Stories about merit

Is LUMS an ‘elitist’ institution?

Over the past few months, LUMS was caught in a storm of scrutiny. Many current students reported having their financial aid for the coming academic year decreased or completely pulled out in most cases. Students took to social media to ask for funds; collecting their semester fee rupee by rupee. During this fiasco, the dog-eared label of ‘elitist’ was once again attached to LUMS by critics online. I am struggling with paying for my next semester at LUMS since I've been denied aid like several other kids this time for no good reason. I'm trying to raise 389,347PKR and I have ...

Read Full Post

From ‘unity, faith, discipline’ to ‘faith, faith, faith’

“O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us…” These enduring words of Shakespeare describe best the cruel hand dealt to Pakistan, by internal and external forces alike. One is filled with an innate feeling of dejection when one observes how with the passage of time, our societal ethics and standards tumbled in almost all walks of life. Pakistan is amongst the few unfortunate countries that have regressed, not progressed, with time. Let us start with governance. We all have read the bleak history of the ...

Read Full Post

Here is why PTI was ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’ but ANP and JUI-F are not

Who were they? – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). What were they doing? – Protesting on roads. For what? -Against rigging – oh wait, “alleged” rigging – in the general elections 2013. What were their demands? –Resignation of the prime minister, an impartial probe into rigging allegations and, in case rigging is proven, dissolution of the assemblies and re-election. Were they opposed? By whom? -Yes, by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of course, and almost all other political parties including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP). Why were they opposed by PPP, JUI-F and ANP? -These parties believed and opined that it is undemocratic and unconstitutional to ...

Read Full Post

What if your daughter doesn’t want to be a ‘doctor bahu’?

In a recent conversation with a mother to little girls, I asked her what she had planned for her children with regards to their education. I was merely referring to school choices but she told me, quite categorically, “Matric, FSc and then straight to medical college!” It seemed quite standard a response for the desi mind-set, but I couldn’t help but wonder. What if they want to do something else? What if they want to grow up to be writers or study hieroglyphics or become physicists or God forbid, singers? What if they hate being doctors? What if they hate studying biology? What ...

Read Full Post

Entry tests and inept professionals: Another nail in our education coffin

A few days back, I came across the news that the government is considering to end the entry test system (ECAT & MCAT) for admissions in universities. The news left me utterly dismayed. The policy to hold these tests was implemented a few years back, to check the competency level of students coming from different educational boards. It was a good way to test individuals on similar parameters to understand their aptitude for a particular field of study and was a much-needed step. In Punjab, there are many educational boards – almost every city has its own – and alongside ...

Read Full Post

Does Aitchison give more importance to kinship than KGS?

Before we go on to tackle the issue of kinship and its importance in maintaining a certain decorum, atmosphere and legacy of an institute, let’s go back and take a quick lesson about an institution steeped in rich history, namely the Aitchison College. Aitchison College was founded on January 2, 1886, as the Punjab Chief’s college, and was renamed the Aitchison College on November 3, of the same year. The foundation stone of the new building (now known as the old building) was laid down by the Earl of Dufferin and Ava. The college is named after the (then) Lt Governor ...

Read Full Post

Let the Aitchison legacy prevail!

Aitchison College has boasted its majestic red brick buildings and traditions for over 125 years now. As we all know, generation after generations have followed the footsteps of their fathers and matriculated from the college. Recently, the new rule approved by the Board of Governors (BoG) of Aitchison College states that kinship has been abolished, so that merit may be ensured during the admission process. In my opinion, abolishing kinship is completely absurd. I, as an old boy (a term we use for ourselves after passing out from the college) think that the college builds pedigrees. Aitchison is not just an academic ...

Read Full Post

Here is why I chose Habib University

Every student stepping out of high school faces a dilemma: which university should they choose for further studies? Recently, a major investment has been made to establish Habib University. This university is a progressive educational institution that has incorporated state-of-the-art facilities along with learned faculty members. This university became my choice and here is why: The faculty Many universities in Pakistan have faculty members from foreign countries but very few are committed to undergraduate research and service inside and outside the campus community. This holds true for Pakistani teachers as well. A majority of the faculty members at Habib University are middle-aged or younger; this just ...

Read Full Post

Mrs Fauzia Kasuri, true merit comes above party affiliations

Ever wonder why our country is in such turmoil? Ever wonder how people who are not worth it occupy the seats of the National Assembly? Ever heard yourself say: “OMG, my 10-year-old could have done a better job than that!”? The major answer to these questions is that in Pakistani culture, merit isn’t defined properly. We think merit is the number of years you have worked loyally for a party, and that it is defined through the “amount” of work done instead of the quality or category of the work done. Let’s analyse this definition in terms of a parliamentarian, that is, a lawmaker. What kind ...

Read Full Post

Cricket in Pakistan: Select on merit, not on favouritism!

And so the chief selector has spoken: No more messing around with the squad, unless a new player shows exemplary form in the upcoming domestic T20 event! The plan is to continue to stick with the tried and tested old guns. Iqbal Qasim seems to be working under the premise that too much shuffling around in the team compromises the players’ morale and confidence. The policy being sought is to allow a player ample time inside the field for him to mature up and to prove his mettle. This would have been a good strategy had the team shown sufficient potential, ...

Read Full Post