CSS exams 2014 | HEC new chief challenges

CSS examination to start on February 15
Islamabad, Feb 01: The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) will hold the Central Superior Services (CSS) competitive examination with effect from February 15 throughout the country at designated examination centers.

The admission certificates to all the candidates have been issued through post and the same have been place on FPSC's web sites (www.fpsc.gov.pk), said a press release issued on Monday.

The candidates shall have to appear at different examination centers for compulsory and optional subjects as mentioned in admission certificates. Without the admission certificate and original CNIC no candidate will be allowed to appear in examination. In case any candidates has not receive the admission certificate or finds any discrepancy in it he she may contact FPSC immediately at UAN 051-111-000-48 or 051-9205075 (Ext. 240 272, 337, 345) or 051-9213613 but not later than 30.01.2014. The news

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Military College of Signals holds 22nd Undergraduate Convocation
Rawalpindi: The 22nd Undergraduate Convocation ceremony of the Military College of Signals (MCS) was held on Saturday.

NUST Rector Engineer Muhammad Asghar was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest stressed upon the urgent need to produce trained scientists and technologists.

He also emphasised that the challenge is to transform tertiary educational institutions into centres of excellence, with high standards of teaching and a culture of sustained learning, said an ISPR press release.

Earlier, MCS Commandant Brigadier Ali Farhan in his welcome address presented the college report, highlighting the progress in academic and research excellence the college has achieved over the last six decades.

A total of 195 students of telecom and software engineering programmes were conferred upon degrees of bachelor of engineering. President's gold medals were awarded to NUST Cadet Muhammad Ahsen and NUST Cadet Ruba Aslam.

Chief of Army Staff's gold medals were received by Capt Abdul Rehman Raza Khan and Gentleman Cadet Muhammadul Husnain Nawaz.

Rector's gold medals were awarded to Capt Khalid Rabbani and Capt Abdul Rehman Raza Khan for their outstanding performances in their respective degree projects.

Chancellor's silver medals were received by NUST Cadet Muhammad Ali and NUST Cadet Zainab Abbas. Major General Waqar Ahmed, faculty members, educationists and a large number of students were also present during the ceremony.Daily times

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Previous programmes, autonomy main challenges for new HEC chief: Atta
Islamabad: Founder Chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and President Pakistan Academy of Sciences Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman has said that the main challenges for new Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson will be continuation of previous programmes and preservation of HEC autonomy.

As more than 100 academicians have shown interest in taking up this difficult and challenging task and have recently applied for this position, not many might be equipped to deal with matters related to higher education sector of Pakistan comprising of over 150 universities, 258 campuses, 1.2 million students, 32,000 faculty members, including over 7,600 PhD faculty, and administrative-support staff of over 100,000.

Currently, HEC is the project implementing body for the US $300 million World Bank Loan for uplift of higher education in Pakistan besides partnering with the USAID to set up three Centres for Advanced Studies in Energy, Food Security and Agriculture and Water at the universities in Pakistan through a $127 million grant. The HEC attests more than 200,000 educational documents each year.

Despite continued financial crisis faced by higher education sector in Balochistan, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Special Task Force for Balochistan, established to evaluate and promote higher education in Balochistan, could not pay visit to the province.

With next National Finance Commission Award due in 2014, which will bring major changes in the higher education sector, the Task Force, a consultative forum formed in the year 2011 to review HEC Act 2002 in the post 18th Amendment constitutional scenario, is still to be notified by the federal government.

After next National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, the provincial universities will be financed by provincial governments. According to the decision announced by Council of Common Interest during May 2011, the financing of provincial universities and population welfare would be the responsibility of federal government till next NFC Award. The transfer of powers will again be a huge task.

Another big question will be about international ranking of Pakistani universities. During past few years, the universities from Pakistan were be able to attain global rankings as seven Pakistani universities made it to the top 250 universities of Asia. Keeping pace with the progress made before and improving it will be another challenge for the new leadership.

Talking about the future challenges, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said that PML-N government, in its election manifesto, strongly supported HEC autonomy. "The new HEC chairperson would have to pay special attention towards internal problems within HEC and would have to lead it as strong homogeneous organization," he said.

The HEC faced many challenges with regard to its autonomy during the tenure of last government especially after the commission started degree verification of Parliamentarians under Supreme Court's orders in 2010.

On March 30, 2011 the HEC was devolved through a notification and some of its functions were transferred to different ministries. Petition was filed by Dr Atta-ur-Rahman in the Supreme Court, on April 12, 2011 court declared the notification null and void.

"The importance of knowledge economy for Pakistan with special emphasis over university industry linkages, increase in agriculture production would have to be kept into mind along with expanding basic infrastructure of digital library and video conferencing," suggested Dr. Atta.

Other challenges, he said will include revival of faculty development programme, restoration of HEC status, establishment of centre of excellence in specific subjects as well inclusion of Pakistani universities in top world university ranking.

The federal government has decided to appoint regular chairman HEC through transparent and merit based mechanism in the light of direction by Islamabad High Court (IHC) regarding appointment of permanent/regular chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) till February 12, 2014 in accordance with law and prescribed process.

It was directed that before expiry of term of HEC acting chairman, the regular appointment of chairman may be made till February 12, 2014 in accordance with law and prescribed process. The office of HEC chairman is lying vacant since August 26, 2013 when the first four-year term of Dr. Javaid Laghari ended.

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Ex-HEC chief still using two official cars
Islamabad: Former chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Javaid Laghari is still in possession of two official 1300cc vehicles, one laptop and an iPod, five months after his contract expired in August 2013.

Under the rules he is bound to return all his official belongings to HEC to get NOC from the department. He confirmed that he is using official vehicles, one laptop and an iPod saying: "I have written to HEC that I am ready to pay mileage of the official vehicles, which are under my use, but they have not responded to several e-mails that I sent to them in this regard".

Talking about the laptop and iPod he said: "the HEC owed me one million rupees in dues and I have asked them to clear my dues and I will return these items". A high official of HEC desiring not to be named said there is no rule for anyone to hold official items after leaving the office.

Dr Laghari is not authorised any more to use official vehicles and if now he wants to pay mileage then he has to return the vehicles to the department and then HEC would be able to make assessment.

"How can HEC note mileage of cars when they are under the use of Dr. Laghari," he added. When this correspondent contacted HEC's official spokesperson Ayesha Ikram she said as per her knowledge HEC has to pay only Rs0.5 million to Dr laghari as gratuity.

Talking about the clearance process she said as per rules HEC would give Dr Laghari clearance certificate and would pay his dues when Dr Laghari returned all official belongings.

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A Pakistani gets global award but HEC officials want it cancelled
Islamabad: In an extremely unusual move, senior officials of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) got so upset because a female colleague had won a global award that they sent a special representative to India to convince the organisers to withdraw it. According to sources, the World Quality Congress has recently selected HEC's director general quality assurance Zia Batool for "Global Award for outstanding contributions and leadership in quality assurance". She is the first Pakistani to be nominated for the prestigious award.

Batool's achievement brought international honour for the country and even the minister of state for education Baligh ur Rehman sent her a congratulatory message, but the baboos at HEC did not like it at all and started conspiring for the cancellation of the award.

Sources said the HEC's acting director general human resource Farmanullah Anjum visited India and approached the organisers of the award ceremony and Indian High Commission for cancellation of the award.

He requested the organisers to give the award to a senior official of the commission instead of Zia Batool.Sources said the official did not even inform the chairman HEC or Pakistani foreign office before taking this extreme step, which created a lot of embarrassment for Pakistan.

However, the organisers contacted Batool and informed her about the efforts of her colleagues. They also told the HEC official that the award is based on decision of the jury and board members of the Council of the World Quality Congress and it cannot be given to another HEC official.

When contacted by The News, HEC's Farmanullah Anjumn confirmed that he contacted the organisers in India to "inform them that there are other qualified people who deserve the award."

"I called the organisers in India that Zia Batool's nomination has not been sent by HEC and there are other candidates who are complaining that they also deserve the award," Anjum said.

He said his Indian visit was aimed at attending a conference hosted by the British Council. "I contacted the organisers of the award on telephone during my visit to India but they did not give me appointment for a meeting," he said.

The acting chairperson of HEC Imtiaz Hussain Gilani also confirmed that he was not taken into confidence by the top officials before contacting the organisers of the award.

"I have no knowledge of this development at all," Gilani said.The World Quality Congress awards ceremony 2014 is scheduled for June 27-28, 2014 in Mumbai, India. Zia Batool has been nominated for the award in recognition of her efforts to improve the quality assurance practices at HEC.

Batool has been serving at the Commission since November 2003, having previously served as advisor social sectors for the ministry of finance.She is considered to be the founder of the first Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) of the country and has developed and executed QA criteria and policies at the national level.

Her contribution to quality assurance field has been internationally recognised and she is also board member of Asia Pacific Quality Network.In his letter of appreciation to Batool, the minister of state for education remarked: "The said award is certainly recognition of your contributions and great work done in the critical field of quality assurance as an expert both at national and international levels."

The letter mentions that her selection for the Global QA Award by the jury of the World Quality Congress is indeed a pride for the nation and the higher education sector of Pakistan that one of the Pakistani women is selected for this award.

"Her efforts and contributions in policy making for reformed higher education sector in Pakistan are commendable during last decade while serving the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as director general-QA."

Prof. Dr. Atta ur Rehman founding chairman HEC, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari former chairperson HEC, Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmed Khan, vice chancellor Agriculture University Faisalabad, commission members of HEC, vice chancellors and academicians have also congratulated Zia Batool on her achievement. The news

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Strict action against illegal medical colleges on cards
Islamabad: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has decided to take strict action against illegal medical and dental colleges operating across the country without approval from the council.

According to official sources, doctors having acquired additional medical or dental postgraduate qualifications will only be authorised to practice as specialists in their respective specialty.

The registered medical or dental practitioners having only basic medical or dental qualification are not authorised to carry out specialised procedures and all doctors have been directed to display their PMDC registration certificate prominently at the place of practice, they added. They said that the PMDC would make surprise inspections to check the implementation of this decision. Daily times

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COMSTECH workshop starts on January 30
Islamabad: OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) will organise an international workshop on 'Solutions of Differential Equations from Transform Techniques (SDETT 2014)' here from January 30 to February 1.

The conference is aimed at providing a unique platform for young researchers faculty and especially graduate students from OIC to collaborate with researchers from all over the world working in area of special functions and transforms. It would also help researchers from engineering and other applied disciplines to comprehend the technique and use it effectively in modelling simulations etc. The mathematical physicists and others in basic sciences would use the technique to solve their problems.

According to COMSTECH the workshop would be of interest to young mathematicians physicists scientists engineers and technologists at professional level who are either using or intend to use new techniques for solving differential equations. Professor Asghar Qadir from School of Natural Sciences (SNS) formerly known as Centre for Advanced Mathematics and Physics (CAMP) will direct the workshop. The workshop includes lectures interactive sessions application oriented exercises and technical discussions.

A complete session of two hours per day has been allotted for participants to discuss their work and experience in the field. It is mentioned here that differential equation is one of the important branches of Mathematics that helps in understanding the dynamics of real life problems that appear in miscellaneous fields of science. The technique has proved to be extremely useful and most Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) use it to obtain the solution space of differential equations.

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Owners of private schools hold protest against 'professional tax'
Rawalpindi: The office-bearers and supporters of All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) held a protest here on Tuesday against Excise & Taxation Department for imposing 'Professional Tax' and locking of students in a private school located at Asghar Mall Road.

The Banni Police Station registered an FIR under Section 342 against Excise & Taxation Inspector Tanvir Ahmed, who allegedly used an illegal way to recover tax and locked students in a private school. However, on the orders of District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajid Zafar, Banni Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) Nadeem Zafar unlocked the school gates to free students.

The protesters carried banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the newly-imposed 'Profession Tax' by the government. They denounced the government policies and criticised the Excise and Taxation Department. The demonstrators blocked Benazir Bhutto Road in front of Rawalpindi Press Club for half an hour.

All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) Divisional President Ibrar Ahmed Khan, during his address, said that the Excise and Taxation Department officials were creating harassment among people. The provincial government has been increasing property tax continuously, which was unbearable for them, he said. He said that there was 100% education ratio in neighbouring countries, but in Pakistan the government has been continuously imposing taxes on education.

He said that they were already paying income tax, property tax and other taxes and they could not afford the new tax, which had been imposed from 2004. He alleged that the Excise & Taxation Department was forcibly recovering taxes and using rough language.

The protesters dispersed peacefully after an hour.

According to officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, the owners of more than 700 private schools across the district have not paid taxes for a decade despite receiving notices from the concerned authorities.

Excise & Taxation Officer (ETO) Latif Ahmed said that crackdown has been launched on tax evaders. He said that the registration process of commercial and non-commercial properties was underway to improve revenue generation, besides identifying tax evaders. He confirmed that around 700 private academic institutions have not paid taxes; therefore, they were taking action against defaulters. "Not only owners of private schools, but also individuals have not paid their taxes for several years and the amount runs into millions," he claimed. The news

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