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HEC head hiring | Rawalpindi Matric exams 2014

Delay in HEC head hiring upsets vice chancellors
Lahore, Dec 07: The vice-chancellors of different universities in Punjab have expressed their reservations about the delay in the appointment of a regular chairman of the Higher Education Commission through a competitive process.

The vice-chancellors are expected to express their concern in a maiden meeting with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Friday (tomorrow) for conveying it to the federal government.

The governor, who is also chancellor of all Punjab universities, has called the meeting of VCs to discuss respective varsities' affairs. The governor had asked the VCs to bring statistical data of their respective varsities and suggest agenda items for the meeting. The VCs are also expected to discuss the issue of establishment of Punjab Higher Education Commission.

Various VCs expressed their reservations about the delay in the appointment of HEC chairman and sought the induction through open competitive process. The VCs said the universities made appointments from peons to BS-22 officials through advertisements and open competitive process.

In Punjab, they said, the PML-N government had made it compulsory that only PhD degree holders would be eligible to apply for the appointment of vice-chancellors in different public sector universities.

"It is strange that the PML-N government at federation level had given acting charge of HEC chairman to Syed Imtiaz Husain Gilani, vice-chancellor of University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, who did not hold a PhD degree. Mr Gilani holds masters degree in structural engineering. In Punjab, PhD degree is mandatory even for the appointment of an assistant professor," one of the VCs said.

They said most of the chairmen of University Grants Commission (UGC) and all chairmen of Higher Education Commission in the past were eminent educationists and researchers with highest qualification of PhD from leading foreign universities of the world. They included founder chairman of UGC Dr M.A Qazi, last chairman Dr A.Q Mughal, HEC founder chairman Dr Attaur Rehman and last chairman Dr Javaid R. Laghari.

With reference to delay in the initiation of process for the appointment of HEC chairman, the VCs referred to Supreme Court's judgment in June this year, wherein it directed the newly-elected government to constitute a commission for ensuring merit in all future public appointments, including appointments of heads of statutory bodies, autonomous bodies, semi-autonomous bodies as well as regulatory authorities. "The commission should be mandated to ensure that all public appointments are made solely on merit," the court ordered.

They said the HEC was also an autonomous and sole public sector regulatory authority in higher education sector with Rs58 billion budget. Its head should also be appointed through a competitive process, they demanded.

The VCs said they would express their apprehensions about the move to constitute the Punjab Higher Education Commission without taking them on board.

The VCs said it had been announced by the education minister that Punjab had formulated a draft law for the establishment of Punjab HEC and sent to the provincial cabinet for approval. The VCs said they had not been consulted on this issue stating that they were the major stakeholders in this regard. "We are blank about the draft law for Punjab HEC and the move may cause reservations or confrontation on the part of VCs," a vice-chancellor said.

It may be mentioned that the Sindh government had already established its provincial HEC. Dawn

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HEC chairperson does not need to have PhD degree
Islamabad: The chairperson for Higher Education Commission, who is responsible for quality assurance, faculty appointment criteria and evaluation of PhD programmes for more than 140 universities of Pakistan, does not require having PhD degree himself.

With regard to the appointment of HEC chairperson, the Higher Education Ordinance 2002 mentions: "The Controlling Authority shall appoint a person of international eminence and proven ability who has made significant contribution to higher education as teacher, researcher or administrator, as chairperson." The ordinance doesn't mention any educational qualification for the appointment. HEC is the sole country's sole higher education regulator and responsible for improving the standard of university education in the country.

Despite this generous concession, fortunately most of the chiefs of University Grants Commission UGC (1974-2002) and all chairmen of Higher Education Commission HEC (2002- 2013) were the eminent educationalists and researchers with highest qualification of PhD from leading foreign universities of the world. The HEC was established in 2002 with Dr Atta-ur-Rahman as its first chairman. After his resignation in October 2008, the charge was given to renowned educationist Shahnaz Wazir Ali and then to Dr Laghari on August 27, 2009.

Sources said that one of the reasons she could not be given permanent charge despite her dedicated work in education sector was that she was not having PhD degree which is considered one of the important pre-requisite for chairperson HEC.

The PhD holder chairmen of UGC include: founder Chairman of UGC Dr. Mumtaz Ali Qazi and last serving chairman Dr. A.Q Mughal along with Dr. Muhammad Afzal longest serving chairman UGC, Dr. A. Q Ansari, Dr. U.G Issani and Dr. Naseer A Shakih. The founder chairman of HEC Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman was also leading academician with PhD degree and same was Dr. Javaid R. Laghari. Although after resignation of Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman during last PPP regime, for stopgage and interim period, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali was appointed as in-charge of the HEC not chairman HEC till appointment of a full-time regular HEC chairman Dr. Javaid R. Laghari.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the vice chancellor of a leading university agreed that it not possible to have "international eminence and proven ability in higher education sector" without the highest educational degree. He said that PhD degree is actually a research degree as research at universities is being undertaken at PhD level not masters level. Interestingly, even for appointment of assistant professor, HEC has made degree of PhD mandatory with research publications. Taking a lead in this regard, the Punjab government, through an amendment in Punjab Universities Act, has made it mandatory for all university vice chancellors to have highest educational degree.

The HEC, a policy-making institution in higher sector of Pakistan, is without a permanent chairman since August 26, 2013 when the first four-year term of Dr Javaid Laghari ended. Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani was appointed as acting chairman HEC on November 9, 2013 till the appointment of permanent and full time chairman HEC. The education experts believe that delay in the appointment is badly damaging the higher education sector as HEC chairman takes the key decisions regarding the functioning of national universities and higher education institutions.

As per HEC Act, all the key decisions related to higher education has to be taken by the commission's board, which is headed by its chairman and the secretariat acts as the executing wing of the commission, which is responsible for implementation of all the orders, decisions, directives of the board. The news

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HEC releases 35m for University of Balochistan
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has released Rs 35 million for the University of Balochistan to help the institution meet its financial needs.

Of Rs 35 million, Rs 20 million rupees were released in November and remaining Rs 15 million have been released now.

This amount is in addition to the recurring grant which has already been released to the university by HEC.

Last month, HEC also released Rs 10 million to the Lasbela University of Agriculture and Rs 4 million to Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar. HEC Chairman Imtiaz Hussain Gilani is also scheduled to meet Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achkzai in the second week of current month to discuss matters related to higher education sector, especially financial problems being faced by universities of the province. Daily times

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British Council, HEC to strengthen links in higher education
Islamabad: The British Council and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) will develop a strategy document for strengthening linkage between Pakistan and the UK in the higher education sector.

It was agreed during a meeting between a delegation of the British Council, led by Director Jo Beall, and HEC Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

The meeting decided that this partnership would contribute to the internationalisation of institutions and would make contributions for capacity building in higher education institutions.

Talking to the delegation, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that during the last decade, the HEC had been continuously striving to build a knowledge-based economy in Pakistan. "We are encouraging our researchers to focus on research that is relevant to country's social and economic needs. We want our institutions of higher learning to develop indigenous solutions for indigenous problems," he added.

The executive Director said the Pakistani youth had a lot of potential and they wanted to contribute to the country's progress.

"Despite a number of problems faced by this country, we have hope in the form of our youth who always give remarkable performance whenever they get an opportunity. And HEC's vision has always been to invest as much as it can for development of our human resource," he said.

He said the government had increased funding for higher education in the last budget. Education was the only way out for Pakistan, he added.

"Though HEC's effort has paid dividends in the last decade and our institutions have performed excellently, still efforts are needed for streamlining the system. For that purpose, collaboration with organisations like the British Council will play a significant role in this regard," he said.

Jo Beall appreciated the achievements of Pakistan in the higher education sector and said that history of the British Council's collaboration with the HEC was impressive.

He said he hoped that the proposed strategy document would not only identify matching needs of both sides but also categorise priority areas of Pakistan's higher education sector.

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BISE announces matriculation exam schedule
Rawalpindi: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi has announced the admission schedule for the Annual Matriculation (SSC) Examinations, 2014.

According to the announced schedule, the SSC examinations would commence from March 1.

The last date for submitting the admission forms with single fee is December 18. Students can submit their applications with double fee until December 27 and with triple fee until January 6.

The BISE Rawalpindi will announce the date sheet one month before the annual examinations. The date sheet will be available on the board's website after its announcement.

According to the BISE Rawalpindi spokesman, the SSC examinations would start in accordance with the announced schedule and no extension would be granted for submitting forms.

The board has set up a total of 58 centres in the Rawalpindi division to facilitate the students. Another 30 facilitation centres have been established in the district. Whereas, 12 centres have been established in the Attock district, eight in the Jhelum district and eight in the Chakwal district.

Meanwhile, the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has rescheduled the examinations for the Spring, 2013 Semester in Rawalpindi and Kohat due to 'unavoidable' circumstances.

AIOU Controller (Examinations) Dr Hamid Khan Niazi said the exams postponed in Rawalpindi, scheduled to be held on November 18, and in Kohat on November 19, would now be held on December 7.

The controller said the examination centres and timing would remain unchanged. Revised roll-number slips were being sent by post to all the enrolled students, he added. app

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AIOU reschedules postponed exams
Islamabad: Due to unavoidable circumstances, the final examinations of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) for the Semester Spring-2013 were postponed in Rawalpindi city and district Kohat, earlier scheduled to be held on November 18, 19 and 22, now the university has rescheduled these exams.

According to AIOU Controller of Examinations Dr. Hamid Khan Niazi, the examinations postponed in Rawalpindi city and Kohat on November 18 and the exams postponed in only Kohat district on November 19 will now be held on December 7, while the examinations postponed in Rawalpindi city on November 22, will now be held on December 14.

Controller of Examinations said that the centres and timing of these examinations will remain unchanged, however revised roll number slips are being sent by post to all the concerned students. The news

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Teachers' strike irks parents
Islamabad: The parents of children studying in the model colleges of Islamabad have expressed annoyance over teachers' strike and their boycott of mid-term examinations. The strike was called by the members of the Islamabad Model Colleges Central Academic Staff Association (CASA) on Tuesday. The parents fear the strike would spoil the study routine of their children who had been preparing themselves for the mid-term examinations. They said the strike was wasting students' time and would affect their grades. Shagufta Shahid, a mother, said, "The teachers may be successful in getting their demands fulfilled but ultimately the students will suffer." The authorities concerned should pay heed to the concerns of the teachers and resolve their genuine demands to save the future of the students, she said. Another parent, Humaira Rashid, said, "It has become a routine matter for the teachers to launch protests. Those who build the future of generations are helpless and compelled to get their rights through strikes or boycotts." The government should not test their nerves and resolve their grievances before they come out on roads with thousands of students, she said. app

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KMU students demand recognition for their degree
Peshawar: Scores of MPhil graduates and students of the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the Khyber Medical University said Monday the management had not yet gotten their degree recognised with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

"The management of the Khyber Medical University (KMU) has failed to deliver on its promises," the students who did their MPhil and who are now waiting for their degrees said in a joint press statement.

According to them, many MPhil scholars have completed their coursework and defended their research work but the KMU is not awarding them the MPhil degrees.

What worries these students is the fact that KMU Principal Dr Prof Hafeezur Rehman was unable yet to get the varsity's degrees recognised by the PMDC. "The future of highly qualified scholars is at risk for which the KMU management is to be blamed," the statement read. The students said the delay in getting the degree recognised was being caused by the KMU management's disinterest because the PMDC had no issue in extending the recognition.

"We request the higher authorities of the provincial government to look into the matter and rescue us from this situation," the MPhil scholars demanded. "We ask the KP health minister, Shaukat Yousafzai, to make the PMDC visit to KMU possible for ultimate recognition of MPhil degrees of KMU." The scholars said they could not qualify any promotion or apply for higher-grade position in public or private sector hospitals due to non-recognition of their MPhil degrees. "It is a great injustice that the KMU management is not getting the degrees recognised by the PMDC," they remarked. Daily times

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Candidates want CSS upper age limit relaxed
Peshawar: The candidates for the Central Superior Services (CSS) examination have urged the government to review and restore the old age limit for appearing in the examination.

Talking to the reporters at the Peshawar Press Club, Mushtaq Ahmad and Shaukat Ali said the present upper age limit of 28 should be increased and fixed at 30 as it used to be in the past.

They said the age limit before year 2001 used to be 30 years. But it was decreased to 28 years for the general candidates during the Pervez Musharraf regime, which was against the ground realities, they added.

The candidates recalled the previous government led by the Pakistan People's Party had given age relaxation up to five years to the aspirants for the federal jobs but the CSS candidates were ignored and deprived of this facility.

They deplored that the federal legislative bodies such as National Assembly and Senate had not taken up this issue despite the fact that it concerns a large number of educated and talented youths who wanted to serve the country against various positions.

The candidates pointed out that a member of the National Assembly from Balochistan Maulana Ameer Zaman had even submitted a resolution in National Assembly Secretariat that sought increase in the upper age limit for the CSS examination candidates, but that resolution was yet to be taken up by the lower house of the Parliament. The news

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Karak varsity to start PhD classes
Karak: The Khushal Khan Khattak University would launch soon M.Phil and PhD classes, said Dr Mirza Jan, the chairman of department of journalism and mass communication.

Presiding over a meeting of the department at his office here the other day, he said that they would impart field-oriented education to the students. He said that the subjects related to practical and modern journalism would be made part of the syllabus.

Dr Jan resolved to make the journalism department a unique one. He said that they would offer every sort of sacrifice for the newly established university. Dawn

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Updated: 14 Oct, 2014
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