AIOU announces providing free education to people of four-category

ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has announced that it will provide enhanced educational facilities to four categories of people (marginalized sections of society) free of cost.

These categories are: Prisoners, visually impaired persons, drops-out girls and transgender community. It has been decided that scope of education for these categories will be further increased in order to bring them into educational net and helping them to have a respectable life in the society.

Besides this, the University also provides scholarships and fee-waiver to those students who are unable to continue their future study due to financial constraints.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Shahid Siddiqui  hoped that the students come under these categories will take benefit from the facility, enrolling themselves with the University from the new academic year. The last date for admission to this effect is Oct. 10 with a nominal late-fee.

Staying true to its mission of uplifting the quality of life of marginalised communities through education in Pakistan, the University has launched a program to deliver free education to trans-genders across the country.

He hoped that it will considerably improve the living standard of the transgender community in Pakistan. This program has been designed to improve the confidence of transgenders and help them live with dignity as responsible citizens of society.”

“We have received a positive response from the community and have already started receiving applications for the program,” he added.

The AIOU has been providing free education from matriculation to PhD level to the handicapped and visually impaired students along with jail inmates.

It is important to mention here that the students are also providedcomputerized facilities to aid their learning.

Presently, there are 44 regional offices of the university in the country which are easily accessible to students from all parts of the country.

In addition, programs in Chakwal, Nankana Sahib, Kharian and Thatta have been launched to educate girls who were pulled out of school for various reasons.

“Under this program, 400 girls in Thatta cleared grade-8 exams and 377 among them proceeded on to take the matriculation exams.

The AIOU is only University in the country that provides free education to down-trodden people at their door-step. Recently, various steps have been taken to bring about qualitative improvement in the University’s overall learning and teaching system, the VC added.

ATT cargo should not be stopped en route: Mian Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD:  President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and Former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) cargo should not be stopped illegally on the way to Afghanistan.

The practice of impounding vehicles carrying ATT cargo in Balochistan on the pretext of smuggling has resulted in heavy losses to the business community and the trade can shift to Iran if immediate steps were not taken, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that authorities should ensure smooth flow of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan lest if start hurting already fragile relations.

He said that ATT cargo is thoroughly checked in Karachi, the containers are sealed and a tracking device is installed after full verification of the documents.

These containers are stopped in Balochistan by Frontier Corps and impounded for as long as twelve days without any reason, he said.

In this regard the Directorate of Afghan Transit Trade of the FBR has written a letter to the FC authorities in which it is said that FC was given task of anti-smuggling on December 01, 2010 by FBR through SRO 1090(1)/2010 and the same was withdrawn on July 22, 2014 through SRO 681(1)/2014.

The letter further said that whenever the services of FC were required, it will be asked for it in written form under section 7 of the Customs Act.

It has asked the FC officials to stop taking actions unilaterally on the pretext of smuggling lest it damages the trade. He also urged the Officials to resolve this matter in consultation with Chaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry.