Punjab education minister | KEMU billing scandal

Education minister yet to know his deptt
Lahore, June 06: Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, even after the passage of four and half years, is still struggling to maintain his writ in the department as his department officials are habitual of giving wrong answers to the questions put by assembly members.

The minister always invoked the wrath of assembly members and the Speaker for giving falsified responses amidst promises and commitments that he would take stern action against the responsible but nothing concrete had happened. Even on Tuesday, Mujtaba, keeping up his past practice in the assembly, exhibited inefficiency and faced humiliating taunts of the members. Not only the Opposition members but even those from the Treasury were not satisfied with his responses and criticised him.

Majority of the colleges and universities are without appropriate faculty, some schools and colleges are having missing facilities, the posts of librarians and assistant librarians are lying vacant while there are some schools and colleges which are under illegal occupation of the influential persons but the minister seems to be a less informed person and he is left with only option but to promise the members that he will take action against the responsible or there should be house committee to look into the matter. Likewise, he admitted a large number of vacant posts throughout Punjab and claimed that they would be filled before election. Ironically, most of the questions were three to fours years old but still there was no progress shown by the department regarding them.

The question-answer session started with Zubia Rubab Malik's query regarding vacant seats in the Lahore College for Women University asking that why they were not being filled. The minister responded that there were 207 vacant seats of BPS-19 in LCWU which were yet to be filled. He justified his statements with the pleading that the university was an autonomous institution and it had its own criterion to fill in posts. He was of the view that the Higher Education Department had nothing to do with the vacant posts in the university.

The response from minister invited criticism from members who alleged that the Higher Education department, enjoying hold over the universities, and they should have forced them to fill vacant posts. They expressed their surprise that the youth were searching for jobs with degrees in their hands and universities had massive vacant posts which were not being filled.

Following criticism from the members, the minister finally stated that the department would write to the chief minister and governor for directing the VCs to fill the vacant posts.

Likewise, the minister gave the wrong break-up of the annual budget of LCWU and following correction by a female member, he claimed that the department had given the wrong answer. When asked whether any action was initiated against the official responsible for misleading the assembly, he claimed that he would write to the VCs for it.

In another instance, the minister while responding to Mian Naveed Anjum's claimed that there were a number of posts of assistant librarians lying vacant which would be filled through the PPSC. Nevertheless, Anjum corrected him that the post of assistant librarian was filled by the government not by the PPSC. Following this response, the minister claimed that these would be filled very soon. The PPP's Sajida Mir raised another issue that the Government Girls Degree College Sharaqpur was illegally occupied by local influential, Muhammad Yunus, in connivance with the Revenue Department. The minister resisted the allegations amidst claims that the department had given him the response which stated that there was no such grabbing. When the Speaker urged the local MPA Muhammad Asghar Munda, he endorsed Sajida Mir's allegation, following which the Speaker constituted two members committee to submit a report on the matter to him.

The minister further admitted before the House that the Government Postgraduate College for Women, Chistian, and Government Degree College for Women in Minchinabad were operating without proper buildings and even without roofs. He claimed that the government had allocated funds for the construction of the colleges. He further admitted that there was no concrete road leading towards the Government Boys Degree College Taxila. He admitted that 152 vacancies of teachers were lying vacant in Chiniot which would be filled in very soon.

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'Billing scandal' at KEMU
Lahore: The Young Doctors Association (YDA), Pakistan, has claimed to unearth a scandal regarding electricity bills of inflated billing at the King Edward Medical University (KEMU), Lahore.

In a press statement issued here, YDA office-bearers, including Dr Rana Sohail, Dr Salman Kazmi and Dr Talha Sherwani said the electricity bill for the month of April, 2012 of the KEMU was Rs 10.6 million while that of Mayo Hospital was over Rs 10 million.

They said the bill of KEMU was Rs 6.5 million more than that of Mayo Hospital for April 2012 alleging this extra burden was being placed on the pockets of the innocent students of the university.

According to a YDA report, there are 26 electricity meters in total at KEMU, out of which five have been non-functional since long and an estimated bill is being designated to them every month. The KEMU admin block that has 30 fans and four air conditioners which works from 8:00am to 2:00pm, have a monthly bill of Rs 2.9 million.

They said the girls' hostel, whose meter was stolen two years back, has an estimated bill of Rs 2.4 million while the boys hostel has the bill of Rs 4.2 million.

They alleged that there was huge electricity inflated billing going on at the KEMU. The Lesco administration was involved in it which was putting fake electricity units and a bill of millions of rupees on the university head to cover their deficit from the public exchequer, they alleged.

The YDA has submitted an application to the FIA for investigation and appealed to the DG FIA and the LESCO chairman to constitute a committee to probe the matter, with a demand of strict action against those involved in the alleged crime. The news

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IJT protest foments public unrest
Lahore: The Islami Jamiat Tulaba, Punjab University, on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against the government's failure to arrest Awais Aqeel's killers on the university campus bridge, leaving commuters high and dry.

A day earlier (on May 4), the IJT announced it would go for a peaceful demonstration.

The IJT activists stopped the public transport buses, disembarked passengers and got the buses parked on Canal Road. They also burnt tyres and kept the road blocked for about two hours. Traffic coming from Thokhar Niaz Beg to Canal Road as well as from Garden Town and Bhekewal Morr towards Canal was choked.

The buses' passengers including women and children were forced to stand on the road and wait for the protest to conclude.

The demonstration led by IJT Nazims Haris Saeed, Hafiz Nauman Zafar, Saqib Gujjar and Behram Saeed chanted slogans against the Punjab police and the PU administration for its failure to arrest Jamiat leader Awais Aqeel's killers. They also demanded removal of the PU vice chancellor.

Speaking to protesters, the IJT leaders said 20 days had passed but no killer had so far been arrested. They said the protest would be spread across Lahore and that now all decisions would be made on roads instead of courts.

Hafiz Nauman Zafar said the PU vice chancellor's silence over murder and registration of FIR was a matter of grave concern for the Jamiat.The Punjab government had recently set up a police post on the university premises but no one dared stop the IJT activists from taking law into their hands. Dawn

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MAO teachers 'victim of principal's egocentricity'
Lahore: The Government MAO College, Lahore, has become a perfect example of mismanagement, with frequent reshuffling and a growing sense of anxiety among both teaching and non teaching staff of the college.

Reportedly, what has widened the gulf between the college staff and the principal, Prof Dr Farhan Ebadat Yar Khan, is the latter's egocentric behavior. A number of the college teachers, on condition of anonymity, complained against the principal's insulting behavior towards faculty members, saying the provincial's degrading attitude and whimsical decisions had resulted into growing sense of anxiety among both teaching and non teaching staff.

According to sources in the college, ever since Dr Farhan Ebadat Yar Khan took charge as principal of the college in November 2011, he promoted junior teachers in a bid to satiate his thirst for power and enhance his personal agenda. All this might help him (Dr Farhan) for the time being but he is oblivious to the long lasting impact of his myopic policies, they regretted.

A teacher, Arif, who was much junior to Prof Khurshid Khawar was heading the college's Botany Department at present, the sources said.

Recently, he had changed the head of the Psychology Department third time, they said. A couple of days back, Associate Professor Zafar Jamal, the third head the department, was communicated, verbally, that he no more held the chair, they added. Interestingly, since Zafar was forced to relinquish the charge on Saturday, no one from the department is ready to take charge of the department.

According to the sources, Dr Tehseen, Chemistry Department's head, was also abruptly relieved of the post on Tuesday. Similarly, a couple of months of ago, the principal had made the most senior professor of the Economics Department relinquish his change as head, just because the principal had developed personal grudge against him. After replacing Hassan Kazmi as the head of the department, a junior faculty member was given the charge to run the affairs of the department, the sources said. The whimsical step of the principal had created unrest among the faculty members for quite sometime, they added. Owing to growing sense of insecurity and anxiety, the faculty members, who wished not to be named, said most of the teachers wanted to get transferred from the college. A couple of months ago, they said, a senior faculty member Sabahat Hussain Naqvi of the English Department got himself transferred as he was feeling uneasy working under Dr Farhan Ebadat Yar Khan.

The faculty members said they were quite upset owing to alleged "divide and rule" policy of the principal.

The sources said the principal on Tuesday strongly reprimanded some female students of the Psychology Department when they came to college after getting some important assignment printed from outside the collge. Dr Farhan tore the assignment pages apart and questioned who had permitted them to go outside the college, they said.

When contacted, Dr Farhan Ebadat Yar Khan refuted the allegations leveled against him, saying he was doing everything on merit and in the best interest of the college. He denied that he had insulting behavior towards the teaching and non-teaching staff. According to him, seniority was not important while he posted someone as head of a department.

Dr Farhan also denied removal of Zafar Jamal as head of Psychology Department. When he was informed that the said teacher was marking his attendance in the teachers' register, he said: "There is some other issue and I will talk to you sometime later (on the issue)."

About reprimanding the students of Psychology Department, he said the students, especially female students, were not allowed to leave the college without permission. He said a photo copier was also made available inside the college to facilitate the students.

Dr Farhan also claimed that Dr Tehseen of the Chemistry Department was removed as head of the department on the latter's own request.

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Painting exhibition
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) College of Art and Design organised a seminar and exhibition of paintings to pay tribute to Zubeda Javed, an eminent painter and teacher, on Tuesday.

Students, dignitaries, scholars, painters, art-critics and art historians attended the seminar to pay their respect to this wonderful painter who actually founded a modern and conceptual style in landscape painting in Pakistan. Zubeda Javed was the guest of honour and renowned architect Nayyar Ali Dada was the chief guest who later inaugurated the exhibition at the Anna Molka Galleries of the PUCAD. The news

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