National Internship Programme interns

43,000 interns currently placed under NIP
Islamabad, March 08: Secretary Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) has said that under the National Internship Programme, 43,000 interns are currently placed in ministries/divisions and district government offices all over the country.

He stated this at a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Youth Affairs that was held at the Committee Room of the National Assembly Secretariat under the chairmanship of Senator Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi.

The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the slow verification of degrees from HEC and delay in the provision of stipends to interns.

The MoYA secretary informed the meeting that a total of Rs2.34 million-budget has already been released to different provinces through Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) for NIP.

He further briefed the committee regarding the late utilisation of funds where interns are not being provided stipends in time, although the ministry has released funds to the concerned AG offices.

The committee was further informed that in many districts of NWFP, interns are not being paid timely stipends.

It was decided that the sub committees of Senate standing committees would hold meetings in the provinces to take up stipend related issues in which the concerned provincial government AG, district accounts officer and district coordination officer would participate.

The committee was informed that some universities have very slow response regarding degree verification, which must be expedited. The committee proposed that the universities' grant might be inter-linked with the verification ratio to expedite the verification process.

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Clashes at NWFP Agricultural University
Peshawar: The increasing incidents of clashes between various student organisations have caused serious concern among the teachers and students of the NWFP Agricultural University.

Worried about the situation, the Agricultural University Teachers Association (AUTA) convened a meeting of its executive council with its president Prof Dr Fida Muhammad in the chair.

The teachers' representatives condemned the frequent exchange of fire between activists of various student organisations in the university. The meeting was informed that three students had sustained injuries in an incident, but the varsity administration deliberately kept it secret and failed to take any step to avert such incidents.

The members of the body expressed dissatisfaction over the prevailing situation on the campus, particularly of the agricultural university. "How such a huge quantity of arms was brought into the university in the presence of the proctors, wardens and other administrative and security personnel," the meeting observed.

The participants of the meeting were of the opinion that the main reason of such incidents was the lack of full-time vice-chancellor in the university. They stated that the tenure of the incumbent acting vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Said Khan Khalil, expired on January 2, 2010 with his retirement from service.

The meeting demanded of the chancellor of the university and NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani to constitute a judicial committee to probe the matter and book the culprits. The AUTA appreciated the concern of the NWFP Assembly regarding the undesirable and unlawful appointment of the incumbent vice-chancellor on acting basis despite his candidature for the slot for fourth consecutive term in violation of the university stature.

The meeting maintained that the teaching community of the university would be grateful to the chancellor for looking into the concern of the provincial assembly. The AUTA reiterated that the government ought to have started the selection process of vice-chancellor well in time so that the permanent vice-chancellor could have taken over soon after the retirement of the incumbent one.

The AUTA demanded of the chancellor to replace the incumbent vice-chancellor with secretary agriculture for interim period. As the incumbent VC got extension 3 times in the past and this time he was again a candidate for the same slot. To save this university from further unrest, the selection of regular vice-chancellor should be expedited, the meeting declared.

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PG trainees postings
Rawalpindi: The Punjab Ministry of Health will sanction 150 posts of postgraduate trainees for the Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) and its allied hospitals during the current month.

The ministry has given approval of 500 posts of postgraduate trainees to be distributed among all medical colleges and allied hospitals in the province. "The RMC and its allied hospitals would be given major share from the approved posts," said Punjab Additional Health Secretary Dr. Mushtaq Sulehria.

He said that the ministry submitted a proposal to the Punjab Ministry of Finance demanding 750 posts of postgraduate trainees. "However the Ministry of Finance has approved 500 posts in the first phase."

To a query, he said, work regarding distribution of the approved posts among medical colleges and allied hospitals would be finalised next week and institutions would be able to start induction process this month.

The Rawalpindi chapter of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) hailed the decision of the Punjab Ministry of Health, terming the increase in posts of postgraduate trainees "a need of time". At present, the RMC and its allied hospitals have about 230 postgraduate trainees in the 'paid category'.

"In view of the workload in Rawalpindi's allied hospitals, we have requested the provincial government to sanction 222 posts of PG trainees," said Chief Controller Examination Rawalpindi Region at CPSP and Professor of Medicine at RMC Dr. Shoaib Shafi.

He said that sanctioning of 150 posts in the first phase would help junior doctors to have adequate training in fields of their interest and in the long run, the health sector would be further strengthened.

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UoP policy approved
Peshawar: The senate of University of Peshawar has in principal approved more concrete policy to eliminate chances of plagiarism, introduce more sophisticated system to identify any malpractice in this respect and ensure upholding of moral values to achieve the desired standard of research studies.

According to a handout, a meeting held under the chairmanship of NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani at Governor's House, conceded to a proposal to enact new laws for award of more strict punishment to the students, if found guilty of committing plagiarism in the research studies.

It was stressed that the management of the university should acquire the latest computer software and modern systems to detect malpractices in the examination system and ensure complete transparency in conduct of research studies.

Secretary to governor Sikander Qayum and secretary for higher education Atta-ur-Rehman Lodhi were also present on the occasion where UoP VC Prof Dr Azmat Hayat briefed the meeting about working of the institution.

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PISD school appointments
Islamabad: The ambassador to Syria, after appointing his kith and kin at the Pakistan International School in Damascus (PISD), has turned rough on the teacher who went vocal against him in the media and has issued a show-cause notice to her.

But Ms Manal Suleman, the only teacher in Syria who conducts biology practical for senior Cambridge examination, is brave enough to face the rampage of the ambassador, saying the truth can never be suppressed.

Aminullah Raisani, the Ambassador, said he wanted the school to function properly and clarified that the principal of the school was not his sister, but from his tribe in Balochistan. He said instead of two, as mentioned in the report, his three daughters were teaching at the school at more than double pay than their predecessors.

Manal said four daughters of the ambassador had been hired by the school, but the ambassador confirmed only three. The ambassador admitted that he had sold shoes at the school and made it mandatory for every student to buy and wear those shoes, saying he wanted a uniform in the school.

"Students use to wear joggers, which was not appropriate," said the ambassador. "I studied in the Aitchison College, Lahore, and if there was a uniform there, why not in the PISD? That's why I sold shoes in the school."

He said the previous ambassador had appointed an incompetent and non-professional principal and women from massage centres at the school, while he had appointed competent teachers. "My three daughters are well qualified and can better serve the school," he claimed.

He said if the principal was from his tribe and another teacher was a Baloch of the Sindh province, who moved to Syria during the era of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, what was wrong with it? "Do the Sindhis and the Baloch have no right of getting appointed at a Pakistani school abroad?" he asked.

When told that no one had questioned the provincial divide in appointments at the PISD but nepotism had been proved, Raisani said the previous administration was incompetent and he had hired competent people.

Regarding the high salaries, the ambassador said the Board of Governors had approved the salaries, because the PISD was already paying less to the teachers. He said he headed the Board of Governors,.

The teachers of the PISD said the ambassador came to the school daily at 8:00 am in the morning to monitor the matters of the school and he even inspected the shoes of the students, which he had forcefully sold to them.

Raisani said he once visited the school and saw that the gatekeepers were sleeping. He said he wanted to make the school better. That was why he took interest in the school, he added. It is worth mentioning here that Raisani sacked the entire staff and faculty of the Pakistan International School in Damascus and appointed almost all his immediate family members.

Though he denied that the principal was his sister, but the faculty members of the school said he always portrayed her as his sister and the principal had been appointed on $6,500 per month, while her predecessor was getting only $2,500.

Ms Manal Suleman has been issued a show-cause notice after the story. In her reply, Manal stated: "The information reflected what was happening over the past months at the school, and were clear enough to be figured out without any effort. Your administration, with respect (as well as with evidence and proof), have done the school everything, except the basic task of any other school, which is education."

She said the PISD was taking the so-called early exams from the grade 11 students to send them on vacations to avoid criticism by parents of senior students. She said one teacher, Muder-ul-Hassan, was sacked on the basis of fake degree, while he had proved in a court of law that his degree was original and now, the ambassador and the school might be sued for their act.

She also mentioned that the son of an employee of the embassy had been hired as librarian on a great package, while he was said to be just a matriculate, as he had appeared in the grade 11 examination last year.

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DPSC news clarification
Rawalpindi: Divisional Public School and College (DPSC) Principal Dr. Muhammad Ubaidullah, clarifying a news item published on March 5 regarding teachers' protest, termed it against the facts.

He said that on March 4, out of a total 150-plus teachers and employees of the academic institution, nearly 20 teachers and employees protested illegally. He said that neither any teacher or employee was subjected to misbehaviour within or outside the school premises nor any scuffle took place. So there was no question of injury to any teacher or staff member. He said that no teacher or staff member was stopped from staging the protest or locked as has been mentioned in the news item.

He also rejected that a heavy contingent of police arrived at the scene. He said that in fact not a single policeman turned up at the scene nor police were called. He claimed that it was a small protest.

He claimed that his version in the news item was presented in a distorted form. He said in his version he had informed that legal proceedings were underway in the Board of Governors and Executive Committee against two employees of the academic institution namely Mrs Nilofer (headmistress of the junior section) and Tanveer Ali (bursar).

He said that a sub-committee of Board of Governors had recommended action against Mrs Nilofer for her involvement in illegal activities in the academic institution. He said that the two employees, with the help of a few staff members, protested on the institution's premises "to blackmail me and to stop proceeding against them".

He said, "I have taken charge of my office four years back and within this period the institution has given the best results in its 20-year history. On my performance, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif not only awarded me a gold medal and certificate of honour but also awarded Rs100,000 as cash prize that I have donated to the school. Similarly the salaries of all teachers and employees have been doubled during last three years."

According to the principal, the Divisional Public School and College was said to be a 'sick unit' and bad results and budget deficit were its 'identity.' While today, the situation is entirely different. "I would like to say that it is the result of teamwork. Only a few employees of the institution have put its honour at stake for their own vested interests," he added. The news

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