UET VC set to win fourth term
Lahore, Sept 29: Lt-Gen (retd) Muhammad Akram Khan is likely to win a fourth term as vice-chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, as a summary for an extension in his term has recently been moved to the Punjab chief minister.
It is reliably learnt that the Punjab Higher Education Department has also moved a summary to CM Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif seeking an extension in the tenure of Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin as VC of the University of Gujrat.
However, the initiative of seeking extensions has caused great concern among academic circles as well as aspirants to top academic posts who argue that no one should be treated as indispensable and others should also be given a chance to serve.
The third term of Lt-Gen (retd) Akram Khan expired on February 27, 2010, but he was allowed by the Punjab government to continue working as UET vice-chancellor till further orders. The first term of Dr Nizamuddin as University of Gujrat VC expired on September 10, 2010. Academic circles are divided over the possible outcome of the summaries moved by the department. Some believe the former military man, who was appointed as UET VC during the first tenure of Shahbaz Sharif as Punjab CM, might win the slot again as he was still a favourite administrator of the chief minister.
Others argue that the case of Dr Nizamuddin was not strong as he had been appointed UoG VC during Ch Pervaiz Elahi's stint as chief minister and he might not be awarded an extension.
There are also those who believe that because of growing resentment against the posting of retired army officers on key posts and pressing demands of academicians for a teacher-VC, Lt-Gen (retd) Akram Khan might not be awarded an extension at all. Nonetheless, aspirants to the top slots are very critical of the government and argue that by awarding extensions a number of potential candidates who could vie for prestigious academic position were being denied their right to compete.
They also suggested the government advertise posts of VC before the term of any top administrator expired.
The tenure of Prof Dr Munawar S Mirza as University of Education VC will expire on November 20, 2010, while Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) VC Prof Dr Bushra Mateen's term will expire on November 20, 2010, Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) Multan VC Dr Muhammad Zafarullah on January 26, 2011, Government College University (GCU) Lahore VC Prof Dr Khalid Aftab on February 25, 2011, and University of Sargodha VC Prof Dr Muhammad Akram Ch on February 11, 2011.
Stakeholders argue that individuals having strong academic qualifications such as postdoctorate, publications of research papers in local and foreign journals and those having administrative experience should be appointed as VCs.
They are also critical of the Punjab government's prevailing criteria of giving preference to individuals having PhD degrees from foreign universities, saying by doing so it was discouraging indigenous PhD programmes.
They say those having PhDs from abroad were not only given preference but also awarded 12 marks unlike 8 marks for those having PhD degrees from local universities in recent appointments of VCs of universities including of Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB).
When contacted, a senior official of the Punjab Higher Education Department confirmed that summaries had been moved for an extension in terms of VCs of UET Lahore and the University of Gujrat. However, he added the department had not received any reply. The newsYour Comments
'Anti-state activities' Islamia College principal transferred
Lahore: The Punjab government on Tuesday transferred Government Islamia College Civil Lines Principal Prof Rao Jalil Ahmad on charges of anti-state activities, while college students and faculty members resenting the order staged a protest demonstration outside the Civil Secretariat for almost two hours.
The protesting teachers and students did not allow new incumbent Dr Asif Qureshi, transferred from the Govt Science College, Wahdat Road, to take charge and forced him to leave the campus on foot as his car's tyres had been deflated. The protesters blocked the Lower Mall particularly in front of the secretariat leaving commuters high and dry for over two hours.
The protesters chanted slogans against Punjab Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema for humiliating a senior teacher.
The protesters also locked the principal's office and did not allow new principal Dr Qureshi to speak to them. They pushed him out of the college campus.
It is learnt that the Punjab government charged Prof Jalil for allowing teachers and outsiders to hold anti-state meetings and raise funds for contesting court cases against the government. However, the college teachers said the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association was holding its executive meetings and collecting membership fee from members to meet expenditures of the movement against board of governors and newly-launched four-year BS (Honours) programme as well as contesting court case against the constitution and powers of BoGs.
The protesters, led by PPLA President Dr Zahid Ahmad Sheikh, chanted slogans against the transfer of the Islamia College principal and demanded that the government should instead transfer the higher education secretary.
Joint Action Committee Chairman Dr Zahid Ahmad Sheikh, PPLA Vice-President Shahid Chaudhry, Saadullah Shah, Haneef Abbasi and IJT's Punjab Nazim Qaiser Sharif said the government should restrain itself from taking vindictive actions against the teachers otherwise they would come out on roads across Punjab and jam academic activities.
They alleged that the bureaucracy was misguiding the chief minister, and demanded that he should allow the PPLA leaders a meeting so that he could be apprised of the conspiracy behind the constitution of BoGs and then take an independent decision.The protesters said the bureaucracy had rendered principals ineffective as the incumbent secretary did not transfer a lecturer on charges of proven insubordination and later posted him as a section officer in his own department.
Speakers also demanded that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif should direct the Punjab government to resolve teachers' problems as he had asked the federal government when the university teachers were protesting for the acceptance of their demands.
Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said it was teachers and students' democratic right to protest as if they were protesting against their principal's transfer. He, however, said Prof Jalil had been transferred and directed to report to the Punjab government as he was found guilty of allowing and holding anti-state activities.
Mr Cheema said newly-posted principal Dr Asif Qureshi would hopefully take charge on Wednesday (today).
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee has announced holding a protest demonstration against the constitution of BoGs and the District Education Authority in front of the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday (today). Dawn
PU BoG okays MS in Nanotechnology
Lahore: Board of Governors of Punjab University Tuesday approved the new MPhil programme "MS in Nanot-echnology" which is likely to be launched shortly. This was decided in 21st meeting of the Board of Governors of Centre of Excellence of Solid State Physics Department, which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran.
The other Board members, namely Dr Altaf Ali Shaikh Member Academics HEC Islamabad, Dr Manzoor H. Soomro Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Islamabad, Muhammad Hanif Deputy Educational Advisor Ministry of Education, Prof Dr M Khaleeq-ur-Rahman Chairman Physics UET Lahore, Prof Dr Shaukat Ali Hayat PD CIIT Vehari and Prof Dr Shahzad Naseem Director PU COE in Solid State Physics were also present in the meeting.
The board discussed up-to-date progress on academic and research activities in addition to approving a number of budget items pertaining to future plans of the Center.
Later, VC Dr Kamran inaugurated two sections of the newly-established computer lab and clean lab, which houses optical lithography equipment used for training in device fabrication.
He also performed the opening ceremony of renovated building of the Centre including a new car park.
PU date sheet
Lahore: Punjab University Examinations Department Tuesday announced the written and practical examination date sheet of Diploma in Physical Education (Undergraduate), Annual Examination 2010.
According to the details, the written exam will commence from October 5 and conclude on October 12, 2010, while the practical exam in science subjects will commence from October 15 and conclude on October 19, 2010. Detailed date sheet is also available at PU website www.pu.edu.pk. The nation
UoS to establish chair of Dr Wazeer Agha
Sargodha: The University of Sargodha will establish the chair of Dr Wazeer Agha at the Urdu Department after the approval of syndicate.
It was disclosed by the varsity's Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Akram Ch while addressing a condolence reference held to pay tribute to Dr Wazeer here on Tuesday. The vice-chancellor said that intellectuals like Dr Wazeer Agha born after centuries and it would be a great tribute to him to make the chair on his name at the university. He said that Wazeer Agha introduced several new theories in Urdu Literature. The death of Dr Wazeer was a great lose, he added. Dr Salim Agha Qazalbash, son of Dr Wazeer Agha, while addressing the ceremony said that his father did several works for progress of Urdu Literature. UoS Urdu Department chairman Dr Tahir Tonsvi, Tariq Habeeb, Riaz Shad, Shakir Kandan, Arshad Malik, Khalid Iqbal and others also spoke. The news