KU admission process hit by political pressures
Karachi, March 07: Political pressures mainly from the parties in the coalition government are responsible for a number of irregularities in the BS (bachelor of studies) admission process at Karachi University with a significant number of students getting admission at the cost of those who deserved it.
The extent of political pressure can be gauged from the fact that the head of the admission committee, Prof Dr Saleem Shehzad, was recently locked in his room for over half an hour by student-cum-political activists who wanted their colleagues enrolled in the university.
Prof Dr Shehzad was lucky that he rang up the administration and was rescued by the Rangers after half an hour, but no action was taken against the culprits involved in this act of humiliating a teacher.
A similar incident took place last year, which was widely reported in the media but no action followed. So merit has naturally taken a backseat.
According to sources, the admission process that should have been completed in December last year continues as more and more students are reportedly being admitted to the departments. This year, around 4,800 students were given BS admissions, according to Prof Dr Saleem Shehzad.
So far, the university has issued three merit lists and as many claim lists. According to the third 'valid' claim, which is also available on the internet, 59 more students were inducted into BS (third year) master's classes while 109 students were inducted into BS first year. The students were asked to submit fees by Jan 20.
A claim list is issued when there are objections to the merit list on grounds that deserving students with higher percentages have been deprived of admissions.
According to sources, the issuance of three claim lists by the KU administration clearly shows that the merit lists earlier issued were faulty as they were later challenged. Secondly, the large number of students inducted through various claim lists point to the extent of irregularities. This, however, does not include the individual cases which are still being attended to at departments.
There are also serious concerns over the lack of teachers' involvement in the admission process, which, according to KU teachers, has entirely been left to clerical staff.
"Though there are 16 members of the admission committee which involve teachers, most of them exist only on paper. The entire job of data management and verification is handled by clerks," a teacher said, adding that the process of marksheet verification was not being properly followed.
Regarding the problems being faced due to the increased admissions, a teacher said that science departments were particularly facing difficulties due to lack of infrastructural facilities and shortage of staff.
"The number of students has been increased without considering the student-teacher ratio, classroom and lab facilities. We have pointed out this anomaly to the administration many times," she said.
Voicing teachers' reservations over the admission process, Prof Dr Fayyaz Vaid, the secretary of the Karachi University Teachers Society, said the university had limited resources and increased admissions beyond the declared seat allocation had been a constant headache for the university teachers for the last few years.
"At an academic council's meeting held last year before the admissions, I had raised the same point and called upon the administration that they should not give admissions more than the stated seat limit. Also, I requested that the administration must send the details of admissions offered on quotas. This is the area where there are chances of easy manipulations," he said.
Commenting on the current centralised admission procedure, Dr Vaid said there was a dire need to decentralise the system. "The centralisation of authority in a few individuals may lead to misuse of powers. Hence, there is a genuine need to involve a few teachers from every department in the admission process."
Prof Dr Saleem Shehzad, head of the KU admission committee, admitted that he had been facing immense pressures from political parties during the admission process for the past two years.
"Yes, I was locked in by PSF student activists a few days ago. But they didn't threaten or harass me. They were demanding admission for some students who were not eligible."
Dr Shehzad denied that new admissions were still being made. When asked about increasing the number of departmental seats and issuance of three claim lists, he said:
"Actually, many students didn't submit their fees on time. We assumed that the students were not interested in admission and called other students who were on the waiting list. Later, the students submitted their fees and caused some problem in a few departments. However, no teacher complained to me on this issue in writing."
According to Dr Shehzad, the checking of educational credentials was the responsibility of the enrollment section and last year admissions of 16 students were cancelled.
"It takes time. And, usually, it's after a semester that we get details about the genuineness of marksheets."
About teachers' involvement, he said the departments were asked to get involve in the verification of their students' academic credentials, but none except a few responded. Dawn
KU announces MA final (external) results
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Saturday announced the results of MA final external annual examinations 2008.
Some 2,151 candidates appeared in the examinations.
Waqas Ahmed Ansari, with 598 marks out of the maximum 1,000 marks, was declared first. Asma Yasmeen secured second position with 596 marks and Mohammad Munieer Anwar who obtained 579 marks got third position. APP
LUMHS plagiarism cases
Hyderabad: A professor, two assistant professors and an associate professor were issued warnings by the management of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences against publication of their data in any journal of the IDOSI publications.
The warnings followed recommendation by the Plagiarism Standing Committee, formed by the LUMHS under the directives of Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Professor Dr Abdul Aziz Leghari, Associate Professor Dr K. Altaf Hussain Talpur and assistant professors Dr A.K. Sangrasi and Dr Arshad M. Malik were issued warnings by Registrar, LUMHS on March 3.
Besides warning, the Committee also recommended against giving credit to any article published in any of the journals of IDOSI publications and the HEC was requested to critically evaluate all journals and publicize any unethical practice.
The committee was constituted to look into the complaint against seven professors, including the above four. The Vice-Chancellor LUMHS said that the inquiry has cleared Dr Shahida Parveen and Dr Aisha Memon as their names appeared only in one journal which did not prove charges against them while Prof Ghulam Nabi Qureshi has retired from the service.
Dr Faisal Ghani Siddiqui is reported to have sent a compliant to the HEC after he came across research paper's publication in two journalists. His complaint was forwarded to LUMHS with directives for an inquiry last month. Dawn
Book on Indian Walmarts
Karachi: Former director of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), Iqbal Ismail Calcuttawala launched his first book 'Footprints in the Sand - The Rise and Fall of Walmarts of India' at an exclusive gathering of dignitaries from different walks of life at a local hotel here in Karachi.
The book details the achievements of three Bantva companies that dominated Indian trade in the early 20th century. It also shed light on the pivotal role that Haji Habib Haji Peermohamed, Hoosen Kasam Dada and Sir Adamjee Haji Dawood played in the struggle for independence of Pakistan under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam.
Ismail said that the book is a chronology of major institutions that formed the backbone of Pakistan's economy then and even now are a part of it. He also said that he felt honoured to have penned down the birth, rise and fall of the 'Walmarts of India'. The news
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