KU VC appointment controversy

KU VC appointment unlikely to solve controversy
Karachi, Jan 18: While the race for Karachi University vice chancellorship may come to an end after a recent meeting of the Sindh governor and the vice chancellor of Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, the controversy over the selection process persists with candidates having raised concern over the absence of two prominent members of the selection body from a crucial meeting of the search committee, it emerged on Tuesday.

Sources said Prof Dr Mohammad Qaiser, the current vice chancellor of Fuuast, was likely to head Karachi University and its notification could be issued in the coming days.

They added that Prof Qaiser, a prominent botanist, whose name was suggested by the search committee for KU vice chancellorship, had a detailed meeting with the Sindh governor on Monday.

The other two candidates whose names had been suggested for KU vice chancellorship were Prof Dr Abuzar Wajidi, dean of management sciences, KU, and Prof Dr Nasiruddin Khan, pro-vice chancellor of KU Gulistan-i-Jauhar campus.

According to the sources, the governor's meeting with Prof Qaiser was held after the former obtained approval from the president, who serves as the chancellor of federal universities in the public sector.

Prof Qaiser would be a second vice chancellor from Fuuast to head Karachi University if his name is notified.

Earlier, Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, the current KU vice chancellor who is an aspirant for a third term, had also served as vice chancellor of Fuuast for two terms of five years each.

Despite strong criticism from members of the medical community, the governor, who acts as chancellor of all public-sector universities in Sindh, awarded a third term to Prof Dr Masood Hamid as vice chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences after a search committee recommended his name.

Other candidates for the KU vice chancellor appointment included Dr Mohammad Ikhlaq, former pro-vice chancellor, Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, dean of arts faculty, Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, pro-vice chancellor, Prof Dr Darakhshan Haleem, dean of science faculty, and Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim, the current vice chancellor.

Controversies mar process
Candidates expressed dissatisfaction over the selection process and questioned the absence of two prominent members of KU's search committee - Dr Ishrat Hussain, former head of the State Bank of Pakistan and current director of Institute of Business Administration, and retired Justice Haziq-ul-Khairi.

"The integrity of these people is unquestionable and it was only their inclusion that had given some credence to the committee. Their absence from the committee has made the entire exercise futile," said one candidate on condition of anonymity.

An expert on law was necessary in the selection committee to ensure that the process was transparent, he added.

It is worth noting that other members of the search committee include Dr S.M. Qureshi (committee convener and head of the chartered inspection and evaluation committee), Dr Ali Mohammad Ansari (former director-general of health), Prof U.A.G. Isani (former head of the University Grants Commission and vice chancellor of Iqra University), Prof A.Q. Mughal (vice chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam) and Mumtaz-ur-Rehman (principal secretary to the governor).Meanwhile, teachers at Karachi University also criticised the selection process, arguing that the procedure violated the sanctity of the seat of vice chancellor.

The post, they said, required that the chancellor offered the post rather than seeking the help of a 'controversial committee' largely comprising serving vice chancellors and bureaucrats instead of eminent intellectuals.

Referring to the Karachi University code which authorizes the chancellor to appoint a vice chancellor, they said that why the chancellor needed what they called a 'so-called search committee' to appoint vice chancellor at the KU and the DUHS while he was appointing vice chancellors in other public sector universities in Sindh without involving any committee.

Parallel systems
"We could never know the legal status of the search committee. The procedure stated in the KU code is different while the one given by the Higher Education Commission is entirely different. Neither of these processes is being implemented," said Prof Dr Fayyaz Vaid, member syndicate and member executive council, Karachi University Teachers Society.

"Speculation on the KU campus regarding the appointment of KU vice chancellor is highly regrettable," he said, adding that the society wanted an in-service person with integrity as the vice chancellor. Dawn

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BEd annual exams at FUUAST from 24th
Karachi: The annual examinations of BEd would start from January 24 on the Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST), an official said on Tuesday. Controller of Examinations Prof Dr Waqarul Haq said the papers would be held in the afternoon between 2pm to 5pm. On Fridays, the exams would take place from 2:30pm to 5:30pm.

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UoP to set up Faraz Chair, says VC
Peshawar: The University of Peshawar (UoP) has decided to set up the Faraz Chair at the Institute of Urdu and Persian Languages and Literature to acknowledge the contribution of famous poet Ahmad Faraz to Urdu poetry.

Vice-Chancellor, University of Peshawar Dr Azmat Hayat Khan made the announcement at a function titled "Bayaad-e-Faraz" here on Tuesday. The Faraz Chair would collect the archives relating to his life, audio-video footages and the collection of books and research done on the legendry poet. It would later be converted into a research institute for students and researchers, the vice-chancellor said while addressing the function.

Dr Azmat Hayat said that Ghani Khan Chair would also be established at the department of Pashto for research on the work of the popular Pashto poet Ghani Khan. Both the poets were true sons of the soil and establishing a chair in their name would be an honour for the university, he said.

The vice-chancellor said that the Pakhtun soil has produced the best warriors, scholars, intellectuals, sportsmen, actors and poets. The well-attended function was arranged at the auditorium of Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Museum.

Shibli Faraz, son of Ahmad Faraz, said his father was a role model for him. He was a born poet who always believed in optimism and never bothered about the consequences.

"Many people ask me that I should also be a poet but let me make it clear that creative ability is probably the only thing that does not necessarily run in the family unlike the political system and families of our country," he explained. He said he had deep attachment to the University of Peshawar, where was born when his father was serving as a teacher at the Islamia College Peshawar. He thanked the organisers for the function. Prof Dr Nazir Tabassum, Dr Sadia Tariq, Shahid Zaman, Nishat Sarhadi, Aziz Ejaz, Mehboob Zafar, Sajjad Babar, Riaz Majeed and Iftikhar Hussain Khan also spoke on the occasion.

They said Faraz was a poet of all time. They noted that he gave new look to pure love. They said Faraz's poetry addressed the suffering of both lovers and the world. The news

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Mystical studies department at AIOU demanded
Islamabad: Speakers at a national seminar, on Monday, highlighted Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai's message of love, peace and brotherhood and called for setting up mystical studies department at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).

They were addressing a national literary seminar on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai with reference to his death anniversary, arranged by Department of Pakistani Languages, AIOU.

Speaking on the occasion, prominent scholar Naseer Memon highlighted the socio-economic and geographical condition of Sindh during Shah Latif's period.

Shah Latif was not only a poet but also a tourist and musician. He was a progressive poet who raised voice for the women rights at that time and had a vision in his poetry, Memon added.

AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi, who was presiding the seminar, said the AIOU is going to establish Dr Nabi Bakhsh Campus in Sindh University, Jamshoro.

He said Shah Latif highlighted the problems of common people in his writings. His teachings must be passed on to the young generation to promote peace in society.

Department of Pakistan Languages' head Dr Abdullah Jan Abid said that the teachings of Sufi poets are included in the syllabus while research work is also being done on their life and work.

Director Bureau of University Extension and Special Projects Mir Mukhtar Talpur said that the world is finding ways for ensuring peace everywhere, while this concept had been promoted by the saints many years ago. The selected parts of a documentary film prepared by AIOU were also screened on the occasion. app

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Govt College closed after students' clash
Peshawar: The Government College here has been closed following a clash between two student groups on Monday, a college source said on Tuesday.

He said that workers of the Islami Jamiat Talba and Pakhtun Students Federation had exchanged hot words over display of posters and then resorted to firing in the college. He said that some students had also misbehaved with the college teachers and principal and as a result the administration closed the college for 'indefinite period'. Efforts were made to get version of the college principal, but he could not be contacted on phone.

An official of Faqirabad police station said that one worker of the IJT, Qazi Bilal, had been arrested in the case and efforts were underway arrest the accused from the other side.

Meanwhile, workers of both the groups held protest demonstrations on Sher Shah Suri Road near the press club on Tuesday and blamed each other for the firing incident and disturbance. The IJT activists blamed the PkSF workers for beating up teachers and misbehaving with principal in the college and demanded their arrest.

They had also put similar demands on their banners and placards, saying that the incident led to closure of the college.

Talking to media persons, an IJT leader Zafar Bukhari alleged that the PkSF was disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the college and creating unrest among the students. He also asked the ANP leadership to stop its student wing from disturbing peaceful atmosphere of educational institutions. He also demanded immediate reopening of the college.

Meanwhile, the PkSF workers also staged a protest demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club against the incident and demanded of the government to reopen the college.

The demonstrators were led by Raees Afridi, president of the PkSF, Government College. Talking to reporters, he alleged that the IJT activists had created disturbance by opening fire on the college premises. He said that the IJT activists were responsible for the disturbance in the college and demanded of the principal to take severe action against them. Dawn

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