HEC with the Ministry of Professional and Technical Training
Government's decision to attach HEC with ministry raises questions
Islamabad, June 16: The decision of the government to attach the Higher Education Commission
(HEC) with the Ministry of Professional and Technical Training has
raised serious questions regarding its autonomous status which has
served the HEC well in performing its basic task of promoting and
facilitating higher education in the country.
In the last
nine years, the Pakistani universities have produced more PhDs (3,280)
than in the first 55 years (3,000). Research output has grown eight
folds since 2002 (from 815 in 2002 to 6,200 in 2011). Around 80% of
these research publications are coming from higher education
The output has more than doubled just in
the last three years and is expected to double again in the next three
years. Nearly 5,000 scholars from Pakistan have been facilitated to
present their research work in leading conferences of the world.
a meeting of vice chancellors from public universities organised in the
capital recently, the issue was the focus of discussion along with the
problem of dearth of funds for higher education institutions.
said that VCs were unanimous of the opinion that the autonomous
status was the main factor that helped the HEC in achieving its targets.
They said that making it subservient to any government office would
mean political influence on the decision-making at every level in the
"It was the control on political interference within
the HEC which led to transparency in all its projects and there was not
a single complaint against the decisions of the HEC in last nine years.
All decisions were talent and merit based," said sources adding that
the decision would definitely affect the performance of HEC in future.
VCs urged the relevant authorities to first hold discussion on the
decision so that they don't regret the decision after five years. "They
said that universities are creative organisations and this freedom of
creativity requires non-political environment and independent
decisions," sources pointed out.
When contacted, Vice
Chancellors Committee Chairman Imtiaz Hussain Gilani confirmed that VCs
expressed concern over the future course of action for HEC after this
decision and issue of autonomous status during a meeting held on June
The meeting was mainly organised to discuss challenges
being faced by the higher education sector in Pakistan, especially the
release of remaining funds for the fourth quarter of financial year
2011-12 for the HEC.
The funds for the fourth quarter of
financial year 2011-12 for HEC, including Rs4.6 billion recurring and
Rs6.8 development funds, have not been released so far by the
The remaining recurring budget of Rs4.6
billion will cater to the 50 per cent increase in salaries that was
announced by the Prime Minster for this financial year.
this regard, the Finance Division has issued letter to the HEC that the
federal government will provide the additional Rs4.6 billion to the
universities during the fourth quarter. As a result the universities
have incurred huge liabilities and had borrowed from banks and diverted
funds from other budget heads to pay the salaries at the enhanced rate
with the hope that the same would be provided by the federal government
as per its promise.
Furthermore, thousands of scholars
pursuing PhD abroad would be adversely affected as a result of
non-release of development funds amounting to Rs6.8 billion for the last
quarter of this financial year.
It is feared that due to
non-release of payment of tuition fee and stipend of these scholars will
create huge embarrassment for the government of Pakistan across of the
Non-release of development funds will also
adversely affect the ongoing development projects especially in the
newly established and rural based universities established in the
far-flung areas of Pakistan.
The vice chancellors also
informed that the provincial governments have also refused to extend
financial support to the universities as they consider that it is the
responsibility of federal government till 2014.
meeting, it was further resolved that public sector universities will
not be able pay twenty percent increase in salaries proposed in new
budget as the federal government has not yet released the previously
increased 50 per cent and 15 per cent increase in salaries.
source said that the HEC has already apprised President, Prime Minister
and Governor and Chancellors of respective provinces about the ongoing
financial crisis of higher education sector.
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NUML holds Job Fair
Islamabad: The Seventh Annual Job Fair was organised by the Department of Management
Sciences (MS) at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) on
Friday, says a press release.
More than 25 national and
international companies conducted interviews, including Askari Bank
Limited, Fauji Foundation, ZTE Pakistan, Hashoo Foundation, Jubilee Life
Insurance, Mustakbil.com, Islamabad Sarena Hotel, SNL Finances, Sina
Institute, Al-Mashriq Trust, Mediator Advertising, HRDN, Asia
Foundation, Saba International Education and Welfare Trust, Rotary
International, Oober Software House, Khubaib Foundation, PFFB, Moomoos
International, Opal Studio and many others. Moreover, a large number of
students, including old and new, participated in the job fair.
fair was inaugurated by Khurshid Zafar, group head commercial banking
of the Askari Bank Limited. The opening ceremony was attended by NUML
Director General (DG) Brigadier Azam Jamal, Syed Tauqeer Haider Rizvi,
regional general manager north of the Askari Bank Limited, Khalid Ejaz
Malik, acting area manager (Islamabad) of the Askari Bank Limited, Dean
MS Department Dr Rasheed, Head of MS Department Naseer Rajpoot, faculty
members, representatives of different companies and a large number of
Addressing the opening ceremony, Khurshid Zafar
told students that as fresh graduates, the first lesson from the
practical world is to prepare you for the hard journey ahead. Grades,
honours and appreciation letters will look great on your CV, but
companies are not hiring degrees or medals that you have earned over
years. Companies hire the person that you are. "You will have to learn
to sell yourself since your CV barely offers you an entry into the door
of employer. Treat yourself as a product and build yourself as a brand,"
Speaking on the occasion, NUML Director
General Brigadier Azam Jamal said that the university was committed to
utilising all resources to help students hone their skills, develop
their link with places they are looking forward for jobs, maintain
liaison with industry and get appropriate jobs.
MS Department Naseer Rajpoot said that prior to this students are
properly trained for making their CVs, appearance in interviews and
exhibiting their communication skills and then department publishes a
booklet that includes the profile of all those students who have
appeared in their final examinations and seeking jobs.
the purpose of the job fair is to provide a platform to bring together
employers and job seekers, introduce students to opportunities available
in the market, developing liaison between the department and industry
and introduce students to market requirements with reference to their
academic specialties and assisting them in finding a niche," he added.
student of BBA VIII, Ayesha Fayyaz, who also appeared in an interview,
said: "The exercise of going through an interview is great learning and
it has helped her and her fellows to know what exactly can make them a
suitable candidate an employer is looking for."
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Federal college teachers promoted
Islamabad: Over 1,000 teachers of Federal Directorate of Education, in different grades
have been promoted Friday, on the basis of time scale formula, says a
A special promotion committee was
constituted under the headship of Capital Administration and Development
Division (CADD) Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Ellahi to promote these
teachers under the instruction of CADD minister. This is first time in
the history of Education department that a large number of college
teachers have been promoted to next grades.
for Federal Government College Teachers Association said, "We thank the
Minister for CADD. The college teachers had been waiting for the
implementation of the special package for them since it was announced by
the prime minister on October 8, 2010. In the absence of a Minister
this issue was lingering on. The education wing of CADD had been showing
indifferent behaviour in the promotion of college teachers. FGCTA had
been informing the administration in this connection about the gravity
of the issue of promotion of college teachers repeatedly but the
education wing of CADD has always turned a deaf ear in this regard. As a
result, the college teachers had been obliged to come out on the roads
last year. We pledge to continue our struggle for the welfare of college
teaching community. The credit also goes to Noor Zaman Joint Secretary
Admin too who took pain, prepared and implemented the time scale
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Dr Siraj elected as AIOU executive council member
Islamabad: Professor Dr. Syed Abdul Siraj, chairman of the Department of Mass
Communication, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), was elected as
member of the university's executive council for a period of three
He was elected through majority vote against
the seat reserved for professors of the university. The executive
council is the highest policy-making body of the university.
Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Nazir Ahmed Sangi congratulated Professor
Dr. Syed Abdul Siraj on his election and hoped that his presence in the
executive council will help in promoting the academic standard of the
university and improving its effective role in providing quality
education to students.
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BD students team visits HEC
Islamabad: A 20-member delegation, comprising students from various universities of
Bangladesh, visited Higher Education Commission (HEC) here in Islamabad
as part of their study tour to Pakistan.
Chairperson Dr. Javaid R Laghari welcomed the delegation and briefed
them about the various HEC initiatives in the higher education sector of
Pakistan.The students in their remarks greatly admired the quality of
teaching, research and development in higher education sector of
Pakistan especially in the fields of engineering and sciences. Over the
desire of the delegation, the HEC chairperson announced that the HEC
would send its cricket team to Bangladesh.
was comprised of students from various social sciences departments of
Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar universities and led by
University of Chittagong's Professor Dr Abul Khair.
delegation visited about twenty higher education institutions of
Pakistan in three major cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi
and Lahore and exchanged views with the vice chancellors, faculty and
students. The tour was arranged by the Higher Education Commission under
student exchange programme.
In their remarks the students
emphasised over more educational linkages and active role of SAARC, a
regional organisation established by seven South Asian countries to
undertake cooperation among the member countries. The news
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