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Lahore

July 18, 2017

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Report sought from Punjab govt in VCs case

Report sought from Punjab govt in VCs case

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday sought a report from the Punjab government on a petition seeking a stay order against appointment of vice-chancellors at three public sector universities.

Dr Abdul Mannan filed the petition pleading that the government initiated the process for the appointment of VCs at Punjab University, King Edward Medical University and Fatima Jinnah Medical College University.

However, he argued that the whole process was in violation of guidelines issued by the high court in case of VCs appointments. He stated that the government committed contempt of court by ignoring the guidelines set by the LHC.

The petitioner asked the court to stay the process for the appointment of VCs and initiate contempt proceedings against the authorities concerned. Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the contention and sought a report from the government within two weeks.

Meanwhile, Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan dismissed a petition challenging validity of an interview committee formed to make appointments of vice-chancellors at three universities.

Prof Dr Mulazim Hussain filed the petition and contended that two of the members of the committee, Prof Dr Faisal Masud and Prof Dr Amir Aziz, showed bias towards him (petitioner). He asked the court to order the government to reconstitute the committee excluding the respondent members.

However, the judge dismissed the petition as not maintainable and observed that the ground taken by the petitioner for the reconstitution of the interview committee was not valid. 

The judge observed that the counsel of the petitioner failed to point out any illegality or irregularity in the formation of the committee, which otherwise was the prerogative of the respondent institution and a candidate had no right to seek its reconstitution as per his/her liking or disliking.

Proposals rejected Government College University’s Academic Staff Association (GCU-ASA) has strongly objected to the proposals by a government committee to lift the conditions of PhD, teaching experience and age for appointment of Vice-Chancellors (VCs) in public sector universities. The ASA observed that the key factor behind the under-performance of universities was ‘lack of autonomy.’     

In a statement, GCU-ASA President Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed said “Universities can’t be run as companies.” He was giving his reaction to a news report that a 10-member committee, formed by the chief minister, has proposed broad-based criteria for selection of VCs lifting the PhD bar on the candidates.

Prof Dr Riaz Ahmed requested the Punjab chief minister to include senior faculty members from all major universities in the committee which was formed to deliberate upon the criteria for appointments of VCs and performance of universities. He said FAPUASA Punjab Chapter had also objected to the proposals of the committee in strong words.

“We need to understand the role of vice-chancellor in a university. The VC looks after all the academics, research and administration matters with the support and coordination of deans and chairpersons. In modern universities, research is an important factor which can be guided well only by a vice-chancellor who himself has been a well-established researcher,” he said.

He laid a stress on developing an efficient evaluation criterion to judge the performance of VCs. He said GCU-ASA strongly demanded that only a full professor having a PhD degree with solid research credential should be appointed as a VC because only then he can play his role in enhancing the research and academic activities simultaneously. “We request the chief minister not to revise the criteria but change the committee which is proposing these changes”, the statement concluded.

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