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NWFP Agricultural University appointment

Award of acting charge to retired vice chancellor raised many eyebrows
Peshawar, Jan 15: Fingers have been pointed at giving acting charge to Prof Said Khan Khalil as vice-chancellor of the NWFP Agricultural University after his retirement till the appointment of a new full-time VC of the university.

Anonymous letters have already been sent to the chancellor of the university and Higher Education Commission (HEC) informing them of the alleged corrupt practices of the vice-chancellor during his five-year stay in the office. No heed was, however, paid to the letters that claimed possession of evidence of the alleged nepotism in the appointments, financial embezzlement and academic inefficiency by the vice-chancellor.

Sources said that the vice-chancellor was clever enough to take measures at the right time to appease the right people who could help him in remaining the vice-chancellor. It enabled him to get two consecutive extensions.

On a previous occasion, he got extension by announcing establishment of a sub-campus of the university in Hangu, the hometown of a former governor. The project, however, could not materialise yet.

A senior university official who requested anonymity said that according to the university statutes - Chapter 3, Section 10 - the tenure of a vice-chancellor should not exceed four years. The current vice-chancellor has been holding the office for the last five years and is again striving for getting another extension, he said.

Whenever his tenure comes to an end, he is given acting charge. During this period, he manages to get another extension. It cannot be justified that a man competing for an office is given acting charge of the said office, the official remarked.

Some copies of the anonymous letters sent to the governor and the HEC. One of the letters stated that the vice-chancellor convened a meeting of the syndicate on December 29, 2009 only five days before his retirement in which promotion of more than 70 professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers was approved and surprisingly notification of the promotions was promptly issued on the same date without waiting for confirmation of the minutes and their approval by the chancellor.

On January 1, 2010, a day before the retirement of the vice-chancellor, an advertisement titled 'Walk-in-Interview' was published in newspapers for three posts of deputy directors in BS-19. Interviews for the positions were held on January 10, by the time when the vice-chancellor had retired and the acting charge was not given to him. One letter cited numerous other incidents of anomalies in recruitments and other matters. The vice-chancellor could not be contacted for comments despite several attempts.

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Shortage of ICU students attendance
Peshawar: The teachings staff and other associations of the Islamia College University (ICU) in a meeting on Thursday condemned police and the university administration for manhandling the students and teachers of the university.

Presided over by president of the teaching staff Dr Ziaullah Sehrai, the meeting was also addressed by Prof Dr Zahir Shah and others. The participants were of the opinion that the university administration mishandled the issue of students' attendance shortage. They said the university should have informed the students about the status of their attendance on monthly basis instead of refusing them examination admission forms at the eleventh hour.

The matter could have been resolved peacefully, but the use of brutal force against students by the campus police added fuel to the fire, the speakers observed. They also came down hard on police for beating and abusing a former president of the teaching staff association, Izhar Ahmad.

They said they had submitted an application for lodging a first information report against Station House Officer Waqar, but police were reluctant to register the report. A peaceful protest walk to the office of the vice-chancellor followed the meeting and the protesters staged a sit-in there. Vice-Chancellor Ajmal Khan came out of his office to assure the protesters that their demands would be accepted. He assured that the SHO would tender an apology to the teachers. The police officer did so and the teachers withdrew their application seeking registration of the FIR against him. After meeting with the vice-chancellor, the protesters dispersed peacefully.

The university administration has already closed down the intermediate classes in the university for indefinite period as the students reacted sharply after the university did not allow them appear in the intermediate examination because of the attendance shortage.

There were strong protests by the students on the campus on Tuesday and Wednesday. The university administration had called campus police force to quell the unrest. The students were baton-charged and several of them arrested during the two-day protests.

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OICD to have more institutes
Karachi: Vice-Chancellor, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), Prof. Masood Hameed Khan has said that more than 50 institutes at Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases (OICD) and Dow University Hospital will start functioning within a few months.

This he said while giving briefing to the reporters of the Association of Health Journalists of Pakistan here on Thursday. He said that new projects initiated by the DUHS included new academic clock, examination department, Dow College of Pharmacy, Institute of Nursing, Computer Learning Centre, Digital Library, Department of Information Technology and others. The news

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Students boycott classes
Nawabshah: Hundreds of university students took out a rally and held a demonstration outside the press club here on Thursday after boycotting classes in the Quaid-i-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology in protest against what they described as 'term-back policy'.

The protesters told journalists that the university administration had lately thrust the term-back policy on the students, which discouraged many of their colleagues and some of them had even attempted suicide.

They warned they would completely boycott classes till the administration accepted their demand for withdrawal of the term-back policy.

Abdul Hameed Pirzada, assistant registrar, rejected the students' claims and said there was nothing like term-back policy. Twenty-two out of 681 students had not been promoted to the second term because they had failed to pass 50 per cent papers in the first term, he said.

He said that it was clearly mentioned in the prospectus issued by the university at the time of admission. Dawn

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Pakhtun culture promotion
Peshawar: The Bacha Khan Trust Educational Foundation (BKTEF) launched a project for the promotion and conservation of the culture, art and heritage of Pakhtuns, at a ceremony held here at the Archives Hall on Thursday.

A large number of writers, poets, intellectuals, educationists and people from various segments of the society attended the function. Addressing the ceremony, NWFP Minister for Sports, Culture and Tourism Syed Aqil Shah said the 6,000-year-old Pakhtun culture was among the world's richest cultures and was unique in nature.

Pakhtuns as a whole are Muslims and hospitality, respect of elders and affection to youngsters, Jirga, Hujra, honour of women and neighbours were integral part of Pakhtun culture, he said. "It is a culture stressing brotherhood, love and peace," he said.

Appreciating the BKTEF for taking the initiative of promoting and preserving our culture, he said the provincial government would soon hold a three-day seminar on culture wherein everybody could express views and forward suggestions.

He said the government was also planning setting up of a culture centre at Gorgathri on the pattern of Lok Virsa centre, Islamabad. The centre would provide an opportunity for introduction of handicrafts from different parts of the province. Free of cost space would be provided for exhibition of handicrafts like Peshawar's pottery, wooden work of DI Khan, Swati shawls and embroidery work, etc at the centre, he added.

Counting his ministry's achievement, Aqil Shah said that for the first time a culture directorate was established in the province, Nishtar Hall was reopened for cultural activities after several-year closure and artistes were encouraged to return and continue their activities.

However, he expressed concern over some vulgar films and dramas, especially CD dramas, which, he said, were defaming Pakhtun culture. The dances and filming of scenes in semi-nude dresses and brandishing Kalashnikovs was in no way Pakhtun culture that got promotion due to ban on healthy cultural activities, he added.

Rauf Khalid, chief executive of Lok Virsa, in his address urged promotion and preservation of old cultures and heritage for the coming generations. He said ours was a rich culture having no match in the world and its preservation was the duty of every individual.

Noted writer and columnist Saadullah Jan Barq said Bacha Khan was more an educationist than a politician and establishing Azad Schools was the best proof of his desire to educate his nation.

Muhammad Azam Azam, director of the Pakistan Academy of Letters (Peshawar chapter), Dr Fazle Rahim Marwat, noted Pashto poet Rahmat Shah Sail and provincial secretary for culture were also present.

Khadim Hussain, managing director of BKTEF, read out a message of the Ambassador of Norway while Hidayatullah Gul and Saiqa Afridi conducted the stage proceedings. A group of artistes enthralled the audience by playing folk tunes. Traditional food was also served on the occasion liked by the participants of the well-attended programme.

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Makeshift schools arranged
Darra Adamkhel: As normalcy is returning to Darra Adamkhel, makeshift schools have been arranged for the students of 19 educational institutions that were destroyed by the militants during violence in the area.

Agency Education Officer, Frontier Regions Kohat and Peshawar, Asmat Khan said the estimate of Rs250 million had been submitted to the Crisis Management Cell for the reconstruction of the destroyed schools in Darra Adamkhel.

He said the report had been forwarded to the prime minister and the NWFP governor for approval.The official said educational activities in Darra Adamkhel were discontinued for a long time during 2009, but schools were reopened recently.

Regarding the private educational institutes, he said Shaheen School & College and Fatima Girls High School have been reopened in the area, adding the government was awarding education scholarships to students to motivate them for studies.

The students of Government Degree College Darra Adamkhel, which has been in use of the security forces, have been shifted to Government High School in Akhorwal area, he said. The students of Government Girls Degree College have been shifted to Government Girls Degree College Kohat for continuation of their studies, the official said.

The students of Government High School in Shapalkiwal have been shifted to Zarghunkhel School where there is a base for the security forces. The news

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