Kinnaird College admissions irregularities

Government asked to sack KC principal, registrar
Lahore, March 17: The Higher Education Department has proposed that the Punjab government sack the Kinnaird College (KC) principal and the registrar, after a special tribunal formed by the chief minister found both officials guilty of professional misconduct.

The tribunal was given a mandate to look into irregularities in admissions, the role of the college registrar in administration, the examination system opted, the principal's alleged discriminatory attitude towards other faculty members, the termination of senior teachers' contracts and the repatriation of four senior teachers without any solid reasons.

After the tribunal found both officials guilty of the charges against them, the chief minister referred the case to the Higher Education Department for suggestions on appropriate action. High-level sources in the Punjab government said that the government had decided in principle to go ahead with the proposal by the higher education authorities to sack the principal and the registrar.

In case the Kinnaird College board of governors is reluctant to implement directives, the sources said the government would still take action against the officials by amending the law. The Higher Education Department has proposed that the government remove KC Principal Dr Bernadette Dean and Registrar Naima Khursheed from office and advertise their posts after giving additional charge of the posts to other senior faculty members.

According to the department's proposals, the tribunal's report, along with recommendations, be communicated to the board of governors for action; if the board is reluctant to remove the officials, a meeting of the chairman and board members be convened with the chief minister to consider the government's recommendations; and the government take measures steps for an institutional arrangement through an amendment in the current law if the matter remains unresolved after the meeting with the chief minister.

A controversy at the college surfaced in December 2009, when the principal ousted seven teachers for alleged misconduct, without consulting the Punjab government. When the media highlighted the issue, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was briefed on the matter and given a document signed by 97 KC faculty members, who accused the principal and the registrar of misuse of authority and financial irregularities in self-finance admissions. The chief minister referred the matter to the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department, and sought advice on the KC's status and the Punjab government's role in college affairs.

In its advice, the Law Department said the Punjab government could look into any issue of public interest, and the KC controversy fell in the domain of this authority.

The chief minister then formed a six-member inquiry tribunal headed by AZK Sherdil to look in detail into the complaints of misconduct and misadministration against the principal and the registrar. The tribunal was formed under the Inquiry Committees and Tribunals Ordinance 1969.

The team filed its report with the chief minister in the last week of February, with the observation that the confrontation between the principal and senior faculty members was a result of Dr Bernadette Dean's "stubborn attitude". It also said that the registrar's appointment was "unfair", and confirmed that there were irregularities in admissions on self-finance basis. In addition, the tribunal pointed out that KC's financial system was not sound and facing a deficit of Rs 37.715 million. It also found that the admissions list was not displayed in a transparent manner.

The sources said the chief minister then sought the Higher Education Department's input on the tribunal's observations.

The tribunal has also proposed that the government expand its role in college affairs while increasing its members in the board of governors. However, KC Principal Dr Dean said that the tribunal met Naima Khursheed and her, and "they were satisfied after the inquiry". She said claimed that even the report filed by the inquiry team did not mention any sort of mismanagement or irregularities in college affairs.

She said she had followed the policies defined by the board of governors for admissions to the college, and "there was no irregularity". "There are no irregularities in the KC's financial affairs ... the government regularly holds audits and everything is on the record," she said, adding that the KC board of governors ratified the appointment of the registrar. She said the Higher Education Department's recommendations had shocked her.

Meanwhile, key tribunal member and senior educationist Dr Arifa Syeda said that nobody had the right to comment on the tribunal's judgment, as it was a legal authority formed by the chief minister.

She said the inquiry team filed recommendations with the Higher Education Department after interviewing stakeholders and investigating the matter in detail. She said all tribunal members were extremely professional and credible people and they had done their duty, while the Higher Education Department had made the final decision in the matter on the basis of the tribunal report.

The KC board of governors chairman, Dr Alexander John Malik said that he had not decided anything about the recommendations by the Higher Education Department. He refused further comment. Daily times

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PU admin out to stop IJT event
Lahore: The Islami Jamiat Tulaba is planning to organise a "Shining Star Competition 2010" on Punjab University New Campus, while the PU administration has decided to stop the event.

The IJT activists on Tuesday set up a number of stalls on varsity campuses and collected copies of result cards of the last examination passed by respective students.

The IJT has decided that the top-scoring male and female students would be awarded a motorcycle and a laptop, respectively. Those, who had scored more than 60 per cent marks, would be awarded computers through balloting. The IJT would present 15 computers. Similarly, various other small prizes, including USBs and scarves, would be offered to shining students.

The IJT spokesman says former PU student union president Liaquat Baloch, IJT central president Abdul Rasheed, ex-Lahore nazim Mian Aamir Mahmood and others will also attend the function.

As the IJT had decided to hold the function on the ground of the chemical engineering faculty, the university administration has released water there to prevent the function.

PU IJT nazim Hasan Bin Salman criticised the university administration's act and said that it should cooperate with students instead of creating hurdles in holding positive activities. He said the university administration had given a negative message to students by using tactics to stop a positive activity.

Later, Punjab University granted affiliation to FG College of Commerce H-8/4 Islamabad to teach M Com classes. According to the notification issued by the Affiliation Branch of the Punjab University, Commerce College can hold classes with an intake limit of 45 students for the morning and 45 students for evening classes for the academic session 2010-2011.

FG Commerce College Principal Zaffar Ullah Khan Buttar thanked the authorities of the Punjab University for granting affiliation to his college to teach M.Com classes. He said he would try to fulfil all the requirements of the university and assured to produce good results, says a press release. Dawn

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PU test for jobs
Lahore: For the first time, a batch of 300 students from seven teaching departments of the Punjab University will appear in a written test on the varsity premises today (Wednesday) for jobs in the banking sector.

Chairman Career Counseling and Placement Centre Punjab University Prof Abdul Qayyum Chaudhary said here Tuesday that on the special directive of PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, the University had liaisoned with job sectors to help provide new jobs to fresh graduates who excelled in studies.

He said the first time in 128 years' history of the varsity, Bank Al-Falah will take a written test of around 300 short listed students out of 1,000 for banking jobs with an initial package of Rs 40,000 per month. He said the result would be announced only after two hours and successful students would be interviewed the same day.

Prof Qayyum said high achievers would be offered jobs subject to completion of their studies by the end of June next. He said students appearing for the test belonged to IBA, Institute of Business and IT, Institute of Administrative Science, Economics, Business Education (IER), Hailey College and Hailey College of Banking and Finance. The nation

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PMA for smooth promotion of doctors
Lahore: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has demanded the implementation of doctors' executive cadre without delay.

PMA Joint Secretary Dr Haq Nawaz Bharwana said in a statement on Tuesday that unnecessary delay in the implementation of doctors' executive cadre was causing administrative problems in hospitals and would also create hindrance in achieving the health sector targets set under the Millennium Development Goals 2015.

Dr Bharwana said that contract doctors should also be regularised and the health secretary should ensure the promotion of doctors from grade 18 and onwards without delay.

The PMA praised the Health Department's decision on promoting grade 17 doctors to 18 without bureaucratic hiccups.

The Surgical Oncology Society Pakistan (SOSP) has suggested the provision of optimum cancer care by making integrated cancer centers in all teaching hospitals.

Certain recommendations were given at the conclusion of a National Cancer Surgery Conference organised by the SOSP at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital.

Three hundred surgeons from different parts of the country attended the workshop. Live advanced cancer operations were also performed by the head of King Edward Medical University surgery department Prof Arshad Cheema and Prof Mumtaz Mehr. The operations were broadcast live to 400 teachers of medical colleges, district surgeons, trainee doctors and medical students.

Participants recommended that incidences of cancer and their outcome be documented, and adequate pain control for palliative care be addressed by the provision of cheap and effective morphine.

The conference also discussed the role of surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, primary carte physicians, the government and media. Dawn

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UHS employees strike
Lahore: The contract employees from grade 1 to 15 of the University of Health Sciences observed pen-down strike on the second consecutive day on Tuesday to protest against the university administration's decision of not regularizing them in violation of the orders of the Punjab government.

As a result of the strike, official work remained suspended. The protesters chanted slogans against the university administration headed by Vice Chancellor Prof Hussain Mubashar Malik, who, according to them, had been denying regularization to the contract employees.

They observed that all other institutions had complied with the Punjab government's orders and regularised all contract employees from grade 1 to 15 but the UHS administration committed violation of provincial government's orders and denied due right to the contract staff of the university.

Meanwhile, the protesting employees pointed out that Director (Admn and Coord) Col (retd) Jawaid Iqbal, who was allegedly appointed in violation of rules and regulations by the UHS administration, didn't attend the university during the last couple of days to, what they believed, escape the accountability.

They demanded Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif take notice of the university's non-compliance of the orders. They urged the CM to intervene to regularise all contract employees of the university. They vowed to continue their protest till regularization of all contract employees. The news

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DPS security funds
Gujranwala: The Divisional Public School (DPS) administration has collected around Rs2 million security funds from students despite a ban imposed by the provincial government.

The administration collected another Rs8 million from members of the board of governors (BoG) under the same head.

Parents of students and some members of the BoG have protested the forced recovery of Rs500 from every student and called it "extortion" while demanding an immediate reimbursement of the collection.

The Punjab government had banned collecting security funds from students in all educational institutions forcibly but the DPS administration collected huge sums of money under this head. Over 3,800 students are studying in the school.

A BoG member, Haji Muhammad Murad, opposed the proposal but the administration did not abandon the process and instead collected another Rs8 million from all members of the BoG as security fund. Sources said that the school administration had Rs50 million deposits in its bank accounts.

The divisional commissioner, who heads the DPS administration, said that these funds were required to construct a hostel for students.

However, the exercise would not be repeated as it was a one-time activity. Dawn

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LUMS new initiatives
Lahore: Lahore University of Management and Science (LUMS) is going to introduce several initiatives aimed at improving the university's institutional effectiveness.

Central to this effort will be the development of a process of learning outcomes assessment, and Harvard University assessment expert Scott Barge will be visiting LUMS this week to help launch the process.

Barge has helped universities in several countries to implement a dynamic system of assessment, and visit will be a great asset to LUMS. He will be meeting LUMS community members individually and leading a workshop for all faculty members.

As LUMS is the first university in Pakistan to embark on an initiative of this kind, observers from the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the Pakistan Engineering Council and other local institutions will be invited to participate. The nation

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GCU ceramics artwork
Lahore: An exhibition of ceramics by students of Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa Degree College, Nicholson Road, opened at Minhas Art Gallery of Government College University on Tuesday.

The exhibittion was inaugurated by Punjab University College of Arts and design principal Dr Rahat Naveed Masood. A number of art lovers and students of various art institutions came to see the works.

The moving spirit behind the exhibition, Prof Iftikhar Butt said that the exhibition was the outcome of a 15-day workshop he conducted with the students at Ayesha Degree College. Mr Butt said though the college had a fine arts wing, it did not have ceramics department. "It's the initiative of the college's fine arts faculty that bore fruit and we for the first time held a workshop for students on ceramics," he added.

Some 60 or so students had displayed their artworks. The students had worked on various ideas through their works which were rich in terms of creativity and novelty. There was also a competition among the participating students for the exhibition. The jury members were Rahat Naveed Masood, Prof Iftikhar Butt and Prof Babar.

Sidra Saleem bagged the first position for her ceramics piece of art titled 'Destruction of worlds.' Ms Saleem said she drew the inspiration from the Hollywood movie, 2012.

Saba Kazmi stood second and her artwork was based on still life.

Nadia Naseer won the third position whose work was based on the architecture of Hazrat Bahauddin Zikriya's tomb in Multan. Other students worked on various ideas and some had done calligraphy on their art.

Sadia Zaka, one of the faculty members of Ayesha Degree College, had also exhibited some of her artworks. Zaka drew inspiration from the floral motifs of Wazir Khan mosque.

The exhibition will remain open till March 24. Dawn

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