Student's father says he had to take bank loan to pay son's fee
Lahore, Jan 19: With the elimination of self-finance schemes in medical institutions in the province, students who were earlier enrolled under the schemes are demanding that their fees be cut down to the same level.
Medical college administrations have said that under the old rules, the self-finance students signed affidavits binding them to the fee schedule.
There were 388 seats reserved for self-finance programmes in nine colleges in the province, while the number of self-finance students already I n different stages of medical colleges goes into the thousands. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced the elimination of the schemes in medical colleges last year and students were admitted on merit alone this year.
Exemption: A number of medical students from the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), requesting anonymity, said most students enrolled on self-finance had over 900 marks in their intermediate exams. They said that due to the lack of opportunities, they are forced to pay up to Rs 300,000 in fees every year. They said after graduation, they were hired at the same government and private hospitals as the students admitted on the basis of merit, adding that it was unfair to make them pay heavy fees. "We met with the CM silently, and he assured us that half of our fees would be exempted. However, no notification to that effect has been issued yet," they added.
A second year student at the Fatima Jinnah Medical College (FJMC) said the elimination of the self-finance scheme by the CM had been a good thing, but the older students must also be accommodated. She added that she had 936 marks in her intermediate examinations, and it was not fair that she was paying extra fees.
Bank loan: The father of a SIMS medical student, Muhammad Qayuum, said it was very hard for middle class people to afford heavy fees. He said he had been forced to take a bank loan to pay for his son's education, and only he could know how hard it was.
Another medical student said students were planning protests against the discrimination, adding that they had signed an affidavit, but the CM could overturn that. An official from the University of Health Sciences said that they had not been sent any notification that would allow them to accommodate the old students, adding that the students had signed affidavits binding them to pay the full fees.
Technical Health Department Additional Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Sulheria said the department had not received any direction from the CM ordering a concession in fees for old students. Daily TimesYour Comments
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VC of cash-strapped PU accused of extravagance
Lahore: At a time when public sector universities have been facing severe cuts in grants from the government, the Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University (PU) is setting new examples of running the administration quite luxuriously.
Besides being criticized for purchasing a number of vehicles, PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran is presently being castigated by senior faculty members for creating a number of new posts which, they think, were not indispensable. They are quite critical of the VC for having a fleet of three cars saying to bear expenses of these vehicles under prevailing circumstances when universities were receiving meager funding, was certainly unfair.
A senior PU professor, asking not to be named, said a post of chief security officer (CSO) was created by the VC against which a retired police officer was appointed. The post never existed before, he said adding no significance improvement was witnessed as far as security arrangements were concerned.
The Dec 3, 2008 firing incident in which two boarding students got injured exposes the lapses in security measures, he said. "Many other incidences of violence have also occurred recently", he said while adding "On the other hand the CSO had been drawing handsome salary".
Another teacher said the VC created a post of protocol officer which never existed before adding the VC also allowed one of his close associates, Principal College of Earth & Environmental Sciences Prof Dr Iftikhar Hussain Baloch, to buy a car despite the fact he (the professor) had already been having an official car. He further said appointment of some 70 non-teaching staff and provision of financial benefits package of next grade to over 40 teachers by the VC while using his "emergency powers" had also been a subject of heated debate among the university faculty members.
It is important to mention here that the VC had got the appointment of 70 non-teaching staff approved from the syndicate but the matter of providing the package of "financial benefits" of the next grade to some teachers of grade 18 and 19 had yet to be presented before the statutory body. Reportedly, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had also raised objections to the package. It is further learnt that the Chancellor's office has also raised objections to the said package while a committee of PU syndicate would soon be finalizing its recommendations in this regard.
Another senior faculty member said Principal of PU College of Information Technology (PUCIT) Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar, also a cousin of the VC, had been occupying official residence despite the fact he was not entitled as he had been serving the university on contract basis.
When contacted, a PU official said two cars had been purchased, before universities started facing severe cuts by the government, for protocol which were meant to be used by visiting dignitaries including foreigners. He added one car was bought for the VC since the previous vehicle was not fit for use. He further said since the VC did not have any secretary, the post of protocol officer was created adding a BS-9 employee was appointed against this post unlike secretary whose post was equivalent to BS-18.
The official further said PUCIT principal was appointed during the tenure of former VC Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood adding since then the principal had been occupying the official residence as per his terms of appointment. He further said the PU VC had been taking initiatives by which the university could generate maximum revenue to avoid effects of cuts in universities' grants by the government. He said the installation of towers by three cellular companies at the PU New Campus was one such example by which the university would be receiving Rs six million annually. He added keeping in view the significance of research activities VC Dr Mujahid Kamran increased the research funding from Rs four million to Rs 50 million. The official further said the VC had allowed heads of those departments/ institutes or colleges to buy cars which were offering self supporting programme. To a question, he said "However if any head was already having a car, he was not entitled to buying another". -firstname.lastname@example.org
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Students slam Israeli aggression
Islamabad: Dozens of students of different universities on Saturday staged a demonstration at D-Chowk to protest attacks on Gaza Strip by Israeli forces.
Holding placards inscribed with peace massages, the students chanted slogans against Israel and its supporting nations. They expressed solidarity with the Palestinians and urged Ummah to make collective efforts against Israeli aggression.
They said sufferings in Gaza were beyond catastrophic while clamour of the world for peace was falling flat to Israel. They said terrorists were not Hamas, but the Israeli forces playing havoc with the Palestinians. The students demanded that Israel end Gaza massacre immediately and urged leaders of the Muslim countries to adopt a firm stand on the issue. Pakistan Youth Initiative (PYI) President Salman Zaidi said his organisation, comprising students of different educational institutions, strongly condemned the Palestinians' killings at the hand of Israeli forces. He lamented weak stance of the world leaders on the issue, saying perhaps they had not seen footages of Israeli attacks-stricken children. Speaking on the occasion, People's Right Movement (PRM) President Asim Sajjad pressed the World leaders for realising consequences of bloodshed in Gaza Strip. Later, the protestors marched on Parliament House and dispersed peacefully.
People's Student Federation (PSF) on Saturday organised a rally to condemn Israeli aggression in Gaza Strip and expressed solidarity with the freedom movement of Kashmiris. Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Rawalpindi chapter, President Aamir Fida Paracha led the rally that started from Liaquat Bagh and ended at Fowara Chowk. A large number of the party activists and students of all Rawalpindi colleges attended the rally and chanted slogans against Israel and India.
Speaking on the occasion, Paracha urged United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to come forward and play their due roles to save innocent lives in Gaza and Kashmir. Daily Times
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Police scholarships to open new avenues: IG
Lahore: Inspector General of Police Punjab Shaukat Javed has said the implementation of educational scholarship scheme for the children of police officials will open new avenues of educational opportunities for them.
He was expressing these views while presiding over a high level meeting in the Camp Office held to review the implementation of educational scholarship scheme on Sunday. Additional IG Welfare & Finance Aftab Sultan and other senior police officers of CPO were also present.
He said that under the new educational scholarship scheme 100% educational expenditures would be paid from police welfare fund for those children who got admission in the prominent educational institutions recognized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) like Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore School of Economics, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology, Quaid-i-Azam University, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Govt. College University, Lahore, Lahore College for Women University and Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore.
The IGP has said the educational scholarship scheme is a revolutionary step in the direction of providing relief to the police officials and their families. He said owing to educational scholarship scheme the children of police officials would not face any difficulties in meeting the expenditures incurred on education. He directed all regional police officers to disseminate the features of educational scholarship scheme in respective district police lines, police stations and all police units so that the children of police officials could benefit in an effective manner. He also directed to ensure that complete information in respect of education scholarship scheme should be transmitted to all retired police officials and widows through respective police stations. He said the decision to increase the financial assistance from five to 20 lac for the heirs of police martyrs had been implemented in letter and spirit.
He said under the new package the Government of Punjab would also bear all the expenditures incurred on education for the children of police martyrs from primary to postgraduate level. The IGP has said the heirs of police martyrs will be entitled to getting full pay and pension. He said the heirs of police martyrs would be given full increment and allowances along with the salary. The News
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