Rangers Public School honours position holders

Rangers Public School honours position holders

Rangers Public School honours position holders

Rangers Public School honours position holders

LAHORE: Rangers Public School on Tuesday organised a ceremony to honour position holders at the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Headquarters. Director General Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Major General Hilal Hussain was chief guest on the occasion whereas parents of students and teachers were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, DG Pakistan Rangers Punjab Hilal Hussain said that this achievement of students is a result of hard work by students and teachers. He urged students to keep up the hard work. “Students are the bright future of Pakistan who could positively contribute for the betterment of Pakistani society. These students had made their teachers, parents and rangers proud by achieving positions. These students would play their vital role for the welfare of our country,” he said. The DG added that Punjab Rangers had not only secured the country’s borders but had always played a role in the development of the country.

Hussain further said that there are 20 thousand rangers personnel in Punjab but he also “counts students as soldiers as they are also saving the ideological borders of our society and country.”

He said that he is proud of these children as they are spreading a soft image of Pakistan and rangers internationally.

Five die of measles as another epidemic breaks out in Lahore

Five die of measles as another epidemic breaks out in Lahore

LAHORE: While the country’s largest province struggles to cope with measles, another threat has emerged, endangering the lives of the citizens, particularly children. During the last 24 hours, 1,252 cases of gastroenteritis have been registered at different hospitals across the city.

According to sources, 250 gastro patients have arrived at the Children’s Hospital, 193 at the Services Hospital, 98 at Mayo Hospital, 70 at Jinnah Hospital, 55 at General Hospital and 48 at Ganga Ram Hospital. Over 538 children were taken to different private hospitals.

Principal at Children’s Hospital, Dr Tahir Masood said a number of gastro patients were visiting the hospital on a daily basis.

“Most of the patients visit the hospital after trying their luck with the quacks and herbal medicine practitioners. The quacks and the herbal medicine practitioners cannot treat the bacterial diseases,” he said.

Dr Masood recommended that water is boiled before consumption and that people should avoid eating substandard food including sliced fruits, juices and cold drinks sold by street vendors.

Doctors said people suffering from gastro and diarrhoea are increasing at a rapid rate. They identified severe stomach pain, vomiting and dehydration as some of the symptoms.

They said gastroenteritis could cause death in case of severe infection or dehydration, but it could be easily avoided by taking prophylactic measures.

“We can save money and precious lives by educating people about the seasonal diseases,” said a doctor. Doctors said most of the patients were treated with ringer drips, Flagyl and ORS.

On the other hand, measles claimed five more lives in city hospitals, taking the total death toll across the province to 117.

According to health department officials, four deaths were reported from Children’s Hospital and one from Mayo Hospital.

Two children who died at the Children’s Hospital belonged to Narowal. Some 241 new cases of measles were reported from Punjab including 65 from Lahore hospitals increasing the total number of cases to 14,397 during the last six months.

Director General Health Services Punjab, Dr. Tanveer Ahmed said a majority of deaths in Lahore were caused by severe pneumonia and delay in reaching hospitals.

Immunisation programme within a month: The Punjab government has finalised immunisation programme and is all set to launch mass vaccination campaign in 12 high-risk districts from June 24.

Punjab government spokesman in a statement said: “The department has cold chain system of international standard for storage of vaccine and there is no issue of storage of vaccine being imported for mass vaccination in 12 measles-affected districts in Punjab”.

He said that Punjab Health Department has approached the federal government for procurement of more cold rooms to improve the cold storage system in the province.

The existing cold chain system has sufficient capacity to store measles vaccines for the next mass vaccination campaign. The health department has prepared a PC-1 to purchase new cold rooms which will cost Rs. 3.6 million per 40 cubic meter cold room while 10 cubic meter cold room will cost 2.7 million each, he added.

The spokesman hoped that the coming government will approve the PC-1 and allow the department to purchase cold rooms for the storage of vaccine.

Lyari Youth Café inaugurated

Lyari Youth Café inaugurated

KARACHI: The youth of Lyari are not the ones who give up their ambitions; rather they create opportunities for themselves and will continue bringing positive change in the society. These views were expressed by PPP’s newly elected Member of Sindh Assembly from PS-109, Saniya Naz, at the inauguration ceremony of Lyari Youth Café, said the statement issued here on Tuesday. The Café is designed and established by ARM Child and Youth Welfare and Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI) in Lyari.

Over 6000 ghost schools in province

Over 6000 ghost schools in province

KARACHI: Despite tall claims made by every successive government of reopening a large number of closed schools, as many as 6,449 schools are still not functional in Sindh including Karachi for non-availability of teaching staff, low enrolment, having no building and other reasons. Number of closed schools as per official documents is 566 schools in Badin, 443 in Dadu, 126 in Ghotki, 15 in Hyderabad, 278 in Jacobabad, 201 in Jamshoro, 446 in Kambar, 90 in Karachi, 312 in Kashmore, 426 in Khairpur, 66 in Larkana, 50 in Matiari, 263 in Mirpurkhas, 84 in Naushehro Feroze, 490 in Nawabshah, 123 in Sanghar, 263 in Shikarpur, 89 in Sukkur, 105 in Tando Allahyar, 262 in Tando Muhammad Khan, 1,086 in Tharparkar, 294 in Thatta and 371 schools in Umerkot.

Anti-Measles campaign postponed in Sindh

Anti-Measles campaign postponed in Sindh

KARACHI: The second round of anti-measles campaign has been postponed across Sindh, including Karachi, owing to the inability of finance department to disburse funds on time. Informed sources said Sindh Health Department had approved a grant of Rs 690 million to launch anti-measles drive in the province. However, Finance department could not issue the necessary funds on time, due to which the anti-measles drive was postponed, leaving millions of children helpless.

Polio drive stopped on gunpoint

Polio drive stopped on gunpoint

KARACHI: Unidentified armed men stopped the anti-polio campaign in Gadap town, hours after two of the female volunteers were gunned down in northwest area of Peshawar. Members and volunteers of anti-polio team were on their way to UC-4 Gadap town when armed men intercepted them, and forced them to leave the area at gunpoint.

Attack on anti-polio team decried

Attack on anti-polio team decried

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the attack on a polio vaccination team in Peshawar, saying that government will not permit militants to deprive our children of basic health care.

A female worker involved in polio eradication campaign lost her life while another lady was seriously injured in  the attack. While condemning the death of a lady field worker, the President said that such cowardly acts of the militants and extremists cannot deter the strong resolve of the government to eradicate Polio.

The President while expressing his profound grief and sorrow over the unfortunate incident expressed sympathies with the bereaved families of the workers and prayed to the Almighty for the eternal peace of the departed soul. He directed all concerned to provide foolproof security to the anti-polio vaccination teams so that they could continue their campaign without any hindrance.

University of Karachi policy draft on plagiarism contains copied text

University of Karachi policy draft on plagiarism contains copied text

Karachi: Given the poor track record of Karachi University (KU) in pursuing cases of plagiarism, it doesn’t come as a surprise that what the institution has produced lately as a policy draft on plagiarism itself contains copied text, it emerged on Monday.

The policy draft on plagiarism, according to the university registrar, had been approved by its academic council and would now be presented for approval in the syndicate, which is likely to be held early next month.

A total of 14 university professors were part of the committee tasked to prepare the document.

It is worth noting that the university has been showing its inability to move against plagiarists for many years on grounds that it doesn’t have a plagiarism policy in place, though the university act does talk of misconduct and punishments which could be awarded in this regard.

Last year, the university syndicate unanimously withdrew plagiarism cases against its three senior teachers despite the fact that multiple inquiries conducted by the institution itself had found them guilty.

Earlier, a similar document (a draft) was produced in 2009 but was rejected on account of what was described as ‘plagiarised text’ and harsh punishments recommended for the offender. A reading of the university’s plagiarism policy draft 2009 and current policy draft 2013 shows that a large part of the text (including the preamble) has been taken from the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) plagiarism policy, which came in 2007 and is available on its website. However, there is no acknowledgement of the HEC in both policy drafts that the commission’s policy had been adopted with some amendments.

Even the sequence of most paragraphs in both policy drafts is largely the same. For instance, a section ‘Penalties for Plagiarism’ in the HEC document states: ‘The groups (of offenders) have already been defined in paragraph 5 above’. The same sentence is repeated in the text of the university policy draft 2013, with the slight change of a paragraph number from ’5′ to ’6′ just because the draft adds a new paragraph (2) about the policy title that is not present in the HEC document.

The HEC policy document has defined plagiarism with the help of the Concise Oxford Dictionary and Wikipedia and has mentioned so in its text while in the end it has given references to the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Policy on Plagiarism and Academic Integrity Statement: Appendix 1 (University of Southampton Calendar 2006/7).

The same is done in the KU policy draft.

However, in contrast to the 2009 plagiarism policy draft, which carried more copied text than the current policy draft, the university has now softened up its stance against offenders as it has omitted many important clauses on penalties.

For instance, the 2009 draft, as mentioned in the HEC plagiarism policy, states: “The degree of a student may be withdrawn if at any time it is proven that he or she has presented plagiarized work in his/her masters, MPhil or PhD dissertation (if the extent of plagiarism comes under the category of major penalty where most of the paper or key results have been exactly copied from any published work of other people without giving the reference to the original work).

“In case of a thesis the responsibility of plagiarism will be of the student and not of the supervisor or members of the supervisory committee.”

These important clauses have been omitted in the present draft. One of the excluded points discusses penalties that could be applied to any offender (teacher, student). While the 2009 draft as mentioned in the HEC plagiarism policy talked about blacklisting offender’s name, publicising it through the media and blocking internet access to his research work, the 2013 policy draft of the university suggests only publicising the notification of false allegation.

Another important shift from the HEC document relates to the additional actions required against the offender. One of them was to ask the offender/s to write a formal letter of apology to the author of the original paper that was plagiarized. The HEC policy requires that the apology letter include an admission of plagiarism. But the condition is absent in both university drafts (2009, 2013).

A prominent addition in the 2013 draft is about plagiarism in publications in languages other than English and it is suggested that the university should develop a database of all the theses awarded by the KU and other universities in the country so far in order to check plagiarism.

Prof Dr Abuzar Wajidi, convener of a 13-member committee that prepared the document, said: “Even the HEC has defined terms with the help of different sources. Besides, it’s a policy document and not a research paper. Legal terms are the same throughout the world.”

He explained that the committee only focused on necessary changes that were to be made in the old policy draft of 2009 and not to check the document’s authenticity and produce a new version altogether.

“Ninety-nine per cent people in the academic council appreciated the committee’s efforts and approved the draft policy unanimously,” he insisted, adding that the only recommendation to be added in the policy draft related to the punishment on false allegation of plagiarism. “The council members suggested that the punishment should be suggested by the committee and decided by the syndicate,” he said.

Some academic council members expressed surprise over the approval of the policy draft by the academic council and said that some recommendations were needed to be included before the approval.

Loadshedding disrupts research activities at University of Karachi

Loadshedding disrupts research activities at University of Karachi

Karachi: Constant and prolonged loadshedding in the city is affecting academic and research activities at Karachi University.

A spokesperson of the institution said in a statement on Monday that this may also harm the sophisticated scientific equipment and the chemicals in the labs. The long hours of loadshedding and the rise in temperature may explode the equipment and chemicals.

The spokesperson of the University appealed to the management of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to pay immediate attention towards the problem for its resolution. The country’s biggest University should be exempted from loadshedding so the academic and research activities continue uninterrupted, the spokesperson asked.

International Islamic University (IIU) starts one-window admission process

International Islamic University (IIU) starts one-window admission process

Islamabad: International Islamic University (IIU) President Dr Ahmed Yousaf Draiweesh urged the management and faculty staff to make admission process easier for new-comers and enhance the number of admissions by facilitating them up to maximum level.

Addressing the meeting of admission committee for Fall-2013, he emphasised to start one window-operation for admission without compromising on the merit. Meanwhile, Dr Al Draiweesh said the university would not compromise on its quality and every programme should be approved by the academic council, fulfilling HEC criteria.

The President also constituted a committee to address reservations, opinion and suggestions for new admissions Fall-2013 done by the committee members.

Warrants for arrest Higher Education Commission (HEC) chief orders probe

Warrants for arrest Higher Education Commission (HEC) chief orders probe

Islamabad: Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman Dr Javaid Laghari has directed the administration and coordination wing of the commission to probe into the issuance of warrants for his arrest and take disciplinary action against the law wing for not complying with the court orders which might have led to the court order.

Nasarullah Baloch, a civil judge, Islamabad West, on Saturday issued the non-bailable warrants for the arrest of the HEC chief to ensure his presence in a suit filed by the owner of a commercial building at I-10/3 which was hired by the HEC for the establishment of “National University of Law and Social Sciences” in 2009.

After acquiring the building on rent, the HEC could not complete the project due to lack of funds. As a result, the building remained vacant till 2012. The owner demanded Rs3.4 million as rent which the HEC refused to pay.

Barrister Abubakar Ammar Sehri, on behalf of the building owner, filed the suit for the recovery of the amount in January 2013.

Initially, the judge issued bailable warrants against the HEC chairman but after his repeated absence the non-bailable warrants were sent out.

The hearing of the matter has been adjourned to June 3.

Higher Education Commission (HEC) agrees to train Fata teachers

Higher Education Commission (HEC) agrees to train Fata teachers

Islamabad: On the request of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shaukatullah Khan, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has agreed to train primary and college teachers from Fata.

The agreement was reached during the visit of Governor KP Engineer Shaukatullah Khan to HEC on Monday. He appreciated the decade-long contribution of HEC for brining higher education sector of Pakistan at par with international standards and especially for initiating special programmes and projects to increase access to higher education in remote areas of the country.

The governor was of the view that we need to expand the programmes of this role model organisation. He also suggested that HEC should also provide technical assistance for undertaking special programmes to improve quality of teaching at other tiers of education.

Earlier, HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid R. Laghari welcomed the KP governor and apprised him about the working, functions and role of HEC for strengthening higher education sector in Pakistan. He informed that the establishment of the HEC in 2002 has initiated a revolution in higher education in Pakistan.

He said that all the federal units have effective representation in 17 members’ governing board of HEC and National Scholarship Management Committee, the main decision making body. For effective coordination with provincial governments, HEC has its regional centres at all the provincial capitals, where a large number of HEC activities for the province takes place as well as brings HEC to the doorsteps in the provinces.

He said that through the Steering Committee, which comprises of all provincial secretaries of education, the HEC is closely working with the provincial governments to evolve joint strategy for promotion of higher education in Pakistan.

As an outcome, he said the enrolment at the universities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have increased from 30,000 to 76,000, number of universities has been increased from 11 to 26 including first women university of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and HEC launched special projects for the development of basic infrastructure at higher education institutions of the province including labs, class rooms, seminars rooms, labs, transport facilities, digital libraries, video conferencing facility etc.

Executive Director HEC Professor Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed apprised about the funding mechanism and the financial challenges being faced by HEC. He said that HEC has evolved transparent and uniform funding mechanism. He also assured that HEC with the provincial governments and universities would contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

Punjab University Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) organizes video conference

Punjab University Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) organizes video conference

LAHORE: Punjab University Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) has organized a two-day video conference on “Training Workshop for Strengthening capacity of quality Enhancement Cell Activities” at Undergraduate Study Center. Punjab University, UHS, LCWU, VU, EU, BNU, UVAS, KCW, UET and UMT’s directors and deputy directors of 14 QECs participated in the conference. PU QEC Director Prof Dr Amir Ejaz has said in a statement that the workshop aimed at sharing experiences among the participants. He said the the process of SAR, preparation of checklist, internal quality assurance, universal practices in developing internal QA systems in selected countries, experiences in QEC activities in Pakistan, need of external QA: advantage and benefits, importance and structure of the Self Assessment Report were discussed in the conference.

Punjab University Lahore educational and recreational tour

Punjab University Lahore educational and recreational tour

LAHORE: Punjab University Department of Technology Education’s 2nd semester students has visited factory of Honda Atlas Sheikhupura for awareness regarding technical and practical. Department’s teachers including Mr Riaz, Mr Tariq Hussain, Mr Shahzad and CR Rana Zahid Omer Khan were also included in the delegation. The delegation visited various departments of the factory where it was briefed regarding the functioning of each department in detail. Later, the delegations visited Hiran Minar and Jahangir’s Tomb. The students have thanked department’s chairperson Dr Tahseen Mahmood for providing them with the opportunity.