UHS murders rules for the blue-eyed on top slot
Lahore, Feb 22: The administration of University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, has gone an extra length to secure posting of the pro vice-chancellor of the varsity for a 'blue-eyed boy' by bypassing the rules and regulations, the documents available revealed.
The UHS administration left no stone unturned to bring a favourite, Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan, former controller examinations, as first Pro-Vice Chancellor of UHS, after elevating him as Professor of Medical Education without fulfilling the criteria of qualification and experience, just to bring him in contention for appointment to the coveted post.
As per UHS Service Statutes 2005, the recruitment criteria for the post of a professor requires candidate to be a "PhD in the relevant field with 15 years teaching/research experience in a recognised college/university with eight research papers published in indexed journals".
It is learnt that Dr Junaid Sarfraz didn't possess the PhD qualification in the relevant field as well as requisite teaching experience of 15 years as prescribed under UHS Service Statutes 2005 at the time of his appointment as a professor. It is revealed that he had completed his PhD in Medical Education from UHS on November 11, 2013, more than two years after becoming Professor of Medical Education at the varsity. He had qualified his MBBS from Allama Iqbal Medical College in 1996-97 and was appointed as Professor of Medical Education on 25-10-2011, which implies that he didn't fulfill the criteria of possessing the requisite teaching experience of 15 years to become a professor, especially when he had served as full time controller examinations at UHS for nearly seven years from 2007 till 2013.
Earlier, Punjab Law Department, in response to a summary vis-à-vis the then Controller Examinations Dr Junaid Sarfraz's appointment as Pro-VC under Section 14 of UHS (Amendment) Act 2009, dated 06-09-2011, turned down the proposal on the basis of not fulfilling the criteria of possessing requisite qualifications and experience to be appointed as Pro-VC, and censured varsity administration for advertising the post without the lawful authority as it was neither prescribed through an amendment of the law nor was it approved by the Chancellor in terms of Section 34 of the Ordinance. The Secretary Law also objected to his credentials as he didn't possess the requisite teaching experience in any medical college or university.
After Law Department's snub, the UHS Vice Chancellor, on recommendation of Selection Committee and approval by the Board of Governors Committee, appointed Dr Junaid Sarfraz as Professor of Medical Education on 25-10-2011 for a period of one year.
Later, the UHS administration issued an office order, which says, "The Board of Governors has approved the extension in contract appointment of Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz, Professor of Medical Education, for a period of one year w.e.f. 25-10-2012." Here, the UHS administration committed another blatant anomaly as it issued an office order, dated September 27, 2012, claiming that Board of Governors had allowed one year extension in his contract, whereas BoG of UHS didn't exist during that period at all, as last BoG body had expired on July 12, 2012 and constitution of new body of BoG was notified on November 8, 2012, for a period of three years.
It is worth mentioning that Dr Junaid Sarfraz's summary for appointment as Pro-VC was thrice rejected. First, it was rejected by Law Department on 06-09-2011 for lacking in requisite qualification and experience, then it was rejected second time on March 10, 2012, when he was one amongst three professors, including two others from UHS constituent Gujranwala Medical College, Gujranwala, i.e. Prof Dr Attiya Mubarak, Professor of Anatomy and Principal GMC, and Prof Dr Naveed Iqbal Ansari, Professor of Pharmacology at GMC. The UHS summary, moved in December 2012, to appoint Dr Junaid Sarfraz as Pro-VC was rejected for third time when he was amongst three professors, including Prof I.A. Naveed, Head of Department of Medical Education, and Prof Abdul Hannan Nagi, Professor of Pathology at UHS. However, the UHS administration, finally, managed to secure appointment for its man as first Pro-VC of UHS on November 5, 2013, as Punjab Health Department issued a notification in which Punjab Governor /Chancellor passed the orders of appointment of Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan, Professor of Medical Education, as Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, for a period of four years under Section 14(1) of UHS Ordinance 2002.
The notification was in contravention to the UHS (Amendment) Act 2012 that recommended Pro-VC's appointment for a period of three years.
Therefore, Punjab Health Department, through a fresh order dated February 14, 2014, substituted the earlier notification, dated November 5, 2013, bearing same number and date, in order to rectify the error of appointment for a term of four years with revised term of three years Section 14(1) of UHS Ordinance 2002. Punjab Health Department has failed to completely rectify the error even in the revised notification as it had made the posting under UHS Ordinance 2002, while completely ignoring the UHS (Amendment) Act 2012 that recommended Pro-VC's appointment for a period of three years. The notification presents a real comedy of errors as appointment of Pro-VC for tenure of four years relates to the Section 14(3) of UHS Ordinance 2002, whereas Section 14(1), which recommends Pro-VC's appointment for a period of three years, pertains to the UHS (Amendment) Act 2012.
The UHS obsession with Dr Junaid Sarfraz was beyond comprehension when his allegiance to the university remained 'doubtful' as he had allegedly been serving at Nawaz Sharif Medical College, University of Gujrat, while serving as controller examinations at UHS simultaneously. Besides, during his tenure as controller examinations, he had also been allegedly serving on a lucrative post in a foreign university in Saudi Arabia, while on leave from the UHS, Lahore.
Dr Junaid Sarfraz was appointed Pro-VC on November 5, 2013 in absentia as he was on ex-Pakistan leave from university w.e.f. October 29, 2013 and assumed the charge of his office on December 26, 2013. According to official sources, he had allegedly been serving in a foreign medical university in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This allegation was reinforced by the fact that he had again proceeded on one-month ex-Pakistan leave only four days later from 30-12-2013 to 28-01-2014 on the pretext of performing 'Umrah'. However, he didn't join his office even after the end of his leave period, but joined the university again on February 10, 2014.
Earlier, Dr Junaid Sarfraz had proceeded on one month leave from 01-11-2012 to 30-11-2012 and then requested extension in leave from 01-12-2012 to 15-12-2012, but even then he didn't join his duties after expiry of his leave period of one-and-a-half-month. It was believed that he had joined Nawaz Sharif Medical College, University of Gujrat, and he was allegedly drawing salary from both institutions simultaneously. Therefore, when he requested for issuance of experience certificate after lapse of over two months, including absence without leave, the UHS administration, in its response dated 08-01-2013, refused to oblige without seeking NOC from various departments of UHS as it had learnt that he had joined "some other institution".
The Punjab Health Department, in response to a UHS summary for award of MP-II Scale to the then Controller Examinations Dr Junaid Sarfraz, dated December 20, 2012, demanded details of his credentials and mode of appointment to support his candidature for promotion in grade-22. However, the UHS administration didn't pursue the matter any further.
The UHS has also not notified the seniority list of professors as prescribed under Service Statutes 2005.
Furthermore, it is learnt that some important posts, including Treasurer and Librarian were lying vacant at the UHS. The post of Treasurer has been lying vacant since the departure of a deputationist Sajid Ali Nadeem, who was also given an extension in his deputation in violation of rules and regulations. Besides, the UHS has also failed to appoint a full time officer to the post of Registrar, as Dr Asad Zaheer, Head of P&D, is holding additional charge of Registrar. Besides, Dr Saqib Mahmood, Assistant Professor and head of Allied Health Department, is holding additional charge of the post of Controller Examinations.
When contacted, UHS Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan refused to comment and referred to Director Media & Publications for comments in this regard.
The UHS Vice Chancellor, Maj-Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam also didn't respond to the call in this regard.
However, UHS spokesman Muhammad Atif said that Punjab government had appointed Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz Khan as Pro-VC on merit in a transparent manner, claiming that he had fulfilled requisite qualifications and experience for appointment on both posts of Professor of Medical Education and Pro-Vice Chancellor.
When asked about the allegations against Dr Junaid Sarfraz of doing job in Saudi Arabia, he said these were all rumours. However, he expressed his ignorance about the allegation against him of simultaneously working in University of Gujrat. Regarding his act of going on leave on a frequent basis, he said his leave period had ended and he had resumed his office.
When asked about the various vacant posts in the absence of full time incumbents, he said the UHS had already initiated the process to fill the posts in a transparent manner. However, he said that, as a temporary arrangement, additional charge of all vacant posts had been given to relevant officers to run the affairs of the university.
When contacted, Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarar said the Punjab government had appointed Prof Dr Junaid Sarfraz after following due procedure. However, he said that the Health Department had rectified the human error in its earlier notification of his posting.
In response to a question about his eligibility to be appointed as Pro-VC, he said that PMDC had given him equivalence certificate. However, when asked about him to have been lacking in qualification and experience to become a Professor under UHS Statutes 2005, he said that he would check this anomaly and take the decision accordingly.
Lahore: University of Education, Lahore, has awarded a PhD to Muhammad Nasrullah Virk in political science.
Muhammad Nasrullah Virk, chairman of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Lahore, completed his PhD under the supervision of noted lawyer Dr Khalid Ranjha.
Appoint HEC chief with science background
Lahore: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) president has called upon the government of Pakistan to appoint new chairperson of Higher Education Commission (HEC) having science education background. In a press statement issued here on Saturday, the FAPUASA president urged the government to appoint a personality as chairperson of the HEC whose educational background was associated with any subject of science.
BISE official arrested for bribery
Lahore: The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on Friday arrested an employee of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Lahore on the charges of taking bribe.
According to sources, the ACE arrested a BISE Assistant Ayaz Khan for receiving bribe from different people on the assurance of arranging them admission in medical colleges from the Punjab governor's quota.
Sources say ACE Lahore Region Director Sheikh Khalid had received a complaint from Muhammad Farooq who stated that the accused demanded Rs 0.7 million for arranging him admission in a medical college. The director ordered an inquiry into the matter which found the accused guilty. Subsequently, the ACE registered a case against Ayaz and arrested him. Further investigation is underway.
Police in search of extortionist: Police have started conducting raids to arrest an extortionist who allegedly demanded Rs 5 million from a trader and threatened to kill him over his refusal.
Nadeem Sheikh, a trader from Gulberg, informed the police about the matter after which a case was registered against the accused indentified as Shehansha. Nadeem appealed the Punjab Police chief for justice and immediate arrest of the extortionist. In response, the IGP assured him of necessary action.
Punjab Examination Commission fails to perform
Lahore: The Punjab government seriously needs to rethink as to how it can assess learning achievements of grade-V and grade-VIII students as over the years the body tasked to perform this sensitive job, the Punjab Examination Commission, has seemingly failed to do the same.
This failure is evident in the shape of reports regarding leakage of question papers, poor arrangements for the conduct of examinations as well as concerns expressed by teachers and students about the results, over the years.
On the other hand, so far no tangible benefits have come to the surface on the basis of assessing learning outcomes of the students whatsoever by the government, exposing flaws in planning and subsequent implementation on part of those at the helm. Ever since its inception in 2006, the history of Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) is dotted with controversies. In 2007, the then government had to cancel the PEC examinations and promote students to next grades without any examination as the teachers boycotted the exams as part of their protest against the government. Besides this, almost every year there had been reports of poor invigilation in the PEC exams as well as rampant cheating and inadequate facilities provided to the candidates at the examination centres. One wonders what assessment could be made on the basis of such an exam!
The PEC exams are held on uniform basis across the province in which over one million candidates, each for grade-V and grade-VIII, appear on the annual basis. Interestingly, for this massive exercise, the PEC has a "core team" comprising just four individuals, including its chief executive officer. With no physical presence even at the divisional level and with no field staff and logistics and no examination centre of its own, PEC handles this sensitive activity through the EDOs Education in the districts.
The stakeholders argue that the government after establishing the PEC totally ignored the same and never thought of structural reforms it needed to make this body effective to achieve the desired results and apply the same afterwards to contribute towards quality education. Another point of concern is that the PEC gets the question papers printed from private printers, which is enough to understand the kind of risk attached with regard to the leakage of the papers. Few years back, the incumbent Punjab government aggressively took up the issue of guess papers in a bid to eliminate "unfair means" (booti mafia). However, even today this business is going on unchecked in Pakistan's largest stationery market Urdu Bazaar here.
The only change is that the printers no more use the word guess papers and instead have coined the term "Papers Book". These "Papers Books" are sold like hotcakes ahead of examination and those famous for their "guess" make millions in just few days. The stakeholders have urged the government to investigate this important aspect as well in the ongoing investigation with regard to the recent leakage of grade-8 question paper which the PEC had to cancel. Undoubtedly, maintaining secrecy and transparency are the keys to hold successful examinations and when these very basic principles are challenged the whole exercise seems a total sham and nothing else. The news
PMC dental section recognised
Faisalabad: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has finally recognised the dental section of the Punjab Medical College (PMC) six years after its inception.
Students had been trying their level best to get the section accredited as a number of their seniors had passed out of the college but could not serve anywhere.
They had also staged protest demonstrations and raised their voice by holding press conferences over the issue.
Submitting a letter to the Ministry of National Health Services, the PMDC had mentioned on Feb 17 that the council considered the comprehensive inspection report of the dental section conducted on Nov 28 last.
"The council decided to approve the recommendations of the Executive Committee meeting and decided that dental section, PMC, will be approved for 50 students per year for new admissions in 2013-14."
The PMDC decided that the graduates who have passed out of dental section by Dec 12, 2013 will have to pay Rs50,000 per student to get registration otherwise these graduates will have to undergo PM&DC NEB examination.
The ministry has been requested by the PMDC to issue notification of recognition of the section. Dawn
Grade 8 paper
Lahore: Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) has announced that the grade 8 paper of mathematics which was cancelled last week will now be held on February 22. PEC operation Manager Afshan Zafar said the paper will be held at the same examination centres under the same roll number slips issued to the candidates. The news