HEC chairman warrants | Power outages & students

Warrants issued for HEC chairman
Islamabad, May 27: A local court of Islamabad on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Javed Leghari, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), to ensure his presence in a civil suit.

The civil suit is based on a controversial agreement signed between the HEC and the owner of a commercial building situated in I-10, according to which the HEC had acquired the building on rent for the establishment of a university named "National University of Law and Social Sciences".

The HEC was unable to establish the university due to lack of funds, and the building remained vacant till 2012. The owner demanded Rs3.4 million as rent, which the HEC denied.

Advocate Abubakar Ammar Sehri, on behalf of the building owner, filed a suit for the recovery of the amount in January 2013.

On February 28, Civil Judge Islamabad Nasarullah Baloch decided the matter in favour of the building owner, but the HEC did not pay the amount or appear in court to defend itself.

Mr Sehri then filed another suit for the execution of the court order in March.

Initially, the judge issued bailable warrants to procure the attendance of the HEC chairman, but after his repeated absence, issued a non-bailable warrant. Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till June 3. Dawn

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Parents, students demand summer vacations from 1st
Islamabad: Students and their parents have demanded the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to announce summer vacations from the start of June in the educational institutions due to extreme heat wave conditions prevailing in the country. It has become unbearable for the school-going children to go to their institutes and follow their study routine in scorching summer heat and most of them are suffering from heat-related ailments.

The students are also unable to focus on their studies during their exams of first term as prolonged power outage has reduced their stamina and disrupted their sleeping hours. "Several children faint during the assembly and classroom in the schools due to the persisting week-long hot weather conditions", Tahir, a teacher at a local college said. The authorities must announce the vacations after the papers by the end of this month to protect children from summer heat, he said. Shagufta, a parent said "I am sending my children to school only for the sake of papers as they are exhausted due to the intense intense heat".

The classrooms lack the facility of generators or Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and loadshedding during the school time is posing a serious risk to the health of my children, she said. She urged the FDE authorities to announce vacations soon after the exams end so that the students could have a sigh of relief from this tough routine. According to the weather experts, the prevailing heat wave conditions in the month of May are very unusual and record-breaking. The country is witnessing such record summer heat after a period of 20 years. app

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Travails of students in times of outages
Lahore: The intense heat wave coupled with longest-ever power outages have taken their toll as many school students landed in various Lahore hospitals' emergencies to recover from the sun stroke last week.

Students of public sector schools are supposed to attend their institutes for this full week too, while private schools students will attend schools till June 7 and in some cases till June 15.

Many students, who travel by school vans or rickshaws, say their vehicles almost become tanoors when they board them after school hours at around 1pm.

While, the maximum temperature rose to 47 degrees C in Lahore last week, it is yet to be seen whether the private schools (which are not yet governed by any law in Punjab) themselves decide to close schools earlier or carry on with their academic schedule strictly.

The worst-hit are those students, who are appearing for their schools, colleges or boards' annual examinations. The candidates are complaining that they are unable to study properly owing to intense hot weather having no respite neither from Wapda nor nature. "Even at examination centres, there is no light and not enough cold drinking water," said Haadia Rasool, a candidate appearing for her intermediate Part-II annual examination in Lahore.

These days, everybody has his unique story to tell and their endeavours to cope with the unbearable circumstances. Mr Zaheer said that his son was appearing for his O-Level examinations and he had to arrange a generator for Rs700 for 12 hours and filled Rs1,000 petrol to help his son study for his life's most crucial examination.

Similarly, Mr Fraz said he and his children continued to wait for the light to come till midnight but in vain. Eventually, he said, "My children switched on car air-conditioner and studied for the examination early next morning".

Colleges' students say there is no shade on their campuses as the construction had removed most trees and sometimes the administration did not allow students to stand together in corridors. They say canteens on women colleges' campuses are making hay while the sun shines as they are selling coke, juices and water bottles at exorbitant prices without any check.

The residents of hostels in universities and colleges are also in double trouble as there were no lights and they cannot make any alternate arrangements for themselves. Different pictures are being shared on social media where students are sleeping on charpoys on their hostels' rooftops.

The Punjab University hostel residents have staged three protest demonstrations during the last week because they were left with neither light nor water to survive in such a scorching heat.

The Islami Jamiat Tulaba, Lahore, also raised its voice over harsh circumstances for students appearing for their intermediate annual examinations. It demanded that the authorities concerned should look into decreasing loadshedding hours, while the Lahore board management must ensure cold drinking water at respective examination centres.

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PU hostel residents decry outages
Lahore: Punjab University hostel residents on Friday staged a protest demonstration - third in this week - against loadshedding and university administration's failure in making alternative arrangements for power supply to the hostels.

PU students led by Islami Jamiat Tulaba Nazim Hafiz Nauman Zafar blocked Canal Road on both sides for more than an hour, causing problems for commuters in the hot and humid summer afternoon.

The students also staged demonstrations on Canal Road on Thursday and Tuesday to register their protest against loadshedding. They raised slogans against the university administration as well as the vice-chancellor for their failure to make alternative arrangements for power supply.

Speaking to the protesters, Hafiz Zafar said the PU administration had failed in resolving students' issues, as it neither installed a power plant nor talked to Wapda for supply of electricity to hostels. He said hostel residents were suffering amid 20-hour power outages. He said even water was not available in hostels.

The IJT representative said the PU administration should install a grid station or solar power system like other universities. He demanded that the varsity administration should ensure supply of water to hostels.

PU Hall Council chairman Dr Muhammad Akhtar negotiated with the protesters and assured them that the university administration would address the electricity issue in the university in general and hostels in particular. Later, students dispersed peacefully. Dawn

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PU announces results
Lahore: PU Examinations Department has declared the results of MA Archaeology, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2012, MA Mass Communication, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2012, MA Philosophy, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2012, MSc Geography, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2012 and MSc Physics, Part-I Supplementary Examination 2012.

Detailed results are also available at PU website www.pu.edu.pk

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QAU campuses in provinces, abroad on the cards
Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), the country's premier higher learning institution, has planned to open its sub-campuses in all four provinces and overseas.

"We currently have only one campus i.e. in Islamabad and now want to open sub-campuses. Of late, I wrote to the heads of the four provincial governments to apprise them of our intention. I asked them to identify the places, where we could or should open our sub-campuses. We've got a positive response, especially from the Sindh and Balochistan governments, which have offered us plots for the purpose. Things are moving in the right direction and I am sure the day is not far off when we'll have campuses in other parts of the country, too," QAU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai told this scribe.

The QAU vice chancellor said that there was also a plan to open a sub-campus in Dubai, the port city in the United Arab Emirates.He said that 1.2 million Pakistani expatriates, mostly from the lower and middle classes, lived in Dubai and they were concerned about their children's future due to availability of limited educational opportunities, especially those of higher education.

"After doing my homework, I went to Dubai half a dozen times, met the relevant officials and made the presentations. You can open educational institutions everywhere there. Dubai has a 'Knowledge City', which houses educational institutions. There are lots of buildings in place. If you meet their criterion, then the authorities allot you a place to begin operations. You just have to pay a certain amount of money for it. After getting a nod from Dubai authorities, we found a local sponsor for the project. At that proposed sub-campus to be operated by the sponsor, we'll provide the faculty, offer courses and conduct examinations. The sponsor will give us a proper share of its profits," he said.

Professor Yasinzai said that after approval by the QAU Academic Council and Syndicate, the proposal to open the varsity's Dubai campus was pending the president's consent."Once the green light is given, we will be the first public sector university to open a sub-campus in Dubai. It will help children of 1.2 million Pakistani expatriates get modern, quality and affordable higher education on their doorstep," he said.

The QAU vice chancellor said that Oil and Gas Development Company Limited had agreed to build a hostel for 300 girls students on the premises."The OGDCL management has approved Rs60 million for the construction of the girls hostel under its social welfare programme. The design for the building has been cleared by the relevant departments, things are in place for the start of work and now, we are gearing up for the groundbreaking ceremony within a week or so," he said.

Professor Yasinzai said that Teka, a Turkish company, had agreed to donate and install 200 computers for girls and boys students."During a recent tour to Iran, hosts took me to Zabal, a far-off, poor town, to show a university the like of which I've not seen even in the west. What impressed me the most there was a building of two spacious halls each with 1,000 Internet-connected computers for girls and boys. I returned wishing to have the same on my campus, too, so that our students could use computers even after the closure of computer labs. Recently, I got in contact with Teka representatives and apprised them of my idea. They approved of the idea and agreed to provide us with either the building or 200 computers. We opted for the computer offer. I'm hopeful that the facility will be there before long," he said.The QAU vice chancellor said that the establishment of a medical educational institution on the campus was in the works. The news

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Balochistan confirms 5,000 teachers jobs with 'strings'
Quetta: The government of Balochistan has regularised services of 5,000 male and female teachers recruited two years ago under the Aghaz Haqooq-i-Balochistan package.

They had been appointed in BPS 14 to 16 for two years.

Their services had been regularised after a meeting between the Secretary General of the National Party, Mir Tahir Bizenjo, and the Chief Secretary of Balochistan, Babar Yaqub Fateh Muhammad, on Friday.

Mr Bizenjo met the top Balochistan government official after assuring the teachers that their problems would be solved.

An official notification issued on Friday by the education secretary said that teachers' services had been regularised in "their respective grades with immediate effect with a changed nomenclature as JET (B-14), JAT (B-14), SST (B-16) and SAT (B-16) of their respective grades."

The teachers had been protesting for the last many months demanding regularisation of their services. The provincial government had promised to resolve their problem but because of a ban imposed by the election commission their services could not be regularised.

However, the official notification said that the teachers would submit an affidavit not to claim any back benefits of service, seniority and pay. They would submit another affidavit to ensure that they are not students and doing two jobs on fake documents.

The education department would re-verify their documents, including educational degrees and residential status of all teachers who had been regularised.The notification further said that on the basis of the individual re-verification by the director schools and production of a certificate to this effect, the secondary education department will issue individual regularisation orders.

It said that these teachers would not be entitled for benefits of up-gradation of SST from BS-16 to BS-17.

They would be entitled to B-17 only after fulfilment of the required qualifications.

Their services, the notification further said, would be terminated without any prior notice if they would not complete their prescribed professional qualification within three years. Dawn

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