Mass production of 'unrecognised' PhDs opposed
ISLAMABAD, April 16(The News): Minister of State for Information and Technology Ishaq Khakwani has
urged the federal cabinet in its recent meeting to substantially curtail the
budget and role of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), saying that just
churning out of hundreds of PhDs is inconsequential.
"There is no use of
spending a huge money on producing multitudes of PhDs every year when their
degrees are not recognised by any foreign country," the minister said referring to his remarks about HEC Chairman Dr Ataur Rehman's presentation on
his commission's performance to the cabinet. "When I concluded my comment on the
presentation, Premier Shaukat Aziz thanked me. We were not there to praise
whatever is stated there," Khakwani said.
In his observations, he
demanded that the HEC's funding should be significantly cut. The HEC has an
annual budget of Rs 28 billion (both development and revenue), while the federal
education ministry has just over Rs 9 billion, he said, adding that it is
pointless to spend "colossal" money on a small percentage.
huge funds to be made available through cuts in the HEC budget could be diverted
to schools across Pakistan to benefit poor students. He said the federal
education minister recently told the cabinet that thousands of schools do not
even have necessities like toilets and laboratories.
At present, Khakwani
said ten different ministries, departments and private organisations are looking
after the education side. These include the federal education ministry, special
education ministry, technical education, labour ministry, provincial education
departments, health ministry (medical and dental colleges), 13,000 Madaris
(religious seminaries) and private entrepreneurs. He said that just to match the
number of PhDs with those of neighbouring countries, mass production of PhDs
would have no utility.