Education budget allocation | PU VC's wife gets interim relief

Budget allocation for education seems intriguing
Lahore, June 04: The Federal government's intention to increase allocation in education sector in the coming budget 2009-10 is intriguing. If the government increases allocation almost double than the last year of 2008-09, which was the record low of 1.25 per cent of the GDP, it is no increase because the allocation in the year 1996-97 was 2.62 and even in the year 2007-08 it was 2.49 per cent of the GDP.

The government imposed almost fifty per cent cut on the percentage of allocation in education sector in the budget 2008-09 and thus the allocated amount of 1.25 per cent of the GDP was reduced to almost 0.75 per cent, the one-third of which also lapsed.

In 1995-96, the allocation was 2 per cent and slightly above during the subsequent years till 1998-99 with a significant increase in 1996-97. During Gen (r) Musharraf's military regime it was reduced to 1.7 per cent and slightly above in later years till 2002-03 when the allocation increased to 2.2 in 2003-04 budget, which continued with little variation till 2007-08.

The elected government again reduced it to 1.25 per cent of the GDP. The marginal increase in the past commensurated with the percentage of inflation while in actual terms there was no significant increase. This drastic reduction in allocation in the education sector resulted in deterioration of education particularly higher education which has no source of funding other than the Higher Education Commission (HEC) already undergoing recession.

The more intriguing is the fact that HEC's funds not only reduced but also lapsed due to the cumbersome procedures, which created uproar in public sector universities recently.

Sources said that at least one-third of the allocated funds were lapsed while the rest half remained unspent.

The cut in HEC grants put the students studying abroad on HEC scholarships in trouble while the domestic scholarship schemes were also abolished. It remained no more a fund-giving agency.

The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) in a recent meeting expressing strong concern over HEC's performance maintained that HEC administrative functions could be performed well by the universities and their bodies like senate and syndicate themselves provided these are composed of representatives of teachers and stake-holders instead of selecting members from the chancellors and vice-chancellors lobbies.

If the universities are empowered, the huge funds spent on administrative heads of the HEC could be diverted to research and academics of higher education.

The HEC mainly works to grant funds to respective universities for development purposes.

The universities send budget proposals to the HEC, which is never conceded in toto. The sanctioned amount is also not released in lump sum and delayed by various tactics.

The expansion of funds is not sustainable and neither the projects and due to lack of sustainability, a number of projects are left half through, thus wasting precious time and energy. In some cases the cost increase and the finds become short. The Nation

Government to allocate 4% of GDP for education
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani Wednesday said that the government would allocate four per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education sector in the upcoming budget.

Investment in education benefits the individual and society and the government has launched many programmes for the promotion of education especially in remote areas of Federally Administrated Areas (Fata) and Balochistan, Bijarani said while talking to a private news channel.

About upcoming new education policy, he said the policy would make the education system progressive and vibrant to meet the challenges of 21st century. The draft of new education policy has dispatched to four provincial ministers to incorporate their inputs. To a question, he said the government would not make any changes in Islamic studies courses in new education policy to be announced soon.

Replying to a question, he said the government had not planned separate education policy for troubled areas in NWFP. The Minister said that education plays key role to strengthen the developing economies and education also promotes economic growth, national productivity, innovation, values of democracy and social cohesion. To facilitate the displaced people, the government has started schools at their camps in Mardan and other areas. The News

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VC's wife gets interim relief: LHC restores PU Law College principal
Lahore: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC), as an interim relief, on Wednesday stayed the single bench order of removing Punjab University Law College Principal Shazia Qureshi from her post.

The division bench, comprising Justice Maulvi Anwarul Haq and Justice Abdul Sattar Goraya admitted the inter-court appeal of PU Vice Chancellor Dr Maujhid Kamran and his wife Shazia Qureshi for regular hearing, and issued a notice to Ammara Khawaja advocate.

The single bench had declared Qureshi's appointment illegal while partially accepting Khawaja's petition. Justice Hafiz Tariq Nasim, on June 1, had ordered that Qureshi be removed from her post, and held that her appointment was tainted with nepotism made in violation of law and policy. The bench had observed that according to the university calendar and the University of the Punjab Act 1973, the principal could only be appointed by a syndicate on the recommendation of the VC from amongst the three senior-most professors.

The husband and wife, through their counsel, contended that Khawaja had never directly challenged Qureshi's appointment before the single bench. They contended that she had only questioned the refusal of her admission to LLM classes. Therefore, a case of issuance of writ of quo warranto (asking under what authority she is holding the office) was not made, they said.

Senior-most: The counsel pleaded that it was an admitted fact that in the absence of professors and associate professors, the VC's wife was the senior-most faculty member in the Law College. The counsel submitted that the VC had duly exercised his powers under Section 15(3) of the University of Punjab Act 1973, but the single bench overlooked this point.

The counsel said Qureshi was appointed principal/in-charge of the college much before her marriage to the VC. The counsel requested that the single bench order be set aside. Daily Times

PU reviews relief activities
Lahore: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran chaired a meeting on Wednesday in the Seminar Hall of Centre of Undergraduate Studies in which PU Medical Relief Camp Swabi Incharge Prof Dr Haris Rasheed briefed the meeting about the relief activities.

It was unanimously decided that all the departments would contribute in the relief fund from their self supporting programmes. On the occasion, different heads of the departments announced donations to contribute in the relief fund.

Director IBA Prof Dr Muhammad Ehsan Malik announced Rs three million, Principal College of Pharmacy Prof Dr Muhammad Jamshaid announced 2.5 million, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences Principal Prof Dr Iftikhar Baloch announced five lakh, Geography Department Chairperson announced two lakh 80 thousand, Principal College of Statistics and Auctorial Sciences Dr Shahid Kamal announced five lakh, Director ICS announced five lakh 22 thousand and PUCIT Principal announced 3.5 million from the self-support funds of PUCIT and IBIT and 1.5 lakh on behalf of his family for the welfare of the displaced peoples of affected areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran invited suggestions from the participants about the improvement of facilities at the camp. He said people had been donating funds generously to the PU relief camps. He issued order to constitute a committee to ensure transparency in the utilization of these funds. He also asked the heads of departments to motivate students to collect funds for the IDPs.

Centre for High Energy Physics (CHEP) Director Prof Dr Khwaja Haris Rasheed, who is also Incharge of the relief team, briefed the participants about the relief activities being provided to Swat affectees at PU medical relief camp established at Shah Mansoor, Swabi. He told the participants that the medical team was providing treatment to 500 patients daily.

He said the PU medical relief camp was the only camp where lady doctors were also present. He said the NWFP Health Secretary had visited the PU relief camp twice and appreciated the relief activities being provided to the IDPs. A suggestion was made that a team of IER should send to the affected areas to provide education facilities to the displaced children.

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Students protest against KEMU administration
Lahore: The students of King Edward Medical University, under the banner of Students Action Committee, observed a token boycott of classes against the varsity for wasting a precious academic year of 10 students of second professional year.

According to a press release here on Wednesday, SAC chairman Qazi Yasir informed that KEMU's examination department's inefficiency and failing in papers of Forensic Medicine and Pharmacology, which resulted in wastage of a precious academic year of 10 students of the second professional year.

He alleged that the son of former Vice Chancellor of KEMU had achieved 11 gold medals, while another son appeared and topped a professional year without taking his send up examination. He further claimed that none of the professors' sons and daughters had been detained in any paper since the establishment of the university. He also claimed that during re-checking of papers, the marks were only increased of the children of influential personalities, while merit was only for the children of common people.

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University of Health Science announced BSc Physiotherapy results
Lahore: The University of Health Science announced on Wednesday the results of second and third professional examination of B.Sc Physiotherapy held in April 2009. Once again B.Sc Physiotherapy students of FMH institute of Allied Health Science marvellously secured top three positions in both the second and the third professional examinations.

In the second professional examination Maryam Ramzan and Ubaid Ullah Akbar shared the top positions with 73 per cent marks. The second position was secured by Sana Hafeez and the third position went to Wajiha Shaid.

In B.Sc Physiotherapy third professional examination Arooj Munwar stood first scoring 83 per cent marks while third and second positions were secured by Halima Shoukat and Fazia Sharif respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, Col Wajahat Bokhari, Director Institute of Allied Health Sciences at the FMH college of Medicine & Dentistry appreciated the remarkable result achieved by his students.

He acknowledged the contribution and dedication of the faculty in imparting quality education and mounting a platform for the evolution of the Allied Health Sciences in Punjab. Since its inception at the dawn of new millennium, FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry, students of have achieved 30 positions and 181 distinctions in the University examination held so far. This reflects favourably on the competence, dedication and interest of its faculty, its training facilities and enthusiasm of its students. The News

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