RAWALPINDI Operation against encroachment would be launched soon to make a street, located in the B-Block of the Satellite Town, operational for public as an urgent priority of Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA). TMA Administration Officer Shahzad Haider Friday said this while talking to TheNation on Friday. TMO Shahzad Haider said notices were served to the illegal occupants soon after a news story was published in TheNation in this regard. A team in supervision of Town Officer Regulation has been authorised to remove illegal encroachment from the street, and make it operational for public use very soon, he added. To make the operation successful more manpower and machinery would be deployed, if required, he further said. Resistance from any occupant would be discouraged till the street is got vacated, he assured. It is pertinent to mentioned here that the street located in the B-Block near National Market, opposite Qari Khusi Muhammads seminary, was encroached by politically backed people some seven years ago. The area of 1,200 square feet (starting from House No 9-B1 to 13-B1) is forcefully being used for parking, gardening etc. Plantation has also been made in the street. TheNation has learnt that some political leaders were backing the influential residents for sake of their sympathies in election, that is why the encroachments couldnt be removed during the last seven years. Local residents raised this issue by filing applications to TMA and Commissioner Office, where authorities reportedly turned deaf ear to them. When questioned, why TMA was delaying removal of encroachments, TMO replied, staff of TMA were deployed to facilitate Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Husain (AS) in the city that caused the delay in vacating the street for public use. TMO thanked TheNation for highlighting an issue of public interest. HEC offers media scholarships HEC in collaboration with SAMAA television will grant 20 scholarships to deserving students under Pakistans first ever media scholarship programme. This unique HEC-SAMAA Scholarship Programme will cover costs of tuition fee for two year of Master degrees in Mass Communication, Journalism and Media studies from any public sector university in Pakistan. Talking to APP, Project Director of the Scholarship Programmes HEC Asif Kaleem said the scholarship programme was designed in 2008 to benefit those students who are striving for better education but lack financial resources to do so. To grant the 20 scholarships, applications have been invited for admission in the next degree course and the last date of submitting documents is February 13. On the completion of their studies, the successful candidates will be offered a one-year job contract with SAMAA TV in a department of their own choice with a salary package at par with the salary earned by journalists in the media industry. The scholarships will be awarded to ten male and ten female students from all the four provinces, federal capital and the FATA region to promote female students and ensure representation from all parts of the country. According to the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009, which is annually published by the World Economic Forum and ranks the competitiveness of countries worldwide, this year Pakistan has been ranked 118th on the higher education index. Through such scholarship programmes, we will be supporting the global competitiveness ranking of Pakistan and position our country on a stronger footing to reach international standards, he said. Advisor on Human Resource Development (HRD) HEC, Dr Riaz Qureshi said more than half of the total budget of HEC is being spent on the scholarship programmes to overcome the weaknesses of higher education sector in the country. The students are facing so many problems in higher education sector and there are unresolved issues regarding quality of education, admissions and exorbitant fees and sometimes students are forced to discontinue their studies. Ms leading to PhD is the largest programme of HEC which extends scholarships to the students every year. As the education sector has been expanding so there is shortage of well qualified teaching staff and HEC is offering six months and nine-month scholarship programmes to train teachers, Dr Riaz said. Dr Riaz Qureshi informed that HEC has requested the universities to identify the fields in which PhDs and specialized teachers are needed. In the coming four to five years, there will be sufficient number of PhD teachers in the country. The HRD Division of HEC is managing a wide array of scholarship programs with the financial assistance of the government. All these programmes including engineering, social sciences, basic sciences, economics and finance are aimed at developing specialised human resources for a particular sector of economy.