HEC financial crunch problems | HEC & student unions
HEC financial crunch affects overseas students
Karachi, Sep 01, 2008: The financial crunch facing the Higher Education Commission
(HEC) has created enormous difficulties for students who had received HEC
scholarships to study in foreign countries. The continuous fall of the Pakistani
rupee against the US dollar is also contributing to the hardships being
inflicted on the students.
Many students in the United Kingdom and the
United States communicated with their families to inform them about their
precarious situation in these countries. Some of these families asked about the nightmare of their sons and daughters and sought help in the
mitigation of the problem.
We spoke to HEC Chairman Prof
Atta-ur-Rahman to seek confirmation of the report. Prof Rahman agreed that they
had financial constraints but denied that Pakistani students were facing any
hardship due to the non-remittance of their scholarship money. "I have no such
information and I am sure that nothing of this sort has happened," he said. "We
want to develop a class of highly qualified and professional faculty in Pakistan
and so the HEC has launched a series of scholarship programmes. Through this
series, the HEC aims at providing the much-needed impetus to the academia by
offering indigenous as well as foreign PhD degrees to both faculty members and
students. We have done it and mean to continue with the financial backing to the
meritorious students who have proceeded abroad."
University of Karachi
(KU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof. Pirzada Qasim differed. "We are receiving news
from students and academics who have gone abroad. I cannot say if it is due to
the stoppage of funds from the HEC or due to the depreciation of the Pakistani
currency against the dollar. But I have information about many such instances
and I'm worried. As a matter of fact it has become an ordeal to pay the salaries
of teachers and other staff of the university and I am at a loss as how to pay
the salary for the month of August."
It may be recalled that under the
Foreign Scholarship programme, a number of scholarship schemes have been
launched through which students could pursue their undergraduate studies in
countries such as Thailand, USA, South Korea, New Zealand, Cuba, and the United
Funding for these scholarships is sponsored by the HEC,
Fulbright USA, and the Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship programmes.
Moreover, special emphasis is being given to MS studies in engineering
disciplines in these countries.
Muhammad Dawood Hussain, an assistant
professor at the NED University of Engineering & Technology Department of
Textile Engineering, is currently at the University of Manchester, UK, working
for his PhD in Textile Engineering, on an HEC scholarship. Hussain said that he
had some reports of the problem but since his next instalment (of the
scholarship) is due in January 2009, he is keeping his fingers crossed. "I am
optimistic that it will not happen. My grant is in Pounds Sterling so I don't
have to worry on account of depreciation of the Pakistani currency. Some other
students in some other cities (of UK) have complained about the non-remittance
of the scholarship money," he said.
Mrs Naila Mahmood, mother of Syed
Adeel Mahmood (a student at the University of Nottingham, UK, for a PhD in
Electronics), said that her son was in financial trouble because the scholarship
money was not remitted to him. "We were very concerned and I requested my
brother who is in Norway to send some money to Adeel. Thankfully my brother sent
him the money. But what about other students who might not have relatives
abroad," she said. The News
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HEC yet to reinstate student unions despite PM's nod
Islamabad: The incumbent government decision to regulate the students'
politics is yet to be implemented. The task was assigned to the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) to implement the Prime Minister's decision regarding the
reinstatement of Student Unions.
When contacted to an HEC official wishing
anonymity, said that a seven members committee was constituted in this
regard but members of the committee could not reach on a final proposal. He
informed that consensus could not be developed due to differences among the
committee members regarding the formula in a way to reinstate the students
Earlier, the committee, constituted over the top public sector
Universities VCs and HEC officials, was also called on the government officials
to discuss the future strategy. The reliable sources said that in the
said meeting members of the committee were not happy with the government
decision and they have revealed their concerns to the government
The facts and figures showed that violence graph rose horribly
during the period of ban over Students Union. Unprecedented events have made the
educational institutions more vulnerable. Conspiracies against the education and
the students did work awfully and negative use of the innocent students by the
administration of the said institutions itself and then political parties
further made the situation problematic.
In the absence of the Student Unions,
environment of the educational institutions could not be maintained peaceful, as
was claimed earlier at the time of imposing ban on the Unions.
According to a
research report, published by Center for Educational Research & Policy
Analysis (CIRAPA), Pakistan, during the period of Student Unions (1947 to 1984)
, 151 violence cases were recorded while during the period of ban on Union (1984
to 2004) 525 cases were recorded.
Similarly, before the ban period 13
students were killed but during the ban 165 students were murdered. Before
imposing the ban, 284 students were arrested while during the ban period this
figure was 7235 and 110 students were expelled while after that 985 students
were expelled. It was observed that from 2004 to date these figures reached at
In the absence of an organise body, students divided into the
regional, linguistic, ideological bases thus widening the vacuum for
conspiracies, violence and misunderstanding. To divide the students in different
factions, administration of the educational institution however, succeeded to
achieve their limited goals but they did not analyse that how much damaged they
have caused to educational institutions.
While talking to us, Vice
Chancellor Qauid-e-Azam University has said that he did not oppose the
government decision to reinstate the student unions, as it was the democratic
right of the students. "But yes, I have shown some concerns and fears, which
exists in my mind", he revealed. He was of the view that authoritative students
might be misused their power. However, he condemned the decision of ban over
student Union. He was of the view that ban was imposed in the past on the behest
of a military dictator only to serve his vested interests.
"There is no
concept of ban on students' politics in the democratic societies of the world
but unfortunately democracy in our country could not mature due to continue
intervention of military dictators one after other", said Zubair Safdar,
He maintained that so-called intellectuals had been advocating here against the
students' politics, which have resulted that these institutions could not
succeed to produce leadership to the society during the ban period but before
that many leaders were introduced like Javed Hashmi PML-N, Jhangir Badar-PPP,
and Liaqat Baloch -JI. He was of the view that it was also the main function of
these institutions to train the students during their study
Unfortunately, we could not succeed to create a culture of tolerance
and coexistence in our society, which ultimately affected our institution like
Universities, which have significance in every society and considered brain of a
nation. But the decision of the present government to reinstate the student
Unions has created a ray of hope in the darkness like situation. The Nation
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46,000 grads from homeopathic colleges, 15,000 to follow
Islamabad: The country's homeopathic colleges have so far graduated 46,000 people and 15,000 more are
currently studying at these institutes, said Health Secretary Mehmud Saleem
Mehmud on Sunday.
Addressing participants of a ceremony to distribute
certificates among four-year homeopathy diploma holders at a local hotel, the
secretary said that the government had recognised homeopathic education due to
cost-effectiveness of homeopathic system of disease diagnosis and
He said around 130 colleges were currently offering
He said homeopathic doctors mostly prescribed
imported medicines however a large number of pharmaceutical firms had begun
Mehmud declared homeopathic education need of the hour and
said all stakeholders, including Health Ministry, homeopathic colleges and
Pakistan Homeopathic Council would jointly work to make health education more
responsive to the current needs of health sector.
Principal of Capital
Homeopathic Medical Collage Homeo Dr Nasir Ahmad Chaudhry said on the occasion
that a large majority of population was benefiting from homeopathic system of
He called for steps to improve educational and training
standards in the field of homeopathic medicines to providing better, safe and
effective health care to people at large.
Homeo Dr Chaudhry said Drugs
Act of Traditional Medicine had been awaiting approval by parliament since long.
He said the Act, when enforced, would ensure availability of quality and safe
traditional medicinal products to people.
He said homeopathic system of
medicine should be improved to review composition of the National Homeopathic
Later, Health Secretary Mehmud Saleem Mehmud distributed
certificates of advance homeopathic diploma to 48 homeopathic doctors, including
28 women. Daily Times
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Dr. Asifa FCPS-II distinction
Rawalpindi: Dr. Asifa Dian Khan of the Holy Family
Hospital, Rawalpindi, has been awarded 'Professor Zafarullah Chaudhry Medal' by
the College of Physicians and Surgeons (Pakistan) for securing the highest
(72.33 per cent) marks in the FCPS-II (General Surgery) Examination 2007, says a
press release. She also secured high marks in the MRCS Examination 2007 of the
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) in her first attempt. The News
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