PUNJAB government has appointed Vice Chancellors of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore on Saturday.
Prof Dr Faisal Masood, Principal, Services Institute of Health Sciences/Services Hospital, Lahore, has been appointed as Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical University, while Maj-Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam, Dean, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad, is appointed as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences.
The Punjab Health Department has issued notifications of the appointment of Vice Chancellors of the two medical universities on Saturday after Chancellor/Governor Punjab Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood signed the summary of appointment on the recommendation of Competent Authority/Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.
It is worth-mentioning here that the two candidates were picked from the same panel of three candidates recommended for appointment of VC of UHS. The panel of three candidates recommended for appointment of VC of KEMU was completely ignored.
Earlier, the Search Committee headed by Sartaj Aziz, former federal minister and Vice Chancellor of Beaconhouse National University (BNU), and comprising Syed Babar Ali, Pro-Chancellor of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Capt (r) Arif Nadeem, Secretary Health, Prof SAR Gardezi, former Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College, Pervez Masood, former Chief Secretary, and Khwaja Salman Rafique, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Health, Punjab, after conducting interviews of 40 candidates on 2nd & 3rd of January 2013, had recommended two separate panels of three candidates each for the two universities.
As per initial recommendations, first panel comprised of Prof Dr Faisal Masood, Principal SIMS/SHL, Prof Dr Javed Akram, Technical Advisor for Medical Education and former Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, and Maj-Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam, Dean, Shifa College of Medicine, Islamabad, for the post of VC of University of Health Sciences, while the second panel comprised of Prof Jawad Sajid Khan, former Chief Executive of Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Prof Abdul Majeed Chaudhry, former Principal of Fatima Jinnah Medical College/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and Prof Sarwat Hussain, an eminent radiologist from United States, for the post of VC of King Edward Medical University.
A member of the Search Committee, when asked whether the competent authority can pick two candidates for appointment as VCs of two medical universities from a single panel, replied in the affirmative, saying that it was the prerogative of the chief minister to select the most suitable candidates even if divided in two separate panels.
Meanwhile, the sources in the Health Department, said that the name of Prof Faisal Masood had already been finalised among the candidates for appointment of the two medical universities, while Maj-Gen (r) Muhammad Aslam prevailed over other candidates due to the backing of former Vice Chancellor of UHS. According to sources, the former VC of UHS, who is considered by officials of Health Department, a de facto VC of the university even after his removal after his appointment was declared illegal by the Supreme Court, has used his influence through Chairman Board of Governors of UHS/Senator Ishaq Dar, which dashed the hopes of third close contestant for the post - Prof Javed Akram.
The two candidates are expected to take charge of their respective posts on Monday (tomorrow). Prof IA Naveed, a retired professor and head of Department of Medical Education UHS, was holding additional charge of acting VC of UHS, while Prof Asad Aslam Khan, Professor of Ophthalmology and Principal of College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences at KEMU, was holding the post of acting VC of KEMU.
When contacted, Punjab Secretary Health Capt (r) Arif Nadeem didn’t respond to the phone call in this regard. However, Special Secretary Health Babar Hayat Tarar confirmed issuance of notifications of the two appointments on Saturday.
When asked about the appointments on the vacant posts, he said that Principal of SIMS/SHL, which is left vacant after Prof Faisal Masood’s appointment as VC of KEMU, will be appointed by the Health Department after following due process.
According to the usual practice in the posting of a head of medical teaching institution, he said, most suitable person from amongst the senior most professors, who is not necessarily from the same institution, is appointed a principal of a medical teaching institution.