CSS exam may be postponed | Govt. college convocation

FPSC is likely to postpone CSS exam by a month
Lahore, Mar 09: The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) is likely to postpone the Central Superior Service (CSS) examination of 2009 for one month and delay the announcement of final allocations for the CSS exams of 2008 because its employees are on strike, FPSC officials said on Sunday.

Around 9,000 candidates have applied for the 2009 CSS exam, which is currently scheduled for March 14, of which 5,000 are yet to receive their roll number slips.

Almost 500 FPSC staff are on a hunger strike for the last 11 days, protesting against the alleged corruption of the secretary and two director generals. The FPSC chairman suspended 10 of the protesting employees on March 5 following a deadlock in talks between the employees and the chairman. The FPSC chairman will make a decision on the postponement of the exam on Monday (today), and sources familiar with the developments said it would likely be delayed by a month.

FPSC's sacked director recruitment Mushtaq Ahmad Awan who is leading the protest campaign said the staff wanted FPSC Secretary Bashir Ahmad Chohan and two director generals sacked, because the "troika of corruption" has ruined the commission's repute of transparency. Awan said the secretary had asked police to arrest all protesters on Monday. Chohan said however that he was being targeted because he had eliminated a 'mafia' of corruption from the commission. The former FPSC director general had recruited dozens of relatives and close friends in the commission, he alleged, including Awan who Chohan claimed was only a matriculate.

Bashir Chohan claimed it was the aides of the former DG who were on strike because the FPSC had declined to reappoint him after his retirement. He said that the commission would review the schedule of the CSS exam because of the long march and sit-in planned by lawyers and opposition political parties. A final decision would be made after consultation with all provincial governments, he said. Daily Times

PUSBS develops testing procedure
Lahore: The Punjab University School of Biological Science (SBS), in a joint research with the Sheikh Zayed Medical Complex and the St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, has developed a procedure for sensitive and low-cost immuno-assay for the estimate of thryroid autoantibodies.

According to a press statement on Saturday, Farkhanda Ghafoor, PMRC Centre, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, has been awarded a PhD on the basis of development of this assay and its clinical application during pregnancy.

Adaptation of the assay for wide-scale application would make it possible to diagnose the disease at an early stage and thus prevent development of complications, especially in cases like pregnancy, diabetes and other diseases.

The work shall not only lead to minimise dependence on imported kits and technology, it has also opened new avenues for research and development of sensitive and low-cost diagnostic assay for a wide range of diseases.

This work was done under the supervision of SBS Prof M Waheed Akhtar and Dr Raymond Edwards of St Bartholomew's Hospital London, UK.

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Government Post Graduate College for Women, Samanabad convocation
Lahore: The 17th annual convocation of the Government Post Graduate College for Women, Samanabad, was held here on Saturday. Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was the chief guest of the ceremony while college principal Dr Tasneem Akhtar, faculty and a large number of students and their parents attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, the PU VC congratulated the successful students and said that contentment in life was not to get materialistic success but it could only be achieved by learning. He urged the students to promote peace and harmony for the strength and solidarity of the country. Principal Dr Tasneem Akhtar, in her welcome address, presented the annual report of the college. Students of various programmes were awarded certificates and degrees in the convocation while medals were also awarded to the position holders. The News

GCU to host inter-varsity drama festival
Lahore: The Government College University (GCU) Dramatics Club will host the third GCU Inter-Varsity Drama Festival from March 8 to 14, at the university's Bokhari Auditorium.

Teams from all four provinces would participate in the week-long festival where students would show their acting skills. Sixteen teams would perform at the festival, which would open with GCU Dramatics Club's presentation of Neil Simon's farcical comedy, 'Rumours'. The festival would conclude on March 14 with GCU Dramatics Club staging Bey Saya Log, an urdu adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre's 'Men Without Shadows'.

Meanwhile, the 4th World Conference On 21st Century Mathematics 2009 was concluded here on Saturday, at the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences. Daily Times

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New criteria approved for school upgrade
Lahore: The Punjab Schools Education Department has approved new criteria to upgrade schools in a bid to minimise political interference.

Sources in the department said earlier the department did not have upgrade criteria owing to which it had to face troubles whenever elected representatives asked the department to upgrade schools in their respective constituencies.

They said elected representatives used to announce schools upgrade during visits to their constituencies without keeping in view ground realities.

They said in most cases the department had to face troubles because the task was not feasible. Absence of any clear-cut policy in this regard has resulted in many "undeserving" schools being upgraded over the years, they added.

It was learnt that the total area of an institution, total enrolment and class-wise enrolment would be taken into consideration before upgrading a school.

For upgrading schools from Primary to Middle School, a school should have an area of 25 Marlas (Boys Schools) and 20 Marlas (Girls Schools), total enrolment should be 100 students for Boys Schools and 80 for Girls Schools while total enrolment in Class IV and V should be 20 students and 15 students respectively.

Whereas to upgrade a school from Middle to High School, a school should have an area of 60 Marlas (Boys Schools), 40 Marlas for (Girls Schools), total enrolment should be 200 students (Boys) and 150 students (Girls). Total enrolment in Class VII and VIII should be 40 students and 30 students respectively.

The upgrade criteria for a school from High to Higher Secondary School will include determination of location at tehsil headquarters/ markaz headquarters by the provincial government upon identification/ recommendation of the district government.

According to the criteria, no college/ higher secondary school should exist in a radius of 10 kilometres in case of girls and 20 kilometres in case of boys high school in order to upgrade it to higher secondary school.

The minimum land required is 16 kanals which could be less in urban areas with a vertical structure.

A senior official of the Schools Education Department said the new criteria would prove cost-effective adding official guidelines in this regard would certainly help the department work more effectively. The News

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