National Internship Programme new summary

Ministry plans to redesign NIP
Islamabad, March 05: Spreading its wings to address the issue of unemployment among youth on war footing, the Ministry of Youth Affairs plans to redesign the summary of the National Internship Programme (NIP) in order to include majority of youth and ensure employment for those trained under the programme.

A source in the ministry said that in addition to relaxing the condition of 16 years of education, the new summary will come up with a dynamic employment strategy for internees. "The focus will be to provide technical training to youth that matches industrial requirements," said that source.

He said that currently NIP is applicable to those who have completed 16 years of education. "In this way, it is mostly catering to the need of urban population with 80 to 90 per cent of internships going to urban youth thus ignoring the majority of youth (70 per cent) who live in rural areas."

In the new NIP summary, he said that the ministry plans to introduce quota in accordance with educational qualification ranging from matriculation to masters. "The aim is to utilise the potential of youth that make 40 per cent of our total population for the development of the country," he pointed out adding that there are plenty of employment opportunities for trained and skilled workforce. NIP is designed to benefit educated and unemployed youth of the country.

Presently, he said it caters to those who have completed 16 years of education from HEC-recognised universities or degree awarding institutions. The scheme is intended to provide hands on experience and temporary financial relief to unemployed and educated youth and also to keep them engaged and interested in acquiring additional knowledge and real work life experiences. The maximum age limit for consideration under the programme is 25 years.

The internship under the programme is a placement, which will automatically terminate after one year and as such must not be construed as granting any right to absorption or job with the government. The interns are entitled to a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 during the period of their placement, subject to satisfactory performance, duly verified by the recipient organisations.

To make the internship programme more result-oriented, he said that negotiations are under way with the World Bank for effective collaboration in this regard. He said that the ministry is in the process of arranging a workshop for need assessment. "The changes will be made considering the industry trends," he said. Talking about another feature of the proposed summary, he said that it will focus on providing basic skills to aspiring candidates that will include English language course and computer and professional training.

"Previous experiences have shown that the biggest hurdle faced by youth in getting respectable employment is lack of such skills." Currently, the ministry is busy in placing applicants for the third phase of NIP.

According to statistics provided by the ministry, around 70,000 applications have been received for the third phase. Among them, 25,545 applications have been verified and 14,407 are pending for verification with Higher Education Commission. The news

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Teachers protest against principal's excesses
Rawalpindi: The Divisional Public School and College (DPSC) principal here on Thursday locked dozens of female teachers with the help of security guards when they tried to stage a protest against what they termed his 'excesses'.

Female teachers scuffled with security guards on the premises of the academic institution. The principal locked all teachers when they tried to go to the road for staging a protest against him. Two teachers - Nilofer Jaffery and physical training instructor Nazia were injured in scuffle with security guards. Some teachers started weeping after seeing their injured colleagues.

After some time, teachers and non-teaching staff broke locks and protested against DPSC Principal Dr. Ubaidullah. They blocked the main Shamsabad Road for an hour to record their protest against the principal's bad behaviour. The protesters urged Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the principal's high-handedness, who, with the help of security guards, kept dozens of female teachers and non-teaching staff in illegal custody for half-an-hour.

The protesters threatened the Punjab government to take notice of the incident within 24 hours otherwise they would stage a protest in front of the Parliament House.

A heavy contingent of police reached the spot to maintain law and order. Hundreds of students and parents also witnessed the incident. Media persons were not allowed to enter the premises of the academic institution.

DPSC Principal Dr Ubaidullah said that he could not allow teachers and non-teaching staff to leave the premises before 2 p.m. "I wanted to maintain peace in the academic institution, but some teachers and non-teaching staff created an unpleasant atmosphere," he said. He said that he tried to negotiate with protesters, asking them not to protest against him. He said that the protest has given a bad name to the institution, students and parents.

Addressing the protesters, DPSC Boys Senior Section Headmaster Masood Ahmed Gill said that they could not work under Dr. Ubaidullah because he uses vulgar language and misbehaves with them. He said that several ad hoc employees have not been given salaries for the last one year. According to him, "If these employees open their mouths, they are hurled threats of termination by the principal". He said that the principal kept them locked in illegal custody for half-an-hour on Thursday.

Junior Section Headmistress Nilofer Jaffery said that security guards pulled her and she sustained injuries after falling on the ground. "The principal treats all teachers and non-teaching staff roughly and uses foul language against them," she said. "We would stage a protest in front of the Parliament House if the concerned authorities didn't take action against the principal."

Senior Accounts Officer Ashfaq Ahmed said that the principal gets fake bills signed by the accounts staff. "The academic institution has adequate funds but the principal has stopped salaries and other dues of several employees for the last one year. All employees approach me, but I am unable to do anything without the orders of the principal," he said.

Naib Qasid Shaheen Naz said that she could not avail even a single leave for the last two years. "I approached the principal's office time and again for taking leave, but he always threatened me of termination from service," she said.

Security guards, on condition of anonymity said that they blocked protesters on the directives of the principal, saying that they being poor could not afford unemployment.

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Seminar held at NUST
Islamabad: The NUST Centre for Career Counselling & Advisory (NUST-C3A) held a seminar on 'Emotional Intelligence' here on Thursday.

NUST Rector Lieutenant General Engineer Muhammad Asghar was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr. Farah Malik, head of the Psychology Department at Government College University (GCU), Lahore, Mauna Gauhar, mental health professional, and Corporate Trainer Dr. Siham Sikandar were the key speakers on the occasion.

The NUST rector explained the 'spiritual psychology' of Islam. He said that the expression 'spiritual psychology' covers the vast realm of the human spirit with its almost illimitable frontiers. The spiritual doctors divide soul into three parts or overlapping centres of energy namely 'nafs', 'qalb' and 'rooh'.

He said that 'nafs' is the force that binds us to the physical existence. "It consists of the desire to fulfil our physical body needs like food, drink, rest, sleep and sexual desire. It has the urges of self-preservation, self-perpetuation and self-aggrandisement. 'Nafs' is the connecting link between the physical body and the intelligent mind. 'Nafs' by its nature pulls us down and can lead us to the status of 'Asfal al Safaleen'," he added.

He said that 'rooh' is the net energy centre. It is the exact opposite of 'nafs'. 'Rooh' is the breath of God. Its very essence is the love of Allah Almighty and hence it always pulls the humans upward towards Allah. Allah Almighty says, "My mercy prevails over my anger." This is reflected in human soul in the form of selflessness, sincerity and generosity etc. The knowledge of 'rooh' is purely intuitive and it can be acquired through spiritual practices. It enjoys spiritual practices. It enjoys the highest degree of certainty of knowledge.

Director C3A Brigadier (r) Ubric Marvin Cornelius in his welcome address said that 'Emotional Intelligence' plays a vital role in defining our course of action and shaping our destiny throughout our lives.

Dr. Farah said that a lot of research has been done on emotional intelligence. "There are many factors of emotions and those are psychological arousal, conscious experience and behavioural expression.

First we have to understand ourselves and then we can understand others. There are many negative emotions that can be perceived by stories, voices and music, which are directly not experienced.

The main domains of emotional intelligence are interpersonal, intrapersonal, adaptability, stress management and general mood," she said. The seminar was attended by a large number of students and faculty members.

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Students honour wonder girl
Rawalpindi: "Dear Naseem Hameed, you have brought glory to Pakistan and the whole country is proud of you. I read about you in the newspaper. You won a gold medal in 100-metre race in 11.81 seconds in the South Asian Games and have become the fastest woman in South Asia. Our principal informed us about your achievement. I also like sports and one day, I will win a gold medal just like you."

This was a letter by a student of Class III at Chand Nagar School, Westridge, Rawalpindi, written to our renowned athlete, Naseem Hameed, who recently brought laurels to the country by winning a gold medal in 100-metre race at the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka.

All students of Class II and III of Chand Nagar School have written such letters, appreciating the efforts of Naseem Hameed for her marvellous achievement. The school intends to post all letters to the athlete.

"What this 22-year-old girl has done is simply remarkable and we need to acknowledge her effort on every platform," said the Principal, Yasmin Ashraf. She said when Naseem won gold medal, the students of her school were briefed in the morning assembly and also during their classes regarding her achievement.

"Women's Day is approaching and we thought to honour Naseem's achievements in a special way. The students were so inspired by her feat that we suggested them to write letters to her to convey their feelings," Yasmin Ashraf said.

The principal said that girls now have multiple career choices, as they could pursue any career they wish without much resistance. "A girl from the humble areas of Karachi has done us proud by becoming the fastest South Asian woman. No woman would have thought of pursuing sports as a career in the 70s and early 80s but now the times have changed and we have witnessed the response of the whole country after Naseem's victory," she said.

The principal was of the view that we need to teach the younger generation about our great sportsmen, who are the shining stars of Pakistan. She suggested the teachers to highlight the country's positive aspects among the students and inculcate the same into them via curriculum, as the students get inspiration from them and try to replicate it.

She urged to inculcate values, ethics and morals in our education system and recommended carrying our sportspersons' achievement in the curriculum, as firstly, they are our heroes and secondly, children are more inclined towards sports and games. The principal opined that we should teach the children about all Pakistani sportsmen and sportswomen regardless of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Sami Ullah, Jahangir Khan, Jansher Khan and many shining stars have been produced by our country, who have achieved great triumphs, and our young generation should know about them.

"Since our school has its own syllabus, we make it a point not to burden the kids with weighty books and instead make them informed through various informative activities. We are designing books that highlight our own heroes, who have done wonders in their fields. We have combined History and Islamiat and have come up with Humane Education, and combined Social Studies and Science to make Factual Science," she said.

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Science competition ended
Peshawar: The grand finale of the Science and Technology & Information Technology competition that ended here Thursday provided an opportunity to girl students to display their talent through their models.

Some of them were rewarded with prizes as their models were judged among the best. For others, just being able to participate in the three-day competition was a rewarding experience. A total of 450 projects were exhibited at the event held at Nishtar Hall. The participants, mostly students of different grades, were drawn from various parts of the NWFP including the militancy-hit Swat and Buner districts.

A visit to the venue showed that the event was informative and interesting for those associated with medical, agricultural and several other fields. Girl students from almost all the districts presented their projects during the exhibition and won rewards. Prominent among girls were from Swat, Kohat, Abbottabad and Peshawar.

Malaika, a student of grade-I from Government Primary School Sawaldher village in Mardan district was delighted as her group was awarded for the project she had displayed to explain the law of conservation of mass.

None of the students from the restive Swat district secured any prizes in the competition, but their participation proved that life was returning to normalcy in the valley after going through turmoil in recent years.

The contest can be termed an achievement for the Directorate of Science and Technology that organised the mega event and provided a platform to the students to exhibit their creations to a wider audience at the biggest, or rather only such hall, in the province.

Kainat, Javeria and Sehrish of intermediate pre-medical group from the ICMS Girls College, Peshawar performed an experiment using garlic juice and paste showing that the use of garlic as part of the diet could fight asthma.

Kainat said garlic was an effective homemade remedy for asthma and had been in use for ages but only as an additional taste to the food. "Through experiment, we have discovered that like many other herbs, garlic could be used as a cure for asthma," she said.

She explained that after consulting a doctor from a reputed medical centre, her group of students asked a patient to take a specific amount of garlic along with other medicines. "We then found that the patient's pulmonary function increased from 45 to 68 per cent. According to the physicians, normal PFT level was 70 per cent," she said.

She added that the use of garlic has some side effects that could be addressed by adding honey to the juice or mixing garlic paste in milk. Prof Dr F Subhani from the Post-Graduate College, Mardan, who had brought students for participation in the exhibition and won the second prize in one category, said that the participants who did not win prizes should not give up and continue their efforts to do better next time.

The chief minister invited the participants to the Chief Minister's House and announced prizes for the participants. Jamal Nasir, who did his matriculation from Takhtbhai in Mardan, was happy after being given Rs50,000 cash prize for his model of a mixer that he had made to mix edibles and sell as a vendor in the bazaar. His model had attracted attention at the exhibition.

Mohammad Ayub Ashari, NWFP Minister for Science and Technology, as chief guest in place of the chief minister at the concluding ceremony gave away prizes to the winners.

"It is very encouraging to note that even after having passed through a tense situation in the past one year due to militancy and military operation, the youth of the province are confident and have not given up hope and struggle," said Dr Salahuddin, who was among the visitors at the exhibition. The news

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PAL to release new book
Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) will release the book titled "In Defence of Peace, Poetry and Culture" in the three-day International Conference on "Sufism and Peace" scheduled to be held on March 14.

Pakistan has a centuries old tradition of preservation of culture and peace. In our days, the term, 'resistance', defines this tradition hich is the tradition of great sufi poets, said Fakhar Zaman, Chairman PAL.

Shah Hussain, Shah Latif Bhatai, Rehman Baba, Jam Durrak, Sacchal Sami, Bulleh Shah, Ahmad Rahi, Faiz, Gulkhan Naseer, Ghani Khan, Sheikh Ayaz and then of Lorka, Gorki, Neruda, Nazim Hikmat and Ilya Ehrenberg are of the links of the same chain, he added.

Fakhar Zaman said that the resistance related to peace and culture has remained, and is, own tradition as well. Poems and novels or political activism are the creation and continuity of this tradition.

He said that the present conference is a logical continuation of all the previous Conferences, inner dialectical continuation.

Whatever were the titles of previous conferences; they were based on the movement of culture and peace.

The book brilliantly compiled and edited by Ahmad Salim is an honest effort to view all this history and tradition of resistance in the historical perspective and continuation.

He said that all the progressive writers and poets of all the languages of Pakistan and India, Faiz, Mulk Raj Anand, Rajinder Singh Bedi and Gurbakhsh Singh are few names with which attached is the name of Arundhati Roy of our times.

He said that this book would be a milestone in the peace efforts. It includes a selection of representative articles presented in various conferences on peace during 1932 to 2009. It is started by Maxim Ghorki and continues till date. The book is divided into six chapters according to the conferences held in past.

Fakhar Zaman is the chief editor while Ahmad Salim is the editor of this book. APP

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