PUASA VP death threats by mafia & pro-IJT activists

PUASA vice president receives death threats from PU employees
Lahore, Oct 20: Punjab University Academic Staff Association's (PUASA) Vice President and PU Department of Geography Chairman Professor Dr Abdul Ghaffar has received death threats from the varsity's employees.

These employees have the strong backing of a land mafia. They and Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists had been allegedly giving death threats to Dr Ghaffar on exposing corruptions in PU Employees Housing Scheme.

These employees had been involved allegedly in illegally grabbing plots by deceiving poor employees.

Punjab University Academic Group (a group of teachers at PU) distributed pamphlets in the university to condemn the threats, and criticised the role of PUASA President Dr Maher Saeed Akhtar.

The pamphlets stated that the PUASA had earlier decided to condemn the death threats to Dr Ghaffar, but the association's president had remained silent and a resolution had not been sent to varsity administration.

However, PUASA president has said that they condemned the threats, and had also passed a resolution in this connection.

PU faculty, students and clerical officers condemned PUASA's role on the issue.

Dr Ghaffar said that he had received death threats, after he exposed the corruption by the PU employees land committee's chairman around five months ago.

He said PU employees Munir Awan, Zahoor Awan and Ghulam Abbas had been threatening to kill him and his family members if he did not stop exposing their corruption in the PU housing scheme.

He also had a record of their phone calls. In this connection a written application has also been sent to PU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Mujahid Kamran.

PUASA president said the association had always opposed incidents of misbehavior with teachers, adding that PUASA had actively protested when some students manhandled PU teacher Iftikhar Baloch.

Meanwhile, PU employee Abbas, while denying the allegations stated by Dr Ghaffar against him, said police had declared him and others innocent. Daily times

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Education ministry surrenders Rs264m allocated for hiring houses
Islamabad: In somewhat astonishing move under austerity drive, the Ministry of Education has surrendered Rs264 million out of the total of Rs420 million allocated for hiring of houses for about 5,000 teachers working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), making it difficult for most of them to maintain possession of their rented houses.

Sources said that the government has asked ministries to surrender 40 per cent of their funds as part of the austerity drive, but the high-ups of the ministry instead of reducing unnecessary expenditures thought it fit to deprive about 4,000 teachers of their house hiring funds.

According to sources, a section officer wrote a letter to the AGPR on the directives of Education Secretary Athar Tahir, stating: "The Ministry of Education has decided to surrender Rs240 million out of the funds allocated to teachers for hiring houses."

It is pertinent to mention here that the former education secretary got allocated Rs420 million in the current fiscal year for hiring of houses against the demand of Rs610 million, but only Rs156 million have been provided to teachers for paying rent of their houses.

Hundreds of desperate teachers daily visit the office of the Estate Management Department of FDE and ask for release of funds as they are facing eviction notices by their owners due to non-payment of rent for the last few months.

The official data showed that some 3,800 teachers of 480 schools and colleges are constantly approaching the high-ups for release of their house hiring funds but all their efforts hit snags, as the FDE is currently unable to provide them with funds.

The representatives of the teachers have written an application to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on humanitarian grounds to direct the concerned authorities either to ensure the availability of funds for hiring of houses or pay them their ceiling with salaries.

Since the stoppage of the funds for hiring of residential accommodation, the FDE has shown its inability to cater to the needs of all employees, as sufficient funds are not available for this purpose.

Azhar Mehmood Awan, president of the Federal Government Teachers' Association, Islamabad, has also demanded of the minister for education to withdraw this decision as it was creating unrest among teachers who were already facing severe financial constraints.

FDE Director General Shaheen Khan said that she has written a letter to the ministry in which it has been requested to release the required funds to enable teachers pay their house rents.

"We are fully alive to the problems and would take every possible step to provide relief to teachers. The prime minister would soon announce an upgradation and incentive package for which teachers have been yearning for past many years," she said. The news

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NA body seeks report on teachers' appointment in FDE
Islamabad: National Assembly Standing Committee on Education has shown grave concerns over avoiding due procedure of teachers' appointment in the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE). The NA body, chaired by Chaudhary Abid Sher Ali met on Tuesday, also formed a sub-committee under the convenership of Dr Nadeem Ehsan to look into the issue and submit its report within three weeks. Earlier, the committee was informed about the action taken on the irregularities in FDE. It was informed that all the four Deputy Directors, working in higher grades over and above the sanctioned strength, were posted back to their original grades. During the course of the committee meeting, the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Bill 2010 was also brought under consideration and another sub-committee was constituted under the convenership of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) MNA Shakeela Khanam Rashid to review the Bill and submit its report within three weeks. Daily times

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Spelt conference to start on 22nd
Rawalpindi: The Islamabad Chapter of the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (Spelt) will organise 26th Spelt International Annual Conference in collaboration with the Oxford University Press and Fatima Jinnah Women University. In the three-day conference, starting on October 22, more than 70 international and national experts will deliver lectures and conduct workshops on various aspects of English language teaching. The conference will provide an opportunity to English language teachers to benefit from the internationally renowned scholars. The conference also includes an IT village by British Council, a book launch by the Oxford University Press and a book exhibition by renowned publishers.

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Quaideen Family Festival on 28th
Islamabad: Quaideen, the Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni Association, is organising 'Quaideen Family Festival 2010' on Thursday (October 28) at the football ground, University Campus.

The gala will provide an occasion to old students to revive old memories and meeting new ones. The festival is a joint collaboration of Quaideen Intellectual Forum and the association. The alumni from across Pakistan are expected to participate in the event with their families.

The Family Festival would be first of its kind, as it would also try to raise funds for the QAU students hailing from flood-effected regions.

The festival would bring various banks, multinational Companies, research institutes, NGOs, and government departments to advise and help existing students in getting jobs. There guidance will be provided on the occasion where students can also drop their CVs and resume.

There would also be on the spot job assessment and interviews for the flood-affected students. The news

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6th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies begins
Islamabad: The opening ceremony of the 6th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies (ICET-2010) held at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (FAST-NU) here on Monday.

The Conference is being held in collaboration with Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE),Islamabad Section and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC).

Renowned scientist Dr. Riazuddin, Director General Emeritus of National Centre for Physics was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dr.Aftab Ahmad Maroof, Conference Chair, delivered the welcome address.This was followed by three keynote speeches on the topic of researchquality by Dr. Sung-yong Lee (Korea), Dr. Mudassar Farooq (FAST-NU, Pakistan) and Dr. Ali Khayam (NUST, Pakistan).

The speakers highlighted some of the research being carried out at their respective universities.

They also emphasized the importance and worth of present conference.

Rector of the University, Dr. Amir Muhammad, formally welcomed thechief guest in his address and stressed on the fact that research should be carried out in areas related with the socio-economic growth of the country.

Chief guest, Dr. Riazuddin, in his address, praised the quality of research being conducted at FAST-NU.

In his inspirational address, he strongly motivated the research community in Pakistan to attempt challenging problems that are essential for the economic stability and defense of the country.

ICET-2010 is a two day conference in which more than 77 distinguished speakers from within the country and abroad are presenting their research work.

Chairman IEEE Islamabad Section, AVM Saleem Tariq and Dr. Ayub Alvi, Dean FAST-NU were also present.

The closing ceremony of the conference will be held on Tuesday, October 19, 2010.

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Student council at Beaconhouse
Islamabad: The oath-taking ceremony of the student council for the academic year 2010-2011 was held at the girls branch of Beaconhouse School, Margalla Campus, says a press release. Headmistress Mrs. Farah Rahat distributed sashes and armbands among the newly-nominated members of the student council. In her address on the occasion, she stressed upon the significance of the role and support of the parents and school in a child's development. She said that the Beaconhouse School believes that the student council is the primary learning ground before the initial steps in society. "Being leaders and being part of a group are taught here which is helpful later on when these students step into their practical lives and life opens up various opportunities after school is over," she added. The news

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