Govt agrees to release Universities funds
Govt agrees to release funds to varsities for raise
Islamabad: The government agreed on Thursday to immediately
release funds for a 65 per cent increase in the salary of university
teachers and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) requested the
Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association
(Fapuasa) to withdraw its call for an indefinite strike in state-run
"The committee formed by the prime
minister for the resolution of the budgetary crisis in the higher
education sector has successfully resolved the issues under discussion.
Fifty per cent salary increase and 15 per cent medical allowance will be
paid to universities as additional recurring grant," a handout said.
said the government had also agreed that all foreign and local scholars
would be funded till the completion of their studies, while all
approved scholarships which were built within projects would be withheld
till the improvement of the country's financial health.
All projects or their components in advanced stages of completion will be funded.
However, no new contractual liabilities will be created until the situation improves.
vice-chancellors praised the role of the prime minister, the cabinet
and the HEC, appreciating the government's commitment to higher
education in difficult budgetary times, the statement said.
to journalists, HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari said the government had
agreed to make timely releases of Rs15.7 billion earmarked under the
Public Sector Development Programme for universities.
He said the money for teachers' salary would be released this month.
However, Fapuasa president Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar termed the
government's decision too little, too late. "The government has taken
three months to understand our demand. That too has come after Fapuasa's
call for an unprecedented countrywide strike in public sector
The government itself had announced the raise for
government employees, but unfortunately teachers were ignored and they
were left with no option but to come on the roads, he said.
Akhtar said the federation's executive body would meet in the capital on
Friday to decide its course of action after the government's response.
He said the higher education sector was in a shambles because of
frequent cuts and delayed releases in the development and recurring
budgets of the HEC.
Last year, the government committed Rs22.5
billion for development, but could release only Rs11.5 billion. This
year, Rs15.7 billion had been allocated, but the federation was not sure
if the whole amount would be released, Dr Akhtar said.
He said the teachers would see what assurance they needed from the government. Dawn
"Pakistan is the most unfortunate country in the world where education is
largely neglected and where the government spends less than two per
cent of its GDP on education. And now it has decided to cut down on the
grants and subsidies to the state-owned universities under the pretext
of austerity campaign. The universities have been asked to raise their
own funds by fee hikes. The government should reconsider this policy
without wasting further time. Education is they key to progress for any
nation. The money spent on education is not expenditure but investment.
We request the government to take this decision back."
Email: Syed Muzammil Hussain
City, Country: Islamabad,pakistan
"I very much agree with the government's decision to cut funds for the
public-sector universities. These funds are mainly misused by the
authorities of these universities. The biggest misuse of these funds is
spending them on unworthy faculty members. If one takes the example of
the Agricultural University, Peshawar, the majority of those who went
abroad for doing PhDs had either already completed their PhDs in
Pakistan or had spent two to three years in that programme. But even
then they were offered the scholarships and huge amounts are being spent
on their studies. This is simply a waste of resources. The government
should impose its decision at all costs and should not allow anyone to
misuse the national exchequer for personal gains. "
Name: Dr Athar Ali
City, Country: Peshawar,pakistan
"Its a healthy sign that funds are released or assured to be released. I partially agree with Dr Athar Ali what ever he said. But do we really think why universities needed funds? Why Rectors or VCs, Teachers and other staff of universities went on agitation? Its all because of their personal intrests, i.e Increase in Saleries upto 60% and other facilities to make their lives luxurious. They never thoughted about future of Young scholars (arround 80) who were selected for PhD scholarship, ultimately those PhD scholars would have strengthen the Faculties of Universities throughout the country resulting increased reputaion and world class education, Government must know present ranking of our universities in world. I dont think that universities ranking depends on saleries of their staff, but on strength of highly qualified faculty members. I regret to say that none of Agitator from universities talked about those who are selected from past two years for PhD scholarship and they were to fly their destination by this fall semester. They went through tough competition by passing GRE , universities required examinations,Interview etc atleast HEC should sent those who have secured admission abroad and VISA etc."
Name: Riaz Hussain
City, Country: Hyderabad, Pakistan
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VCs welcome govt promise, teachers demand notification
Peshawar: The vice-chancellors of public sector universities in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Thursday hailed the decision of the federal government to
release funds to the varsities for the current fiscal year, but the
teachers' association vowed to continue the protest drive till the
issuance of an official notification.
At a meeting here, the
vice-chancellors declared that the government's decision would
ultimately solve the financial problems that the universities are facing
this year but much more needed to be done to ensure adequate, timely
and uninterrupted delivery of funds in the coming years.
was attended by the heads or representatives of all the 14 public sector
universities of the province.The participants suggested that the
government must ensure implementation of education policy 2009 and
uphold the vision 2015 for education in the country, which was to
increase the education budget up to seven percent of the GDP.
said in the prevailing situation it is impossible for the universities
to give best results and government must take all measures to uplift the
high seats of learning in the country.The vice-chancellors said they
endorsed the budget allocation for primary education but more steps were
needed to adopt the standard ratio policy at both the levels and
increase the education budget at least threefold.
of the universities noted that the overall access to higher education
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had doubled in the last five to six years due to
the establishment of new universities and their sub-campuses, but on the
other hand funds allocation were reduced drastically.
It is evident
from the fact that budget for higher education was 0.33 percent of GDP
in 2004-05 and has now been further slashed to around 0.23 percent in
the current fiscal year, the vice-chancellors' meeting pointed out.
of the participants said that less than one percent budget for higher
education was not a futuristic approach and steps were required to
improve the standard of higher education, adding the current budget for
education stood at 1.7 percent of the GDP, which was one of the lowest
in the world.
The meeting expressed serious concern over the
kidnapping of Islamia College University Vice-Chancellor Ajmal Khan and
demanded the government to ensure his early and safe recovery. They
urged the government to take measures to ensure the security of the vice
-chancellors, faculty and staff members and students of the
universities. Meanwhile, the teaching and non-teaching staff of the
universities continued their protest by wearing black arm-bands and
observing one-hour token boycott from classes and office work.
President of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities' Academic
Staff Association Dr Mohammad Fida said that they welcomed the
government resolve to issue funds to the universities, but would
continue protest till they receive the directive in writing. He added
that a meeting of the central executive body of the association would be
held at the Allama Iqbal Open University today (Friday) where future
line of action will be devised.
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50pc pay raise to cost three public sector varsities Rs690m
Peshawar: The three major public sector universities in the provincial
metropolis would require Rs690 million annually for giving 50 per cent
increase in salaries being demanded by the employees.
of the public universities have been protesting the denial of increase
in salaries already allowed to all government employees. The University
of Engineering and Technology (UET) would need an additional amount of
Rs120 million, Agricultural University (AU) Rs219 million and the
University of Peshawar (UoP) Rs350 million to foot the bill for the
increase in salaries of all their employees.
According to UET
Finance Director Sarwar Khan, the current expenditure on salaries
amounted to Rs300 million and they would need another Rs120 million to
ensure provision of the 50 per cent increase in salaries to the
The funds required for various projects and the students
studying abroad under different projects like the Jalozai campus were
under different heads and not included in the increased salary bill,
Sarwar Khan said.
The official said the university had
managed to continue work on the ongoing projects so far but these might
not be completed if funds were not released. About the government's
resolve to release funds for the projects, 90 per cent work on which had
been completed, he said the decision would badly affect the
establishment of Jalozai campus, a mega project of the UET on which only
40 per cent work had been completed. He said funds for the project
should not be stopped. He said that 70 students under the same project
were getting higher education abroad.
Dr Farzand, finance director of
the Agriculture University said that HEC could release only
Rs390 million against their demand of Rs570 million for salaries,
pension and medical allowance.
"If we are provided the remaining
Rs219 million, it would cover the additional amount required for the 50
per cent increase in salaries and 15 per cent raise in pension and
medical allowance," he said, adding that more funds would, however, be
the ongoing projects in the university. The University
of Peshawar would require Rs350 million for giving 50 per cent raise in
salaries to the employees, said Akhtar Ameen, spokesman for the
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GCU in solidarity with universities
Lahore: Following news reports of aloofness of the Government College
University (GCU), Lahore, from common concern of public sector
universities of the country over financial constraints, its
vice-chancellor on Thursday held a meeting with the varsity staff and
faculty members and discussed the issue.
According to a GCU press
statement, VC Prof Dr Khalid Aftab held a meeting where solidarity was
expressed with entire fraternity over financial constraints faced by the
varsities and it was hoped that the matter would be resolved amicably
soon. It is pertinent to mention here that public universities across
the country observed complete academic boycott on Wednesday against the
federal government for not sufficiently funding the varsities and the
Higher Education Commission (HEC). However academic activities continued
without any disruption at the GCU.
Addressing a full-house meeting
of the GCU teachers and staff in Bokhari Auditorium, Prof Aftab called
upon the government to immediately release funds at least for the
scholarships of students and increase the salaries of staff members.
the VC, on the recommendation of staff members and treasure office,
ordered constitution of a committee comprising economics and management
experts to chalk out a long term financial plan to make the university a
self-sufficient organisation. Meanwhile, a prize distribution ceremony
was organised in honour of the 10 Ravians who have secured positions in
the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore,
Intermediate Examinations, 2010. Speaking on the occasion, GCU VC said
the most crucial challenge that Pakistan confronted today was a severe
dearth of quality human capital, adding that it was a serious crisis as
compared to the financial crunch. The news
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Degree issue: 9 legislators appear before EC
Islamabad: Nine legislators appeared on Thursday before the
Election Commission hearing cases of parliamentarians and members of
provincial assemblies found to be holding fake or invalid graduation
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah and
Balochistan's former food minister Ali Madad Jattak, who had been issued
notices for Sept 6 and Sept 16, respectively, but did not turn up,
voluntarily appeared before Mohammad Afzal Khan, an official of the
They have been asked to produce original documents
at the next hearing to be scheduled later. Six legislators have been
issued notices to appear on Oct 4.
Talking to us after the
hearing, an EC official said that so far 27 legislators had appeared
before the commission. He said the commission would complete by the end
of next month the hearing of about 50 lawmakers holding fake or invalid
Prominent lawyer S.M. Zafar appeared on behalf of
Senator Wali Mohammad Badini. He argued that holding a Bachelor's degree
was not a condition when Mr Badini was elected senator in 2009.
Federal Minister for Housing Rehmatullah Kakar, who is representing MNA
Maulvi Agha Mohammad and Balochistan Assembly member Abdul Samad
Akhundzada, sought time for filing power of attorney and written replies
to the commission's questions. Dawn
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