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HEC degrees verification | Universities problems

HEC restarts degrees verification on EC persuasion
Islamabad, Oct 16: Strong resistance from the Election Commission (EC) has forced the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to continue the verification process of MPs degrees which otherwise is believed to have distanced itself from it due to non-cooperation of most of the universities, sources said here on Friday.

The sources said the HEC had decided in principle last week to handover all degrees, both verified and unverified, to the EC as public and private sector universities were not extending their due cooperation despite expiry of various deadlines. "The EC is now not ready to take the responsibility, insisting that it will only conduct weekly hearings to review cases and the HEC should complete verification process on its own," they added.

The sources said HEC focal person Rahim Bux Channa talked to EC focal person Afzal Khan to informed him that the HEC would no more involved itself in the verification process. "Channa said he would only represent the HEC in hearings being conducted by the EC to review the cases of fake degrees."

The sources said the EC had assured the HEC that it would extend its full support in the verification process and it had already written a letter to the National Assembly speaker to ensure provision of required degrees and documents by the lawmakers who were still hesitant to do so.

According to official data, despite repeated reminders the Punjab University verified only 102 degrees out of 320 sent to it for verification. The Peshawar University failed to even verify a single degree out of 123, while the Bahauddin Zikriya University verified only 10 degrees.

The data further showed that a total of 1,154 degrees were sent to 34 public and private sector universities out of which 553 were found genuine and 58 fake, while 15 parliamentarians moved courts in respect of their degree cases. The EC did not provide 11 degrees for verification because these degrees were not available even after the election. The HEC sent 40 degrees to foreign universities for verification, but nine of them are yet to be verified.

The sources said the HEC tried its level best to get all the degrees verified according to the directives given by the Supreme Court, but lacklustre attitude of the universities left it with no other option but to refer the issue to the ECP.

It is pertinent to mention here that when the HEC directed all universities to verify degrees in line with new procedure, their response was so disappointing that it led to cancellation of various deadlines given by the HEC to complete the verification process.

According to the procedure introduced by HEC for verification of degrees, lawmakers have to submit degree supplementary form and copies of computerised national identity card and degrees of matriculation, intermediate and bachelor.

HEC official Rahim Bux Channa dismissed the impression that the HEC had shown inability to continue verification process, saying such report were baseless.

To a question, he said public and private sector universities were duty bound to cooperate with the HEC and all of them had to complete verification of degrees at any cost.

HEC executive director Dr Sohail Naqvi told this reporter that talks about stoppage of degree verification process by the HEC were totally baseless because 'we are fully committed to completing the verification process'.

"We are quite clear in our viewpoint. Universities have no other option except to complete the verification of degrees," he added.

Online adds: The Election Commission, after receiving the HEC's report, has asked the remaining 428 parliamentarians to submit copies of educational certificates before the commission.

An EC spokesperson said the commission had dispatched letters to speakers of provincial and national assemblies and the Senate chairman Senate in this regard.

Separately, the EC summoned 15 lawmakers in fake degree cases on October 18. Those summoned in bogus degree cases are: Samina Khawar Hayat, Ejaz Ahmad, Hayatullah Tarin, Ghulam Dastigir Rajar, Afshan Farooq, Mir Badshah Khan Kaisrani, Saeeda Majda Zaidi, Muhammad Khan Toor, Saima Aziz, Nasim Nasir Khawaja, Shumaila Rana, Muhammad Safdar Gil, Samuel Kamran, Mazhar Hayat and Farah Deeba.

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Universities facing problems in supplying documents: HEC
Islamabad: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has said that universities are facing problems in providing information regarding parliamentarians' computerised national identity cards (CNICs), matriculation and intermediate certificates and other relevant documents as per degree supplement information (DSI) form of their graduates because some universities do not keep some or all of the documents as permanent record. As such, universities as well the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were requested to approach the parliamentarians concerned for provision of copies of the required documents. Despite concerted efforts, 428 MPs have not provided the required documents to universities or ECP.

Sources said that the HEC has responded to the ECP letter of August 2 on Wednesday after careful study of the situation and has told the ECP that so far HEC has received photocopies of 1,084 academic testimonials of parliamentarians from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Despite repeated requests, degrees of remaining 11 parliamentarians are still awaited. On receipt of photocopies of degrees-'asnad' of parliamentarians, copies of the 1,044 degrees and 'asnad', along with the degree supplement information forms (DSIFs), were sent under sealed cover to the vice-chancellors-rectors of 35 local universities and 6 'madaris' for verification. As many as 18 foreign universities were also contacted through email and fax to verify the degrees issued to 40 parliamentarians.

The HEC told the Election Commission of Pakistan that in order to bring the parliamentarian's degree verification process in conformity with the process of degree attestation, the respective universities were asked to provide DSI forms verifying information about matriculation and intermediate level education of parliamentarians. In case of 'madrassa' education, information-documents of Middle School, Sanvia Aama, Sanvia Khasa and Shahadatul Aalia were required.

The Higher Education Commission has submitted up-to-date position of the degree verification process to the ECP. While giving the breakout, the HEC said that 553 degrees along with DSI forms received from different universities have been declared genuine by the HEC and forwarded to the ECP. As many as 54 degrees-'asnad' have been declared fake or invalid by the HEC and have also been sent to the ECP. As many as 18 degrees of the MPs are withheld by universities because their cases are in the court. 428 degrees have initially been processed by universities-degree-awarding institutions, but the DSI forms are still awaited.

The HEC has complained that no response has been received on 31 degrees from various universities. The degrees of 11 MPs have not been provided by the ECP. These 428 degrees which are in the process of verification by universities will be recognised by the HEC only after receipt of DSI forms duly signed by the concerned registrar-controller of examinations and vice-chancellor of the respective university. The news

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Degrees of PM, a number of ministers yet to be verified
Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and a number of his cabinet colleagues are among over 400 lawmakers whose graduation degrees are yet to be verified by the Higher Education (HEC) because copies of their matriculation and intermediate certificates have not been submitted.

The HEC has informed the Election Commission that it is unable to verify the degrees unless it gets the certificates. A list sent by the HEC has the names of 23 senators, 138 members of the National Assembly, 153 provincial legislators of Punjab, 21 of Sindh, 83 of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 11 of Balochistan.

Important people on the list include Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi, Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Communications Minister Arbab Alamgir Khan, Population Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Youth Affairs Minister Shahid Hasan Bhutto, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Food Minister Nazar Mohammad Gondal, Minister for Special Education and Social Welfare Samina Khalid Ghurki, Minister of State for Information Samsam Bukhari, Minister of State for Housing Chaudhry Tariq Anis, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mehreen Anwar Raja and Benazir Income Support Programme's Chairperson Farzana Raja.

Interestingly, the name of Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, whose Oxford degree has been verified by the HEC, also appears on the list. Apparently because he had also submitted his BA degree obtained from the Punjab University along with his nomination papers.

Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, who recently lost the post of minister for defence production for his remarks against the judiciary and the army, is among those whose documents are incomplete.

The list also contains the names of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Awami National Party's chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, former president Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, former chief minister of Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, former interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, Kashmala Tariq, Attiya Inayatullah, Amir Muqam and Fauzia Habib. The list of senators includes the names of Law Minister Babar Awan, Leader of the Opposition in Senate Wasim Sajjad, Pakistan Muslim League-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former finance minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, former minister of state for information Tariq Azeem, Afrasiab Khatak and Gulzar Ahmad Khan, father of Privatisation Minister Waqar Ahmad Khan whose degree has been declared genuine.

Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira and Sanaullah Masti Khel, who gained prominence after moving a resolution in the Punjab Assembly against the role of media, are also on the list.

The MPAs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the list include former chief minister Akram Khan Durrani, former federal minister Anwar Saifullah Khan and Basheer Ahmad Bilour. Dawn

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AIOU changes venue for M Ed workshop
Islamabad: Due to some unavoidable circumstances, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has changed its centre for M.Ed workshop for the students of Rawalpindi region from Government Denies Higher Secondary School, Rawalpindi Cantt. to Government Islamia Higher Secondary School No.1, Near Liaqat Bagh, Murree Road Rawalpindi.

Rawalpindi Regional Director of AIOU Malik Tauqir Ahmed Khan said that information letter regarding change of centre has been sent to the students by post at their given addresses. The students of Rawalpindi region are advised to appear for M.Ed workshop at designated places. Daily times

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College principal made OSD
Rawalpindi: The principal of Government Degree Commerce College for Boys was on Friday made officer on special duty (OSD) for alleged political interference in the B. Com admissions, it has been learnt.

Citing telephonic direction of Punjab chief minister, the chairman of Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) made Mian Rahat officer on special duty and directed the vice principal of the college to act as principal till further orders.

The order did not contain any charge against the grade 20 professor and only the chief minister's directions have been quoted as sole reason for making him officer on special duty. Dawn

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