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Lahore

May 7, 2017

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Eleven universities in Punjab to get VCs

Eleven universities in Punjab to get VCs

LAHORE

Following a decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab has moved a summary to the Punjab chief minister for appointment of Vice Chancellors (VCs) in eleven public sector universities of the province.

The appointment of VCs in four of the eleven universities is linked to the LHC judgment while three were those where tenure of the VCs had expired while four are newly established universities. The department has sought approval for advertising posts of VCs for seven of the universities.

The LHC judgment-related universities include Punjab University, Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology (MNSUET) Multan. 

The three varsities where the tenure of the VCs expired include Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore, Women University Multan and Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan. The Punjab government had terminated the appointment of VC of Ghazi University Prof Dr Muhammad Khalique Ahmed in 2016 for violating the rules for leaving the station and since then no regular appointment could be made.

The four new universities for which the HED is now seeking approval of the chief minister to advertise posts of VCs include the University of Home Economics Lahore, University of Sahiwal, University of Okara and the University of Jhang. The posts of VCs at all these seven universities would be advertised soon after approval of the chief minister.   

Sources privy to the developments said the summary was moved by the HED on May 5 and was presently with the Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani who would forward it to the chief minister. 

The LHC in its judgment on April 27, 2017, had direct the government/chancellor to proceed with the appointment of the VCs for the four universities including PU, LCWU, University of Sargodha and MNS-UET Multan “strictly on the basis of the recommendations of the Search Committee by considering a panel of three persons in the case of each university.” 

The recommendations of the Search Committee for the four universities were on a hold due to litigation. The Search Committee had proposed the panels of three candidates for each university. The panel for LCWU included Dr Rukhsana Kausar Dr Shahida Hasnain and Dr Uzma Qureshi. For the University of Sargodha the panel comprised Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad Dr Tahir Kamran and Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar while for the MNS-UET Multan the panel comprised Dr Aamir Ijaz Mohammad Zuber and Dr Shahid Munir.

However, for the Punjab University the Search Committee was divided over one of the candidates in the panel i.e. Dr Mujahid Kamran. The other two candidates in the panel included Dr Muhammad Zakaria Zakar and Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar

The convener of the Search Committee, Syed Babar Ali, noted industrialist and veteran academician, was of the opinion that Dr Mujahid Kamran had already had two terms and was 64 years and 10 months at the time of applying for the post, therefore, he should not be part of the panel. His point of view was endorsed by Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi. However, two other members of the Search Committee including PHEC Chairman Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin and Punjab Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha showed serious reservations on the decision. They were of view that as Dr Mujahid Kamran came in the first three on merit and legally fulfilled the eligibility criteria, it would not be correct to leave him out.  When contacted, a senior PHEC official said the commission had recently moved the summary to the HED to complete the process of appointment of VCs in the light of the LHC judgment according to which the government/chancellor would proceed with the appointment of VCs in four universities on the basis of the recommendations of the Search Committee by considering a panel of three persons in the case of each university. He said for the rest of the seven universities, the approval of the chief minister was required to start the advertisement process.

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