LCWU convocation | NTS testing body

2,373 students awarded degrees at 11th Convocation of LCWU
Lahore, Mar 29: As many as 2,373 graduates of BS, MS/MPhil, Pharm-D and PhD of the batches of 2012 and 2013 were awarded degrees at the 11th Convocation of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Monday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion, and was accompanied by Governor Muhammad Sarwar and LCWU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor. Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad, lawmakers, faculty members, students and their parents were also present on occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Shahbaz said that he would open funds for the LCWU if it gains academic rankings of the world universities, conducted by researchers at the Centre for World-Class Universities annually.

"I will open funds for your university if you become part of the world's top 500 universities," Shahbaz announced while addressing the participants of the convocation.

He said that the younger generation was a precious asset and the hope of a bright future of the country. He said that Pakistani women were talented and playing an important role in medical, engineering, education, health and other sectors of national development. He said that the nation was proud of its daughters. He made an appeal to the women to join the practical field after getting their degrees instead of sitting in their homes, so that they could play an active role for national progress and development.

He said that the destiny of the nation could be changed and Pakistan could regain its lost status in the comity of nations through honesty, hard work and determination. He said that universities should be the centre of education and research, but unfortunately, no university of the country was among the top 500 universities of the world. He said that vice chancellors, education authorities and experts should bring the standard of education and research in Pakistani universities at par with international universities. He assured that the Punjab government was ready to provide all funds for this purpose.

While addressing the ceremony, Governor Sarwar said that the future of Pakistan was safe in the hands of the youth who were making progress in various fields of life.

He pointed out that the LCWU was striving to promote quality education among young girls and its role in grooming young ladies speaks of its commitment towards women empowerment.

Sarwar praised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for increasing the budgetary allocation for the education sector. He said that the higher education opens up unlimited vistas and possibilities of success and growth for graduates if they opted for a career. "You are privileged to have an opportunity to study and it is your responsibility to think about the underprivileged, who don't have access to education at all," he said.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor informed Governor Sarwar and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the LCWU was pursuing its path to be amongst the top ranking universities globally through its Vision 2020 and a landmark five-year strategic plan. She asked parents to encourage and fully support their daughters to take up careers and become economically empowered.

The vice chancellor also pointed out that underprivileged students were receiving specified and need-based scholarships at the LCWU without discrimination. "We are making higher education accessible to students from all walks of life," she said. "The LCWU is a leading teaching and research university and a hub of academic excellence, producing highly skilled, professionally empowered and well-groomed women to make a positive difference in the socio-economic development of Pakistan," she said.

On the occasion, as many as 273 graduates were awarded rolls of honour and 90 position holders received gold medals. Tabinda Gohar and Sidra Aziz received the VC Gold Medal in academic and co-curricular achievements. The university also conferred awards on 10 alumni who have made significant contribution to the national development. Daily times

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Rs2b allocated for Punjab HEC: minister
Lahore: Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan has said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has allocated initial funds of Rs 2 billion for the constitution of Higher Education Commission Punjab which will help set up new universities instead of upgrading the existing government colleges.

He said this in a meeting with Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) regarding the implementation of 4-tier formula for the promotion of lecturers. The negotiation with the lecturers proved successful after which the PPLA announced to withdraw its ultimatum for protest.

Rana Mashhood said the problems of doctors and teachers should be resolved before they take to the streets. He assured the representatives of professors and lecturers that besides implementation of 4-tier formula for promotion, the genuine rights of young lecturers would also be upheld. It was decided that the seniority lists of lecturers would be updated within next three months.

It was also decided that the number of vacancies in all colleges affiliated with Higher Education Department Punjab would be recalculated while data of lecturers recruited in 2012 would be collected within two months to regularise their services.

The meeting also decided that the next phase of negotiations would be held on April 02 in which minister for education, secretary higher education, secretary law, provincial secretary finance and prominent educationist Prof Zafar Iqbal Qureshi will also participate. The minister said a five percent increase had been witnessed in the enrolment rate in the government colleges and the Punjab government had sent requisition to Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) for the recruitment of 4,500 lecturers against new posts on the permanent basis. The news

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High court declares NTS unapproved body
Lahore: The Lahore High Court has declared National Testing Service an unapproved body under Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002 and ruled that the recognised universities/institutions are not under any lawful obligation to conduct tests by the NTS or bound by the results of the tests.

Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ruled this in a 13-page judgment passed on a writ petition filed by a student of M.Phil (Chemistry), Syeda Anam Ilyas.

The petitioner in order to pursue her Ph.D in Chemistry applied for admission and was required to pass Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) conducted by NTS apparently working under the authority of the HEC.

The grievance of the petitioner was restricted to the marks awarded to her in the GAT by NTS and during the course of hearing this grievance was redressed.

However, an important legal question surfaced during the course of the hearing regarding the legal status and authority of NTS under the law.

The HEC stated in the court that no formal approval from the board of the commission had been granted to NTS to act as national testing body in terms of section 10 (1) (n) of the Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002.

The judge also observed that the documents placed on the record by HEC and NTS failed to show that NTS was a duly approved and recognised testing service under the Ordinance.

After hearing all the stakeholders, Justice Shah ruled that the NTS did not have any approval under the HEC Ordinance to hold itself to be as a national testing body in terms of section 10(1)(n) of the Ordinance.

The judge further ruled that the directions issued in favour of NTS by HEC were without lawful authority and any such notification or letter issued by HEC shall be immediately withdrawn.

He, however, observed that the NTS may continue as an entity and act as a testing body but it had no support or blessing of the government and it was voluntary on the universities and educational institutions to engage or not to engage its services. The judge directed that the NTS shall not hold itself as an HEC approved 'national testing service'. It may, however, continue operating as a private entity under the law, but shall not in any manner be taken to be an HEC approved entity.

The judge ordered that the existing arrangement between HEC and NTS shall only continue till May 30, 2014 (cut off date) and HEC shall not enter into any arrangement/contract with NTS after that date.

This order will not affect previous admissions and scholarships already granted or refused on the basis of the tests conducted by NTS. Dawn

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PU schedules
Lahore: Punjab University (PU), Examinations Department, has issued the schedules for submission of admission fees and forms for Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) (4-Year Programme) in Graphic Design, Textile Design, Painting, Sculpture, Print Making Part-IV Annual Examination 2013.

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PU wins contests
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) students showed outstanding performance in various co-curricular activities organised by Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) and clinched first positions in all competitions. PU Law College's Sikander obtained first position in photography while College of Art and Design (CAD) student Umme Kalsoom got first position in painting. In Ghazal and Nazam competitions, IBA's Hamza and ICET's Zeeshan Cheema obtained first position, respectively and were declared best team in Bait Baazi.

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CM approves Provincial Higher Education Commission
Lahore: Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif Saturday gave approval to the establishment of Provincial Higher Education Commission in the province here.

This was decided at a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at Chief Minister's Office. Various proposals with regard to promotion of higher education in the province were considered in the meeting.

The meeting also decided to set up state-of-the-art Information Technology University in the Knowledge Park to be established here in the City. Free educational facilities would be provided to the poor but talented children in the Information Technology University.

Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government was taking concrete measures for promotion of higher and quality education in the province. He stressed the need for establishing institution like Provincial Higher Education Commission for the promotion of higher education in the Punjab. He said that universities played very important role for promoting the process of research, therefore, special attention should be paid to the research in the universities.

The CM said that the faculties in the universities should be harmonized with the modern demands of present era. He issued directions to evolve a comprehensive planning for meeting the shortage of Ph.D scholars in the universities of Punjab. He said that the Punjab government would provide all necessary resources for improving the standard of education in the universities of the province.

IT: IT experts of various countries called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park and appreciated his steps for the promotion of information technology in Punjab.

takes notice: Shahbaz Sharif Saturday took notice of torture of a housemaid, Najma, in Bahria Town and sought immediate report from police authorities.

He directed the officials concerned to provide the best treatment facilities to the affected housemaid and take action as per law against those involved in the incident.

message: Shahbaz Sharif Saturday said that 23rd March is very important with regard to Pakistan's Independence Movement as, on this day, the Muslims of the Sub-Continent decided their destiny under the flag of Muslim League.

In his message on Pakistan Day, the CM said the resolution adopted in the historic public meeting at Minto Park, Lahore was the practical shape of the idea of Poet of the East Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

Mauritius envoy: Mauritius High Commissioner in Pakistan Muhammad Rashad called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Sunday. Matters of mutual interest and bilateral relations were discussed during the meeting. The news

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