Delay in release of funds brings universities on verge of closure
Islamabad: Delay in the release of allocated funds of Rs12 billion, including recurring and development budget, has brought most public sector universities on the verge of closure.
According to sources, as per budget allocations and commitment by the federal government for the financial year 2011-12, the last quarter installment of Rs12 billion could not be released by the Ministry of Finance so far. Only an amount of Rs25 million has been received by the HEC this week against the demand for Rs12 billion (Rs6 billion for recurring budget and Rs6 billion for development budget). The vice chancellors of public sector universities, especially of the newly established universities in far-flung areas, have shown great concern. They believe that they would not able to pay salaries of universities employees. Some public sector university representatives have said that their universities have even borrowed money from banks on the basis of the government commitment that funds would be released soon.
According to sources, the delay in the release of development budget has created adverse effects on more than 150 ongoing projects and about 6,000 scholars, both local and foreign. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has not paid salaries to more than 110 foreign professors, who have been hired by various public sector universities.
Vice Chancellors Committee Chairman Syed Imtiaz Gilani said that non-release of allocated funds would adversely affect the quality of teaching and research at higher education institutions all over the country. "If proper attention and serious thought are not given to this critical situation, it will lead towards a serious and ugly situation as universities are not in a position to pay salaries to their employees."
He also informed that the major portion of recurring budget provided by the HEC goes to salaries. "If the staff is not getting salaries how will they perform their duties," he said.
Another vice chancellor, on condition of anonymity, informed that they are facing a very difficult situation. "The non-availability of funds for salaries of university employees could create law and order situation for us and can lead to the closure of university," he pointed out.
The Federation of All-Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has already announced to observe Black Day today (Monday) in all public sector universities against non-allocation of the required budget for public sector universities and for reinstatement of terminated teachers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University. Associations will observe Black Day today and display banners carrying slogans for allocation of the required budget for universities and protest in front of press clubs.
Furthermore, the FAPUASA will hold a general body meeting on June 28 in Islamabad. Keeping in view the importance of the higher education and continuation of the ongoing and new research and development projects and also the adjustment for the 20% enhancement in salaries, the FAPUASA demanded of the federal government for allocation of budget as per requirement for recurring budget with no cuts on the development budget and immediate payment of the last quarter of the previous financial year, said the statement. The FAPUASA also took a stand that the present budget allocation for higher education of Rs15.8 billion for all public sector universities of the country is insufficient and do not fulfil the needs of universities, while the developmental budget, was also far less than the required budget.
Engineering Robotics contest held at NUST
Rawalpindi: The National Engineering Robotics Contest (NERC) 2012 was held at the College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (EME) Rawalpindi.
NUST, STEM Career Programme, HEC and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) organised the contest.
Chief guest Dr. Muhammad Akram Sheikh while complimenting the efforts taken up so vigorously by NUST College of E&ME called 'National Engineering Robotics Contest' a one of a kind platform providing the engineering students of Pakistan with an opportunity to get the complete engineering experience.
While acknowledging the importance of Mechatronics engineering, he said that since every machine these days is a blend of several technologies, Mechatronics Engineering as a new discipline has found widespread acceptance in the world, including a large number of developing countries.
Earlier, Commandant College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Major General Obaid Bin Zakria, HI (M) welcomed the guests and appreciated how the number of participants had grown over the years and the standard of the competition has risen.
Dean of Academics Dr. Younus Javed in his opening address welcomed all the teams and guests. He stressed that co-and extra-curricular activities play a very important role in building a sound personality and a successful human being.
In the end chief guest Dr. Muhammad Akram Sheikh (HI), gave away the prizes to the winning teams of the 'National Engineering Robotic Contest 2012 in the following categories.
Winner NERC 2012 Shield with cash prize of Rs125,000 was awarded to NUST CEME'S team Hamza Abeer, 1st runners-up NERC 2012 Shield with cash prize of Rs75,000 was awarded to NUST CEME'S team MCP, 2nd runners-up NERC 2012 Shield with cash prize of Rs50,000 was awarded to NUST CEME'S team ROBO BLITZ, 3 x Best Engineering Design Award with cash prize of Rs30,000 each were awarded to Shockwave from CIIT, Knight Fury from GIKI and Karma's Canon from NUST, CEME Winner NERC 2012 Modular Category with cash prize of Rs25,000 was awarded to NUST CEME'S team Rover .
1st Runner up NERC 2012 Modular Category Award with a cash prize of Rs15,000 was awarded to NUST CEME'S team Cereberus, 4 x Participation Awards with a cash prize of Rs15,000 each were awarded to Shock from Ssuet, Gladiator from NED, Super Quest Robo from Quest and Lego Fighter from Generation School Karachi.
29th last date for AIOU admissions
Islamabad: Admissions for MS, MPhil and PhD programmes of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) for the Autumn Semester 2012 will continue till June 29, said AIOU Director Admissions Syed Ziz-ul-Hasnain.
He said that the admissions for PhD programme on MPhil basis are being offered in Urdu, Islamic Studies, Iqbal Studies, Chemistry, Physics and Pakistani Languages and Literature (with specialisation in Pushto, Balochi, Brahui, Sindhi, Saraiki or Punjabi language). The admissions for MPhil programme are being offered in Mass Communication, Islamic Studies, Iqbal Studies, Chemistry and Arabic. The Chemistry programme is being offered in Islamabad only. The admissions for MS are being offered in Community Health and Nutrition.
Admission forms and prospectuses are available at the sale point of AIOU Main Campus in Sector H-8, Islamabad, and its countrywide regional campuses-coordinating offices. The last date for submission of admission forms is June 29.
Only those students are eligible for admission who have already cleared NTS GAT General for MS-MPhil and NTS GAT (Subject) for PhD. The NTS GAT General-Subject results are valid for two years. Students who have passed the said test within this period and did not get admission can also apply.
AIOU enrols 1.25m students annually
Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has been enrolling 1.25 million students annually. It has established model study centres in all provinces, especially in far-flung areas.
The AIOU has issued a comprehensive report for the academic year 2010-11, showing its achievements in promoting equal access to quality education.
The report contains the message of President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also chancellor of the university. In his message, he congratulated the faculty, management and Vice Chancellor Dr. Professor Nazir Ahmed Sangi for making AIOU a successful and a leading institution in spreading equal quality education across the country.
President Zardari assured that the government will continue to provide needed support to the AIOU to achieve its future goals ensuring life-long learning through non-formal education system and promoting job-oriented education.
The performance report carried a foreword by the vice chancellor, narrating AIOU's present and future plans for further expanding the university's academic and infrastructural network in every nook and corner of the country.
The report also carried separate account on the working of faculties and departments of the university during the academic year.
Rawalpindi: Muhammad Umar, a student of class 6 at the Roots School System and Muhammad Hassan Ali, a student of class four of Dar-e-Arqam School System, secured first and third position respectively in a speech competition held under auspices of Ministry of Anti-Narcotics, says a press release.
A cash prize of Rs50,000 was given to Muhammad Umar for securing 1st position and Rs20,000 was given to Muhammad Hassan Ali for securing 3rd position. Both Muhammad Umar and Muhammad Hassan Ali are real brothers.
Job fair at COMSATS tomorrow
Abbottabad: The Electrical Engineering Department of the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) here is organising its 2nd Open House and Job Fair tomorrow (Monday).
According to a press release, the event is aimed at bringing academicians, industry and students on a single platform to explore possible areas of interest and cooperation.
The final year projects from diverse areas such as electrical power, communication, electronics and computer engineering will be displayed and evaluated. Input will be sought from industry to make the final year projects in line with their needs and requirements. The news