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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Condemned consultant points finger at staffers

Dr. Majid Naeem on Tuesday categorically explained the hidden hands and reasons behind the errors and failure of online examination system before a Judicial Commission probing flaws in intermediate results
Punjab Boards Chairmen Committee had hired Mr Naeem as contractor for computerize examination system at all eight education boards of Punjab after the termination of Yousaf Samdhani, who earlier failed to run the online system successfully.
National Accountability Bureau officials on Tuesday produced him handcuffed, however, the commission ordered to untie his hands. Dr Naeem was in NAB custody owing to a reference filed against him on charges of misappropriating Rs27, 97,850 in Punjab University?s funds.
Dr. Majid, who did Phd. in IT from Manchester University, informed the Judicial Commission Chairman Justice Shahid Saeed that online system failed due to the old grudge and tussle between the all board employees and former secretary higher education department. He revealed that BISE employees had went on strike and denied to prepare results for Matriculation exams in 2009 in order to press the government for their demands.
However, the Punjab government had detained various employees under section 16 of MPO (maintenance of public order) and these employees nursed the grudge against then HED secretary. He said, to take revenge from the said HED secretary, the board employees used every tactic to create hurdle in success of online examination system. He said ?Booti Mafia? in BISE employees was behind the scene.
Explaining about his arrest by NAB, Dr Majid said he had not misappropriated in the Punjab University Funds. He said admission papers of Punjab University were prepared in 2001 for which the PU VC and university?s college committee made payment but illegally implicated him in the fraud. He said there was no proof against him about alleged embezzlement in PU funds. He said that he resigned from Government College University in protest against the fake admissions made by them registrar.
He said that he was hired by PBCC as contractor against Rs500,000 for four months and he received half of them only. He said he served for 1 year and four months for the BISEs but could get only 220,000 only. He said the same task, PBCC has give to the Pakistan Telecommunication Limited for Rs15 million.
Responding to queries of the commission, he denied the all allegations leveled upon him by former and serving chairmen of eight education boards and said he had no role in the affairs of the boards like sales and purchase of computer accessories and was given task of consultancy and only maintaining the online system. Online system was the earlier idea of Punjab government and Yousaf Samdhani had failed to run the system, Dr Majid said adding he worked as contractor only.
Dr. Majid also rejected the allegations that he took commission by making purchase of different computer accessories. He said he had nothing to do with purchasing as it was the BISEs responsibility to purchase the items. He said the accusers should show a single receipts of purchasing with his signature which proves that he used to purchase. He said even he gave recommendations for cancellation of various tenders for purchasing of unnecessary computer devices.
Revealing another reason behind the failure of online system, Dr Majid said the BISE authorities had charged Rs100 per student and collected more than Rs300 million.
The authorities in a bid to hide this collection by not mentioning it in their accounts, made unnecessary purchasing and wasted the money. Later on, these board officials claimed that the purchase was done on his order, Dr Majid revealed.
System Annalists and Computer experts of all BISEs were taken on board and he had been briefing the chairmen of the BISEs and their IT consultants with the progress in the work and never bypassed them, Dr Majid said adding all chairmen did not know ABC of the computer and had been briefed in their own language.
Clarifying about the commission?s query on designed answer sheets and admission forms used for online examination system, Dr Majid said to reduce the burden of students he decrease the admission form from 6 pages to only 1 page and made the bubble filling optional which was also be filled by teachers, not only by the students.
He presented a letter before the commission and stated that he had requested the BISEs employees in written to prepare results manually too. He said not only they did not prepared results manually but also did not used his introduced computer software which could not handle the huge data base of hundred of students.
Lahore BISE Store Superintendent Tahir appeared before the commission and said Dr Majid cancelled various tenders terming them useless. He said different items were purchased by Dr Majid but he has not proves of such purchasing. At this the commission ordered him to appear on Thursday with proves.
He also admitted that bar code readers were purchased with lesser rates on recommendations of Dr Majid instead of higher rates by different companies finalized by BISE?s authorities. The commission will resume the proceeding on November 24.

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