Punjab University IJT illegal event

Two PU officials suspended
Lahore, Jan 24: Punjab University (PU) administration on Friday suspended the varsity's Estate Officer and Assistant Security Officer for failing to control activists of Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) from organising an illegal event on the campus the other day.

A Punjab University official said Estate Officer Muhammad Shakoor and Assistant Security Officer Muhammad Shoukat failed to control the IJT activists, mostly expelled students, despite clear cut instructions from the top administration to not to allow any event without permission. He said an inquiry would also be held to ascertain the facts.

Meanwhile, a number of IJT activists protested against PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and chanted slogans against Vice chancellor for "disturbing" their peaceful programmes, after Jumma prayer at New Campus.

It is learnt that the suspended officials had told a senior official that they were helpless to control the IJT activists as most of them were already expelled and were usually seen with weapons on the campus.

They further said if the government did not want to take action against such elements how they could risk their lives. The news

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PU MBBS results
Lahore: The Punjab University on Friday declared the results of MBBS First Professional Part-I examination.

According to a press release, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Medical and Dental College, Lahore, has shown the excellent result by securing 14 top positions.

Nafeesah Fatima of the college secured the first position by getting 473/600 marks while Mehreen Kamran second and Rohma Awais secured third position with 468/600 and 459/600 marks, respectively.

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Negligence charges: BZU controller of exams made OSD
Multan: The Bahauddin Zakaria University (BZU) vice-chancellor has made examination controller Malik Munir Hussain an officer on special duty (OSD) over his alleged negligence after complaint of cheating at an examination centre in Sahiwal emerged.

According to a handout issued here on Friday, vice-chancellor Dr Muhammad Zaffarullah also formed a three-member committee to probe the matter in detail.

It stated that the vice-chancellor also took notice against the examiner over complaint of cheating at the Government Nangal Imbia High School No. 1, Sahiwal, during LL.B Part I, 2010 first annual examination.

"When the complaint was received, Dr Mutahir was tasked with probing the matter and the Friday's action has been taken on the preliminary inquiry report submitted by him," the handout stated.

As per initial inquiry report, the controller had refused to hand over related record of the centre to the inquiry officer and this finding led the vice-chancellor to make the incumbent controller an OSD. The charge of the post of controller was also given to Dr Mutahir.

A three-member committee consisting of Dr Younis Nadeem, Dr Muhammad Farooq and Nazir Ahmed Chishti was also formed to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, Malik Munir said that he had been removed from his office following a conspiracy as he had documentary proof of corruption the vice-chancellor had committed in connivance with former treasurer Muhammad Younis, resident officer Dr Altaf and additional registrar Sohaib Khan Rashid.

He said that the chief minister had directed his inspection team to hold an inquiry against the corruption of vice-chancellor and he (controller) was to testify in that probe as a witness and that's why he had been removed from his office.

He said that Dr Mutahir was very close to the vice-chancellor and that's why he had been made acting-controller. He accused the vice-chancellor of 'unofficially' allowing Dr Mutahir run the examination branch for the past three years.

He said that he had called Dr Mutahir to his office Jan 16 and asked him to him away from the printing process of examination papers and this indeed had annoyed him.

He said that no action could be taken against him without obtaining approval from the BZU syndicate and he was not bound to obey the illegal orders of the vice-chancellor.

He said that making controller an OSD instead of taking action against students, chief inspector, superintendent or the deputy superintendent of the examination centre, was entirely unjustified.

He said that he went to Sahiwal on Jan 19 to inspect the centre along with assistant controller Zameerul Hassan and to investigate the cheating issue.

He said that later he proceeded for his hometown, Jhang, on the same evening after knowing about the illness of his father and sent a leave application for three days but the vice-chancellor did not accept the application.

He demanded of the chief minister take notice of massive corruption in the university as well of his removal and get the whole issue probed by an independent inquiry officer from outside the university. Dawn

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Recruitment of associate professors challenged in LHC
Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to the secretaries of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) and the Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) to reply until January 24 on a petition by three women lecturers, challenging the recruitment of associate professors.

Zaibun Nisa Saroysa and Rubina Shaista of the Government Islamia College for Women, Cooper Road, and Kausar from the Post-Graduate College, Samanabad, have moved the petitions. The petitioners' counsel submitted that Shaista was a PhD scholar and remaining two had MPhil degrees.

He said on May 9, 2010, the PPSC advertised 529 permanent posts of associate professors in pay scale 18 in the PHED in which 19 posts in Urdu were also offered. He said the requisite qualification was in such a manner that the first preference was given to the candidates holding PhD degrees and the second preference was given to MPhil with five years teaching experience and third preference was given to the candidates holding master's degree in relevant subject with at least seven years teaching experience.

The counsel submitted that the order of preferences had been based on the principle of merit and justice. He said the petitioners applied for the posts in accordance with the conditions, but until December 24, 2010, the PPSC had not intimated them about their selection or refusal or about their test or interview. He alleged that in mid December, they came to know that the PPSC secretary asked some of his favourite candidates, who possessed master's degree, to appear for interview on December 24.

He said aggrieved about the alleged discrimination, the petitioners moved applications to the PPSC and protested why they were not considered for a test or interview. The counsel submitted that the PPSC had almost finalised a list of the selected candidates and if such unfair, unjustified, illegal, unlawful and improper list would be announced, the petitioners' rights would be violated and they would be subjected to mental agony. He requested the court to check the illegal procedure adopted by the respondents.

He also requested the court to select the eligible candidates for the posts of assistant professors by keeping in view the qualifications of the candidates in the relevant subjects. Daily times

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UoE students protest
Lahore: Dozens of students from University of Education held a protest sit-in outside the varsity's Township campus when they were denied entry there by the administration on Friday.

The protesting students chanted slogans against the varsity's administration and expressed strong resentment for denying them the entry. They demanded of the government to take notice of the incident as they missed papers on second consecutive day. It is pertinent to mention here that UoE has become a hub of tension among academic institutions of the provincial metropolis ever since the varsity's acting vice chancellor removed two faculty members for their alleged poor performance and instigating the students.

The allegations were denied by both the faculty members. A couple of days ago the issue had come into the limelight when the protesting students of UoE along with some journalists were baton charged and tortured. The news

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UVAS diagnoses camel disease
Lahore: The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) scientists have diagnosed a mysterious disease that caused the death of camels in Cholistan at a large scale.

After a series of tests, the University Diagnostic Lab (UDL) found that the Cholistani camels were suffering from respiratory distress caused by 'pasteurella multocida' bacteria, severe cold and humid weather. The lab has recommended administration of suitable antibiotics besides vaccinating the remaining animals against the disease.

UDL director Prof Dr Masood Rabbani said the diagnosis made on the request of Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department would be helpful in controlling the fatal disease in Cholistan. Prof Rabbani said various tests were conducted on samples (trachea, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, intestines and kidneys, etc) in the lab for isolation and identification of suspected bacterial and viral pathogens. "Finally, after an effort of eight days, UDL scientists confirmed that infection had been caused by bacteria known as pasteurella multocida," he added.

Normally, he said, this type and quantum of problem had never been reported in camels in Pakistan. He said the disease probably spread due to extraordinary cold and humid weather in the desert, which helped the organism cause serious disease in camels. He said such problem had already been reported from other countries.

Prof Rabbani said the UDL was now working on the detection of a possible genetic variation in the said organism. For the time being, he said, the lab had recommended suitable antibiotics, which were very effective against this organism. He said any camel that was being injected this antibiotic in the desert spreading over hundreds of kilometres was being saved from the fatal disease. "Vaccinating these camels against haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) is a must for future control of this disease," he added.

The UDL director regretted that camels were not being vaccinated against HS disease on a regular basis because of non-prevalence of this disease in camels in this part of the world. However, this disease was prevalent in cattle and buffaloes.

UVAS vice-chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz lauded the efforts of UDL scientists, administration and staff, who played a vital role in diagnostics and outbreak handling. Dawn

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Inadequate transport facilities a bane for students
Lahore: A large number of students of government schools are facing transportation problems due to the lack of a proper transport system in the city, while the vehicles provided to government colleges have also failed to cater to their needs.

The non-availability of a proper transport facility has put the lives of the students at risk and poses a threat to the city's peace, which is obvious from a recent incident, in which four students, sitting on the rooftop of a bus, lost their lives when its driver tried to drive it through an underpass on the Canal Bank Road.

Students coming from the city's suburbs to their schools and colleges have to face the inconvenience of travelling in packed public transport because the educational institutes in their localities cannot impart quality education as they lack experienced staff and teachers. Several students shared their sufferings while travelling to their schools and colleges by buses, vans and pickups.

"School and college buses ply only on specific routes. I use local transport to reach my school," said Ahmad Ali, a ninth class student. He said that this was one of the major problems for all those coming from slums and suburban areas.

Ali also complained that majority of local transporters did not stop their vehicles when they see students at bus stops. "To stop a van, we (students) need to stand in front of it," he added.

Many school students travelling in buses often get engaged in scuffles with conductors over the issue of paying half fare. Many a time, students flare up on being asked for full fare, and they resort to vandalism damaging vehicles, breaking their windscreens and windowpanes.

Girl students face more difficulties than boys. A student, Amna, said that due to financial problems, her parents were unable to pay fare of a school van for her. She said public transport had specific seats for ladies, but due to a large number of passengers, she had to wait for a long time to find a seat due to which she often reached her school late. She demanded of the authorities concerned to provide sufficient buses for colleges, especially women colleges.

Students' parents also complained about the impulsively-driven school and college vans and buses, saying that very few institutions cared for their students by closely monitoring the mode of transport used by them. Though a few institutions had their own pick-and-drop facility for students, several others did not, they added.

They said that school pickups were charging Rs 1,500 per student, whereas, school buses Rs 1,200 per student, adding that those parents who had three or four school-going kids had to pay Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 only as transport fee, in addition to the high tuition fees. Daily times

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VCs convey financial gripes to Khosa
Lahore: Most vice chancellors of public-sector universities in Punjab during their maiden meeting with Sardar Latif Khosa at the Governor's House on Saturday expressed their anxiety about paucity of funds and salary packages.

They said the varsities were facing crunch time because of freezing of funds by the Higher Education Commission for development projects. Some VCs complained they were being paid salaries "incommensurate with their position".

Although a majority of the vice chancellors were concerned about the problems of their institutions, at least three of them raised the issue of their salary packages, sources said.

"I am not getting the salary (under MP1) according to my position. The vice chancellors of the federal and Sindh varsities are enjoying all perks and privileges under MP1," a VC complained. He said his case in this regard had been lying pending with the Chancellor Office for the last one year, requesting Mr Khosa to issue a direction in this regard.

The vice chancellors have been complaining about unavailability of funds for the last couple of years. Not only ongoing projects have come to a halt but no step is being taken for new initiatives as well. Research is another important sector which has suffered due to shortage of funds.

The issue of land grabbing also came under discussion. "Some varsities had purchased land for their new campuses in the province. Since we are short of funds we can not even build a boundary wall and once the land is encroached upon, the varsities will have to be engaged in long battle of litigation," another vice chancellor informed the governor.

The governor, also the chancellor of the public varsities in the province, gave sympathetic hearing to the visitors but was assertive with those who took up "irrelevant and minor" problems of their institution, sources said.

He said Mr Khosa even snubbed a VC for using words "criminal neglect" of the government in one area. "You should use decent expression while raising an issue," the governor was quoted as having said.

Mr Khosa assured them that he would discuss the matter with the federal government and ensure the availability of the required grants. He said he would also take Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on board to resolve the problems the varsities were facing.

Sources said the governor also asked the VCs why the standard of education was deteriorating. "Why our youth prefer foreign institutions to ours; we will have to raise our standard of education," they quoted the governor as having said.

"I will help redress your grievances and at the same time you will have to deliver as well," the governor told them. Mr Khosa further said education was his top priority and asked the VCs to design their curricula to match the international standards. He said the new generation should be made aware of their culture and the message of the saints in order to discourage extremist tendencies in society.

"No political interference will be tolerated in the educational institutions," he said while directing the vice chancellors to purge their institutions of politics. Dawn

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UET offers Afghan universities cooperation in research
Lahore: University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Vice Chancellor Lieutenant General (r) Muhammad Akram offered cooperation in the field of research, projects and publication to the universities of Afghanistan. He was addressing a 25-member delegation of chancellors, VCs and professors of Afghan universities, which visited UET Lahore on Saturday. The main object of the visit was to map out details of possible cooperation such as exchange of faculty, staff and joint research. Speaking on the occasion, the VC said that the varsity will extend cooperation with Afghan universities in the field of research, projects and publication. However, the varsity faculty will not visit Afghan varsities due to the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan, he added. He said that the universities would hold training programmes for Afghan faculty and students, national and international conferences, seminars, workshops and other areas of strategic importance. All deans of faculties, research director general, studies director, Higher Education Commission focal person, external linkage director and registrar attended the meeting. Daily times

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