PU basic facilities & budget | PMDC criteria

PU missing out on basic facilities
Lahore, June 24: Like other public sector educational institutions, the Punjab University is also faced with a shortage of appropriate basic facilities including drinking water, quality food in the cafeteria, computer labs, classrooms and IT equipment.

Aimen Arshad, a PU student said they were facing immense problems due to non-availability of water in the sizzling weather while the common rooms for girls do not even have lights and water. She demanded that water coolers with the facility of generator should be provided to the students.

Another student of PU Hannan Saleem said the poor quality of food at PU together with exorbitant price is also a concern for the students with limited pocket money.

A scholar Junaid Hashmi said there is a dearth of busses at the university and a number of passengers have fainted owing to heat and overcrowding.

When contacted a teacher and student advisor to MBE department Dr Ashi Zeeshan said that facilities provided by the institution were not up to mark adding that computer labs and Internet facilities should be provided to the students to enable them learn about modern technology.

Teacher of Department of Science Education Shafiq ur Rehman said that libraries were not updated according to international standard and urged the administration to ensure the presence of teachers in classes and demanded the government to provide basic facilities such as whiteboards, furniture, IT equipment and books to the students.

Department of Business Education (MBE) chairman Dr Shaukat Ali Raza said the missing facilities could be provided if resources were utilised effectively. It is need of the hour to make arrangements to provide facilities to the students to produce competent, business intellectuals, he added.

He demanded training programmes for teachers at the university for their capacity building.

Meanwhile, the Punjab University, the oldest seat of learning in the sub-continent with its meagre financial resources, has increased annual research endowment fund from Rs 250 million to Rs 360 million while another amount of Rs 100 million has been set aside for departmental level research.

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said the varsity will continue to focus on promotion of quality education coupled with international standard research in all disciplines.

He said that since his induction six years ago, he had accorded the highest priority to promotion of modern education with revised syllabi laced with international standard research.

He said all universities worldwide are always evaluated only on one criteria of their contribution towards new international standard research conducted in their teaching disciplines by the faculty members and students. He said PU researches are not only recognised but also acknowledged by international institutions.

He said that for the last six years, all PhD theses were being evaluated by external experts to improve research work and bring it at par with international standards.

He said it was unfortunate that only 22 per cent faculty members of all universities in Pakistan were PhDs whereas hardly 33 per cent teachers in the PU were PhDs which was insufficient.

He said Higher Education Commission during his tenure had so far approved 638 publication and research works of the PU teaching department, which was a step forward to better research. app

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Rs1bn deficit budget: PU students may pay for 'hard decisions'
Lahore: The Punjab University is presenting an over Rs1 billion deficit budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 with a total outlay of Rs6.094 billion. It expects an income of Rs5.047 billion and the deficit stands at Rs1.047 billion (21 per cent).

The university is proposing increase in examination, registration, migration and degree fees between 10 per cent and 20 per cent to the Syndicate which is meeting for approval of budget on Saturday (today). PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran is scheduled to chair the meeting.

The PU, on the recommendation of the budget committee, is proposing a 10 per cent increase in the rate of registration/examination fee for students of affiliated colleges and 15 per cent increase for private candidates. It is also proposing 20 per cent increase in examination fee of private candidates of B.Com examination; 18 per cent increase in migration/degree/equivalence and verification fee; and urgent migration certificate fee at double the ordinary migration.

In order to generate revenue from its own resources, the PU is also proposing that seats may be reserved for donors in teaching departments. It states that donation for per seat may be fixed based on the market demand of the programme.

The PU is also proposing that an estimated subsidy of Rs235 million on university services transport, internet and hostels should be reduced by gradually increasing the rate of these services. It proposed that the electricity charges for students (On Campus and Hostels) be enhanced by Rs25 per month, student bus charges by Rs50 per month, employee bus charges by Rs80 per month and bus ticket rate be doubled from Rs10 to Rs20 to meet the ever-increasing prices of POL/electricity etc.

The PU is also proposing to the Syndicate to increase rent of shops/canteens/kiosks at the rate of 10 per cent per annum and the income should be credited into varsity's main income account.

Overall, the varsity's budget committee has proposed some 15 measures to generate revenue that also include starting short/refresher courses, market-based consultancy and testing services, swimming courses, fitness centre facility, outsourcing of auditorium and video conference, playgrounds to private schools and colleges, commercialisation of Press and Publication Department, setting up a souvenir shop. It says departments be asked to invest their surplus funds and utilise income for their departments' development.

The PU budget committee has also proposed three austerity measures ban on creation of non-teaching posts; no increase in the operating allocations except in POL and utilities; and rationalisation of establishment expenditure.

According to the PU budget estimates, the university expects a total income of Rs5.047 billion comprising grant of Rs1.695 billion from the Higher Education Commission; Rs82.036 million as a grant for Tenure Track System and Rs3.27 billion (65 per cent) to be generated from its own sources.

The committee has stated that the Punjab government has zero per cent allocation for the PU recurring demands. As for grants from the HEC, the committee has informed the Syndicate that the government was increasing pay, allowances and pension on a yearly basis, whereas it was not picking the full liability of these increases. It said even the annual inflationary impact was not considered while allocating recurring grants by the PU.

On the expenditure side, the PU has calculated Rs3.179 billion (52 per cent) to be paid to the university employees under the head of pay and regular allowances. It plans to spend Rs392.614 million (six per cent) on other benefits and facilities; Rs557.527 million (nine per cent) on pension; Rs452.9 million (seven per cent) on conduct and remuneration of examination, Rs527.23 million (nine per cent) on utility charges; Rs100 million (two per cent) on lump sum provision for research; Rs199.239 million (three per cent) on scholarships for faculty and students; Rs292.992 million (five per cent) on other current expenditure and Rs392.57 million (six per cent) on development expenditure.

Anticipatory Orders:
PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has issued six anticipatory orders using his emergency powers under section 15(3) of the PU Act 1973. These orders will also be presented before the Syndicate meeting for approval. Dawn

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PU papers rescheduled
Lahore: Punjab University has notified that the BS (four-years programme) third semester examination 2013 written papers of Arabic-III (ARB-201) BS Islamic Education and Arabic-III (ARB-201) BS Secondary Education will be conducted on July 15 instead of earlier notified date. The news

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Failure to meet PMDC criteria: 7 colleges barred from taking students
Islamabad: Upon the advice of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHRS), the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) barred seven medical colleges, which did not come up to the council's criteria, from providing new admissions.

According to the PMDC website, the medical colleges are: Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Lahore; Al-Tibri Medical College, Karachi; Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK); Mohammad Medical College, Mirpurkhas, Sindh; Abbottabad International Medical College, Abbottabad; Independent Medical College, Faisalabad and Women Medical College, Abbottabad

"These colleges did not fulfill PMDC's basic requirements such as ensuring the minimum required teaching staff, so we had to bar these colleges from providing new admissions," an official of the division said.

Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary NHRS said that the PMDC had been asked to ensure strict vigilance in this matter.

"We asked the PMDC to scrutinise even those medical colleges which had obtained a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to ensure that the council's regulations were followed in letter and spirit," he said.

He added that the federal government would review the performance of PMDC and was also set to amend the PMDC Ordinance 1962.

The council regulates medical education and registers medical professionals under this ordinance, and is an attached department of the NHRS ministry.

Mr Elahi said a policy would be formulated after consulting the NHRS State Minister Saira Afzal Tarar which would discuss whether NOCs should be provided to new medical colleges or a ban should be placed on their registration.

Currently, 128 private and public sector medical and dental colleges are providing education in Pakistan. The PMDC official website shows that 40 of these colleges are registered in Punjab, 37 in Sindh, 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three each in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a senior official in NHRS said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was probing the registration process of 19 medical colleges which had been registered in a single day during the tenure of the previous government.

"The probe is still in process, but once it is completed, we will know whether the colleges had been awarded the NOCs on merit or not," said the official.

These medical colleges had also been refrained from providing new admissions by the PMDC till NAB cleared them, he added.

The following medical colleges have been prohibited from providing admission, and their names have been issued on PMDC's official website. Dawn

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AIOU to establish six new campuses in northern areas
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University will establish six new campuss in northern areas for facilitating its students and upgrading its academic network.

Initially the campus building will be constructed at Gilgit and Skardu during the upcoming financial year, said a news release issued on Sunday.

Speaking the earth-breaking ceremony of Gilgit campus, Gilgit Baltistan Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah said the AIOU was playing leading role in enhancing literacy rate in the northern region through distance learning system.

He also lauded the consistent and dedicated efforts of Dr Sangi and its team for expending the university network in the country's remote regions, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

On the occasion, AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi informed that construction of building at Gilgit will cost Rs 30 million. Dr Sangi said AIOU had played a pivotal role in promoting education in Gilgit-Baltistan and other remote parts of the county.

The Gilgit campus will be equipped with latest state-of-the-art technology, including computer labs, video conferencing systems, examination hall, class rooms, information counters, library and internet facility.

The campus will facilitate thousands of students of AIOU who live around the region. The campus is a part of the university's strategy to promote job-oriented education and to ensure access to equal quality education across the country, Dr Sangi said.

Meanwhile speaking the tutorial meeting, Gilgit Baltistan Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar announced the donation of 10-kanal piece of land for the construction of university campus in Hunza Nagar on immediate basis.

He assured that their government will fully support the AIOU in its educational pursuits, especially ensuring quality education and extending academic network in northern areas.

Prof Sangi assured him that the AIOU will be exploiting all available resources to provide best possible educational facilities to its students in remote regions. app

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