'Pakistan develops search engine for free online courses'
Karachi, Oct 08: Pakistan will become the first country to offer top-quality education on an integrated online platform that will include free online courses from hundreds of top universities around the world, claimed Dr Prof Atta-ur-Rahman, the former chairman of the Higher Education Commission, at the Second National Conference on Space Science on Monday.
Speaking to Dawn on the sidelines of the first day of the conference, he said that the search engine had been developed. He added that the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Institute of Chemistry would launch the integrated platform for the best available free online courses like MIT open courseware, Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy, Virtual University of Pakistan and other courses next month.
Dr Rahman said that the lack of trained faculty was a major hurdle in educating the masses especially in developing world. And joining hands with world's top varsities such as MIT and Harvard to deliver excellent academic material would greatly help Pakistan and other developing countries, he added.
According to the former HEC chairman, Pakistan will be the only country to have brought together the great wealth of educational material from around the world on one single platform.
Some 60 research presentations and papers will be presented at the two-day event being organised by the Institute of Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA), the University of Karachi, to celebrate the 'World Space Week 2013'.
The first day of the two-day conference brought together scholars and experts from Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Institute of Space Technology, ISPA and other institutes.
The official topic of this year's Space Week celebrations is "Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth".
In an interesting presentation, Salman Zubair from the department of Geography, Karachi University, shared his findings about road designs and accidents, which according to him, could be curbed using the help of satellite imagery and Geographical Information System.
He also urged road planners to consider the mass awareness about the new road facilities and GIS planning while designing major roads, a lack of which was responsible for 34 per cent accidents directly or indirectly.
Mr Zubair said that Karachi ranked fourth in the world when it came to road accidents.
In another lecture, Mohammad Shafique from the National Centre of Excellence in Geology, the University of Peshawar, said that Pakistan witnessed 138 major disasters over the past 30 years. He said remote sensing and satellite imaging could be used as an important tool in disaster mitigation and management.
Other scholars presented their findings in cosmology, theoretical physics, renewable energy, Mars explorations and other topics related to Space Science, technology and cosmology.
NCSS-2013 has been organised with the collaboration of Suparco, HEC and Pakistan Science Foundation.Your Comments
SZMDC told to charge fee as per BoG sdecision
Lahore: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial ordered on Monday the Sheikh Zayed Medical and Dental College to charge an annual fee from students as per a decision of then board of governors in 2009 (Rs365,000) instead of an unapproved (Rs475,000) annual fee.
The chief justice passed this order while disposing of a petition moved by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary-General Dr Tanvir.
The chief justice directed the Punjab government to constitute new BoGs of the medical institution within three months.
However, till the constitution of the BoG no adjustment or refund would be made to students, the CJ said in the order.
Representing the PMA, Advocate Noshab A. Khan contended that the SZMC was the only public sector institution which was collecting fee from its students equal to private colleges despite getting considerable funds from the government.
He said the SZMC was handed over to the Punjab government on Feb 14, 2012, under the devolution policy after the 18th Amendment.
The counsel said the institution continued to charge exorbitant fee from students without the approval of the competent authority.
He prayed to the court to issue directions to the administration of the respondent college to develop their fee structure on a par with the public sector medical colleges in the province.
The college had taken a plea that it was meeting all expenses from the fees received from students as no grant had been received from the government. Dawn
Punjab University security: it's time to drive the nail aright
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) administration has beefed up security on the campus as well as in hostels to ensure that the institution is free of terrorists, extremists and 'external' elements.
On the orders of Punjab government, PU Vice chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran has taken key security measures.
Checking on entry gates has been made strict and vehicles without official stickers are also not allowed to enter the university.
Now the PU gate 2, which is outside Sheikh Zayed Hospital and used by most of the students, is usually closed at 6pm while other gates also remain closed and are opened only after security guards make ensure that the entering vehicles are of a PU student, teacher or an employee.
Vigilance and surveillance has also been increased on the campus as well as in the hostel area. It is noteworthy that PU has 26 hostels, including 16 hostels for boys and 10 for girls.
Management of the boys hostels always faces tough time due to presence of political elements and Qabza groups there. Making strict security measures on PU campus, which houses 32,000 students is a Herculean task.
Even former PU VC Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood could not deal with political elements such as IJT. The way Dr Kamran is dealing with the IJT without support of Punjab Police and the Punjab government is commendable.
Dr Kamran has proved his commitment of taking action against extremist elements and IJT hooliganism on the campus by launching a series of crackdown on outsiders. The university administration is striving hard to make the campus apolitical. In the past, this university has been remained in the shackles of Tanzeem-e-Islami, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) teachers wing and IJT and JI students wing.
The JI always believes that Punjab University is not a public sector university but it belongs to Mansoorah. The party has deep-rooted political and economic interests in PU. It used to control the admission policy, recruitments of teachers and PU employees.
Dr Kamran has changed the campus environment to a great extent, as he dared to stand firm against hooliganism. The university's world ranking has also showed a considerable upward trend under his supervision.
The Punjab University administration team of senior teachers and administrative officers, headed by Punjab University Hall Council Chairman Prof Dr Muhammad Akhter, on Thursday night paid a surprise visit to Hostel Number 15. The team locked six rooms of the hostel when it found that some persons belonging to IJT, including IJT Naib Nazim Hafiz Wajid who is involved in many illegal activities, were residing illegally in the rooms.
Reportedly, IJT activists, including Hafiz Wajid, Tanzeelur Rehman, Usama, Adnan Saeed, Abdul Kabeer and Zaid resisted the action of the Hall Council team and misbehaved with the teachers.
Later, the IJT workers broke the locks of three rooms out of six rooms which were locked. They also besieged the house of Hall Council chairman and raised slogans against him and the vice chancellor.
Hostel wardens and superintendent at a meeting announced that the keeping in view the situation, illegal residents could not be evicted from hostels without help of the government. The Hall Council chairman called upon the government to help Punjab University administration expel illegal residents from hostels.
To date the Punjab government has not provided any practical support to the university administration. The administration has registered around 75 FIRs against IJT criminal activities. However, Punjab Police have been unable to take action against nominated accused due to some political reasons.
Now when PU teachers, hostel wardens and superintendents have launched an operation against non-student criminal elements, they are facing resistance form the IJT. They have demanded police support from the Punjab government which is nowhere. Reacting to such an attitude, PU teachers have questioned the policy of Punjab government in this matter. They have demanded the government shun diplomacy on this issue and support the university administration once for all to help it get rid of political elements.
University teachers and the academic staff association have demanded the Punjab government and Punjab Police 'drive the nail aright' and take corrective measures on the campus. Daily times
Lahore: Punjab University's Oriental College has extended the date of admission to two-semester oriented diplomas in various languages till October 10, 2013.
7 PhDs awarded at PU
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) awarded seven PhD degrees to the scholars in different subjects on Monday.
According to a press release, Muhammad Saadullah s/o Muhammad Yar has been awarded a degree in Islamic Studies after the approval of his thesis titled "Islami Riasat Main Ghaer Muslamon Ke Haqooq-Aasri Afqaar Wa Rujhanaat: Aik Tajziati Jaiza", Muhammad Shafiq s/o Muhammad Ishaq in Education after the approval of his thesis titled "Relationship of College Teachers' Emotional Intelligence and Self-Efficacy with Organisational Commitment", Samreen Riaz d/o Riaz Ahmad in Biological Sciences after the approval of her thesis titled "Study of Protein Biomarkers of Diabetes Mellitus Type-2 and the Effect of High Dose Thiamine on Their Level", Naveed Ahmed s/o Muhammad Yaqub in Chemistry after the approval of his thesis titled "Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Various Substituted Thiazinic Compounds", Mamoona Khan d/o Muhammad Ahmad Khan in Art and Design after the approval of her thesis titled "The Aesthetics of Islamic Art in Timurid Safawid Painting", Muhammad Aslam s/o Muhammad Siddique in Islamic Studies after the approval of his thesis titled "The Classification of Qirate Shaddhas (Rare Recitation of Verses of the Holy Quran As Well As the Blaming in Perspective and View Point of Orientalist in Respect of Missconstruction in The Holy Quran: An Analytical Study" and Saima Gulzar in Earth and Environmental Sciences after the approval of her thesis titled "Characterisation of Materials, Environmental Impacts and Conservation Strategy for Historic Structures in Shahdara Complex, Lahore".
LCWU merit list
Lahore: (LCWU) announced the first merit list for admission to varsity's BS (Hons) programme.
According to LCWU spokesperson, BS Biotechnology programme is on the top of the list with 928 marks as per first merit list while the merit for other subjects is as follows; BS Chemistry 913 marks, Zoology 876 marks, Computer Science 868 marks, Physics 846 marks and Botany 836 marks. The news
Notice to PU VC withdrawn
Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday withdrew a show-cause notice issued to Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran for not deciding a matter about non-issuance of result card to an LLB Part II student.
The counsel for the university told the court that the grievance of the petitioner had been addressed and result card issued to her. He also presented a copy of the result card in the court.
At this the court disposed of the petition and withdrew the notice issued to the VC.
Uzma Zia filed the petition saying the court had ordered the VC to decide the alleged controversy about her result card within one month after affording her an opportunity of personal hearing.
She said the VC failed to comply with the court's order and had not decided the matter within the given time. The petitioner sought proceedings against the VC under contempt of court charges.
PU VC ordered not to act against lecturer
Lahore: The Punjab ombudsperson on Monday restrained Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran from taking any punitive action personally or manipulating any proceedings at any forum, including the Syndicate, against PU Law College lecturer Khujista Rehan while her case was pending.
Khujista had filed a complaint against the VC for allegedly harassing her. On Monday, she appeared before the ombudsperson for a personal hearing wherein she presented documents to prove she had been harassed.
The ombudsperson directed the VC not to take any steps or measures during the course of proceedings against the complainant directly, or indirectly try to manipulate by using his authority, which might undermine the spirit of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act.
The ombudsperson had directed Prof Kamran through a letter on Sept 10 that the complainant should not be called to any meeting by him nor asked to appear in person before him – subject to findings of the inquiry committee.
Khujista said she still demanded suspension of the VC for a fair inquiry.
Science teachers on admin posts against rules
Layyah: Education authorities have posted science education teachers on administrative posts in elementary and middle schools in violation of rules.
As per rules, general cadre teachers are appointed as headmaster or headmistress in schools.
Executive District Officer-education Samina Bahsar says her predecessors had made these adjustments. She was posted in Layyah in April this year. She admitted that the postings of headmasters were against the policy.
"Under the transfer policy of 2013, I cannot transfer headmasters," she said, when asked to undo the wrong."The move of shifting science teachers from teaching to administration is not only at odds with chief minister's policy of promoting science but is also a naked manifestation of misrule to please politicians influencing the transfers and postings," said educationist Shahzad Gul.
There are 1,673 schools in the district with 826 sanctioned teaching posts in boys' middle schools and 1,049 in girls schools.
As per departmental rules and regulations, only general cadre teachers can be posted headmasters of elementary and middle schools but in sheer violation of this policy the local district education department posted dozens of science educators recruited in 2009 as headmasters of middle schools.
Hasnain Shams was posted headmaster of the Basti Shah Nawaz Middle School, Amir Khan Targar Jadeed Middle School, Mureed Kazim Khalilabad Middle School, Abdul Ghaffar MC No 2 Middle School, Mahr Mujeeb Ahmed Aqilwala Middle School, Ateequz Zaman Jhakhar Middle School, Khaleelur Rahman Chak No 283-TDA Middle School, Ruqiya Perveen 438-TDA Middle School, and Sadia Noureen as headmistress of Girls Middle School 154-TDA Middle School.
The education authorities also violated rules and regulations in posting subject specialists as headmasters.
Abdul Wahid, subject specialist of political science with the higher secondary school of 93-ML, was posted headmaster of the Chak 306-TDA High School, and Nazir Ahmed, subject specialist of physics and working at the higher secondary school of Jaman Shah, was posted headmaster of the high school of Shahpur in recent weeks. Dawn