Punjab University Interviews for two VCs

Interviews for two VCs
Lahore, Jan 03: The first round of interviews for the posts of Vice Chancellors (VCs) of Punjab University (PU) and proposed Women University Multan were held at the Punjab Civil Secretariat on Monday.

Dr Mujahid Kamran, whose four-year term as PU VC expired on Monday, was among the candidates for Punjab University who appeared before the VC Search Committee for interview. Interestingly, the government did not issue any notification regarding interim arrangement for the post of PU VC which fell vacant on Monday, till the filing of this report.

It is learnt that the Governor/ Chancellor has approved the summary allowing Dr Kamran to continue as Acting VC till the arrival of regular incumbent which may take almost two weeks time. However, the summary has yet to reach the Higher Education Department Punjab which formally issues such notifications. Sources privy to the development said the notification would be issued on Tuesday (today). The VC Search Committee interviewed around 20 of the total 29 short-listed candidates for the coveted posts on the first day of interviews which would also continue on Tuesday (today).

It is pertinent to mention here that the VC Search Committee comprises prominent industrialist Syed Babar Ali who is also Pro Chancellor of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Former Federal Minister and VC Beaconhouse National University (BNU) Sartaj Aziz who is also a senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-Nawaz), Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Punjab Nadeem Hassan Asif, VC University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore and Lt Gen (r) Muhammad Akram Khan and Higher Education Department Punjab's Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir.

Meanwhile, PU circles against Dr Mujahid Kamran have become active following his regular tenure as PU VC ended. In this connection, a notification of Chief Minister Secretariat seeking report of alleged violation of merit in selection board at Punjab University on December 28 was circulated to media organisations on Monday.

However, a senior PU official denied that no such notification was received by the varsity so far. He also claimed the appointments were made on merit and the varsity administration would not hesitate to present all record to the CM Secretariat.

Meanwhile, PU Department of Public Relations on Monday issued a comprehensive news release highlighting significant developments which took place during the tenure of Dr Kamran as varsity's VC.

The spokesman claimed that during the tenure of Dr Kamran, PhD programme was streamlined which resulted in an almost threefold increase in PhD production from an average of 41 during 1990-2007 to an average of 113 during the period 2008-2011. He also claimed more than 17-fold increase in research funding from Rs 4m to Rs 70m leading to 352 publications in impact factor journals in 2010 as against 162 in 2007.

He also talked about the improvement in the PhD to non-PhD teacher ratio for regular teachers from almost 29 percent in December 2007 to almost 40 percent in December 2011.

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PhD awarded at IUB
Lahore: Khalid Iqbal Yasir, Director General Urdu Science Board Lahore, has been awarded a PhD degree by Islamia University Bahawalpur in Urdu and Iqbaliyat. His thesis was "Effects of Literary Movements on Iqbal". Khalid Iqbal completed his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Najib Jamal, Dean Faculty of Arts, IUB.

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Rawalpindi teachers perturbed over the decision
Rawalpindi: Confusion, tension and unrest gripped more than 12,000 teachers of Rawalpindi district only because of the decision enforced recently by the Punjab government in all educational institutions related to approval of leaves.

A large number of teachers of Rawalpindi district serving in schools told this correspondent that as per decision of the Punjab government, they have to seek approval of the District Coordination Officer for availing leave, including casual, medical, earned and emergency, instead of getting sanctioned by the concerned headmaster or principal of the institution.

On condition of anonymity the teachers including male and female of higher, secondary, middle and primary schools termed the decision unjust and unfair, which is only creating trouble and anxiety among them.

According to them, if any teacher fell ill how could he/she approach the DCO at that time to avail leave when he/she has to visit doctor for treatment. However, the Punjab government on December 17, 2011 has imposed new rules and regulations authorising the DCO for sanctioning all kind of leaves of teachers even in emergencies. The order has not only created problems for teachers but has debarred the related principals and headmasters from taking such decision. They have now become stooges, the teachers claimed.

They demanded of the Punjab chief minister to take immediate notice of the matter and direct the concerned education secretary for reversing his decision in the best interest of the teachers of Rawalpindi district.

The headmasters, headmistresses and the principals of several Punjab Schools in Rawalpindi confirmed the report and termed it unfair and said it needs to be reversed.

When approached, president of Punjab Teachers Association, Rawalpindi region, Saghir Aalam said the decision taken by the Punjab government is creating great problems for over 12,500 teachers of Rawalpindi district. More interestingly, the decision is enforced on only teachers of Rawalpindi district while other districts of Punjab do not fall under it. According to Saghir Aalam, the Punjab government feels that the teachers of Rawalpindi district take too many leaves compared to teachers of other district. On this pretext the decision is imposed on teachers of Rawalpindi district only, he said.

Expressing deep concern over the decision, Saghir Aalam said that on one hand the Punjab government blames the government in centre for implementing wrong policies, while on the other it is enforcing wrong decisions. The decision should be taken back in the best interest of the teachers' community, he demanded.

He warned that all teachers of Rawalpindi district would have not other option but to come out on roads in protest if the decision is not withdrawn. When this correspondent tried to approach the related DCO and EDO, Rawalpindi district, both of these officials never attended their cell phones despite repeated attempts.

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Daily wage college staff regularisation demanded
Islamabad: Non-teaching staff working on daily wages in model colleges have demanded regularisation of their services as per decision of the government.

Around 420 non-teaching staff of Grade I-15 serving at different model colleges working under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) are waiting for regularisation of their services. Talking to APP, President Islamabad Model Colleges Employees Welfare Association Mohammad Aftab Abbasi said the decision of regularisation of all government employees was announced in the meeting of Cabinet Committee held in June last year.

Various ministries and departments have regularised their staff but non-teaching staff is still waiting despite that they have to live with meagre salaries from Rs4,500 to Rs6,000 per month.

They also expressed their inability to survive with the nominal amount they get every year and said, we still wait relief as days are becoming hard for us. Abbasi claimed that a list of around 420 daily wage non-teaching staff is lying with Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) but the officials have not moved it to Establishment Division.

Vice President of the Association, Abdur Rauf alleged that FDE had delayed the procedure as well as forwarding of the list of employees to CADD.

Meanwhile, a senior official of FDE informed that the directorate has moved the list of non teaching daily wage staff to CADD and now its up to the division when it sends the list to the Establishment Division.

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Ombudsman dismisses QAU lecturer's appeal for restoration
Islamabad: Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Musarrat Hilali has dismissed the appeal for the restoration of former lecturer of Institute of Information Technology at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Noor Mustafa Awan.

Awan had filed an appeal before the Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace against the decision of the university. The QAU Syndicate terminated Awan on charges of harassment of female students of the university.

According to the details, Noor Mustafa Awan was allegedly involved in harassing female students of the university. The female students of the IT Department alleged that he has been harassing female students throughout his time in the IT Department. The students said that many female students had such complaints against the lecturer but one incident happened on July 7, 2010, made them finally file a formal application. Describing the incident, one student said that the paper of one IT Department student was not marked. When she contacted the teacher to inquire the reason, he called her in to his office where he started telling the story that she is not going to clear the exam.

Confident about her performance in the paper, the girl demanded Awan to show the paper to her. "He asked her to come in his room at 4 p.m. and told her that it is now up to her to get an A or F. He also warned her that if she fails to obey, he will fail her," alleged the student.

She said that the girl fled the room instantly. Watching her coming out from the room crying, other students gathered around her. When they listened to what happened to her, they decided to file a joint complaint against the lecturer.

In a letter written to the QAU vice chancellor, the students said that the lecturer was threatening the students that if they did not co-operate with him, he would fail them. "The female students are going through both mental and physical agony and some of the students are so scared that they are afraid of raising their voice on this issue," said the application. The students requested the authorities to take action against Awan and demanded his termination.

Responding to their application, the university administration constituted an inquiry committee to probe into the allegation levelled by the students. On the recommendation of the inquiry committee, the University Syndicate, the highest decision making power in the university, terminated the said teacher. However, Noor Awan filed an appeal before Federal Ombudsman for Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace against the decision of the university.

Musarrat Hilali conducted hearing of the case and both parties were provided opportunity to give their arguments. Keeping in view the arguments of the parties and documentary evidences, she dismissed the appeal of Noor Mustafa Awan. The news

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Colleges' affiliation to benefit QAU
Islamabad: Affiliation of the Federal Directorate of Education colleges with the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) will help the cash starved public sector institution to generate Rs100 million from the transition in the next academic year.

According to information shared by an official of the QAU, the affiliation of FDE colleges will be switched from the University of the Punjab to the QAU.

The move of switching affiliation of 10 federal colleges and 19 model colleges from UOP in Lahore to QAU will be great financial benefit for the university.

Vice Chancellor of the QAU, Prof Masoom Yasinzai said: "We are to generate Rs100 million from the affiliation of FDE colleges."

The intake of students for bachelors and masters programmes will start from September 2012.He added that fee will be charged from the bachelors and masters programme students.

The fees for registration and degree issuance will be the same as that charged by Punjab University previously.

The details gathered by from UOP showed that the registration fee for examination will be Rs1,400 and the fee for degree issuance will also be Rs1,400.

The fee for a private candidate to register and participate in B.A/B.Sc examination will be Rs1,850.

Given the cash strapped status of the government right now, this is a welcome additional revenue generation for QAU which is trying to become more self-sufficient upon HEC's encouragement.

"We are working on a model which will definitely help us generate the much needed revenue for self-sustainability," said Prof Yasinzai.

He added that QAU will continue to venture for such projects which will create more revenue streams for the university.

Other than the fee collection, he said, QAU had introduced the bachelors programme in different disciplines " business administration and economics and Pharm-D. Dawn

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