Devolution of education ministry case

Supreme Court moved against devolution of education ministry
Islamabad, March 16: A petition against the devolution of the federal education ministry under 18th Amendment has been filed in the Supreme Court stating that the devolution of the highly important ministry would jeopardise the integrity and solidarity of the federation.

A team of senior lawyers, headed by Barrister Malik Mehboob Ellahi, has filed the petition. The team members included Advocate Mudassar Shah and Advocate Ijaz Shah.

The respondents of the petition comprised the Federation of Pakistan, Federal Secretary Education, Secretary Cabinet Division and the Implementation Commission. The petition has been filed on behalf of Professor Dr Abdur Razzaq, former faculty member of the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, and Chaudhry Sadiq Ali, former associate professor and director colleges. The petitioners underlined the fact that the Implementation Commission has no mandate to transfer any administrative power or subject from Part I and II of the Federal Legislative List (FLL) to the provinces.

"The Implementation Commission has no mandate to decide about subjects or functions given in the FLL because it can only deal with the concurrent list. The 18th Amendment also does not approve of devolution of the education ministry against the spirit of the Constitution," the petition said.

They maintained that any such decision would be against the spirit of Article 2 of the Constitution that provide legal cover to all clauses and entries given in Part I and Part II of FLL. The petitioners also stated that transfer of key powers such as preparation of curriculum and policy making would jeopardize the solidarity and integrity of the federation and negate the spirit of Allahabad address.

They stressed the need for transfer of Entry 38 and Entry 39 of the Concurrent List to FLL so that the federation can be able to prepare curriculum and make national policies for promotion of the education sector in line with the vision of founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It was argued in the petition that if the provinces would be empowered to prepare curriculum and policies then it would be difficult to stop wave of provincialism in the federating units. "When the provinces would prepare curriculum they would spread provincialism that would be harmful to the federation of Pakistan," it said.

Talking to this correspondent Barrister Malik Mehboob Ellahi said some educationists having lot of experience in the education sector had approached him and asked to move the court against devolution of the education ministry.

He was of the view that devolution of the education ministry would weaken the federation and the Constitution does not allow any such step at any level of the state.

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3 biotechnology labs inaugurated at UoP
Peshawar: Three new state-of-the-art biotechnology laboratories were on Tuesday inaugurated at the Centre of Biotechnology and Microbiology, University of Peshawar (UoP). UoP Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan formally inaugurated the laboratories with facilities for research from BS to the PhD students. Addressing the students on the occasion, the vice-chancellor said the university was ready to provide all research facilities to the students in keeping with the demands of their speciality. Prof Dr Azmat said that biotechnology and genetics engineering was an emerging field in which productivity could be increased and new treatment for various illnesses could be found.

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Bookfair opens at AAUR
Rawalpindi: A three-day bookfair at Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) inaugurated by its Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Khalid Mahmood Khan here on Tuesday.

Professor Dr. Khalid Mahmood Khan said that such fairs have great significance as in this age of computers, book-reading habit is fast diminishing. These fairs should be made a regular feature at every institution. The purpose of the fair is to provide an opportunity to students and teachers to buy books of their interest under one roof and to promote book reading habit, he added.

A large number of students visited the bookfair and bought books of their interest on agriculture, natural, social and management sciences, information technology and other topics. Books from Indian, European and American authors were also available for sale. More than 20 renowned national booksellers are exhibiting their publications and around 30,000 books are being displayed in the fair.

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Students display their creative work
Islamabad: Students of the City School, Capital Campus, showcased their projects at a three-day exhibition titled 'Creative Expressions' starting here on Tuesday. The exhibition will continue till March 17.

Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro was the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Welcoming the chief guest, City School Capital Campus Principal Shagun Irfan said that the students from Class III to 'O' Level were showcasing their project work related to the fields of science, computer, business, art and environment.

A large number science stalls were put up by the students. Parents and guests visited these stalls and the students briefed them on their projects. The science projects included Habitat, Solar System, Shadow Friction, Gases, Magnetism, Electricity, Surface Tension, Wetlands, Enzymes, Windmill, Gravity and products made from recycled paper.

Looking at the quality of work put on display by the students, Dr. Soomro extended full collaboration between Pakistan Science Foundation and the City School. He assured the principal of extending funding to the school for science clubs and accommodating teachers of the City School in 'Lamap Lapatae' Teachers Training Programme.

Dr. Soomro said that the Pakistan Science Foundation is funding research projects in two categories, including those done by university students and the other one by students of schools and colleges. "We also support science fairs held in schools and colleges. We also have a Science Caravan Programme, which is being run in rural areas. We have now planned two science caravans for each province and the project for Gilgit-Baltistan is also in the pipeline. We also have a Science Centre stationed at Faisalabad, which was built by public-private partnership and we have planned to have 15 more Science Centres all over Pakistan with the collaboration of Unesco and France. We have already initiated Travelling Science Expo that commenced on January 14 from the Islamabad Model College, F-7/2. It went to Abbottabad and Faisalabad and then to Khairpur. It will conclude in Quetta on March 3," he added. The news

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