Cut in varsity funds slated
Hyderabad, July 15: Activists of the All Sindh Universities Employees Federation staged a march from Shahbaz Building to the press club on Wednesday in protest against drastic cuts in allocation of funds for the public universities of Sindh.

A large number of low-grade employees of Sindh, Mehran, Liaquat Medical universities and Sindh Agriculture University of Tandojam took part in the protest.

Addressing protesters, federation leaders said it was due to reduction in funds that the financial position of the public universities had been weakened and they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

They said that if the universities were not provided funds, poor students of interior Sindh would be deprived of higher education and the universities would have to suspend research in the fields of medical science, agriculture, engineering and environment.

They urged the government to pay attention to the problem and solve it.

They demanded that the public universities budget should be increased at least by 100 per cent.

They warned that if the budget of the Sindh universities was not increased, they would continue the protest.

PCR labs: The provincial manager of Sindh Chief Minister’s “Hepatitis Free Sindh Special Programme”, Dr Abdul Majeed Chutto has said that during the current fiscal year, two new PCR laboratories will be established in Karachi and Sukkur to diagnose Hepatitis and added that free treatment will be provided to 70,000 Hepatitis-C and 5,000 Hepatitis-B patients throughout the province.

Talking to media personnel here on Wednesday, he said the provincial government had allocated a huge amount of Rs1 billion in the current financial year for the special programme to eliminate fatal Hepatitis disease. During the current financial year, anti-hepatitis vaccination would be carried out in all the schools and jails and an organised awareness campaign would be launched in the province, Dr Chhutto said. Dawn

Karachi: Teaching is a challenging profession; it demands a clear set goal and teachers have a great responsibility of nation-building. If teachers are well-trained, they could motivate students in the most effective way.

This was stated by Engr ZA Nizami, Chancellor Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) at the certificate awarding ceremony of held at the completion of SSUET 2nd Trainers’ Training Programme. Elaborating further Nizami said that the basic concept of the training was to enhance the quality of the education and to equip teachers with modern teaching methods and innovative teaching tools. ZA Nizami emphasised to keep updating and get along with the quick changes happening around in the world. “Otherwise we would be lagged behind.”

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Saiyid Nazir Ahmed said: “Sir Syed University started 2nd Trainers’ Training Programme to enhance the skill and ability of teachers, because Sir Syed himself believed that only a better teacher can produce a better nation.”

Registrar Shah Mehmood H Syed said that owing to the globalisation, no nation can survive without acquisition of the knowledge of science and technology.

SSUET second Trainers’ Training Programme was a four week course in which 23 faculty members from different faculties participated to learn modern skills of teaching. The topics covered in the programme included Visionary Leadership, E-Learning, Communication Skills, Presentation Skills, English Language, Phonetics: Speech and Dialogs, Effective Public Speaking, Research Methodology, Report Writing, Video Conferencing and the like. Chancellor ZA Nizami gave certificates to the participants at closing of the ceremony. The news

PU Pharm-D date sheet
Lahore: The Punjab University has declared the practical examination date sheet of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D), 2nd Professional, 2nd Annual Examination, 2009. The exam will commence from July 22 and conclude on August 2, 2010. Detailed date sheet is also available at PU website, says a press release here on Wednesday.

NDU unceremoniously sacks ailing registrar
Islamabad: The management of National Defence University (NDU) has fired its registrar without citing any reason.

The NDU authorities terminated the services of Registrar Dr Syed Mujawar Hussain Shah on his return from a two-week leave for treatment of cancer without citing any reason or serving notice on him in sheer violation of rules. The NDU management has floated advertisement for the vacant seat of the registrar in what the faculty officials said a calculated move to accommodate former registrar National University of Modern Languages (Numl) Brig (retired) Obaidullah Ranjha who was forced to quit the job for thrashing a teacher in the institution recently.

Faculty members at the NDU said that Mr Shah had played key role in getting NDU recognised from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) by establishing five departments and enrolling 400 students as basic requirements for a university.

“In the last three years since NDU was established, I had not availed a single casual leave. I got admitted in hospital for treating cancer and was on leave for two weeks. As I returned to my office, I found the termination letter of my services without any notice or reason,” Dr Shah said on Tuesday.

According to HEC criteria, a non-PhD person cannot be appointed as vice-chancellor of any public sector university. The NDU is perhaps the only university which has been exempted from the rule and is currently headed by a non-PhD.

The faculty heads at NDU have been outraged over the dramatic termination of Dr Shah’s services. However, sources said the teaching staff had been warned of serious consequences by the high command of the university if they showed any resistance outside the campus.

Despite repeated attempts by this reporter to contact NDU Vice-Chancellor General M. Yousuf, his staff officer Major Mubashir said: “My boss is busy in a function.”

However, Brig Asif, who is heading the overall coordination branch of the NDU, said he had no knowledge of the termination of the registrar, adding what he knew was that his office had published an advertisement for the vacant post of the registrar. Dawn

Hyderabad: The Higher Education Commission has informed the University of Sindh through a letter that no funds will be released for development works at the campus, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir A. Mughal said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Council, he said that the university was trying to create resources to meet the challenges and provide quality higher education to the youth.

The Sindh government, he said, had approved Rs20 million to purchase land for the university campus in Dadu.

The meeting also discussed a report of the economic committee and appreciated efforts for minimising expenses of the university.

Presenting a report of the ongoing financial year, the director finance of the university said that the university with cuts in expenditures under different heads had saved Rs95 million.

He said that with the saving, the university would be able to pay increased salaries and pensions to its employees.The meeting agreed to enhance registration fees for MPhil and PhD admission programmes.

It also decided that conversion of MPhil to PhD programme would not be allowed and candidates would be bound to finish the two programmes separately.

It decided to prepare a list of those faculty members who availed foreign scholarships but returned without completing PhD and also another list of faculty members who completed their PhD abroad.

The meeting also finalised proposals for hiring private security for the campus.

The VC said the university had been hiring private security on the pattern of other universities.

The vice-chancellor reiterated that the deans should submit proposals for hiring faculty in case of need after allocating teaching load to the existing faculty members. The proposals would be considered before the completion of summer vacation, he said.

After beginning of the semester classes, no proposals would be considered, he said, adding that every department should concentrate on teaching and academic activities after the summer break.

The meeting formed a scholarship committee comprising deans of faculties headed by the vice-chancellor to re-allocate share of scholarships to faculty members of social sciences, Islamic studies and arts disciplines.

Another committee was formed to conduct inquiry into funds spent on construction and repairing of residential bungalows and quarters during the last five years.

The meeting also set up a committee headed by the adviser of engineering wing to review the ongoing construction work of the Faculty of Pharmacy.

A committee headed by Director of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology Dr Imdad Ali Ismaili was also constituted to check availability of computers in different departments and inspect working and efficiency of the available computers.

The meeting also decided to avail services from LUMHS for a water line to hostels for a few months till the university completes its ongoing work on water tank for the boys’ hostels. Dawn

Rawalpindi: The students of Communication Sciences Department at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) organised a puppet show here on Tuesday.

Faculty of Law, Commerce and Management Sciences Dean Dr. Naheed Zia Khan, who is also the acting dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The FJWU is the first university, which has introduced the art of puppetry as a subject and medium of communication. In total, 21 students took part in the puppets show.

Two interesting skits were presented under different social service themes. One was based on the song of Farooq Qaiser ‘Nani Teri Morni Ko Chor Le Gaye’ and the other one on ‘Generation Gap’. There was too much diversity in the puppet characters and they beautifully depicted the themes. The work was done by the students of ‘Media for Children’ – a course offered by Farooq Qaiser, a renowned puppeteer. Students used coloured shadow, rods and glove puppetry for the two performances. It is the first time in the educational history of Pakistan that students of university level have learnt this art.

Talking about the work of his students, Farooq Qaiser said that they have made tremendous effort and made the best use of their imagination and creativity. “What we have learnt in 30 years, these students have learnt it in three months. Besides puppet-making, the students are taught poetry and script writing as well,” he added.

The response of the faculty as well as students to the performance was positive. They encouraged and appreciated the efforts of their fellow students.

The final projects of advertisement presented by the Communication Sciences students were also displayed on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Naheed Zia Khan appreciated the creative abilities and performance of students. She praised the efforts of Farooq Qaiser for imparting his skill and making students to learn an art and skill for lifelong. Songs were written, conceived and directed by the students themselves.

Farooq Qaiser said that learning puppetry under ‘Media for Children’ provides an excellent opportunity to students to relax and indulge in creative art. Puppetry also teaches them aesthetic sense that is very important for female students. The semester includes the making, manipulation, voice throw, script writing, song writing and performance. “In puppetry, I have always emphasised on powerful script, as this is the most important aspect of puppetry. The best part of this is that my students are not only giving lively performances in major schools, but are also teaching puppet making that is much appreciated by students,” he added.

Farooq Qaiser said “It is an irony that our traditional string theatre has died which was done in villages and people no longer do puppet theatre with strings. Now I am reviving string puppetry and hand puppetry and writing a book on puppetry.”

He said that the recession of art breeds terrorism. “In our country, we need to give emphasis on art and culture because the nations are known for their cultural heritage. Our children are growing up in a tense environment and we need to provide them relief through cultural programmes. There are many programmes for elders, but very little for the younger generation. When we were young, we had role models in art and culture, now our new generation is growing up without the concept of role models. We need to change it for the positive and healthy upbringing of our children,” he added.