Bahauddin Zakariya University Convocation

PhD degrees awarded to 27 scholars and gold medals to 35 graduates
Multan, Feb 10: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said this while addressing the ninth convocation of the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) here on Sunday. He said the southern Punjab had remained neglected in the past, but now its sense of deprivation would be redressed.

Federal Minister for Defence Production Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, Minister of State for Education Mahar Ghulam Farid Kathia, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, in charge Higher Education Commission and special assistant to Prime Minister on Social Sector, Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Zafarullah, prime minister's younger brother Syed Ghulam Mujtaba Gilani and the prime minister's son and MPA Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani were also present at the ceremony.

The prime minister awarded PhD degrees to 27 scholars and gold medals to 35 graduates of the university at the convocation, held at the Jinnah Auditorium, recently constructed at the cost of Rs 75 million.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani also announced a grant of Rs 378 million for the BZU colleges of engineering and agriculture, while he announced another grant of Rs 50 million for the construction of the Gilani University Law College, founded by his ancestors.

The prime minister said: "The experience of other developing countries indicates that education, rather quality education, is key to development and prosperity and we are striving to achieve that cherished goal."

He said Pakistan was blessed with all natural gifts. It has fertile land, an excellent riverine and canal system for irrigation and a rich human capital, which are the best assets to attain progress and advancement. He said human resource development was the best investment for any nation.

Gilani said economic as well as political stability were inter-linked and were essential for the development of a country. He said: "Enthusiasm to promote education is running in my blood and I want to develop educational institutions in this region like my forefathers to change its lot."

He said the government was alive to the needs of the southern Punjab in education and health sectors. He said a women medical college and a women university were also being set up while he had approved the establishment of a degree college for boys and girls at Multan.

The prime minister said the educational institutions of higher education must focus on advanced research and coordinate with local industry to fulfil its requirements. He said he had already approved a project "Faculty Development Program" for the BZU worth Rs 1 billion under which 100 university teachers will be sent abroad for research and advanced studies.

"My doors are always open to receive any good suggestion to promote education and develop this hitherto backward and neglected region." The premier underlined the need to augment the research work and utilise the talent of highly educated youth to the optimum level for the good of the nation.

Vice Chancellor BZU Dr Muhammad Zafarullah Khan enumerated the university's achievements in his welcome address. He thanked the prime minister for his special development package for this elite institution of the region. The News

University buses set on fire
Quetta: Armed men set on fire two buses of the Balochistan University of Information and Technology and Sciences Management on Monday.

They warned drivers that they would continue attacking university buses if their problems were not solved. They did not say anything about their demands and it could not be ascertained if they belonged to any political party or students group. One bus was torched in the Satellite Town area and other on Sariab Road.

SAP school teachers stage sit-in for pay raise
Gilgit: Over 100 teachers including females employed under the Social Action Programme along with their children staged a sit-in outside the office of secretary education Northern Areas demanding reasonable pay and perks here on Monday.

These teachers are at present being paid only Rs1,200 as a remuneration per month.

The Secretary Education, Ejad Asad Rasul, held a meeting with the representatives of the teachers and assured them that all-out efforts would be made to resolve their problems.

When contacted, the secretary education told this correspondent that the issue dated back to August 2003 when World Bank withdrew its assistance to the programme under which 540 community schools had been constructed in the region. Dawn

University of Peshawar (UoP) PhD thesis
Peshawar: Dr Azam Khan defended his research on 'Analysis of the Factors Determining Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Growth 1970-2005' at the Department of Economics, University of Peshawar (UoP). Dr Azam completed his PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Naeemur Rahman Khattak, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. His thesis for the doctorate degree was evaluated in the St Cloud State University, Glasgow. He also presented a research paper at an international conference at the Malahayati, Bandhar Lampung and Indonesia. In his research, Dr Azam concluded that the encouragement of foreign direct investment into Pakistan would reduce poverty and generate employment besides increasing the government revenues and improving the living standards of the people. Dr Azam is assistant professor at the University of Science and Technology, Bannu.

Adviser to Islamia College University VC named
Peshawar: Professor Dr Javed Badshah has been named advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, Islamia College University. A press release issued here Monday said that Dr Javed Badshah would supervise all the affairs and coordinate with the vice-chancellor of the university. Presently, he is the chairman of the Urdu Department of the Islamia College University. The academician was elected as member of the Senate and Syndicate, University of Peshawar. He has also served as educational attache of Pakistan High Commission, London. He has also served as a representative of Unesco in Britain. Dr Javed was also present as a delegate in 1994 OIC meeting in Morocco.

IJT protests students' killing
Peshawar: Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists of the Islamia College University staged a demonstration on Monday to protest the recent killing of two students and demanded arrest of the squad of Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman. The demonstrators led by IJT Nazim Irshad Afridi demanded of the government to immediately arrest the alleged killers and compensate the bereaved families. Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the federal government, they vowed to continue their struggle till their demands were met. A vehicle of security guards of the federal information minister hit and killed two students during the minister's recent visit to Peshawar. The News

Rally against destruction of girls' schools
Toba Tek Singh: Scores of activists of political parties, non-government organizations (NGOs) and human rights organisations staged a protest rally here on Monday against destruction of girls schools in Fata and Swat by Taliban.

The rally ended at the district press club after marching along different roads. The participants were addressed by an NGO chief Atif Jamil, advocate Farooq Imran, Labour Party district secretary Tariq Mahmood and PML-N labour wing president Ghulam Mustafa.

They demanded that the government should provide protection to teachers of girls schools and reopen them. They said all political and religious parties of the country should form pubic opinion against such elements who were enemies of women education. Dawn

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