Punjab University leases land to telecom companies

PU wants to generate revenue in the wake of severe cuts in grants
Lahore, Jan 16: The Punjab University (PU) in a bid to generate revenue in the wake of severe cuts in grants by the federal government has leased its land to three cellular mobile companies for installation of towers.

It is learnt that cellular mobile companies Warid Telecom, Mobilink and Zong have entered into a ten-year agreement with the PU.

A senior PU official said university authorities felt the need to find ways to generate revenue as public sector universities were now receiving "meagre" funding from the Higher Education Commission.

He said besides installation of towers, the PU administration had also invited telecom operators to use campus space for advertisement purposes. "The initiative is aimed at generating funds by allowing companies to advertise their products through billboards and temporary stalls on the campus etc," he said.

A senior PU teacher seeking anonymity expressed concern over the initiative. He said quoting research reports that tower radiations were harmful and the university administration should have conducted a study of the impact of radiation on students, teachers and employees of the Punjab University.

The varsity should have taken steps to counter any such danger, he added. "Unfortunately, the PU administration did not conduct any study or survey before entering into the agreement," he claimed.

There are more than 65 million mobile phones users in Pakistan and it is expected that this figure may increase to 80 million by 2010.

The PU official said mobile phone companies were investing a lot in expansion of the infrastructure to meet the rising demand. He said antennas were mounted on towers and would not expose students and teachers to harmful radiation.

Resident Officer (RO-II) Malik Zaheer said the PU would receive Rs 6 million annually by allowing cell phone companies to install towers on the campus. He said agreement was signed for a period of ten years with 10 percent increase annually.

To a question, he said such towers were installed everywhere and did not have any harmful impact on the people. "We, however, have leased land with thin population in proximity," he said.

Malik said the areas where these towers would be erected are hostel side water tank No 3, near Shah Di Khoi, PU New Campus, near the university's main library and area adjacent to residential colony of the varsity staff. When contacted, PU registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan said the agreement was technically and economically feasible. The News

PU declares BSc, MA and MPhil results
Lahore: Punjab University Examinations Department has declared the results of BSc Chemical Engineering & Technology, Third Professional (New Course), 2nd Annual Examination 2004, MA Archaeology (Semester System), Session 2006-2008 and MPhil Chemistry, Session 2001-2002. Ppi

PU, Iranian varsity sign MoU
Lahore: The Punjab University and Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for students, teachers and resources exchange and academic and research collaboration.

The MoU was signed by PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and Ferdowsi University President (VC) Prof Dr Ali Raza Ashori at the PU New Campus on Thursday. Kharasan Governor Muhammad Javad Muhammadi Zadeh, Ferdowsi University Director International Relations Dr Abedin Vahedian, PU External Linkages Director Prof Dr Najma Najam, Deans of faculties and principal officers were also present. According to the MoU, both universities shall offer grant of scholarship to five qualified students nominated by the varsities. Both the varsities will offer one-month summer school to 10 students from Pakistan in Persian language to be carried out by Ferdowsi University in lieu of the similar opportunity for 10 Iranian students studying English to be carried out by Punjab University.

Both sides shall organize a faculty tour for 10 academic board members of each for exploring research activities and opportunities available at both sides. The Ferdowsi University will nominate an academic member to the Punjab University to teach Persian language at postgraduate and PhD level for a period of two years.

Meanwhile, a four-member Iranian delegation led by Vice Chancellor of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, visited the Government College University (GCU) on Thursday.

According to a press statement, Ferdowsi University VC of Dr Ali Raza Ashori in his meeting with GCU VC Dr Khalid Aftab said, "We want to promote bilateral relations with the GCU and for this purpose we will exchange scholars and PhD students of various academic fields." He also elaborated academic and research programmes of his university and urged to strengthen links with GCU in the field of mathematics, physics and English.The GCU VC said that there should be academic collaboration between Iranian and Pakistani universities particularly with regard to exchange of teachers and students in different fields. The News

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