Political interference to be eliminated from varsities: Chancellor

Five hours long “All Punjab Vice-Chancellors (VCs) Convention” held at Governor House Thursday took major decisions in relation to introduction of modern curriculum at universities, elimination of ad hoc policy and monitoring or accessing the performance of vice-chancellors.

According to a handout, the convention was attended by Provincial Ministers including Yasir Humayun, Hasnain Buhadur Dareshak, Malik Nauman Langrial, Principal Secretary to Punjab Governor, Babar Hayat Tarar, Higher Education Secretary Dr Raheel Siddique, Specialized Healthcare Secretary Momin Ali Agha, Higher Education Commission Punjab Chairman Dr Fazal Khalid, LCWU Vice-Chancellor Dr Bushra Mirza, Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences (UHS) Dr Asad Zaheer, Punjab University (PU) Vice-Chancellor Dr Niaz Akhtar, University of Gujrat (UoG) Vice-Chancellor Shabbar Attique and Vice-Chancellors of government and private universities and VCs of Punjab Based Federal Charted Universities were also present.

Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar directed universities to start “Clean and Green Campus” campaign, to circulate calendars of senate and syndicate’s yearly meetings and directed universities to immediately complete the body of senate, board of governors and syndicate at their respective varsities. He also directed universities to establish “students complaints redress committees” to resolve student’s issues and complaints promptly, adding that any kind of political interference in the universities would not be tolerated.

He assured that political influence had been eliminated from universities and appointments at varsities were solely made on merit, including the appointments of vice-chancellors and registrars. The Governor said overlooking merit and transparency would not be tolerated even on the part of vice-chancellors. During the convention, the vice-chancellors briefed the chancellor about their issues and performance.

Addressing the convention, the governor said various suggestions were received concerning speedy and efficient resolution of university issues. He briefed the convention that to access the relevant files, an online file tracking system must be launched. The governor said the government will initiate the necessary measures to convert universities on solar power and special emphasis would be given to increase research activities. Also, the government will fully cooperate with universities and its main priority was to connect the students and universities with the industry as well as the competitive business world, he added.

The chancellor said it was vital to focus on increasing research activities in universities, specifically research on eradication of environmental pollution. He assured that ranking of universities would be improved in line to the international standards which was only possible with the due support of the authorities.

The governor said every individual within the university premises should have access to clean water. For this, water filtration plants would soon be installed at university campuses and Aab-e-Pak Authority would support and cooperate in this venture, he added. Sarwar suggested that professionals should also be included in the boards of universities so that graduating students could get timely employment, redressing employment-related problems swiftly.

Addressing the convention, Punjab Higher Education Minister Yasir Humayun said all the issues faced by universities were delivered to Governor Ch Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Buzdar and they were working in close coordination with the authorities. He said soon a committee will be constituted to handle the issues faced by varsities and propose suggestions for their resolution which would then be forwarded to him, the governor and the CM.


EdTech SABAQ And Institute Of Business Management Signs MoU

SABAQ, an award-winning EdTech startup and the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) signed an MoU for the facilitation and creation of videos and digital content. The IoBM’s media department will offer their support in pre-production, production and post-production of digital learning videos created and conceptualized by SABAQ. The MoU was signed by SABAQ’s co-founder and CEO Hassan Bin Rizwan and Advisor to IoBM President Samra Javaid.


Vcs To Share Educational Challenges With Chancellor Today

Vice-chancellors of various public and private sector universities would give presentations and share the educational challenges at hand with Chancellor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar at Governor House convention  today.


GCU KSK Campus Opened For Academic Activities

The Government College University Lahore opened its new campus at Kala Shah Kaku on Saturday, for the academic and co-curricular activities. Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood inaugurated the first academic bloc and a hostel on the new campus which is spread over more than 370 acres of land.


Punjab’s Capital Fares Poorly in Public School Ranking

The provincial capital of the province of Punjab – Lahore, has become one of the worst-performing districts in the province in public schooling and has slid to the 27th position, among the other 36 districts of Punjab.

According to the 4th quarterly ranking of districts & divisions for 2018-19 for April and March 2019, Lahore has been ranked at the 27th position sliding down from its previous spot of 18. The quarterly district ranking is based on 14 different indicators and ranks each district accordingly. This quarterly ranking is based on the data of two months as opposed to three months.
Lahore did surprisingly poorly in student attendance and retention this quarter. For both the indicators, the provincial capital was ranked 35th place, just above Khushab in student attendance and above Dera Ghazi Khan for retention.

Student Attendance (District Specific)

Other indicators for the provincial capital are also not very encouraging. For the literacy and numeracy drive (LND), Lahore has been ranked at the 23rd place, whereas for the availability of drinking water, it has been ranked 21st place. Non-salary budget utilization has also been a problem for the capital city public schools and it has been ranked 32nd place among the 36 districts for it. For sufficiency of toilets and school hygiene, Lahore has been ranked at the 16th and 11th places respectively.

Sufficiency of Toilets (District Specific)
Availability of Water (District Specific)
School Hygiene (District Specific)
NSB Utilization

Overall rankings

For the overall ranking of the districts of the province, Kasur has maintained its first position from the previous ranking. Sargodha climbed to second place from its previous spot of 8, Nankana Sahib also climbed to the third position from its previous quarter’s 10th place. Bhakkar has been ranked at the 4th position from its previous 14th place and Chakwal at 5th place descending from its previous quarter’s 2nd place.

The five worst-performing districts this quarter were Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar and Dera Ghazi Khan at 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th places respectively.

For the ranking of divisions, Lahore division ranked surprisingly well despite the district ranking poorly and was ranked in the first spot. Sargodha was ranked at second place, Multan has been given the third position, Rawalpindi fourth, Gujranwala sixth, Faisalabad seventh, Sahiwal eighth, Bahawalpur ninth and Dera Ghazi Khan has ranked at the tenth and last place.
Public Schooling PunjabPublic Schooling Punjab

By: Ammar Sheikh

Related: Public schools in Lahore face a shortage of textbooks

GCU Oval Ground Named After Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner

The famous oval ground of the Government College University Lahore has been named after great educationist, Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, PhD, LLD, DOL (1840-1899), first principal of the Government College Lahore. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah along with the University’s Syndicate members unveiled the plaque of “The Lietner Oval”.


Govt To Enforce Uniform Education System: Shafqat Mahmood

Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Syed Shafqat Mahmood has said that the incumbent government will gradually implement a uniform education system in the country, so people belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds can equally benefit from the resources and can live a better life.


Navid Shahzad Debuts As Author With ‘Aslan’s Roar’

Renowned actor, director and academic, Navid Shahzad launched her debut book “Aslan’s Roar” with a reading from the publication at a star-studded evening in Lahore.

Published by Sang e Meel Publications, Pakistan; ‘Aslan’s Roar’ is a handsome four hundred page research work which discusses the symbiotic nature of television and culture while positioning present-day media narratives and fiction amidst powerful trends influencing contemporary TV myth-making. Arguing for the possibility of a ‘middle way’ for Muslims positioned between seductive modernity and tradition through a study of Turkish and Muslim identities as represented in western and nonwestern film and TV narratives.

The book examines the Turkish TV industry in detail and makes a case for the rise of a Muslim hero as a counterfoil to the prevailing dominant image of the western hero. The book has received critical appraise with Arundhati Roy’s literary agent terming it as ‘brilliantly written,’ while noted Pakistani poet and author, Harris Khalique described it as a ‘remarkably insightful work on the emergence and growth of Turkish TV drama.’

The book launch featured an introduction to the author by former FBR Chairman Salman Siddiq who spoke about his onetime mentor at Punjab University’s Department of English Literature with much appreciation. This was followed by a reading which gave the attendees an insight into the text’s perspective and subject matter.

Well known for her perfect enunciation, dialogue delivery and expression Navid Shahzad’s reading was a treat for the audience which included former Punjab Governor Shahid Hamid, Alhamra Arts Council Chairperson Muneeza Hashmi and her illustrious sister Saleema Hashmi, one of Pakistan’s foremost artists Ijaz ul Hassan, former Aitchison College Principal, author and well known historian Fakir Syed Ijazuddin and renowned Punjabi poetesses Sarwat Mohyuddin and Anjum Qureshi.

Academia was represented by several educationists such as the Lahore Grammar School Director’s Nighat Ali and Sultanat Bokhari, as well as Musarrat Salamat of Salamat School System and Dr Taimur Rahman, Associate Professor LUMS.

The distinguished audience further comprised of well-known former beauracrats such as Syed Naseer Ahmed, while the business and health sectors were represented by the CEOs of Imperial Cinemas Syed Rahmani and Azam of Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore. The event was also attended by artists including Shahnawaz Zaidi, author and educationist Mira Hashmi, actors including Fawad Khan and Adeel Hashmi who lent a special flavour to the evening with their presence.

About the launch of the book, Navid Shahzad said, “the event was a marvellous but humbling experience. Old friends and new came to listen, share and celebrate. In many ways, the evening was reminiscent of a Lahore that appears to be vanishing. Talking about books, music and the arts was a special feature of this magical city and this evening has inspired me to have such events on a fortnightly basis. I plan on calling it ‘The Salon Series’.”

With the prestigious Pride of Performance award bestowed upon her by the Government of Pakistan, the Fatima Jinnah Award by the Government of Punjab, gold and silver medals by Pakistan Television and the coveted Diamond Jubilee Purse awarded by the Punjab University for a first-class first in MA English Literature; Navid Shahzad is an iconic television, theater and radio veteran and is one of the pioneering names associated with Pakistan Television. As an academic, she taught drama and poetry at the University of Punjab for three decades before moving on to Pakistan School of Fashion Design, where she served as Principal. She played a vital role in setting up Pakistan’s first liberal arts Beaconhouse National University, where she also served as a teacher of Performing Arts.

Deeply interested in literature, media studies and music, the indefatigable Navid Shahzad has finished writing a film script and is currently working on another book while reading scripts for her next film and TV ventures.

Aslan’s Roar is available nationwide at Liberty Books, Variety Books in Lahore and Mr Books and Saeed Book Bank in Islamabad. The paperback version will shortly make an appearance on digital platforms such as Amazon and Kindle.


USAID delegation visits UVAS

Deputy Chief Agriculture Office of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Malick Haidra with a delegation visited the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore and called on Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Rabbani at City Campus Lahore on Wednesday. Malick Haidra was accompanied by USAID COR Asad Ullah Khan, USAID PEEP COP Muhammad Junaid and USAID PEEP Livestock Specialist Dr Sanaullah. Later a detailed meeting of the delegation was held with UVAS Senior faculty members.

Addressing the meeting, Prof Dr Masood Rabbani spoke about the historic collaboration between UVAS and USAID for the uplift of livestock, dairy sector especially farming community of rural areas in Punjab. He mentioned the role of Center for Applied Policy Research in Livestock (CAPRIL) for developing policy papers, conducting various field studies for the development of livestock, dairy and poultry sectors. He said that CAPRIL developed the livestock vision 2025 and conducted a study on adaptability of Holsteain cattle in Punjab.

UVAS senior faculty members listed different short term training programs conducted to impart technical knowledge to dairy farmers/professionals, butchers and in-service faculty members for their capacity building and updating veterinary curriculum. They also briefed the delegation on civic engagement services, especially free vaccination services and establishment of an RO plant and a biogas plant for the facilitation of rural community. They called for efforts in the area of dairy mechanization and clinical science.

Malick Haidra said the visit aimed to find opportunities in the area of human resource development and to check the exotic animal’s health and disease management systems, their productivity and constraints. He also emphasized academia and private sector partnership for the uplift of the livestock sector. He said public-private partnership would be very beneficial not only for the flourishing of livestock, dairy and poultry industries but also for the farming community. He lauded the university’s role in the development of livestock and related sectors. Later, the Delegation visited the Center for Applied Policy Research in Livestock (CAPRIL).

Related: 12 fun facts about UVAS

UET Syndicate Approved Rs 4.482 billion budget for the Year 2019-20

University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore syndicate meeting, presided over by the worthy UET Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar approved Rs 4,482 billion budget with a deficit of Rs261,186 million for the year 2019-20.

Chairing the 3/2019, UET syndicate meeting, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar briefed regarding budget item-wise. The UET treasure further explained that a sum of Rs4,304.002 million has been allocated for development projects. It also included Rs3,804.002 million for the establishment of sub-campuses and Rs500.000 million for the strengthening of UET Lahore campus.

To facilitate students, UET approved funds of Rs100,964 million to its students in terms of scholarships, student affairs, career counselling and other activities. On the direction of vice chancellor for increasing UET’s international ranking and socio-economic impact research, the UET Syndicate increased research funding and allocated a huge amount of budget for research of young PhD and teachers.

The approved budget 2019-20 also included increases in salaries, pensions and publications. It was further explained that the deficit will be met by generating more income from its sources. In the meeting, many other academic matters were discussed, and the recommendation of the Academic Council and Selection Board were approved.

Related: UET holds 481st Syndicate meeting