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PITB scholarship victims | Civil servants' PhD scholarship

PITB scholarship 'victims' seek justice
Lahore, June 22: The establishment of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) is undoubtedly one of the Punjab government's flagship initiatives in the field of education and distribution of scholarships to talented and resource-constrained students has formally started now under this project.

Nonetheless, the government seems to have ignored the plight of students who were promised scholarships under the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) by the previous PML-Q government in 2007.

Through this column in December 2008, the issue of PITB scholarships has been highlighted. Despite the passage of almost six months, the 'victims' have been running from pillar to post but to no avail.

In April 2007, the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) had announced the scholarships (Phase-II) for BS, MS and MPhil/PhD students in Computer Science, Information Technology, IT Management, Telecom Engineering, Electrical/Computer/Software Engineering, Mathematics and MIS/Management/ Information Systems for talented but needy students having Punjab domicile.

These scholarships were meant to cover tuition fee. Following selection of successful candidates, scholarship deed was signed by students and their parents/guardians. However, since then the selected students have been waiting for funds from the government to pay for their studies.

Students said they had pinned high hopes on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as he was known for pursuing education-friendly policies. They said the government's lack of interest in addressing the grievances of students 'suffering' due to the previous regime's policies had disappointed them.

M Waseem Sarwar, a final year student of Electrical Engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, said he had submitted an application to the Chief Minister's complaint cell regarding PITB scholarships but got nothing except assurances. "Scholarships through the PEEF is certainly a commendable effort," he said adding "the government must complete pending projects first". "We know the major problem delay in execution of PITB scholarships is that the programme was launched by the previous government but rulers must realize that students do not belong to any party and they should not suffer due to their conflicts," Waseem added.

He said his university even fined him over Rs 4,000 for late fee submission which he did not pay as he was waiting for the scholarship to be released.

Waseem said if the government lacked funds, then it must at least award scholarship to students who have over 80 percent record in all examinations.

Usman Khalid, another PITB scholarship victim said he was tired of red tape. He said he had not only visited CM open court, twice, but also chief secretary complain cell, PITB offices and Higher Education Department on various occasions but to no avail.

Referring to a recent news item he said: "One wonders what is preventing the government from awarding scholarships to students at a time when the PITB has failed to use over 70 percent of its budgetary allocation for fiscal year 2008-09."

Students have urged Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to intervene and provide them justice.

Your Comments
"about our scholorship we are waiting still for scholorship"
Name: Niaz muhammad khan
City, Country: buner

"we request Mr Shabaz sharif to give us our scholorship because i m very poor student for scholorship thanks"
Name: syed zamin shah
City, Country:buner

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CM looks for people's help in restoring govt schools
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has urged civil society, students, teachers and civil administration to play an active role in restoring government schools.

Shahbaz was addressing a ceremony in connection with distribution of scholarships under the newly-established Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) at Aiwan-e-Iqbal.

The CM said the government had been providing missing facilities to public schools over the years however still there were thousands of schools lacking basic facilities. He said the people had a great role to play in rehabilitating the neglected schools.

Students from Lahore Division were awarded scholarships at the ceremony while the event marked the distribution of 5,000 scholarships among the needy but talented students of the province.

The CM said the scholarship programme was a revolutionary programme which would bring about a revolution in the country adding this revolution would bury injustice. He said the prevailing unrest was an outcome of injustice.

He said establishment of the PEEF was in fact continuation of Aligarh Tehreek. He said that Rs 2 billion would be added to the Rs 2 billion fund by next month after approval of the Punjab Assembly.

Shahbaz said government hopes that children of the poor get education in top private institutions such as LUMS and FAST through the PEEF scholarships.

He also announced that the position holders of matriculation and intermediate exams would be provided stay at Governor's House and not Punjab House in Murree adding they would enjoy facilities offered to the president and the prime minister.

The CM said keeping in view talented students of Southern Punjab and lack of facilities there, the government had decided to establish Danish Schools on the pattern of Aitchison College where free boarding and lodging would be provided to students.

Speaking on the occasion, PEEF Vice-President Dr Amjad Saqib said the government would launch a special campaign urging masses to donate for the fund adding these donations would be exempted from the tax. He said at present only students of public schools were being awarded scholarships adding in the next phase students of low-fee private schools would also be included. He said in October 2009 as many as 5,000 more scholarships would be offered to students.

Later, the chief minister awarded scholarships to students of Lahore Division while earlier some students and a teacher also expressed their views about PEEF scholarships. On the occasion, representatives of the Divisional Public School Model Town and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) presented cheques of Rs 0.6 million and Rs 1 million respectively to the Shahbaz for the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for the IDPs.

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Rs1,000m for special education
Lahore: Provincial Minister for Special Education Malik Iqbal Channar has said that the Punjab government is paying special attention to education and rehabilitation of special children and for this, Rs 1000 million has been allocated in Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the Special Education Department.

A DGPR handout issued on Sunday said that the minister while talking to a delegation of PML workers added that allocation for the ADP 2009-10 wa65.5 per cent more than the revised allocation of Rs 604.74 million for year 2008-09.

The minister further stated that school-going disabled children had been provided educational opportunity in 15 District Centres for Special Education and Plans for the establishment of International Standard Rehabilitation Centres for the disabled children have been finalized.

The department is emphasizing skill development and the rehabilitation of physically challenged children.

He said the department had also introduced incentive for increasing enrolment including nutrition, stipends, free uniform, free boarding and lodging facilities, free textbooks and Braille books, free pick and drop facility and merit scholarships.

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PhD scholarship scheme for civil servants
Lahore: The Punjab government has decided to launch a special scheme for doctoral scholarships with an aim to creating a pool of highly qualified and professional policy-makers in the province.

According to an official of the Planning and Development Department, Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has approved awarding five scholarships for civil servants to complete PhDs in economics and social policy disciplines every year.

The officers of provincial civil service cadres, ex-PCS, ex-CSS, PMS and DMG, are eligible to apply for scholarships in one of 50 top universities of the world.

For this purpose, the Punjab government has constituted the Provincial Selection Board, comprising P&D Board Chairman Sami Saeed (Chairman), P&D Board Secretary Rab Nawaz (member), Higher Education secretary (member) and services secretary (member).

The selection board will ensure execution of the selection process through its various stages and other procedural details. The board will complete selection process till June 30 every year so as to allow those selected enough time for the processing of visas and other travelling formalities before the start of doctorate session in September/October. The selection board will hold annual meetings to review the feedback of the officers, analyze the direction and success of the programme for them and ensure their placement after completion of their programmes in accordance with the framed policy.

The selected officers, after completion of their programme, shall furnish a report to the board and make a presentation, inter-alia, suggesting the areas in which they could potentially contribute. The officers desirous of applying for this award for the year 2009-10 (first batch) may obtain application forms from the Foreign Training Section of P&D Department and can submit applications by June 25. Late applications will not be entertained.

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Forman Christian College convocation
Forman Christian College (a chartered university) has held its first honour's convocation and commencement 2009 on June 13 and 14 evenings respectively.

Academic degrees were awarded to 290 successful graduates of Bachelor of Arts (Conventional and Honours), Bachelor of Science (Conventional and Honours), Bachelor of Science Business (Honours), Master of Arts (Conventional) and Master of Science (Conventional).

Recipients of medals included Prof M S Bhatti Medal awarded to Kashifa Khalid for securing highest CGPA among the university candidates in MA English, Sir Mian M Shafi Medal to Khalid Khan Jogezai in MA Political Science, Sir Sheikh Abdul Qadir Medal to Saima Rafique in MA Urdu, Swami Ram Teerath Medal to Saba Ayub in MSc Mathematics, Prof E J Sinclair Medal to Bilkis Hussain for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours), and Khan Bahadur Muhammad Sanaullah Medal to Muhammad Asad for securing highest CGPA for the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours).

Awards were distributed by Rector Dr Peter H Armacost and Vice Rector Dr Cusrow J Dubash while Registrar Dr Hamid Saeed acted as Director of commencement.

Dr Peter presided over the functions. In his address, Dr Armacost advised graduating students to play a constructive role in society as Pakistan faced many challenges.

"Apply core values and contribute to Pakistan. Use time, adopt self learning, be concerned about needs of others, dedicate truth, and by love, serve one another," said Dr Armacost.

Earlier, in honours convocation academic award, core value/service award, department and faculty outstanding student, and teacher awards were distributed among successful candidates. The News

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