Examinations Booti mafia is back

Booti mafia makes a comeback
Lahore, Nov 03: Two different incidents of massive cheating during the recent supplementary examinations of intermediate and BA/BSC are evident of the fact that the powerful booti mafia has re-emerged in the province with the help of its strong connections.
In the first incident, as many as 12 people were caught red handed for appearing in place of real candidates in the BA/BSc Supplementary Examination held under the Punjab University.

According to details, on Oct 25, 12 fake candidates appeared in the examination of English B paper in Centre No 2, established at the Government Degree College, Pattoki. During the routine checking, the college principal and staff stopped the illegal activity and informed the PU Examinations Department. Besides, the Examinations Department was also informed about the incident through an unknown telephone call. On this, the department constituted a five-member inquiry committee to probe into the incident.

PU Controller of Examinations Zahid Karim Khan believes that some booti mafia is involved in this incident, adding that there are chances of the involvement of some university officials too.

The other incident of massive cheating was reported during the recent Intermediate Part-I Supplementary Examination of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore.

One of the exam centres of the BISE at Shahdra was reportedly "hijacked" by the armed members of a student union who "facilitated" the candidates to solve their papers.

However, during the next paper, when one of the BISE's monitoring squads, along with heavy contingent of police, paid a surprise visit to the said exam centre, it found Ashfaq Jutt, a representative of the student union, trying to disrupt the examination once again. Interestingly, when police and the BISE squad tried to arrest him, after he was identified by the superintendent, he succeeded in fleeing from the scene. The board officials got a case registered against him with the Shahdra Police Station.

The interference of student unions in examinations is not a new phenomenon. There had been incidents in the past when students organisations used to control the exam centres not only to mint money but also to help their own activists pass different exams.

It may be mentioned here that during his previous tenure, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had done his best to purge educational institutions from booti mafia. He had even introduced entry test in medical colleges for the elimination of the mafia. This year when students and their parents expressed concerns over entry test for admission to medical colleges, the chief minister reiterated his stance that entry test was introduced for the elimination of "booti mafia," adding: "Now full attention will be paid to transparency of general examinations."

He vowed to completely eliminate booti mafia from the province to safeguard the rights of hardworking students.

Seen in this context, the recent incidents of cheating, no doubt, pose a great challenge to the authorities concerned to ensure the protection of the rights of hardworking students from the booti mafia.

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Punjab University security plan fails to materialise
Lahore: The Punjab University's administration has failed to enhance security measures, including installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

The decision regarding enhancing security measures was taken in a special meeting of deans of faculties and other senior professors on Sep 22, following the discovery of ammunition, including six Kalashnikovs, about 1,300 rounds of the assault rifles and 12 hand grenades, from one of the university grounds near its Hostel No 1 at New Campus.

After the discovery of ammunition, a special meeting of deans of faculties and other senior professors was held. The meeting, chaired by PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, decided to beef up security and to install CCTV cameras at all the important entry points of the university. Besides, it was agreed that special training would also be imparted to the security guards of the university while issuance of special stickers for vehicles of teachers, employees and students was also decided.

"The vehicles without PU security stickers will be searched thoroughly at the entry gates," the meeting decided. However, despite passage of more than a month, the university administration has neither issued any stickers for vehicles of faculty members, students and employees nor has it installed the CCTV cameras at important points of the university. It may be mentioned here that following discovery of ammunition, students as well as faculty members had expressed concerns over poor security arrangements at the university. They had questioned the security measures as to how ammunitions of such a huge quantity were brought into the campus.

A number of students and faculty members criticised the administration for the delay in enhancing the security measures, saying the decisions proved "merely tall claims" on part of the administration.

Muhammad Azeem, a student, said it was quite strange that the PU administration failed to enhance the security after such a shocking incident. He said it was a responsibility of the administration to ensure the maximum security for its students on campus.

"There was a security lapse owing to which ammunition, including assault rifles and hand grenades, was moved within the campus," he said.

Another student said the delay in beefing up the security had exposed the lethargic attitude of the officials concerned. PU Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran and registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan were not available for comments. The News

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Students raising funds for quake victims
Lahore: Students' societies in educational institutions are actively participating in raising funds for the earthquake victims of Balochistan. The administrations in these institutions have also urged their students to donate cash, clothes, tents, blankets, medicines and food items. Around 400 people died and hundreds lost their homes in an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 in Balochistan last Thursday. Although government and the army are providing relief, many victims are still awaiting help. Students also played an active role in collecting funds for the victims of the devastating earthquake on October 8, 2005, in Kashmir and the Northern Areas. Teams of students went to the affected areas to distribute aid and help in relief activities. This time again, administrations and students' societies have displayed notices requesting students to participate in relief efforts. Such notices are displayed at the Beaconhouse National University (BNU), FAST National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Government College University Lahore (GCU), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore College for Women University, Kinnaird College and Punjab University. For instance, a notification from BNU Registrar Farzana Shahid requested students to contribute funds for arranging food, tents, and medicine for the quake victims. Usman Khan, a BNU student, said the notification had prompted students to donate funds and clothes, adding the victims needed urgent help to cope with the approaching winter. Nauman, a LUMS student, said the LUMS Community Service Society was raising funds for the earthquake victims, adding that their initiative would motivate more societies as well. Sofia Arshad, a GCU student, said the government should instruct all governmental institutions to set up fund-raising stalls. Rehan Tariq, a PU student and Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) Media Secretary, said the students were giving funds and necessary items for their Baloch brothers at the stalls set up by the IJT. He said they were requesting students to join the government in helping the quake victims. Daily Times

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