HEC new chairperson | AIOU fee concession

HEC fails to meet deadline yet again
Islamabad, Mar 22: The federal government failed to meet yet another deadline for the appointment of Higher Education Commission chairperson, this time due to a three-day visit of the King of Bahrain starting from March 18.

The new six-member search committee, formed to propose three names for the post of HEC chairperson to the prime minister, was scheduled to start re-interviewing of 18 short-listed candidates from March 18.

The deadline for appointment of HEC chairperson along with heads of 23 other organisations would end on March 20, 2014 as on March 6, 2014, the federal government assured the Supreme Court that 23 vacant posts, including the position of Higher Education Commission chairperson, will be filled within two weeks.

Earlier, February 12 was the cut off date for the appointment of permanent HEC chairperson given by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The court directed the federal government to appoint permanent HEC chairperson till February 12, 2014 that was expiry date of the present term of acting chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Imtiaz Hussain Gilani.

In response, the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education made call of applications for the position and received more than 103 applications from all over the country. Prime Minister formed a search committee headed by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal. The committee proposed three names before the deadline, which were rejected by the prime minister, the controlling authority of the commission. Following that, a six-members new search committee was formed which decided to re-interview 18 short-listed candidates by the previous committee. The decision was taken in preliminary meeting of the new committee held on March 12 to discuss eligibility criteria of the post and the process to nominate best possible three names for the important post of HEC Chairperson. The candidates were divided in to two groups, half of the them would have been interviewed on March 18 and remaining on March 19.

The revised six -member committee comprises Federal Minister for Defence, Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Baligh-ur-Rahman, Special Adviser to PM Tariq Fatimi and Principal Secretary of PM Javed Aslam and Akhlaq Trar federal secretary for Information Technology.

It was a disappointment for the aspiring candidates as they received the notice, this time about the cancellation of the interviews, after they had finalised their travel plans for March 18 interviews.

The ministry official confirmed the postponement of interviews and said that no new date has been decided yet. They also confirmed that the interviews were postponed because of the important visit of the King of Bahrain Hammad Bin Isa Al-khalifa. The King's visit, starting from today (March 18), has the special significance as it would be the first arrival of any King of Bahrain in 40 years. The Bahrain King is coming to Pakistan on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invitation.

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Mystery continues over appointment of new HEC chairperson
Islamabad: Mystery about the appointment of new chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC) continues as Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif takes his time to decide whether to nominate one name from the list of three recommended by the Search Committee or establish a new search committee to scrutinise and interview the short listed names again.

Well-placed sources shared that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected the three names proposed by the search committee headed by the Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ehsan Iqbal and there are chances for the formation of a new search committee which will review, scrutinise and interview the sort listed 18 names. The source said that Ehsan Iqbal has expressed his unwillingness to lead, in case the Prime Minister decides to make new search committee. "He has taken the stand that the previous search committee recommended three best possible options for this highly important post and it would not be appropriate to start the process again with the same committee members," said the source.

The list of three was nominated by the search committee, headed by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ehsan Iqbal, after thorough scrutiny of the profiles and interviews and was forwarded to Prime Minister on February 11, 2014. The search committee never shared with media the names of those short listed but it is said that it also contained name of a woman as well.

The source shared that the search committee made a criteria for the selection of best possible name for this post. "First standard was PhD degree from a reputed university. The second consideration was the experience of candidate in dealing with HEC matters. The committee members also considered the age factor and short listed only those below 70 years. The fourth criteria was 'integrity beyond doubt,'" shared the source close to the search committee members. When contacted, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ehsan Iqbal said that his work finished after short-listing three names. "I have heard such rumors as well but there is no confirmation. The decision is with the prime minister," he said.

Those who are closely and critically following the process of the nomination of HEC chairperson believe that decision of restarting the process of review and scrutiny of 18 short listed candidates was a good decision. They pointed out certain lacunas in the nomination criteria.

"The short listing for this important position was done without proper homework and without matching the qualification and relevant working experience with required advertised criteria where in the presence of qualified PhD candidates, non-PhD candidates were also short-listed. The candidates have also been asked to submit up to 2,000 word statement of their vision for HEC but the nominated candidates were exempted from this exercise," said one HEC official who requested anonymity.

He shared that the important member of the search committee, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, was not present on February 11, 2014 for conducting interviews. He also pointed out that as the dealing ministry with HEC, the Ministry of Education and Training was not made part of the committee.

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Female HEC officer writes to PM alleging harassment
Islamabad: Losing her patience over increasing harassment at the workplace a senior MP III (Grade 20) female director general of Higher Education Commission (HEC) has written a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stating: "I cannot continue to bear this kind of humiliating attitude so I think it better to commit suicide in front of my office."

"My male colleagues use foul and abusive language and even tell me to stop work otherwise they would kick me out of my office. All my staff members have been transferred to other offices and even my subordinates are asked not to present me any file or talk to me. My only mistake is that I moved the court against my release order and finally the court directed the HEC administration to regularise my service in line with rules and procedures," the letter stated.

HEC Director General Quality Assurance Ms. Zia Batool in her letter said in January 2012, she and another of her colleague filed a petition with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking regularisation of their services. Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan on March 7, 2012, accepted the petition and directed the HEC administration to forward the case of the two DGs to the cabinet sub-committee for regularisation of their services. The HEC, however, filed an intra-court appeal against the single bench order, which was dismissed.

When the HEC administration did not implement the court order, she filed a contempt of court petition. While the contempt matter was pending in the IHC, a legal adviser of HEC informed the court that the HEC had no objection to her regularisation. But even after submitting its statement to the court, the HEC administration did not regularise her services and used delaying tactics in implementing the court orders.

She said in the letter that the HEC administration is not only directly involved in her harassment but is also avoiding implementation of the court orders, which is tantamount to contempt of court. "It is highly unfortunate that instead of implementing court orders the HEC administration continues to think it advisable to harass me and insult me in every possible way."

Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) nominated Ms Zia Batool as vice president of the APQN for upcoming election of Asia Pacific region. Ms Batool has been serving HEC since 2003 and has developed a globally compatible indigenous QA Model for higher education in Pakistan.

Her achievement has earned laurels for Pakistan and Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman sent her a congratulatory message, but the HEC officials did not like it at all and started conspiring for the cancellation of the award.

"Even my own colleagues approached APQN and tried to convince its convener to cancel my award. This kind of attitude brought bad name to Pakistan and despite doing an extraordinary work in the field of quality assurance we faced embarrassment at the international level," the letter said.

The letter also pointed out that she has not been paid salary for the last three months and her official vehicle has also been forcibly snatched from the driver on the order of the administration.

She requested the prime minister to take immediate measures to curb female harassment at workplaces.

Ms. Zia Batool said that she wrote to the prime minister because now the situation has gone from bad to worse and it is impossible to bear the insulting attitude of male colleagues.

HEC acting chairman Engr. Imtiaz Hussain Gilani said they could not act on the wishes of someone as they are bound to follow rules and it has been happening in the case of Zia Batool.

"I would not say anything about Zia Batool but I can confirm that nothing is being done against rules and procedures," he said.

To a question about allegations being levelled by Zia Batool he said "The legal wing of HEC is currently dealing with the issue so I am unable to comment on it."

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HEC workshop
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC), under its National Digital Library Programme, organised a workshop on 'How to publish research work in journals' in collaboration with the Cambridge University Press.

Over 100 participants, including faculty members, researchers, librarians from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, attended the workshop.

Ms. Caroline Kerbyson, sales executive of the Cambridge University Press, delivered lectures on 'How useful the CUP journals online be in their research work' and 'How to get published in the academic journals'. The news

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AIOU offers 50% fee concession to the students of Thar
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has offered 50% fee concession to the students of drought-hit Tharparkar, besides some other incentives to the effected people, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi said on Wednesday. Addressing a meeting of Special Task Group (STG) on drought-situation, he said the fee concession will be available upto Master-level programmes for the current Semester (Spring 2014). Those who have already deposited full fee will be able to adjust 50% fee concession in the next Semester. The meeting was also addressed by MNA, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry who is also member of the University's Executive Council. He appreciated the vice-chancellor for his generous support to its students. He also lauded the decision for undertaking a long-term plan for providing scientific remedy to drought-hit area. The plan will be prepared and implemented through University's Science for the Society Club. The scientific remedy will include setting-up water purification plant, promoting green area in the region and taking food preservation measures. The vice-chancellor said that university officers and staff will consider to give their one day salary to the effected people as a gesture of solidarity with them, in their hour of trial and tribulation. The meeting was briefed about the drought situation through video-conferencing by the AIOU officials in Mithi and Umerkot.Daily times

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AIOU extends date for admissions with late fee
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has extended date for SSC to Master level admissions for the Semester Spring, 2014, with late fee charges till March 19.

The admission forms of SSC programme will be received with late fee charges of Rs100, late fee charges for FA/BA is Rs200 while late fee charges for all the postgraduate programmes is Rs500.

He said that prospectuses and admission forms are available at the sale points of the university's main campus in Sector H-8, Islamabad, and its country-wide regional campuses and coordinating offices.

Admission forms along-with prescribed fee, he said, can be submitted in countrywide bran-ches of Bank Al-Falah, Habib Bank Ltd, First Women Bank and Allied Bank and in the nominated branches of National Bank of Pakistan and Muslim Commercial Bank. Computerised admission forms can also download from website www.aiou.edu.pk

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Two AIOU employees killed: VC condoles
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice-Chancellor Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi expressed shock and grief over the killing of Mian Aslam, a director of the Rawalpindi Region, and Kamran Ali, an employee on daily wages, in the suicide attack at Islamabad District Courts, Markaz F-8.

Condoling the death of Mian Aslam, he said "I have lost a personal friend, an honest colleague and dedicated officer of the university. It is a great loss for me and the university."

The vice chancellor announced that the university will mourn his death for three days during which Quran Khawani and condolence meetings will take place, besides a condolence reference in the university's main campus today (Tuesday). His 'Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza' will take place at the university's campuses throughout the country. The news

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Women Weeks kicks off at FJWU
Rawalpindi: In keeping with its tradition, the Fatimah Jinnah Women University (FJWU) on Thursday saturated its Women Week with the theme "Kirdar Ka Ghazi."

The week would be observed from March 20-22 with the purpose to engage youth in co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Different competitions including qirat, naat, bilingual declamation, mahfile-mushaira, quiz competition, photography, painting, drama and singing competition would be held. The activities are organised with an optimum objective to showcase and foster the student's creative and spiritual capabilities.

The first day of the three days activities began with the qirat and naat competitions at the university campus while a huge number of students from different universities participated in the event. The highlight of the Women's Week is the Artisan Mela. Ghouson Juma along with the Vice Chancellor, Samina Amin Qadir inaugurated the Artisan and the artists and students from all over Pakistan had set up colourful stalls of handicrafts, eatables, and other items. The Artisan Mela will remain open for three days for the students of FJWU. Students from other universities would be allowed to come from 9:00 a.m. till 06:00 pm on the last two days.

The last event of the first day was a drama competition. Students from Iqra University, University of Engineering and Technology Taxila, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and Fatima Jinnah Women University participated in the event. A large number of students from different universities and FJWU took keen interest in this colourful event. Daily times

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Row between IIU administration and female students lands in IHC
Islamabad: Row between three female students of Islamic International University Islamabad (IIUI) and the university administration has now landed in Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi of the IHC has suspended orders of an additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Islamabad while issuing stay orders and directing the university administration to give admissions to the students in the hostels.

IHC judge has issued notices to the IIUI administration and directed them to submit reply till March 10 the date till when the interim IHC orders will be in force.

An ADSJ of Islamabad Rafaqat Ahmad Awan on February 25 while vacating stay orders in the matter of these three students had directed them to vacate the hostel rooms in three days while deciding appeal filed by the university administration.

ADSJ had declared that IIUI is an autonomous body and it reserves the right regarding allocation of the hostels.

On February 25, the university administration had also lodged an FIR with Sabzi Mandi Police Station against the students, Neelam Jahan, Hiba Shabbir and Romana Akbar for trespassing and hurling threats after which the students obtained pre-arrest bails from an ADSJ court. Legal counsel for the students, advocate Sher Afzal Khan while talking to this correspondent told that the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has taken notice of the issue and he has called an explanation from the president of the university.

Counsel for the girls, argued before the court that that the ADSJ orders directing girls to vacate the hostel is based on malice.

Narrating details of the incident, the lawyer said that it was on December 23, 2013 when hostel residing girls had agitated against policies of the IIUI administration. The university administration then issued disciplinary notices to at least 50 students while expelling 11 students. The eight out of eleven had gone to their homes while the three girls decided to file a case with the court. An ADSJ earlier granted a stay order in favour of the girls and the same judge then vacated the stay orders at the appeal of IIUI administration. Advocate Sher Afzal told the court that after the stay order was vacated, the university administration forcibly took possession of the luggage that has been in use of the girls and they also tried to kidnap a girl.

The girls once again went to the court that ordered not to disturb the girls till final adjudication and on February 25, the judge dismissed girl's appeal. Advocate Sher Afzal further told the court that the university administration has also lodged an FIR against the girls.

It is to mention here that these girls have also moved another application under section 22-A in the court of ADSJ Shahrukh Arjumand for registration of case against the university officials including Director General (DG) Gulzar Khawaja, Security In-charge Colonel (r) Amjad Zaman, hostel warden and one security guard. They had alleged in their application that university administration tried to kidnap them and detained them in a room for more than 18 hours.

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Ambreen Saba gets PhD degree
Islamabad: Ambreen Saba, head of the Mass Communication Department at Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) (Postgraduate), Sector F-7/4, has done her PhD recently.

Saba received her PhD degree in 'History and Critical Analysis of Akhbar-e-Khawateen' from Islamia University, Bahawalpur, on December 31, 2013.

All faculty members of the Mass Communication Department have congratulated Ambreen Saba for her achievement.

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SZABU exams on March 24, 25
Islamabad: The controller of examination of Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto University Prof. Tanvir Khaliq Thursday said that the date sheet for the March 24 and 25, 2014 examination has been issued to 120 candidates who would appear in multiple medical disciplines.

It is worth mentioning that students of the Faculty of Medicine of Quadi-e-Azam University have already been transferred to Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University.

Prof. Tanvir Khaliq said, it would be landmark in the medical history of Pakistan that such a large number of post-graduate students would appear in specialties of child health, gynaecology, orthopedic, neurosurgery, critical care medicine, histopathology, microbiology, chemical pathology, hematology, pediatric surgery, nephrology, eye, and ENT.

Prof. Khaliq, who is also head of surgery department at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, added that 150 post-graduate medical students would appear in the upcoming examination.

According to details, the examination of paper-I and paper-II would be conducted on March 24 and 25, 2014 while the clinical exam would be organized in the first week of April.

The university, Prof. Khaliq said, had already conducted its first exam of Masters of Orthopedic Surgery, M.Phil Pathology, DCP Pathology and Masters in Critical Care.

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GSIS students shine in O, A Level exams
Islamabad: Global System of Integrated Studies (GSIS) School & College student Aisha Tabeer topped in the region of Pakistan in A Levels Law June 2013 Examination in Edexcel Board, says a press release.

On the other hand, Jalal Kaiser Raja made GSIS proud as he topped in Islamabad English Language A Levels Cambridge Examination 2013. In Computer Studies of IGCSE, Mohammad Adeel became high-achiever while Rafiullah Khan of O Levels topped in Islamabad in the Computer Studies subject. GSIS Principal Qurat-ul-Ain Ali Rizvi congratulated the students.

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FBISE SSC annual exams to start on 18th
Islamabad: The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination 2014 of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Islamabad, will commence from March 18 this year.

According to official spokesman roll number slips of all the regular candidates of SSC Part-I & II have been dispatched to their related institutions and of ex or private candidates on their addresses given by them in their admission forms.

In case the roll no slip is not received by any candidate he/she is advised to immediately contact the Controller Examinations (Conduct) on 051-9250606, Director One Window on 051-9250612, Deputy Controller of Examinations (SSC Conduct) 051-9250620 and Superintendent (SSC Conduct) on 9250666 on Ext-121. The news

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IIU's 26th cultural week began
Islamabad: Students of the International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad belonging to various communities and countries, will exhibit innovative products and cultures in the 26th cultural week of the institution, which starts today (Tuesday).

The mega event would be inaugurated by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf at the new campus of the university.

The exhibition will reflect the cultural diversity of the Muslim world and some other countries where students hailing from above 40 countries will demonstrate their cultures, including dresses, poetry, paintings, photographs, food, arts and literature.

Students from Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, China, Afghanistan, countries from the ASEAN, SAARC and all the provinces of the country would set up their stalls.

Ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries will also join the grand inauguration of the event.

The cultural week (female) would be inaugurated on March 20 (Thursday) at the women's campus of the university.

Celebrations in connection with the 26th cultural week were in full swing in both the campuses of the university and a book fair and flower exhibition would also be a part of this mega event.

The male campus will also hold a cultural night on March 19 where talent of above 40 countries will be showcased.

Female campus will also hold a cultural evening for the students on March 21, which would be graced by wife of the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Aljourah Abdullah A Alarifi and wife of IIU President Muzzna Qasim Al-Draiweesh.

The closing ceremony of the cultural week at the female campus would be held on March 25 in which prizes would be given to the winning students of various competitions.

Activities in the form of lectures, competitions in various categories such as drama, qirat, naat, photography, declamations, flower exhibitions, local games and sports gala at both campuses will be part of the cultural week.

A grand mushaira will be held on April 27 (Friday) at the Faisal Mosque Campus of the university. A group of 25-member Saudi delegation from the Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University would also participate in the cultural week.

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Sports gala inaugurated at IIU male campus
Islamabad: Vice President International Islamic University Dr Mohammad Bashir Khan on Wednesday inaugurated a sports gala at the male campus of the University. Students from 9 faculties would participate in many sports competitions. Speaking on the occasion Dr Bashir said a bright future of nation and Ummah is associated with the struggle and endeavours of the young blood. Dr Bashir advised students to set their goals and destination very high and work hard to achieve it. He stressed upon the need of active participation in healthy activities of sports. Sports activities play very pivotal role in the development of the character building and enhancing the personality making, he added. He urged students to concentrate on positive sports activities to develop the milieu of harmony, progress, improvement and development among themselves. Dr Tahir Khalili appreciated the active participation of the students in different activities. The cooperation of the student would make the event memorable, he added.

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RBISE makes 'foolproof' arrangements for holding SSC annual exams
Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) has made foolproof arrangements for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) annual examinations said Chairman RBISE, Prof. Ghulam Muhammad Jhaggar.

He informed that total 338 examination centers have been set up in Rawalpindi division.

Prof. Ghulam Muhammad Jhaggar said that a total of 103.035 candidates including 64,426 regular and 38,609 private students are appearing in the examination.

RBISE established 338 examination centres in its affiliated districts including 129 for male and 132 for female while 77 combined centers have also been set up. 57 examination centers established in district Attock, 70 in district Chakwal and 54 in district Jhelum while 66 local exam centers and 91 in adjoining areas of Rawalpindi have also been set up.

Talking to APP the chairman said that roll number slips of the regular candidates were sent to the heads of their respective schools and of the private candidates were posted to the addresses mentioned in their admission forms.

To a question, he said that effective measures have been put in order to check booti mafia.

The teams of Mobile Inspectors, Distributing Inspectors, Resident Inspectors and Chairman's Special Squad would check the centres and the entire examination process to ensure transparency and present their reports to him on daily basis. He told that he would also conduct raids to check examination centers to ensure transparency.

He informed that a Control Room with fax number 051-5450912, has also been set up in the Board office to address the complaints of the candidates as well as the examination staff.Daily times

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