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HEC recurring budget to universities

HEC may fail to release recurring budget to universities
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) may fail to release enough recurring budget to universities to pay for the previous 50 percent increase in salary already granted as well as the 15 percent additional salary increase announced by the government.

According to information, recurring grant approved for transfer to the universities for financial year 2011-12 was 9% (Rs2.46 billion) lower than the amount approved for the previous financial year, even though there was a 16% increase in nominal GDP of Pakistan in financial year 2010-11.

HEC faced the same financial crunch last year, which was followed by the series of protest demonstrations in universities after which the government announced Rs5.8 billion supplementary grant. However, now HEC has been informed that the Rs5.8 billion supplementary grant provided in fiscal year 2010-11 was a one time grant and therefore the increase of recurring grant was calculated on the base grant of Rs23.22 Billion.

HEC Executive Director (ED) Dr Sohail Naqvi has written letters to the Vice Chancellors of universities informing them about the current financial crisis. "We do recognize that additional funding is required to pay for the previous 50% increase in salary already granted, as well as the 15% additional salary increase announced by the Government, however, no additional funding appears to be available at this time to the HEC for disbursement to the Universities".

Dr Naqvi informed that HEC has been successful in negotiating approval of a 3-year $300 million IDA loan from the World Bank, however, the loan agreement has not yet been ratified by the government. Availability of an extra $100 million per year would resolve the current financial problems being faced by all universities.

However the concerned quarters criticize HEC for not cutting its budget and renewing the contracts of its employees on huge packages. According to information, HEC has renewed the contracts of 12 Director Generals including one DG Services whose task is just to maintain the cleanliness of HEC campus.

Among 12 DGs, five DGs are of MP scales that are enjoying all the perks and privileges besides getting handsome salaries. "If HEC is really serious to resolve the budget issues then it has to take a start by shrugging off the additional staff," said a source.

Besides that the contract of Human Resource Development (HRD) Advisor has been renewed for the seventh time. The Advisor is 67 years of age and is getting 0.25 million salary besides other perks and privileges. "The official (advisor) was retired in 2002 after which he has been given contract appointment in HEC and the contract is regularly renewed after every year," said a source.

The sources believe that there was no need to renew the contracts of every year. "The aim of contractual employees is to train the already available staff, not to draw the salaries on permanent basis," he said.

HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Laghari said that all universities will face a severe financial crisis is the deficit is not covered. "We are going through a phase where there is a lot of growth in the universities and a lot of PhD scholars are returning back and joining faculty positions. Currently the universities are not geared towards increasing fees or raising funds. If we are not able to financially accommodate for this growth and attract the best scholars, it will lead to a severe loss of intellectual capital in the country."

While answering a question regarding the massive contract appointments in HEC, he said that HEC was already under staff. "In other offices, there is always over staffing but in case of HEC, we are still under staff. One of our MP post and One 22 grade post is still vacant and we have not hired any one against these posts," he said.

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40% of results are late due to online system
Rawalpindi: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Rawalpindi, announced the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination 2011 results on Tuesday. PML-N MNA Hanif Abbasi was the chief guest on the occasion.

According to the results, an accused in Benazir Bhutto murder case secured third position among male candidates in the General Group by getting 848 marks.

Rasheed Ahmed alias Abdul Rasheed Turabi, an accused in Benazir Bhutto murder case, appeared in the SSC examination from Adiala Jail. He is being kept in Cell no. 1. Rasheed, a resident of Batagram, was studying in Madrassa Darul Uloom Haqania at the time of his arrest in January 2008. On his request to continue studies, the jail authorities arranged for a teacher and other facilities for him.

Around 40% of results are late due to the newly introduced online system.

According to details, Fahd Farooq Ashraf of the Divisional Public School (Boys Branch) got first position in Science Group by getting 1016 marks. Basma Tariq of the Munir Public Girls High School, Chakwal, got second position with 1015 marks. Sonia Basharat of the Asif Public Girls Higher Secondary School got third position by securing 1008 marks.

In General Group, two sisters, Hafiza Wardah Abdur Rasheed and Hafiza Maria Abdur Rasheed of the Grammar Public High School for Girls earned first and second positions by getting 936 and 930 marks respectively. Shair Numa of the Government Girls High School, Pindigheb, secured third position with 927 marks.

Total 110,026 students including male and female were appeared in the SSC examination in which 31,991 male and 32,505 female passed the examination.

RBISE Chairman Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, while addressing the gathering, said that they have introduced online system and this was their first chance and that's why they have faced many difficulties.

He said results of around 1,200 students are late and this is because of their fault. Many students didn't write their roll numbers on answer sheets. The board would contact them to announce their results as well. "If there is a mistake in the result of any student then he or she should contact us. We will correct the mistake and also return his or her fee as well," he announced.

MNA Hanif Abbasi, while addressing the gathering, said: "We wouldn't excel without education. For making the country stronger, the young generation should work hard.

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Governor orders Gomal varsity VC to withdraw illegal decisions
Peshawar: Taking notice of the irregularities in the Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Governor Masood Kausar has directed the vice-chancellor of the university to withdraw all the decisions taken in violation of the established rules and implement the recommendations made by the Governor's Inspection Team (GIT).

The Governor's House had received a number of complaints about alleged irregularities committed by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mansoor Akbar Kundi since his appointment in December 2009.

Reliable sources said that the vice-chancellor was accused of appointing his near and dear ones against senior positions without following the criteria, resorting to favoritism in recruitment, changing Syndicate minutes, gender-based malpractices and others.

The governor, who is also chancellor of public sector universities, directed the GIT to conduct an inquiry into the complaints, the sources said. The GIT visited the university in May last and probed all the complaints by going through the relevant record, seeking comments from the university administration and recording statements of the officials concerned, the sources said.

The team found that Dr Mansoor Kundi was made vice-chancellor by former Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, ignoring the directives of President of Pakistan about extension in the service of the then vice-chancellor Farid Khan.

About the appointment of his family member Abdul Hamid Kundi as assistant registrar (legal), the committee found that no proper procedure as laid down in the university statutes for the purpose was followed. Hamid Kundi was appointed as assistant registrar (legal) against fixed salary for a period of six months by the vice-chancellor in exercise of his powers under Section 13(4) of the Gomal University Act, 1974, which he can use only in emergency. The inspection team in its report submitted to the governor stated that the six-month period was extended twice, which is a misuse of the provision of law and powers.

The GIT recommended that the tenure of Hamid Kundi should not be further extended. The position of assistant registrar (legal) should be immediately advertised and the process for appointment through selection board and syndicate should be followed as the impugned appointment is not covered under the law, the report added.

The report also found that the appointment of Khalid Dawar was also illegal. Khalid Dawar has been serving as director finance in the university for the last seven years despite the fact that his appointment is not covered under any law. According to rules, the post should be filled through competition by a capable and highly qualified person. The report termed Khalid Dawar's appointment as a stop-gap arrangement as improper even though the job was advertised. It noted that the scrutiny committee had found him ineligible for the post.

"It is quite astonishing that a very important post of director finance is being run by a contractual employee on fixed pay and that too on stop-gap arrangement," the report added.

The team recommended that the appointment of Khalid Dawar as director finance should be reversed forthwith. It recommended that the post should be advertised immediately as the original incumbent has been retired.

The GIT also declared the appointment of Hameedullah Khan, a retired associate professor, as controller examination on contract basis as an irregularity and violation of the standing orders of the apex court that no retired officer can be appointed on contract basis against a regular cadre post. It recommended that the contract of Hameedullah Khan as controller examination should not be extended and proceedings for regular selection of the controller should be undertaken as soon as possible.

The report directed the vice-chancellor not to utilize his emergency powers conferred upon him under the Section 13(4) of the university act so frequently and widely. It said the powers should be used only in an emergency situation and not as a routine.

The vice-chancellor was also directed to resolve differences between various teacher groups.

However, the allegations of gender-based malpractices and violation of merit in recruitment against different positions, both teaching and non-teaching staff, and others against the vice-chancellor could not be established. The news

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