity's Executive Club on Saturday, he said the university administration had decided not to compromise on principles and discipline and would not succumb to pressure tactics being employed by ASA leaders.

Stating that he was focussing on academic and research development, Prof Kamran said the ASA leadership would never speak about the varsity's achievements in terms of academic and co-curricular activities.

He said the PU had been ranked fourth in the country and top university in Punjab in terms of research publications. At present, he said, as many as 80 varsity teachers were doing their PhDs abroad including 62 sent by the incumbent administration. He said PU had 300 PhD faculty members out of total 900 teachers for its 30,000 students, while the anchester University had 5,800 PhD teachers for 35,000 students.

Prof Kamran said the difference in salaries among faculty members serving on the Tenure Track System and those on basic pay scale was reducing owing to 50 per cent increase in latter category teachers. For this reason, he said, he was planning to allow TTS teachers to take afternoon and evening classes and earn money.

Honour: The PU has earned fourth position among 95 public- and private-sector universities and degree-awarding institutions in the country in terms of research publications and has topped among 29 universities in Punjab.

The Higher Education Commission has ranked the universities on the basis of their research publications. The Punjab University published 352 research papers in impact factor journals in 2010.

The Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; the Aga Khan University, Karachi; and the University of Karachi are ahead of the Punjab University with 548, 416 and 387 research publications, respectively.

The PU has been ranked at top among 29 universities in Punjab including 17 in Lahore. The overall ranking of Lahore's universities sees the Government College University at number seven, the University of Engineering and Technology (18th), the Lahore University of Management Sciences (22nd), the Lahore College for Women University (30th), the University of Health Sciences (36th), the King Edward Medical University (38th), the Forman Christian College University (41st).

The National College of Business Administration and Economics (48th), the University of Lahore (55th), the University of Education (71st), the University of Management and Technology (72nd), the Lahore School of Economics (75th), the Kinnaird College (77th), the Beaconhouse National University (88th) and the National College of Arts (90th).

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Dog show at UVAS
Lahore: A National Labrador specialty dog show was held at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences here on Saturday.

The show organized by UVAS in collaboration with the Kennel Club Pakistan and Gundog was participated in by scores of breeders and exhibitors.

At least 70 male and female dogs were brought for the national show from across the province. The dogs were assessed by internationally acclaimed judges Margaret Brown, Andrew Brown and Horchner from the UK.The Rachna Kennel Club was declared the best breeder as judges assessed the dogs on the basis of 64 points allocated to dogs' body parts, physical movements and appearance.

UVAS vice-chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz presented souvenirs and certificates to winners. Dawn

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PU building
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran on Monday performed the ground-breaking of new building of the varsity's Centre for Integrated Mountain Research (CIMR). According to a press statement, speaking on the occasion, Dr Mujahid Kamran claimed that the PU had been providing all-out possible facility to its faculty members, students and employees, and a special attention was being paid to research. CIMR Director Dr Khalida Khan said it was the very first centre of its kind in the country, established in 1987.

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PGMI Convocation
Lahore: The preparations for the 4th Convocation of the Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) have started, which will be held at the Lahore General Hospital on 26th of this month. Organising Secretary Prof Dr Ghias-un-Nabi Tayyab said the students, who completed their studies during 2009-10 academic session, would be conferred degrees and medals at the convocation. He said ex-students of the PGMI were serving the suffering humanity and teaching the medical students in various colleges and universities inside and outside the country. He said principal of institute Prof Dr Tariq Salahuddin in last February announced to confer the degrees and prizes upon the position-holder specialist doctors on time. The news

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