FAISALABAD: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) will set up two research and development (R&D) cells -- one for locusts and another for organic agriculture.

The university syndicate has formally approved both the projects. The cell for locusts would be set up at the department of entomology. The department of agronomy would house the cell for the organic agriculture.

The 320thmeeting of the syndicate was held online with Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf in the chair. The participants included Mr. Justice Ali Baqir Najfi of LHC, Dr Nasir Amin (HEC nominee), Chaudhry Muhammad Ashfaq, Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad, Dr. Mahmood Ahmad, Dr Farzana Rizvi, Dr Abdul Nasir, Ahsan Raza Sattar, Dr. Misbah Ijaz, Dr. Atiya Awan, Divisional Director Local Fund Audit Abdul Rauf, Additional Secretary Agriculture Ubaidullah and Dr Shahid Iqbal from the Punjab livestock & dairy development department.

The syndicate endorsed the budget proposals worth Rs10 billion for financial year 2020-21 recommended by the finance & planning committee that would be presented before the university senate for final approval.

The meeting also approved proceedings of the academic council that would enable the university to open new degree programmes for under- and- postgraduate levels in main as well as sub-campuses.

The syndicate also approved the appointments of various chairpersons of teaching departments.

The VC said: “Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, various universities of the country were facing an acute financial crisis but due to best [financial] discipline and management the pension endowment fund of the varsity is in a good health enabling it to pay present and future pensioners. Out of 30,000 students, nearly 7,000 are getting financial assistance provided by various national and international donor agencies.”

Aerial firing: Officials of the Sattiana police played role of a silent spectator when a gun-toting man resorted to aerial firing on a basic health unit premises.

Videos of the shooting in the presence of the police went viral on the social media and it shows a man busy in aerial firing with an automatic pistol. Instead of arresting the suspect, policemen remained inside the official vehicle and eventually sped away. A boy was also seen in the footage handing over a pistol magazine to the man who resorted to aerial firing.

People said that the gun-toting people belonged to the family of Haji Ishtiaq of Chak 37-GB, who was gunned down by his rivals on Friday. They said the family had staged a protest demonstration by placing the body on the road against the police which failed to arrest the killers.

Ishtiaq was at his shop when armed men opened fire and killed him on the spot.

A murder case has been registered against seven persons on the application of Tahira Perveen, wife of the deceased.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020