PU victimisation | HEC ignores social sciences

PU accused of victimisation
Lahore, May 16: The Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) has accused Punjab University administration of victimising its activists in order to hide its alleged inability to address the genuine problems of students including insecurity at the varsity.

Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Friday, PU chapter IJT Nazim Abdul Muqeet and other office-bearers, including Behram Saeed, Abdul Sabam and Usama Naseer, alleged that PU students were facing problems related to hostels, transport and law and order. They also alleged that financial corruption was prevailing in Punjab University. They further alleged that a number of IJT activists had been expelled from the university allegedly without serving notices and biased attitude of the disciplinary committee. The IJT office-bearers further said during the last six years no other students except those attached with the IJT had been expelled from Punjab University. They added 120 students had been expelled from the varsity during the tenure of PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran.

Meanwhile, Punjab University's spokesman in a statement issued on Friday termed the allegations levelled by Islami Jamiat Talaba baseless and said disciplinary action against "miscreants" of Jamiat was taken under the rules and they were issued charge sheets, provision of opportunities of personal hearing under prescribed regulations mentioned in the university calendar.

The PU spokesman added lie had infiltrated into Jamiat and the student wing was consisted of hypocrites who always tried to distort facts. He said students who wanted to damage the peaceful atmosphere of the university tortured university teachers and employees and students would not be given any concession. But the spokesman said students, who came up with their parents, submitted written apologies with affidavits and where the PU administration found betterment in the attitude of those students, the administration took lenient view in their matters.

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Five PhDs awarded at PU
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) has awarded PhD degrees to five scholars in different subjects.

According to a press release, Muhammad Zubair s/o Mehboob Ahmed has been awarded a PhD degree in the subject of Mathematics after the approval of his thesis titled "Curvature Matter Coupling: Some Cosmic Aspects", Muhammad Faisal Bashir s/o Bashir Ahmad in the subject of Biological Sciences after the approval of his thesis titled "Studies on Hepatitis C Virus Genes Encoding Structural and Non-Structural Proteins from Pakistani Isolates", Mudassar Hussain s/o Ch Muhammad Hussain in the subject of Islamic Studies after the approval of his thesis titled "Orientalistic Theory about Change in Thought and Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) an Analytical Studies", Qaiser Nadeem s/o Muhammad Saeed in the subject of Chemistry after the approval of his thesis titled "Development of Novel Radiolabeled Polydentae Ligands as potential Diagnostic Probes" and Tamseela Mumtaz d/o Mumtaz Ahmad in the subject of Zoology after the approval of her thesis titled "Identification of Protein Biomarker/s in Patients with Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma".

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HEC ignores social sciences for award
Lahore: In what could be termed an apt example of social sciences being ignored at the national level, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has failed to select any social sciences scholars from Pakistan to confer National Distinguished Professor awards advertised in 2011, it is learnt.

On the top of it, since the launch of HEC's National Distinguished Professor (NDP) programme, almost a decade ago, the awards have been conferred on 41 distinguished professors and among them only two are from language and social sciences.

The HEC announced the positions of NDPs in social sciences in 2011 and it is learnt senior academicians from all over Pakistan applied for these positions. However, the positions were re-advertised in 2012 due to the reason best known to those at the helm of affairs and the applicants were asked to re-apply.

However, the HEC authorities failed to make any decision again and the positions were once again advertised in 2013 with last date to submit applications till July 31, 2013. Unlike previous two advertisements which were specifically for social sciences scholars, this advertisement was for scholars of every field. Nonetheless, this advertisement met the same fate and the prospective candidates are still waiting for the "awards". According to the sources, the relevant file is moving from table to table without any outcome. The News talked to a number of applicants who were unanimous in saying the delay and apathy on part of the HEC was adding to the agony of prospective candidates who had applied for this prestigious opening.

"The HEC needs to promote social sciences in universities for which academicians and researchers in this area need to be acknowledged and encouraged," said a dejected applicant.

Another applicant said research in social sciences within Pakistani universities was already in dismal state, adding "Fact of the matter is that many public sector universities have not published any research article in social sciences during the last couple of years."

It is pertinent to mention here that National Distinguished Professor (NDP) was launched with an objective "to acknowledge the services rendered by outstanding senior Professors and Scientists in Universities and R&D Organisations and to utilise their services in national organisations."

According to the HEC last advertisement, available on its website, "The HEC Distinguished National Professor will be entitled to a fixed emolument of Rs100,000/- per month as Honorarium and Rs50,000/- per month for Research grant/Institutional share. The appointment shall be made for a period of two years on contract depending on satisfactory performance." Chairman of the HEC's Committee for Development of Social Sciences Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, who is also Vice Chancellor, University of Gujrat, talking to The News said he had tried to follow the process of documentation but the Commission somehow could not focus on this task.

When contacted, the recently appointed HEC Chairperson Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said he had asked the staff to put all the pending issues, adding decision about National Distinguished Professor in Social Sciences would be made within next two to three weeks. He said the HEC had not ignored social sciences as many initiatives for the promotion of the same by the Commission were evident, including 30 percent scholarship allocation for social sciences and special window for research funding as well as establishment of Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) etc. The news

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12,000 students of junior classes await books
Sahiwal: Dozens of secondary and elementary public schools of Chichawatni and Sahiwal tehsils have not received free textbooks for about 12,000 students of nursery and Class-I.

Although the academic session has started from April 1, books have not reached the schools.

The education department officials claim that have met first demand of free textbooks but there are problem in meeting the second demand forwarded by various public schools.

On condition of anonymity, a schoolteacher at the Government High Boys School 110/7-R, Chichawatni, said they had not books for nursery and Class-I. The school had 86 enrolled students in nursery and 80 students were enrolled in Class-I but they had not received books.

According to a source in EDO Education Sahiwal's office, students of Govt Middle School 111/7-R, Govt Primary School Khachi Balwala and Govt Primary School Danda Sarala of Chichawatni are also waiting for free textbooks.

Sufi Shahzad, a resident of Chak 110/7-R, said many students had not received books yet, adding that the summer vacation was around the corner but the students had no books.

The education officials at office of the district officer (elementary and secondary) confirmed the shortage of books.

Ms Tahira, admin enquiry in-charge, Education Executive District Officer Sahiwal's office, said the department had supplied books to schools according to their first demand and no books were available in the department warehouses at the moment.

When asked what happened to second demand forwarded by schools' head for availability of more books, she said the department was already processing the demand.

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Governor orders inquiry into UAF academic gripes
Faisalabad: Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has appointed Dr Zakir Husain, vice chancellor of the Government College University, Faisalabad, to probe a University of Agriculture professor's allegation of his illegal removal by VC Dr Iqrar Ahmad.

The governor has asked Dr Husain to submit a report within a fortnight.

Prof Dr Javed Iqbal Sultan, former director of the Institute of Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology (IANFT) said that Dr Iqrar had removed him as head of the institute for not acquiescing in to his unjust demands and when he complained to the governor (chancellor), the VC withdrew his five MSc (Honours) students -- Moazzam Mushtaq, Bilal, Khalid, Ahsan and Faizan -- and PhD student Akhtar.

He said all the students had been allotted to other teachers against the rules because such a decision fell within the purview of Board of Studies.

A few weeks ago, Dr Sultan had sought help of the governor through a letter in which he levelled allegations against Dr Iqrar.

He alleged that Dr Iqrar had called him in his office and asked him to browbeat Dr Sarwar, the Faculty of Animal Husbandry dean at the UAF, and his research group. Dr Iqrar had developed grudges against Dr Sarwar, he added.

He said he had refused to do the bidding of the vice chancellor who warned him with serious consequences including removal from the position of the institute's director.

He said Dr Iqrar had removed him from the position on May 23, 2012 and also got approved the action by the Syndicate. He said Dr Iqrar had appointed Muhammad Aslam as director who was junior to him.

The governor has appointed Dr Zakir Hussain as inquiry officer and asked the UAF VC to send comments of the university directly to him (Dr Zakir). Dawn

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