HEC website 'misleading' | Scholarship policies

HEC website is creating confusion
Islamabad, July 16: After a meeting of some Quaid-i-Azam University faculty members with the chairperson of Higher Education Commission, the HEC incorporated some of the demands relaxing categories of HEC-approved journals for another year, but the bureaucracy did it in its own style on the HEC website.

The mishandling of the website by an institution supervising higher education in the country is creating confusion among faculty members. Selections, appointments and promotions of the faculty depend upon the HEC guidelines and this state of affairs would result in utter confusion and frustration among teachers.

According to the HEC website accessed last weekend, the site titled 'Mechanism for Classification of HEC-recognised Journals,' says that it applies on all W, X and Y categories of science journals which are acceptable until June 30, 2010. But on another page for Y category, the year was still being shown as 2009. Not only that, on another page, even X-category is mentioned as acceptable only up to June 30, 2009. Do Y and X categories for science journals are allowed till 2009 or 2010 is anybody's guess?

On a page for 'HEC-recognised Social Science Journals for W, X, Y, Z Categories,' it is stated that W, X and Y are 'acceptable for Tenure Track System up to June 30, 2010'. But this page carries a note at the bottom that only W and X will be acceptable for TTS after June 30, 2009, thereby eliminating the Y category. It will affect social science candidates in a big way as the majority of social science professors and associate professors at the moment is on TTS because of Y category journals.

On a page on multidisciplinary science journals recognised by the HEC as belonging to category 'Z' are 'Pakistan Journal of Science' and 'Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Science' which are labelled as Y and X respectively. It is interesting to note that the latter journal, already indicated as X, according to a list of journals under consideration for upgradation has applied for upgradation from Z to Y category. Which of the three categories for the journal is correct?

Last but not the least, the phone number of Hakim Ali Talpur, Assistant Director, Quality Assurance, mentioned at the website for seeking guidance for any problem turned out to be an invalid one.

Mr Talpur after repeated attempts was finally available for comments on Tuesday on another phone number. He said "Extension of index date by one year is the most recent development and two or three sections of IT work on upgrading the website. Some have done their work while others have yet to do, hence the contradictions." He added that he was thankful for pointing out mistakes and the matter would stand corrected soon. About his phone number, he said that the page contained the old number which was no longer in use and "we will also place the new number on the website."

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Kundi optimistic about HEC scholarship policies
Islamabad: Deputy Speaker National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi has expressed his optimism about the policies of Higher Education Commission (HEC) for sending students to advanced countries to gain skills and knowledge in different disciplines.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a scholarship award ceremony, held under the auspices of HEC, to award 130 overseas scholarships for higher studies.

Kundi said that no country in the world could progress without education, and appreciated HEC for actively promoting the higher education sector and providing local and foreign scholarships at MS and PhD levels.

"I hope that under the dynamic leadership of Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali, the higher education sector will further develop, which will ultimately bring socio-economic development in Pakistan", he added.

Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to Prime Minister and In Charge HEC, also graced the occasion along with the Austrian ambassador, the head of cultural affairs at German embassy, and the honorary counsel general of New Zealand, who all appreciated the efforts of HEC for promoting higher education in Pakistan, particularly its scholarship achievements.

Ms Shehnaz Wazir Ali said the selected scholars have successfully competed for this award and are representing all parts of Pakistan. She advised them to demonstrate their best academic efforts while pursuing higher studies and emphasised that the government is committed to promote higher education and provide the youth with excellent academic and professional opportunities.

She greatly appreciated the Governments of Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and other collaborating countries for extending full cooperation to the human resource development projects of HEC.

A total of 130 scholars selected for the purpose are proceeding for higher studies in prestigious universities of Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and other technologically developed countries for MS and PhD studies. The News

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