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November 16, 2017

Sindh’s domicile policies put migrant students’ careers on the line


November 16, 2017

A resident of Orangi Town, 16-year-old Hasnain Jawed’s career prospects seem bleak, thanks to the ambiguity surrounding the domicile policy and this country’s unwavering penchant for keeping citizens deprived of crucial information concerning basic documents.

Although born and brought up in Karachi, Jawed will neither be able to acquire technical education nor apply for the Sindh police or the country’s armed forces - all his career interests - as the two residential addresses mentioned on his mother Farhat Sultana’s CNIC have rendered it impossible for him to be issued a Karachi domicile and a permanent residence certificate (PRC).

Jawed’s grandparents had shifted to Karachi from Khushab in the late 1950s. However, while his late father, Muhammad Jawed Akhtar, did not possess an identity card, his mother chose to list her District Khushab residential address as permanent and her Karachi residential address as temporary addresses for her CNIC. The family owns no property in the city.

As mentioning two addresses on a CNIC is at the citizen’s discretion, Farhat did not know, and was neither informed of, the technicality posing a potential problem in her children’s documentation.  

Having recently passed his matriculation examination, Jawed has become ineligible to apply for an admission for further studies as well as for a government job – even before actually sending in his applications. 

He has, for the past several weeks, been running from pillar to post, visiting the office of the District West deputy commissioner to obtain the document. Given Pakistan’s poor security situation, he fears that incomplete documentation may even reduce his chances to secure a job at a private organisation.

Jawed’s predicament, however, is not exclusive to him as, day in and day out, a majority of the city’s students belonging to migrant families exhaust their energy navigating through such tedious processes.  

Admissions and domicile

These students often complain about several difficulties in securing admissions. However, presenting a domicile tops the list. It is mandatory for students to submit the document at the time of enrolment, especially in state-run technical and professional educational colleges and universities that offer degree level education in professional fields.   

A candidate applying for admission at the Dow University of Health Sciences has to have a Sindh domicile. As per law, the applicant is also supposed to submit a PRC.

Similarly, the candidate will also have to produce the father’s domicile except if he [the father] is an employee of the federal government or armed forces.

The University of Sindh also maintains similar rules. The applicant if less than 18 years of age will have to provide their own domicile and PRC as well as the parents’ domicile to secure an admission to courses offering quota seats.

University of Karachi

Furthermore, while in each of the University of Karachi’s departments, three per cent seats have been allocated for students who have attempted examinations of other education boards, it is a must that the students have a Karachi domicile.

However, the varsity has divided the applicants into three categories: K, S and P. The first category concerns candidates who have passed their Secondary School Certificate from the Karachi board or have graduated from an educational institution situated in the city and affiliated with KU.

Category S is for applicants who have acquired at least one educational certificate, either Matric, Intermediate or a degree exam, from a recognised institute of Sindh; whereas the third category is specified for those who have obtained at least one educational certificate from Pakistan.

While category K students enjoy preference, the university fills in the remaining seats with category S and P candidates respectively. But, the two categories’ candidates if married to a permanent Karachi resident are bound to submit a copy of the marriage certificate along with the domicile, CNIC of the spouse that has a Karachi address listed as permanent.  

Migration certificates

As per the Centralised Admission Policy (CAP), general colleges also deduct five marks of candidates who have passed their matriculation or equivalent examinations from education boards other than Sindh’s. However, the province’s College Education Department has been offering enrolment to such students on the basis of migration certificates.

Sindh PRC Rules, 1971

According to the rules, no person can secure an admission to a medical or an engineering college or other such educational or technical institution if they do not possess a Sindh domicile. The citizen may not be recruited to any provincial government service or be posted against any post under the rule-making authority of the Governor of Sindh or under any local authority, the law further states.    “Unless a person furnishes, to the competent authority for recruiting or giving an admission, as the case may be, a certificate of his permanent residence in Sindh from the district magistrate of the area where he is permanently residing,” it further reads.

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