KARACHI – Following the decision of the Academic Council, Karachi University has increased 50 per cent seats quota for the students from the interior Sindh and Balochistan applying for admissions to BS/BSc/BA (Honors) and Masters Programmes in Karachi University.This year the university is going to offer first time the MSc Programme in the discipline of Space and Astrophysics. This is the first time that the meritorious students, having at least 80 per cent marks, belonging to any part of the country, would be able to get admission in the said academic programmes of the university on open merit basis; without any category, while admissions to BS/BSc/B.A (Honors) and Masters Programmes in varsity are granted according to merit under categories K, S and P. This was disclosed by KU Director Admissions Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi while talking to The Nation on Friday. He said that the admission process for the academic year 2012-13 would start from November 11, 2012, while the admissions to various academic programmes will be offered in three phases. Iraqi said that the university had increased 50 per cent seats for the students of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, keeping in view the prevailing situation of Balochistan and Sindh. However, certain seats are also reserved for Fata, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas, armed forces, and children of Karachi University teachers and employees, disabled persons and sports. Merit is the only criterion for reserved seats, as well, he added.It is pertinent to mention here that since the number of applicants for the BS/BSc/BA (Hons) and Masters Programmes is much higher than the number of available seats, as per the university rules, the applicants have been divided into three categories ie, K, S, and P. Category “K” refers to those applicants who have passed their Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or equivalent, and graduation degree from educational institutions situated in Karachi and also recognised or affiliated by the University of Karachi. Category “S” refers to those applicants who have passed at least one of the certificates (SSC or HSC) or degree examinations from a recognised educational institution in Sindh (excluding Karachi). Category “P” refers to those applicants who have passed at least one of the certificates (SSC or HSC) or degree examinations from a recognised educational institution outside the province or Pakistan. Preference in admissions is given to “K” category candidates. In case seats are left vacant, “S” category candidates will be considered. If seats are still available then consideration is given to “P” category candidates.KU INCREASES 25pc TUITION FEE: Dr Iraqi said that the university was also increasing 25 per cent tuition fee that would take the semester fee to Rs3,800, which was still pretty lesser than the Punjab University where the students are charged Rs8,500 per semester. He pointed out that the university understands the financial problems of the citizens hence it does not adopt the resolution made in the meetings of the KU Academic Council and Syndicate in 2008, which suggests the KU Administration to increase around 60 per cent in the tuition fee. “To face the current financial chomp, the university has revived the donor seats this year. Around Rs500,000 will be charged on the each donor seat in faculty of pharmacy at the time of admission, while Rs400,000 in the discipline of chemical engineering and faculty of management sciences and in the faculties of science and arts around Rs300,000 will be charged on the each seat,” he said.