Black sheeps in universities
HEC asked to identify black sheep in varsities
Islamabad, July 31: Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Education
Abid Sher Ali has written to HEC chairman for details of those vice
chancellors of universities who are creating impediments in the degrees
Taking strict notice of the situation
arising after authentication of all the degrees sent to Sindh
University, Abid Sher Ali has decided to take action against the
universities. Sher Ali has received credible information that the
present management of the Sindh University was under extreme pressure of
the Presidency to declare the degrees as genuine.
chancellor of the Sindh University who is considered very close to the
Presidency when approached, denied any pressure with regard
to verification of degrees but admitted that he was summoned to the
Presidency during his last visit to Islamabad.
Dr Nazir Mughal
said that political secretary to the President Dr Qayyum Somroo
had called him in the Presidency for restoration of a sacked employee.
"Nothing regarding verification of degrees came under discussion during
my visit to the Presidency," Nazir Mughal insisted a few days back. Following is the text of the letter of the Abid
Sher Ali written to HEC Chairman Dr Farooq Leghari.
"I would like
to pay regards to your good self and appreciate the role of Higher
Education Commission (HEC) in the verification of degrees of the
Parliamentarians in a transparent manner without taking any pressure.
However, through the electronic as well as print media, I have heard
that vice chancellors of a few universities are creating impediments in
the case of verification of degrees. "It will be appreciated if the
names of those vice chancellors, if any, are provided to the undersigned
to summon them, to reply to the Standing Committee, in its next
meeting." The news
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Degree verification process lingers on
Islamabad: The ongoing saga of verification of lawmakers'
degrees seems to be taking much longer time than expected because the
universities concerned are finding it difficult to do the assignment as
per advised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of the country.
deadlines - July 13, July 16 and July 27- have already passed and out
of nearly one thousand documents, the universities have till now
verified academic testimonials of 270 lawmakers and out of these 224
proved are found and 46 fake. HEC chairman Dr Javaid
Leghari said: "I can't say with surety when the ongoing process will be
completed as the commission will not accept verification of the
documents that is not done as per its requirement."
Yes, it is
true the HEC has sent back initial report of the Sindh University in
which it had given a clean chit to all its 108 graduate lawmakers. It
had asked the varsity to follow the HEC's criterion, the HEC chairperson
Dr Leghari contradicted the statement of Vice Chancellor
of the Sindh University, Dr Mughal, who said on Wednesday that the
university had completed degrees' verification. The Sindh University, in
its first report, had only checked the BA degrees of the lawmakers.
Leghari said that the HEC was facing the same problem about the
academic documents of 600 to 700 members of parliament and provincial
assemblies because relevant universities were not having required set of
documents. In total, 36 degree-awarding universities are involved in
the process of degrees' verification.
"We need verification of
not only their (lawmakers') BA degrees, but also of matric and
intermediate certificates besides checking of their computerised
national identity cards," the HEC chairman said.
Dr Leghari said
that the HEC had asked universities to use whatever means; direct
correspondence with lawmakers, by writing to their respective speakers
or employing their own resource, but the commission wanted verification
as per its format.
About the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) officials' contention that the HEC was not responding to their
correspondence on the subject, Dr Leghari said that he was yet to
receive any formal letter from the election commission. As soon as the
ECP wrote something formally, the HEC would respond accordingly, Dr
Leghari said. Dawn
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HEC appoints focal person to help ECP
Islamabad: While fulfilling one of the modalities of the Supreme Court
(SC) judgment, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has finally
appointed a focal person to provide all relevant information required by
the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take action against the
fake degree holders.
According to sources, the HEC has nominated
one of its senior officers as the focal person. "A letter has been sent
to the ECP in which the HEC has nominated Director General
(accreditation and attestation) Rahim Bux Channa as the focal person,"
the source said.
The ECP has confirmed that the letter
nominating RB Channa as the focal person had been received. However,
HEC Adviser Quality Assurance Dr Mahmood Raza refused to mention the
name of the focal person.
"It is true that we have sent a letter
to the ECP in which we have mentioned the name of focal person but we
could not disclose it right now," he said while talking to this scribe.
RB Channa is one of the senior officials of the HEC and also a member
of the committee constituted to review the process of verification of
It had become mandatory for the HEC to appoint a focal
person as per the judgment of the Supreme Court in civil appeal number
409/2009 by the Election Commission of Pakistan in which the HEC
chairman was directed to nominate one of HEC's senior officials as the
The function of the focal person, as per the SC
judgment, would be to provide in writing along with documents, evidence
and all relevant information about the educational qualifications of
members of parliament and provincial assemblies.
that the HEC focal person must provide to the ECP includes the name of
educational institutions which issued such document, the authority or
official of such institution who signed such document and the grounds
with regard to the degrees being fake or genuine. The news
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SC declares degrees of two PML-N legislators fake
Islamabad: Two PML-N lawmakers and one independent legislator
lost their seats after the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that their
academic degrees were fake.
A three-judge bench
comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Ghulam
Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday issued the judgment after
hearing separate appeals against Mir Zahoor Hussain Khan Khoso, a
Balochistan assembly member elected from PB-26, Jaffarabad-II; and
upholding earlier disqualification by the election tribunal of PML-N
member of National Assembly from NA-100, Gujranwala, Haji Mudassar
Qayyum Nehra, and Punjab Assembly member from PP-13, Rawalpindi, Malik
In reference to the Mir Khoso case, the apex court
held that he was not a graduate and, therefore, not qualified to contest
"Consequently, the notification of declaring him
successful in the 2008 general elections is hereby set aside," the court
said, adding that Mir Khoso used documents/Sanad (certificate) to
present himself as a candidate holding a degree equivalent to graduation
and was guilty of corrupt practices.
Earlier, the Higher
Education Commission (HEC) had informed the court that it did not
recognise the institution from where Mir Khoso had secured his degree.
court also ordered initiation of proceedings against Mir Khoso under
the law laid down in the cases of Rizwan Gill and Mian Najeebuddin.
both the cases, the Supreme Court had asked the ECP to deal with the
matter under Section 78 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1976,
which defines corrupt practices and includes false statements by a
person in respect of his educational qualification.
had also held that it was the demanding duty of the ECP to not only
ensure that elections were fair and honest and that there were no
corrupt practices in the elections but also that individuals who have
been declared disqualified to enter legislative institutions should not
be allowed to break into the parliament.
"A person who offers
himself to represent voters of the area has to fulfil criteria of
Articles 62 (qualification), 63 (disqualification) of the Constitution,"
the law laid down in earlier judgment had said.
Haji Abdul Rehman Jamali (brother of former Prime Minister Mir
Zafarullah Jamali) had challenged the nomination of Mir Khoso, an
independent candidate, on the grounds that the member did not fulfil the
requisite qualification to become a member of the provincial assembly
since the Sanad-ul-Faragh issued by the Shah Abdul Latif University,
Khairpur, was not equivalent to bachelor's degree and contrary to
requirements laid down under Section 8(a) of the Election Order 2007-08
as well as the provisions of Section 99 (cc) of the Representation of
Peoples Act 1976.
The returning officer, however, accepted the
degree while the ECP declared Mr Khoso as the successful candidate.
Later the HEC notified that Sanad-ul-Faragh, issued by the Shah Abdul
Latif Uuiversity was not an academic certificate equivalent to the
Bachelor of Arts.
Haji Mudassar Qayyum Nahra, a PML-N MNA from
NA-100, Gujranwala, was unseated by the election tribunal of Justice
Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore High Court in June last for obtaining
bachelor's degree by concealing facts. Mr Nahra was declared successful
in the 2008 general election as an independent candidate, but later
joined the PML-N. Chaudhry Bilal Ijaz, a candidate of the PML-Q, had
challenged his election.
Malik Yasir Raza had filed appeal
against a decision of the LHC Rawalpindi Bench over the issue of
possession of fake degree. Yasir Raza was declared successful from
PP-13, Rawalpindi, but was unseated by Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed of
the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC on June 30 on a petition filed by his
opponent, PPP candidate Ishtiaq Mirza.
Ishtiaq Mirza had
challenged the validity of Mr Raza's Higher Secondary School Certificate
(HSSC) obtained from the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary
Education in 1995 as well as his matriculation certificate and
At the last hearing the apex court had
forwarded his degree to the HEC to ascertain whether it recognised the
Al-Khair University from where the member had obtained his degree.
the HEC has been asked by the court to verify the educational
qualification and authenticity of the Sanad of Moulvi Mohammad Sarwar of
JUI-F, Balochistan, who is minister for labour and manpower. The HEC
will submit its report by August 13.
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QAU's new project raises eyebrows
Islamabad: Taking lead in generating its own resources,
Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has taken a novel initiative to set up a
school of management sciences on the basis of design, build, finance,
operate and transfer.
According to an advertisement placed in
the national media, the university has sought expressions of interest
from interested parties to set up the Quaid-i-Azam University School of
Management Sciences (QASMS) on public-private partnership basis.
majority of the varsity's faculty has disliked the idea, terming it an
ill-founded move which would bring a bad name to the university. With
the involvement of the private sector, there will definitely be a high
fee structure at the proposed school, they said. The very concept means
business and profit making that would affect the QAU in a long way, they
However, the university spokesperson said as per
directives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and federal
government, public sector universities had been asked to take such
initiatives to "stand on their own feet".
Mr Nadeem who deals
with QAU public relations said that last year the university had
received only Rs525 million whereas it needed over Rs600 million to pay
salaries of its employees alone.
"Even on Friday, we had a
protest demonstration on the campus for not implementing the government
decision of 50 per cent increase in the salaries," aid Mr Nadeem, adding
QAU had no money to implement the decision.
Though Mr Nadeem
claimed the varsity was still brainstorming the idea, a deadline of
August 12 has been set for interested parties to submit their proposals.
The QAU syndicate is also taking up the subject in its meeting on
Saturday. A professor of the QAU requesting anonymity said there was
nothing wrong with the idea to have public-private partnership but there
were reasonable ways and means to do that. "How come a university can
go ahead with such a major initiative without seeking prior approval of
its syndicate," he said.
The hotchpotch manner that is being
followed to move ahead for setting up of the management sciences school
does not go well with the campus community. Already people have started
raising their voices against the project, he added. An assistant
professor said some powerful elements from the ruling PPP government
were eyeing varsity's prized land under the garb of private-public
partnership. There is nothing wrong to start new courses to generate
resources but why the involvement of private sector, the assistant
Despite severe criticism, the QAU
management got the idea passed through the Academic Council recently and
would try to bulldoze it through the syndicate on Saturday. In the
presence of politicians like Sherry Rehman and Aftab Shaban Mirani of
the PPP who have been nominated as members of the syndicate, the QAU
management wants to get approval of the project, said the assistant
professor. Fearing reprisals from the university management, nobody is
publicly criticising the initiative though it is the hot issue on the
campus, he added.
When contacted, Secretary General QAU
Academic Staff Association Dr Gulraiz Akhtar accepted that everybody was
talking about the issue but the elected body was yet to take it up at
the level of executive body meeting. Association president Dr Aitzaz
Ahmad could not be contacted for comments. Dawn
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