PU teachers support for Dr Mujahid Kamran

PU teachers group supports Kamran as VC
Lahore, Jan 10: After the Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) opposed the candidature of Dr Mujahid Kamran as vice-chancellor (VC) of the varsity for another four-year term, a group of teachers from the varsity has come forward to support him in this regard.

Punjab University's Teachers Front (PU-TF), a group known to be supporter of Dr Mujahid Kamran, held its general body meeting at the varsity's Old Campus here on Monday, condemning the ASA for allegedly pressurizing the Punjab government to appoint VC of their choice.

With Prof Dr Shaukat Ali in the chair, the meeting was participated in by a large number of teachers, including members of the Syndicate, deans, the heads of teaching departments, faculty members and researchers.

The meeting said Prof Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar was no more president of ASA as he had allegedly violated the Association constitution by not completing the process of holding of elections of the teachers' forum by the end of December.

However, Dr Mahr at a recent press briefing had claimed that the ASA had constitutional mandate till February 13, 2012. It is pertinent to mention that VC Search Committee had sent a panel of three most suitable candidates to the chief minister for subsequent appointment of anyone of the three as the new PU VC.

The panel comprises Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, whose term as PU VC expired on January 2, 2012; Prof Dr Jamil Anwar, former Pro VC of the Punjab University; and Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Jadoon, Dean PU's Faculty of Economics & Management Sciences. PU-TF meeting unanimously passed a resolution, stating that the ASA was meant to address the issues of the varsity teachers but the representatives of the Association had been allegedly pressurizing the Punjab government for appointment of the vice-chancellor of their choice.

The resolution also stated that the former representatives, even after completion of their turn, according to black and white rules and regulations, had not announced the election schedule because of their political designs. According to the resolution, if the schedule of the ASA was not issued in a week, a general body meeting of the teachers would be called and their memberships would stand cancelled. PU-TF general body demanded the Search Committee appoint the vice-chancellor in compliance with its rules and regulations.

The meeting also unanimously approved the resolution presented by elected member of the Syndicate, Shumaila Gull, in which the house showed complete satisfaction in remarkable increase in research, appointment and promotion of teachers on merit and establishment of peaceful academic atmosphere for teaching and research during the first tenure of Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran as PU VC.

In a press statement issued here, PU-TF's Dr Shaukat Ali demanded Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif not to make give in to the propaganda of teachers with Jamiat background. He said the CM was expected to implement only the recommendations of the Search Committee, keeping in view his policy of good governance.

In a related development, ASA executive member Prof Dr M Aamir Hashmi has resigned from elected membership of ASA for, what he termed, illegal working of the ASA after December 31st.

According to the resignation letter's copy, Prof Aamir resigned over the behavior of the ASA. One the one hand, the ASA is not even concerned about the issues of teachers community, on the other hand, it is criticizing the process of the Search Committee and pressurizing the government in the selection process of vice-chancellor, he explained the rationale behind the resignation.

It is also important to mention here that ever since the VC Search Committee had finalized the panel of three most suitable candidates for the post of PU VC, some quarters had been expressing concerns over third division of one of the candidates. There are rumors that the Punjab government has decided not to consider candidates with third division in the academic career for their selection as the VC.

However, sources privy to the developments, said no such decision had been made, adding that there had been instances in the past when candidates with third division were appointed as VC. If such people were eligible to teach at the universities as well as study at foreign varsities, why they are not short listed for the post of VC, or even subsequent appointment against such coveted post, they added.

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Kamran summoned
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday summoned Punjab University (PU) Acting Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran for January 13 in a petition challenging the notification under which the government made him acting VC.

Justice Sheikh Ahmad Farooq also issued a notice and sought reply from the Punjab Higher Education secretary, asking him to explain as to why Dr Kamran had been appointed as acting vice chancellor. The court issued this order while hearing a civil miscellaneous application filed by Dr Mughees-ud-Din, a candidate for the slot of the VC, in his main petition, seeking restraining order against possible extension to Dr Mujahid as a VC after his retirement on January 2.

The petitioner submitted Dr Mujahid was appointed as vice chancellor for a period of four years under section 14 of the PU Act, and according to law, the VC could neither be granted extension nor could be permitted to serve as acting VC.

He said extension to a retired VC by the government was unlawful after a judgment by Supreme Court which declared that extension after the retirement from service was illegal and unlawful.

The petitioner's counsel contended that Mujahid Kamran wanted to continue as a substitute arrangement so that his wife or cousin could be facilitated. He requested the court to set aside the notification of his appointment as acting VC, declaring it unlawful and illegal step by the government. Justice Farooq had already issued a notice to the higher education secretary on main petition of Dr Mughees-ud-Din.

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CJ scolds UVAS dean on special student's plea
Lahore: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Monday admonished a dean of the University Of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) and took serious notice of the irresponsible behaviour of the university's officials for not giving admission to a disabled student who had secured first position in the merit list five years ago.

Chief Justice Sh Azmat Saeed observed: "Corrupt and idle government officials have destroyed the entire system of the country." Hafiz Syed Muhammad Ammar had filed the petition in 2007, stating that he had secured 817 marks in Intermediate (FSc) and applied for admission for graduation in the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS).

He secured top position in the merit list displayed by the university administration but the officials of the university dropped his name without giving any reason. Ammar submitted that the UVAS officials had given admission to the candidates who got less numbers after taking bribe from them.

He, then, took admission to Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) and successfully completed eight semesters of the DVM course because his petition was not being heard timely by the Lahore High Court.

Dean Faculty of UVAS Prof Naseem Ahmad appeared before the chief justice to explain his position and reasons behind the discrimination against the petitioner by the university officials. He, however, failed to give any satisfactory answer to the CJ's repeated queries that why Ammar was dropped from the merit list despite the fact the he had secured the top position.

The CJ got angry and remarked: "I want resignation from all those officials who took bribe to accommodate their favourite and deprived Ammar of his well-deserved seat. You have destroyed the life of a disabled boy."

He further observed that the UVAS officers were so cruel that they did not even spare a disabled guy, and their greediness forced Ammar to study in a city far away from his hometown, Lahore. He said that all delinquent officials should be sent to jail. Prof Naseem Ahamad tendered his apology to the chief justice and requested the court to grant him some time to resolve the issue. The CJ directed him to find out how Ammar could be accommodated in 10th semester of DVM course in the UVAS, Lahore.

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College teachers boycott classes
Lahore: After failure of dialogue with the Punjab government, Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association (PPLA) has once again started agitation to press the government for acceptance of their demands, including the demand for timescale/ one-step up-gradation.

On the PPLA call, college teachers observed academic boycott in different public colleges across the province after 11 am and held protest demonstrations against the Punjab government.

In the provincial metropolis, a protest demonstration, led by PPLA president Dr Zahid Ahmad Sheikh, was held at the Government Islamia College, Civil Lines, Lahore, where the protestors also observed a protest sit-in.

Dr Zahid said they had been having discussions with the government for last 56 days for genuine demands of the teachers but due to some elements in the government team the dialogue had been inconclusive.

The PPLA president said many of the issues were agreed upon in these meetings while the issue related to timescale/ one step up-gradation was left for consideration of the chief minister. However, he said, the scheduled meetings of December 19 and 23 with the Chief Minister could not be held which had led to frustration among the teachers.

On January 11, he said, protest demos would be held at district level while college teachers from across the province would take out a rally from Nasir Bagh to Punjab Civil Secretariat on January 12, to press for their demands.

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Proceedings start against BISE ex-chief
Lahore: The Punjab government has initiated disciplinary proceedings against former chairman, controller and officials of the computer section of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore.

In a handout, a spokesman for the Higher Education Department said the CMIT chairman and Waqar Khan, chartered accountant, would do complete financial audit of all purchases made by the BISE, Lahore.

He also said that a case had been registered against the controller of examinations, Rawalpindi Board and three officers/officials of computer section by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) while disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against chairman, controller and three officers/officials of computer section of the Rawalpindi Board. The news

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