HEC chief post applications | Book-reading habit

Over 100 applications received for HEC chief post
Islamabad, Jan 25: In response to the call of applications for the position of Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson, the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education received more than 100 applications from all over the country.

Federal Secretary for Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Ahmed Bukhsh Lehri said that by the end of last day for the submission of applications and nominations, the ministry received more than 100 applications.

He said that these applications and nominations would be examined by the Search Committee constituted by the prime minister to elect appropriate person for this position. The committee is chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and includes former Governor State Bank Dr Ishrat Hussain and acclaimed academician Dr M B Shami. The committee will short list three or more names and suggest that to the appointing authority, Prime Minster of Pakistan.

Process for the appointment of permanent Chairperson for Higher Education Commission entered the next stage as the time for the submission of applications for the slot of HEC chairperson ended on Wednesday.

Sources shared that some prominent names who applied for the post include former HEC chairperson Javed Laghari, Sargodha University Vice Chancellor Dr Ikram Chaudhery, Gujrat University Vice Chancellor Nizamuddin, Islamia University of Bahawalpur Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) Vice Chancellor Masoom Yasinzai, Gomal University, D I Khan, former vice chancellor Dr Mansoor Kundi, HEC former advisor Riaz Hussain Qureshi, Allama Iqbal Open University former vice chancellor Dr Anwar Siddiqui, QAU former vice chancellor Qasim Jan, and academician from Sindh SM Querashi.

The final decision is expected before February 12, 2014, the date which is also the expiry of term of acting chairman HEC as the government. As per the judgment of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the federal government has to appoint permanent/regular Chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC) till February 12, 2014.

In its detailed judgment, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed federal government to appoint permanent Chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC) till February 12, 2014. The term of Acting Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Imtiaz Hussain Gilani would expire on the same date.

The single bench led by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique remarked that since the post of chairman HEC is extremely important and carries great significance with regard to higher education, it is expected that the federal government will take decisive steps with regard to appointment of Chairman HEC.

"Therefore, it is directed that before expiry of term of Acting Chairman HEC, the regular appointment of chairman may be made till 12.02.2014 in accordance with law and prescribed process," says the document.

The order mentions that Joint Secretary Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Tariq Nawaz informed the court that summary for regular appointment of Chairman was sent to the Prime Minister, who is the appointing authority, on September 24, 2013. He informed that term of Acting Chairman HEC, Imtiaz Hussain Gilani would expire on February 12, 2014.

Wednesday (January 22, 2014) was the last date for receipt of applications for slot of Chairman HEC against the advertisement published on January 12, 2014 in national dailies. As per laid down eligibility criteria, the candidates should have at least 20 years of relevant experience and preferably hold PhD degree. They have also been asked to submit up to 2000 word statement of their visions for HEC.

Renowned educationist, founder chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and President Pakistan Academy of Sciences Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman filed a writ petition on December 30, 2013 in Islamabad High Court for the appointment of permanent and regular chairperson of HEC as per HEC Act without any further delay through a transparent and merit based mechanism.

Talking to media, legal counsel of Professor Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Umar Hanif Khichi, said HEC Act is very clear about the appointment of HEC chairman. "Only a qualified person of international eminence and proven ability with significant contribution to higher education as teacher, researcher and administrator, can be considered as head of sole higher education regulatory authority of the country," he said.

While responding to a question, he said that significant contribution is higher education as teacher, researcher and administrator can be judged through number of research publications in internationally recognized reputed journals and whether under his or her tenure as administrator, ranking of Pakistan universities at international level has been improved or not and where does his/her university stand even at national rankings. "The final decision lies with the Search Committee which has already been formed for this purpose," he added.

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Margalla Campus bags BMI Olympics trophy
Islamabad: The Beaconhouse, Margalla Campus, Islamabad, snatched the BMI Olympics grand trophy by wining boys cricket, boys badminton, girls table tennis and boys football, in the three-day event held here, says a press release.

Teams of students in all categories i.e. football, cricket, basketball, table tennis, badminton and volleyball; representing schools from all over Islamabad participated in the event.

In the opening ceremony, sportspersons were given a heart-warming welcome by the Principal Asif Butt and the Headmistress Riffat Arif. Chief guest on the occasion was Nassir Kasuri, the executive director BSS, who officially marked the commencement of the games.

The first day comprised of preliminary rounds which were dominated by the teams representing Froebel's, Headstart, Roots, DHA Branch, and of course BMI-A. The matches on the second day were rather tough and evenly contested, as the players were determined to prove their worth and make their school-college proud.

The final day at BMI, was no less than a sporting extravaganza with sportspersons showing their prowess in their disciples. After four hours of strenuous matches, Olympics finally came to an end. The news

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Habit of book-reading declining among youth
Islamabad: In the country, a sharp decline among youth in reading habits has been observed during the last three decades, as books have been replaced by cell-phones, computers, laptops, iPads and tablets.

There is an old saying that 'book is the best friend'. However, in era of technology, the time to be spent on reading books is now being spent on surfing the Internet with these gadgets.

According to researchers, the main factor responsible for this decline is our educational system and teaching practices especially at the primary level. At one time school libraries used to have a good collection of books accessible to the students.

On this issue they say that modern technology has increased the literacy rate, but at the same time habit of book reading has also declined. For the improvement in book reading habit, they say that younger generation requires more attention and counselling from the parents.

Parents term book reading habit "a culture" during their times in past, and their parents were regular in book reading and bed time story books was a routine of life. On the other hand readers, still engaged in habit of book reading ask for change in library timings.

Libraries are open during working hours and weekdays, whereas parents, children and readers have leisure time on holidays and post working hours, readers express.

Another report says that the book reading habits have been replaced by online versions of books. It has become a rare feature now a days that the people visit the bazaars and shops to buy books because all the new and trendy books are easily available on the Internet with no wastage of money and time.

"Book readers always remain in search of good books everywhere as they thought nothing is as satisfying to their reading instinct as the habit of book reading latest and interesting books," it added.

But, unfortunately, books are being sold on shops with expensive prices and that is why the number of book buyers is decreasing day by day as compared to the past when shops and bazaars remained full and busy with book lovers.

The decline in book reading culture is a bad omen for the development of a society as a civilized, educated, tolerant and plural society, which needs prompt response by the concerned authorities to attend this crucial issue and revive this culture again by setting trend of availability of books on reasonable prices, the report maintained.

Students observe that decline in habit of reading books is a global phenomena and western countries were also trying to council their youth by placing books in telephone booths etc to draw public attention towards books. Nonetheless, the government is also keen to promote the book culture in country and plans are being chalked out to extend the library timings.Daily times

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