Karachi University 'average' marks policy

Disrupted KU paper Confusion over 'average' marks
Karachi, Jan 21: Thousands of candidates of BCom part-I (regular) annual examinations whose economics paper was disrupted on Jan 13 when they were forcibly ousted from their examination centres by those protesting against Karachi University admissions policy are still undecided whether to reappear in their paper rescheduled for Feb 1, or to skip it merely to get 'average' marks under an impression that the average marks mean passing marks.

A large number of BCom (part-I) and BA (part-I) regular male candidates who were taking their economics and geography/mass communication papers, respectively, on Jan 13 at their examination centres set up at different departments of the university were forced to flee their centres by some students protesting against the university admissions policy.

The protesting students snatched the candidates' papers and tore up their answer scripts after entering their exam centres.

The KU authorities while rescheduling the paper for Feb 1 had announced that all the candidates of the affected centres could reappear in the paper, or those who prefer not to retake their disrupted paper would be given average marks as per university rules.

However, a large number of BCom (part-I) regular candidates called Dawn office from different parts of the city and wanted to know whether the KU decision of awarding average marks did mean that such candidates would be given passing marks.

However, when this question was put to a deputy controller of examinations of the university, he dispelled the impression that all those who would not reappear in their paper rescheduled for Feb 1 would be given 'passing marks' in their respective subject.

Mentioning about the word 'average' marks used in the KU press release issued on the day the paper was disrupted, the deputy controller of examinations, who wished not to be named, said that 'average' marks meant that the candidates of the affected exam centres who would opt not to reappear in their economics (part-I) paper rescheduled for Feb 1, would be awarded average marks after evaluating the marks they obtained in their other papers.

"It all depends on the marks they will be securing in their other papers once their answer scripts are assessed and hence it cannot be said

with any certainty that all such candidates will either get passing marks or will be declared failed in their economics [part-I] paper," he added.

Admitting that in haste the KU administration in its Jan 13 press release had announced 'average' marks for those who would prefer not to retake their disrupted paper on its rescheduled date without elaborating what it did mean, he said that the matter concerning the average marks would be considered at a meeting of the examinations department in a couple of days and the candidates would be apprised of its decision in detail through a press notification.

Although Dawn also tried to contact the KU controller of examinations to seek his version of the university decision of awarding average marks to the students, the KU controller did not respond to repeated calls made on his cellular phone.

A spokesperson for the university, however, endorsed the clarification given by the university deputy controller of examinations vis--vis the 'average' marks.

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'Black day' at KU
Karachi: Karachi University teachers will observe a black day on Saturday to express solidarity with the teachers of Sindh University over the recent murder of their colleague Prof Bashir Ahmed Channar.

The Karachi University Teachers Society however decided on Friday to wear black armbands as a mark of protest but not to disrupt academic activities on the campus. Dawn

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Prof Qaiser likely to take over as KU VC
Karachi: The appointment of a new vice chancellor (VC) for the University of Karachi (KU) has almost been finalised and a notification to this effect is likely to be issued in the coming days.

VC Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) Professor Dr Muhammad Qaiser is being considered as the strongest candidate to assume the charge of the key post of the government-run KU, sources said.

"Since Prof Qaiser is associated with a federal university, he needs permission (No Objection Certificate) from the president of Pakistan, who is also the chancellor of all federally-run universities," the sources said. They added that the FUUAST has not yet finalised the name of the person to replace him and owing to these issues the name of the new VC of KU has not been notified by the competent authority.

Prof Qaiser has 43 years of experience and at least 10 students have completed their PhD under his supervision.He has also served KU as an acting vice chancellor on various occasions. He remained the KU registrar from August 1999 to August 2001 and January 2004 to July 2004.

The second term of KU VC Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqi ended in the first week of January, following which the governor Sindh, who is also the chancellor of the public-sector universities of the province, asked him to continue the office till further orders.

Dr Qaiser's name was recommended by the VC Search Committee after it completed the interview process for the said post. Born on August 15, 1946, Professor Qaiser completed his PhD in 1976. Later, he joined Frei Universitat, Berlin, Germany, where he completed his post-doctorate (1984 to 1985) and did 18 months' research on the genus Phagnalon Cass - Compositae.

In January 2008, he took the charge as FUUAST's VC when Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqi left the post and became the VC of KU. Professor Qaiser completed his MSc from KU in 1967 and later joined the university as an assistant lecturer of Botany. He worked as a research officer at the same department from 1969 to 71, and later served as lecturer from 1971 to 77.

During 1979-82, he took leave from KU and went to Al-Faateh University, Tripoli, Libya, to teach Botany as an assistant professor. And from January 1983 to December 1985 he worked as an assistant professor of Botany at the KU.

In 1985, he was promoted as a professor and served as the chairman Department of Botany, KU, from October 2001 to 2004. Dr Qaiser also served as the dean of the Science Faculty, KU, from May 2004 to August 2006.

He has also held the offices of Student Adviser, KU, from November 1996 to August 1999; Student Adviser, Department of Botany, KU, from 1990 to 1996; and Provost, KU Boys Hostel, from August 1990 to September 1994. He was also the Member Syndicate KU from August 2002 to August 2006. The news

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No classes in varsities on Monday afternoon
Hyderabad: The Sindh chapter of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association has decided that classes in all public sector universities in the province will remain suspended after 12 noon on Monday to express solidarity with teachers of the University of Sindh.

However, a complete boycott of classes would continue in Sindh University.The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by the Sindh chapter's president Naimatullah Leghari on Friday, which was also attended by representatives of the teachers' bodies of other universities.

The president of the Sindh University Teachers Association, Dr Azhar Ali Shah said that over 200 teachers of the Sindh University observed a silent sit-in outside the venue of the conference organised by the Sindh University in Karachi on Friday.

They were also joined by teachers of other universities and civil society organisations.

Dr Shah said that Naimatullah Leghari had received a message from the Sindh governor's secretariat that he would meet the teachers' delegation on Monday.

Meanwhile, a meeting of FAPUSA would be held in Karachi on Thursday to discuss state of affairs in the Sindh University.

Our staff reporter adds from Karachi: The Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts) on Friday announced that it would observe a 'black day' and wear black armbands to express solidarity with the teaching fraternity of the Sindh University over the murder of Prof Channar. However, it said, the academic activities on the campus would not be disrupted on the day. Dawn

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KU announces MA (Previous) External Annual Exam result
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) examinations department on Friday declared the result of MA Islamic Studies (Previous) External Annual Examination 2010. As per statistics of the result, 1,123 students were registered for the examination, 1,027 appeared while 524 were declared passed, bringing the pass percentage to 51.02. Results of 30 candidates have been withheld due to objection by relevant authorities. Daily times

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KU body remains indecisive on accomodating
Karachi: As many as 100 candidates who are aspiring to gain admission to different departments of the University of Karachi (KU) requested the Complaints and Grievance Committee of the university on Thursday to redress their grievances.

A meeting of the committee was called to discuss the cases submitted by the candidates. The committee was constituted on January 4 by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqi to review admission-related problems. The last date for the submission of applications was January 16.

The KU administration had said on January 16 that they had received around 25 applications, but on Thursday they said there were over 100 individual complaints, and that students had informed the university that though their names were included in the final merit list they were still unable to submit their admission fees.

At least five applicants complained that they were neglected during the admission process. They claimed that although they had high percentages in their previous exams, they were neglected by the administration because they did not take their exams from a Karachi-based examination board.

As per the KU rules and regulations, priority is given to students who appear in exams conducted by Karachi-based examination boards. If there are still vacant, the KU considers applicants from all over Sindh. In case seats are still left vacant in a particular department, candidates from other parts of the country could take admission.

If these conditions were not met, applicants would not be considered during the admission process, said Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi.

When asked how the number of applications rose from 25 to 100, she replied that most of the students submitted their applications to different offices, and that the exact figure only came to light during the committee meeting.

In a reply to a question, Kazmi said the director of the admission committee would contact candidates whose names were mentioned in the final merit list but they were unable to submit their fees.

He (the admission committee director) would also verify the status of the incomplete applications and submit his report to the next meeting of the committee, she further said.

According to admission committee director Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi, the committee will check the availability of seats in departments, and if there were seats available, then these students would be given admissions; otherwise, the decision would be made by the committee.

"We have received complaints in which candidates claim that they could not submit their fees due to the unavailability of the equivalence certificate or other documents, or that they did not have money to submit their fees before the deadline," he said, adding that the committee had agreed to give another chance to such candidates.

Pro VC Kazmi is the convener of the committee, while the dean of the Faculty of Management and Administrative Sciences, Professor Dr Abu Zar Wajidi, Director Admission Committee Iraqi and the students' adviser are its members. The news

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BIEK announces revised dates of HSC postponed papers
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) Thursday announced the revised dates of the postponed papers of HSC Supplementary Examinations 2011 that were postponed due to various reasons. According to the statement, the postponed paper of January 9 and 12 would be held on January 21 and 23, respectively. However, other schedule and instructions of the original date sheet would be unchanged. Daily times

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