NED convocation 2013 & financial crisis
1,419 awarded degrees at NED convocation
Karachi, March 02: The 21st convocation of the NED University of Engineering and Technology,
which could probably be the last one for its outgoing vice chancellor
(VC), was held at the university's campus on Thursday.
Engr Abul Kalam completed his fourth consecutive term in December last
year, but continued carrying out his responsibilities according to the
directive of Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan.
During the convocation, 1,416 students were awarded their degrees and two faculty members were awarded their PhD degrees.
The university has restricted its doctorate programme to its faculty members to ensure the faculty is qualified.
1997, there were only 15 PhD teachers on the university's staff, but
the figure has increased to 93 now, Kalam informed the audience.
thesis of Assoc Prof Arjumend Masood of the Civil Engineering
Department was titled 'Quantification of flow resistance for unlined
canals in alluvial soil' and the thesis of Asst Prof Sadia Muniza Faraz
of the Electronic Engineering Department was titled 'Physical simulation
and characterisation of electronic and photonic devices in wide bandgap
Some 1,702 Bachelors students from 17
four-year and three five-year degree programmes earned their degrees,
but only 1,289 showed up at the convocation.
Moreover, 307 students earned their Masters degrees from 15 postgraduate programmes, but only 127 showed up at the convocation.
Kalam, well-known for his discipline, punctuality and management
skills, wanted to stand up at the podium to confer the degrees to the
However, considering his age, the university
management requested him to make the announcements from his seat at the
centre of the stage, which was accepted by the VC.
financial position of this university is still quite precarious.
Services of some contract employees have had to be terminated and
reduction of salaries of contract employees would soon be unavoidable.
The overtime rates have been reduced and medical facilities brought down
to minimum level. Bonuses of permanent employees have to be curtailed
as well," said the VC.
Twenty gold medals were awarded to
first-position holders from different departments, and the students who
secured the second and third positions were presented with a
'Certificate of Merit' by the chief guest, Sindh Finance Minister Syed
Murad Ali Shah.
Hafiz Muhammad Zohaib Kabir of the Civil
Engineering Department, Batch 2008-09, was awarded three gold medals,
including two sponsored gold medals, and Rs5,000 for securing overall
first position in the department.
The twin brothers Faizan
Mustafa and Farrukh Mustafa who secured the second and third positions,
respectively, from the Electronic Engineering Department said they
loved healthy competition with each other.
Faizan said he remained among the top three students throughout the course, and Farrukh said he was among the top 10 students.
The top position holders from the Metallurgical Engineering Department complained that there were hardly any jobs in the sector.
They said that even with the dearth of jobs, men sometimes get employed, but the women are being ignored by the sector.
asked to comment on this, NED Registrar Engr Javed Aziz Khan told this
correspondent that women might get employed for a desk job in this
sector, but they might not be able to work on-site or on the technical
"Out of the total strength, only 10 to 12 students
have a job, whereas there were at least 50 to 52 students in the class,"
the students said.
On the other hand, the position
holders from the Telecommunication Engineering Department were pleased
about their future regarding work.
The chief guest advised the students not to lose faith despite the circumstances they might have to face in their lives.
will be tested in the future, but you must stand tall and try hard to
get over the situation. But if you stop trying, then you will stop
living," he said.
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'NED facing financial crisis'
Karachi: The financial crisis-hit NED University has managed to disburse the
February salaries of its employees from grade-1 to 15 on March 1
(today), while the rest of the staff did not know as to when they would
be getting their salaries.
Director Finance NED Muhammad
Sajeeruddin said that their university has not yet
received its due grant from the Higher Education Commission (HEC),
however, they have managed to generate Rs35 million from own resources
and internal loans to pay off the salaries to the employees from grade 1
The universities used to receive grants on
regular basis but the situation has changed a lot since 2010, he said,
adding: "We had been getting grants on quarterly basis which is now
being paid on monthly basis with a lot of cuts and from December 2012
the situation has gone beyond imagination".
him, the HEC allocated Rs734.765 million budget to the NED for the year
2012-13, however, only 367.381 million were received up to February. The
staff of Accountant General Revenue is on strike for the past 20-25
days, while the staff concerned is not endorsing the checks released by
the finance ministry.
This situation has created hardship
in paying salaries and meeting other expenses. "The amount of Rs74
million for February is not paid and the finance ministry is also not
helping out the universities in this regard," the NED official said.
happened only once in the recent past when we could not pay salaries to
the staff owing to long weekend and law and order situation in the city
but the salaries were disbursed as soon as lawlessness came under
control," he said. "But now everybody is worried since the public
sector universities are facing a pathetic situation as nobody is ready
to pay attention in this regard."
According to Muhammad
Sajeeruddin, NED pays Rs87 million in salaries to the employee, besides
Rs30 million were required to meet other expenditures each month. The
budget release by the concerned authorities also varies month to month,
which is creating further problems for the public sector universities.
The NED vice chancellor had also raised this issue during the Thursday
convocation to draw the attention of the government officials in this
The teaching and non-teaching faculty members fear
that if this situation persists then the university management would
not be able to run its affairs. The NED generates only Rs300 million per
year in lieu of tuition fees which is not enough to meet the financial
requirements of the university.
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Sindh calls for end to corporal punishment
Karachi: The Sindh Assembly has called on the government to scrap a law that is
often "misused" to justify corporal punishments at schools.
resolution, moved by Shamim Ara Panhwar, came after the issue was
raised in Geo News programme "Chal Parha" hosted by famous singer
Shehzad Roy. The programme aims at reforming the education system of
According to the legislators, Section 89 of the
Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was being misused to justify punishing
children in the country. The law allows guardians and person having
lawful charge of children to punish them "in good faith for their
Panhwar said the section should be repealed
because children were beaten by the teachers in schools, triggering
psychological problems. The Sindh Assembly recommends that the federal
government should repeal Section 89 of the PPC, the resolution stated.
punishment was "a humanitarian issue", said Sindh Education Minister
Pir Mazharul Haq, pointing out that some teachers tended to take
advantage of Section 89 to punish students contending it was for their
Repealing this section would hopefully lead to
a "pleasant atmosphere" at schools and teachers would be refrained from
beating the students, he added.
Humera Alwani claimed
there the school drop-out rate of 30 percent was mainly because of the
beating. But Jam Tamachi contended lack of teachers was the reason.
He seemed to defend corporal punishment, saying even relatives beat the children and such punishment actually "benefited" them.
Mahar seconded Tamachi, saying he was also beaten by his teachers and
it brought "good results". He proposed that "modern teaching methods"
should be introduced at schools or ending punishments "might create more
Nuzhat Pathan was of the view that strictness of teachers might be good but it should not damage the child's personality.
lawmakers also demanded starting training students in self-defence in
view of the growing threat of terrorism and lawlessness in the country.
resolution unanimously passed by the legislative house on Thursday
called for reviving Girls Guide Course (GGC), National Cadet Course
(NCC), civil defence and first-aid training at schools and colleges. The
trainings were stopped in the late 1990s by the then government citing
"lack of funds".
Bilqees Mukhtar, who tabled the motion,
urged the Sindh government to restart the programmes for all students
with immediate effect, saying such trainings had become imperative in
view of the frequent bomb blasts and fire incidents.
Khalid Ahmed said such exercised were good for health and fitness,
Farheen Mughal believed their revival would help to revive some
"dysfunctional" institutions such as Civil Defence.
Shama Mithani claimed the trainings would also increase confidence among girls.
After the recent rape-cum-murder case in India, the government had started karate training for women, said Humera Alwani.
in a light mood, Jam Tamachi retorted: "Already wives are hitting
husbands with shoes at home, now they will perform judo-karate on them."
rural areas, men trained women on how to use guns and axes, said Nuzhat
Pathan. She proposed that women in urban areas should also be trained
to fire guns or other weapons.
First the women should be trained on how to beat men with a lathi (sticks), another MPA, Muhammad Nawaz Chandio, chimed in.
The female legislators, however, deemed the remarks too offensive.
training for the girls was to deal with terrorism, said Bilqees
Mukhtar, wondering why her male colleagues were discussing their
"domestic problems" in the house.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro could only smile, claiming he had not heard the later part of Mukhtar's comment.
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Corporal punishment: can schoolteachers refrain?
Karachi: A conducive learning environment exists when a student is eager to gain
knowledge and does not solely focus on avoiding the wrath of his
teacher. Luckily for those studying at a place where they are likely to
be physically punished, the Provincial Assembly resolved to do away with
article 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which allows corporal punishment
as a means to discipline a child.
The law states that the
guardian or caretaker of a child under 12 years of age is allowed to
administer physical punishment in good faith where the intention is not
to cause voluntary harm or death.
"Even if a child gets
killed in the process, it is easy for the teacher to escape with noting
more than blood money. According to articles 318 and 319, the punishment
for 'death by mistake' is 'Diyat or blood money'," said Rana Asif, who
heads Initiators, an organisation working for child rights.
voluntary harm is only caused if one of six particular conditions is
met. Article 337a of the Pakistan Penal Code states them as injury
caused "without exposing the bone of victim, exposing the bone without
causing fracture, fracturing the bone without dislocating it, fracturing
the bone and dislocating it, fracturing the skull so that the bone
touches the brain membrane and fracture of the skull so that the wound
ruptures the brain membrane".
"Basically one cannot
register an FIR unless blood oozes out or a bone is broken. A bruise for
example, will be registered in a 'Roznamcha' or daily diary, meaning it
is not a cognisable offence," said Saadia Baloch, the head of the child
rights desk of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
to a survey conducted in 2009 by the Society for the Protection of
Child Rights, 35,000 students in Pakistan left school because they were
terrified over the prospect of facing corporal punishment.
Jahan, a representative of Spaarc maintains that the number over the
years has increased. She dislikes the fact that a resolution has been
passed and not a legislation. "After the 18th amendment, provinces have
the right to pass a law. There should have been a legislation formed
against corporal punishment. Now they have left it to the federal
government to pass the law."
A research conducted by the
Aga Khan University-Institute of Education Development at about 20
private and public schools in Karachi and Larkana reveals that parents
and teachers beat up their children because it is the only way they know
to enforce discipline. "The key to avoid the misbehaviour of children
is to make classrooms child-friendly. Class time must be utilised
constructively. Children must not get idle time for this is when they
make mischief," says Cassandra Fernandes, who conducted the research.
corporal punishment as a means to discipline children is tradition
deeply embedded in our society. While modern educationists may dispel
the notion completely, traditionally it is tolerated.
my school days the teacher would tell parents that the bone of the child
is theirs. The flesh is for the teacher, which meant it was his or her
right to beat up a child," explains Sanaullah Kazi, an octogenarian
While the society condemns extreme forms of
corporal punishment, a survey by the Spaarc reveals that 76 percent of
parents agree that a moderate amount is necessary to correct a child's
This is what Abdul Rehman of the Taleem Bachao
Action Committee, an organisation which calls itself a watchdog for the
education department, maintains. "Punishments, such as making children
stand or giving a light slap on the back are tolerable, but not actually
tying up a child and then beating him." The news
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FUUAST VC pledges full support for research projects
Karachi: Department of Microbiology, Federal Urdu University of Arts,
Science and Technology (FUUAST), Gulshan Campus, in collaboration with
Dimension Research and Microbiology Association of Pakistan on Thursday
organised a seminar on topic: "Clinical Research and its Importance in
Pakistan. Vice Chancellor FUUAST, Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, assured his full
cooperation to teachers and students for education and research purpose.
He said that it was his longstanding desire to see FUUAST among top
academic institutions of the world in future.
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DCET hails university status for institution
Karachi: The faculty and staff of the Dawood College of Engineering and
Technology (DCET) have hailed the degree awarding university status for
A meeting of senior faculty and staff members
DCET was held on Thursday with Vice Chancellor of Sindh Madressatul
Islam University, Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh, who is also lncharge Principal
of DCET in the chair.
The participants of the meeting lauded
the passage of the bill for conferring university status to DCET by
Sindh Assembly on Feb 27.
They praised the efforts made by Sindh
Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad,
Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and the members of the
provincial assembly in this regard.
The meeting also appreciated
relentless efforts undertaken by Dr Mohammad Ali Shaikh for getting
university status for the DCET. It was pointed out that Dr Ali got
university status for two institutions of the city- Sindh Madressatul
Islam and Dawood Engineering College within a period of one year.
meeting also demanded that the Sindh government should allocate at
least 50 acres of land for Dawood University of Engineering and
Technology in the Education City because presently the DCET has two
campuses at Karachi, each comprising about 4 acres: one is located near
Mazar-e-Quaid-e-Azam and the other is near PIA Planetarium in
"The total area of these two campuses is eight
acres while as per requirement of the Higher Education Commission, each
university should have at least 10 acres of land out of which at least 3
acres should be in the city and remaining may be in the vicinity.
Shaikh while addressing the meeting said the DCET was able to get
university status within a short span of time because of the efforts of
Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul- Ebad Khan and
Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq. Daily times
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