PU plant pathology students protest

PU students continue protest against unrecognised degree
Lahore, Oct 12: Punjab University Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology students on Monday held a demonstration and staged a sit-in in front of the vice-chancellor's office for over an hour to register their protest against varsity administration's failure in getting the institute degree accredited from the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The protesters carrying banners demanded that their degrees should be granted equivalence because the agriculture department was not accepting the IMPP degrees.

When the students began their protest, the vice-chancellor along with senior officials, including controller of examinations and RO-I, approached the students near their institute and asked them to discuss the matter. However, the protesters did not agree saying that they had been trying to meet the vice-chancellor for the last many days but they were denied audience. The protesters marched from the institute to the vice-chancellor's office and observed a sit-in there for over an hour.

Finally, a delegation of four students Muhammad Adnan Saeed, Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Muhammad Tariq Manzoor and Waheed Anwar met the VC and conveyed to him that the institute graduates were running from pillar to post to get jobs but the Punjab Public Service Commission had refused to recognise the mycology and plant pathology degrees.

They also demanded that the institute's expelled students should be reinstated.

During the meeting, the VC announced constitution of a committee comprising senior varsity faculty members and representatives of IMPP students to finalize its recommendations for an amicable solution to students' problems.

Prof Kamran told the students' delegation that the varsity administration had already hired the services of qualified and experienced agrarian experts for imparting Higher Education Commission recognized syllabi comprising basic agri-courses to IMPP students.

In order to make up for the academic deficiency of students who had already qualified from the Institute, the VC said required courses were currently being taught free of cost.

The VC told the delegation that a team from HEC's National Accreditation Council for Agriculture Education, after visiting the IMPP, had already recommended inclusion of the institute in 'X' category and a formal intimation to this effect was likely to be received soon.

The VC said he had also spoken to the Vice-Chancellor of Agriculture University, Faisalabad, who had promised to extend full cooperation for the resolution of the IMPP students' problem.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Jamil Anwar Chaudhry, Faculty of Life Sciences dean Prof Dr Shahida Hasnain, Student Affairs Adviser Iftikhar Ahmad Chaudhry, Controller of Examinations Dr Zahid Karim Khan, Resident Officers-I Javed Sami and RO-II Malik Muhammad Zaheer were present in the meeting.

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Raise in mess fee withdrawn
Lahore: Students protested against a massive raise in mess security for Punjab University girls hostels and blocked Canal Road for over an hour on Monday evening.

The PU Hall Council administration immediately met and notified reversal of increase in the mess security fee. The administration also agreed that the students may pay Rs250 gas charges on a monthly basis instead of Rs3,000 annually.

The students protested that the varsity administration had raised mess security fee from Rs2,000 to Rs3,500. Commuters on Canal Road had to face to great deal of inconvenience because of the protest.

Hostels residents had come out on Canal Road and blocked the thoroughfare while carrying placards that the increase in mess security be withdrawn.

Hall Council chairman Prof Dr Amin Athar immediately held a meeting of girls hostels' wardens and withdrew the increase. The meeting, however, asked the day scholars and some expelled students to stay away.

The varsity officials claimed that the students' demand was immediately met but the male and female students belonging to the Islami Jamiat Tulaba had politically motivated the issue and blocked the road.

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LCWU student nominated for US award
Lahore: The RISI, a leading international organisation for Global Forests Product Industry, USA, has nominated a Lahore College for Women University's PhD student for one of the Pulp and Paper Industry's most prestigious awards.

Naila Yaqoob has been short-listed for the research achievement for the 2010 Pulp & Paper International (PPI) Awards. The competition was among the pulp and paper scientists, engineers and researchers from allover the world.

Only three competitors have been short-listed as finalists in this category. Every finalist is awarded a "Finalist Logo" and the winner's name will be disclosed on Nov 16 at the PPI award ceremony in Brussels, Belgium.

HEC Indigenous Fellow Ms Yaqoob has been working on her PhD thesis under the supervision of LCWU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Bushra Mateen and varsity's faculty of natural sciences dean Prof Dr Kausar Jamal Cheema. The research work was conducted at LCWU, Packages Limited (Pulp and Paper Mill), Pakistan, and University of Tasmania, Australia.

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MoUs on promotion of technical education
Lahore: The Punjab government and the City and Guilds International, United Kingdom, have signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting technical education in the province.

One MoU was signed by Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) Chairman Saeed Alvi and City and Guilds' head of international operations John Dunch McGee, while the other MoU was signed by Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) Chairman Faisal Ijaz and British Council's Lahore Director Darrin Vardon.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, MPA Rana Muhammad Afzal and officials of the British Council and the Punjab government were present.

Under the agreement, City and Guilds International and the British Council would offer cooperation in teachers' training, establishment of Centre of Excellence, modernisation of syllabus and capacity-building of vocational institutes.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said the promotion of technical and vocational education was imperative for rapid progress and development of the country. He said Tevta and PVTC had been made vibrant institutions, where modern syllabus was being taught to produce a skilled workforce to cater to market needs. He said that Britain and Pakistan had deep-rooted friendly and historical ties and both the countries were partners in trade and economic cooperation.

He said the United Kingdom was playing a vital role in promoting investment and bringing improvement in various sectors in Pakistan.

He said that provision of technical support by City and Guilds International was a good beginning and it would leave a far-reaching impact on the promotion of technical education in the province. He said all possible steps would be taken to give a practical shape to the programme. He said that Tevta and PVTC should execute the training programmes in a consolidated manner so that skilled workforce could be produced.

Under the agreement, Alvi said, the students of polytechnics would get the opportunity to sit for City and Guilds International Vocational Qualifications theory examinations and to be assessed for practical work.

He said that City and Guilds qualifications would be introduced in the fields of telecommunication, construction, quantity surveying, mechanical, electronics, electrical, automobile, refrigeration/air conditioning, machining and computer aided design in 24 Tevta polytechnic institutes.

McGee of City and Guilds International termed the agreement a welcome development and said that all possible cooperation would be extended for the promotion of vocational education in Punjab, which included the establishment of a state-of-the-art polytechnic institute, teachers' training and modernisation of syllabus. Dawn

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LLB Distinction
Qasim Aziz Butt secured "Higher A Level" position in LLB (Honours) of the London University examination held in 2010. The news

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