Punjab University mysterious degrees verification

PU fails to verify degrees of 1,100 MPs in two months
Lahore, Sept 22: Degrees of around 1,100 legislators could not be verified in over two months while the Punjab University, on average, verifies over 4,000 degrees a month, a fact which creates serious doubts about mysterious handling of the issue. According to PU sources, the varsity has verified over 33,000 degrees, excluding of MPs, from January to August with an average of 40,00 a month.

The PU and other varsities receive degrees, in routine, from government departments and private organisations for verification of degrees of job seekers. The departments are required to submit complete documents including original degrees, certificates and registration number etc to the varsities so that the process could be completed without any waste of time. Sources said delay in the provision of required documents to universities was the sole cause of a slow verification process otherwise the whole chapter would have been closed by now.

In June, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had sent degrees of around 1000 MPs to universities across the country for verification while the rest were not received by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the time. Out of them dozens were sent back to the HEC as they were unreadable.

A number of varsities, including the PU, have yet to complete verification of some MP degrees. The PU is waiting for documents of around 18 MPs while it has verified and sent back over 300 degrees of MPs to the HEC after verification. Sources said the HEC directive to varsities in August 2010, to collect photocopies of national identity cards (NIC) and matriculation and intermediate certificates from MPs was being seen as delaying tactics.

Officials of different varsities, on condition of anonymity, said delay in the provision of required documents seemed to be a deliberate effort to slow down the process of verification otherwise it was not rocket science.

Talking about political pressure, they also referred to news reports related to the HEC chairman according to which Dr Javaid Laghari was under tremendous pressure from different quarters. After the reports, a meeting between Dr Laghari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was also held in which the HEC chairman was assured of full support from the government for verification of degrees.

A number of deadlines were set by the HEC for universities to complete the process but to no avail. The latest deadline to varsities is September 24. When contacted, neither Dr Javaid Laghari nor executive director Dr Sohail H Naqvi were available for comment despite repeated attempts. However, Dr Mahmood Raza, head of a review committee constituted by the commission for verification of degrees, denied any political pressure on the issue. He said to keep the whole process fair and compatible, varsities had been asked to collect other academic documents including certificates of matriculation and intermediate from MPs, adding that earlier verification was being done through photocopies of graduation degrees only. Dr Raza said some varsities took the HEC directive as infringement on their autonomy, however, they later started collecting the required documents from the MPs. The news

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LHC suspends expulsion of 15 QAMC students
Bahawalpur: The Lahore High Court's Bahawalpur Bench on Tuesday temporarily suspended the expulsion of 15 students of the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College and summoned the principal and members of the academic council along with relevant record tomorrow (Thursday).

The expulsion orders were suspended on a writ petition filed by the students. The petitioners contended that the expulsion orders were mala fide and the academic council had no powers to do so as only the college's disciplinary committee could take action against them on the charges of violence.

They also submitted that they were not summoned for explanation by the academic council before the issuance of the expulsion orders.

MULTAN: The Nishtar Medical College's Student Action Committee has demanded suspension of the Quaid-i-Azam Medical College principal and the Bahawalpur district police officer besides withdrawal of expulsion of 34 QAMC students.

Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, Mansoor Awan, Usman Gujjar, Adnan Mehboob and other members of the Student Action Committee deplored that the QAMC management had expelled 34 students despite the fact that none of them belonged to any specific group or political party.

They said the only fault of these students was that they were peacefully protesting for their rights. They alleged that at the behest of the principal the district police tortured the students (including girls).

The Punjab government had not taken action against the police and the college administration even a month after the issues developed, which showed political pressure on the government, they said. Dawn

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Teachers, students rally against autonomy to colleges
Lahore: A large number of college teachers and students took out a rally on Tuesday to protest autonomy to 26 public colleges and establishment of boards of governors (BoGs) in these institutes by the Punjab government. The protesters also criticised the federal government for ignoring the Higher Education Commission (HEC), saying the public universities were facing the worst financial problems owing to lack of funding to the Commission. The "Save Education" rally was organised by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), a consortium of the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA), Senior Staff Association (SSA) and Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT), from Nasir Bagh to Faisal Chowk.

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'Teachers, IJT campaign anti-education'
Lahore: A spokesman for the Higher Education Department, Punjab, has said that talented students want to acquire quality education through four-year degree programme. He, however, said that under the ulterior motives, a group of teachers, who taught in academies and private colleges during college time, was opposing the programme. The spokesman termed the protest campaign of the Asatza Mahaz and the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba an anti-education step, saying these elements were trying to destroy the peace of educational institutions.

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Teachers protest HEC budget cut today
Faisalabad: The Academic Staff Association (ASA) University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in a bid to show solidarity with the Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Association (FAPASA) will observe a protest against cut in budget of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the front of administration block of the University on Wednesday (today) at 10:30 am.

Highlighting details, ASA general-secretary Dr Masood Sadiq Butt said academic and administrative Staff of the university will demonstrate their protest in favour of their demands of increase in salaries and other resources for Research and Development (R&D). Dr Butt said the university employees will conduct a peaceful rally in 1st phase and academic boycott would be observed in 2nd phase.

Admissions conclude: New Admissions for post-graduate, under-graduate and intermediate pre-agriculture programmes in University of Agriculture, Faisalabad have concluded with highest ever record applications in the history of the university. Lauding highest rate of applications in various degree programmes, Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, VC UAF termed it landmark for the agricultural sector of the country. The news

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