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KARACHI, Aug 15: Federal Government Urdu Arts College has also been included in the government plan for the setting up of an urdu science and technology university in Karachi, government officials said on Tuesday.

According to senior government officials, in view of two separate letters from the miniseries of education and science and technology, the competent authority has recently approved upgradation of Federal Government Urdu Science College and Federal Government Urdu Arts College to Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology in Karachi.

About three months ago President General Pervez Musharraf had given approval for the upgradation of Urdu Science College to Federal Urdu Science and Technology University, and an initial monetary allocation had also been made for the proposed university project. Under the project, special emphasis was to be placed on the information technology component.

In view of poor governance and inadequate funding to the two federal colleges, the quarters concerned had suggested that these colleges be either handed over to the Sindh government or be made constituents of the University of Karachi. At present, the affairs of Federal Government Urdu Arts College were being looked after by the University of Karachi, said sources at the two colleges.

It was learnt that, after second thought, the government had now decided to broaden the scope of the proposed science and technology university. According to the Chief Executive’s Secretariat, the two federal colleges would be unified and upgraded to the status of one federal university.

In this regard, the ministry of education has been asked to submit, after consultation with the minister of science and technology, an ordinance/order on the charter duly vetted by the law division for approval of the cabinet.

Commenting on the government’s decision, the honorary secretary of the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu Pakistan, Jamiluddin Aali, said the decision was “a great futuristic enterprise” besides being a big step towards completion of the dream of Baba-i-Urdu Moulvi Abdul Haq and a directive of the Quaid-i-Azam.

Mr Aali, who has been pursuing the matter for the upgradation of Federal Urdu Arts College to the status of a university, thanked President Musharraf and Ministers Zobeda Jalal and Dr Ataur Rahman for taking interest in the urdu university project.