Higher Education Commission budget concerns

HEC shows concern over proposed cut on budget
Islamabad, Sep 02: Higher Education Commission (HEC) expressed its serious concerns over the proposed financial cut on development and non-development budget to cover the floods damages across the country and demanded to exempt education sector particularly higher education from this financial constraint.

Talking to media persons at HEC Secretariat on Tuesday, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari said the Planning Commission had been showing non-serious attitude, which might negatively impact the future of thousands of students getting higher education across the world.

He said both Ministry of Finance and World Bank were agreed upon the funding of Rs 28 billion to promote talent and intellectualism in the country, but planning commission applied a cut of Rs 5 billion and only approved Rs 25 billion for HEC during ongoing fiscal year 2010-11.

Laghari said the federal government had announced 50 percent ad hoc increase in salaries, 15 percent increase in medical allowances and 15 to 20 percent increase in pension. Total impact of all these benefits amounts to Rs 7 billion, however the Finance Division had not been providing this amount to HEC, he maintained.

The chairman said overall enrollment of students in different universities and degree-awarding institutes across the country had increased to 82 percent during last five years, while HEC had set the target to provide tertiary education up to 27.7 million boys and girls between 17 to 23 years of age up to year 2020.

He said the government had paid special attention to girls' education as the literacy rate in females had jumped to 46.4 percent of total population with an increase of 4.9 percent during last 10 years.

"On the other hand, the literacy rate of boys' education has been recorded at 53.6 percent with shocking decrease of 9.44 percent as compared to financial year 2000-01," the chairman added.

He said HEC had committed to provide assistance to 2,800 foreign PhD students out of which 350 scholars across the country had completed this programme. Similarly, 385 scholars had got Ph D degrees out of total 3,800 local PhD programmes announced by HEC.

Laghari was on the view that there should be at least 35 to 37 percent increase in HEC budget every year to meet the education policy goals by 2015 while seven percent of total budget for education sector should be proposed up to Rs 1.464 trillion while the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the country might be estimated $220 billion till year 2015.

The chairman said government allocated Rs 15.762 billion for the HEC in the federal budget for 2010-11 under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), which was 29.94 percent less than the previous year because of some financial constraints.

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'No pressure of Presidency regarding degrees verification'
Islamabad: HEC Chairman Dr Javaid R Laghari said that the commission had received total 1,055 degrees for verification process out of which 371 were found correct, while 50 were fake and 15 were incomplete and sent to the courts and 599 were still in verification process. Laghari said that under last session of verification, HEC received 52 degrees from various institutions, which the commission had forwarded to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

"All universities have been given a deadline of submission of degrees to HEC till Eidul Fitr. And hopefully this process would be over soon," he said. The chairman said the Presidency was not pressurising the HEC with regard to the verification of degrees of parliamentarians. "The prime minister has directed the commission to follow rules and procedures while dealing with this issue. The process is going on smoothly and all universities are fully cooperating with HEC," Laghari clarified. Daily times

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Floods have affected 38% of QAU students: VC
Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai has said that 37 per cent students of the university (1,800 out of 4,800) are direct flood victims.

He was speaking at an Iftar-dinner organised by Quaideen, the QAU Alumni Association, at Islamabad Club to launch its countrywide campaign of flood relief.

He said that despite difficulties, Academic Staff Association and employees of QAU are trying to raise funds and help victims of the flood. He said that he is receiving emails every day in which students were saying that they cannot study as every of their belongings back home were washed away by floods.

He warned that many of them may fall to terrorists as they belong to vulnerable areas.

He said that there were 900 applicants against 40 seats for BBA in economics. He said that School of Management Sciences will be starting 4-year BBA programme this year and existing Department of Administrative Sciences will be merged with it. Quaid-i-Azam School of Law will also be established at QAU on its own which will have a 3-year graduate programme followed by LLB.

Earlier, Quaideen Secretary General Murtaza Noor said that Quaideen will also hold a mega job fair for outgoing students. He said that Quaideen is activating its regional chapters in big cities of the country to participate in flood relief activities. He said that efforts will be made to ensure maximum transparency.

Sikandar Roy, President of Quaideen, said that the Alumni Association has crossed the ideological barrier of red, green, religion, clan and class.

Dr. Basit who is also Rector of Preston University donated Rs 0.3 million to Quaideen on the occasion said that Quaideen gatherings enable to meet old friends and such gatherings should continue. Dr. Sakhawat Shah, the oldest alumnae in the function and VC of Hazara University said that university should deduct one per cent every month from the salary of all staff and put it in a welfare fund on permanent basis. Tariq Malik, Deputy Chairperson of NADRA, a Quaideen, Dr. Arshad Zia and Jamshed Iftikhar also spoke on the occasion.

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KEMU pro-VC justifies appointment
Lahore: The newly-appointed pro-vice chancellor of King Edward Medical University, Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan, has justified his appointment by saying that KEMU Act 2005 doesn't put the condition of seniority for appointment on the post of pro-vice chancellor.

As per Chapter III, article 15(1) of the KEMU Act, the appointment of Pro-VC KEMU shall be as follows: "The pro-vice chancellor shall be appointed by the chancellor on the recommendation of the government and in consultation with the vice chancellor from among the professors of the university and shall hold office on the pleasure of the chancellor for a term not exceeding four years." Therefore, seniority is not the prerequisite for appointment on the post of pro-vice chancellor in the varsity. Prof Asad Aslam clarified that he stood well below 100 instead of 127th in overall seniority list; whereas, he was below 20 in seniority within KEMU. Yet, he said that the person to be appointed as Pro-VC of KEMU has to be chosen from among the professors within the university and not from the professors of Punjab. When Prof SM Awais was appointed as pro-vice chancellor, he was at seniority No.11 at KEMU and not the senior most.

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Bahria University has new pro-rector
Islamabad: Rear Admiral (r) Ehsan Saeed, SI (M), has assumed the charge of the office of Pro-Rector Bahria University from August 23, 2010, says a press release issued by the Bahria University Public Relations Department here on Tuesday.

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City School students excel in Cambridge exams
Islamabad: Students of the City School, Islamabad Campus, excelled in the Cambridge International Examinations 'O' & 'A' Level Results 2009-10, says a press release issued here on Tuesday.

In 'A' levels, there have been 20 A* and 52 A, with Sarah Afzal scoring a commendable achievement of 5 A*. The results of 'O' levels, boys and girls both, have been equally remarkable with a significant number of students achieving straight As. There have been 106 A* and 10 A*. Hania Liaqat with 5 A* and 4 A and Syeda Bushmah Owais with 3 A* and 6 A have excelled among girls.

City School (Islamabad Campus) Principal Shagun Irfan congratulated the students and their parents on the brilliant success. In a separate message to the teachers, she lauded their dedicated efforts for producing an impressive result and their role in guiding the students towards achieving international distinction. The news

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