No entry test for admissions to PU
* Admissions Committee withdraws decision
* Maqbool okays PU’s biological sciences revised courses
* Urges PU courses should be synchronised with others
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The Punjab University Admissions Committee withdrew on Friday its announcement of an entry test for admissions to the 2004-05 academic session.
“There will be no entry test for this session,” PU Registrar Col (r) Masudul Haq told Daily Times. He said now admissions to MA and MSc classes would be based on the previous system. He said they had made the decision at an Admissions Committee meeting on Friday.
The committee had decided at a meeting on June 26 that there would be entry tests for all admissions for the 2004-05 session. The meeting was chaired by Vice Chancellor Arshad Mahmood.
Sources told Daily Times that the university administration had circulated a notification for an entry test to various departments but the notice was later suspended. They said the university withdrew its announcement under pressure from the Islami Jamiat Talaba, a student organisation.
The registrar said the decision was announced after the vice chancellor was consulted on the phone because he was abroad. Some committee sources told Daily Times that the decision was not finalised at the Friday’s meeting and was left to the vice chancellor and the registrar. They said that IJT representatives, at a recent meeting, had asked the chief minister to direct the PU withdraw the entry test and the university had also been told by the Punjab government to withdraw its announcement.
PU IJT Nazim Rana Muhammad Arshad, while talking to Daily Times, praised the decision to abolish the entry test.
Punjab Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool and other senior PU teachers supported the entry test.
Maqbool okays PU’s biological sciences revised courses: Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool has directed PU to synchronise its biological sciences courses with those of other major universities.
The governor, who is also chancellor of PU, approved the university’s BSc and MSc revised courses of botany, zoology, mycology and plant pathology, zoology and its new four-year course in microbiology and molecular genetics. He gave his approval at an Inter-universities Faculty Board (IUFB) meeting held on Friday at Governor House.
Mr Maqbool directed that the revised courses should be sent to other universities where these were already being taught. “This will help strengthen these courses and will bring about harmony and uniformity,” he said.
PU Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology Director Dr Sheikh Riazuddin headed the IUFB while the chairpersons of the PU biological sciences departments prepared the revised courses in consultation with other university departments. PU acting vice chancellor, Dr M Azhar Ikram, representatives of other universities, government departments and private institutions attended the meeting.
The PU biological sciences departments chairpersons, including Professor Saeed Akhtar, professor emeritus of the zoology department, Professor Shahida Hasnain, chairperson of the botany department, and Professor Rukhsana Bajwa, chairperson of the mycology and plant pathology department, gave presentations and suggested slight modifications to the current courses.
The governor said the courses should be prepared to better commercialise research. Mr Maqbool hoped that microbiology and molecular genetics could start at Government College University Lahore. He directed his staff to get swift approval for PU’s research projects that are being funded by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited.
Mr Maqbool urged that PU’s current zoology courses should conform with the needs of the local environment.
PU authorities informed the meeting that they were trying to hire experts from other universities as well. Dr Ikram said PU formed a select group of eminent academicians, including IUFB chairpersons, to develop guidelines that could be made the basis for the proposed reforms in the current syllabi.
“These guidelines were being used in developing curricula in all fields. The biology board, which started working a month after the governor had formed it, prepared lists of all the programmes being taught at various institutions in the province,” he said.
“The revision was made according to the needs of semester or term system exams, the existing laboratory infrastructure at colleges, levels of experience of biology faculty at various colleges and the constraints in developing model curricula in accordance with these guidelines.” Dr Ikram said the final revised curricula were developed with the consensus of other universities.