THIS is apropos of your supplement on University of Karachi (Jan 30). I regret to say that the record it presented had some flagrant omissions.

First, it states that the first convocation of the university took place in 1962. In fact, the first convocation took place much earlier in the 50s. The university had no suitable place of its own to hold that convocation. It took place at the then famous Hotel Metropole. The second convocation was held in December 1958 under the tents on the barren grounds where the university buildings are currently standing.

The other omission that is noticeable is the fact that the first vice-chancellor of this university was the renowned educationist and visionary, the Ex-Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Prof A.B.A. Haleem.

He kick-started the academic activities of the university in several buildings located on the Princess Street. It was he who got the land for plot allotted where the university stands today.

It would be proper that due credit be given to him and records are corrected in that respect. Another omission is that of Dr Mahmood Hussain, the noteworthy educationist associated with the university since its early days and who later became its vice-chancellor.

He was the education minister also at one time. Remembering the star educationists of early years of Pakistan would be a source of inspiration for the coming generations.

MUBARAK HUSAIN     Geneva

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Comments (1)

Soofia Malik
February 9, 2013 6:57 am
History has seen several cases where the authorship of the actual writer was stolen by his students or peers. My point is other than giving proper credit to the people who were behind University of Karachi’s establishment; we have other major issues that need to be addressed. Most important being where this university (THE LARGEST IN PAKISTAN) currently stands? Is it comparable to any international university? Again, much is said about this university being the largest in Pakistan…so what if it is? The important issues of why it was created are hardly considered. I have heard cases about this university promoting MPhil students to the post of Assistant Professors just based on the fact that they were appointed as Lecturers right after their MSc degrees and were outstanding position holders in a class of 10 students. In Mathematics department, for instance, only four PhD professors remain on the list who are on the list since 1995 or earlier and some of them are about to retire. How shameful it is that there were more PhDs in the past (two decades ago because few of them retired already). But no one is yet hired to replace them??? In countries like India, China, USA, UK, you need at least a PhD degree to be hired as an Assistant professor at a four-year teaching college and to keep your job you need publications and several conference presentation and attendances. For research universities, the criteria is higher, you have to do service for your department, write grants, advise students, teach graduate classes and much more. If this is the current level of Mathematics Department then what can be said about other departments. University of Karachi that was supposed to become an international level research university is reduced to a two-year American community college where Associates degree (equivalent to Pakistani BSc/BA/BCom) is granted. What a pity!!!
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