Karachi University retrogressive trends
How retrogressive trends crept into KU
Karachi, Jan 13: Retrogressive trends on our campuses as is usually thought did not sprout during the despotic
rule of military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq. Their seeds were sown much earlier.
The 11-year dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq only strengthened these trends, making a
mockery of Pakistan in the international community to the extent that today not
only investors but tourists are reluctant to visit Pakistan and the country is
being rated with Chad and Somalia.
I vividly remember that in 1970 when I
was a student of first year (Honours) at the Department of Physiology at the
University of Karachi, the then proctor issued an "edict" that girls and boys
should sit three feet apart in the arts lobby and elsewhere.
most of the students simply ignored that "edict". The atmosphere on the campus
was pretty liberal. Union elections were held regularly; debates, literary
functions, mushairas and other creative activities were the norm.
were three major student organisations at that time. The National Students
Federation (Kazmi group) led by Amir Haider Kazmi, the National Students
Federation (Rasheed group) led by Rasheed Hasan Khan and the Islami
NSF (Kazmi group) had leanings towards the National
Awami Party (NAP), led by veteran nationalist leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan; NSF
(Rasheed group) was pro-Bhutto while Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba had the backing of
the Jamaat-e-Islami. A liberal organisation had also emerged but it was not
When new entrants came to the campus for admission both
NSF and IJT students would help them out at the Administration Block to gain
their sympathies because they were potential voters in union elections.
remember a very interesting incident. I was assigned the job by NSF leadership
to help out girls in getting admission forms and to explain to them how they
have to fill them. IJT workers were also there. Suddenly there arrived the
proctor and asked me why I was standing so close to the girls. I replied I was
helping them out and IJT students were also there next to me.
asked me to follow him. I did. "Why are you staring at me?" he asked me when we
were going upstairs. I replied: "Sir, I am not staring at you. You are staring
at me." We reached the fourth floor and the proctor asked me to go away.
I reached the ground floor where the IJT workers were waiting to hear
what punishment was meted out to me, but nothing happened. The atmosphere on the
campus was then tolerant and teachers usually refrained from punishing students
while students had great respect for the teachers.
Even if there was a
clash between different student groups there was usually fist fighting or at the
most somebody would use a stick. Girls and boys mingled and there were love
affairs too and long-term friendships between them. Most of the time there was
amiable atmosphere and if a student had a knife he was looked with
There were only few girls who would wear "burqa" or "hijab" and
even the elites sent their children to study at the university. However, the
University of Karachi underwent metamorphosis when Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto took the reins of power and money started playing a role in student
Previously, ahead of union elections progressive students would
collect funds from their seniors who had graduated and were on jobs, especially
from doctors who earned more than the others. Now feudal lords started playing a
role and would offer big money to the aspirants in student politics.
things got from bad to worse when military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq usurped power
in July 1977 and toppled a democratically-elected government. Curriculum was
changed and with the advent of the Afghan War in which Pakistan played a proxy
on behest of the United States of America, Kalashnikov culture was introduced on
the campus. Ethnicity and sectarian politics was introduced and student unions
that were the harbinger of future leaders were banned. Healthy activities such
as debates, literary functions, mushairas etc became a thing of the
Today the situation on the campus has deteriorated to such an
extent that students don't mind thrashing out their teachers and different
groups dictate their terms to admit students who do not qualify and even insist
that their marks should be increased. Unfair means hurt studious students since
they work hard to obtain good marks.
The seeds planted by Pakistan's
worst military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq have grown into a poisonous tree and most
probably it would take decades to undo the wrongs done by him to our future
generations. The news
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Postponed KU papers to be held today
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) Thursday announced that the
scheduled papers that had been canceled on Jan 9, due to Urs of Shah Abdul Latif
Bhittai (RA), would be held on Friday (today) at the same exam centres. ppi
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Orientation classes for KU entrants
Karachi: Karachi University's new academic session-2012 will
commence on Monday while orientation classes for new entrants to the
university's morning and evening programmes will be held on
According to KU sources, around 5,000 candidates about 2,500 each in its
morning and evening programmes have been given admission to various
With the latest admissions, the university's present strength of students has
increased to over 25,000.
Replying to a question about the stu-dents who on Wednesday staged a
demonstration in front of the university's administration block in protest
against alleged discrimination meted out to them in admissions, KU officials
said that the issue would be resolved amicably by the 'grievance committee'
which had already asked such candidates to submit their complaints in writing to
the office of the university's students' adviser latest by Jan 16. Dawn
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KU's language departments fail to woo students
Karachi: All the language departments at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Karachi (KU),
except the Department of English, have attracted far fewer students this year.
As many as 21 students are enrolled in the graduate programme, while
only three students have enrolled in the master's programme in the Department of
Sindhi for the year 2012. Additionally, eight students would attend the classes
of the honours programme while only two would attend the master classes in the
Department of Persian.
Not a single admission was taken in the graduate
programme in the Department of Bengali and only one student is enrolled in the
master's programme in the same department.
Around 19 students expressed
interest in an honours programme in the Department of Arabic and seven students
are to complete their studies in the Arabic master's programme. Except for the
Department of English, the enrollment for all language departments is decreasing
every year. According to some senior teachers, there is shortage of English
language teachers at the O and A Level at other educational institutions in the
city. "This is one of the major reasons that more applicants are applying in the
Department of English. Additionally, all non-English language departments are
not job-oriented, which is also a major factor in the low enrollment numbers,"
"The KU administration and the Academic Council
should understand the ground realities: they need to divide the Faculty of Arts
into a Faculty of Social Sciences and a Faculty of Linguistics or Languages,"
"The admissions for the departments of Business
Administration, Public Administration, Commerce, Pharmacy, Food Sciences,
Microbiology, Chemistry and few others have shown steady increase in the past
few years," they added.
The above departments are primarily job-oriented
and have managed to establish important links with industries and the private
sector. This is a major attraction for many students," they added. "There is a
general consensus that students want to be admitted into departments that are
held in higher value by employers, which would explain the increasing number of
applications in these departments over the last few years," a senior teacher at
Department of Food Sciences said.
On the other hand, the departments of
Mass Communication and Computer Sciences, both of which are job-oriented and are
in high demand around the globe, have yet to establish a proper link between the
institution and the private sector. There is a need to develop this link between
the market and these departments so that graduating students can find jobs with
relative ease," said a senior official of Faculty of Science.
that students have not shown much interest in the field of Computer Science over
the last few years, primarily because there are few companies working in this
field in Pakistan.
"The market for computer science graduates has not
developed as per expectations, and only a handful of students have managed to go
abroad for studies or jobs," he further said.
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DUHS in crisis as dejected faculty start quitting
Karachi: Hundreds of faculty members of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) - from lecturers
to assistant and full professors - are still awaiting a 15 percent increase in
their salaries six months after it was announced by the government.
is a great deal of concern among the faculty of the university as their salaries
have not been increased since June 2011. Many of the teachers, who were either
serving on the main campus or at the OJHA Institute of Chest Diseases, have left
the university out of sheer frustration and joined other educational institutes
that are mostly in the private sector. These institutes offer better salaries
Several departments of the DUHS - known for their renowned
and competent professors - are now on the verge of running into serious trouble
as faculty members have decided to move onto greener pastures. Neurology and
general surgery are among the affected departments.
members, who are among the most qualified and respected members of society,
cannot even raise their voice as they probably fear incurring the wrath of
Vice-Chancellor Masood Hamid.
Several faculty members on condition of anonymity, claimed that there were not being paid the
increased salaries announced by the government in the budget last year, but
could not raise the issue, fearing an angry backlash from the university
administration. "I'm an assistant professor who joined the DUHS for my
professional development and growth, but after serving for the last four years,
I feel it was a wrong decision. Many of my seniors have left the university and
I'm applying for jobs locally as well as internationally to free from myself
this concentration camp called DUHS," an aggrieved faculty member
The level of concern among many other DUHS faculty members and even
heads of departments was the same, but none of them, except for the head of the
eye department, was willing to speak on record, fearing vindictive action from
Dr Idrees Adhi, president of the Pakistan Medical
Association (PMA) Karachi, confirmed that there was a "suffocating" environment
and many faculty members wanted to leave the university.
departments of the university have been ruined by the current administration,
which is investing in new courses, buildings and starting fresh diplomas, but is
unwilling to spend a penny on the growth, better remuneration and training of
its faculty," he lamented.
Citing various examples, Dr Adhi said many
senior professors had left the DUHS and were now serving at private medical
educational institutes as they were given their due respect and status.
Other faculty members pointed out that even other government-run medical
educational institutes were offering better packages and a flourishing
environment. These institutes include the Karachi Medical and Dental College
(KMDC) and the Liaquat University of Medical Sciences (LUMS).
concerning issue at the moment for the faculty is the non-payment of the
increased salaries, which are being paid to BPS-16 employees of the DUHS, but
those from BPS-17 to 22 are being deprived of the raise. Perhaps the faculty's
well-being is not on the agenda of the DUHS vice chancellor," said another
faculty member, requesting not to be named.
Pro Vice Chancellor DUHS
Prof Umer Farooq confirmed that faculty members from
BPS 17 to 22 were not being paid the raise as the government had not increased
the university's recurring grants.
"We are paying increased salaries to
lower staff by minimising our expenses, but we can practise austerity to a
certain limit. Of course, we are pressing the provincial government to increase
the grant so that we can pay enhanced salaries to the faculty," he
When asked from where the university was covering costs for the
establishment of new departments and new buildings and renovations of its
existing infrastructure, he said that the DUHS met 70 percent of its expenses
from the revenue generated by medical students. The news
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Students decry medical college decision
Sukkur: The third, fourth and final year students of the
Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College, Sukkur, held a demonstration and staged a
sit-in against the decision of the college administration to conduct their
examinations through Chandka Medical College, Larkana.
Talking to reporters, the protesting students demanded that they should be
given an opdon to appearin papers to be conducted by the Liaquat Medical
Hundreds of male and female students boycotted their classes on Wednesdayand
marched on different roads of the city and burnt tyres, resulting in suspension
of traffic for several hours.
The protesting students said that earlier they had appeared in the
examination conducted by the Liaquat Medical University while now they were
being asked to appear in these examinations under the Chandka Medical
If the administration did dot change its decision, we would challenge it in
the court of law, they said.
Meanwhile, police reached there and persuaded the students to end their
protest. The students dispersed peacefully.
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Controversy over Sindh varsity body decisions
Karachi: A number of decisions taken at a Sindh University
'syndicate' meeting on Thursday became controversial after the Sindh University
Teachers' Association said the syndicate did not exist and described the holding
of the meeting at the election commission office in Karachi as an illegal act on
the part of the vice chancellor.
The term of most decision-making bodies of the university, including the
syndicate, senate and academic council, had already ended in November last year
and their elections were scheduled for Feb 20, according to the teachers'
association, which warned that they could challenge the move in a court of
Academic activities at the Sindh University have been suspended since Jan 2,
when students' affairs director Prof Bashir Ahmed Channar was shot dead on the
main Jamshoro campus. The university teachers have been agitating for the arrest
of the killers.
The 'syndicate' authorised vice chancellor Dr Nazir A. Mughal to take
disciplinary action against two agitating assistant professors, Dr Azhar Ali
Shah and Dr Arfana Mallah, for what it described as their 'non-academic
Appreciating steps taken by the vice chancellor for the bereaved family of
Prof Channar, the syndicate approved Rs1 million for the heirs as a financial
The participants in the meeting expressed deep sorrow over the death of Prof
Channar, strongly condemned the killing and offered Fateha.
They also expressed grief and offered Fateha for Pir Pagara.
They approved the actions taken by the vice chancellor, including naming the
department of microbiology after the murdered professor; offering two jobs to
his children and waiving full fees of his two daughters.
They thanked the governor of Sindh and chancellor of the university for
taking note of the incident and accepting a request made by the vice chancellor
to hold a judicial inquiry into Prof Channar's murder.
The meeting was attended by retired Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, Mumtaz Rehman,
Dr Nelofer Sheikh, Dr Asad Ali Larik, Dr Abdul Sattar Ansari, Dr Mumtaz Bhutto,
Dr Parveen Shah, Dr Anwar Ali Shah, Dr Imdad Ali Ismaili, Advocate Jhamat
Jethanand, Prof Ahmed Ali Sheikh and registrar of the university Akhtar Ahmed
Memon, Aftab Inayat and others.
In a statement, the Sindh University Teachers Association
(SUTA) expressed surprise over the holding of the meeting of a syndicate which
it said did not exist.
"Until the elections, scheduled for Feb 20, are held, these bodies do not
exist and are incomplete." The teachers' body said the move would be challenged
in court and warned top officers of the university, including the pro-vice
chancellors, registrar and the director finance, that any decision taken by such
a 'fake syndicate' not be implemented, otherwise they would be responsible
for the consequences in the light of court decision.
Dr Shah and Dr Mallah also expressed surprise on the conduct of the
chancellor's secretariat, "which was busy in providing undue and unfair cover
and support to the vice chancellor" though they said most Sindh University
teachers, including pro-vice chancellors, deans and directors, as well as
Sindh chapter representatives of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities
Academic Staff Association's (Fapuasa) were repeatedly seeking his immediate
removal along with implementation of other three demands.
Despite an official request by the Sindh Fapuasa president to the
chancellor's secretariat for arranging a meeting with the chancellor to discuss
SUTA demands, no response had yet been received, they said. Dawn
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FUUAST gets donation
Karachi: The FUUAST has received two gold medals as donation from a son of former principal of the
institution. The medals would be named after the former principal of the Federal
Urdu College late Prof Khalilullah. Khalil, a son of the late professor, said
during a meeting with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser on Thursday that
these gold medals would be given to the position holders of the Department of
Islamiat and Political Sciences. The news
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