KUTS to boycott mid-term exams, classes
Karachi, Oct 05: The Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) has decided to boycott the on-going mid-term examinations and classes in the University of Karachi (KU) today (Tuesday) to protest against the callous attitude of the government in providing the much needed funds for teaching and research.
President KUTS, Dr Abid Hasnain said, "Apparently the government is not willing to allocate funds to the universities and instead of discussing this issue, it is using delay tactics. All public sector universities will boycott the classes as per the decision taken by Federation of Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) on Monday afternoon. The government had agreed to pump Rs 15 billion to public universities immediately but it has stepped back on its promise. In a meeting with Higher Education Commission (HEC) it was agreed that Rs 6 billion will be released in two installments and the balance will be paid soon after. However, this did not happen."
Dr Hasnain lamented the fact that the boycott will be observed on World Teachers Day today. "The government has left us with no other option. It is so frustrating to see that the government has no money for the higher education but it continues to spend lavishly on the luxuries for the politicians and the bureaucrats. How can we celebrate the World Teachers Day when we are agonised and perplexed by the disinterest of the government for education?" he asked.
Secretary KUTS, Dr Fayyaz Vaid showed his exasperation about what he called 'the lukewarm attitude' of the government that has completely failed to realise the importance of the education. "What should I say? They (the government) have no vision. They have no place for education. They are not aware of the fact that we teach and train the students who will assume the leadership in future. What is a country that has no consideration for the education?" a visibly dejected Vaid said.
However, later in the day when contacted Dr Vaid again to tell him that the Ministry of Finance has made an announcement about the release of Rs 1.1 billion to the HEC and sought his response, he said, "It (the money) was not given and we do not have any details. We will go ahead with the boycott!"
Registrar KU and former Chairman Department of English Professor Kaleem Raza Khan said that as a teacher he was against the loss of teaching hours as the students suffer. "However, I know it will send the message to the government that we mean business and will not tolerate the patronising attitude of those who have the least concern for education. The boycott on the World Teachers Day has its own significance!" he asserted.
Meanwhile, President and Secretary Teachers Association Federal Urdu University of Science and Technology (FUUAST) Professor Syed Iqbal Alam and Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Tahiri have announced the boycott of classes at FUUAST. They too condemned the callous attitude of the government and vowed to come out on the roads if the government continued with its antagonistic attitude towards education.
Registrar NED University of Engineering & Technology, Professor Javed Aziz Khan said that his university has an 'Open Day' for the newly admitted students and so there was no question of boycotting the classes. "We have our terminal examinations from next Monday and classes are already suspended for that reason. Yes we had some protests last time but on that day too there were no classes for some other reason," he said.
Results of KU Senate elections announced
Karachi: Registrar and Returning Officer, Prof. Kaleem Raza Khan has announced the results of elections to the seats of the Senate and Academic Council from the constituency of college teachers held on September 29.
Candidates declared successful to the seats of the Senate are: Abdul Majeed (elected with 626 votes), M. Akmal Baloch (589 votes), Mazhar Hussain (592 votes), Mohsin Raza Bhatti (613 votes), Shamim A. Bhutto (597 votes), Tanveer Fatima (625 votes), Dr Mumtaz Umar (578 votes), Khalid Mehmood Mughal (579 votes), Muhammad Abdul Rasheed (543 votes), Saud Wadood Khan (575 votes), Shafique Ahmed Jokhio (588 votes) and Zeenat Aftab (616 votes).
Meanwhile, candidates elected to the seats of the Academic Council include: Iftikhar Ahmed Azmi (700 votes), Muhammad Mansoor (623 votes), Dr Muhammad Arshad (634 votes), Dr Abdullah Muttaqi (elected for one professional seat with 676 votes) and Sr Rizwana Zahid Siddiqui elected to the women's seat with 682 votes.
FUUAST researcher turns industrial waste into building blocks
Karachi: A PhD student in the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) has successfully evolved a method that turns industrial waste into building blocks which can be used for construction purposes.
The research work of Muhammad Uzair Khan, who is working under the supervision of a foreign faculty member Dr Moinuddin Ahmed at the Department of Botany, will enable the manufacture of blocks that require use only 25 per cent cement and are stronger as compared to the common blocks used for construction.
Dr Ahmed informed that they had acquired more than 500 kilogrammes of industrial waste from three different industrial units and burnt it in incinerators to get ash. "We tested the ash and found that it contained substantial amounts of heavy metals including iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, etc. We conducted our test on different concentrations of these metals and discovered that on certain concentration they will work as the binding force for the blocks. We had another concern that these metals, when used in the blocks, might be released in soil after rains causing environmental degradations.
Thankfully, intensive tests show that once these metals are in the blocks they remain intact and no traces are washed after rains", Dr Ahmed explained the details of his research.
According to Dr Ahmed since the blocks will use 25 per cent less cement as compared to the common blocks, the consumers will benefit. "It will be of great help for the low income groups who are nursing the dream of their own homes. This step will also help in the removal of industrial waste and help in the preservation of clean environment in cities," Dr Ahmed maintained.
Dr Ahmed and his research associate are looking for some companies that would use their findings to produce these blocks on a commercial scale. "We are also waiting for a word from our Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Qaiser. He will give us the go ahead sign," Dr Ahmed concluded. The news