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Sindh Madressatul Islam University and the University of Cologne—Germany held the second meeting on research collaboration.

Prof. Dr. Raja Ghazanfar Ali Sehito from the Institute of Neurophysiology, UoC and Prof. Dr. Syed Asif Ali from SMIU exchanged their opinions on different research themes being conducted in both universities.

Assuring the academic and research related support to the SMIU, Prof. Sehito said that the artificial intelligence was being used as main tool to treat many diseases, including cardiac, mental illness and down syndrome. He also urged to focus research on other illnesses like bone marrow.

Prof. Sehito said that SMIU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Mujeebuddin Sahrai Memon was interested in research work. He also appreciated efforts being initiated by Prof. Memon.

Prof. Ali briefed that the SMIU has established the new Information Technology block in the campus. “We will set up a modern laboratory in the new building,” he informed.

It was decided in the meeting that both universities will organize a joint seminar next month

The Sindh University’s Inspector of Colleges Syed Ahsanullah Rashdi has sought details from the principals of all government colleges affiliated to the University of Sindh within a week after Eid-ul-Adha, including justifications for increasing the number of seats in various degree programs.

In his letter to the principals of the colleges, the Inspector of Colleges said that the required number of seats in various degree programs along with justification should be sent to his office within a week after Eid-ul-Azha so that the same number of seats might be formally reviewed and scrutinized for allocation of seats and it might be notified accordingly.

According to the letter, the University Syndicate in its 202nd meeting held on June 12, 2021 approved and allowed to increase the number of seats in the government colleges affiliated with the University as per their requirement, after which the details have been sought from the concerned colleges.

According to the letter, all the principals of the colleges who want to increase the number of seats will have to provide all the basic facilities to the students including ensuring infrastructure, teaching faculty and the required equipment in the laboratories.

In this regard, the affiliation committee will soon visit the colleges for monitoring and reviewing the facilities

The non-teaching staffers of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology Gulshan Campus Non-Teaching have decided to demonstrate protest against the discriminative behavior of the varsity administration with nonteaching staffers.

According to the Workers Welfare Association President Adnan Akhtar, the staffers would demonstrate protest after Eid-ul-Adha against the growing injustice and mistreatment of non-teaching staff by the university administration.

He said that despite the clear orders of the federal government, the Fuuast management has proved its administrative incompetence by not paying the salaries of non-teaching staff on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. Due to this, there is severe unrest among the employees.

He expressed his views while addressing a tumultuous meeting of the non-teaching staff of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Campus on Monday. Akhtar said that the administration had broken its promise by not paying daily wages on Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. So far, the varsity administration has taken no steps to make contractual employees permanent. On the contrary, blue-eyed persons are being rewarded in every possible way and their grades are also being upgraded. We will raise our voice for non-teaching staffers and after Eid-ul-Adha the General Body meeting would be convened to announce a future course of action.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has rejected the government’s policy in which the government allowed private universities to affiliate colleges for degree programs.

In a public notice issued by HEC, the Commission took the stern stance that only HEC has the right of decision making in the higher education sector therefore no private university can affiliate with any college.

The notice further stated, “It is publicized for awareness of general public and the higher education fraternity that HEC by virtue of its Ordinance is the sole and apex authority to prescribe conditions under which institutions including those that are not part of the state educational system, may be opened and operated. HEC is the sole standard-setting national organization with regard to higher education in the country.”

“HEC has prohibited the private sector higher education institutions (HEIs) to grant affiliation to colleges or other institutions owing to grave irregularities in management and compromise on quality standards in the past. Private Sector HEIs can only operate through their accredited Principal seat/main campus and accredited sub-campus having NOC of HEC as reflected on HEC website,” the notice further read.

HEC also said, “It is once again reiterated that any degree earned through a college/institution/centre which is affiliated with private sector university in Pakistan will not be recognized by HEC.”

The federal Higher Education Commission (HEC) has notified the establishment of six China Study Centers in the country and three-year funding titled “Academic Collaboration under CPEC Consortium of Universities.” In Punjab, the only such center will be established at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore.

“It is an honor for our university to be selected for the project from among over 30 public sector universities in the province and we are grateful to the HEC for providing us this opportunity,” said Prof Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar, Vice Chancellor, UET, Lahore. “Our faculty has several on-going research collaborations with Chinese universities, several of our faculty members have earned their PhDs from top Chinese universities, we are already running Confucius Set at the university for offering Chinese language courses, and the university has been selected as Rotating Chair of China-based UNESCO’s International Institute of Online Education (IIOE)for 2021,” Sarwar added.

The university will receive Rs 22.815 Million for hiring human resource (teachers and administrative staff) for three years to run the center. In addition, it will receive a one-time grant of Rs 6.0 million to purchase study material (books, magazines, etc), audio visual material including software, and requisite hardware, and office requisites. The university will get approval of the academic, administrative, and financial mechanism of the center from its statutory bodies and provide suitable furnished Internet-enabled accommodation for the center.

Applications from universities across the country were evaluated through a competitive process against certain benchmarks. These yardsticks were related to their involvement in CPEC-related projects, research collaborations with Chinese universities, joint publications, linkages through university’s teachers who have earned their PhDs from Chinese universities. The China Study Centers are being established as mini think tanks to promote academic and research linkages among the Chinese and Pakistani universities. The primary function of these Centers will be to drive collaborative activities to enhance understanding of Chinese system, culture, and economic miracle.

Universities will be eligible for funding through other initiatives under the PC-1, such as joint research projects, training and talent cultivation, and joint conferences, seminars, and workshops through a competitive selection process. The selected universities are expected to achieve the following target on the completion of the project to promote better understanding of the Chinese history, culture, and economic development. Each Center will be expected to publish minimum three books on China/CPEC, undertake at least three impact studies related to CPEC in collaboration with Chinese universities, train at least 100 staff/students in Chinese language, and translate minimum 100 pages of Chinese literary pieces in addition to organizing exhibitions of Chinese advancements in science and arts as well as organize cultural activities to showcase Chinese culture.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated the training session of the single national curriculum.

Addressing the ceremony, the CM said more than three lakh and 19 thousand teachers will be trained through Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED), including two lakh belonging to the government sector and 1.18 lakh plus from private schools. Reiterating that education is the priority agenda of the PTI government, the CM emphasised that one system of education for all is a vision of PM Imran Khan to unify the nation.

The CM said the cabinet approved the single national curriculum last December and QAED is holding training for educational managers and government school teachers. The training would be imparted through the modules of the federal government, he explained. The notified committee has selected 1716 master trainers and 48 lead trainers for the training of the teachers, he added.

He said the teachers would be trained about the learning management system in a 6-day training of hybrid single national curriculum model. Meanwhile, 5 lakh free licenses of 365 Office software has been obtained from Microsoft. 3.70 lakh tools are also arranged for the trainers, he said. The primary schools’ teachers would impart scheduled lectures to their students while using the MS Teams as an e-learning system. Exchange of notes and assignments would also be possible through this system, he added.

The registration of the first round of training and enrollment portal has started on June 26 and it is hoped that the teachers will improve their skills through this beneficial training, the CM said and congratulated School Education Minister Murad Raas and his team for launching this program and hoped the opportunity would sufficiently enhance the teaching skills of the teachers.

The number of schools upgraded by the PTI-led government in three years is higher than the schools upgraded during the last 70 years, he maintained and vowed to further promote the education sector reforms program to yield positive results.

Provincial Minister Murad Raas said the best program of online training of teachers has been started, for the first time, adding that the private schools’ teachers will also benefit from this opportunity. He thanked Microsoft for its cooperation while indicating that not a single penny of the Punjab government has been used. He also thanked CM Usman Buzdar for extending full support to promote the cause of education.

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Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Information, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has launched the Learning Management System on Single National Curriculum (SNC), a great step towards materializing PTI’s dream of one education system for all into reality.

Talking to the media at the DGPR Office, Dr Firdous said that far-reaching reforms have been introduced to develop the education system on modern lines and online teachers training program is a unique step in this regard.

“Education has always been among the top priorities of the government and SNC will unite 220 million people as a strong nation. Under one system of education for all, there will be one curriculum, one medium of instruction and one common platform for assessment,” she said. The SACM said that Learning Management System (LMS) is accessible to all teachers both from the public and private sectors.

The notified committee has selected 1716 master trainers and 48 lead trainers for the training of the teachers. She said that 0.5 million free licenses of 365 Office software have been obtained from Microsoft. More than 300,000 teachers from both the public and private schools have been enrolled on LMS. She said that one nation, one curriculum and united Pakistan is a slogan of the PTI government which will help remove class differences in the society.

Some unidentified persons near the examination center at Kahna area of Lahore set motorbike of the exam center’s superintendent on fire. They also burnt the exam asnwer sheets.

According to details, the exam of Intermediate part two was underway. On Saturday, exam of Islamiat was conducted. After the exam time ended, the superintendent of Examination Center no 8 at Kahna was heading towards Bank to submit the answer sheets, when some unidentified person approached him and set his bike and answer sheets on fire. Few answer sheets were burnt in the incident.

According to the spokesperson of the Lahore Board, Chairman Dr Mirza Habib took notice of the incident and a report had been registered in the Kahna Police Station against unidentified persons. The spokesperson further clarified that 48 out of 50 students attempted the exam on Saturday.

Minister Higher Education Raja Yasir also took notice of the incident and sought a report from Chairman Lahore Board.

The Finance and Planning Committee of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has approved budget recommendations worth Rs. 7204.425 million for the financial year 2021-22.

The meeting of the committee was held at Baghdad-ul-Jadeed Campus under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Athar Mahboob. The budget focuses on the construction and development of the university, promotion of research activities and welfare of students.

A record amount of Rs. 3.5 billion has been allocated for development expenditure. Scholarships for male and female students have been increased from Rs 383 million to Rs 470 million, while for research activities the amount has been increased from Rs 100 million to Rs 120 million. For the first time, Student Welfare Funds have been set up to help deserving students through a special committee which will provide scholarships to needy students. Similarly, a student insurance policy has been introduced for students in case of emergencies.

Vice Chancellor Dr Athar Mahboob termed the budget for the next financial year as a historic budget of the university which will take the university on a new path of innovation and development. Prof. Dr. Abu Bakar, treasurer, said in the briefing that last year, due to better fiscal management, the budget deficit was brought under control and turned into a surplus budget.

This year, a special budget planning and investment section has been set up in the finance branch, which will bring transparency and innovation in financial matters with the help of the Directorate of IT, which will further reduce costs. Committee members included Prof. Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Chairman Mathematics Department, Prof. Dr. Raheela Khalid Qureshi, Chairperson Arabic Department, Manzar Javed Ali, Additional Secretary Universities, Higher Education Department Punjab, Muhammad Shehzad Akhtar, Director Local Fund Audit, Representative of Ministry of Finance Punjab and Prof. Dr. Abu Bakar, treasurer, Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

The Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore in collaboration with Punjab Health Department organized a virtual awareness seminar on “Zoonotic potential of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and its public health significance on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha”.

While addressing the virtual seminar, UVAS Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Rabbani said that the risk of CCHF increases on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, particularly during the summer season and such seminars are important to create awareness among the public. He urged that public should take appropriate precautions especially while visiting the cattle markets and subsequently handling the animals till slaughtering. He said that CCHF is an important public health concern that needs to be tackled through a one health approach where veterinarians and medical professionals need to collaborate for preparing and implementing a joint strategy to prevent any possible disease outbreak.

Dr Furqan Shahid from UVAS briefed the audience on the current status of CCHF virus in Punjab while Dr Khushal Khan Kasi from (Senior Veterinary Officer, Livestock Dept. Baluchistan) discussed about the possible surge of CCHF and risks which could be faced during eid festival. He further stressed on the need of One Health approach to control the problem. Dr Somia Iqtadar (Associate Professor of Medicine KEMU) talked about the effect of CCHF virus on human health.

At the end, CEO, District Health Authority Lahore Dr Pervez Iqbal in his closing remarks appreciated the efforts of Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Primary and Secondary Health Department and OZDAC for arranging this informative webinar