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No general should be made VC: FAPUASA

LAHORE, Aug 18: No army generals should be appointed vice chancellors (VCs) in public sector universities in future, said Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) president Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Salik on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference at the Punjab University (PU) guesthouse, he said universities were losing dignity due to the wrong policies of retired army generals.

The press conference was organised in the wake of two-day executive body FAPUASA's meeting in which the federation's central leadership and its office bearers from across the country participated.

Salik said instead of appointing retired army generals and senior bureaucrats, serving academics should be appointed as VCs as they could better handle universities' affairs. "Present VCs who are retired officers should be sent home and replaced with senior professors," he said.

He said chancellors/governors, provincial governments and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) were making "undue and unwarranted" interference in public universities' affairs. He said the HEC was only implementing the Model University Ordinance to curb public universities' freedom.

Referring to a directive issued by Punjab governor and chancellor Lt General (r) Khalid Maqbool in which universities had been directed to discontinue admission quota for university employees' children, Salik warned if the quota was abolished no admission would be granted to the children of army men on the quota system. "Why they (army men) enjoy quota in various jobs?" he asked.

The FAPUASA president said, "The government has appointed an intermediate retired brigadier as VC of Balochistan University who has ruined the academic and administrative affairs of the university. Balochistan University teachers are being threatened and served with show cause notices for raising voice against the VC."

Salik said the methodology that the HEC had adopted was nowhere in the world. He said the commission was dictating universities which was against the Constitution. He said the commission threatened, pressured and in the end wrote to the chancellor to get imposed its decisions.

He said the National Testing Service (NTS) had opened a private company which was only working to make money. "The admission should be based on merit alone and not on the entry test," he added.

He said the HEC had wasted away a 'huge' sum of money in the name of funding universities and demanded that the chief justice take suo moto notice of the situation. "HEC officials are drawing good salaries and enjoying other perks and privileges," he said, adding that if the money had been spent on universities the results had been better.

Salik said university teachers had no opportunities for PhD studies and faced problems in upgrading their posts. He said due to the HEC's cold response the FAPUASA had decided to launched a countrywide protest campaign against the commission.

He said universities' teachers would hold a countrywide protest on September 5 and observe a black day and from onward September 12 they would observe two-hour strike every Wednesday. The protest campaign will continue till demands are accepted, he added. Daily times
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