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Hyderabad University issue | KU financial crunch

Hyderabad University issue
Karachi, Feb 26: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), former ally of the present ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), has strongly responded to the controversial remarks of Senior Sindh Education and Literacy Minister Pir Mazharul Haq about foundation of a university in Hyderabad, and staged a rally in Karachi besides holding protest demonstrations across the province, on Sunday.

In this regard, a major rally was staged outside the Karachi Press Club, terming the statement as hostility against Sindh province. A large number of MQM activists, carrying placards and banners, chanted slogans against Haq's statement.

Addressing the protesters, MQM senior leader Farooq Sattar termed that day as the darkest day in the history of Pakistan. He demanded of the government to legislate immediately for a public university in Hyderabad city. He viewed that the remarks given by the PPP minister unveiled the real face of PPP and the sentiments of PPP leaders in pretext of democracy.

He viewed that the statement was a conspiracy to divide the motherland of Sindh, and get brothers scuffled. He said that the education minister expressed discrimination and narrow-mindedness.

On the occasion, he announced that MQM would table the bill of the university in the Sindh Assembly, if PPP did not do so. He said that the peaceful protests against the prejudicial statement of the Sindh education minister would continue as long as the SA did not pass the bill for the establishment of the Hyderabad University.

He also warned the government that a march would be taken out towards SA building to force the so-called politicians, who were sowing the seeds of hatred by opposing the establishment of the university, if the government failed to introduce the bill."

MQM leaders Waseem Aftab, Ashfaq Mangi and others also expressed their views at the demonstration.

Meanwhile, addressing the zonal committee of Hyderabad, MQM chief Altaf Hussain has said, "We were against the division of Sindh in past and even today, we don not want Sindh's division. We are not narrow-minded, and we will build universities in Sindh and throughout Pakistan if we get a chance."

He said that he was aware of the concerns of the people of Hyderabad, and the grief caused to them by the statement.

Altaf said that the MQM would spread education, and it would build universities in Dadu, Thatta, Kashmore, Larkana, Jacobabad, and Khairpur, besides Hyderabad. He said that it was the part of the MQM's manifesto to provide education and healthcare facilities to the people, and his party would implement its manifesto. He asked the people not to harm public and private property while protesting against the provocative statement. He asked them to keep their protests completely peaceful. MQM Coordination Committee in London through a statement also strongly condemned the remarks of Sindh minister.

However, clarifying his stance on the issue, Haq in a statement denied any statement about opposing a public university in Hyderabad. He said that his statement was misinterpreted in media.

He said not one but three universities would be established in Hyderabad. He said that three days ago, he had already tabled a bill in the provincial assembly for establishment of a public university in Latifabad.

Haq appealed to the masses not to believe in the propaganda of miscreants and pleaded with MQM to understand the perspective of his statement. Daily times

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KU's financial crunch resulting in unpaid staff: KUTS
Karachi: The University of Karachi (KU) has been experiencing one of the worst financial crunches, which has resulted in KU being unable to pay the salaries of its teaching and non-teaching staff, said the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) on Monday.

The KUTS has demanded the prime minister to take notice of the financial crisis and issue an urgent grant of Rs1 billion from his discretionary funds to the public sector university at the earliest.

Referring to a report that said the KU had no funds left to even disburse salaries to its staff, KUTS President Dr Muttahir Ahmed said that if the grant was not urgently released to the university from the federal government and the Higher Education Commission (HEC), then both of them would be responsible for KU's destruction.

The prime minister had released Rs500 million for another educational institution of Sindh and should urgently release Rs1 billion for KU from his discretionary funds, he said.

He said KU was one of the top universities of the country and among a few universities of the country that were recognised worldwide. The destruction of KU is tantamount to damaging higher education in Pakistan, he added.

He warned that if the financial issues of KU were not settled on a permanent basis, the teaching and non-teaching staff of the university would opt for taking extreme measures.

KU EWA

Moreover, the KU Employees Welfare Association (EWA) expressed their concerns over the financial issues of the university.

They demanded that the HEC and the prime minister issue directives to resolve the matter on an emergency basis.

The association warned that the staff of the university had the right to record their protest in this regard if the matter was not resolved at the earliest.

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Hamdard University awards 1,330 degrees
Karachi: The 17th convocation of the Hamdard University was held at its Madinat al Hikmah (City of Education, Science and Culture) on Saturday.

Students of all seven faculties were awarded a total of 1,330 degrees, including PhD and MPhil, at the convocation.

Thirty seven promising students, who secured first position throughout their academic career, were also presented the Hamdard University and the Shaheed Hakim Said gold medals.

Chief guest Dr Javed Leghari, Dr Shami and Hamdard University Chancellor Sadia Rashid awarded degrees and gold medals to the passing graduates.

Leghari said the Hamdard University was a distinguished educational institution, which was generally known for its commitment to providing quality education as well as the goals set by its founder Hakim Muhammad Said.

Talking about the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the chief guest said the commission had been formed to improve the quality of education and increase the number of enrolments. "The HEC has made remarkable success to achieve this goal." The news

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DJ college geology dept faces imminent threat of closure
Karachi: With no electricity and no water, a dilapidated building, bad renovation and a severe shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff, the Diwan Dayaram Jethamal (DJ) Sindh Government Science College, one of the top educational institutions in the city, is a grim reflection of the state of colleges in the province.

The college reopened for fresh sessions only this week to hold classes and practicals in its hot and dark rooms. "We don't know what to complain about, the dark, the heat or the lack of cleanliness in the classrooms," Waseem Ashraf, a student of BSc Part-I said. "As a consequence of having no power, we don't even have any water."

Power at DJ Science College was disconnected last week due to non-payment of bills. The college owes some Rs0.9 million to the Karachi Electric Supply Company. And if that was not enough, it is also facing additional charges of power theft after the KESC discovered a kunda (illegal power connection) at the A.Q. Khan Block.

"We also spent most of last year without electricity due to non- payment of bills. Power was restored for three to four months before getting disconnected again," said Asif Zaidi of the Department of Physics.

"Some BSc microbiology practical exams have been postponed as there is no power supply," said Mohammad Manzoor, a lab assistant.

Microbiology teachers Nadia Noor and Shaista Memon said the practical exam centre could not be switched at such a short notice as all centres had been designated a while ago and each centre also had its own capacity, too.

"So the students appearing for their practical exams here have to suffer as the whole practical depends on incubators, hot air ovens, refrigerators and microscopes. The hot air ovens are used for steralising the petri dishes and the organisms don't grow very well outside the incubators," said Ms Noor.

"Thank God, we have gas at least so we are making do with the autoclave for everything, which is not enough. And the readings are all not coming right, too," added Ms Memon.

A lack of teachers is another issue. "The students of zoology have no teachers as both the teachers who teach the subject at DJ are unavailable because they had invigilator duties to perform during the BSc practical exams at some other centre," provided a BSc Part-I student, Sumayya Aslam.

"We have two teachers each for zoology and botany, one each for Pakistan Studies and Islamiat, one for geology and no librarian," said the college's vice-principal Dr Mohammad Arshad. "The only geology teacher in the college, too, retires in August and since he won't be here next year, the college has now refused BS Part-I admissions for geology for the 2013-2014 session, which is sad. And it will be tragic when the geology department, established here in 1978, closes down after the current 60 students complete their course."

Asked if he would seek an extension, the only geology teacher at the college, Syed Mohammad Maroof Husain, said: "I am more for new inductions than trying to stick around myself. There should be new appointments of teachers to carry on the process of teaching rather than their holding on to one teacher."

D.J. Science College has been undergoing plenty of renovation for the last six years, but it seems to have done more harm than good to this historical building. To add more capacity to the chemistry labs, they have added a mezzanine floor with very low ceilings and hardly any ventilation. "We can't really use these rooms for chemistry experiments. The students would suffocate in the fumes," pointed out the college vice-principal.

The college hostel building was also taken over by Rangers several years ago. Its MSc computer department planned in the A.Q. Khan Block could never start as after renovation of that side of the college building, a big portion there was turned into a camp office for Sindh Senior Minister for Education and Literacy Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq. The college's five peons and three sweepers also do not turn up for regular duty as they have been assigned work at homes and offices of various VIPs in the education ministry.

Commenting on the state of this leading college, director-general of colleges in Sindh and chairman of the Centralised Admission Policy Committee, Dr Nasir Ansar, said the power crisis would hopefully be resolved in a few days. "We have written to the government of Sindh finance department to get the college's electricity dues cleared," he said.

Dr Ansar also said the problems due to the shortage of teachers in the geology department were temporary. "I am aware that the only teacher there retires in a few months. A requisition for new teachers has already been sent to the Sindh Public Service Commission," he said.

About the haphazard renovation he said that it was a PC-1 requirement after the college buildings were declared heritage sites.

Agreeing that the mezzanine floor had resulted in a low ceiling in the chemistry labs, he said the problem would be remedied by installing an exhaust system. Dawn

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