Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) warns students against opting for unrecognised medical colleges

Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) warns students against opting for unrecognised medical colleges

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has advised students and parents not to take admission in unrecognised medical colleges.

Addressing a press conference, PMDC Registrar Dr Raja Amjad Mahmood along with PMDC Vice President Prof Awais said on Thursday there was a mafia misleading students and parents seeking medical profession and asked them to confirm the registration of medical colleges with the PMDC before taking admission.

Dr Amjad said that on the recommendation of the PMDC, the Peshawar High Court had stopped the Northern Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) from functioning.

He added the court, while endorsing the decision of the PMDC, directed all students of the NIMS to be adjusted in private medical colleges under the supervision of PMDC within 15 days in line with all the legal requirements.

Earlier, the PMDC had refused to recognise the college in 2008, as it did not comply with the inspection criteria of the council due to major deficiencies in its faculty and infrastructure, he added.

However, after overruling of the criteria and subsequent denial of no-objection certificate (NOC) from the PMDC, the college had enrolled around 390 students and kept functioning without the approval of the council.

Dr Amjad said that in a writ petition, submitted by the students of the college, the Peshawar High Court had ordered that students of the final year, who were permitted by the court to appear in the final year exams, were also to be adjusted in private sector medical colleges in final years, after verification of the documents by the PMDC and they would have to re-appear in the final year from that institution, he added.

He said a per the decision, a committee would be constituted comprising all private institutions of the province along with a representative council with the vice chancellor of the Khyber Medical University as its chairman for the adjustment of the students.

He added that the college would be liable to reimburse all the amounts according to the slips and receipts submitted by the students.

He said that the students should refrain from taking admission in unrecognised medical colleges, including Indus medical College in Tando Muhammad Khan Sindh, Rahbar Medical College in Lahore, Faryal Medical College in Lahore and Northern Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Abbottabad.

Notices served on restaurants, bakeries for violating rules in Islamabad

Notices served on restaurants, bakeries for violating rules in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad district administration on Thursday issued 89 notices to restaurants and bakeries for violating hygiene and sanitation rules and took samples of 31 food items for laboratory tests.

During an ongoing drive against substandard food items and spurious medicines in the capital, the District Health Department, the Food Department and Health Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) conducted inspections of 235 outlets in the city and rural areas during the last week. The administration has submitted 53 challans in the courts against violators of the Pure Food Ordinance. The inspection teams also disposed of substandard food items, including pakoras and samosas, substandard mineral water bottles, 35 kilogrammes of cooked food, oil and ketchup bottles. Four restaurants and bakeries were sealed partially for violating food laws and 120 utensils were also confiscated. The administration has directed the food outlets to ensure compliance with food laws and said action would be taken against the violators. Meanwhile, Islamabad Drug Inspector Sardar Shabbir Ahmed inspected medical stores during the last week and sealed four of them for violating Drug Act, 1976.

Restaurants fleecing people with substandard food items

Restaurants fleecing people with substandard food items

Owners showing complete disregard for law; residents demand system to monitor quality and prices

ISLAMABAD: Restaurants and cafes in the twin cities are fleecing people by serving substandard food items. Most of the restaurants in different markets of the twin cities are serving unhygienic food to their consumers besides fixing prices at their will.

The citizens complained that restaurants are not following cleanliness and safety regulations set by the authorities. Restaurant owners are required to keep their kitchens and utensils clean but most outlets are not following these rules. The practice is continued despite certain steps taken by the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Health Directorate to check food quality.

A number of customers complained that the restaurant owners were fleecing the public and no system to monitor the quality and prices was in place.

“The owners of these restaurants fix prices of food items at will which is beyond the purchasing power of the common man,” said a customer, Rab Nawaz. The citizens demanded the authority concerned take strict action and devise a proper mechanism to control the price and quality of food. An official of the Health Directorate of Capital Development Authority (CDA) said that the authorities check the prices on a regular basis and also take strict action in case of any malpractice.

He further added that special teams would monitor sale points and fine those who sold unhygienic food and beverages in the city.

Presence of dengue larva : Case lodged against Doctors Hospital

Presence of dengue larva : Case lodged against Doctors Hospital

LAHORE: Johar Town police have registered a case against Doctors Hospital after a dengue larva was found in the hospital premises here on Thursday.

According to details, a special dengue squad of City District Government (CDGL) under the supervision of DO Environment inspected the premises of Doctors Hospital where dengue squad found dengue larva inside the premises. On information, Johar Town police registered a case against three doctors of hospital including General Manger Moinudin, Arif Qayyum and Muhammad Ayyub under section dengue act 2012 on the complaint of DO Environment.

Duty officer at the police station confirmed that a case has been registered against three persons of doctors’ hospital under dengue act, however police did not arrest any person till the filing of this report.

On the other hand, the spokesperson of hospital said no persons informed the hospital administration about inspection of dengue larva. He said hospital administration regularly checked the cleanness of hospital premises on daily basis.

The spokesperson explained that the hospital administration informed the health department and other concerned departments that dengue larva was present in city government hospitals, which could be an alarming situation for increase in dengue patients.

Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) decides to ban recognition of new medical colleges

Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) decides to ban recognition of new medical colleges

ISLAMABAD – After embroiling in controversies of registering substandard medical colleges in recent times, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has decided to ban the recognition of new medical colleges for indefinite period. Initially, the ban was imposed in 2010 for two years that was lifted later on.

The recently elected Executive Council in its meeting decided once again to impose the ban for indefinite period in pursuance to its earlier decision which proved better results, according to official. “There are many reasons of the ban but the foremost reason is to improve the standard of already established colleges as their academic standards have suffered in recent years as they face dearth of faculty and infrastructure,” informed an official. “The council also lacks required infrastructure to monitor and regulate all the colleges and if more colleges are opened it will be in a complete mess,” he added.
Currently 140 medical colleges both public and private are functional across the country and many of them are under scrutiny. According to information, 50 percent of them were established in the past five years without any planning. The National Accountability Bureau and the PMDC itself have been investigating the allegations and making surprising visits of various colleges to identify the discrepancies.
Besides, a Commission headed by Justice Retired Shabbar Raza Rizvi has been probing the issue of registration of 19 medical colleges in one day.
Spokesperson Juma Muhammad Mandokhail maintained that moratorium on opening of new medical colleges has been imposed in the wake of dearth of faculty and ensuring full standard in the existing medical colleges. He said the moratorium would be intact until the next decision by the Council.
“The decision has been taken in consultation with all the stake holders of medical education and it’s a part of the plan to restructure the PMDC and make an effort to implement effective system of medical education,” he added.

Punjab University continues plagiarism case against teacher, exonerated by Higher Education Commission (HEC)

Punjab University continues plagiarism case against teacher, exonerated by Higher Education Commission (HEC)

Lahore: Punjab University administration does not stop the inquiry into a case of alleged plagiarism against its most senior professor despite the fact that he has been exonerated by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Punjab University Syndicate had ordered an inquiry, through an inquiry committee, against Prof Dr Harris Rashid, accusing him of plagiarism when he was co-author of an article (retracted in 2007), written in 2005.

Prof Dr Harris Rashid, Dean Faculty of Science and Director Centre for Higher Energy Physics (CHEP), was implicated in plagiarism in 2013, through an unsigned application of the incumbent VC, which he had submitted in 2006 and until Tuesday (August 27th, 2013), he had not signed. It’s strange that over an unsigned application, the highest body of the university, The Syndicate, had ordered an inquiry into the case in its meeting of 4th May, 2013. A similar kind of application was also moved against Prof Harris in early 2013 in the Syndicate on the same charges by the former head of PU Physics Department, Prof Dr Shaukat Ali, whom the Lahore High Court had barred a few months back on the charges of forgery. His application was not entertained by the Syndicate at that time, citing different reasons. Sources in the HEC informed that on July 1, 2013, the HEC, through a letter, Reference No: HEC/QA/2013/1017, informed the PU administration that plagiarism case against Prof Harris was processed as per policy and it stood closed.

“As per record available, the plagiarism case reported against Prof Harris in 2006 was processed as per policy, it stands closed on the basis that it does not fall in the category of plagiarism,” the letter reads.

The sources disclosed that even on Monday (August 26, 2013), a three-member enquiry committee, headed by Prof Shakoori, had held its meeting on the matter and summoned Prof Dr Harris for an explanation.

Prof Shakoori, a few weeks earlier said that he did not know any latest development regarding the plagiarism case when asked about the HEC’s letter. He had further claimed that the PU administration had not informed him about any such letter. “If the HEC has cleared him (Prof Harris), the case would be taken back,” Shakoori had stated.

Interestingly, not only the application, on whose basis the inquiry was initiated, was unsigned but the same application contained two different dates. One, which chairman enquiry committee sent to Prof Harris on June 3, 2013, contained the date of September 10, 2006 and the application which was presented in the Syndicat’s meeting of May 4, contained the date of September 6, 2007. Adding insult to the injury for the PU administration, the chief librarian of the Punjab University when undertook Turnitin Originality Report of that article to evaluate plagiarism charges on April 29, 2013, the Similarity Index of that article was counted 19 percent which, according to the HEC rules, was permissible. Turnitin is a test carried out to check plagiarism under the guidelines of HEC. According to Turnitin, “If the report has similarity index 19% then benefit of the doubt is given to the author (s).”

The vice-chancellor in the meeting on May 4, 2013 had insisted that plagiarised content was 59 percent when a Syndicate member, Razina Alam, reportedly pointed out that she had discussed the case with the Higher Education Commission officials and learnt that the similarity index of the research article was only 19 percent. The Syndicate members had also in that meeting asked the vice-chancellor to present a report in the next meeting after analysing that article whether the alleged plagiarism committed by Prof Dr Haris Rashid was 19 percent or 59 per cent. This is also a fact that the same man, VC Mujahid Kamran, according to the documents, had shifted all those PhD students working under the supervision of another PU professor to Prof Harris in 2008 while chairing a meeting of Advanced Studies and Research Board held on March 24, 2008. The question arises here that if the VC considered Prof Harris as involved in plagiarism then why he allowed transferring of those PhD students to him.

On many occasions in the past, Dr Harris had claimed that an unsigned letter regarding his plagiarism was submitted to the then VC Gen (retd) Arshad Mehmood in 2006 by Mujahid Kamran.

“My thesis was rejected by the HEC on the basis of error not on the basis of plagiarism,” he explained.

It is alleged that incumbent PU administration initiated proceedings against Kh Harris to malign his repute as he was being considered a strong contender for the post of Pro-VC. Zafar Iqbal Jadoon, Director Institute of Science (IAS), and Taqi Zahid Butt, Dean Faculty of Chemical Technology, are the other two contenders in the race of Pro-VC respectively as being the most senior professors at PU after Kh Harris.

When contacted, PU Registrar Dr Raas Masood declined to comment on the issue, saying the VC himself could say anything on the matter. This scribe approached Director Public Relations (DPR) Isaar Rana who assured to respond certain queries about the matter after consulting the VC but till the filing of this report, he did not respond. Even attempts were also made to contact Rana again on Tuesday but he did not respond.

Prod Dr Harris was not available for comments despite repeated attempts were made on his cell phone.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa medical and dental colleges admissions – Entrance tests for medical, dental colleges

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa medical and dental colleges admissions – Entrance tests for medical, dental colleges

Peshawar: Students of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar (BISE) on Monday obtained the top three positions in results of entrance test held by the Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (ETEA) for admissions to medical and dental colleges of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Besides securing the top three positions, six students of the Peshawar board are among the top 10 position holders in the entrance test.The test was held on Sunday, for which 19486 candidates had enrolled themselves but 19144 appeared in written test.

A female candidate Zara Khattak, Roll No 9900, by securing 685 marks out of 800, topped the entrance test, followed by Hameedullah, Roll No 6161 who got second position by obtaining 682 marks. Kainat Inayat, Roll No 609, achieved third position by securing 677 marks.

Haseeb Javed, Roll No 16831, of the Abbottabad board, got fourth position as he obtained 675 marks. Nadeem Ijaz, Roll No 801, Peshawar board, managed to get 671 marks and thus got fifth position.

Osama Iqbal, Roll No 6907, of the IBCC, secured 671 marks; Maryam Abdullah, Roll No 981, and Qaidar, Roll No 4224, both of the Peshawar board, obtained 670 marks, respectively.

Usman Sajjad Khan, Roll No 18035, of the Abbottabad board, got 662 marks while Malghalara Naeem, Roll No 967, of the IBCC, obtained 660 marks.

An official of ETEA said that 68 candidates secured 600 marks, 648 obtained 550 marks, 1984 got 400 marks and 3083 managed to get 300 marks. He said 4213 candidates got 200 marks, 5630 secured 100 marks while 3510 obtained below 100 marks in the entrance test.

The candidates from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fata, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh appeared in the entry test, which was simultaneously conducted at several centres, i.e Islamia Collegiate hockey ground and cricket ground of the University of Peshawar, Ayub Medical College in Abbottabad and Grassy Ground in Saidu Sharif Swat.

The Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar had provided logistics for the registration and holding of the test.It is worth mentioning here that the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC), Islamabad has made the Entrance Test mandatory for admission to medical and dental institutions of both public and private sectors.

The KMU also announced results of the test on August 26 on its website as well as on ETEA website

Also, the results were communicated to the entire applicants individually via SMS through specially prepared software by the IT Department of KMU.

According to officials of the KMU, around 13818 candidates appeared in the test at the Peshawar centre, with 2935 candidates at Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad and some 2733 candidates were appeared on Grassy Ground Saidu Sharif, Swat for admission in medical and dental colleges of the province.

Altogether, 10785 male candidates and 8701 female candidates appeared in all the abovementioned three centres.

KMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Hafizullah expressed satisfaction at the arrangements for holding of the entrance test.

He said for the first time test was held at University of Peshawar at two places and a new centre has also been introduced at Mingora in Swat, which has given candidates a much comfortable environment.

University of Peshawar (UoP) decides to abolish third division from bachelor’s degree

University of Peshawar (UoP) decides to abolish third division from bachelor’s degree

Peshawar: The academic council of University of Peshawar (UoP) on Monday decided to abolish third division from its bachelor’s programme to bring an overall improvement in the academic standards at the higher education. The meeting chaired by UoP Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan approved that students obtaining third division in their BA/BSc examination would be considered failed unless they improved their marks and got second division in supplementary examination. Special relaxation option for bachelor and master students with one compart subject in their exams to appear in B.Ed and M.Ed examination simultaneously with the failed subject was accorded to save precious time of those keen in pursuing teaching profession. The proposed up-gradation of the Department of Mathematics to the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics was approved while a separate degree format made by a committee so constituted for the purpose was also acceded after necessary corrections.

Hooligans disrupt exams at Islamia college

Hooligans disrupt exams at Islamia college

Karachi: Hundreds of students taking their exams at the Islamia college were forced out of their classrooms into the streets on Monday.

During the paper for technical education, unidentified men entered the classrooms and tore away the answer sheets, shouting at the students to vacate the premises.As soon as the men entered, the invigilators ran away from the classrooms for their lives, students recalled. “The men were not armed,” said one eyewitness.

Hundreds of students were stranded on the street while the management negotiated with the hooligans.”We were asked to wait for fifteen to twenty minutes. Our teachers insisted they will tell us if the paper will be taken or not,” said a student requesting anonymity.

Apparently the negotiations failed because the entire college was vacated.About half an hour later, the police arrived. “They shot teargas shells at us. We could not see anything. With closed eyes we made it to a nearby mosque where we washed our eyes with water,” said another student.

Political clashes at the Islamia college and the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology located across the road are a frequent menace. The two colleges are under the influence of rival student activists.

The Islamia college is controlled by the rightwing Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT). However, the student group denied the misdemeanour was carried out by its workers.”I heard about the incident but the men who tore the exam papers were not our workers,” asserted Sohaib Ahmed, the IJT information secretary.

Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DUET) discusses health and environment

Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DUET) discusses health and environment

Karachi: Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DUET) organised a programme to discuss the issues related to health, safety and environment, said a statement issued here on Saturday. Inaugurating the programme, Vice Chancellor DUET announced that the university is starting postgraduate programmes in Electronics, Computer Systems, Telecommunications, Petroleum, Gas Engineering and Chemical Engineering from October, 2013. He also emphasised upon the need of organising an alumni office at DUET, and said that a data base is being developed in this regard. He requested the alumni of DUET to help restore the university to its past glory.

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to build ‘Model Green Campus’ in rural areas

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to build ‘Model Green Campus’ in rural areas

ISLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will establish a ‘Model Green Campus’ in the country’s rural region as part of a special arrangement to educate millions of students living in rural areas.

AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi, while presiding over a meeting of the university’s senior officers, said the project was aimed at preparing the youth to take part in the development of rural areas with special focus on agriculture, through modern and latest technology-based education.

This campus would be of international standard and would be built with the support of international donors, he said.

He said two places had been identified for the construction of this campus, one on the motorway between Islamabad and Murree and the other was near Lahore on the entry point of motorway. The campus would be developed as an electronic research education centre, he added.

He further said that the campus would house a digital library and laboratory, besides many other facilities for the students. The green and forest structural environment would be fully maintained and persevered while constructing the campus, he added. He thanked Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar for his support for the construction of the ‘Model Green Campus’ that would be the first of its kind in the country. Students from other countries would also be invited to get education from this campus, he said.

He added that the governor had promised to personally approach foreign donors, who would be coming to Pakistan in November to participate in the international conference on education. This proposed plan was discussed with the governor during a meeting held in Lahore last week.

About the expansion work of the university, Dr Sangi said that the university’s new Rahim Yar Khan campus would be inaugurated in the first week of September. There was also considerable progress on the construction of new campuses in Gilgit and Chitral, he added.

He said, “We are also working to build a rural campus in Toba Tek Singh. A temporary office has already started working there in Pirmahal.”

The meeting also discussed the construction plan for the campuses in Attock, Liaqatpur, Mandi Bahauddin and Jhang.

Educational institutions lack hostels in Islamabad

Educational institutions lack hostels in Islamabad

Students forced to pay exorbitant rates in private hostels

ISLAMABAD: Students from far-flung areas of the country are facing problems in finding suitable and inexpensive accommodation facilities in the capital.

Lack of hostels in many of the educational institutions has not only contributed to their problems but also compelling many students to go back to their native cities without completing their education. An official of the Federal Directorate of Education said that several educational institutions in Islamabad do not provide hostels to students because of which the students either do not pursue their studies or go back to their hometowns after getting admissions.

Pointing out that education had become very expensive in Islamabad, he said that it had become extremely difficult for students to pay house rents along with fee in order to pursue their studies in the city.

Students who come from far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Balochistan have to spend two to four years on their studies in Islamabad and because of the expensive accommodation it has become very difficult for them to study in the capital.

Shafiq Ahmed, a resident of Turbat and a student of Federal Urdu University, said he was considering discontinuing his studies and going back to his native city, as his university does not have hostels whereas private accommodation was too unaffordable.

He said that private hostels were very expensive. For a single bed accommodation, he had to pay between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000 every month, which was difficult for his parents to afford, he added.

Shafiq is not the only student who was facing accommodation problem in the capital. Several students from Gilgit, Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, southern Punjab and Balochistan enrolled at various institutions, including H8 College, H9 College, FG colleges and semi-government institutions, have been facing the same problem.

The H8 College used to have hostels five years ago but now the college even lacks proper classrooms. According to details, in 2012, Rs 50,000 were allocated to restore the hostel facility again and the job was assigned to Prof Atta Mohammad Marwat but that amount was not sufficient due to which hostel could not be opened again.

The H9 College, where many students from far-flung areas are enrolled, also lacks hostel facility. Though college has a hostel with an accommodation for 200 students, the hostel was handed over to COMSATS in 2001. When the management of COMSATS vacated it in 2012, Pakistan Baitul Mal occupied the building.

Similarly, FG colleges which were popular for providing quality education to students belonging to the less developed areas of the country, like FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and Balochistan, do not have hostel facility anymore.

Students, particularly girls, who come to Islamabad for their higher education have no other option but to take residence in private hostels which have multiplied in number over the years to accommodate the increasing number of female students. As a result, private hostels have turned into a lucrative business and are charging exorbitant rates for accommodation. But despite high rates complaints against service standard are common. Students demanded the government take notice of the situation and direct the governmental education institutions to build hostels for them in order to resolve the issue of accommodation.

Around 90% Pakistani rural areas lack safe drinking water supply: Report

Around 90% Pakistani rural areas lack safe drinking water supply: Report

Around 90% Pakistani rural areas lack safe drinking water supply: Report

A young girl fills a pot with water, which she bought from a newly installed UNICEF supported hand pump in a village Mullah wazir Chukhro of Jacoabad District of Sindh Province in Pakistan.

Islamabad: The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has revealed that 90 percent of the rural population lack access to safe drinking water.

PCRWR officials said that only 15 percent to 18 percent of the groundwater water samples taken were safe for drinking both in urban and rural areas of the country, the Daily Times reports.

According to the report, 79 percent of the sources of functional Water Supply Schemes (WSS) in Punjab were unsafe for drinking.

The report further showed that around 40 percent of these schemes were unsafe due to microbiological contamination, while about 23 percent contained major pollutants, like total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, sodium, iron, arsenic and fluoride.

These could cause

PCRWR reportedly found 59 percent of the water samples unfit for drinking in Islamabad, while 83 percent of the samples collected from villages across Rawalpindi district were deemed unsafe by the officials.

These figures far exceeded Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority guidelines, the report added.

In Faisalabad, out of 162 Water Supply Schemes (WSS), 58 were not functional.

Among the non-functional WSSs, 62 percent were temporarily, while 38 percent were permanently closed.

The report added that out of 202 WSSs in the Chakwal district, only 21 percent were supplying safe water from the sources.

According to the report, mostly untreated water was being supplied to the consumers, which was causing many waterborne diseases among adults and kids, like diarrhea and dysentery.

Safe drinking water was only being supplied in 17 percent of the rural areas of the Rawalpindi district, the report added.

The report also suggested that such high levels of water contamination were a result of the unhygienic practices in the rural areas, particularly due to lack of education.