HEC budget 2011-12 & WB targets
Allocation in budget for HEC not enough to meet WB targets
Islamabad, May 16: The allocation of Rs14 billion in the 2011-12 budget for the Higher Education
Commission (HEC) is less than what has been committed to the World Bank (WB) in
order to get the loan of $300 million, which increases the chances of reduction
in the amount of loan.
According to well-placed sources, it has been
clearly mentioned in the agreement between the government of Pakistan (GoP) and
WB that a minimum allocation of Rs16.5 billion would be made in the development
budget of the HEC. "The document clearly states that a minimum amount of Rs16.5
billion would be made for the development of higher education sector, which is
Rs2.5 billion less than what has been approved by the Annual Plan Coordination
Committee (APCC)," sources revealed.
Sources believe that the targets set
by the WB are unlikely to be met by the HEC in the current budget, which might
reduce the amount of the WB loan. The targets, which have been set by the WB,
include increase in the number of scholarships, increase in the number of
publications, easy accessibility to academic institutions and improvement in
quality of education and also increase in the number of tenure track
However the HEC seems unable to meet all these targets with the
minimal allocation of Rs589.319 million for new projects. It is pertinent to
mention that there has not been any increase in the number of scholarships,
number of publications or number of tenure track teachers in the forthcoming
budget. "The officials of WB would visit Pakistan in a few days after which they
would decide if the amount of the loan would remain the same or reduced in the
given circumstances," sources revealed.
The loan, which has been
committed by the WB, is called International Development Association (IDA),
which is given to the poorest and most sought after by many developing
countries. For the tertiary education project, $110 million of the IDA credit
would carry a 0.75 per cent service charge fee, maximum commitment charges at
0.5 per cent, a 10-year grace period, and maturity of 35 years. It is not for
the first time that HEC has been granted loan by WB, but one year ago, World
Bank has given a soft loan of $100 million to the government of Pakistan for the
progress of higher education sector. Keeping in view the utilisation of money of
previous loan, WB has once again granted the loan with the conditions to meet
It is also pertinent to mention here that a total of
Rs40 billion, including both the recurring and development budget, has been
allocated for HEC, which is at least Rs8 billion less than what has been
required to meet the expanses.
HEC Chairman Javaid
Laghari said that the amount allocated for the HEC was not enough to meet the
targets set by the WB. "We are hopeful that the government would revisit the
allocation and increase the amount in order to get benefited from the WB loan,"
He confirmed that the officials of the WB would visit Pakistan
and there were chances for reduction in the loan amount.
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NAVTEC's certificates to be acceptable abroad
Islamabad: Certificates issued by the National Vocational and Technical Education Commission's (NAVTEC)
enrolled vocational institutes to their successful trainees will be acceptable
in foreign countries.
Chairman NAVTEC Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon said
our skilled manpower will not only get job easily in the country but also in
Europe, Afro-American, Asian and Arabian countries. He thanked all members of
the National Assembly including opposition for passing NAVTEC Bill 2008, with
He said that with the existence of NAVTEC at federal level,
the PPP government will succeed in imparting vocational & technical
education and training equally and without any discrimination to jobless youth
of most backward areas of all provinces, AJK and FATA. He said that skilled
manpower mean prosperous Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that
NAVTEC was established in 2005, through an ordinance. He said that he took
charge on December 20, 2010, as its chairman and thus he succeeded in getting
passed NAVTEC Bill from the NA in just less than five months period.
chairman said that perhaps all governments of the past totally failed in
realising the performance of NAVTEC and its important role in economic
development of the country. That is why they could not highlight the role of
this very important organization. He said that NAVTEC which provides Vocational
& Technical Education and Training to jobless youths throughout the country
will not only play a key role in getting accredited the curricula and skill
standards of Provincial TEVTAs (Technical Education & Vocational
Training Authority) at international level but will also get affiliated
all its enrolled institutes with overseas TVETs (Technical & Vocational
Education Training). The news
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Salaries of rehired FDE staff stopped
Islamabad: The Auditor General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) has frozen the salaries of more than 600 employees of the Federal Directorate of
Education (FDE), in the belief that they were hired on fake
Documents available show that the action relates to 620 people that
the FDE reinstated to implement a presidential ordinance promulgated in
The employees – teaching and non-teaching staff – were hired on contract
during the 1993-1996 second Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government of Benazir
Bhutto. They were all sacked by the next government headed by Nawaz Sharif.
When the PPP returned to power in 2008, the 600 plus were reinstated, after
the ordinance was passed as an act by the parliament in 2010. As the applicants
started pouring in, the directorate prepared cases of these candidates for
reinstatement. In the first phase, a list of little over 400 employees was
prepared and sent to the AGPR and their salaries were released.
"However, complaints were lodged challenging that many of these individuals
have been reinstated on fake documents," said a senior official of the Capital
Administration Division (CAD). The official, who requested not to be named, said
the complaints triggered scrutiny of the reinstated employees in collaboration
with the various departments of the Ministry of Education.
"It was found that most of those reinstated are illegitimate applicants. Many
were never appointed when hiring began in 1993 but presented forged documents
this time and got offices. Several who were hired did not have legitimate
It was during the second and third phases when the AGPR objected to the
credentials of the remaining FDE employees. "AGPR froze salaries of the entire
lot and asked for thoroughly verifying their credentials," the official said.
The Federal Investigation Agency has also been engaged in the scrutiny.
During investigations, nearly 70 cases surfaced who were issued show cause
notices. A little over 30 have filed writ petitions in Islamabad and Lahore high
courts against the notices.
The latest FDE request for release of salaries was met with unusually harsh
written response by the AGPR. Telling the directorate that its creditability "is
pretty low due to issuance of several lists subsequently declared as superseded,
fake and bogus," the AGPR requested FDE Director-General Chaudhry Nazir to look
into the matter personally.
The AGPR has also asked the DG to authenticate the documents of the rehired
employees and communicate them to the Accountant General through the secretary
CAD. "There is no record of how many were hired but the numbers ranged between
600 and 700. The records are missing and nobody has a clue how many of them are
genuine," said the official. Though the directorate has submitted lists of the
employees several times for the release of salaries, they have been rejected by
the AGPR. Dawn
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AIOU relief fund to educate needy students: VC
Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has set up International Relief Fund to bring
education to the doorsteps of needy students at affordable rates in the
far-flung areas. Talking to APP, AIOU Vice Chancellor Nazir A. Sangi said the
relief fund has been set up to acquire funding from the charity persons inside
and outside the country and utilise it for the benefit of needy
So far, 15,000 Euro and 2500 dollars have been contributed in
the relief fund by charity persons which are being spent on providing fee
concession to the poor students of backward areas.
AIOU is revisiting its
syllabus to incorporate the market-oriented study patterns for employability of
the students, following the international standards.
The university has
engaged its 16 faculty members to deliberate over improving the syllabus of
matric, intermediate and graduation levels according to the socio-economic
The university is extending educational facilities to the poor
students of far-flung areas of the country at affordable fee, he
He said that the AIOU is establishing its regional campuses in
Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, D.G Khan, Skardu, Umer Kot, Dadu, Mithi, Turbut,
Rahimyar Khan, Sahiwal, Sukkur, Larkana, Thatha, Badin and other remote areas of
the country so that the students there can avail the facility.
AIOU is providing modern ICT facilities to its regional campuses as well as
arranging lectures of prominent scholars in the far-flung areas through video
conferencing. The university will soon establish its regional campus in Umer Kot
for which land has been acquired from the government. The campus will comprise
over 45 rooms where the facility of computer lab, vocational training and hostel
will be provided for the students.
While the university will set up an IT
institute in Jacobabad and regional campus in backward area of Kohistan soon. He
said AIOU, being a largest distant learning university, is educating 1.2 million
students across the country with the help of 50,000 tutors.
informed that the university will provide training to its 30,000 tutors for
their capacity building. The university has planned to offer language courses to
Overseas Pakistanis so that they can contribute in different fields without
language barrier while living abroad. The courses of Spanish, Chinese, English,
French and German languages will be offered initially and the programme will be
expanded in future, he added.
He said AIOU also offering education
planning and management course to train the people of rural areas, making them
future leaders. The university has dispatched 172,000 textbooks to the students
for the Semester Spring before time and the university has never denied
admission to any student from matric to graduation level, he added. While giving
admission to the students of M Phil and PhD, the university has to fulfill the
criteria of Higher Education Commission (HEC), he said.
has already established a hardship committee to resolve the issues of the
students across the country. The committee has received 12,000 complaints which
have reduced to 1000 only.
The vice chancellor said that the university
will give 500 awards to the students who will exhibit outstanding performance in
extra-curricular activities including performing arts, paintings, debate, social
work and other fields.
The university has provided subsidy worth Rs 17
million to the flood affected students in their educational
About the budget of the university, Sangi said AIOU is
itself generating major part of its budget and acquire less funding from the
government. The university is one of the largest universities in the world and
is given only two scholarships by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Sangi
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Twin-city sports gala starts at NUST
Islamabad: The NUST Adventure Club launched a three-day twin-city sports gala, The Rift 11 in which
all universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are taking part, says a press
While speaking at the opening ceremony NUST Adventure Club
President Anam Shabbir Rathor highlighted the importance of sports and
Later on, NUST Rector Lieutenant General (r) Engineer
Muhammad Asghar appreciated the activity and advised the students to participate
in extra-curricular activities for their personality grooming.
participants will fight in different competitions of Rift and will be judged on
their task completion and level of originality shown. Different event categories
are designed to initiate interest amongst aspiring adventurers. The events
categories in Rift include Scavenger Hunt, Swimming, Triathlon, Arm Wrestling,
Rock Climbing, Trekking, Tug of War.
Institutes that are participating in
the event are UET Taxila, Rifah University, Islamic International University,
Comsats Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, Army Medical College,
EME, MCE Risalpur, Bahria University, PIYAS, National College of Arts, Fatima
Jinnah Women University, and Air University. Over five hundred participants are
attending the event which will end today (Sunday).
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Reception held for QAU alumni scholarship holders
Islamabad: A reception was held in honour of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Alumni Scholarship
holders enrolled at QAU, which was attended by senior QAU Alumni members,
university officials and students.
Murtaza Noor, Secretary General of QAU
Alumni Association, informed the participants that Alumni Association has
awarded 36 scholarships to the enrolled students belonging to remote areas of
Pakistan in the fields of social and natural sciences.
The senior Alumni
members have donated these scholarships. The scholarship amount covers the
tuition fee, hostel and mess charges. The senior members and office-bearers of
the Alumni Association appreciated the cooperation extended by the QAU
administration to make the Alumni scholarship programme more transparent and
successful. They assured the cooperation for welfare of the students of QAU.
The students vowed that after completion of their higher studies they
would work for the development and prosperity of Pakistan with more devotion and
commitment. They also promised that in their practical life each of them would
sponsor the study cost of one student.
It was informed that QAU Alumni
Association would organise a get-together of senior Alumni members with the
Chancellor QAU in near future. On the occasion Life Achievement Awards would be
awarded to the old graduate students of QAU from the batches till 1975. The
ceremony would also include inauguration of various new projects jointly
initiated by the QAU Alumni Association and Quaid-i-Azam University. Through an
MoU signed recently between Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad and Quaid-i-Azam
University Alumni Association, both the organizations have agreed to extend
cooperation for the benefit of the present and old students of Quaid-i-Azam
University. Though this MoU it was decided that QAU Alumni Association would
offer certain need based scholarships to the students of QAU. Any student who
gets education at QAU from remote areas of Pakistan would be financially
supported by the QAU Alumni Association. QAU Alumni Association would also
assist the students of QAU in career counselling and job placement. Both the
organizations would also undertake different welfare programmes for the benefit
of present and former students of QAU. The news
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