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EDUCATION WATCH

March 30, 2018

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Academic activities were disrupted in February due to a protest by faculty members associated with the Academic Staff Association (ASA) who were demanding the VC’s resignation. — File photo
Academic activities were disrupted in February due to a protest by faculty members associated with the Academic Staff Association (ASA) who were demanding the VC’s resignation. — File photo

Classes resume at Quaid-i-Azam varsity

Academic activities have resumed in the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) after a 50-day suspension after the varsity’s vice chancellor, Dr Javed Ashraf left his office “to avail his 10-day leave”.

Academic activities were disrupted due to a protest by faculty members associated with the Academic Staff Association (ASA) who were demanding the VC’s resignation.

Some faculty members were protesting since Feb 6 and boycotted classes at the start of the current semester later the same month.

However, classes were still being conducted by teachers who were not part of the protests.

The protesting faculty members then closed down the university’s transport section so thousands of the university’s students have not been able to attend classes.

ASA leaders say the VC is “incompetent” and “unfit” for his post. Senior Dean Dr Syed Wiqar Ali Shah has been given look-after charge as QAU VC. According to sources, Dr Ashraf had applied to avail his 10 days of leave on the intervention of Pro-Vice Chancellor Balighur Rehman’s office.

Since the protest started, Dr Ashraf has maintained that some faculty members are staging the protests because they were denied undue promotions.

Neither the Higher Education Commission nor the education ministry has stepped in to intervene and restore academic activities in the university.

The presidency has also not taken any steps, given that the president is the varsity’s chancellor. Students also held a press conference a few days ago in which they requested the chief justice to take notice of the matter.

Now, in the absence of the VC, a committee will ascertain the allegations levelled against him by ASA members.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Ashraf said: “I have not been sent on forced leave. I voluntarily sought leave for 10 days for certain official engagements.

I will be back at QAU after this time and during the time I am on leave, discussions will take place between some ASA members and members of the QAU administration. This is not an inquiry team. The purpose of the deliberations is to determine the reasons for ASA’s agitation.”

Bahria University, PIEAS sign MoU

Officials of Bahria University and PIEAS pose after MoU signing ceremony. — Dawn
Officials of Bahria University and PIEAS pose after MoU signing ceremony. — Dawn

Bahria University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS).

A spokesperson of Bahria University said the two institutions have committed to encourage cooperation and direct contact between them for improving training and research via an exchange program.

PIEAS Rector Dr Nasir Majid visited the Bahria University head office while the rector of the latter university, retired Admiral Mohammad Shafique and him signed the MoU.

Mr Shafique emphasised on the need for opening all avenues for the promotion of research and enabling researchers to apply their knowledge in practical projects.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2018