KEMU and UHS: VCs' posting smacks of rules violation
Lahore, Feb 11: In what appeared to be a 'blatant violation' of the laid down rules and regulations, the Punjab government has appointed vice chancellors of the two medical universities from one panel recommended by the health department to the chief minister for consideration.
Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Prof Dr Faisal Masood has been appointed as first regular vice chancellor of the King Edward Medical University while Shifa International Medical College, Islamabad, Principal Maj-Gen Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam (retired) has been made regular VC of the University of Health Sciences.
A notification to the effect was issued on Saturday by the health department after the Punjab governor accorded approval to a summary recommended by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
A majority of the KEMU senior faculty were surprised when the governor too endorsed the decision of the health department which had recommended Prof Faisal for KEMU top post, ignoring the fact that he was earlier put in the panel for the UHS slot, a senior doctor of the premier medical institute said.
He said they were expecting that the governor would take notice of the 'blatant violation' of rules being chancellor of the medical university.
A senior official privy to the information termed it a first incident of its kind saying that the authorities had merged two panels into one and recommended and then appointed a senior doctor as head of a medical university on his 'keen desire' instead of following the criteria.
Requesting anonymity, he said, Prof Faisal's name was recommended in the first week of January in a panel of three contenders for the UHS slot by a search committee tasked with the selection of vice chancellors for KEMU and UHS.
According to rules, the health department or any other competent authority can't bypass the search committee. In this case, the health department rejected the panel of search committee, recommended and notified a contender for the slot of KEMU who was finalised by the committee for UHS top post.
Headed by former federal minister Sartaj Aziz, the committee had interviewed 41 candidates and recommended two panels of three each shortlisted senior medics.
The official revealed that Prof Faisal had expressed his desire to the authorities to consider him for the KEMU top slot being a 'senior clinician'. He (Prof Faisal) was of the view that he would be much comfortable for KEMU due to an attached hospital and head of a department as the UHS lacked these facilities, he said.
A UK-based Pakistani national senior doctor, Prof Sarwat Husain, and former principal of the Fatima Jinnah Medical College Prof Majeed Chaudhry were hot contenders for the KEMU slot when the search committee had recommended them in a panel.
Both were also enjoying a better comfortable level with the KEMU faculty being its graduates. Dawn
Lahore: The first edition of The GCU Mirror, a news bulletin which chronicles the academic, cultural, intellectual and extra-mural pursuits accomplished by the faculty and scholars of Government College University, was unveiled on Saturday.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq ur Rahman chaired the ceremony attended by the chairpersons of all academic departments.
The VC lauded the efforts of Innovation and Commercialisation Research Director Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Butt and The GCU Mirror Editor Musadaq Sultan for taking out a highly informative and comprehensive news journal of the university.
He also announced a cash award for Musadaq Sultan and Ahsan Khalid Butt for their special efforts for The GCU Mirror.
The GCU Mirror Patron-in-Chief Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Butt said the news magazine was the brainchild of the vice chancellor. He said The GCU Mirror, to be published on quarterly basis, did not put any financial burden on GCU budget and was published through sponsorships. Chairpersons of the academic departments also lauded the content and quality of the magazine. The news
IJT demands students union polls
Lahore: The Islami Jamiat Tulaba has demanded the chief justice issue directions for holding students union elections in the light of the judgment given in March 1993 by former CJP Nasim Hasan Shah.
At a news conference at the Lahore Press Club on Saturday, IJT Nazim-i-Aala Zubair Safdar said the student unions had been
banned on Feb 9, 1984, by the then government and Justice Shah had declared the ban inappropriate in a democratic country.
He said the former CJP had also mentioned in his order "politics is part and parcel of our lives".
Safdar demanded the announcement for holding of students union elections be made, as the government had done in the beginning of its tenure, otherwise they would approach the Supreme Court for the implementation of its 1993 order. Dawn
Teachers, students allege forced participation
Lahore: Two different stations of the metro bus service (MBS) were designated for students and teachers to welcome Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other foreign guests during the MBS launch here on Sunday.
Many of the participating students especially teachers alleged their forced participation in the launch and felt disappointed as the chief minister did not stop over at both stations, MAO College and GCU. Most of the students who made it to MAO College station were recipients of Punjab government's laptops under its e-Youth Initiative while at the GCU the high-achievers of matriculation, intermediate and other examinations were present.
A number of vans from Punjab University (PU) and King Edward Medical University (KEMU) etc arrived at GCU on Sunday morning. The GCU boarding students were also made to attend the MBS launch who along with teachers and other students had started gathering at the university's Bokhari auditorium. Around 1,000 students and teachers were also served lunch by GCU which highlights the cost public institutions had to bear for the MBS launch. However, a GCU spokesperson claimed that the amount of money spent in this regard would be reimbursed to the varsity by the Punjab government. He also claimed that no student or teacher was forced to attend the occasion, saying the GCU actually celebrated the MBS launch as the bus service was going to be a great facility for the varsity students. The spokesman said High Achievers' Wall, a banner signed by GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, position-holders and chairpersons, was installed at the GCU Terminal of Metro Bus Service as a tribute to the students who performed exceptionally well in academics and their teachers. The members of GCU Nazir Ahmad Music Society also presented patriotic songs on the occasion. Vice Chancellor Prof Rahman greeted the chief minister and hoped that the government would give special discount on bus fare to the students. When contacted, Higher Education Department Punjab Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir denied the allegation that the students and the teachers were forced to attend the MBS launch. He said almost every department had highlighted its achievements at the MBS route.
Bills to set up 3 universities tabled in NA, bypassing HEC
Islamabad: The mover of controversial Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012, to deprive HEC of its key powers, ironically thought it advisable not to wait for its formal approval and presented three private bills in the National Assembly for establishment of universities without bothering to follow the set criterion prescribed by the HEC for this purpose.
Neither PPP MNA Yasmin Rehman, who presented the Amendment Bill in the National Assembly, nor institutions themselves approached HEC for any kind of input or approval of initial feasibility report and the bills have been directly submitted by the female MNA for establishment of three universities including the MY University, Islamabad Bill, 2013; the Dar-ul-Madina International University Bill, 2013; and the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University Islamabad Bill, 2013.
According to HEC rules, institutions normally apply to the concerned government where they are situated. In case the institution is located in the federal territory, the application is addressed to the HEC. In case an institution is based in a provincial territory, the application is addressed to the concerned provincial education department.
HEC chairman Javaid Laghari said that submission of feasibility report to HEC or a concerned education department of the provincial government is mandatory, adding: "The PPP MNA never approached HEC or the education ministry, that is against the existing rules and procedures," he said.
Dilating upon the given criterion he said on the basis of the documents submitted by an institution, the HEC determines whether or not there is a prima facie case for further considering the application.
"If the commission finds that there is a prima facie case the feasibility report is thoroughly scrutinised by a panel appointed by the HEC.
The panel assesses the application and may ask for additional information or recommends the case for preliminary inspection of the institution," he said.
To a question, he said the criterion for establishment of any university whether it is Foundation or Trust University is same and everyone has to follow the set rules and procedures.
PPP MNA Yasmin Rehman said the bills are aimed at setting up Trust universities that would provide free-of-cost education and other facilities to the students.
"In the case of these universities there is no need to approach HEC or seek their 'advice' that is why I directly presented the bills for these universities in the National Assembly," she said.
Criticising the role of HEC she said the administration of HEC should take steps to rectify its own affairs instead of interfering in every issue.
"They should look into their own affairs instead of looking into every other issue because the higher education sector is facing decline due to their corrupt practices," she said.
PIMA opposes evening classes in public medical colleges
Islamabad: The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has announced to oppose evening classes in public medical colleges in the country. The Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) was once again trying to start evening classes at medical institutions.
In a statement issued on Saturday, PIMA's president Dr. Misbahul Aziz termed the start of evening medical colleges a commercial venture and the death of medical education in the country. He said, it has been learnt through an advertisement that the PMDC had allowed evening medical classes at the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, which would be strongly opposed.
Dr. Misbahul Aziz said PMDC has been trying to start evening medical education at medical colleges for quite some time, but due to opposition from medical associations had retracted its decision. "However, the PMDC has once again decided to allow evening classes at medical institutes," he added.
The PIMA chief appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice on the efforts for starting medical colleges, saying that these efforts were tantamount to destroying medical education.
"Medical colleges and hospitals are being established in two- or three-room buildings where medical degrees are being sold, which is a shameful act," said PIMA's president. He claimed that even some senior doctors were part of this business and were involved in selling medical degrees in the name of medical education.
Dr. Misbahul Aziz said there are around 126 medical colleges in the country, but the faculty at most of these institutions is not complete and some even lack professors of basic sciences. Some professors are taking classes at three to four educational institutions, which is an evidence of the lack of faculty at the already established medical institutions in the country, he added.
UoP students launch welfare organisation
Peshawar: Students of the University of Peshawar have launched non-profit organisation "Be Social" with an aim to work on human behaviour and social change.
The inauguration ceremony, held in the University Town, was attended by Prof Bakht Zada Danish of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Sheringal, Upper Dir, senior advocate Abdullah Khan, lecturer at the University of Agriculture Shahzad, managing director of the organisation Iqbal Pervaiz and students from various universities.
The managing director told the participants that the motto of the organisation is "Come & Join Us for Better Society!"He discussed the objectives of the organisation and said that in the present era of modernisation the youth were stuck in depression and other mental illnesses and they need a platform to mould their behaviour.
The members of the executive committee, Iqbal, Sabir, Jalal, Shahid Khan, Shahzad and Salman Rohailla, were also present on the occasion. The news