KU fees increase | Islamia college future
Karachi, June 19: The University of Karachi has increased the fee of
degrees, marks sheets and attestation of documents, said an announcement
The fee of duplicate marks sheet would be Rs400 and attestation fee
of documents would be Rs300. The degree fee has been fixed at minimum
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Teachers, doctors warn of countrywide protest over withdrawal of tax rebate
Karachi: Various professional bodies across the country have
warned the federal government of countrywide protests if it withdrew
the 75 per cent tax rebate on the salaries of teachers and researchers,
terming the recent budgetary proposal a national disaster if
The measure, they said, would trigger a brain drain, and destroy the
gains made in education, research, health services and other
professional services over a decade.
The organisations included the Federation of All Pakistan
Universities Academic Staff Association (Fuassa), Sindh University
Teachers Society (Suta), Karachi University Teachers Society (Kuts),
Sindh Professors Lecturer Association (SPLA) and the Pakistan Medical
Reservations on the budgetary proposal were also expressed by medical
professionals working at various private organisations, including the
Aga Khan University Hospital.
The proposal if accepted, they said, would have a grave impact on the
status of education and research in the country and would eventually
force professionals to leave the country, the same factor, they said,
which had forced the government to provide relief to researchers and
teachers in the shape of tax rebate more than a decade ago.
The tax rebate, they contended, had helped in retaining trained
professionals whose pay scales were much lower in Pakistan than in the
developed world and the Gulf.
"We are very much concerned over this issue and have called a meeting
of our provincial representatives on Saturday at Punjab University in
order to devise a strategy with mutual consensus. We would hold peaceful
protests across the country," said Prof Ahsan Sharif, head of Fpussa.
Regretting the proposal, which, he said, was likely to be approved as
the party running the federal government had a majority in the National
Assembly, he said that many teachers involved in active research were
highly educated but their salaries were far lower than that of
SPLA-Karachi president Prof Iftikhar Azmi said the proposal came as a
shock as the same party which had supported teachers by approving 75pc
tax rebate in salaries had now decided to withdraw it.
"The rebate was introduced more than a decade ago following our
protest in Islamabad, where we demanded that the government gave
tax-free salaries to teachers and researchers as was given in other
Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Corporation) countries," he
explained. The association, he said, was in contact with all its members
in the four provinces and a meeting had been called to discuss the
issue. "The government must desist from taking such a step, otherwise we
would hold demonstrations in Islamabad," he said.
Teachers, he said, were ready to give sacrifices but one should first
decide a "fair method to sacrifice". "We reject the paltry increase in
our salaries. In fact, teachers don't want a raise in their salaries
provided the government controls inflation and take measures leading to
drop in prices of petrol, gas and electricity," he said.
Suta general secretary Azhar Ali Shah said the tax rebate was given
as an incentive to encourage experts to work in the country, but the
budgetary proposal would reverse what little had been gained over the
"Teachers are not like bureaucrats getting a number of fringe
benefits, including cars and free fuel. Their sole income is their
salary which now would be taxed heavily," he said while calling the 10pc
increase meaningless when the government intended to take away a much
bigger amount from salaries on account of multiple taxes.
Teachers in Sindh, he said, were not even getting the 20pc increase
announced by the prime minister of the PPP government for the government
employees, which, he said, was being given to university teachers in
PMA-Sindh president Dr Samrina Hashmi said that the total revenue
that the government had estimated to generate was only 0.12pc (Rs3bn) of
the total revenue of Rs2,598bn from the subsidy's removal. Its negative
impact, however, would be colossal.
"A visionary government with a commitment to support and promote
education and research in Pakistan must not put the future of Pakistan
at stake for mere 0.12pc extra revenue," she said. Dawn
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At Islamia college, 20,000 futures at stake
Karachi: Inside the Islamia Complex, 20,000 students of four colleges and four schools
wait. At stake is their future. They don't know if they will be studying
at the same place in the coming days or not.
the Sindh government has failed to pay millions in rent to the property
trust. And after a lengthy trial spanning well over 10 years, the court
finally gave the verdict on June 1 – to vacate the complex, commonly
known only as Islamia college, within six weeks.
seemingly unfair decision came after the government lawyer failed to
appear in court in several hearings. But the authorities are adamant
they are on the right track.
Dr Nasir Ansar, the Director
Colleges, claims that rent has not been paid as there is confusion about
who the actual owner is. The name of the school trust is Islamic
Education Trust but the people demanding the rent money claim to be
owners of the school. "There are no owners in a trust," he says. "As
soon as the people who make up the trust are identified, we will pay
About the court order, the official dismisses the
verdict as nothing special. "This is just a high court order. We will
fight the case in the Supreme Court now."In the beginning
over four acres, the Islamia Complex along the New MA Jinnah Road
houses the Government Islamia Science College, Government Islamia Art
and Commerce College (morning shift), Government Islamia Art and
Commerce College (evening shift) and Government Islamia Law College.
Three government schools and another run privately also operate within
The land was donated by Field Marshal Ayub
Khan to Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, who started a seminary there.
During Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's tenure, the education complex was
nationalised. Efforts to privatise the institution later were resisted.
agreement was reached. The Sindh government was to pay an annual rent
to the school trust," explains Iftikhar Azmi of the Sindh Professors and
Lecturers Association. In the years to come, however, the government
defaulted in the payment of rent, resulting in losses of millions of
The college has had a fair share of famous
students. Cricketers Shahid Afridi, Zaheer Abbas and Danish Kaneria
studied at the institution. Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain
was once a student here.What next?
Sindh High Court order to vacate the premises, meanwhile, has not gone
down too well with the teachers and students, who learned the news
through the media only.
"If the government does not do
anything now, we will launch a massive protest," said Prof Tayyab
Nagori, who teaches botany at the Islamia science college. "Don't they
care about the fate of 20,000 children?"
He termed the government's attitude toward the issue "criminal negligence".
the evacuation orders, students are also sceptical about their future.
"I have finished my first year in pre-engineering. What will I do if the
college closes down now?" questions Bilal Ahmed.Not a new problem
has happened with the Islamia Complex is nothing new at education
institutions. Failure of the government to pay rent in the past has
resulted in similar episodes, where the future of several thousand
students has been compromised.
An ongoing example is of
the Government Delhi School in Karimabad, where a policy of
denationalisation is under discussion following the authorities' failure
to pay rent.
Efforts to denationalise educational
institutions always results in a hue and cry. More often than not, the
government is able to retain them but financial matters and quality of
education suffers in the long run.
The Islamia Complex is a
prime example. The college buildings cry out loud for attention with
paint chipped off at places and walls plastered with posters and
The colleges have been taken over by the
Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, the student wing of rightwing political party
Jamaat-e-Islami. Armed student activists frequently clash with the
students at Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, which is under
the control of a rival political group. The news
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