PU closure, merger, failures
LAHORE, July 17: The Punjab University (PU) has wound up its two academic
programmes and merged 22 centres and projects into its different departments,
institutes and colleges as they failed to deliver, with some of them even
showing Negative Internal Rate of Return (NIRR).
PU vice-chancellor (VC)
Arshad Mahmood, who is completing his second term in office in September this
year, had opened a large number of departments and projects and enlisted them
among developments in the university "that was passing through a phase of
stagnancy and status quo for the last many decades". However, different quarters
in the university faculty continued to criticise the VC for opening new
departments, centres and projects by using his emergency powers. They alleged
that the VC was opening departments and projects and offering prized posts to
accommodate disgruntled elements as well as oblige his "supporters".
the recent past, the Public Accounts Committee as well as the Punjab Finance
department observed that the university was opening a large network of small
departments and projects which had become 'one-project one-man' show. The
finance department also said the university was putting extra financial burden
by mushrooming departments and projects.
It is learnt that the university
closed Women's Studies Department and Home Economics Masters programme as it
(the university) failed to attract even the minimum required faculty to run both
Similarly, the university has merged 22 centres and projects
in 15 institutes and departments.
According to a notification, the Centre
for Integrated Mountain Research has been merged into the Geography department,
which was already teaching mountain research. The university administration also
learnt in due course of time that there was no need to establish the Centre for
Integrated Mountain Research as the PU was far away from the mountains. Dr
Khalida Khan, who is in BPS-18, was given the charge of its
Similarly, the university has merged PhD programme of Art
and Design into its College of Art and Design. The PU Radio Station and PU
Education TV Station have been merged into the Institute of Communication
Studies; and the Human Resources Development Centre and Undergraduate Complex
(IAS) into the Institute of Administrative Sciences.
Centre has been merged into the Institute of Geology, the University Workshop
into the Institute of Chemistry, Student Counselling Services into the
Psychology and Applied Psychology department and the Career Counselling
Placement Centre and Skill Development Centre into the newly launched Institute
of Quality and Technology Management. The PU Education Testing Services and the
Sohail Iftikhar Research Centre have been merged into the Department of Special
The PU Floriculture Research Farm and the Conventional and
Non-Conventional Vegetable Research Project have been transferred to the Botany
department; the Herbal Heritage Garden merged into the Mycology and Plant
Pathology department; and the Fish Farm and Honey Bee have been merged into
The university also merged Engineering Research
Division into the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Display
Centre into the main library and the PU Academic and Co-Curricular Committee
into the Registrar office.
PU Registrar Prof Dr Naeem Khan admitted that
these centres and projects had failed to meet their aims and objectives and even
failed to improve and deliver. In many cases, he said, the university learnt
that there was duplication of programmes.
Admitting that the PAC had also
criticised the development of small one project-one man disciplines, Prof Khan
said the merger would help the university improve performance and efficiency and
rightsizing of staff and other financial burden. He said many departments could
not even get adequate staff, adding that some of the programmes had created zero
impact on socio-economic development, while others showed the NIRR. In some
centres and projects, he said there was no workload but a huge wastage of
He said the university had conducted an exercise to assess the
performance of centres and projects under Higher Education Commission's
guidelines and Office and Management study in the university. He said these
studies and recommendations were placed before the vice-chancellor, prior to his
proceeding to ex-Pakistan leave, who then approved the merger of 22 centres and
projects into 15 departments, institutes and colleges.
experimentation is essence of human activity and merger a corporate phenomena,
Prof Khan said that these centres and projects were launched on a trial basis.
"One should have the courage to experiment and wind up all those centres and
projects which were not performing well," he added. Dawn
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|Updated: 14 Oct, 2014|