PU corruption, degree equivalence, threats

More controversies, less studies at PU for last 6 months
Lahore, Nov 11: The Punjab University has more been under controversies than educational and curriculum activities on campus in the last six months. A number of conflicts, controversies and issues took place in the university during these six months.

Issues such as corruption, degree equivalence, threats to teachers, protests by staff and sexual harassment of professors came into the limelight during the abovementioned period. However, the Higher Education Commission, government and PU vice chancellor remained silent over these issues and failed to take action. Students and teachers at the varsity are concerned over PU's negative attitude towards critical issues.

Punjab University is one of the oldest educational institutes of Pakistan. It has produced several scholars, scientists, leaders and lawmakers.

In June, PU Institute of Communication Studies senior faculty member Dr Affira Hamid exposed corruption by Dr Mughees, who promoted PhD students against university rules and regulations.

In August, several students of the Institute of Communication Studies set up a flood-relief camp after getting permission from the department administration. They collected almost Rs 0.5 million in donation, but later bought a car from the money.

In October, PUASA vice president and Department of Geography Chairman Professor Dr Abdul Ghaffar received death threats from the varsity's employees, while students of the IPP department continued their protests. They were even manhandled by the varsity's security guards, while many of the students suffered serious injuries and some of the guards who refused to thrash the students, lost their jobs.

So far in November, the varsity security guards tortured students of the IPP department again but their issues have not been resolved by the administration. Professor Dr Iftikhar Baloch, principal of the PU College of Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES), had been blamed for sexually harassing a PhD student. PU staff members also protested against the administration for holding back their medical allowance and facilities.

Students said that they had 180 working days in six months. They said after the two weekly holidays, they were left with only 132 days to attend classes, adding that more than 50 days were wasted due to such controversies. They said that they attended classes for only 70 days.

A student that, "We are tired of these controversies. We want to study with our heart and soul." He also appealed to the PU administration and officials to take strict action against those involved in disrupting the academic atmosphere.

A PU official said that the administration had taken stern action against those who were involved in these types of controversies. He said that an FIR had been filed against many students and CEES Principal Dr Iftikhar Baloch had been suspended and several varsity employees had also received show-cause notices by the varsity administration. He added that they could not take extreme measures against any student or official, as there was a peaceful atmosphere in the campus. Daily Times

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PU magazine
Lahore: A special meeting of the Editorial Board of the Punjab University Magazine Mehwar was held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Punjab University Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran to finalise the arrangements for publication of the 50-year Golden Jubilee number of the magazine. Members of the Editorial Board, including renowned columnists Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Safdar Saleem Sial, Dr Ajmal Niazi, Saleem Mansoor Khalid and Seemab Fur Bukhari, attended the meeting. In addition, Principal College of Art and Design Prof Dr Rahat Naveed Masood, Advisor to Students Affairs Iftikhar Ahmad Chaudhry and Deputy Advisor Muhammad Zubair Akram were also present. The meeting decided that the 'Mehwar', consisting of 750 pages, would be published before December 31. A committee, comprising Amjad Islam Amjad, Saleem Mansoor Khalid and Seemab Fur Bukhari, was constituted for editing of the final material, which would complete its task before November 15. The news

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Reply sought from HEC on fake universities
Lahore: Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought a reply from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and directed its chairman to depute a representative of the commission to appear in court on next hearing, Dec 2.

The petition was filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey who challenged the mushroom growth of fake universities and other educational institutions and sought court's directions for the government to close all bogus and unrecognized universities/institutions.

He said scores of bogus and ghost educational institutions had been functioning in Pakistan unchecked. He said these institutions in fact were playing havoc with careers of the youth.

Barrister Jaffery said the government had no mechanism to check private colleges and universities as they were minting money from students and providing nothing in return.

On court's directions, the petitioner had already got ads published in newspapers to serve notices on 40 alleged bogus universities which had been made respondents. Dawn

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Baloch students ambassadors of Punjab
Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that students of Balochistan studying in the Punjab will play role of such a bridge which will not only remove misunderstandings between the two provinces, but will also enhance mutual love and understanding. He said that these students were ambassadors of the Punjab and Pakistan, and should take with them a message of peace and love.

He was addressing a ceremony held in honour of the students of Balochistan studying at various educational institutions of the Punjab. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani, ministers of both the provinces, leaders of Balochistan Muslim League Sardar Yaqub Khan Nasir, Nawabzada Changez Khan Mari, members of national and provincial assemblies, intellectuals, columnists, teachers and a large number of students attended the function.

Addressing the ceremony, Shahbaz said he was thankful to the Balochistan CM who came Lahore on Wednesday. He said that the function was being held in the same hall where four provinces had agreed upon the NFC Award a few months ago.

He said that this was a good omen that Baloch, Pakhtoon, Barohi and Punjabi students were getting education together in the best institutions of the Punjab which had been providing them an opportunity to remove doubts and misunderstandings by sitting together like brothers. He said that we had sent the position-holder students on study tours of Europe, which included students of four provinces and Azad Kashmir, adding that it was a milestone for enhancing the image and solidarity of Pakistan.

He also announced to double the quota of students of Balochistan studying in the Punjab from the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) and the Cheema Long Scheme. He maintained that the PEEF was playing a historic role for providing educational opportunities to the talented students.

Shahbaz said that Punjabis living in Balochistan were brothers of their Baloch countrymen. He said that the Balochistan CM informed him that the situation in Balochistan was improving. Addressing on the occasion, Balochistan CM Raisani said that it was imperative to inform the young generation about latest knowledge and changing trends for moulding Pakistan in accordance with the ideals of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam.

He said that education was such a weapon which could put the country on a road to progress and prosperity. He said that effective steps were being taken for promotion of education in Balochistan and recruitment of 4,000 Baloch youth in Pak Army was a matter of pride. He also thanked the Punjab CM for increasing the seats for the students of Balochistan in educational institutions of the Punjab. He advised the students to concentrate on their education.

Balochistan Education Minister Tahir Mahmood Khan also addressed the function. Earlier, Punjab CM's senior advisor Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa in his welcome address welcomed the Balochistan CM and ministers on behalf of the Punjab. The nation

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GCU workshop to train researchers
Lahore: A two workshop started at Government College University in which young Pakistani researchers were trained in building sustainable research networks and writing grant winning research proposals.

A press release on Wednesday said the moot was organized by the British Council-Higher Education Commission Pakistan and GCU as a joint venture. It was titled "International Strategic Partnerships in Research & Education (INSPIRE) Programme".

Director English and Acting Director Network, Executive Board, British Council Mark Robson, GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Khalid Aftab and British Council Pakistan Country Director David Martin addressed the participants at the opening session of the training programme. A large number of researchers from seven educational institutions across Punjab are taking part in the training which is aimed at enhancing the indigenous research culture in Pakistan and help broaden the impact of research projects and their sustainability. The participants in training are also equipped with active thinking and learning procedures through lectures and hands on practice.

Talking to young researchers, Mr. Mark Robson said that the British Council is highly committed for capacity building of the Pakistani educational institutions and training of the youth of Pakistan. He said that the British Council would continue to support such trainings in the future. Mr. Robson believed that the Pakistani youth is highly talented and what they all needed are opportunities and guidance. Mr. Mark Robson also showed interest in broadening the scope of academic programmes between the educational institutions of the United Kingdom and Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Khalid Aftab said the GC University Lahore has remarkably excelled in the filed of research in the last three years.

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KEMC Forensic Lab doctor admonished
Lahore: District and Sessions Judge Sohail Nasir on Wednesday admonished King Edward Medical College's forensic lab official Dr Rafaqat who conducted the postmortem of deceased prisoner Sajid who allegedly died due to torture in Camp Jail. The court has chided the said doctor, as he was directed by the court to produce the postmortem report of deceased Sajid but he was not complying with the court's orders. Dr Rafaqat, while recording his statement before the court, said he had conducted the postmortem timely and had handed over the report to concerned Dead House officials Shahid and Maqbol. Over this, the court has summoned both the officials for next hearing. The court has also summoned ASI Shadman Aslam by November 16. The judge in his remarks said "had the heads of the state institutions mended their ways, the situation would have not reached the alarming point". Earlier in this case, the court had recorded the statements of Camp Jail Superintendent Gulzar Butt, SP Headquarters Munir and MS Mayo Hospital Parvez. As per details, an under-trial prisoner Sajid expired in the Camp Jail allegedly due to torture and improper medication on October 18, 2010. The news

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