HEC budgetary allocation | PMDC registration

HEC gets sizeable budgetary allocation of Rs 63 billion
Islamabad, June 07: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) would get the highest ever budgetary allocation of Rs 63 billion for the year 2014-15 which reflects 10 percent increase on last year's allocation. According to the budget speech, the HEC would obtain a sizeable allocation of Rs 20 billion for 188 projects which would support the development plans of different universities all over the country, while an allocation of Rs 43 billion has been made as the recurring budget. The combined allocation represents 10 percent increase which is sizeable, considering the right fiscal conditions prevailing in the country.

During the last year, a total of Rs 57 billion was allocated for the higher education in the country, including Rs 18 billion for the development plans and Rs 39 billion for operational expenses. The federal government has earmarked Rs 20 billion for the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2014-15.According to the official document, an amount of Rs 16,793 million has been allocated for the on-going schemes and Rs 3,275 million has been earmarked for the new schemes. Among the on-going schemes, Rs 1,185 million has been allocated for the overseas scholarships for MS/MPhil leading to PhD in selected fields (Phase-II), Rs 760 million for Human Resource Development Initiative MS Leading to PhD Programme of faculty Development for Engineering Universities/USESTPs, and Rs 700 million for indigenous PhD fellowship for 5,000 scholars.

An amount of Rs 550 million has been earmarked for strengthening of the University of Engineering and Technology, Rs 500 million for the Jalozai Campus of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, and PhD fellowship for 5,000 scholars, Rs 400 million for the University of Engineering and Technology Narowal Campus and Rs 355 million for the University of Turbat.An amount of Rs 361 million has been allocated for the Pak-USAID Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme (Phase II), Rs 330 million for the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, and Rs 300 million for the Balochistan University of Information, Technology, Engineering, and Management Sciences (BUITEMS).

An amount of Rs 275 million has been allocated for the expansion of Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, Rs 270 million for the development of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Jamshoro, and Rs 245 million for the upgradation of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila and its sub campuses. An amount of Rs 250 million has been allocated for the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad, and establishment of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana, and Rs 240 million for Masters Leading to PhD Scholarships Programme for the Students of Balochistan.An amount of Rs 232 million has been allocated for upgradation of Islamia College, Peshawar, Rs 201 million for the strengthening of Earthquake Engineering Centre in the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, and Rs 200 million each for the Faculty Development Programme of Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, expansion of Quaid-i-Azam University, establishment of Women University, Multan, and strengthening of Lahore College of Women University (LCWU).

Among the new schemes, an amount of Rs 500 million has been allocated for the establishment of technology development fund for the HEC scholars returning after the completion of PhD to introduce new technologies application in industry and development sectors, and Rs 400 million for the expansion of the University of Gujrat, and Allied Campuses. An amount of Rs 200 million each has been earmarked for the new campus of the Government College University, Lahore, and prime minister's programme for the development of PhDs in science and technology, and provision of basic amenities at the Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar. Daily times

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Experts believe HEC budget allocation not enough
Islamabad: Despite 2% increase in financial allocation for higher education sector in the Budget 2014-15, as compared to the previous one, the education experts believe that it is not sufficient in view of the growing needs of higher education sector in Pakistan and increasing inflation rate.

The federal government has increased allocation for development programmes of Higher Education Commission (HEC) from Rs18.5 billion to Rs20.6 billion for the next financial year. The HEC management terms the budget 'a healthy departure from previous practices.'

In a response to 'The News', HEC Media and Publications Director Aayesha Ikram said keeping in view the economic climate and ensuing energy crises, such a budget is a healthy departure from previous practices. "The PSDP 2009-10 allocation for HEC was Rs22.500 billion, while the revised allocation was Rs18.500 billion. However, the actual release was Rs11.303 billion. The development budget for year 2014-15 is Rs20.6 billion. In fact it is the best development budget the higher education sector has witnessed in the past four years where only 7 projects were approved in years 2011-12 and 2012-13," she said adding that HEC is optimistic regarding the funding and will remain committed to development in universities.

The higher education sector has developed extensively in past decade. More than one dozen public sector universities have been established during last two years only. The number of higher education institutions (HEI) has increased to 158, out of which 92 are in public sector i.e. federal 24, Punjab 23, Sindh 16, KPK 19, Balochistan 6 and AJK 4.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) founder chairman and Pakistan Academy of Sciences President Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman believe that considering the spread of new universities, the budget per university has in fact decreased in this budget. He termed it disappointing that the government did not keep in mind increase in inflation. "With lack of financial support, quality and standards will suffer. The increase should have been 30 to 40 per cent," he suggested.

Executive Director Centre of Civic Education Pakistan Zafarullah agreed to that notion and stressed for maintaining standards and quality instead of increasing the numbers. "I believe that growth without ensuring quality would have negative impact on standard of higher education in the country," he said. The news

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HEC, British Council to boost higher education cooperation
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the British Council Pakistan on Thursday signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to further strengthen the existing cooperation between the two organisations in the field of higher education and research.The agreement was signed by HEC Executive Director Mansoor Akbar Kundi and British Council Pakistan's Country Director Peter Upton. HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed presided over the ceremony held at the HEC Secretariat. The LoI relates to internationalising Higher Education Partnership Programme.

The partnership would cover Knowledge Exchange Programme, Leadership Programme, policy dialogue, transforming English language skills, Researchers Links Initiative, Inspire Transactional Education Partnerships, Quality Assurance Training Programmes, international training on advocacy for greater public ownership of the higher education sector, outreach and networking, Pakistan Scottish Scholarship Scheme for Women, British Council Citizenship Education and Community Participation Programme, training on data collection, surveys and dissemination of HEIs statistics, Higher Education Reforms: the way forward, and the programme based budget for three years: June 2014 to June 2017.All specified activities are intended to be completed within a period of three years.However, it is expected that the desired outcomes would be achieved for the knowledge exchange (KE) partnerships, English Language Programme, Leadership Programme, and policy dialogue.Speaking at the occasion, Upton said that it was heartening to note that the partnership of the HEC and the British Council has a 10-year long history and both the organisations are committed not only to further promote the existing programmes but take initiatives for the development of the higher education sector. "Higher education is the means through which real socio-economic change can be brought about. Pakistan has an excellent human capital and the HEC's efforts to tap on this capital are inspiring for others in the region. We have always valued our partnership with the HEC and are looking forward to deepen this relationship," he said.

Ahmed said that whatever the HEC had achieved since its establishment would not have been possible without the support from its partners, like British Council. "Our working relationship had a humble start in 2004 with a launch of Linkages Programme, which has now spread into a number of different projects for the uplift of Pakistan's higher education sector," he said.He appreciated the continuous interest of the British Council for promoting the cause of higher education in Pakistan. "Our joint initiatives have benefited faculty, researchers, and management staff of our universities. Around 70 percent of the vice chancellors have visited UK for different programmes. A number of good joint research projects have been initiated between the researchers and the institutions of both the countries," Ahmad remarked. Daily times

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PMDC issues registration numbers to medical, dental colleges
Islamabad: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has begun issuing registration numbers to all public and private medical and dental colleges.

According to PMDC Registrar Dr. Raja Amjad Mehmood, the step has been taken in light of the criteria for medical and dental institutions (Recognition and Eligibility Criteria for Enhancement in Annual Admissions and Accreditation Standards Regulations 2012).

Dr Raja Amjad told this scribe on Thursday that the regulations were passed in January 2012 whose Section 49 stated that all recognised institutions would be allotted a registration number by the council on payment of an annual fee prescribed by the council.

"The PMDC Council in its 119th Council meeting held on 22 December decided that the registration fee for registration of medical dental institutions will be charged annually at the rate of Rs300,000 from the private medical dental colleges and Rs200,000 from public medical dental colleges as was admissible under the rules to be deposited in PMDC treasury. This system should have been started in 2012, but it is unfortunate that the previous registrar didn't pay attention to this important decision," he said.

The PMDC registrar said the registration numbers would be mandatory for all medical and dental colleges to possess and that in future, all correspondence between PMDC and them would be done accordingly to their registration numbers.

He said the PMDC registration of medical and dental colleges would be renewed after every year and if anyone failed to do so, then strict action would be initiated against it.

Dr Raja Amjad said almost 60 medical and dental colleges had been issued registration numbers after they deposited the required fee and produced documentation and that their names are posted on the PMDC website.

He said parents should always check the PMDC website for recognition of registration of medical and dental colleges along with their seat allocations for getting their children admitted there.

The registrar said admission had been stopped until further orders to Pakistan Red Crescent Medical & Dental College Lahore, Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK), Independent Medical College, Faisalabad, Women Medical College, Abbottabad, Abbottabad International Medical College, Abbottabad, Muhammad Bin Qasim Dental & Medical College, Karachi (BDS), Bhittai Medical & Dental College, Mirpurkhas Sindh (BDS), Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College, Mirpur (AJK) and AJK Medical College, Muzaffarabad (AJK).

Dr Raja Amjad said the council had recommended closure of Hashmat Medical & Dental College, Gujrat, Al-Razi Medical College, Peshawar and Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal for failing to meet the requirements. The news

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AIOU to launch shariah PhD, MS programmes
Islamabad: The faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has decided to launch PhD (shahriah), LLM (shahriah), and MS (shahriah) from the Autumn semester. In this connection, all administrative and academic homework have been finalised, said Vice Chancellor Ali Asghar Chishti. The admissions in these programmes would be offered in the Autumn semester, which would be started in August/September. Chishti said that the departments working under the faculty of the Arabic and Islamic Studies includes Arabic, Quran and Tafseer, Islamic Law and Jurisprudence (Fiqh), Islamic Thought, History/Culture and Hadith, and Seerah. The scope and activities of the faculty, he said can be seen in the wide range of courses which are offered by the faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

The Islamic Law and Jurisprudence was established in 1999 to teach the Islamic Law and shariah from Matric to PhD levels as per contemporary requirements, and to provide opportunity of professional growth and development to the scholars of Islamic law in general and in service personals in particular, he added. The vice chancellor said that now the department of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies is going to launch PhD (shariah), LLM (shahriah), and MS (shahriah) programmes the upcoming semester.

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Chinese language course concludes at NUML
Islamabad: A special Chinese language course has concluded at the Confucius Institute of National University of Modern Languages (NUML). The course, which was of four-month duration, was supervised by Yin Hujie, a Chinese teacher. The course was attended by professionals and employees of different government and private departments and organisations. The participants of the course appreciated the NUML for its efforts in promoting Chinese language, saying that in the emerging world scenario, it is imperative to learn the language as China is the second largest economy. He urged the need for arranging more courses of Chinese language.

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Distinction of Arid University student
Islamabad: Ikhtiar-ud-Din Khattak has been awarded PhD degree in Environmental Sciences. This is the first PhD completed by any student from the Department of Environmental Sciences since its inception in 2007 at PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi. The research work by Khattak was primarily an occupational health study based on 'Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Levels in Serum and Urine of Petroleum Associated Workers'. The research was internationally recognised as pioneer work from Pakistan in the field of environmental and occupational exposure risk assessment. He was also invited to present his findings at International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) Conference held at Baltimore, USA.Daily times

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Summer holidays in FDE institutions from June 7
Islamabad: Students of all educational institutions working under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will have summer holidays from June 7 (Saturday).

According to the notification issued by the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), students would resume their educational activities from August 11.

CADD Joint Educational Adviser Rafique Tahir said the secretary has approved vacations from June 7 till August 10.

The initial proposal to announce summer vacations this year was from June 9 to August 18 but it was not approved by the authority due to the Independence Day functions on August 14 in schools and colleges, he said.

The students of ICT institutions are anxiously waiting for the summer vacations to commence due to the intense heat and increasing temperatures day by day.

While most of the educational institutions in Punjab and other provinces have announced the vacations from the start of this month.

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Only two percent spent on education, reveals survey
Islamabad: Pakistan is spending only two percent of GDP on public education that is putting it at the bottom in the South Asian region, and also in literacy rate that is 60 percent at present, Pakistan Economic Survey 2013-14 released here said.

In this region, pertaining to its spending on education the country is at the ninth place, while in literacy it occupies the seventh position.According to the survey, the overall educational situation, based on key indicators such as likely enrolments, number of institutes and number of teachers has shown a slight improvement.

The number of enrolments during 2012-13 were estimated at 41.1 million as compared to 40.3 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of two percent. It is estimated to increase to 42.2 million during 2013-14.

The number of institutes stood at 240.3 thouand during 2012-13 as compared to 234.5 thousand during the same period last year. This shows an increase of 2.5 percent. However, the number is estimated to increase to 243.8 thousand during 2013-14. The number of teachers during 2012-13 was estimated at 1.55 million as compared to 1.46 million during the same period last year showing an increase of 6.2 percent. This number is estimated to increase further to 1.62 million during the year 2013-14.

The Net Enrolment Rate (NER) at the national level during 2012-13 remained at 57 percent. Province wise comparison reveals that Punjab witnessed 62 percent in 2012-13 as compared to 64 percent in 2011-12.

Sindh showed improvement at 52 percent in 2012-13 as compared to 50 percent in 2011-12; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed a slight improvement at 54 percent in 2012-13 as compared to 53 percent in 2011-12 while Balochistan witnessed a prominent improvement at 45 percent in 2012-13 as compared to 39 percent in 2011-12.

Seven universities of Pakistan have made it to the list of top 250 Asian Universities while three other universities are among the top 200 world universities in Agriculture and Forestry. More than 5,000 Pakistani scholars were facilitated to present their research work in leading international conferences abroad.

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Honour for NUST teacher
Islamabad: NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) Assistant Professor Dr. Osman Hasan received the 2014 Teradata Excellence in IT Research and Development award.

Teradata Corporation, which is one of the leading data analytic solutions company, announced the winners for the 12th Teradata National Information Technology (IT) Excellence Awards at an awards ceremony held in Islamabad. Twelve awards were given to the best of the best in the information technology industry, says a press release.

According to official spokesman, Dr. Osman Hasan received his PhD in Electrical Engineering degree from Concordia University, Canada, in 2008. He served as an ASIC design Engineer from 2001 to 2003 at LSI Logic, Canada, and as a Postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University, Canada, for 18 months. He is the founder and director of the System Analysis and Verification (SAVe) Lab and his research interests include Embedded systems, Formal Methods and e-health. Since joining NUST, has been able to acquire over Rs60 million in research grants and has published over 75 papers in various reputable conferences and journals. He is currently collaborating with various academic institutes and research organisations of USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Qatar and UAE.

Dr. Hasan also received the Best University Teacher Award 2010 from HEC, Pakistan, the Best Young Research Scholar Award 2010-11 from HEC, Pakistan, and the Best Teacher Award (2012-13) from NUST-SEECS and the Excellence in IT Education Award 2013 from Teradata Pakistan. He was also invited to talk about his research at the First Heidelberg Laureatte Forum in 2013, i.e., one of the most prestigious scientific events in

the domains of computer science and mathematics; attended by Abel, Fields and Turing laureates. The news

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