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Appointment of Punjab universities vice chancellors

HEC raised objection over Punjab govt ads regarding VCs appointments
Lahore, Oct 4: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has also raised objection over the Punjab government's advertisements regarding the eligibility criteria for the appointment of vice chancellors (VCs) of the Government College University (GCU), Faisalabad, and University of Engineering & Technology (UET),Taxila, it has been learnt.

Earlier, the Governor's Secretariat had expressed serious concerns about the advertised eligibility criteria, asking the Punjab Higher Education Department to withdraw both the advertisements and publish new advertisements.

It is pertinent to mention that in its recent reply to the Governor's Secretariat over the issue, the department had claimed that the eligibility criteria required for the appointment of VCs was rational, logical and inline with the guidelines of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

According to sources, the department's claim was false as the HEC had itself termed the advertised criteria unjustified. On Sep 19, 2009 the Governor's Secretariat again asked the department about the advertisements while reply in this connection is yet to be received, they added.

The advertisements regarding posts of VCs for GCU Faisalabad and UET Taxila were advertised on July 20, 2009 after approval of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.

However, the Governor's Secretariat expressed serious concerns over the eligibility criteria as unlike PhD degree in any subject from a reputed university the department had advertised that candidates should have a PhD degree preferably in Management Sciences from a reputed foreign university for GCU Faisalabad and PhD preferably in Engineering/Management Sciences from a reputed foreign university for UET Taxila.

According to the HEC guidelines for the selection of vice-chancellor of a public sector university a candidate should preferably have earned PhD degree in an academic discipline and an outstanding academician of international stature.

The guidelines also include that the candidate should have attained a distinguished leadership preferably in education and academic administration and financial management, in-depth knowledge of major issues affecting learning and teaching in higher education, funding and technological developments and understanding of the scholarly purposes of a university and of the economic, social and political issues by the higher education sector nationally and internationally etc.

When contacted, HEC's Advisor Quality Assurance & Learning Innovation Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi confirmed that the HEC had objected over the Punjab government's advertisements, saying the criteria for appointment of VCs were not inline with Commission's guidelines.

He said as per the advertisements the Punjab Higher Education Department had, in fact, restricted the applicants.

Dr Qureshi said, according to the advertisements, those having PhD degree from Pakistani universities were discouraged. "If we start discouraging our own universities, who will recognize our degree abroad?" he said, adding, "Management Sciences is basically an academic degree and does not teach skills of management." To a question, Dr Qureshi said the HEC was also in favour of fresh advertisements of both the posts having proper eligibility criteria. When contacted, Punjab Higher Education secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said the department had not received any letter from the HEC, adding, however, the Governor's Secretariat had recently informed the department about the letter.

He said they had submitted a detailed reply earlier, however, they would also submit reply to the new letter soon.

He said the criteria advertised for appointment of VCs did not bar those having PhDs from local universities. "It states only preference would be given to those having PhD degree from foreign university", he said.

Meanwhile a spokesman of the Governor's Secretariat said that the Governor/Chancellor appointed Dr Shahid Mahboob Rana, who was the only regular, senior-most professor of the university, as acting vice chancellor of the GCU, Faisalabad, till Nov 22, 2010, for the residue period of the term of Dr Arif Ali Zaidi, who resigned from the post of VC of the university, before the completion of his four-year term.

Similarly, on expiry of the term of the Vice Chancellor, UET, Taxila, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram Javed, was allowed to look after the work of the post of Vice Chancellor, till further orders, he added.

He said it was the responsibility of the Administrative Department to get the case processed for appointment of regular VC through its Standing Search Committee well in time. "If the Administrative Department fails to process the case, the governor /chancellor, in exercise of the powers vested in him under the law, makes an interim arrangement, till a regular appointment to the post, in order to give continuity to the administrative / academic activities of the university", he added.

Regarding salary structure of the VCs, the spokesman said a reference was received from the HEC for revision of Pay Package of the vice chancellors. However, in response the commission was requested to place the matter before the Chancellors' Committee for consideration, which had earlier decided to grant MP-II Scale to the Vice Chancellors. Till final decision by the Chancellorsí Committee, the Pay Package of the Vice Chancellors could not be changed, he concluded. The news


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College girls make police arrest 'flirts'
Sialkot: Students of Government College for Women, Daska, on Saturday staged a sit-in on city police station premises for an hour to protest the release of youths who thrashed the driver of the bus the girls were traveling in allegedly for not cooperating with them in fulfilling their 'evil' designs. The police also tortured the driver instead of taking any action against the suspects.

After the protest, the police reportedly took the two suspects into custody. However, no case has been registered till the filing of this report.

Some youths traveling in car (STT-553) started chasing students' bus (LR-3475) soon after it left the college allegedly to tease some of the girls. The bus driver did not give them any opportunity to fulfill their designs.

When the bus reached Fawara Chowk, the car crossed it from wrong side and the suspects intercepted it in middle of the road. The car riders compelled the bus driver, Muhammad Afzal of Buddha Goraya village, to alight from his vehicle and gave him a sound thrashing allegedly for not 'cooperating' with them. This led to a traffic jam which lasted for around 30 minutes.

In the meantime, a Daska police team led by sub-inspector Sarwat Hakeem also reached there and gave the driver another thrashing. The police also freed the influential suspects and took the bus to the police station.

When the bus reached the police station, the girls started chanting slogans against the police for protecting the suspects and torturing the bus driver instead of taking action against the vagabonds.

They alighted from the bus, staged a sit-in and resorted to sloganeering, forcing the senior police officials to negotiate with them.

Undeterred girls demanded a stern action against the vagabonds and left the police station only after they were assured that the suspects would be arrested soon.

The city police avoided giving any comment. However, sources said the police have rounded up the two suspects but did not disclose their names. Dawn


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