NED University 17th Convocation | KU Plagiarism cases

NED University confers 864 degrees
Karachi, Mar 19: The NED University of Engineering and Technology conferred 864 degrees to engineering graduates and postgraduates at its 17th Convocation on Wednesday.

Around 804 degrees were conferred to the graduates in 13 disciplines and 60 masters' degrees in 11 disciplines while a PhD degree was awarded to NED University faculty member Dr Muhammad Shakaib.

The 13 top scorers of various departments were awarded, while Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad announced that the first three position holders of every department would be given Rs 10,000 as a reward.

For the first time in the country, a batch of five students studying marine engineering graduated from the university in collaboration with Lloyds Register for Quality Assurance for Middle East and Pakistan; a batch of 22 students studying petroleum engineering also graduated for the first time from the university.

Expressing his joy on being a part of the first batch of marine engineers graduating from a university in Pakistan, Kamal Ahmed, who clenched the second position in the discipline, told this scribe that he was proud of being a part of this historic start. He added that he will try is best to show a positive image of the university wherever he works in the future.

Gold medalist in Urban Engineering, Madiha Abid, said that a fairly large number of women who took up engineering and have graduated, and this proves that the country is progressing towards the status of a developed country.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Ibad, praised the role of NED University in promoting engineering services in the country. "When I took charge of my office as governor, there were 11 disciplines and 999 students in the university, while now the university has grown to have 19 different departments and around 1,917 students," Ibad revealed.

The governor appealed to philanthropists to come forward and offer scholarships to the students of the university. Quoting the example of Lloyds Register for Middle East and Pakistan, he said that the collaboration and support offered by the organisation reveals the close liaisons between the industry and the academia.

The vice-chancellor of the university, Engr Abul Kalam, reading the university report, revealed that from now on, the university's convocation will be regularly held, enabling graduates to get their degrees within three months of passing their degree examinations.

Addressing the participants of the convocation, Lloyds Register's Engr Zahid Rehman said that the establishment of six to seven new disciplines was in offing in the university after the setting up of the Marine and Petroleum engineering departments. "Lloyds Register has taken up the task to start a Masters in Marine Engineering program and set up a Marine Architecture department in the university," he said. Daily Times

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Plagiarism cases not on KU Syndicate meeting agenda
Karachi: Infamous cases of plagiarism at the University of Karachi (KU) have not been placed on the agenda of the upcoming KU Syndicate meeting despite recommendations to look into the matter forwarded by the Plagiarism Committee.

Sources said that the KU Plagiarism Committee has discussed the plagiarism cases reported against several teachers including present Faculty of Islamic Studies Dean Prof. Jalaluddin Noori, former Faculty of Pharmacy Dean Dr Najma Sultana, current Department of Chemistry Chairman Prof. Saeed Arayen and others. These deliberations were ready to be reported to the Syndicate, which is meeting on Saturday. The KU administration, however, failed to place this item on the agenda.

A senior professor of the university said that first, the KU vice-chancellor (VC) delayed action against Prof. Noori to let him finish his tenure as the Islamic Studies department dean and now he is waiting for Prof. Sultana to retire, allowing her to evade any possible action. Her husband, Prof. Arayen, will also be retiring soon.

A survey of teachers at KU revealed that most of them think that such faculty members should be removed from any administrative position pending action taken by the Syndicate under the University of Karachi Employees (Efficiency & Discipline) Ordinance. The penalty under the Efficiency & Discipline Ordinance can be compulsory retirement or removal from service.

A number of teachers were of the view that the presence of such faculty members and their influence was jeopardising the career of a number of junior faculty members who were enrolled for research under them. They demanded a strict scrutiny of research theses completed under such professors including Prof. Noori, Prof. Sultana (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Prof. Arayen of Chemistry, Prof. Mahmood Ghaznavi (Mass Communication) and Prof. Nuzhat Ahmed (Genetics). University authorities, however, have failed to stop them from supervising PhD research.

Teachers also consider the high number of PhD students enrolled under each professor as another reason why plagiarism was on the rise at KU. Some university professors have more than 20 PhD students at a time. Others have supervised dozens of PhD theses in comparatively short time.

JPMC nurses await contract renewal
Karachi: Forty-two contract-based nurses at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) are awaiting the renewal of their contracts, despite a shortage of nurses in various wards of the hospital. These nurses had been recruited on March 2007 on two-year contracts, which are about to expire soon. "We had already forwarded applications to authorities concerned, but our efforts have been in vain," nurses said. They said that if the government fails to extend their contract, they would go on strike by the end of this month.

SZABIST to host inter-university film festival
Karachi: The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) Media Sciences department has organised the second student film festival, which will kick off on April 9 and conclude on April 12. All selected and nominated films will be screened on April 9 and 10, while students and faculty from all the universities will attend the screenings.

"By organising such festivals, we intend to provide a platform for students from different film schools, where they can communicate and learn by sharing each others' works and ideas", Daniyal Ali Khan, SZABIST Media Sciences Coordinator said.

Invites have been sent to various institutions, and it is expected that Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, National College of Arts Lahore, National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi University, PAF Karachi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Iqra University/AMI, Beacon House National University (Lahore), Lecole, FAST Karachi, Institute of Business Administration, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Greenwich University (Karachi) will all participate.

Films will be nominated in 11 categories, including Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Story, Best Original Score, Best Sound Design, Best Editing, Best Animation, Best Silent Film and Best Documentary.

The final award ceremony will take place on April 12, where industry professionals will give away prize money and the Tin Man to the award-wining films, followed by a post-event party for nominated students, giving them an opportunity to interact with media professionals.

The Tin Man Award has been named after the famous character from the film "The Wizard of Oz" and this award is a tribute to the film, said Khan, adding that "the motto of SZABIST media Sciences has always been to promote film and video as part of academics."

"By arranging festivals like these, we intend to create a new cinema movement, with a firm commitment to film as an art form and intellectual medium," he said.

Zeeshan Ahmad, a participant of the Film Festival said: "I look forward to getting some constructive criticism about the work that I have submitted from industry professionals and other students."

Hopeful about the future of cinema in Pakistan, Khan said, "Lollywood originally belonged to educated people like Pervaiz Malik and Waheed Muraad, and only by educating students about this craft, can we set new standards in the Pakistani film industry."

Talking about the Media Science programme at SZABIST, he said that students at SZABIST undergo intense theoretical and practical training of film and video in a four-year undergraduate programme. Students are sent to AAFT (Asian Academy of film and TV) Noida and NYFA (New York Film Academy) where they are trained on 16mm film. Khan said that SZABIST will be offering a Masters in Film and Video in 2010, with majors in Direction and Cinematography. After receiving a great response from Media Schools and industry professionals last year, Khan explained that SZABIST expects something "even bigger and better" this time.

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HEC asks education ministry to withdraw dismissal order of DCET principal
Karachi: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has asked the Ministry of Education to withdraw the notification of dismissal of services of the Dawood College of Engineering & Technology (DCET) principal because the ministry has no right to take any action against DCET. The latter is a federal institution.

The HEC has written a letter to the Ministry of Education in connection with the notification issued on March 13 for the dismissal of DCET Principal Dr Nasim. The HEC letter says that following the establishment of DCET as a degree awarding institute, the Ministry of Education no longer has the administrative jurisdiction for issuing notifications. The letter further asks for the withdrawal of the notification.

Meanwhile, DCET students have reacted strongly against the dismissal of DCET principal by the Ministry of Education on unfounded allegations. The Students Action Committee (SAC), an umbrella of seven student associations, held a press conference to register their disapproval and anger against the action. The SAC has decided to continue their protest until the DCET principal is reinstated. The News

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