HEC to get Rs 21bn in 2009-10 budget
Islamabad, June 08: The federal government has earmarked Rs 21 billion in the 2009-10 budget for the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
According to the budget summary approved by the National Economic Council (NEC), the government has approved only 16 new schemes for the new fiscal year and rejected another 111 proposed by the HEC with an estimated cost of Rs 49 billion.
Construction of Benazir Bhutto Medical University in Larkana is also among the proposed projects. Other new schemes include construction of a hostel for 100 students at the Gomal University, a multipurpose sports gymnasium at the University of Malakand and faculty development programme for Bahauddin Zakaria University.
Other projects include the establishment of an audio-visual lab at the Fatima Jinnah Women's University, Rawalpindi; and a feasibility study of and the master planning of GC University's new campus at Kala Shah Kaku, Lahore. Daily Times
Moot on HCFC starts tomorrow
Islamabad: A workshop of stakeholders on hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) will begin on Monday with the objective to exchange information on the use of hydro chlorofluorocarbons phase out management plan for Pakistan, replacement alternatives, new technologies and equipments and legislation issues and environmental consideration.
The event is also aims to take the input for preparation of investment and non-investment components relating to HCFC phase out management plan in Pakistan.
The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is organizing the workshop.
The proceedings of the workshop include a round table where national stakeholders would give views and thoughts on the key issues of the preparatory activities including HCFC data collection survey. The finding of the discussion would be compiled and used for development of the non-investment and investment components of the hydro chlorofluorocarbons phase out management plan (HPMP) being prepared by UNEP and UNIDO respectively.
The participation of the industry and workshop is being envisaged as critical to make the survey happen and HPMP activities get implemented in a timely manner. According to a spokesman at the Ministry of Environment, the event has been organized as a part of the celebration of the World Environment Day 2009 and calendar of activities of the National Year of Environment.Your Comments
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Tribes oppose shifting of Cadet College Razmak
Peshawar: After recent kidnapping of students and teachers of Cadet College, Razmak by Taliban militants from Frontier Region (FR) Bakkakhel in Bannu district, certain government functionaries and politicians are pondering over the possibility of shifting the college out of the restive North Waziristan tribal region to a relatively safer district of the NWFP, however, the Utmanzai tribes in North Waziristan saw the incident as a conspiracy hatched by certain elements to shift the college and thus deprive the people of the area of quality education.
The Torikhel tribespeople, who live in the scenic Razmak town - located on the border between North and South Waziristan tribal regions - suspect the recent kidnapping of the students and teachers part of a conspiracy to dissuade the students and teachers from coming again to Razmak for their studies.
Some teachers have also reportedly refused to continue with their jobs in Razmak due to threats to their lives.
Parents of students kidnapped by the Taliban militants and then released due to the efforts of Torikhel and Utmanzai tribal jirgas were also concerned about the safety of their sons and were reluctant to send them back to Razmak for studies.
The college was built in 1978 by the then prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Due to its natural beauty and pleasant weather, Razmak is often called 'Chota London' or mini-London.
Five seats were reserved for Torikhel tribe and five for rest of Utmanzai tribes in the college. Besides, students from Azad Kashmir and Punjab are also given admission in the college.
Official sources said that some government functionaries and politicians have started lobbying for shifting the college from Razmak to the southern districts including Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan.
Former NWFP chief minister Akram Khan Durrani was reported to be lobbying for relocating the college to the building of Durrani College in Bannu. His party leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman would be happy if the college is shifted to his hometown Dera Ismail Khan. Some influential politicians wanted Lakki Marwat to be the new home of the college.
The Torikhel tribal elders said that they would oppose attempts to deprive them of the prestigious educational institution.
A noted Torikhel tribal elder-cum-militant commander of Hafiz Gul Bahadur-led Taliban militants, Abdul Halim Khan, said he would never allow shifting of the college from his area. He had raised a tribal lashkar of 300 armed-men that raided a village in the adjoining South Waziristan and recovered vehicles and baggage of the kidnapped students and then challenged the Mahsud tribe to release the students or face the consequences.
Officials in North Waziristan admitted it was Halim Khan and his tribe's pressure that helped secure the release of the students and teachers.
The NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani had ordered an inquiry against the college officials, who closed it and then shifted the students to Peshawar without proper security arrangements, however, Additional Chief Secretary Fata, Habibullah Khan denied any proposal about the shifting of the college from Razmak to some other city.
"Let me assure the people of North Waziristan, there is no proposal for relocating the college. Rather, the government under the directive of the prime minister would open cadet colleges in all the seven tribal regions," he added.
Habibullah said the government would improve security of the students and their teachers at Razmak so that such incidents don't happen again. He said two cadet colleges would be commissioned in Mohmand and South Waziristan tribal regions with support from donors.Your Comments
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Farah Dogar case report finds violation of rules
Islamabad: The inquiry into the Farah Hameed Dogar case has fixed the responsibility on the former FBISE chairman and three examiners for the "illegal re-assessment" of her answer-sheets and has taken a lot of pain to ascertain how the classified documents pertaining to this scam reached The News.
A copy of the inquiry report, provided to this correspondent, clearly concludes: "The former chairman, Commodore (retd) Muhammad S Shamshad, by virtue of his position approved the re-assessment of the answer-sheets of Miss Farah Dogar in clear violation of the existing rules on the subject."
About the three examiners' who did the re-assessment and illegally jacked up the marks of former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar's daughter, the inquiry conducted by three senior officials of the Education Ministry said: "Munir Hussain Anjum, Assistant Professor FG Degree College H-9, Islamabad; Ejaz Ahmad, Assistant Professor FG Degree College, H-8, Islamabad; and Syed Ali Azhar Anis, Assistant Professor FG Sir Syed College, Rawalpindi...have been found to be involved in illegal re-assessment of scripts of Miss Farah Hameed Dogar. They are guilty of abetting the illegal action of the then chairman FBISE (Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education)."
The conclusion of the inquiry report is just contrary to the controversial decision of the then chief justice Islamabad High Court, who did not see any illegality in this case and had recommended the FBISE to change its rules to allow re-assessment.
The Education Ministry's inquiry team led by Atiqur Rehman, Senior Joint Secretary; Muhammad Anis, Deputy Director Monitoring and Evaluation Cell; and Askari Mehdi Abidi, Deputy Secretary Administration, however, recommended in complete contrast to the Islamabad High Court decision, saying: "In order to avoid any misinterpretation of the relevant rules and regulations in future, it is proposed that Section 1.2(i) of the FBISE Examination Rules, Vol-II, be redefined, explicitly prohibiting re-assessment of the scripts in future."
At the time of the inquiry, Hameed Dogar was the chief justice of Pakistan and was being protected by the present government, so one key aspect of the inquiry's term of reference was to ascertain how the information travelled to this correspondent. It was because of the same government concern that the inquiry report also recommended: "A thorough study is required to be made in the FBISE to identify weaknesses and loopholes in its security arrangement and to suggest foolproof arrangement to avoid such occurrence in future."
Besides others, the statement of former FBISE chairman Shamshad has also been annexed with the inquiry report. Shamshad has said in his statement that the Farah Dogar case was blown out of proportion. He said that Miss Dogar and a few other students, while applying for the re-checking, had expressed serious reservations that either their answer books had been changed or had not been assessed correctly.
However, he did not provide any evidence to support his claim. Shamshad said that the additional marks to Farah Dogar were awarded by the head examiners and not by him. He said it was done on merit and the examiners, who had increased her marks, were senior teachers and there was no reason to question their integrity. He believed that a group of FBISE officials had conspired to hand over the case to this correspondent. "The reason behind such a move as understood by me was probably to defame me and defeat the Ministry of Educationís move to re-appoint me as chairman Regulatory Authority for Private Educational Institutions of Islamabad. It is mentioned that the Ministry of Education had moved a summary in the month of October/November 2008 for the approval of the prime minister for my appointment as chairman of the said regulatory authority," said Shamshad, who, according to press reports, later left the country. The incumbent chairperson, Shaheen Khan, in her statement, suspected that the relevant documents, after having been photocopied, were provided to the media by someone amongst those who were replaced by her in an in-house reshuffle after she took over FBISE head.
Following the breaking of the story by The News on Nov 25, 2008, she said, an internal inquiry was ordered as to how the record contained in the file reached the media. The inquiry committee, in its recommendations, she said, held the assistant controller of examination and the deputy controller of examination responsible for not having exercised the proper care in handling the file and thus the record reached the media.
Secretary FBISE Manzoor Ahmad said that the contents of the file were leaked to the media through a well thought-out plan by three or four FBISE officials. Manzoor suggested to the inquiry committee to trace out the telephone calls of this correspondent to reach to the officials, who provided the information to The News. He assured the committee that he was not the one, who provided the documents to the media, and endorsed his former chairman's conspiracy theory that it was all done to block Shamshadís appointment as chairman Regulatory Authority for Private Educational Institutions.
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NUST engineers develop 7.5MW power house
Islamabad: Scientists of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have developed a power house which can produce 7.5 mega watts of electricity.
According to a press release, this was informed in a ceremony titled 'The role of engineers in the short fall of energy' at engineer day here Sunday.
The power plant was developed at a cost of Rs6 lakh while French scientists have spent Rs6.5 million to develop such power house.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) Member Engineer Tahir Shamshad was the chief guest on the occasion. He lauded the efforts of young scientists and promised that CDA would financially support the young engineers.
He deplored the government for ignoring the young talent in the country. "No importance is being given to town planning and this habit is creating hurdles for the new cities and new engineers, who are trying to contribute in the development of country," he said.
He stressed on the need for adopting precautionary measures while working in the field specially while making dams and building.
"To end the present energy shortage, such methods are must for the country and must be encouraged to meet the shortfall on sound footings," he added.
Earlier, NUST engineers informed the participants that the new power plant has been prepared with the help of Chinese technology. The News
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