KU reluctant to help FIA in probing 'irregularities'
Karachi, June 18: The University of Karachi is reluctant to help the Federal Investigation Agency seeking to investigate a number of irregularities alleged to have taken place at the KU in recent years, it emerged on Sunday.
The malpractices, sources said, pertained to illegal appointments, promotions and misappropriation of funds. The alleged malpractices had been highlighted by the FIA in multiple letters sent to the KU over the past five months, the sources said.
The FIA officials, the sources said, met the vice chancellor last month and tried to convince him that such an investigation was very much in favour of the university itself. However, the university administration has not yet provided any details required by the FIA.
The agency in its letter dated Jan 16, 2012, addressed to the registrar stated that the subject inquiry (Enquiry No 04/2012 of FIA) had been registered against the management of the University of Karachi regarding illegal appointments and various other allegations.
"It is requested to provide the complete record of all the appointments made by the university from Grade 1 to 20 since Jan 2008 (year-wise breakup) till to date. It is also requested to provide the requisite information/documents through responsible officer well conversant with the matter on or before Jan 23, 2012."
The agency sent separate letters to the university chief engineer and estate officer to get details about the contracts awarded to parties over the past few years and the land rented or leased.
The agency also asked the university estate officer under Section 160 (police-officer's power to require attendance of witnesses) of the Criminal Procedure Code in February to appear in person at the FIA office in Karachi. The issue, according to the letter, was related to a petrol pump allowed to be set up on university land allegedly in violation of rules.
Taking up the issue of illegal promotions, the FIA sent the university registrar two letters in which the agency specifically mentioned the names of employees and asked the university to provide details about their appointments and promotions.
Besides, there were also queries regarding embezzlement of funds of the Bureau of Composition, Compilation and Translation (BCC&T) functioning under the university.
The sources said the university initially adopted a hostile attitude by warning the federal agency of action if it insisted on an investigation.
A letter sent to the FIA by the university's legal consultant on March 7 read: "Kindly close the inquiry as it is mala fide and illegal having no jurisdiction. Hence, my client would not provide you with any document you have sought. Any proceedings initiated by you shall be defended in the proper court of law on your cost and consequences which may be noted."
In a reply, the FIA explained to the university administration that the FIA Act 1974 extended to the whole of Pakistan and was applicable to all citizens of the country and any public servant under the federal government. And, since the university chancellor, it was pointed out, was a representative of the president and the university received its funding from a federal body, the agency was authorised to conduct an inquiry against it.
The agency, according to the sources, had moved into action after it received a complaint in writing from a former chief security officer of the university. The former official had alleged that more than 700 unlawful appointments in Grades 1 to 20 and another 500 appointments in BPS-1 to BPS-16 on an ad-hoc/contract basis had been made in the university in recent years in violation of rules.
He also pointed finger at the appointment of 18 'ineligible' candidates as professors and associate professors, though their cases, according to the ex-official, were rejected by a selection board.
The former university employee also alleged that the university administration awarded Grade 17 and 18 posts to low cadre employees of Grade 7 to 11 who never appeared before any selection board which was mandatory under university rules.
Moreover, his letter stated, persons on deputation benefited "out of the way".
The alleged irregularities, according to the sources, had also forced the agency to take up the case with the Higher Education Commission and it had asked the body to provide details about the funds the university had received for development projects from 2008 till last year.
When asked, the university administration admitted having received letters from the FIA and that it had not yet provided any details required by the FIA.
Although university officials confirmed that they initially opposed the investigation by the agency, they remained silent on the question whether the educational institution warned the FIA of legal action if it insisted on the investigation.
"The university goes through provincial audit whereas the FIA is a federal agency so legally the university is not bound to send the agency any documents or face inquiry from it. However, the university intends to share the information the agency requires in order to maintain transparency," an email from the university public relations officer stated. It further said:
"The FIA personnel in their meeting with the vice chancellor focused on three main issues which included matters related to the BCC&T, lease of KU land for a petrol pump and appointments made by the previous administration.
"The university syndicate gave an approval for [construction of] a petrol pump in its meeting held on October 24, 2009.
The present administration hasn't made a single appointment since it took charge. However, it is screening appointments made in the previous administration.
"Documents related to the BCC&T and other issues are being collected, which will be sent to the FIA very soon. The reason for this delay is none other than the fact that no efforts were made in the past for collection of these documents," it concluded. Dawn
KU announces extension in MA forms submission date
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) on Sunday announced extension in the last date for submitting examination forms of Master of Arts (Regular) Part I and II. Students can now submit their examination forms without any late fee in their respective colleges till June 22 while students in 2005 or earlier can submit their form along with a prescribed fee of Rs 5,000. Daily times
Rs 20.127m scholarships given to GCU students
Lahore: Government College University Lahore (GCU) gave away scholarships of a record amount of Rs 20.127 million to the university's deserving students besides cutting down its fee by 35 percent during the financial year 2011-12.
GCU Annual Scholarships Report was presented to Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman by Treasurer Shafiq Mughal on Saturday. The report claimed that scholarships were disbursed during the financial year 2011-12 among 939 needy students who could not afford academic expenses.
The report also claimed that the scholarships of Rs 16.05 million were given away from GCU Budget while Rs 4.077 were given to needy students from the donations of Old Ravians to GCU Endowment Fund Trust.
Government College University Lahore Vice Chancellor requested the Punjab government and Higher Education Commission to provide separate grants to universities for granting scholarships and financial aid to the needy students.
He also urged philanthropists and Old Ravians to support needy students through GCU Endowment Fund Trust.
The Vice Chancellor also expressed firm resolve that GCU would not leave its deserving students in the lurch and despite all financial constraints it would make all possible efforts to provide financial aid to them.
GCU Annual Scholarships Report also stated that during 2011-12, about 86 GCU students won Rs 0.249 million from the National Talent Scholarship and 19 got Rs 0.783 million from the HEC Higher Education Opportunities Scholarship while seven students received Rs 35,500 from Quaid-e-Azam and Mora scholarships. Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal also gave away scholarships of Rs 0.608 million to 19 GCU students. As many as 174 students of GCU were given scholarships of Rs 7.7 million from the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF).
The report concludes that as many as 1,243 deserving students of GCU got various scholarships of Rs 29.507 during the finical year 2011-12.
Workshop on innovation: Punjab University (PU) in collaboration with Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) and Institute for Research Promotion (IRP) will organise one-day workshop "Invention to Innovation Summit-2012" on June 18.
PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran will preside over the ceremony while Minister of State for Science and Technology Rahela Shahadat Baloch and Federal Secretary for Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar will be the guests of honour.
There will be talks on present and future research for improvement of research trend and culture in Pakistan. About 30 stalls displaying inventions from various researchers will also be set up on the occasion.
UVAS to set up more campuses
Lahore: University of Veterinary and Animal Science (UVAS) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha has announced that the university will establish an international campus in Middle East and a national campus. Addressing a ceremony organised in connection with the university's 10-year celebrations, he said June 15, 2002 was historic moment when the Punjab government announced setting up of Veterinary and Animal Science University to focus livestock sector to make it a vibrant economic engine. In the last one decade, he said the university had contributed a lot in terms of imparting quality education and research that helped farmers to grow economically as well as professionally. The Vice Chancellor said the university had completed Rs one billion worth projects and entered into mutual collaboration with 30 foreign universities.
Students stage demo against loadshedding
Lahore: Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) on Sunday warned if the persistent unscheduled and excessive power outages did not end, the students would besiege Punjab Assembly and Governor's House.
The warning came at a demonstration outside Punjab University (PU), New Campus, on Canal Bridge in which a large number of university students participated and expressed grave concern over excessive loadshedding.
The protesting students also condemned the PU administration for unavailability of cold water at the varsity hostels in the sizzling weather. They said the students had been demanding setting up of an independent power plant at the varsity but to no avail.
Addressing the protesters, IJT's Hafiz Nauman Zafar said that Zardari's slogan of Rotti, Kapra Aur Makan (food, clothes and homes) for people had turned into Maut, Cafan and Qabaristan (death, coffin and graveyard).
He said non-provision of generators at hostels despite repeated requests to the PU administration was proof of the university administration's incompetence. He warned if the unscheduled excessive loadshedding continued, the students would besiege Punjab Assembly and Governor's House.
BISE fixes 13-year minimum age for 9th class exams
Gujranwala: Gujranwala BISE has fixed 13 years minimum age for appearing in 9th class examinations.
Normally there should be no harm in it, but the step has marred education career of genius boys and girls who excel in career and reach 9th class at the age of 10/11. Such talented boys and girls are in hundreds. They are usually rare genius. Social circles and parents of talented students have demand of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to have age limit removed and let talented students pass 9th class at lesser age. BISE Controller Examinations when contacted agreed that fixation of age will affect talented students. The news