PU Musicology Dept 2km away from Old Campus

LAHORE, Oct 27: The Punjab University (PU) administration failed to set up a separate block for its Musicology Department after a lapse of one year despite availability of approved budget for the project.

Since introduction of MA Musicology programme in 2006, the classes are being held at Alhamra, The Mall, around two kilometer away from varsity's Old Campus. The programme was started at Alhamra, reportedly, to avoid any confrontation with the IJT activists who opposed the said programme saying it is against Islam and ideology of Pakistan.

The PU administration has claimed that musicology classes will be held temporarily at Alhamra while special arrangements will be made at varsity's Old Campus to accommodate the students of the said programme. The administration has also claimed to launch other programmes in the field of performing arts at masters and degree levels besides short course but, so far, no other programme has been introduced. In 2006, PU Syndicate had approved a budget of Rs 40 million for establishment of a separate block for musicology department while later an amount of Rs 20 million was also allocated for the said project.

Talking to us, a student said students of musicology programme are quite upset since they are missing campus life. 'Musicology students have been kept aloof from campus as if they are doing something wrong', he maintained. He said students of musicology department cannot avail varsity Bus Service since Alhamra does not fall in its route which is causing great transport problems for the students, especially a few female students. He further said university administration should honour its commitment and should provide us a separate block either at Old Campus or New Campus at the earliest. 'After all we are also part of PU', he added.

A senior PU professor, on condition of anonymity, said PU administration is reluctant to establish a separate block for musicology because of its strong opposition by the IJT activists, therefore, it is delaying the project.

It is worth mentioning here that PU Islami Jamiat Talaba activists had opposed the musicology classes at the varsity and had staged a number of demonstrations against this programme when it was introduced. They had even distributed a large number of leaflets at New Campus against Chancellor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool and the then Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood for introduction of MA Musicology programme.

Interestingly, when contacted PU officials for comments, varsity Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan and Principal PU College of Arts & Design (PUCAD) Prof Shahnawaz Zaidi made opposite remarks in connection with the establishment of separate block for musicology department. Prof Shahnawaz said the PUCAD has some issues with the College of Information & Technology (PUCIT) in connection with land, adding the issues have been resolved and construction of block for musicology department will soon start at Old Campus. He said a total of Rs 60 million was approved for the said project. Dr Naeem said it has been proposed that PUCIT and College of Pharmacy will be shifted to New Campus from Old Campus adding, thereafter, there will be a sufficient space to build a separate block for musicology department.

'However, a final decision, in this regard, will be taken by the varsity Syndicate', he added. He further said Alhamra is providing all facilities 'as and when' required by the PU, adding 'in this situation, is there any need to build a separate block for musicology department?' 'The budget can be used for other projects of the university', he opined. The News

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