Bias in PU MPhil English admission upsets candidates
Lahore, Oct 03: The Punjab University (PU) has denied admission to MPhil to the students having 2nd division in MA English despite the fact the university has rarely awarded 1st Division to its students under the annual examination system during the last many years.
The move of admitting only the first divisioners to the MPhil English programme has greatly upset the students having second division who, despite securing the best marks in entrance test and qualifying interview, were not being offered admission. At the same time, the move has proved an advantage for those who did their masters in English under the semester system from PU or any other university.
Like many other candidates who have been denied admission to MPhil English, Sumra Anwaar, a candidate who passed BA with distinction and MA English again with distinction in her department at the Punjab University with second division, has been denied admission to by the PU authorities. The candidate secured 33 out of 40 marks of entrance test for MPhil admission and had obtained 8 out of 10 marks in viva voce.
Ms Sumra said that she, like many of the candidates, was shocked to see that her name was not in the list of successful candidates for admission to MPhil programme.
A faculty member from the PU Department of English Language & Literature, seeking anonymity, said that since the university was following guidelines of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), those having second division, could not be offered admission.
The faculty member, claiming that the university had not awarded first division under annual system to any candidate during last two decades, said those securing CGPA 3 out of 4, under the semester system, were being offered admission. It is learnt that the department had a total of 15 seats for MPhil in English programme but it could only find 13 students as the others, having second division, were excluded from the admission process. It is further learnt that the department also took up the issue with the PU Admission Committee to get the condition relaxed in interest of the candidates but to no avail.
A couple of years ago, the HEC had to allow candidates, having the master s in English in second division, to apply for the post of lecturer in the universities across the province when the universities complained to the commission that the number of applicants for the post of lecturer in English was very low due to the requirement of a first division degree.
When contacted, PU Admissions Committee Chairman Prof Dr Amin Athar said the university was following HEC rules and if the same were relaxed by the Commission, the university had no objection. He also said he had heard too that the PU had not awarded first division in MA English, under annual system, during last two decades. An HEC official said the issue could be taken up if the PU sent a reference to the commission in this regard. He said keeping in view the ground realities, the candidates seeking admission to MPhil having second division in MA English, could also be facilitated as those favoured in the past for the posts of lecturers.Your Comments
IJT 'thrashes' PU security chief
Lahore: Some activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) on Saturday allegedly thrashed and injured the Punjab University's security company commander and acting assistant security officer Shahbaz Ahmed.
According to PU spokesman, some labourers, on the instructions of the IJT activists, forcibly entered the campus and reached the cricket ground of the hostel area. Later, the labourers started digging out the ground for bathrooms as part of arrangements for the scheduled convention of Jamiat, starting at the PU from October 15.
The spokesman said the PU administration immediately informed the Muslim Town SHO and the Iqbal Town SP to stop this illegal activity. Meanwhile, some activists of the IJT allegedly attacked the security guards with iron rods. He said senior officers of the administration reached the spot and rescued Sobaidar Shahbaz Ahmed from the IJT activists. The PU officials took Sobaidar Shahbaz Ahmed to the office of the SP Iqbal Town so that legal process could be initiated against the culprits. Later, Shahbaz Ahmad was sent to the Jinnah Hospital for the medico-legal examination.
When contacted, PU chapter IJT Nazim Zubair Safdar claimed that the IJT activists and labourers were preparing the hostel ground of the university when the PU security guards came there with batons in their hands.
He added that after the refusal of the IJT activists to stop digging, the security guards attacked on them, injuring one activist, Ahmad.
He said the injured activist was rushed to a local hospital, where he was said to be out of danger, adding that they had also got his medical certificate for lodging an application with the police concerned. He said the PU administration was hindering the IJTís convention while the Punjab chief minister had allowed them to organise the event.
PU syndicate members flay IJT
Lahore: The Punjab University Syndicate's members, elected on faculty membersí seats, have strongly condemned the thrashing of university officials allegedly by hooligans of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). In a press statement on Sunday, they demanded Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take stern action against those involved in the incident. They also sought time from the CM for a meeting so that he could be briefed on the situation. The teachers said that hooligans of the Islami Jamiat Talaba had made the peaceful academic environment of the university hostage and they were assisted by external elements while they had badly damaged the university property in a number of incidents.
UHS refutes charges
Lahore: The University of Health Sciences (UHS), clarifying a news item published in this newspaper under the headline Irregularities alleged in UHS entrance test on September 30, has termed the allegations against the examination system as baseless.
The UHS administration, clarifying the allegations made by protesting students and parents said that UHS had uploaded answer keys of all codes (i.e. 0, 1, 2 and 3) on its website www.uhs.edu.pk, the same day and published in national dailies the next day to facilitate candidates to determine their marks under the self-scoring system.
It said the grievance redress committee had receiuved 213 complaints till September 30, and no discrepancies were found in the result of 208 candidates. The result of only five candidates was revised after manual checking of complainants response forms because earlier Optimal Mark Reader (OMR) could not read it correctly. It may be mentioned that The News had simply reported the opinion of the aggrieved students and their parents regarding the medical entry test, which doesn t necessarily reflect views of the organisation.
College employees flay move to strengthen BoGs
Lahore: Teaching and non-teaching employees of 26 government colleges, which have been awarded autonomy, have criticised the government for paying them salaries through the colleges instead of the AG s Office.
They say that the step has resulted in the delay in payment of salaries as the colleges were not prepared to perform the task. The shift in policy has created uncertainty among the stakeholders who are also worried about matters pertaining to pension, provident and GP funds, etc.
It is reliably learnt that AG s Office has transferred three months salary of the employees to 26 colleges to be paid the same through the office of the principals. According to the stakeholders, the developing situation has also cleared the government s intention of running these colleges through the Board of Governors with full powers entrusted to them. A faculty member from the Government MAO College, seeking anonymity, said that like rest of the teachers he was worried about the delay in salary, adding that the shift in policy had also created uncertainty and strong doubts among the government employees about functioning of the BoGs. There was a perception that only contract employees would be paid through the principal s office, he said, however adding that that paying regular as well as contract employees through the college account had cleared that employees of the 26 colleges would be under control of the BoGs and not the government. We have been asked to produce the last pay certificate from the AG s Office, said another teacher, adding that the move had disturbed the teachers who were busy, besides teaching, in anti-dengue campaign of the Punjab government. Yet another faculty member from the Government College of Science, Wahdat Road, said that since the colleges were not prepared and had no training to perform the exercise of paying salaries to the staff, a delay was being witnessed which had greatly upset all. He said the government should take notice of the situation and realize the fact that teachers and other employees too had to pay utility bills, fee of children and other household expenses, etc. Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association President Dr Zahid Ahmad Sheikh alleged that the latest move was also a contempt of court as the matter pertaining to establishment of the BoGs was in the Lahore High Court and it was to be decided yet. He said the association was also protesting against the delay which had added to miseries of college teachers and other employees. The news