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Zamindara Islamia High School: Punjab’s first high school

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 12:25

FAISALABAD:May 01:With its perfect past and long history of imparting education, Government Zamindara Islamia High School, the first high school established in rural areas of united Punjab, needs an immediate and due attention of the authorities.
Hundreds of residents of Dasuha and adjacent villages blamed the education authorities for step-motherly treatment with the one of the leading secondary schools for not giving its due recognition and status. The residents complained that more than 14 schools in the vicinity of Dasuha were upgraded to the higher secondary school level but the case of upgrading Government Zamindara Islamia High School to higher secondary level is in cold storage for the last three decades.
Founded by Khan Shahib Mehar Abadan, Zamindara High School was the first high school established in the rural areas of the then united Punjab in 1911. He looked after and the management the institution till 1917. It was the only school in which students coming from all across Punjab were provided the facility of boarding. The construction of the school was completed with an amount of Rs759,000 for which Abadan sold his agricultural land to pay for the construction expenses. In 1918, a managing body called “Muthidah Anjuman” was constituted to run the affairs of the school until it was nationalised in 1972.The news.

A progressive soul who advocates quality literature

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 12:24

Lahore:May 01:Professor Yousaf Hasan, a progressive Urdu, Punjabi language poet and critic is lucid and curt in his criticism. He is at his best when offering it couched in history and current time.
Asked by this scribe whether he was satisfied with the present day criticism in Urdu literature, he said: “Wherever Urdu literature is being written, literary criticism is also found there at one level or the other. Urdu is now a global language. In Pakistan, the Urdu language as a mother tongue belongs to small percent of the population related to central Urdu language tradition. But along with this tradition, from literary point of view, Urdu even in Punjab has established its own graceful tradition. I must confess my information is just confined to Punjab.”

“As far as I know in Punjab the Urdu literary criticism is not adequate. Especially artistic and aesthetic concepts need to be made more scientific and concrete because from progressive viewpoint the criticism which is limited only to pointing out of social material will be considered as general sociology and not literary sociology,” he added.

Elucidating the point he further said: “For the literary criticism to become literary it is necessary that it should name the distinctive artistic and aesthetic qualities of a literary piece. But unfortunately, the poetic form is recognized only by ‘radeef’, ‘qafia’ and the number of lines. The analysis of poetic composition and rhythm is also necessary.”

To a question that in the past poets were critics as well, today the situation is quite different, he said: “In every language informed prose, poetic and fictional literature blooms quite late. From this point of view both in Urdu and Punjabi literary criticism was primarily written by the poets. For example, the common poet of Punjab and Jammu, Mian Muhammad Baksh in his famous ‘masnavi Safarul Ishq’ generally known as Saiful Maluk wrote brief literary comments about the poets of earlier period and his contemporaries.”

Adding he said: “Every poet has his own literary concept which is formed by the world outlook he holds. His literary awareness helps him polish his poetry. A large number of Urdu poets in Punjab have written best literary criticism, but its quality has gone down these days as they write just for book opening ceremonies. In reality, the poets who can write better literary criticism but without philosophical thought their criticism remains deprived of depth and significance.

As to what is the status of progressive literature in the languages spoken in Pakistan including Punjabi, he commented: “The original languages of Pakistan like Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushu, Balochi et cetera are all the old languages. Punjabi civilization is four hundred years old and still progressing. Punjabi language along with its literary heritage is also rich from linguistic point of view. The strength of any language can be gauged from the number of its singular verbs, which are the source of compound and complex verbs. In Punjabi language the number of singular verbs is 2500 while in the Urdu language the number of singular verbs is 350.

“Progressivism reflects man’s activism and it can be described in the Punjabi language in a better way. Besides epics, Punjabi Sufi poetry is the poetry of spiritual and intellectual activism. If the Punjabi litterateurs become responsible and serious in giving Punjabi language more attention they can lend more elegance to the creations of progressive literature, which our masses can also understand well,” he concluded.The news.

Professor Minhas retires as Head of Institute of Psychiatry

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 12:23

Rawalpindi:May 01:Saturday, the 29th of April, 2017 marked Professor Fareed A. Minhas’ last day in office after 35 years of distinguished clinical, academic and public service. He served as the Head of Institute of Psychiatry & World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Training and Research at Benazir Bhutto Hospital and Professor at Rawalpindi Medical College for 15 years.
Professor Minhas who retired as the Head of the Institute of Psychiatry started his last day at office by chairing the morning meeting. He heard from the duty doctors about the happenings in the psychiatric emergency and the ward during the past day. Dr. Asif Kamal, Head of Psychiatry Department at Gajju Khan Medical College, Swabi and a former trainee of Professor Minhas specially came to attend the morning meeting and presented a bouquet of flowers to one of the top psychiatrists in Pakistan.
Professor Minhas then proceeded to his office to tend to some official work. This was followed by a team round in the academic room.
He then proceeded to the wards to bid farewell to the nursing staff thanking them for their support and work. He went from bed to bed inquiring to the progress of the patients. One of the patients, Razzaq, the longest-serving ward boy of the Institute of Psychiatry, admitted after sustaining stroke. He reminisced with him about old times, informed him of his retirement, and appreciated his efforts through the years.
During the course of these proceedings consultant psychiatrists and former trainees at the institute Dr. Shahid Khan, Dr. Zainullah Khan, Dr. Nadeem Bhatti, and Dr. Aaliya Hayat came to pay their tributes to Professor Minhas. They went around the institute getting pictures taken with the legend. The newly designated Tariq Saraf Lecture Theatre, Malik Mubbashar Library, and Fareed Minhas Conference Room were unveiled with a photo session.

Professor Minhas then went to the outpatient department for the last time as head of the institute to tend to a few of his regular patients. He reassured his patients that their follow-ups will be in the hands of capable and reliable doctors trained under his personal supervision.

In honor of his last day, Professor Minhas arranged for a gathering in the newly designated Tariq Saraf Lecture Theatre. The session hosted the entire Institute of Psychiatry staff; administrative team, ward staff, nursing staff, psychologists, house officers, post-graduate residents and consultants.

The program ensued with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Asad Nizami then paid his tribute to Professor Minhas acknowledging his plethora of contributions. He then opened the house for everyone to say anything they wanted to say about Professor Minhas.

Everyone who spoke lauded Professor Minhas’ contributions not only as a psychiatrist and a teacher but also as a human being. He was appreciated by many as a father figure; as a consolation in their toughest times during life and training. All his former trainees hailed him as the reason for their success in life. Some of them shared that they may have left the profession had it not been for Professor Minhas.

Professor Minhas began his talk appreciating everyone's sentiments. I was told to respect my teachers like my parents and that is one of the reasons for my success. I realized whenever I disagreed with mentors I ended up being wrong. I saw early in my career that to master yourself you have to give yourself to the master, he said.

My conviction to follow what Professor Mubbashar, the founder of the institute said, was key to my success in life, he added.

When Professor Mubbashar left I had very big shoes to fill, he continued. From whatever I learnt from him, I have not changed anything, only delivered it in a different way, he said.

He thanked the speakers for their kind words and said that you have reminded me of things I had forgotten I had done and that it is consoling to know that I have been able to influence lives in such positive ways. One of my principles’, he said, has been to do no harm and help everyone as much as I can. The experiences everyone has had are a testimony to my success on having been able to live these principles, he said.

Appreciating his administrative staff, he said they respected and supported him without having any vested interests with respect to their careers. “I have garnered many relationships with all my staff and colleagues during the course of my career and these have made me from an ordinary man to a very special person.”

He paid homage to the nursing staff saying that they are the backbone of our Institute. I am grateful to all of you, he said.

Psychologists, he said, have been very important for us. The relationship between psychiatry and psychology has been very strained traditionally, but we have been able to have a fruitful interaction. Especially in research their support has been indispensable, he added.

Addressing his former trainees, he said that all of you spent four years with me. Every one of you had ups and downs in your lives and you mentioned how I supported you therein, he remarked. But the support you have given me went unmentioned, he added, you gave me a purpose; your success brought me an unmatched contentment.

Turning to the 22 trainees currently at the Institute, he told them not to be concerned by his departure at all. I hold myself responsible for you until you have cleared your exams, regardless of when that is, he promised.

He said he realized five years back that this day was to come. I withdrew myself from multiple responsibilities so as to empower you and I am confident that I have left the institute in safe hands, he said.

You have two responsibilities, he told his staff; to sustain the ongoing activities and to develop them even further. With that he thanked everyone and the entire audience stood up in respect of the legend and broke down into a thunderous applause.

The audience was ushered to the unveiling of the History Wall of the Institute. The wall had the history of the institute, Professor Minhas’ message to the staff, and the evolution of the infrastructure of the institute. A du'a for the acceptance of the efforts was made along with the unveiling. The staff and patients were then invited to a special lunch hosted by Professor Minhas.

The day concluded with Professor Minhas being presented with bouquets of flowers and the staff saw off the legend as he drove away leaving them indebted.The news.

Punjab gets power to appoint varsity heads

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 12:27

LAHORE: April 29:The Lahore High Court has finally allowed the Punjab government to appoint vice-chancellors at public universities, laying to rest months of uncertainty about powers enjoyed by the acting varsity heads.
Accepting the Punjab government’s appeal against an earlier verdict, an LHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah gave the government powers to appoint the vice-chancellors on Thursday.
The court ruled this while announcing the long-awaited judgment on an intra-court appeal against the verdict by a single bench, which had given powers to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to appoint the VCs.

The federation, the LHC ruling stated, can set standards in institutions of higher education always over the minimum national criteria, as it caters to all public-sector universities in the country and maintains national unity and federal compact.

Simultaneously, the province is empowered to develop standards that can be higher and more stringent as compared to the federal standards, but not below the federal standard.

The division bench added the provincial legislature has the power to set standards, including procedures and criteria, for the selection of the VC as long as they are not below the minimum standards set by the federation.

The court directed the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to review all the standards in institutions of higher education framed by HEC in order to make them constitutionally compliant within the next six months.

The judges also directed the HEC and the federal government to work under the supervision and control of CCI and route any policies or regulations through the council. The policies will only be considered legally binding if approved by the CCI.

The court ordered the Punjab government to proceed with the appointment of the VCs of four public-sector universities – Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha, University of Punjab and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology – strictly on the basis of the recommendations of the VC search committee by considering a panel of three persons in the case of each university. All future appointments at the state-run universities in Punjab will be made according to the law settled with this latest judgment.

The tenure of the provisional VCs of the four named universities shall come to an end when regular VCs are appointed in compliance with this judgment, the court ruled, making it clear that order of the single bench was effective only to the four universities.

The Punjab government had filed the appeal against Justice Shahid Karim’s order passed on December 1 last year. The judge ordered the removal of acting VCs of the four mentioned universities and instructed the HEC to fill the posts according to law.

The court also declared the process of appointing VCs by the Punjab Higher Education Department illegal, directing the HEC to devise a criteria separately for every university and make separate search committees for all universities to fill the seats.Published in The Express Tribune,

VCs appointment case: CCI’s role in education standards

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 12:26

LAHORE: April 29:The Lahore High Court’s (LHC’s) decision on the appointment of vice chancellors has drawn a mixed reaction, not over the jurisdiction of the matter, but on the limitations imposed on the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The court ruled that the HEC should create various criteria for universities and it gave the Council of Common Interests (CCI) the powers to validate the same.
An LHC bench, on Thursday, ruled that the provincial government had the powers to appoint vice-chancellors at public sectors universities. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, accepting the Punjab government’s appeal against an earlier verdict, decided that the provincial administration had the powers to appoint vice chancellors.

The HEC, the ruling said, could set minimum standards for higher education institutions as the commission catered to all public-sector universities and maintained national unity. Simultaneously, the province was empowered with developing standards that could be raised and made more stringent as compared to federal standards, but not reduced or lowered in any way.

The division bench added the province had the power to set standards, including procedures and criteria, for the selection of the VC as long as they were not below the minimum prescribed by the federation.

The court further ruled that the CCI would review all standards set at higher education institutions within six months of their recommendation and make them constitutionally compliant. The judges also directed the HEC and the federal government to work under the supervision and control of CCI and route any policies or regulations through the council.

The policies will only be considered legally binding if approved by the CCI, the court ruled.

According to the HEC Ordinance 2002, “The controlling authority of the commission shall be the prime minister or, as the case may be, the chief executive of the Islamic republic of Pakistan who may supervise the affairs of the commission”. According to the ordinance, “The chairperson, appointed under sub-section (1), shall have the status of a federal minister.”

Reacting to the verdict, academic circles welcomed the order, but some said giving the CCI powers over HEC would cause impediments. Furthermore, some academics think CCI was not equipped to make academia-related decisions.

Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) President Humayun Khan expressed concern over the decision, saying giving CCI the powers to deliberate over every rule and regulation would further prolong the process.

HEC Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said the commission accepted the decision and it always maintained that appointments of vice chancellors were done by provincial governments. When asked about seeking the approval of HEC rules and regulations, the chairperson said he had not studied the verdict as a whole. He added he would be able to give a proper reaction after going through the matter in its entirety.

On the other hand, the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) chairperson, in a statement said, “This is a landmark decision. It has laid the foundation to a sound and robust higher education system in the country. PHEC warmly welcomes, accepts and appreciates the judgment, as it will help develop the new landscape of quality education in Pakistan with the effective role of the federation and provinces.

It also emphasises on the effective role CCI for informed decision-making and setting standards of quality. Implementation of the judgment, in true letter and spirit, is our commitment.”Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2017.

Link education institutes with market HEC

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 11:58

Lahore:April 29:Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana has said the nations who promoted higher education and research have prospered.

Addressing a ceremony regarding National Research Programme of federal Higher Education Commission (HEC) at a local hotel here on Friday, he said there was a need to connect higher education institutes (HEIs) and the market with each other to make the best use of research being carried out in the HEIs of the country. HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and vice-chancellors (VCs) of the universities of the province attended the event.

The governor said the research being carried out in universities needed to be aligned with needs of the country, adding that the same should be encouraged to bring about change in the lives of ordinary people. He said that significant improvement could be noticed in agriculture, social and other social sectors.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed also spoke on the occasion. Meanwhile, a delegation of federal HEC comprising Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and HEC Media and Communication Director Ms Ayesha Ikram, Media Deputy Director Waseem Shahzad along with a team of journalists visited different universities of the provincial metropolis.The news.

Italian scholar lauds NAP in Punjab University

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 11:57

LAHORE:April 29:Italy’s Centre for International Relations Chairman Prof Dr Andrea Margelletti has said National Action Plan (NAP) is a not a national but an international plan to combat terrorism.
While addressing a seminar “European Perspective on the Issue of Terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan” organised by Punjab University’s Pakistan Study Centre here on Friday, he said Pakistani government was striving to counter terrorism and there was no Islamic terrorism. According to a press release, eminent political scientist Prof Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, former ambassador Javid Husain, AIG Punjab Police Dr Ejaz Hussain, Pakistan Study Centre Director Prof Dr Massarrat Abid and Dr Gabriele Iacovino and Dr Francesca Manenti from Centre for International Relations, faculty members and students were present on the occasion.
Prof Dr Andrea Margelletti said Islam is a religion of peace but there are organisations and groups who are committing terrorism under the name of Islam. He said Pakistan was not known in Europe before 9/11 but things had changed after the incident. While throwing light on Italy's alliance with NATO and especially with USA, he said 9/11 was not only an attack on the USA but on western civilization also.
Dr Ejaz Hussain said terrorism was a global issue and a cyclic process.

Javid Husain was of the view that Pakistani government condemned terrorism. He said that the US policy on combating terrorism in Afghanistan had four lapses.

“Firstly, US had completely shifted its resources and attention from Afghanistan to Gulf which provided that space for Taliban to gain power. Secondly, in deciding composition of new government in Kabul, the US totally neglected Taliban. Thirdly, for more than 10 years, the US searched for the solution for the issue through military means. Fourthly, while establishing government in Kabul, the US enthusiastically tried to infuse western political values in Afghanistan. India and Afghanistan governments must be stopped by the international community from supporting terrorism in Pakistan”, he said.

Prof Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi pointed out the historical nature of relations between the two countries. He said terrorism must be addressed through four different angles. “One is military and intelligence, the second one is non-military mechanism, the third is societal and religious leaders and the fourth is media houses,” he said. Prof Dr Massarrat Abid said Italy and Pakistan shared a common vision and goal on many crucial issues, including terrorism and security.The news.

A school that serves the Poor

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 11:55

LAHORE:April 29:Around 30 students of different grades are getting education in a three-marla double storey building. One teacher is a source of inspiration for students and limited resources could be seen in the school as it is located in a low-lying locality of the provincial metropolis. The school was established one year ago where poor students get education free-of-cost.
A resident of the area said the school is a great blessing for them.
According to him, “he has not enough sources to send his children to private schools while the government-run schools are not providing good education. This school is a lost hope for poor parents.
The school has opened horizon for them. According to him, his children will touch the glory and serve the country.

Ali Ahmad, a gypsy community member and student told the scribe with smiling face, “I want to become a doctor and will provide treatment free-of-cost to the people of the area.

The school is a brainchild of Youth Commission for Human Rights (YCHR). Small Grant Ambassador Funds Programme provided funds to the school so that poor students get education free-of-cost.

Wajahat Batool, Project Coordinator, said, according to Constitution of Pakistan 1973, “the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years.

According to her, “the YCHR also established 15 schools in district Muzaffargarh where literacy rate is low.

She shared these 15 schools were set up in UCs of Utra Sandila, Manakpur, Thatta Gurmani and Alurid for establishment of home-schools.”

According to her, incentive is being provided to poor students. They have distributed around half a million rupees in term of monthly cash awards to their students.The news.

Convocation of FG Postgraduate College for Women held

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 11:54

Rawalpindi:April 29:The 28th convocation, 2017, of FG Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road, was held here on Friday in the Salma Masud Auditorium in the college premises. It was organised to award degrees, rolls of honour and merit certificates to the graduates of BA/BSc, MA English and MA Urdu for the session 2013-15. Professor Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar, Vice Chancellor of University of the Punjab, Lahore, was the honourable chief guest on this occasion.

The proceedings of the ceremony started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Hira Shafiq while ‘Naat’ was presented by Sajar Ali. As many as 413 graduates were awarded degrees for the session, including 236 degrees of BA, 152 BSc, 6 to MA English and 19 to MA Urdu students. Rolls of honour, merit certificates and medals were awarded to those students who excelled in the University Examination. The recipients of gold and silver medals and rolls of honour of their commendable performance included:

In MA English Samina Fazal was awarded roll of honour , In MA Urdu Amna Yaqoob was awarded gold medal/roll of honour, Muqadasa Matloob was awarded Silver Medal.

In BA Shumaila Boota was awarded silver medal/ roll of honour. In BSc Sana Chaudhary was awarded silver medal/ roll of honour.

Begum Salma Masud Memorial Award was given to Surayya Naz Gold Medal/Best in Co-Curricular Activities 2016-17 MA Urdu and Nimra Tariq for Academic Excellence 2015-17 BSc.

In her address, the Principal Rana Arshad Qazi paid rich tribute to the chief guest Prof. Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar as an Erudite Scholar, a dynamic educationist and innovative administrator. Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasir did his PhD from Kansas State University USA in Economics. He has over 33 years of experience in research, education, teaching and education management. He has the honour of working as a visiting scholar at International Monetary Fund and also as Director Policies at Ministry of Labours in Pakistan. He had been the chief of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and also held the prestigious appointment of Dean of College of Business Administration at American University, United Arab Emirates.

The principal also presented brief synopsis of curricular and co-curricular activities of the last two years. In curricular activities student displayed 96% in Pre-Engineering Group, 95% in Pre-Medical Group, 93% in General Science Group and 94% in Humanities Group.

The concerted efforts of the students and teachers led to a rich harvest of 100 individual prizes, 3 cash awards and 8 trophies in all including Best in region trophy. She further added that education is not merely learning of facts rather it demands to be analytical and critical approach before any adoption or deletion of academics social and moral values.

The principal also congratulated all graduates and wished them a radiant future ahead.

Subsequently the chief guest conferred degrees, certificates to the graduates and distributed medals among them. Moreover he extended his heartiest felicitations to the principal, faculty and students for success in their educational and professional endeavour.

In the end the chief guest during his address put an immense emphasis on the value of education which must be our priority to mount the ladder of success.

The chief guest laid stress on the development of conscientiousness. Being a nation we have to surmount all the barriers by the appropriate use of our potentials. Our lives are governed by technology however being educated being we need to discriminate between good and evil and right and wrong. He further added that being a woman you have to shape the destiny of nation and always be thankful to your Creator.The news.

Convocation of FG Postgraduate College for Women held

Sat, 04/29/2017 - 11:53

Rawalpindi:April 29:The 28th convocation, 2017, of FG Postgraduate College for Women, Kashmir Road, was held here on Friday in the Salma Masud Auditorium in the college premises. It was organised to award degrees, rolls of honour and merit certificates to the graduates of BA/BSc, MA English and MA Urdu for the session 2013-15. Professor Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar, Vice Chancellor of University of the Punjab, Lahore, was the honourable chief guest on this occasion.
The proceedings of the ceremony started with recitation from the Holy Quran by Hira Shafiq while ‘Naat’ was presented by Sajar Ali. As many as 413 graduates were awarded degrees for the session, including 236 degrees of BA, 152 BSc, 6 to MA English and 19 to MA Urdu students. Rolls of honour, merit certificates and medals were awarded to those students who excelled in the University Examination. The recipients of gold and silver medals and rolls of honour of their commendable performance included:

In MA English Samina Fazal was awarded roll of honour , In MA Urdu Amna Yaqoob was awarded gold medal/roll of honour, Muqadasa Matloob was awarded Silver Medal.

In BA Shumaila Boota was awarded silver medal/ roll of honour. In BSc Sana Chaudhary was awarded silver medal/ roll of honour.

Begum Salma Masud Memorial Award was given to Surayya Naz Gold Medal/Best in Co-Curricular Activities 2016-17 MA Urdu and Nimra Tariq for Academic Excellence 2015-17 BSc.

In her address, the Principal Rana Arshad Qazi paid rich tribute to the chief guest Prof. Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar as an Erudite Scholar, a dynamic educationist and innovative administrator. Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasir did his PhD from Kansas State University USA in Economics. He has over 33 years of experience in research, education, teaching and education management. He has the honour of working as a visiting scholar at International Monetary Fund and also as Director Policies at Ministry of Labours in Pakistan. He had been the chief of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics and also held the prestigious appointment of Dean of College of Business Administration at American University, United Arab Emirates.

The principal also presented brief synopsis of curricular and co-curricular activities of the last two years. In curricular activities student displayed 96% in Pre-Engineering Group, 95% in Pre-Medical Group, 93% in General Science Group and 94% in Humanities Group.

The concerted efforts of the students and teachers led to a rich harvest of 100 individual prizes, 3 cash awards and 8 trophies in all including Best in region trophy. She further added that education is not merely learning of facts rather it demands to be analytical and critical approach before any adoption or deletion of academics social and moral values.

The principal also congratulated all graduates and wished them a radiant future ahead.

Subsequently the chief guest conferred degrees, certificates to the graduates and distributed medals among them. Moreover he extended his heartiest felicitations to the principal, faculty and students for success in their educational and professional endeavour.

In the end the chief guest during his address put an immense emphasis on the value of education which must be our priority to mount the ladder of success.

The chief guest laid stress on the development of conscientiousness. Being a nation we have to surmount all the barriers by the appropriate use of our potentials. Our lives are governed by technology however being educated being we need to discriminate between good and evil and right and wrong. He further added that being a woman you have to shape the destiny of nation and always be thankful to your Creator.The news.

Special classrooms for playgroup kids

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:18

GUJRAT:28 April: The Punjab government has approved a grant of Rs 10 million for the construction of special classrooms for playgroup age kids in public sector schools in the district.
The move is aimed at attracting children for enrolement in nursery classes of the same schools later on.

The teachers who will handle playgroup classes have been trained to keep the interest of the kids attached to the classroom and school. As many as 115 public sector schools have been given special classrooms in the district.

Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa said this while chairing a meeting of the District Education Review Committee here on Wednesday where officials of the Education department were also present.

The DC said that a group of selected teachers had been trained and given kits having various tools for attracting the kids.

An official of the education department who was also among the participants of the meeting said each special classroom would be given an LCD screen, colouring box, small toys, colour pencils, blocks depicting the alpha batiks of the English and Urdu languages and other things of children’s interest.

The meeting also reviewed the overall performance of the education department, particularly the attendance of teachers and provision of missing facilities.Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017.

Plan to ban sale of junk food in schools

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:17

LAHORE:28 April: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) plans to prohibit the sale of junk food and other unhygienic items at all canteens and cafeterias in educational institutions after its scientific panel strongly recommended a proposal in this regard.
The proposal after a formal approval will be incorporated in the new laws and regulations being introduced soon by amending the PFA Act-2011, according to a spokesman for the authority.
The spokesman stated in a press release that a meeting of the PFA’s scientific panel was held here on Thursday.
Presided over by PFA Additional Director General (Technical) Dr Shah Zaib, the food experts, including 21 PhD doctors, discussed various activities in the wake of introducing new laws.
Keeping in view students’ health, the participants proposed that a ban should be imposed on the sale of all sorts of junk food in cafeterias/canteens of schools, colleges and universities across the province.

They also proposed allowing sale of hygienic food items in the institutions.

The participants reached a consensus on finalizing new regulations and introducing them within a short span of time.

Meanwhile, PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal sought creating awareness among the public about the junk food’s harmful effects on public health.

He also directed the PFA officials to follow the requisite procedure while inspecting restaurants, eateries, etc.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017.

Province empowered to appoint VCs, set rules: LHC

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:13

LAHORE:28 April: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ruled that the provincial government is fully empowered to make rules and appoint vice-chancellors (VCs) of public universities.

“The provincial legislature has the power to set standards i.e., procedures and criteria for selection of the VC, as long as, they are not below the minimum and baseline standards set by the federation,” said a verdict announced by a division bench in the VCs appointment case.

The bench, consisting of Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shan and Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, had reserved the judgement in February last on intra-court appeals by the Punjab government and others challenging a single bench decision that struck down appointments of acting VCs at four public sector universities and the process initiated by the provincial higher education department for new incumbents.
Tells govt to follow search body’s panels for four varsities

The four varsities include: the Lahore College for Women’s University, the University of Sargodha, the University of Punjab, and the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology, Multan.

The single bench comprising Justice Shahid Karim had in 2016 directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to make the appointments of the VCs.

The division bench allowed the appeals and ruled that the federation could set standards in institutions of higher education, however, they will always pass as minimum national standards, as they cater to all the public universities in the country and maintain national unity and federal compact.

It said, the province, under the legislative subject of ‘education’ in the unwritten residuary legislative list, was empowered to develop standards in institutions of higher education for the province; these standards could be higher and more stringent as compared to the federal standards, but they could not be below the federal standards.

The verdict authored by the chief justice added the HEC Ordinance of 2002 set minimum and non-binding guidelines for the appointment of VCs in public universities.

However, any future legislation under the federal legislative list for mandatory minimum standards would be binding on the provincial government, but in no manner restrain the provincial government to develop standards higher than the federal in order to improve quality of higher education in the province.

Setting aside the single bench’s decision, the ruling said section 14(2) and (4) of the University of the Punjab Act, 1973 and the corresponding provisions in the statutes of other public sector universities were intra vires (lawful) the Constitution.

It held that the single judge had over-emphasized on exclusivity of the federal legislature, sidelining the overarching constitutional structure of federalism and cooperative federalism, which prevailed over Article 142 of the Constitution.

The judgement also questioned the performance of Council of Common Interest (CCI), saying that the role of the council over the years had been disturbingly dormant.

The chief justice directed the CCI to review all the standards in institutions of higher education framed by the HEC in order to make them constitutionally compliant in the next six months.

He also directed the HEC as well as, federal government that in the future, the commission will work under the supervision and control of the CCI and any policies or regulations prepared by the commission shall be routed through the CCI and will only be considered to be legally binding, if approved by the CCI.

The division bench directed government/chancellor to proceed with the appointment of the VCs for the four public sector universities in question strictly on the basis of recommendations of the search committee by considering a panel of three people in the case of each university.

“However, all future appointments in the public universities in Punjab will be made in accordance with law settled in this judgment,” the bench said and added the appointment of provisional VCs at the universities made by the court would come to an end when appointment of the regular incumbents was made in compliance of the judgment.

In a statement, Chairman of Punjab HEC Dr Nizamuddin hailed the judgement saying it would help in developing new landscape of quality education in Pakistan with effective role of federation and provinces.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2017.

Punjab Youth Peace Corps event

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:12

LAHORE:28 April:The Punjab Youth Affairs Department launched second phase of its Punjab Youth Peace Corps with a showcasing event on Thursday.

Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Jahangir Khanzada was the chief guest at the event while Nayyer Iqbal, secretary for the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism; Tahmina Habib, Deputy Secretary Planning and Sabiha Shaheen, Executive Director of an NGO participated in the event.

Addressing on the occasion, the minister said, “Punjab Youth Peace Corps is serving as an exemplary voluntary body for the promotion of peace which is perfectly aligned with the Punjab Vision 2030 and the Punjab Youth Policy. I congratulate all the peace champions and wish them best of luck for their future activities.” Secretary for the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism, Nayyer Iqbal said, “Let me assure you of our commitment to youth development. We fully support the need to transform youth into peace champions and help them to become part of peace building cadre that practically works through pro-peace social actions. Peace champions showcased their achievements from the pilot phase through stalls, presentation and a theatre performance to a gathering of 500 people which included youths from Lahore and Multan, local government members, civil society members and other stakeholders.The news.

Provincial govt has powers to appoint VCs’

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:11

LAHORE:28 April:A division bench of the Lahore High Court Thursday held that the provincial government is empowered to make appointment of vice-chancellors in public universities, however, it will have to meet the standard set by the federation.

The bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ruled this while announcing the long-awaited judgment on intra court appeals (ICAs) against judgment of LHC single bench, which had struck down power of Provincial Higher Education Department’s powers and held that Higher Education Commission of Pakistan was empowered to make appointments of the VCs in public sector universities.

The division bench held that the federation can set standards in institutions of higher education, however, they will always pass as minimum national standards, as they cater to all the public sector universities in the country and maintain national unity and federal compact. Simultaneously, the province is fully empowered to develop those standards which can be higher and more stringent as compared to the federal standards, but they cannot be below the federal standards.

The bench further held that provincial legislature has the power to set standards i.e. procedures and criteria for selection of the VC, as long as, they are not below the minimum and baseline standards set by the federation.

The court directed Council of Common Interest to review all the standards in institutions of higher education framed by HEC in order to make them constitutionally compliant in the next six months.

“We also direct the HEC and the federal government that in future the HEC will work under the supervision and control of CCI and any policies or regulations prepared by the HEC shall be routed through the CCI and will only be considered to be legally binding, if approved by CCI”, the bench held.

The bench directed the provincial government to proceed with the appointment of the VCs for the four public sector universities namely Lahore College for Women University Lahore, University of Sargodha, University of the Punjab Lahore, and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology Multan strictly on the basis of the recommendations of the Search Committee by considering a panel of three persons in the case of each university, however, all future appointments in the public sector universities in Punjab will be made in accordance with law settled in this judgment.

The provisional appointments of VCs of the four above-mentioned universities by this court shall come to an end when appointment of the regular VCs is made in compliance of this judgment, the bench said. The judgment made it clear that order of the single bench was effective only to the four universities and cannot upset or affect the appointments made in the other seven universities, which are valid and intact.

On the issue of Constitution of search committees, the court directed the Punjab Higher Education Department to consider following improvements in order to crease out wrinkles in the current process.

“The process of appointment of the members of the Search Committee be brought out in the public domain. The government can draw wisdom for the mechanism of appointment of the members of search and scrutiny committee constituted under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission Act, 2014.

The court held that “The notification for the search committees be issued separately for every university. It may contain the same members but must be separately notified under the respective statute in order to meet the requirement of the law. The search committee for specialised universities e.g., Information Technology, Computer Science, Medical/Health, Agriculture, Women, and General, must comprised of members carrying requisite skill and expertise in the area”.

The Punjab government had filed this ICA against order of Justice Shahid Karim passed on December 01, 2016. Justice Karim had ordered the removal of acting VCs of four above-mentioned universities and instructed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to fill the posts purely in accordance with the law.

Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC on petition of Advocate Saad Rasool had ordered removal of acting VCs, including Dr Mujahid Karman of Punjab University, Dr Uzma Qureshi of Lahore College for Women University, Dr Nazir Sultana of Sargodha University and Dr Fazal Ahmed of Nawaz Sharif Engineering University, Multan.

The court also declared the process of appointing the VCs by the Higher Education Department illegal. It directed the HEC to devise a criteria separately for every university and make separate search committees for all universities to fill the seats.The news.

University of Animals Sciences observed World Veterinary Day

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:10

Lahore:28 April:The University of Veterinary and Animals Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, observed World Veterinary Day on Thursday. A walk and seminar were held to mark the day and create awareness about the welfare of animals in the community.
According to a press release issued here, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha led the walk while Faculty of Veterinary Science Dean Prof Dr Masood Rabbani, Faculty of Life Sciences Business Management Dean Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad, Prof Dr Anila Zameer Durrani and a large number of students and faculty members participated in the walk.

Later, a seminar was organised to sensitise people about the importance of animal welfare, health and treatment. Experts urged the faculty members and students to work for this noble cause.The news.

Punjab University signs MoU:

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 11:02

Lahore:28 April: Punjab University and Centre for International Relations, Rome, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote bilateral relations, exchange faculty members and launch joint research projects.

The MoU signing ceremony was held at committee room of the vice chancellor’s office here on Thursday.

PU VC Prof Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasir, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Pakistan Study Centre Director Prof Dr Massarrat Abid, Centre for International Relations, Rome, Chairman Prof Andrea Margelletti, coordinator and analyst Dr Gabriele Iacovino, Asia Desk analyst Ms Francesca Manenti and faculty members were present on the occasion.

Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasir said that the MoU would remove misconceptions about Islam and Pakistan. Prof Andrea Margelletti said that Islam is a peaceful religion and has nothing to do with terrorism.The news.

Academics share thoughts on liberalism

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:44

LAHORE:27 April: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday highlighted various aspects of liberalism as a social, political and economic concept.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) in collaboration with the Government College University (GCU) organised the event.

Dr Fauzia Ghani of Political Science Department spoke about liberalism as a socioeconomic and political concept. “The word was coined by John Locke and encouraged individual freedom for productivity and development, but by the 20th century the utilitarian theory changed the concept a little by moving from just the individualistic approach to the communalistic approach,” she said.

“Liberalism enhances the individual’s capability of production with little government intervention. People are free to produce, buy and sell to raise their standards of living. In economic liberalism, economic decisions are made by individuals or households rather than by collective institutions or organisations.”

She said there were certain downsides of the system as well. “The political system of a country greatly affects how liberalism comes into motion. In many instances, human rights which are considered important and liberalism are incompatible,” she said.

Liberalism may lead to inequality and disparities but because individuals are given power, they may be able to make changes. Obviously this requires great responsibility, and freedom is not without restrictions and limitations, she said.

Dr Alwin Murad (GCU’s Philosophy Department) emphasised that liberalism advocated equality, respect and dignity of the person, and encouraged freedom of expression and equal distribution of wealth.

Speaking on ethical values, CSJ chairperson Wajahat Masood, a columnist, said liberalism meant accepting the possibility of being wrong, compassion and empathy, productivity and human freedom.

“It has nothing to do with beliefs or dress codes, contrary to what many think it is. It also has nothing to do with judging others from their appearances and practices. Without modesty and humanity, there are no ideals of liberalism,” he explained.

“A person may be called liberal if he or she has empathy for others, and has love for knowledge, creativity, productivity, and strives for equality of rights and opportunities,” he said.

Mohammad Afzal Khan (Philosophy Department) posed counter intuitive paradoxes or questions when it came to liberalism. He questioned whether liberalism, which recognises minorities, also created issues of majoritarianism.

“There are groups who are not given a voice in liberalism even though some of the larger minority groups are,” he said. “From a social sciences and an arts perspective, though, liberalism is important because it allows freedom of thought and imagination, as well as all other freedoms. But is this happening in academic spaces?” he asked, referring in particular to the lynching of Mashal Khan. He said technology, while providing convenience for humans, was also ultimately turning humans into instruments rather than thinking beings. He said at least in academic spaces such freedoms should be there.

Concluding the event, CSJ Executive Director Peter Jacob said it was important to deal with misunderstandings and misconceptions among the youth in particular regarding liberalism. “Some people call those who believe in modernity ‘liberal fascists’ which is sad,” he said.

“In fact, we are only living with one kind of fascism and that is intolerance. That is why a change of mindset is integral. A liberal person has tolerance and open mindedness to change. But no one theory is suitable for all countries, therefore states have to create and maximise opportunities for weaker groups to make them equal in opportunities and rights,” he said.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017.

Baloch, Pakhtun students protest PU action

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:43

LAHORE:27 April: Baloch and Pakhtun student councils of the Punjab University (PU) on Wednesday protested outside the Lahore Press Club against the university administration for suspending and expelling their members.

A large number of students gathered at Istanbul Chowk on The Mall and walked towards the press club to protest against the administration for not taking action against the Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) activists.

The students chanted slogans against the administration, police and government for registering, what they called, fake cases against them and not ensuring their security on campus. The students were also carrying banners and placards. Activists of Punjabi, Seraiki and Sindhi councils also joined the protest.

Baloch council President Asfandyar claimed that the PU administration had expelled and suspended their 10 members over false allegations. Not only were they tortured by IJT activists, but cases were also registered against them.

“We are facing discrimination on campus and 12 of our activists, quitting their studies, have gone back to their hometowns.”

He alleged IJT activists were carrying out their activities on campus daily, but no one from the administration had tried to stop them.

Asfandyar said they had started a sit-in outside the press club, but called it off after Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains assured them that he would contact the PU administration to accept their demands.

He said they had been boycotting classes for a week and would continue to do so till acceptance of their demands.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017.

Punjab University engineering students to study in China

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:42

LAHORE: April 27: The Punjab University’s faculty of engineering and technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company for higher education of its students in China.
A ceremony to the effect was held at PU’s Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology here on Wednesday.
Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt and Ms Yang Yu and Ms Yan Liuyl from China’s Gorges company were present on the occasion.

According to the MoU, the Chinese company would support the PU engineering students to pursue higher studies in China for two years.

UET: A workshop on ‘Outcome based education implementation’ was held at the University of Engineering and Technology here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani said it was time of learning through teamwork to bring all stakeholders on board for new path of development through education. He said the government was fully committed to ensuring quality of education.

He said educational reforms and the related changes could bring about the country on the road to progress.Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017