NED 22nd convocation | HEC chairman job

Over 2,000 NED graduates awarded degrees
Karachi, Mar 22: Proud students in black gowns and graduation hats with only the different colour borders of their hoods setting them apart posing to capture the significant moment in time in pictures, family members fixing their hats or ties, in the case of boys, the band playing national song tunes and life moves forward without the former (late) vice chancellor of NED University of Engineering and Technology, Abul Kalam.

"It was indeed an honour for me to take over this prestigious job from my predecessor [late] Engr Abul Kalam, the longest serving vice chancellor of the university. During his more than 16-year service, he took the university to unparalleled heights. To continue from where he had left was no doubt a challenging task for me," said Prof Dr M. Afzal Haque, the seventh vice chancellor of the university while presenting the VC's report at their 22nd convocation here on Wednesday.

Speaking about the university's financial problems, the VC said: "NED is a public-sector university which is highly dependent on grants of the Higher Education Commission and the government of Sindh besides the income earned from tuition-related fees and funds from self-finance schemes, which partially subsidise our research and development activities. Since the financial year 2007-2008, the incessant increase in operational expenses mainly due to increases in salaries and pension fund announced on a perpetual basis by both the federal and provincial governments, the exorbitant increase in utility charges and unabated inflation have widened the gap between the cash inflows and cash outflows leaving a yearly deficit of around Rs500 million.

"The accumulated liabilities of the university have crossed Rs1.5 billion and our efforts to make it sustainable in future will go in vain if we don't get a bailout package of Rs1.5 billion. I appeal to the relevant quarters of the government, corporate sector and philanthropists to consider our request for extending financial assistance to enable us to continue our work," he said.

Later, while congratulating the students, Dr Abdul Wahab, president of Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, who was also present on the occasion, said that they had done the country proud. "Pakistan is a more desirous place to live with your capabilities and qualifications," he said.

Sindh's Senior Minister for Education and Literacy Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, who was presiding over the convocation, said that he was glad to be doing so at the institution which had refused him admission when he was a pre-engineering student. To the students he said: "Today you students and your parents are the beautiful colours of this university. Pakistan is in good hands to have professionals like you. For your professionalism and expertise merit will be respected. Go make a name for your university as you serve your country."

In response to the VC's appeal for financial support, he said: "We will do our utmost to help you out of your financial problems. Sindh is proud to have NED University."

Meanwhile, 1,702 students qualified to earn bachelor's degrees in 20 disciplines at the undergraduate level and 307 graduates earned master's degrees at the postgraduate level. It was also announced that from 2014, NED had opened its doctoral programme to all eligible candidates. Previously this programme was restricted to faculty members only.

Students and parents
"I'm overcome by emotion at not seeing our former VC Abul Kalam at this convocation. My last convocation after completing bachelor's was in 2011 and he was there then. Who could have known that he would no longer be here at this convocation," said Mariam Batool who completed her master's in telecommunications.

"Maybe the former VC took NED to such great heights that it is impossible to climb any further," said M. Saad with his bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in hand. "But frankly, I think the former VC worked more on NED's infrastructure while Dr Haque is more involved in academics."

"Our programmes in Engr Abul Kalam's time used to be pre-planned to perfection but today we have witnessed much chaos while getting here," said Faryal Yasir, a fresh bachelor's in computer information systems.

An exasperated parent thought that the university had asked the students to pay too much for the convocation. "We already pay a good amount as fees for our children's education and we live to see the day when they receive their degrees, but making us pay through our nose to be able to do that is not fair," she said, adding that the basic fee for attending the convocation with two parents was Rs3,500 for each student. "Then the students also had to pay Rs1,900 for a gown of which Rs1,400 would be refunded if they returned it. Also they are charging Rs5,000 per parent if any of us wants to attend the convocation dinner later." Dawn

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BIEK declares supple results
Karachi: The results for Higher Secondary Certificate Part II last year's supplementary exam were announced by the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi on Friday.

According to a statement issued by the controller of examination, in the humanities group out of the 3,549 registered candidates 3,340 appeared in the exam.

However, 1,539 candidates (46 percent) passed the exam.

Meanwhile, there were only two registered candidates in the special group and both passed the exam.

In the home economics group out of the 107 registered candidates, 103 appeared in the exam but only 31 candidates (30 percent) passed.

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Interviews for HEC chairman 'cancelled' at the eleventh hour
Karachi: Interviews for the post of chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) have been suddenly "cancelled", leaving the 18 candidates reeling from the shock.

Besides being an irritation to the candidates, the act of "cancelling" the interviews reflects non-seriousness towards filling the very important post in the higher education.The HEC has been awaiting its boss for the last seven months. In contravention of the higher education act, the acting chairman, Imtiaz Gillani, is still occupying the post even after the lapse of 90 days. His 90 days were completed on February 12.

A candidate told this correspondent that when he arrived at the Islamabad airport for the interview, he received a call from the IT ministry, informing him that due to the tight schedule of the members of the talent-hunt committee, the interviews were postponed. This was very upsetting for the candidate who chose to catch the next available flight back to Karachi.

The prime minister had dissolved a three-member talent-hunt committee, comprising Ahsan Iqbal, Dr Ishrat Hussain and M. D. Shami, upon short-listing three unsuitable candidates. The prime minister had also dismissed the three short-listed candidates.

He had later formed a five-member committee, headed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and comprising minister of state for education Engineer Balighur Rehman, federal minister for science and technology Zahid Hamid, principal secretary to the PM, Javed Aslam, and special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi.However, none of the members of the committee is an education expert or a PhD. Moreover, there is no representation of Sindh and Balochistan on the committee.

The talent-hunt committee was supposed to conduct the interviews on March 8 and 19, but due to the preoccupation of the committee members, the interviews were "cancelled". Now the candidates do not know when the interviews will take place or if they will take place at all. An email sent to the candidates by the IT ministry has used the word "cancelled" instead of "postponed". The news

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SAU VC resigns
Hyderabad: Faculty of agricultural engineering Dean Prof Dr Muhammad Saffar Mirjat took over the charge of acting vice-chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam (SAU) on Tuesday after resignation submitted by Vice Chancellor Dr A.Q. Mughal, says a notification of the Sindh government.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, newly-appointed vice chancellor Prof Dr Saffar Mirjat vowed to pay special attention to agriculture, other sciences and research. Agriculture education needed a serious attention as it helped in the process of nation building, he said.

Besides the dean of faculty of agricultural engineering, Prof Mirjat had an additional charge of principal of Khairpur College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology.

He has remained visiting professor at University Newcastle upon Tyne, (UK); visiting fellow at University of Arizona, US, and visiting scholar at National University of Ireland Galway.

Dr Mirjat graduated from the SAU in 1981 with distinction and was awarded the Chancellor's Medal.

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SU campus in N. Feroze
Naushahro Feroze: The Sindh High Court Sukkur bench on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by the Shah Abdul Latif University Employees Welfare Association against the establishment of a Sindh University campus in Naushahro Feroze.

The bench comprised Justice Nisar Ahmed Sheikh and Justice Riazat Hussain.

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PMDC tells CMC to rectify deficiencies
Larkana: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has warned the management of Chandka Medical College (CMC) Larkana to rectify deficiencies pointed out by the council after a visit in December 2013 in the faculty or face action under the PMDC law, it emerged here on Thursday.

In a letter written on Feb 21, 2014, Deputy Registrar Technical Dr Shaista Faisal informed the college principal that upon scrutiny of the CMC record, it was found that the faculty was deficient.

The letter said: "You are requested to submit a detail of the faculty (department wise) of the institution to rectify the deficiency, failing which an action will be taken under Section 22 of the PMDC Ordinance 1962 amended through Act No. XIX of 2012." If the PMDC did not receive any response within one month, a surprise inspection could be conducted at any time, the sources quoting the letter said.

Copies of the communication were sent to the health secretaries of the government of KPK, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh.

A team of PMDC inspectors had visited the CMC in the last week of December 2013 and sent a report to the college after verifying the record which the CMC management had submitted to the inspectors on the occasion.

The council said that according to the attached list of faculty members, 29 seats of professors, associate professors and assistant professors in basic science subjects were still lying vacant. Dawn

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