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HEC scholarships | Islamia College Uni VC slot | QAU encroachers

HEC scholarships for Masters/MSc studies
May 19, 2008: National Testing Service invited applications in September 2007, for study abroad under the Cultural Exchange Scholarships Programme for the year of 2006-2007 for Masters/MSc studies in various subjects. The scholarships were expected from China, Turkey, Romania, Syria, Jordan, Tunis, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Mexico, Greece, Russia etc.

Consequently, a test was conducted in November 2007. I secured 57 marks and, to the best of my knowledge, was among top 5 from Sindh Rural. But the HEC has now apprised me unofficially that only China and Romania has offered any scholarships whereas those from Turkey are in the process.

Since last six months I have been calling time and again to HEC for intimating me the exact number of scholarships and the reason of my placement in the scholarships that are yet to be sent by Turkey. A friend of mine from Sindh Rural has declined to accept the offer for China, but according to HEC officials, the scholarship that has been made available as a result will not be carried over to next candidate. I would like to ask the HEC why applications were invited if the scholarships were not available from countries mentioned in the advertisement?

By SHABIR AHMED SETHAR, Shikarpur, via e-mail (The Nation)

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"i have done my MBA now i want to go further in studies"
Name: Majid Muhammad
City, Country: Peshawar, Pakistan

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Teacher groups become active to grab VC slot: Islamia College University
Peshawar: As the search committee is expected to meet on Monday to scrutinise the list of about 50 aspiring candidates for the vice-chancellorship of the newly-registered Islamia College University, teachers' political groups backing their candidates have become active.

However, teachers claiming impartiality observed that no candidate backed by these political groups should be considered for the post of VC as it would give a bad academic start to the new university in the provincial capital.

The teachers -- affiliated to the Progressive, Tanzeem-i-Asatiza and Friends -- have become active as 'pressure groups' in Peshawar, sources said.

The groups had started spreading 'distorted facts' about the Islamia College University and those candidates who belong to no political groups in order to build pressure, said a senior teacher. He criticised these groups for their 'negative' role in academic institutions.

Once the VC is appointed by the chancellor, NWFP governor, the Islamia College University would start functioning as a full-fledge university but political influence on appointments of the VC and other administrative posts would give a bad start for the university.

"The involvement of teachers affiliated with political groups harmed the academic performance of the institution. We want a VC who is appointed on merit not due to political pressure from these groups," opined a senior teacher at the historic Islamia College Peshawar and many others expressed similar views.

The Alumni of Islamia College has worked for the upgradation of the college to university and NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani had supported it but these political groups active lobbying for their candidates would not let the institution grow due to their petty politics, said teachers who claimed that they had no association with any political group, and they were facing problems in their professional careers.

"My selection on a professor post kept lingering on for three years despite the fact that my case went to the scrutiny committee six times and I was selected. My fault was that I was not affiliated to any of the teacher's political groups and another candidate belonged to one such group," said a professor at the Islamia College.

Teachers, who were enthusiastically waiting for the appointment of the VC so that the Islamia College University could start functioning, said that the huge college building should be used for academic activities so that teachers find no time for politics. "All day, I have only one class and I feel ashamed when I enter this historic college as I am not utilising my time in teaching," said a teacher who wished the new VC would be appointed soon so that the next academic session, starting in September, would not be 'so boring'.

"Teachers' politics is like a termite which is damaging the very core of this historic institution and even the University of Peshawar," a teacher observed. Senior teachers said that the faculty was drawing huge salaries and taking part in politics than academic activities. Political interference should not be allowed in educational institutions' affairs.

The Islamia College was notified as a university on March 20 this year and was registered by the Higher Education Commission recently. The college has 130 faculty members including 30 PhDs and the number of students would be increased from 3,357 to 5,000 once it starts functioning as a university. Dawn

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QAU held hostage to encroachers
Islamabad: Encroachers have held the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) administration back from fixing barbed wire around Hostel No 8, which is on the edge of all hostels.

University officials said on Saturday that the encroachers had surrounded the boundary wall-less campus, challenging the security of the students.

Because of this security threat, they said, the administration wanted to shift girl students to the hostels close to the main offices while boy students would be concentrated in the newly constructed Hostel No 8.

An attempt was made to lay down barbed wire around Hostel No 8 to make it secure but the encroachers succeeded in foiling it with the use of blatant force, they said.

They said, "The administration wanted demarcation of the campus but the encroachers did not allow it to so on the excuse that it would hurt privacy of their houses."

They said the administration had to push the campus borders back to the point where the encroachers were satisfied out of compulsion. First it was agreed that the boundary would be set 10 feet away from houses of the encroachers but then they pushed it back to 50 feet, they said.

The officials believed that the encroachers were involved in purse and mobile phone snatching cases that had become routine on the campus in the evening. "The university has been held hostage to the encroachers," said an official.

Students, they said, had lodged with the administration complaints to the effect time and again but the administration simply could not do any thing in this regard.

They said tackling the encroachers, who demanded an alternate accommodation in return for leaving the campus, could halt the mega projects being launched in the university.

They alleged Member of National Assembly (MNA) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry was encouraging the encroachers, who were his voters also, to stand up against the administration.

Dr Chaudhry defended himself saying that he appealed to the administration to let the encroachers live on the campus on humanitarian grounds. He said the encroachers had been living over there for over 50 years and it was unfair to displace them after formation of the university.

He said he would ask the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to give the encroachers an alternate accommodation to settle the dispute.

QAU Vice Chancellor M Qasim Jan said that the university administration did not want to get involved in any dispute with the encroachers, which was why it had preferred fixing the barbed wire away from their houses. He said there was a security issue because of a constant presence of the encroachers on the campus.

QAU gets the lion's share of the grants introduced by the HEC and other related departments and ministries to promote education.

Nonetheless, it could not build its boundary wall since its inception. A bureaucratic maze that its highly influential administration has become has made it next to impossible to fine where the fault lies. Daily Times

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