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Higher Education Commission policies criticism

HEC interference in KU affairs criticised
Karachi, Jan 21: The Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts) on Wednesday criticised policies of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), alleged corruption in the university and its administration's "complacent attitude" in this regard.

The Kuts general body meeting that lasted for three and a half hours was attended by over 200 teachers. It saw many senior professors strongly criticising the KU administration for approving and implementing HEC-recommended programmes pertaining to the acquiring of adequate funds, hiring of new teachers and setting up the required infrastructure without any planning.

The teachers termed a recent warning letter from the HEC "a tactic to pressure the university administration", and declared that the federal body was going beyond its mandate. Speaking on the same issue, a teacher showed another HEC letter addressed to the KU zoology department chairman for the appointment of someone who had been trained abroad.

"This is absolutely unacceptable. The HEC is interfering in the university's affairs," the teachers said. They demanded that the HEC be abolished and the 17th Constitutional Amendment that gave birth to the commission be repealed so that the autonomous status of the university could be restored.

Expressing concern over what they described as growing malpractices on campus, the teachers remarked that "mafias have taken over different administrative departments". Special references were made to the examination and accounts departments along with the semester cell in this regard. They said security had become a major issue as robberies had become a daily routine.

There was also commotion over the KU administration's decision of binding the university's permanent teachers, who had applied for MS/PhD programmes, to take entrance tests.

The teachers criticised the administration for adopting dual standards for morning and evening programmes purely for, what they called, "money-making purposes".

"The university is now running a four-year BS (bachelors of studies) programme in place of its two-year honours programme and a two-year MS programme. When these programmes were being introduced, teachers were told that adequate funds would be provided and new faculty members would be hired. But that has not been done creating severe problems," Prof Dr Fayyaz Vaid, the Kuts secretary told Dawn after the meeting.

He said the KU teachers' organisation had asked the HEC to unconditionally withdraw the letter that warned that it would withdraw recognition to PhD-holders if the students failed to get their research papers published in time.

Kuts had also decided to take up the HEC's controversial role with other representative bodies of teachers and adopt a stand with consensus, Prof Vaid added.

The other demands endorsed by the meeting through several resolutions included removal of the condition of entrance tests for the university's regular faculty, provision of funds and faculty for BS and MS programmes and immediate steps against corruption. Dawn

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365 degrees conferred
Karachi: Karachi university awarded a total of 365 degrees, to the passing out graduates of 2008 and 2009 in various disciplines including, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor Arts (BA), MS Telecom and Networking, BSE, and BCE.

It also awarded five gold and four silver medals, besides four merit certificates to the outstanding students who had secured top positions in different disciplines. The news

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Classes resumed at Sindh varsity
Hyderabad: Academic activities resumed at University of Sindh on Wednesday.

Regular classes were held in a peaceful manner in the teaching institutes and departments in morning and evening shifts.

Point buses for students, teachers and employees plied on different routes of Hyderabad, Latifabad and Qasimabad.

In the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, seven students belonging to the student wing of a nationalist party were rounded up by the police for creating disturbances and trying to force boycott of classes.

However, no case was registered against them and they were released by the police after telephonic talks between the university administration and the party leadership.

University sources said that the students had demanded two point buses for a journey to Karachi to participate in a rally scheduled for Thursday (today).

The university authorities refused to provide buses to them on which the students hurled stones at the buses and tried to force boycott of classes.

Activists of the Sindh People's Students Federation held a demonstration outside the press club here on Wednesday to protest against registration of a murder case against their leaders belonging to the Sindh University.

The protesters warned of widening the scope of their protest if the "false" case against their leaders was not withdrawn.

Some SPSF workers have been booked in the murder case of Asad Abbasi, an activist of the Jeay Sindh Students Federation-A.

On the other hand, the JSSF-A has condemned an attack on their leader in Sindh University on Tuesday allegedly by SPSF workers.

JSSF-A leader Sajjad Shar, said in a statement that the murderers of Asad Abbasi were creating disturbances at the campus. They warned of calling for boycott of classes in the university if SPSF activists were not "reined in." Dawn

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Investment in youth
Karachi: In order to build a better future for our country, we need to invest in youth by providing them opportunities to acquire quality education, and help them understand the diversity of the global educational environment.

These views were expressed by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir, while speaking at the 6th convocation of Bahria University, Karachi campus on Monday. "Universities and institutes of higher education have a great responsibility to provide education to students with clear sense of direction, and well defined goals.

With the premise that our national interests, cultural and religious ethos, are always safeguarded, students should also be taught to respect global values and traditions, and other religions," he added.

Meanwhile, Rector Bahria University Vice Admiral (R) Mohammad Haroon said that Bahria University has greatly improved its academic infrastructure, worked for the betterment of faculty development, revision of curriculum, and introduction of additional academic disciplines.

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Youth centre in Lyari
Karachi: Following the instructions of the federal government, the Lyari Town Administration has decided to establish a youth centre in the area, which will launch various skill development programmes for both, boys and girls.

The youth centre will be established in Union Council-11, Eid Gah and will introduce information technology (IT), and other professional education programmes.

Town Nazim Lyari Mahmoood Hashim told The News that the proposal of the project which has been named as Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari Youth Center, has already been sent to Islamabad and is under consideration. After its approval, the concerned authorities would design the PC-1, and work on the project would start accordingly, he added.

"The project is being launched in an effort to address the issue of unemployment, which seems to be the primary cause that compels the youth to engage themselves in unlawful activities. My administration is keen to launch various other development schemes, specially, for skill enhancement of the area youth," said Hashim.

He said that President Asif Ali Zardari, during his recent visit to Karachi, had called in a special meeting with the representatives of Lyari to personally listen to their grievances, and attain their suggestions to remove them. The representatives raised the issues they have been facing, and complained that they have not seen the same commitment from the present Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leadership, which they used to see from the slain PPP chairperson Benazirt Bhutto, Hashim said.

"The representatives told the president that their neighbourhood has been neglected in past in terms of development, and now the area needs proper attention from the government. The president, during the meeting, announced housing schemes for the poor, and dedicated activists of PPP, and provision of rickshaw and jobs for the unemployed youths," he added.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Lyari told The News that the PPP government has also initiated the Benazir Bhutto Support Programme for the benefit of women. It is running smoothly, and they expect that the initiative would help address the issues the women have been facing for decades.

Moreover, officials of the Town Municipal Administration Lyari claimed that they have improved the water supply and drainage systems, and have replaced the old pipes to facilitate the residents. They added that an international football stadium with separate park and jogging tracks is also being renovated in the area.

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IVSAA school's gallery
Karachi: The fifth edition of Faculty Art at the Indus Valley School of Art (IVSAA) and Architecture opened at the school's gallery on Wednesday.

The show has gained annual regularity and presents a showcase of creative work by the school's teaching staff. Art books by teachers from all of the faculties were on display in the exhibit.

The fifth edition, by no means the largest show that the IVSAA has held, brought together the different disciplines that are taught, namely from their three major faculties of architecture, design, and fine arts. Among the pieces on display, reflecting the courses being taught, were fine arts, sculpture, ceramics, textile design, graphic design, videography, and photography.

Teachers who took part in the exhibit displayed their works, new and old. In all nearly 44 artists displayed 95 pieces of art at the exhibition.

These included Faiza Habib, Uzma Bawany, Wardha Saleem, Tariq Alexander, Muzammil Raheel, Sohail Abdullah, Sumaira Tazeen, Mahmood Ali Ahmed, Rabia Shoaib, Meher Afroze, Manizhe Ali, Sheeraz Wania, Fraz Mateen, Shakeel Siddiqui, Muhammad Ali Khan, Naveed Sadiq, Arshad Farooqui, Farah Mahbub, Waheeda Mansoor, Abeer Asim, Parvez Ansari, Samia Rajar, Najaf Bilgrami, Ather Jamal, Sheeba Akhter, Sohail Zuberi, Shakeel Siddiqui, Sana Burney, Uzma Zeeshan, Aisha Darr, Ammad Tahir, Qazi Fazli Azeem, Rabeya Jalil, Khurram Alavi, Abdul Jabbar Gul, Tazeen Qayyum, Warda Umar, Fareena Chanda, Seher Bukhari, Sadia Salim, Taimur Suri, Hamir Soomro and Aliya Yousuf.

The most interesting of all the exhibits were Bonsai plants by Hamir Soomro. Bonsai is the Japanese art of making figures in cultured trees. Indus does not teach the art of Bonsai - yet. The faculty show is open for all forms of arts produced by the faculty staff.

While photography and videos are departments which are not formally offered at the department, side course and diploma respectively, they were featured prominently, with Najaf Bilgrami, Sohail Abdullah, Farah Mahbub, and Sana Burney all utilising the camera for their artistic expression.

Unlike on previous occasions, the textiles, architecture, and design faculties were poorly represented with only a handful of teachers presenting their work. The exhibition continues till the 30th of January. The news

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