PU IJT Nazim death, FIR against principal

PU IJT Nazim shot dead
Lahore, May 14: Nazim of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) of Law College in the Punjab University was on Sunday killed while two others were injured when three unidentified persons opened indiscriminate fire in Muslim Town police limits.

The deceased student was Awais Aqeel while one of the injured was Ejaz Butt. Police have removed the body to a morgue and started a probe. The university students got infuriated over the incident and staged a protest demonstration against the police. The murderers could not be identified till the filing of this report.

A police officer said the victim Awais had a scuffle a few days back with one Abrar Wattoo, former activist of the IJT, after which Abrar was ousted from Hostel No 16. He added Abrar nursed a grudge against Awais and planned to kill him.

IJT Nazim-e-Aala Zubair Safdar said it was too early to comment about the motive behind the killing.

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PU staff condemn FIR against principal
Lahore: Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) has condemned registration of an FIR against the principal of the PU College of Information Technology (PUCIT), Dr Mansoor Sarwar, by New Anarkali police.

PUASA executive council's emergency meeting was held on Sunday which unanimously condemned the incident and alleged that the SHO and the DSP concerned registered the FIR against the senior faculty members after receiving bribe from "hooligans" of Islami Jamiat Talaba which had damaged sanctity of the institution.

The meeting, chaired by PUASA President Prof Amir Sarwar, observed that instead of taking action against the IJT "hooligans" involved in misbehaving with teachers and damaging the university property at Khalid Bin Waleed Hostel of the varsity the police implicated a senior teacher in the case.

It unanimously passed a resolution, demanding the Punjab government immediately suspend the police officials and take stern action against them. It was also announced that PUASA general body meeting would be held on May 15 in which future plan of action would be decided.

On the other hand, according to a press statement, PU chapter IJT Nazim Rai Haq Nawaz while addressing a gathering of Jamiat activists alleged that the PUCIT principal had not only taken four Jamiat activists hostage but also tortured them owing to which one of the students' leg was fractured. He also said Dr Mansoor was first cousin of PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran and was allegedly accommodated on various administrative posts.

When contacted, New Anarkali SHO Syed Ahmed Raza denied the allegation, saying that the FIR had been registered purely on merit. He said that in fact two FIRs were registered, one against the teacher and another against Jamiat activists. "Both the FIRs were registered on purely merit", he added. The DSP was not available for comment.

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PU awards PhDs
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) has awarded PhD degrees to 11 candidates in different subjects.

Muhammad Shafqat Anjum, son of Muhammad Hussain, has been awarded a PhD in geography after approval of his thesis entitled "Spatial Patterns of Tuberculosis in the Punjab, 1990-2005," Gulshan Majeed, daughter of Abdul Majeed Khan, in political science after approval of her thesis "National Integration in Pakistan: A Socio-Political Analysis of Balochistan (1972-2005)," Muhammad Tanvir Zafar, s/o Rai Zafar Ali Khan, in geography after approval of his thesis "Development of Industrial Estates in the Punjab: A Spatio-Functional Analysis," Munawar Saleem Ahmad, s/o Bashir Ahmad, in biological sciences after approval of his thesis "Cloning and Molecular Characterisation of Cryic Gene from Local Isolates of Bacillus Thuringiensis Having Dual Toxicity Against Lepidopteran and Dipteran Insects," Khushi Muhammad, s/o Zafar Ali, in biological sciences on thesis "Identification and Characterisation of Rust Resistance Gene (s) in Commercial Cultivars of Sugarcane (Saccharum Hybrids L.)," Muhammad Salim, s/o Muhammad Aslam, in chemistry after approval of his thesis "Synthesis, Characterisation and Applications of Pyridine Containing Compounds and Their Quaternary Ammonium Salts," Talat Iqbal, s/o Ch M Yaqub, in earth and environmental sciences after approval of his thesis "Seismicity of Pakistan and Formulation of Attenuation Relationship," Sumbal Zulfiqar, d/o Zulfiqar Ali, in biological sciences after approval of her thesis "Molecular Analysis of Gene Responsible for Copper Resistance in Bacteria Isolated from Industrial Effluents," Sadaf Sultan, d/o Sultan Akhtar, in Islamic Studies after approval of her thesis "Globalisation: Cultural Effects on Muslim world," Malika Rehana, d/o M Shafi, in Urdu after approval of her thesis "Allama Iqbal Ke Khidmat Ba Hasiat Rukn Punjab Assembly" and Nadeem Shafique Butt, s/o M Shafique, in the subject of statistics after approval of his thesis entitled "Development of Multivariate Estimators in Survey Sampling and Their Application."

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PU distinction
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) students have shown outstanding performance and claimed team trophy in various competitions of the "IST Youth Carnival 2012" organised by Institute of Space Technology Islamabad.

Those students who got 1st positions in various competitions included Talal Raza (ICS) in Journalism Reporting, Saima Sadaqat (Mathematics) Math Quiz, Rukaya Raza (Arts & Design) Painting Competition, Fahad Mushtaq (Art & Design) Calligraphy, Muddasar Kazmi (Art & Design) Sketching, Awais Ali Sheikh (Art & Design) Thematic Photography, Zeeshan Cheema (Chem. Engineering) Urdu Nazam and Oswa Arshad from Art & Design.

Those students who got 2nd positions were Awais Ali Sheikh (Arts & Design) Photo Story, Naveed Zia (Urdu Department) Urdu Ghazal, Shajjar Abbas (ICS) English Debate.

Those students who got 3rd positions were Naveed Ashan & Naima (ICS and Art & Design) Visage Canvas and Waseem Afzal Khaloon (Law College) Urdu Debate and Umair Khurshid (Chem. Engineering) in Chess Competition.

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French courses for PU students on half fee
Lahore: Alliance Française de Lahore Director Dominique Scobry during a visit to Punjab University (PU) Department of French announced 50 percent fee concession for the university students opting for French courses at Alliance Française.

According to a press statement, the purpose is to facilitate and promote French language in Pakistan. He also conversed with the beginner's level students of Online French and Certificate in French language course.

The director congratulated the students on their excellent performance, creativity and skills in French language.

In his meeting with Chairperson Dr Saleha, he expressed his interest in developing a database for francophone alumni network. Dominique Scobry assured his support to the department in academic and co-curricular activities.

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GCU announces affiliation policy
Lahore: In a major development Government College University (GCU) on Saturday announced the affiliation rules and regulations for government and private colleges interested in affiliation with the university.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said the university had set June 30, 2012, deadline for receiving applications from the interested colleges for affiliations to the bachelor's programme. He said the rules and regulations had been endorsed by the university's syndicate in its 37th meeting.

While making public the affiliation rules and regulations, Prof Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, the brain behind the affiliation policy, claimed that the varsity would not compromise on quality and standards while affiliating private and government educational institutions.

He also said the affiliation committee would inspect the institutions seeking affiliations in light of 40 general rules and special conditions laid down in the GCU affiliation rules and regulations and would recommend the case to the vice chancellor and the syndicate. He said for bachelor's programme, the affiliations would be initially granted for four years only and would be extended on the request of the college after evaluating its performance.

The GCU VC said the university would offer affiliations with colleges at bachelors and postgraduate level in 29 disciplines which were banking and financial economics, biotechnology, botany, business accounting and finance, chemistry, computer science, commerce, economics, electronics, electrical engineering, English, environmental sciences, entrepreneurship and SME management, forensic chemistry, geography, history, Islamic studies, management studies, mathematics, microbiology, Persian, pharmaceutical chemistry, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, statistics, Urdu and zoology.

He said the affiliated colleges shall have to observe academic calendar of the GC University, Lahore and they would also follow the evaluation, examination and attendance system prescribed by the university. Keeping in view its strong traditions of supporting deserving students, GCU would make bound the colleges to provide full fee concession to at least five per cent and half fee concession to at least five per cent of the enrolled students.

The affiliation rules state that the desirable student-teacher ratio should be 20 to 1 and at least 60 per cent of the staff should be full-time qualified teachers as prescribed by the university. There shall be a librarian in affiliated college with master's degree in the relevant subject and sufficient library staff and books to facilitate the students. Initially books worth not less than Rs 300,000 shall be purchased for the library of the affiliated college. Thereafter at least Rs 100,000 shall be allocated annually for acquisition of books/journals/magazine etc for the library. In case of an IT college, the computer laboratory facilities for 50 per cent of the students admitted at a time should be provided while at least six full-time teachers should have the qualifications as prescribed by the university consisting of at least three MCS or equivalent degree holders.

The GCU VC said the conditions laid down in the GCU affiliation rules and regulations would be fully implemented to ensure production of quality human resource from the affiliated colleges of this great institution having rich traditions and great record of excellence.

Talking about the GCU affiliation committee, he said the committee comprising a chairperson nominated by the Syndicate, two professors nominated by the academic council, two teachers nominated by the syndicate and the executive district officer (Education), Lahore, would ensure that all affiliated colleges shall fulfill all the requirements and conditions laid down in the GCU affiliation rules and regulations.

Prof Khaleeq said the institutions located outside Punjab could also apply for affiliations with the permission from their respective government or university.

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College teachers' capacity building, training being ignored
Lahore: Over the years, the Punjab government has been ignoring a much-needed initiative of organizing capacity building and training programme for college teachers of the province.

Though there is a separate entity, Directorate of Staff Development (DSD), for the government schoolteachers, there is no such organization in place which caters to the training needs of the college cadre teachers serving at public colleges across the province.

Interestingly, the Punjab government allocated funds in various budgets for the purpose of providing training to college teachers but later the schemes were either dropped or not executed for reasons best known to the officials involved.

This year too, the Higher Education Department Punjab has included teachers training programme as one of its proposed development schemes in the upcoming budget. However, it is yet unclear whether the same would be executed or dropped like the previous years. Undoubtedly, there has always been need of well trained and professionally sound teachers keeping in view emerging trends in education but the Punjab government's indifferent attitude in this regard speaks volumes for its failure to address this significant aspect.

A couple of years ago, the Punjab government launched 4-year BS (Hons) programmes in various disciplines at 26 selected colleges of the province. In an ideal situation the government should have ensured proper training of teachers involved in this new academic programme to make the initiative a success but to no avail.

Resultantly, the BS (Hons) programme failed to receive proper response from students and the number of students continued to drop. The non-provision of proper training to the teachers is also cited to be one of the reasons for increasing drop out rate at the 26 selected colleges.

Stakeholders argue that since the college teachers were not trained and not provided the required skills to continue with BS (Hons) programmes like the university teachers the result is discouraging.

According to them provided the teachers had revamped their pedagogical views while going through regular and relevant training programmes the situation might have been different today.

Prof Atif, a representative of Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association (PPLA), laments over absence of training programmes for the college cadre teachers saying the teachers have also little opportunities to improve their qualifications. He believes together with proper training and higher qualifications, the college cadre teachers can produce better results.

According to him, college teachers having MA/MSc qualifications with second division were denied admission to MPhil and PhD programmes at universities terming the same saying "This is main hurdle if teachers want to improve their qualifications." PPLA representative also lamented over fewer scholarship opportunities saying unlike university teachers the college teachers were neither encouraged nor facilitated for foreign scholarship programmes. The stakeholders and academic circles have demanded the Punjab government to avoid its indifferent attitude this time and provide proper opportunities to college teachers for their capacity building as the same is going to help the students in the end. The news

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