KU evening programme | SPSC official misconduct

Karach University announced evening programme new schedule
Karachi, Mar 16: The University of Karachi has announced that the students of the KU evening programme who have failed to pay their tuition/examination fee as yet may deposit the same with the directorate of the evening programme without the late fee according to the following schedule:

Students of the Business Administration, Public Administration, Pharmacy/Pharm-D, Pharmaceutics (MPharm), Pharmacology (MPharm), Special Education, Statistics, Physiology and Psychology Departments: March 24 and 25.

Students of the Actuarial Science & Risk Management, Computer Science, Criminology, Commerce, Economics, English, International Relations, Mass Communication, Population Sciences and Sociology Departments: March 18 and 19. Dawn

Plan to set up day-care centre in KU
Karachi: The government is bound to give constitutional rights to the downtrodden segment of society but this concept has unfortunately been overlooked in the country for many years.

This was stated by Sindh Minister for Women Development Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto while speaking at the inaugural session of a seminar titled "Endeavouring for Heights" organised by the mass communication department of the University of Karachi on Saturday. The seminar was held in connection with the International Women's day.

The minister observed that women of Pakistan possessed great potential to play a productive role in nation-building but they were denied proper opportunities.

"This is all the more unfortunate for an Islamic society since Islam ensures equal rights for men and women," she said, adding that the PPP-led government was taking concrete measures to bring womenfolk on a par with men.

"It isn't often that you see an ordinary woman getting the acclaim she deserves," she said, adding "Every woman is a champion in her own way and in her own field."

Sadly, women of this society had not been given due respect and this was evident from the fact that whatever Pakistani women had achieved so far, they had had to fight for the due privileges, she pointed out, and said "This should not have been the case."

Ms Bhutto noted that women in our culture were supposed to play a very submissive role as they had been doing for a long time. She stressed the need for not only providing them with their due privileges, but also educating them about their rights and potential.

"Educating people about something they are completely unfamiliar with is a prolonged, strenuous and exhausting task," she said, remarking that "it may not and cannot be accomplished in a few years."

Regretting the male-dominated society's attitude towards women, she said: "After having suppressed women for so long, one cannot expect empowerment of the segment in a day." It required a lot of efforts as well, she said, which was possible to make only all segments of the society work together and endeavour tirelessly to achieve the goal.

Karachi University Vice-Chancellor Prof Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, in his presidential remarks, observed that women in this society could be classified in three groups. The first group comprised those who got all the support and encouragement required for empowerment; the second group consisted of those who lacked active support but possessed and used the potential to attain the objective; and the third group comprised those who neither had any support nor did they have resources. "Actually the third group is the suppressed segment of society," he added.

He urged the enlightened segment of society to strive for an environment where the women of the second and third groups were encouraged and empowered.

Shahida Qazi, a former chairperson of the department, was of the view that both men and women were the victims of discrimination in society. She said women could do anything that a man could and that too, better than him.
Every housewife amongst us has enough time to do something extra to contribute to society," she said, adding that if every educated woman educated young girls at her home, this would multiply the number of educated women in the country in a very short span of time.

Day-care centre

The minister announced that a day-care centre for women teachers would be established at the University of Karachi. Responding to women teachers' request in this regard, the minister said that such a centre would be established to facilitate the routine duties and personal requirements of women teachers. She promised that her ministry would take measures to furnish the centre. She said that she visited all the 18 towns of the Karachi district and found only one well-established day-care centre functioning in the city.

KU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhlaque Ahmed, Dean Faculty of Arts Prof Mohammad Shamsuddin, Chairman of the Mass Communication Department Dr Mahmood Ghaznavi, Prof Fauzia Jafri, Prof Tanveer Khalid, Prof Shahana Urooj Kazmi, Nargis Latif, Humera Bachal, Saeeda Sultana, Parveen Saeed and Nighat Sarwar also spoke.

Permanent lecturers shortage
Karachi: Director-General of Colleges Prof Rafique issue of shortage of permanent lecturers in public sector colleges would be addressed in a few months.

He was addressing an award and certificates distribution ceremony at the Abdullah Government College for Women, North Nazimabad, on Saturday.

He appreciated the performance of the college which, he noted, was the first college in the province to have initiated postgraduate classes for women. Ppi/App

Minister asks SU to generate resources
Hyderabad: Sindh Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq has said that the University of Sindh should create resources for its development instead of depending ongrants.

It should come up with ideas of different schemes to increase its resources and maintain close contact with trade and industry, he said. However, he said that the government was determined to provide funds to public sector universities to promote higher education.

He was speaking at a meeting of the University of Sindh senate on Saturday.

He called upon the universities of the province to ensure that they impart quality education and promote valuable traditions.

The minister said that the University of Sindh was the first university of the province established to provide education to youth of remote areas. He said that the university had great traditions and was known for quality education.

He said that teachers were most important section of the society and the profession of teaching needed dedication and sacrifices.

The minister said the Sindh education department through an endowment trust would grant scholarships to the university students.

He said that the universities should follow rules and regulations passed by competent bodies and added that a civilian government always respected universities and teachers.

University of Sindh Vice-Chancellor Mazharul Haq Siddiqui in his report said that the university had been trying hard to improve the quality of higher education and produce research to cater the needs of the society.

He said that the faculty was the soul of the university and the university was providing facilities to faculty members to go abroad for doing PhD.

He said that presently 40 scholars were doing PhD in the universities abroad and 69 more scholarships for studies abroad had been approved at a cost of Rs491 million.

He said that the university was planning to launch new disciplines, including industrial electronics, forensic chemistry, applied chemistry, industrial chemistry and medical physics.

He said that the university had introduced five-year bachelor of law programme, departments of anthropology and archaeology and short courses in music.

He thanked the Sindh government for sanctioning Rs150 million for an auditorium and Benazir Bhutto chair at the University.

The vice-chancellor, highlighting the achievements in higher education and research, said that financial crisis and sudden curtailment of not only development grants but also in recurring allocation may hamper the march forward andadversely affect the university's achievements.

He said that with a 120 per cent increase in students' enrolment during the last six years and compelling additional requirement of faculty, laboratory equipment and commensurate increase in infrastructural facilities, the university required more funds.

He made a request to the minister, who is also pro-chancellor of the university, to plead the case of the university with the federal government to at least restore the recurring grant to sustain the achievements.The university senate approved the annual budget of Rs1,425 million for the current financial year 2008-2009 with a deficit of R306.908 million. App

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SPSC official found guilty of misconduct
Karachi: The Sindh High Court, in its enquiry report into allegations of malpractice committed in the selection of deputy district attorneys, has found the then controller of examinations of the Sindh Public Service Commission, Umer Zaur, guilty of misconduct, while it has absolved SPSC chairman Hassan Bhutto and member Abdul Ghafoor Junejo.

The report was prepared by Justice Faisal Arab, who was entrusted with the enquiry into the allegations against the SPSC chairman vide notification Feb 10, 2007. The report was placed before the Sindh Assembly on March 12 in response to a question asked by Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto.

In 2004, the law department of the Sindh government placed a requisition with the commission for selecting 23 persons for appointment to the post of deputy district attorney in BPS-17.

The candidates were required to first appear in written competitive examinations and the candidates qualifying in the said examinations were then to be called for viva voce.

Justice Arab had issued notices to the SPSC chairman M.H. Bhutto, member of the selection committee Junejo and ex-controller of examinations Zaur to state their respective positions in writing with regard to the selection of deputy district attorneys who were called for viva voce despite failing their written tests.

According to the procedure notified by the commission on Dec 7, 2005, in cases where the number of candidates is more than three for each post, a maximum of three candidates for each post are to be selected from amongst the candidates who have appeared in the written competitive examinations.

As such, against 23 posts, 69 candidates were required to be selected for viva voce from amongst the aspirants who scored the highest marks in the written test.

In response to an advertisement, which was placed in newspapers by the commission, 641 applications were received and after scrutiny 435 were found in order. These candidates were then called in for the written test on Dec 22, 2005.

Out of the 435 candidates, only 404 appeared for the written test. Retired Rear Admiral S.A. Baqar, who was one of the members of the commission, was assigned to act as the examiner of the written test.

He then submitted the list containing the coded numbers of answer sheets and the marks for all 404 candidates to the controller of examinations, who determined that a minimum of 47 marks were required to qualify for the viva voce. Sixty-nine candidates hence qualified for the oral test.

Mr Zaur then prepared a draft press release with the names of 70 candidates on Jan 28, 2006, without specifying the marks each candidate had secured, for the approval of the chairman. In the press release the following 25 candidates, who had scored less than 47 marks, were called for viva voce (the number of marks they scored is indicated in brackets): Aziz-ur-Rehman Shaikh (10), Ms Farhat Naz (36), Iqbal Ahmad Solangi (25), Jamil Hyder (3), Mrs Naheed Khan Pathan (30), Naveed Akhtar Bhatti (28), Nazir Ahmad Memon (39), Raju Hanjan (27), Farrukh Raza Baig (41), Mohammad Kamil Khan (46), S.M. Zafar Ali Wahidi (17), Nadeem Ahmad (35), Saeed Ahmad Memon (33), Ms Shahana Parveen (35), Suresh Kumar Parmani (23), Arshad Mobeen Pathan (27), Atif Ilyas (46), Danish Zahir Syed (16), Syed Julye Zaidy (39) Khalid Mehmood Rajput (29), Mohammad Ayub Brohi (30), Nisar Ahmad Morio (40), Zahid Ali Chachar (15), Abdul Hafeez Jatoi (3) and Abdullah Malik (36). The 70 short-listed candidates were then interviewed by a three member committee, which chose 25 candidates for appointment. Of those, seven had scored less than 47 marks in the written test.

After this, the selection process was alleged to be tainted. Pursuant to the allegation, the records was scrutinised, and this scrutiny indicated that Mr Zaur had prepared his own list, and had awarded extra marks to 25 candidates.

In his first response, Mr Zaur alleged that the list with the exaggerated marks had been fabricated to involve him in false charges. However, the handwriting of the figures on the list tallied with another list admittedly prepared by Mr Zaur, one which related to assistant protocol officers.

When SPSC chairman Bhutto was asked whether he verified the selection of candidates mentioned in the draft press release with the examiner's award list in order to check any accidental error or intentional manipulation, he answered in the negative and submitted that as chairman, he was continuously occupied with the work of interviewing candidates.

He said that it was because of this that in 1991, vide a Jan 19, 1991, notification issued by the then chairman M.A. Kazi, the controller of examinations was made exclusively responsible for tabulation and announcement of the results of the written test. Member Abdul Ghafoor Junejo also said selection of eligible candidates for viva voce was the exclusive responsibility of the controller.

Report's recommendations

In his report, Justice Arab recommends that in order to prevent such scams in the future, the controller of examinations should prepare a list under his or her signature after receipt of result sheets from the examiner containing coded numbers and marks secured by all the candidates in the written test. The list should contain both coded and original roll numbers of each candidate selected for viva voce and the minimum qualifying marks.

The chairman or any other members of the commission should cross-check the list prepared by the controller with the examiner's award list to avoid intentional manipulation or omissions in the selection of qualified candidates.

Copies of the examiner's award list and the list of candidates qualified in the written test shall at all times be made available for inspection by any candidate for the sake of transparency, Justice Arab's report adds. Dawn

Dr Atta for raise in education budget
Karachi: Former Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rehman on Saturday said that the education was the only road map to economic progress of the country, while the enhancement in the education budget was the hard-pressed demand of the time inline with Malaysia who spends 25 per cent of its GDP in the education sector.

He was speaking at an inaugural ceremony of the Dr Atta-ur-Rahman Seminar Hall, set up at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), Karachi. Vice Chancellor DUHS Prof Dr Masood Hameed Khan and other faculty members were also present on the occasion.

Dr Atta said that the progress made in the higher education sector by the HEC had been applauded internationally, while some international agencies including World Bank, British Council and USAID, and some magazines and journals had termed such progress as silent revolution.

"Students belonging to public universities in the country have free access to 40,000 online books and 25,000 e-journals. The E-books support programme, initiated by the HEC, allowed researchers, teachers and students to access most of the important text and reference books electronically in various disciplines of pure and social sciences. Over 220 leading international publishers published these books, covering various disciplines, including Business and Management, Information Technology, Engineering, Health and Biomedical, Life and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and others. The important feature of this programme is that these books are downloadable. When HEC initiated its work, there were 1,13,000 enrolments in the public sector universities in the country now they are more 300,000. The funds of HEC mostly spent in the scholarship programmes," he added.

Talking about the progress in the area of research, he said, "ICCBS, a state-of-the-art institution of the Karachi University, comprised on different world-class research institutions, including PCMD and HEJ, where more than 60 international conferences on different scientific issues had been organised and hundreds of researches had been published in top international publications during the last 25 years. The performance of any higher learning institution can be gauge easily through its number of publications, quality faculty and awards won by the faculty, research and education activities."

Earlier, Vice Chancellor DUHS Prof Dr Masood Hameed Khan briefed the participants of the occasion about the progress that have been made by the financial help of HEC. The Nation

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