HEC SAT-II entrance test for foreign students

Foreigners with poor English Medical varsities offered alternatives to SAT-II
Lahore, Feb 26: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has placed before all the medical varsities of the country three alternatives to entrance test or scholastic aptitude test part-II (SAT-II) for the students from the developing Muslim countries with poor English language skills, to choose from.

The HEC move is being seen as a step towards permanently waiving off the SAT-II condition for the foreign students for admission to MBBS/BDS under Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP) and Self Finance Scheme (SFS).

The decision to 'consult' the varsities on the issue was taken at a meeting held on January 23 at Islamabad that was also attended by envoys of six Muslim countries, including some of ambassadors, who reportedly backed the move. It was presided over by HEC chairperson Dr Javaid R Laghari.

The envoys included Al Shafi Ahmed Mohamed, Ambassador of Sudan, Walid Abu Ali, Ambassador of State of Palestine, Nawaf Saraireh, Ambassador of Jordan, Ali A. Muhra of Syria, Jamal Saeed Shamsan, Counselor of Yemen's Embassy and Ali Sheikh Abdullahi, Second Secretary of Somali embassy. Ghayyur Fatima, HEC Director (Academics), also attended the meeting.

Earlier, in 2011, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and the Punjab government had categorically refused to relax the relevant rules for the medical students of non-English speaking countries on the ground that it would largely help private medical colleges to mint 'more' money from the foreigners studying at local institutes.

Some Muslim countries' embassies had approached the prime minister through Economic Affairs Division with a request to end the SAT-II condition for their students that was conveyed to the PMDC and the Punjab government.

However, the HEC at its Jan 23 meeting finalised its suggestions regarding an alternative system.

According to the meeting minutes available with Dawn, the HEC first considered complete waiver of the condition and then agreed on suggesting three alternatives to the SAT-II to the medical varsities; medical universities can design the preparatory courses for foreign students before they start their formal studies, the varsities may design their own test as an alternate to SAT-II, keeping in view the format of National Testing Service/National Aptitude Test (NTS/NAT) or the students may be asked to appear and pass NTS/NAT during their 1st year.

The HEC also informed the PMDC, the EAD, Islamabad and inter-provincial coordination ministry about the decision taken at the meeting.

Ghayyur Fatima informed the meeting the students from developing Islamic countries had been facing problems because of the SAT-II condition.

She said the HEC had also received requests from various Foreign Missions for waiving off the condition.

The envoys, besides voicing their concerns over the SAT-II condition, told the meeting that students from their countries preferred to study in Pakistan due to a common culture and after completion of their studies they mostly got good jobs. By studying here these students became 'ambassadors of Pakistan' in their respective countries, they said. That also provided an opportunity to these countries to strengthen their bilateral relations, they said.

However, the envoys were unanimous that due to the condition they were not able to send more students to Pakistan's medical colleges.

"After listening to the concerns of envoys, the HEC chairperson assured (them of) all possible cooperation to address their problems," the meeting minutes said.

The HEC chairperson also assured the envoys that the matter would be resolved before the start of the new academic session, the meeting minutes said. Dawn

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UHS result
Lahore: University of Health Sciences (UHS) has announced the result of Third Professional BDS annual examination 2012.

According to a press release on Saturday, a total of 431 candidates from 10 affiliated dental colleges appeared in the exam out of which 294 passed and 121 failed. The result of 16 candidates was put on RL list. The pass percentage remained 70.84.

Esha Najam d/o Najam Saeed of Institute of Dentistry, CMH Lahore Medical College Lahore, got the first position by securing 753/900 marks.

Fizza Tahir d/o Tahir Hussain Alvi of Institute of Dentistry, CMH Lahore Medical College Lahore, and Nayha Enver d/o Tariq Enver of de'Montmorency College of Dentistry Lahore got the second and third positions by securing 748/900 and 739/900 marks respectively.

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Literary festival ends on a high note
Lahore: The two-day Lahore Literary Festival, which got a frenzied response from the Lahorites, ended with enlightening discussions on literature, celebration of masterpieces of local and international writers and social discourse on the past, present and future of literature.

The brilliant sunny day after two days of rain in the provincial metropolis saw big attendance of the Lahorites in the festival as a part of The Mall was blocked with the large number of parked vehicles. Some of the sessions got so much attention that hundreds of lovers of literature waited in queues outside the packed halls of the Alhamra Arts Council to find a seat. The throngs of participants showed the success of the festival which ended on a positive note, showing signs of a better future for literature in the city which has always been famous for writers and literati.

Notables from every walk of life, politicians, bureaucrats, educationists and diplomats, turned up at the event with their families which made it a star-studded event and provided social interaction and networking as well.

The day started off with Mohammad Hanif and I A Reman talking about the fading legacy of the rich literature of the country under the session, titled Missing Stories, while Intezar Hussain and Asghar Nadeem Syed discussed the 'Future of Urdu Literature in Punjab' in another session.

Muneeza Shamsie, Chiki Sarkar, Jeet Thayil, Nadeem Aslam and Shehan Karunatilka enlightened the audience with this perspective and vision on 'Commonwealth, Nationalism and Globalization.'

Linda Bird Francke discussed her 10 years with Benazir Bhutto and all what led to the writing of her book 'The Daughter of The East' while Rashid Rahman discussed with the author Kenize Mourad her book 'The story of Begum Hazrat Mahal.'

In another packed-beyond-capacity session, Tehmina Durrani, among other issues, talked about the personal cost of writing her magnum opus 'My Feudal Lord'. She said that writing about Edhi was the most important book she'd ever written. Talking about her new book, she said how it reflected that world peace was impossible if we did not bring children of war back into the mainstream.

In the session on the Architecture of Aesthetics and Urbanism, the discussion ranged from Mughal architecture to contemporary architecture in Pakistan. The panelists Kamil K. Mumtaz, Nayyar Ali Dada and Ebba Koch discussed that historically differing shapes of tombs had different meanings in different beliefs of which the diverse architecture in the subcontinent was a proof. The panelists also discussed superior architecture as a symbol of historic grandeur of a particular ruler. The closing sessions of Bapsi Sidhwa regarding her international best seller 'The Crow Eaters' recently translated into Urdu under the title "Jungle Wala Sahib" and William Dalrymple on Culture in Conflict were flooded with audience as Bapsi read out excerpts from her novel in addition to discussing how international and Pakistani media reviews boosted her book to international acclaim when it was published decades back. She also talked, with elements of humour, about her childhood and early youth.

In the session, hosted by Ahmed Rashid, William Dalrymple analyzed the history of conflict in connection with cultural identities. He opined that the people's emotions were integral in their motives when it came to war. He termed the subcontinent as the most culturally and socially rich geographical entity which provided a lot of space for research and analysis. He mentioned how history, apparently, was boring to the youth but if the narrative included expression of the people and a storytelling style it could be made interesting. He also talked about Afghanistan and Pakistan after withdrawal of the US forces and its probable future implications.

The day ended with a performance by the Laal Band and a resolve by the literature savvy Lahorites to revere literature through such festivals more frequently.

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Education institutes observe anti-dengue day
Lahore: On the directions of Punjab government, public sector educational institutions of the provincial metropolis observed Anti-Dengue Day on Sunday to create awareness among the public about the virus.

The educational institutes organised walks, seminars as well as carried out fumigation to observe the day which were attended by teachers, faculty members and other staff. Punjab government had announced that Anti-Dengue Day would be observed on Sunday by keeping campuses open for faculty and staff to create awareness among public on how to avoid the infection and its outbreak in the coming months.

Government College University (GCU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman while addressing a seminar said called dengue an 'emerging and reemerging disease' which usually resurfaced when its vector (mosquito) found favorable environmental conditions. He directed the chairpersons of the GCU departments to personally monitor cleanliness regarding dengue and make arrangements regarding disposal of waste material. GCU chief zoologist Prof Dr Nusrat Jahan said the dengue epidemic had resurfaced in all affected countries of Africa, the Latin America, the Eastern Mediterranean and South-east Asia. However, she hoped that the steps taken by the Punjab government would continue to be implemented every year to save millions of people from this disease. Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) also organised a seminar.

LCWU Dengue Control Committee Dean and Chairperson Dr Kousar Jamal Cheema chaired the seminar. A meeting of the committee was also held in the office of the vice chancellor to discuss the action plan for anti-dengue spray. The committee was briefed that whole campus of the LCWU was fumigated with the cooperation of the district government and health department. The committee decided to upgrade sewerage system and to dump all the solid waste immediately. A medical camp, on the instruction of the VC, has also been established on the Old Campus where the students and staff would be examined. LCWU Medical Officer Dr Hafsa will supervise the camp.

Similarly, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) organised a seminar. UVAS VC Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha urged the university staff to actively participate in dengue-eradication campaign. Prof Dr Kamran Ashraf of the Parasitology Department said dengue virus could only be controlled by eliminating the breeding places of the mosquitoes. He proposed a mosquito trap containing sugar and yeast mixture. A documentary on the topic was also shown to the participants. Later, an anti dengue walk was held on the university premises which was led by the VC. The campaign against dengue fever also continued at Punjab University and a team of Dengue Research Group visited various places in the hostel areas. The team included Dengue Research Group Chairman Prof Dr Saeed Akhter, Hall Council Chairman Prof Dr Muhammad Akhter, Chief Medical Officer Dr Nauman Ahmed and Additional Registrar-II Malik Zaheer. The team collected samples from various places. The PU teams also continued fumigation.

Meanwhile, public colleges of the provincial metropolis also remained open. DPI Colleges Dr Jalil Tariq and Director Administration Latif Usmani visited the colleges to monitor the anti-dengue steps taken by the principals of the colleges.

UHS walk: The students, staff and faculty of University of Health Sciences (UHS) held a walk on Sunday to create awareness among the public about the dengue virus. According to a press release here, UHS Registrar Dr Asad Zaheer and other officials also participated in the walk. Carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans, the participants of showed enthusiasm.

Makeup: Women's makeup attracts dengue mosquitoes, said Prof Dr AR Saleemi while addressing a seminar at UET here on Sunday. According to a press release, Prof Saleemi said ingredients used in makeup were a source of attraction for dengue mosquitoes. Dr Fayyaz Hussain Shah said dengue was not just a disease but a social problem. The news

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UAF students week from March 3
Faisalabad: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) will organise an 'All Pakistan Students Week' from March 3.

A university spokesman said on Saturday the senior tutor office would organise the week that would include dramas, speeches and quiz contests.

In this connection, a meeting was held with UAF Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan in the chair to review arrangements.

BOOK FAIR: A three-day book fair will commence at the UAF on March 4.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Khan constituted a committee under the supervision of Convener Principal Officer Library Prof Dr Ehsanul Haq to ensure foolproof arrangements.

A spokesman said Prof Dr Khan would inaugurate the fair at the main library. app

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