Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry taking to the social networking platform Twitter offered a scientific solution to tackle smog on both sides of the border.
The minister in a tweet said that the burning of crops in the city of Jalandhar in India was wreaking havoc on both sides of the border, adding to the toxicity in the air making it difficult to breathe in.
Fawad Chaudhry Suggests Scientific Solution to Tackle Smog
The tweet read: “Crop burning in Jallender is playing havoc with the environment on both sides of Punjab border, We can help Indian Punjab Govt to use a mechanical solution to turn crop waste into a burning billet, that can be used as fuel when needed #Sciencehelps”.
Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology met with Mushtaq Ahmad Khan in the chair here on Thursday.
Heigher Education Commission (HEC) informed that working is underway on a commercial policy of universities, which would help them in generating own resources. The policy would be approved from the cabinet and foreign ministry would be taken on board before the approval of the policy. HEC commission is likely to approve the policy by the end of the current month.
The committee was briefed on the financial constraints/crises faced by COMSATS University, on the university roles, responsibilities and problems being faced by the administration as well as the students due to shortage of funds, on virtual campus regulations, the financial crises faced by public sector universities, briefing by the Workers Welfare Board on non-clearance of Rs 500 million dues of COMSATS university.
Secretary Workers Welfare Board informed the committee that a breakup was taken from COMSATS University according to which the Board had to pay Rs 221 million. The federal government has given a cheque of Rs 1.8 million to the University. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has assured of giving Rs 63 million in a week. Punjab province has stated that they have given tuition fee. There is issue of Rs 130 million.
He further said that University has increase Hostel and transport rates. Due to the absence governing body for the last one year, unapproved payment could not be made. The governing body would be set in the current month.
Rector COMSATS University said that 1701 students of the workers welfare organization are getting free education. Their transport and hostel charges are also being paid by the University, which causing around Rs 267 million and up till now Rs 1.3 billion has been spent so far and which resulted in loss for Lahore Campus. These students are being enrolled from 2004-05.
Replying to Chairman committee question, the body was informed that when the university building was got on lease it was included in the agreement.
Welfare Board officials informed that some bills of the university has been paid while others are in process.
Rector informed that that total strength of the university was 277 in 2000 which is not 36000, while 66000 have already completed their education.
The institution has 8 research centers. The operating budget of the university was Rs 64 million, which is now, increased to Rs 8.3 billion. Development budget has increased from Rs 36 million to Rs 772 million. Development budget from HEC has been stopped from 2008 and after cut on the grants; they do not have funds to pay salaries from the next month. About 80 percent budget goes into salary. After the cut of 11 percent, Rs 252 million budget was decreased.
Due to increase in inflation and salaries, a total of Rs 575 million differences is occurred. And resultantly one of the Prime Minister schemes was closed where rural students suffered badly. The scholarships to students were reduced from Rs 1 billion to Rs 700 million.
The minister said that government is trying to not only introduce reforms and improvement in research and education but also generate their resources at themselves.
Committee chairman said that universities budget should not be decreased otherwise they would also go on strike. The committee recommended for immediate assistance to the universities.
The committee also expressed serious concerns over drugs increase in universities.