NED Senate approves budget

Karachi, July 2(The News): The Senate of the NED University of Engineering and Technology has approved a budget of Rs561.245 million against a budget outlay of Rs645.275 million, incurring a deficit of Rs84.03 million.

The budget was presented to the Senate of the university in its meeting on Saturday, where it was duly approved. The projected income and expenditure of the Self-Finance Scheme is Rs30 million, however, a profit on this scheme of Rs1 million brought the total to Rs31.500 million. The estimated expenditure is 25 per cent for research, totaling Rs7.875 million; an estimate for various development works is Rs23.625 million, bringing the total to Rs31.500 million.

The budget estimate for the Research Fund for 2007-08 is Rs35 million income and Rs35 million expenditure on PhD Research Projects, Master's Level Research Projects, stipends and other expenses.

Abul Kalam, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the NED has resented the attitude of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which had ignored its position as the Funding Agency and is instead focusing on something that does not fall under its purview; that is, conferring ranks and accreditation to the universities. Kalam registered his criticism while presenting the highlights of the Annual Report 2006-07, to the Senate. According to him, the HEC also tried to intervene in appointments of Professor Emeritus and Meritorious Professors. The intervention was denied by convincing the concerned individuals that such decisions rested only with the Chancellor on the recommendation of Syndicate/Senate.

While talking to us in his office, the VC revealed that the Model University Ordinance, in his opinion, is a 'monstrosity,' as it is far from the ground realities and hardly conforms to the ideals of a university. He said that in a meeting of the VCs of 40 public sector universities, 37 VCs, including himself had rejected the idea, while the remaining three had abstained from voting.

Shams Kassim Lakha, who was the convener of the meeting, had lied to President Musharraf regarding the VC's acceptance of the idea. The ordinance could only be promulgated, if ratified by the provinces and till date none had done it. The NED resisted the ordinance to protect students from the exorbitant fee, as most of them belong to middle or lower middle classes. The university had adopted the policy on principle, despite the fact that it was receiving the least amount of funds, compared to other universities. For example, NED had received Rs112 million, while Mehran University of Engineering and Technology had received a staggering Rs750 million and Peshawar University Rs200 million.

He also informed that proper planning had allowed the university to complete the four-year degree course, as compared to the six years it took until 1997. The utilisation figure of the Development Budget of the university was estimated at Rs426.852 millions or 95 per cent against the Pakistan Sector Development Programme (PSDP) of Rs449.318 million, which is one of the best in all the universities.

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