FUUAST admissions termed faulty
Karachi, Jan 06: The Students Action Committee (SAC) of the Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) has described the recently concluded admission process as "faulty", alleging that many candidates with third division have been admitted to the university.
This umbrella organisation of various student groups, including Anjuman Talaba Islam (ATI), Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT), Punjabi Students Association (PSA) and People's Students Federation (PSF), has been fighting against alleged mismanagement and unfair dealings at the university.
According to the students, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has a rule that no one having below 45 percent marks shall be admitted to the university. "Owing to the absence of student unions the university officials are doing what they should not. They have no fear of accountability. What will be the standard of education if the university continues to admit students in a clandestine manner? This is [a] federal university. Is the university so desperate as to grant admissions against the rules?" a final- year BS student said angrily, who introduced himself as Fawwad and requested to withhold his surname.
There are many glaring flaws in the admission list (Admission list-2011 for Arts) of the Abdul Haq Campus. A student has been admitted to the first-year BS programme in the Psychology Department without his submitting the marks-sheet. This has opened the floodgates to unfair means as certificates sometimes turn out fake and do not show the percentage. Another student having 44 percent marks has also been admitted to the same department.
Two students having 44.45 and 44.27 percent marks have gained admission to the Department of Philosophy, while three students having second division have been admitted to the first-year BEd classes. No percentage was mentioned against their names. Another student having 44.69 percent marks has also been admitted to the same programme.
The Students Action Committee has expressed its reservations especially with regard to granting admissions to the first-year LLB classes. Thirteen students with second division have been admitted to law classes and the committee said that the process was highly dubious. The names of two other students with 44.43 and 44.29 percent marks have been included in the admission list. "Law degree is a professional degree. We need law professionals who have some substance and are admitted lawfully. How could they be honest and competent lawyers if they are admitted in such a manner?" asked an office-bearer of the committee.
Prof Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan, who is the convener Admission Committee, defended the Admission Committee's decisions, calling them fair and meant to accommodate the students who might not be admitted to other institutions. "Those who secured less than 45 percent marks have been awarded 'Division Raised', a sort of grace marks to enable the students to obtain a second division. This raise in division has been awarded by the Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi, and we have nothing to do with it. We are not engaged in any unfair dealing," Prof Khan explained the FUUAST's viewpoint.
We also talked to Vice Chancellor FUUAST Dr Muhammad Qaiser, who brushed aside the allegations by the students. "We are engaged in providing education without being dishonest and incompetent. We are sure it is perfectly right to admit such students," he claimed.Your Comments
HEC raises research grant for DUHS
Karachi: The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has raised its research grant for the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) by 15 per cent on the basis of its performance.
The increase in the research funding is effective from January 1, under the HEC's National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) Programme.
DUHS sources said that the raise has been made on basis of the submissions made through the research proposal report by the research department of the university.
The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has also selected five other universities namely Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, University of Punjab in Lahore, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore, University of Agricultural Sciences in Faisalabad and PMAS-Arid Agricultural University in Rawalpindi for its NRPU Program.
Karachi: Candidates seeking admission to the morning programme at the Karachi University and were issued with fees vouchers but could not deposit the fee so far for any reason, have been directed to do so by January 8. This was announced by the University's Director of Admission Committee on Wednesday. The candidates should deposit the fee by January 8 up by 12 noon at the UBL Branch of the Karachi University.
Teachers training project
Karachi: The purported slow utilisation of CIDA's (Canadian International Development Agency) funds by the Sindh government for a project for "the capacity building of teachers' training institutions and training of elementary school teachers" has been worrying the federal government, according to official sources and documents obtained by The News on Wednesday.
The Centre has observed that though funds were released to the Sindh government after permission from the institution concerned converting the Canadian loan into a grant, the provincial government has been found wanting to utilise the grant for improving the quality of education in the province. It is feared that such callousness may cause further delays in getting more funds for identical purposes.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the governments of Canada and Pakistan for converting Pakistan's official debt into a grant to improve the quality of elementary education through imparting training to teachers. Accordingly, PC-I to this effect was prepared at a cost of Rs1,261.773 million, which was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for five years (2006-2011), which has now been extended to June 2013.
The project aims at providing training to elementary teachers and awarding scholarships to students of BEd and diploma in education, besides carrying out some civil works and procurements.
The official sources said that the Planning and Development Division had evolved a "new mechanism" for releasing development funds allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme for the financial year 2010-11.
However, a special waiver was obtained from the Planning Commission to release funds over and above the authorised percentage (i.e. 14 percent of the total allocation instead of 10 percent) for the implementation of the project.
Accordingly, Rs34 million was released during the first quarter (July-September) of last year to the Education and Literacy Department Sindh/Programme Monitoring Unit Sindh under the CIDA project.
However, Federal Education Secretary Muhammad Athar Tahir, in his recent letter to the Sindh government, has pointed out that out of the released funds during the previous quarter, Rs15.244 million has so far been utilised, leaving a balance of Rs18.756 million. The federal education secretary described the slow utilisation of the funds as "most discouraging" and warned that such attitude may result in slowing the implementation pace of the project. He has apprehended that it might also frustrate every effort of the federal education ministry to process the case for further releases of funds for the project.
The Centre has asked the provincial government to expedite the utilisation of released funds.
Sources privy to this development said that the new Sindh education secretary, Naheed S Durrani, in a letter to the federal education ministry dated 29th December, stated that the CIDA project's funds were received from September to November, 2010, instead of July to September.
She pointed out that the funds were released at a time when Sindh had already been hit by devastating monsoon floods. The provincial education secretary believed that many teachers training institutes were being used as camps by internally displaced persons and as such the activities on that count had slightly slowed down.
Despite these perceived hurdles, the secretary claimed that around Rs27.6 million was spent during this period. However, she was hopeful that all "necessary measures" would be taken to expedite the implementation of the project and facilitate intended purposes. She said any "past lapses or delays" would be taken care of to put the project back on track.
2011 declared Year of Chemistry
Karachi: A three-day International Conference on Chemistry and its role in science was organised from January 3 to 5 under the auspices of the Department of Chemistry Jinnah University for Women (JUW).
Chairperson of the Department, Dr Rafia Azmat, said that for the conference some 220 abstracts were received from various countries.
She paid tributes to Prof. Dr Attaur Rehman, Prof. Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary and the Chairman of HEC for extending all support for the conference.
Chairman of the Pakistan Science foundation, Prof. Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro, in his message pointed out that the year 2011 has been declared as the International Year of Chemistry by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and UNESCO.
University-industry liaison highlighted
Karachi: Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) has decided to form a Directorate of Research in the university that will liaison with researchers from various universities and industries that will enable them to share the latest research and learn from each other's experience.
The Registrar, FUUAST, Dr Qamarul Haque, who holds a PhD in inorganic chemistry, has been appointed the Director of Research with assistance from his staff that will include an Assistant Director, Researcher, and many other auxiliary staff.
Dr Haque said that it was of paramount importance that universities and industry close ranks to initiate meaningful research in Science, Social Sciences, and Management Sciences. "We (FUUAST) are relatively young university but occupy 22nd rank among 72 Public Sector Universities. It is our intention to go further and engage industry to come forward and give material and technical support to the universities. A local Pharmaceutical company has offered to build a Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory in our university. They will bear all the expenses", he gave details.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has recently asked the universities to initiate this step to enhance the quality and quantity in research and stop the possibility of repetition in the research and possible plagiarism that has plagued the higher education in the country.
A meeting is scheduled to be held on January 23 to finalise salient features of the association and ways and means to run it in a way that it is sustained and the aims are achieved. The Vice-Chancellor, FUUAST, Dr Muhammad Qaiser, and Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Professor and Director of HEJ Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi (KU), both eminent scientists, will be the anchor persons while other scientists, including social scientists, will be part of this association. Dean Faculty of Arts, FUUAST, Dr Seemi Naghmana, and Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Karachi Dr Zafar Iqbal, prominent Social Scientists of the country, have also been invited to the meeting. The news