Islamia College University without VC

ICU without VC for four months
Peshawar, Jan 14: The Islamia College University (ICU) has been functioning without an administrative head for the last five months, as the acting vice-chancellor could not be named after the kidnapping of its Vice-Chancellor Ajmal Khan in September 2010.

The lack of administrative head is having an adverse effect on the smooth functioning of the university, where the intermediate section was closed down for an indefinite period after protests by students against fines and attendance rate issue. The protesters were heavily baton-charged by the police.

Suspected militants kidnapped Vice-Chancellor Ajmal Khan from the vicinity of his house near the University Campus on September 6, 2010. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) later claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and released three videos showing him in their captivity.

He is the second head of any public sector university kidnapped by the militants. Prof Dr Lutfullah Kakakhel, vice-chancellor of Kohat University of Science and Technology, was kidnapped earlier. He was released after seven-month captivity reportedly after payment of a handsome amount as ransom and swap of some hardcore militants. Another vice-chancellor, Dr Farooq Khan, of the newly established Swat University was assassinated in his clinic in Mardan.

The kidnapping of Ajmal Khan brought misery for his family and triggered a wave of unrest among the teaching community. It also affected the functioning of the Islamia College University as the chancellor failed to make an appointment for the office on temporary basis despite the passage of four months.

According to the Islamia College University Act, if the vice-chancellor goes abroad or the office becomes vacant due to some other reason, the chancellor would appoint the senior-most professor as acting vice-chancellor.

Sources said that the registrar sent a list of senior professors to the chancellor of the university who is governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through the Higher Education Department. "The chancellor, instead of following the rules set by him, appointed a junior professor as acting vice-chancellor causing serious concern among the senior professors," a faculty member of the university said.

Prof Dr Naeem Khalid, Dean of the Faculty of Numerical Sciences, was named acting vice-chancellor according to the sources. Naeem Khalid was way down on number 11 on the seniority list, the sources added.

Annoyed at the decision, the senior faculty members sent their en mass resignations to the chancellor in protest, forcing him to withdraw the decision and leave the office vacant, the sources added.

The sources said that Prof Dr Haider Shah, Dean, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, was on top of the seniority list followed by Prof Dr Zahir Shah, Dean, Faculty of Botanical Sciences, Professor Dr Noshad Khan, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof Dr Abdus Salam Khalis, Dean, Faculty of Languages and Literature.

A senior professor of the university told this reporter that the university was facing serious administrative issues in the absence of a head. They have to send very petty issues, particularly relating to finance, to the chancellor for approval, he said. It takes a long time to clear utility and medical bills, he added.

"Of course it was due to the non-availability of administrative head that the students of the university took to the streets protesting fines and attendance shortage that forced the police to baton-charge them. And thus the intermediate section of the university was closed down for indefinite period," he argued. The Class-III and Class-IV employees of the university are also on strike to press the government to expedite efforts for the safe and early recovery of the kidnapped vice-chancellor. The news

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BISEs fee hike irks parents, candidates
Rawalpindi: Punjab education boards' recent decision to revise the fee structure has perturbed the parents, students and the candidates as the examination bodies have been facing acute budget deficit over the years.

The information obtained from Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi revealed that the authorities raised different kind of fees charged from the private students for their registration, verification of documents and certificates, re-evaluation of the papers and inspection fee for checking the private schools for affiliation.

The fee for verification of HSSC has been increased from Rs750 to Ra1550, for attestation of photocopy of the certificates from Rs100 to Rs300.

"I wanted to get my HSSC verified from BISE as it is the requirement for taking admission abroad but was surprised to learn the amount being charged by the board," said Jaffar Ali.

The charges for verification of educational documents by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) are Rs500 but the charges at BISE are much higher, he said.

The fee for re-evaluation of both theoretical and practical examinations has also been enhanced many times putting extra burden on the students.

Abrar Ahmed Khan, president of the association of private school owners criticised the increase in inspection and affiliation fee for the private institutions.

The registration fee for private candidates has been jacked up from Rs400 to Rs700 for annual examinations, the representative of private schools said.

The employees of the nine boards last year launched a protest campaign after the Punjab government waived the annual registration fee for the regular candidates in a bid to facilitate the poor students, said Mehr Akbar, representative of the BISE employees union.

He said that the Higher Education Department, controlling authority of the nine examination boards in Punjab ensured the protesting employees that compensation grants would be paid to the autonomous examination bodies but no action was taken so far.

"Punjab Boards Committee of Chairmen in the beginning of this financial year decided to raise different fees manifolds to make the budgetary deficits caused by waiver of registration fee of the regular students", said Abdul Sattar Ramay, Secretary BISE.

The PBCC has the representation of all the nine boards in the Punjab and it has decided unanimously to increase the fees as it is difficult for the financially independent boards to meet their annual expenses, he said. Dawn

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Book on Faiz launched
Islamabad: Facing an unjust and archaic social order, Faiz Ahmad Faiz used his poetic powers and intellectual energies against everything that was anti-human. His was the voice of sanity, for he sought peace in a troubled world.

Eminent poets and writers expressed these feelings here on Thursday while sharing their views on the life and works of Faiz Ahmad Faiz at the launching ceremony of a book 'Faiz Saddy - Muntakhab Mazameen'.

Marking the Centenary Celebration of Faiz, Progressive Writers Union Islamabad Chapter in collaboration with National Language Authority launched the first book of 2011 written on Faiz. Published by NLA, the book is compiled by renowned poets and scholars Professor Yusuf Hasan and Dr. Rawish Nadeem. The ceremony was presided over by Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik, while Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed, Agha Nasir, Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, Professor Yusuf Hasan, Dr. Salahuddin Derwaish, and Rawish Nadeem elaborated on the contents of the book on Faiz, his poetry and personality.

Kishwar Naheed said that the person and vision of Faiz is larger than life and cannot be contained in one book. She stressed the need to visualise Faiz beyond poet of love and romance and try to spark people's interest in his person, as a poet of the people and in his poetry as an inspiration to work for a better world. Kishwar described the book an important reference material including interviews, articles, and speeches.

While deliberating on the book, Agha Nasir commended NLA for this timely publication and termed it a big contribution. He said that the book is an all inclusive lexicon of Faiz's work and persona from all angles. The 667 page book with 40 articles, interviews, and speeches covers all school of thoughts of the society, making it a collective celebration of Faiz's Centenary as an amorphous yet synchronous event that is democratic, inclusive and universal in its approach.

Iftikhar Arif termed Faiz, as one of the most prominent poets of 20th century, who won unparalleled global acclaim as he symbolised all that is humane, dignified, refined, brave and challenging and patriotic. He said that Faiz as a journalist, progressive writer, a critic, a labour leader, a poet of the masses and an intellectual has left a great impact on the national life of his time. Iftikhar Arif said that Faiz became a legend in his lifetime and was recognised and respected by the literati of the world. He remains the most translated poet of Urdu literature as his works have been translated in many languages, Iftikhar Arif added.

Fateh Mohammad Malik said that the book comes as a significant record of progressive literature. He said that Faiz lived in the times of literary giants like Josh Malihabadi, Sardar Jafri, Kaifi Azmi, Majaz Lakhnawi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Pablo Neruda, Nazim Hikmet, Rasul Gamzatov, Ralph Russell and many others. Faiz was their equal, and can rightfully claim a place in this galaxy of world-renowned poets. He said that the book rightly present Faiz, as the ambassador of the soul and feelings of the people of Pakistan by projecting his poetry and other literary works, as well as his struggle for world peace and prosperity.

Following the symbolic central theme of the Faiz Centenary 'Aaiyey hath uthaein hum bhi, Baraey amn-e-alam aur insani khushhali' (Come, we too should raise our hands in supplication for world peace, and for the prosperity of its people)', the book is a tribute to the powerful poetry and persona of Faiz and would go a long way in carrying the message of Faiz in promoting peace and harmony amongst people of all races and nationalities, transcending religious, ethnic and linguistic differences.

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German scholar donates for AIOU rural students
Islamabad: Professor Dr. Peter Langer, chair of Organic Chemistry of the University of Rostock (Germany), supported the AIOU Educational Centre of Umerkot with a personal donation of 15,000 Euro.

Professor Langer is the first one who supported the AIOU educational centre at Umerkot, planned to be inaugurated in March 2011. The donation would help Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to provide stipends to poor students in the region of Umerkot.

The donation was announced during a visit of the AIOU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Nazir A. Sangi, on the invitation of Professor Langer. During the visit, an MoU was signed for the establishment of a centre of excellence in the field of chemistry at AIOU with the help of Professor Langer. "The concept of AIOU to support and educate poor people in rural areas of Pakistan is excellent", Professor Langer said. "I am very happy to support the educational centre at Umerkot, which is an excellent project and contribution to the people of Pakistan", he said.

Professor Langer has been supporting Pakistani students for many years. In the period 2005 to 2010 about 15 Pakistan students received their Ph.D degrees under his supervision at the University of Rostock. In the next two years, 10 more students will complete their Ph.D under his supervision.

Professor Langer said "He likes to see his Pakistani students to return to Pakistan to serve their country." For the graduate education of Pakistani students, Professor Langer has been investing approx. 450,000 Euro and about 120 publications in high-ranked international journals were published by him together with Pakistani students accumulating more than 350 impact factor points. Several cultural events have been organised by Professor Langer and his team to bring Pakistani culture more close to the people of Germany.

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Annual competitions conclude at Margalla College
Islamabad: The annual competitions concluded at the Federal Government Margalla College for Women, F-7/4, on Thursday.

Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director-General Tauqeer Nasir was the chief guest on the occasion.

The function was divided into two categories. In the first half, students presented different items based on mystic music and thought-provoking ideas of Allama Iqbal. In the second half, students presented folk music. The presentation enthralled and mesmerised the audience.

Speaking on the occasion, Tauqir Nasir said that Pakistan is blessed with young people possessing creative skills. The only need is to tap their talent. He urged students to disseminate country's rich culture and traditions.

In the end, Tauqeer Nasir distributed prizes among the winners.

In Iqbal's poetry competition, first prize went to Zainab Fatima of the Islamabad College for Girls, F-6/2, second prize was obtained by Hifza Ahmed of the Federal Government College for Women, F-7/2, third prize went to Bushra Hafeez of the PAF College, Chaklala, and the consolation prize went to Ammara Akhtar of the Federal Government Degree College.

In folk singing competition, first prize went to Ayesha Bibi of the Federal Government Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road, second prize was given to Javairia Shoaib of the Islamabad Model College for Girls, F-10/3, third prize was obtained by Sameen Bibi of the Federal Government College for Women, F-6/2, and consolation prize went to Maheen Tariq of the Bahria College, E-8.

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Annual day held at BFC
Rawalpindi: Annual day function and prize distribution ceremony of Bahria Foundation College (BFC), Westridge campus, was held here, says a press release. Vice Admiral (r) Mahmood Ahmed Khan was chief guest on the occasion. While addressing the ceremony chief guest appreciated the educational standard of the college and urged to students to toil hard to achieve success in future and also to contribute in the national development. Earlier the College Principal Commodore (r) Muhammad Younis gave his welcome address highlighting the excellent performance of the students during the year and apprised the audience of the standards being set for their grooming.

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Rootsians compete in 'Sports Olympiad'
Rawalpindi: The Roots School System organised an inter-branch Sports Olympiad to test students thinking skills and their abilities to blend in team events.

The Olympiad included soccer, table tennis, badminton, cricket, volleyball and basketball. There were separate competitions for girls and boys in all games. The Roots School System, DHA Phase I Campus, clinched trophies in all competitions.

The winner in badminton for boys was Muntazir Mannan and for girls Sarah Tariq.

In table tennis, winners were Aizaz Khan, Sarah Tariq and Hira Tahir.

The football teams for girls and boys won under the captaincy of Zarmina Wajahat and Osama and Salman Asghar.

The cricket team winning captain and vice captain were Shehroze Saadat and Moiz Saggu. The basketball and volleyball winning captains were Muhammad Usman and Saffiullah Khan.

The Sports Olympiad was a major success and the overall trophy was won by the athletes of Roots School System, DHA Phase 1 Campus.

Roots School System Director Khadija Omair said that the academic institution promotes high academic standards. "The level of competition in sports is equally noteworthy and our students don't sit on the sidelines and good grades and winning records go hand-in-hand," she added. The news

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