GCUF officials terminated | Students' survey

Four GCUF officials axed
Faisalabad, Nov 01: Newly-appointed vice-chancellor of the Government College University Faisalabad Dr Zakir Husain on Friday terminated the services of four officials - project director, principal of the university degree college, staff officer to VC and an assistant professor.

Sources said that the employees were shown the door for their alleged involvement in corruption, doing politics on the campus, instigating students for personal benefits and poor performance. The officials - project director Mohammad Latif, staff officer to VC Sajjad Ahmed and university degree college principal Mohammad Tahir - had also been allegedly disrupting peace on the campus.

Besides, the VC demoted in-charge (security) Mohammad Ijaz and terminated the services of assistant professor Abdul Khaliq. The university had re-employed the sacked staffers.

The syndicate in its 18th meeting on July 8, 2009, had asked the administration being run by acting vice-chancellor Dr Shahid Mehboob to terminate the contract of 37 re-employed officials recruited by violating the Punjab government policy issued in April 2008. However, the administration retained the 'blue-eyed persons'.

The syndicate had unanimously and categorically directed the administration to terminate all non-teaching staff.

Sources said VC (Dr Shahid) had tried to convince the members to retain Latif because of his "technical job" citing his removal would create problems for the administration regarding construction work. However, they said Rana Aftab Ahmed, a syndicate member, asked the VC as to why he wanted to retain an 'ill-reputed' official. The VC remained tight-lipped over the query, the sources added.

Former VC Dr Arif Ali Zaidi (late) had sacked Latif on corruption charges in 2008. Later, he was reinstated and an inquiry is pending against him. Staff Correspondent

Dr Zakir Husain assumed the office on Oct 25 after the Lahore High Court rejected the stay order granted to former acting VC Dr Shahid Mehboob Rana. Confirming termination of the officials, Dr Husain said that the university would be purged of 'unscrupulous elements'.

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Survey of students' learning level
Lahore: The citizens-led Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan 2010 survey has been completed in 21 districts in the country, while a massive exercise to conduct on-ground study about the quality of learning outcomes of 4-16 years of age students studying in public as well as private schools in rural areas in 12 districts is being launched from Sunday (today).

The ASER Pakistan 2010 survey is being conducted in a campaign mode by involving ordinary citizens in the process of survey and data collection. The survey is being spearheaded by the South Asia Forum for Education Development (SAFED)/Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in collaboration with its partners Unesco, Open Society Institute (OSI) and National Commission for Human Development (NCHD).

The survey conducted so far in identified 30 villages each in 13 districts in Punjab, three districts in Balochistan, two districts each in Sindh and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK); and in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has vividly reported that the quality of learning outcomes of 4-16 years of age students studying in public as well as private schools in rural areas are extremely poor. Most students assessed for their competence in Urdu, English and Mathematics showed that they were not learning according to their class level in rural areas, said ITA research associate Safyan Jabbar.

He said the ITA had developed tools to assess students' learning outcomes and then imparted extensive three-day training to master trainers at district level, while two volunteers selected from each of the 30 villages in each district were imparted comprehensive training at their respective districts that included a one-day mock survey.

Mr Jabbar said SAFED/ITA had completed the survey and collected data reports in 13 districts in Punjab, three districts in Balochistan, two each in Sindh and AJK; and in ICT.

He said the selected citizens had been imparted training in 12 remaining districts " five in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, four in Sindh, two in Balochistan as well as in Gilgit district in Gilgit-Baltistan province. The on-ground students' learning outcome survey in 30 villages in each of the selected districts is beginning from Sunday (today). ITA director (programmes) Baela Raza Jamil said the ASER Pakistan 2010 survey report would be completed by Jan 15 next. The report would support the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All targets. Dawn

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GCU wins music contest
Lahore: The Government College University's Nazir Ahmad Music Society (NAMS) Saturday clean swept the All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) with overall six distinctions and lifted the prestigious Syed Wajid Ali Trophy.

According to a press statement, GCU student Imran Fida secured first position in the semi-classical singing contest. He enthralled the audience with the Kalam of Baba Ghulam Fareed "Sawanal Moor Moharrahan." Muhammad Saad Farooq and Mohsin Abbas bagged second and third positions respectively in classical singing.

Saad Farooq resounded the conference with the famous "Raag Kedar -Ye Naveli Naar, Ban Than Nikasi..." It was first sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Mohsin Abbas sang the Raag Shamwanti. Stephen Aashiq was declared the best instrumentalist at the music conference. Umair Ali Akbar secured the second position in the Ghazal category. He sang the famous Ghazal of Mehdi Hassan "Shoola Tha, Jal Bhujan Hon." Hassan Masqsood stood third in the folk category. He enthralled the audience with traditional Punjabi folk Song "Challa." The news

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PU results
Lahore: The Punjab University on Saturday declared the results of MA Persian Part-I, MA Punjabi Part-I and MA Diplomacy and Strategic Studies Part-I annual examinations for 2010, four-year BS (Honours) physics, semester system, session 2006-10, BBA (Honours) Insurance and Risk Management (morning), semester system, session 2006-10 and BBA (Honours) Banking and Finance (morning), semester system, session 2006-10. Dawn

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PhD degrees
Lahore: The Punjab University has awarded PhD degrees to six students in different subjects. Asma Abdul Latif d/o Abdul Latif has been awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Zoology after an approval of her research thesis titled "Genotyping of Echinococcus Granulosus in Punjab". Zeba Zaka-ur-Rehman d/o Mian Zaka-ur-Rehman has been given a PhD degree in the subject of Pharmacy after an approval of her research thesis titled "Clinical Evaluation and Monitoring of Adverse Effects for Fixed Multidose Combination against Single Drug Therapy in Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients".

Shahbaz Ali s/o Mathaila was awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Molecular Biology. Muhammad Iqbal s/o Ghulam Farid was awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Molecular Biology Samia Raheel d/o Qazi Hussain Ahmad has been given a PhD degree in the subject of Islamic Studies and Munir Ahmad s/o Bashir Ahmad been awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Molecular Biology. The news

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PU needs to expend on security system
Lahore: The Punjab University is heavily investing in its security force to check and avert the protests and violent incidents that have become a routine on the campus as students always have a bone to pick with the administration. In almost all cases the university administration has to succumb to pressure and withdrawn its decisions.

The last couple of weeks witnessed protest demonstrations by varsity boarders and graduates of the Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology (IMPP) who demanded reversal of increase in hostel charges and revision of their degrees' nomenclature to be accepted as agriculture-related degree in the job market. Other students protested against increase in the "bus fund".

The students took law into their hands as the security guards failed to avert clashes and keep them at a distance from varsity's invitee called to deliver a lecture to students.

In the first instance, the PU authorities enhanced hostel charges that resulted in boarders' protest and they came out on Canal Road and blocked traffic. The 150-member PU security force, which had also been equipped with walkie-talkie sets for immediate communication, remained a silent spectator as a result of which the commuters bore the brunt of the situation.

The protest, however, compelled the PU Hall Council to immediately hold a meeting of all hostels' wardens and the student adviser said the council had withdrawn the notification of increase in charges. The protest continued for a couple of days thereafter.

On another occasion, the university students protested against increase in bus fare and rallied up to the vice-chancellor's office, where they chanted slogans. The security guards kept themselves inside the administration block while pulling down the iron-grill gate.

As the IMPP graduates protested and observed sit-in in front of the institute and reportedly misbehaved with some teachers, the security personnel resorted to baton-charge and injured some students; a girl student fainted during the assault. The varsity administration later found the security guards at fault and suspended six of them.

On Friday last, the university administration invited British parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmad for a keynote address. The administration had to face humiliation because the students made their way to Faisal Auditorium and chanted slogans. Later, they also blocked the dignitary's cavalcade.

PU Resident Officer-I Javed Sami said the security personnel performed their duty as they were asked but still the administration was reviewing their performance to overcome shortcomings. He said the protesters now 'use' female students to exploit any strict action by the guards or the administration.

"The university administration has to remain careful while dealing with such protesters," he admitted.

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Lecture at Kinnaird College
Lahore: US Consul-General Carmela Conroy delivered a special lecture on "Freedom of Information" at the Kinnaird College this past week. It was organised by the college's media studies department.

She said freedom of information and speech needed to be supported but this freedom should not violate other's fundamental rights and invade privacy. She presented a comparative analysis of the practice of freedom of information in the US and other parts of the world with special reference to Pakistan and also discussed various legal aspects and provisions in the US Constitution along with UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Article 19 and 19-A. The lecture was preceded by an interactive session with the students. Ms Conroy expressed her concern over the way the media was exercising its freedom and not maintaining balance in reporting where bad news travels faster than the good one.

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BoGs in state-run colleges opposed
Lahore: The Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) has opposed autonomy to the state-run colleges through constitution of boards of governors (BoGs).

It said the decision to form BoGs was an injustice to the students.

Speaking at a students' seminar at the Dawa headquarters here on Sunday, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the chief of the outfit banned by the United Nations, also blamed the government for changing syllabus in order to stop students from joining 'jihad'.

The Dawa chief demanded an end to the culture of 'vulgarity' and 'obscenity' in the educational institutions.

He sought promotion of Islamic values and teachings to prepare the young generations with strong moral character.

He said the students were playing a major role in the Kashmir freedom struggle and it was the result of their sacrifices that the Held Valley was fast slipping out of the clutches of the Indian security forces.

Hafiz Saeed further said the Kashmiris would witness freedom very soon as the Indian establishment would doom definitely.

The Americans, according to him, had already been defeated in Afghanistan. Dawn

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Old Ravians' Union poll on 28th
Lahore: The Old Ravians' Union (ORU) Election Committee has announced the schedule for the polls to be held on Nov 28 at the Government College University, Lahore.

ORU Honorary Secretary Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt said here on Sunday that Nov 5 would be the last date for obtaining nomination papers to contest the elections while papers could be filed by Nov 8.

Dr. Butt said all members of the Old Ravians Union were eligible to contest for the posts of vice-president, secretary-general, treasurer and executive members. "It is mandatory for a president candidate that he is not less than 50 years of age and must have spent four academic years at GCU."

Noted bureaucrat Kamran Lashari had been the ORU president over the last four years. He had defeated former Punjab IGP Sadaatullah Khan in 2006 elections and was elected unopposed in 2008.

The final list of the candidates for ORU elections 2010 would be displayed on Nov 12, he said. app

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