AIOU GRE-GMAT and TOEFL tests | PhD scholarships

AIOU to conduct GRE-GMAT and TOEFL tests
Islamabad, Sep 17: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will establish a 'Testing Centre' at its main campus for holding the GRE-GMAT and TOFEL tests, enabling students to avail admissions and scholarships for higher studies at home and abroad.

AIOU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi stated this in a meeting with representatives of the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP).

AIOU and USEFP agreed to undertake collaborative programme for promotion of education in the country. They discussed a plan for holding orientation, mock (diagnostic) test and final tests of GRE-GMAT and TOEFL.

Professor Dr. Nazir A. Sangi further said that the conduct of GRE-GMAT and TOEFL tests in collaboration with the UESFP would result in improved performance in these areas, particularly for the people of Pakistan, who are under-privileged and living in remote regions. AIOU and USEFP, he said, should strengthen their relationships and explore further areas of mutual interest.

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Cambridge student leader lives in fear after complaint
London: A Pakistani student leader at the Cambridge University has openly accused the university's certain board members and staff in the Graduate Union for discriminating against him "on racial grounds" but the student leader faces hostility for going public about his concerns.

After this newspaper highlighted the difficulties of Arsalan Ghani student from Faisalabad who was elected in March this year to head the union on full time basis local media in Cambridge picked up the issue and called these allegations as "scathing attack" on the Cambridge student bodies.

Speaking to The Cambridge Student TCS newspaper, GU President Ghani said: "I have launched a complaint to the university authorities in this matter who are investigating. I have all the necessary evidences. Further information, I can only provide after consultation with my lawyers."

But the same news report totally ignored the above statement and concluded "to date, we have not been able to find any evidence of racist behavior". The report in effect attempted to deny natural justice to a person who claims that he has been a victim of racial discrimination. The same newspaper played vital role in the campaign against African-Caribbean candidate during CUSU elections and slandered her as "hilariously incompetent".

The former GU President Olivia Watson who has been accused of orchestrating campaign against Arsalan, hit back saying that "changes to the constitution to allow the GU to become a charity - and thus to have a Trustee Board - were started long before Arsalan voiced his intentions to run for President. The suggestion that I manipulated the Constitution to gain a place on the Trustee Board is particularly bizarre, since I left before the new Constitution came into effect and am not a Trustee".

CUSU LGBT chair Charlie Bell said that it was "totally unfair" to "attack Cambridge students as somehow being against minority groups".

Varsity, the independent Cambridge student newspaper published since 1947, said it had received reports that Ghani had "systematic campaign - at times underhand" against him. The paper speculated that the antagonism towards Ghani may have stemmed at least in part from his political views because he is a "well-known left-wing campaigner" as he is actively involved with the Cambridge Marxist Society. The source to Varsity quoted: "Covert racism definitely exists in Cambridge student society. Had the president been white, I don't believe he would have received the same level of antagonism and abuse."

One of the local publications went on to criticise the publishing of the original exclusive report of discrimination allegation but a source at the University's administration told this correspondent that the prestigious university's senior figures were highly concerned that a relatively internal matter had gone global and carried serious implications to the reputation of the university which heavily depends on sizeable international students.

According to reports received by this correspondent, Ghani has been deprived of his authorities and role in the union as a President and encountered lot of problems from a certain group of board members.

His responsibilities as a president were cut down by making changes to the union constitution overnight by the previous president and those board members leaving behind serious flaws in the constitution. According to internal Cambridge sources, the group opposed to ethnic minorities, has established strong network in the Cambridge University. The far-right English Defense League (EDL) and racist British National Party (BNP) has a lot of support base in Cambridge.

Racism in Cambridge University is not new. Sources close to Arsalan stated that he is facing serious threats and victimization after launching complaint to the University and highlighting the issue.

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HEC plans to give 600 PhD scholarships to Balochistan
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is planning to award 600 master's leading to PhD scholarships to the natives of Balochistan province. The government has recently approved the project under the "Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package" on August 30, 2012. The project will cost Rs3138.692 million and is focused towards providing opportunities of access to higher education to financially constrained youth of Balochistan, who despite possessing academic merit are unable to continue their further studies. The offered scholarship would cover tuition costs, accommodation and living expenses of the selected candidates.

The project would supplement the efforts of government to focus over human resource development in Pakistan. It would provide incentives to the talented students of Balochistan to achieve excellence in their area of interest and ensure availability of trained manpower for research and development in the country in basic sciences, agriculture, life sciences and engineering & technology, arts, languages and social sciences.

The project would be helpful in covering two important aspects including recognition of merit and ensuring parity at national level which would lead towards national integration.

Some 400 indigenous and 200 overseas scholarships for Masters and MS leading to PhD studies would be awarded to the natives of the province. Balochistan is comprised of 30 districts and each district would get its share of foreign and indigenous scholarships on the basis of its population. Furthermore, 25 per cent scholarships have been reserved for in-service government R&D organizations and faculty members and employees of universities, colleges and degree awarding institutions and remaining 75 per cent will be awarded on open merit.

After completing their PhD degrees, the scholars would be required to serve in Balochistan for at least five years so that educational institutions and industry of Balochistan may get maximum benefits from their knowledge and expertise. The news

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DG FDE without powers to transfer
Islamabad: Though the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) has appointed a new director general (DG) federal directorate of education (FDE) following the orders of the Supreme Court, yet the new DG seems without powers to run effectively over 420 educational institutions.

According to sources, CAD has virtually paralysed the entire system by accumulating all the powers.

A faculty member of a college requesting not to be identified said that issues such as transfers of staff are approved by CAD. In this scenario, the office of the DG has virtually lost its entire significance. This concentration of powers is frustrating the employees as their issues are not being resolved in a timely manner.

"Major problems include, financial requirements, posting and transfers of teachers, performance of non-teaching staff and need of the institutions for running daily affairs. All these things being part of the operation, need to be updated keeping in view changing conditions and ever rising challenges," he said.

"If the DG is not more than a statue sitting in the seat and her only function is to forward every issue 'just like post office' to CAD, the affairs will not only linger on but also be decided without proper and first hand knowledge at the ministry level. This is what one can witness at the present," he said.

According to sources, the recent issue which has really disturbed the teaching community is that there was a shortage of faculty members of Physics in H-8 Model College.

So it was decided to get one or two teachers from H-9 or F-10 model colleges and request was made with FDE but FDE informed that they should request CAD because FDE does not have power of transfer.

Prof Tahir Mahmood, spokesperson for Federal Government College Teachers Association said, "Whenever the DG is approached by any of the officials and even the heads of educational institutions, she expresses her helplessness and says she is compelled to forward the problem to CAD."

"This is, without any doubt spoilage of educational institutions and creation of more and more problems for those working in these institutions up to the time, the DG is fully powerful, performance of FDE and attached educational institutions will not improve. However, after transfer of powers to CAD, there is complete chaos in FDE and the educational institution under it are suffering a lot," he said.

"The DG cannot transfer even a single teacher in case of emergency without permission from CAD. On the other hand, with almost 18 Divisions to be supervised, CAD is overloaded with official affairs and is unable to address even the immediate problems promptly," he said.

FGCTA has demanded that powers be delegated to the DG FDE for timely resolution of teachers, students and parents' problems.

Joint Secretary CAD, Rafique Tahir said that every department has his own powers but still DG FDE has powers and she should exercise them.

As far as transfers of gazetted officers were concerned, it was prerogative of Secretary CAD. Dawn

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