Sports quota at universities sweet will
Lahore, March 11: In the absence of Higher Education Commission (HEC) guidelines on sports quota, public sector universities across the country are filling seats on this quota at their discretion.
This practice is resulting in lack of a uniform policy regarding admissions to the universities on the basis of sports. The data revealed that while a number of universities have been ignoring the sports quota for admissions, the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, (UAF) has taken the lead by admitting 126 students on the quota to various undergraduate programmes in September 2009. Interestingly, the UAF prospectus shows that only 21 seats were to be filled on the quota. The UAF administration claims that the seats, filled through the quota, are in conformity with the HEC directions and no anomaly has taken place.
However, a comparison of the UAF with some other universities, dealing with agriculture education, exposes that the university had laid extraordinary emphasis on filling seats on the sports basis.
It has been learnt that the NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, admitted only eight students on the sports quota in September 2009 intake against a total of 1,492 seats in undergraduate programmes, the Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, 15 against over 1,100 seats, and the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, 13 against over 400 seats excluding evening programmes.
Interestingly, the Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, did not enrol even a single student on the sports quota in September 2009 intake.
The UAF Undergraduate Prospectus (Session 2009-2010) clearly showed there were only 21 seats allocated for admission to various undergraduate degree courses on the sports basis. According to the break-up, 11 of the seats were for BSc (Hons) Agri Sciences: Agriculture/Agricultural & Resource Economics/Food Science & Technology/Animal Science, 1 BSc (Hons) Agriculture for DG Khan Campus and 2 for Depalpur Sub-Campus, 1 for BSc (Hons) Poultry Science at Toba Tek Singh (TTS) Sub-Campus, 4 for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), 1 for BSc (Hons) Home Economics and 1 for BSc Agricultural Engineering.
But as many as 57 students were given admission on the sports quota to the UAF's Agriculture Faculty (under pool admission), 23 in its DVM programme, 21 in BSc Agricultural Engineering and the rest in other programmes. A total of over 1,400 students were enrolled in the UAF in September 2009.
A comparison of allocation of sports seats in institutions offering five-year DVM degree programmes in the country also showed the UAF had 'outshined' the rest. At present, there are 10 public sector veterinary institutions offering the five-year DVM degree programme in the country.
According to the details, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences UVAS had enrolled four students on sports quota, UVAS College of Veterinary Sciences, Jhang, 1, UAF's Faculty of Veterinary Science 24, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, 2, Faculty of Veterinary Science, NWFP University of Agriculture, Peshawar, 1, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Gomal University, DI Khan 0, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, 0, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Lesbela University of Agriculture Water and Marine Sciences, Uthal, Balochistan 0, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bahauddin, Zakariya University, Multan, 0, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Islamia University, Bahawalpur, 1.
When contacted, Dr Alamdar Hussain Malik, Secretary/Registrar of Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC), also confirmed that as per the record available with the council, the Veterinary Faculty of the UAF had admitted students on sports quota more than any other institution in the same faculty.
"I cannot recall that such a huge enrolment against the sport quota has been under taken in the past in veterinary faculty of any of the 10 public sector institutions of the country," he maintained.
Dr Alamdar further said normally two to four students were allowed to enroll on sport quota, adding that the recent move of the UAF authorities indicated that quality of education and merit was not a priority of the institution.
"The HEC is also required to probe the matter and also take remedial measures to ensure such a practice is not followed in future."
Sources in the UAF said the extraordinary admissions on sports basis had become a subject of a heated debate not only in the university circles but also among the faculty of other universities.
They said the faculty was divided over the seats mentioned in the prospectus as according to some faculty members, the number mentioned in prospectus was final because prospectus was an official document duly approved by various statutory bodies of the university, including the Academic Council, however, some viewed that the VC was authorised to make changes.
They said there were rumours that most of the admissions were made under pressure from different quarters as unlike admission on self-finance scheme, those enrolled on the sports quota had to pay normal fees.
When contacted, UAF Faculty of Veterinary Dean Prof Dr Akbar Lodhi said he had taken over as dean after the admission process, agreeing that the number of admissions on sports quota was certainly high in his faculty.
"The sports quota should be low while more and more admissions should be made on open merit for professional degrees," he said.
When asked why there was difference between sports seats mentioned in the university prospectus and those actually enrolled, Dr Lodhi said the Academic Council had authorised the vice-chancellor to bring about changes.
UAF Faculty of Agriculture Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Ashfaq, when contacted, confirmed that around 50 students were enrolled in his faculty alone on the sports basis. Talking about prospectus, he said it was based on rough estimates.
Dr Ashfaq said as per the HEC guidelines, four percent of the total admissions were to be made on the sports quota.
UAF VC Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said he did not remember exactly how many admissions were made on the sports quota, adding, however, he knew four percent of the total admissions had to be made on the quota.
"I can give you exact details after going through the record," he added.
PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, VC Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan did not attend phone calls despite repeated attempts. However, the university's Public Relation Officer (PRO) Muhammad Musa Kalim confirmed that no student was enrolled on the sports basis.
"No admission is made on the sports quota at PMAS Arid Agriculture University," he said, adding that "however, besides open merit, admissions are made on provincial and quota for the disabled."
NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, VC Prof Dr Said Khan Khalil said the university had followed one percent sports quota policy in the recent admissions.
When contacted, HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said he did not know exactly the admission policy in universities on sports quota.
"If I recall earlier there was policy of two percent quota and later the Cabinet introduced four percent quota," he said.
Dr Naqvi agreed that there was a need of uniform implementation mechanism for admissions on sports basis in the universities, saying that the procedure should be transparent so that only good players could be inducted on the quota. The news
PU announces DCH, DCP exams results
Lahore: Punjab University Examinations Department has announced the results of Diploma in Child Health (DCH), annual examination 2007, Diploma in Clinical Pathology (DCP), annual examination 2007, Diploma in Laryngology and Otology, Part-II supplementary examination 2007, supplementary examination 2008 and annual examination 2009 and Diploma in Medical Radiology Therapeutics, Part-II, supplementary examination 2008 and annual examination 2009.
According to details, in Diploma in Child Health (DCH), annual examination 2007, 36.36 percent students were passed, in Diploma in Clinical Pathology (DCP), annual examination 2007 the pass percentage remained 50.00%, in Diploma in Laryngology and Otology, Part-II, supplementary examination 2007, supplementary examination 2008 & annual examination 2009 the pass percentage remained 50.00% and in Diploma in Medical Radiology Therapeutics, Part-II, supplementary examination 2008 and annual examination 2009 100 percent students were passed. The nation
Danish schools project
Lahore: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the government is attaching top priority to the uplift of the education sector and has taken revolutionary steps for the purpose.
He was addressing a seminar with regard to Danish School System at his secretariat here on Wednesday, says a handout.
The CM said the project would ensure provision of modern academic facilities to students of far-flung and backward areas.
Punjab Minister for Local Government Sardar Dost Muhammad Khan Khosa, former finance minister Sartaj Aziz, taskforce chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar, MNAs, MPAs, educationists, vice-chancellors and principals of various educational institutions and senior officers concerned were also present on the occasion.
The meeting, which lasted for over four hours, discussed various aspects of the Danish School System and development of education sector.
The chief minister said students would be educated in two shifts in Danish schools and they would also have free boarding and lodging facilities. He said best teachers would be selected for the schools on merit. He said the project of Danish schools had been started from Bahawalpur division of southern Punjab.
Referring to the steps taken by the government for the uplift of education sector, the chief minister said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund had been set up for the first time in the history of the country for providing financial assistance to talented students facing economic problems to enable them to continue their studies.
Appreciating the proposals put forward at the seminar for Danish schools and uplift of education sector, the chief minister ordered formation of a committee to submit recommendations regarding management of Danish schools, recruitment of teachers, syllabus as well as co-curricular activities.
The meeting also considered in detail devolution plan for education under the new local government system.
Earlier, Danish School System managing-director Yousaf Kamal gave a detailed briefing on the project.
Addressing a meeting of Board of Directors of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, the chief minister said promotion of investment was the need of the hour for rapid development of the country and elimination of poverty and unemployment.
He said a comprehensive programme was being implemented for this purpose.
He said a vibrant and active Board of Investment and Trade comprising government representatives and experts in various sectors had been set up which was not only encouraging foreign investment, but was also ensuring provision of necessary facilities under one roof.
He said Punjab was rich in natural resources which could be exploited for attaining self-reliance as well as development and prosperity of the province.
He said huge foreign exchange could be earned through export of livestock and agri products to teh Middle East and other countries.
He said negotiations were being held with foreign investors for the development of these sectors as well as setting up of a Halal Meat Processing Plant by using modern technology in the dairy sector.
GCU students scholarships
Lahore: The Government College University's Endowment Fund Trust on Wednesday announced initiating 21 lifetime scholarships for deserving students with a donation by old Ravians and philanthropists.
It will comprise 11 golden and 10 sliver scholarships to be disbursed on merit every year.
A golden scholarship will cover the university fee and hostel expenses of a student while a sliver scholarship will cover the university fee only. Scholarships have been named after those who have donated money for the cause.
GCU Vice-Chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab has donated Rs500,000 to initiate a lifetime scholarship for deserving students as well as three each scholarships by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Iqbal Z Ahmed, two by Infaq Foundation, and one each by Bank Al Habib Limited, Allied Bank and Mian Misbaur Rehman.
A varsity spokesman said that every year around 2,100 students from intermediate to PhD level applied for the financial aid, but the university could accommodate only 20 per cent of them because of limited financial resources. Dawn
BHUs Nutrition experts
Lahore: The Punjab Health Department is planning to appoint health and nutritional supervisors at basic health units (BHUs) and rural health centres (RHCs) to train schoolteachers, who will create awareness against congenital and malnutrition diseases in children.
Secretary Health Fawad Hassan Fawad said this while inaugurating a two-day workshop on "Community Management of Acute Malnutrition" at King Edward Medical University, according to a press release here on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised by Department of Social and Preventive Paediatrics, KEMU in collaboration with the Health Department and UNICEF. Dr Ketsamay Rajphongthong, Chief of UNICEF, said that UNICEF was cooperating to minimise infant mortality. The news
Library culture promotion
Lahore: Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education Chairman Raja Muhammad Anwar has asked the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) partner schools to set up libraries and introduce a weekly library period to encourage students to read books.
Mr Anwar was chairing a meeting to review the promotion of library culture in PEF-Partner schools. Representatives of PEF, School Education Department and members of teaching faculty attended the meeting.
He stressed that a policy be evolved to promote the aspect of supplementary reading to gain knowledge about modern world affairs by setting up well-equipped libraries in schools. He said the book reading culture was essential in society as it encouraged composite development of human character.
He said libraries also provided teachers with an access to relevant curriculum information and professional development materials within and outside the schools and enrich students' intellectual, aesthetic, cultural and emotional growth. Dawn
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