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August 18, 2018

Pending ITU VC appointment raises eyebrows


August 18, 2018

LAHORE: While the interim Punjab government appointed Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of three public sector universities in one go a couple of days back, it left one pending for the next elected government citing ‘the fag end’ of the government.

The VCs of three universities, including that of University of Okara, Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan and University of Sahiwal were appointed on August 13.

Sources privy to the developments said summary for the appointment of VC for Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore was moved to the caretaker chief minister along with summaries for rest of the universities but the former was sent back on August 16 with the observation to keep the same pending for ‘appropriate decision’ by the next elected government. They added the move to keep the case pending was proposed by caretaker law minister.

The sources said the panel forwarded for ITU comprised of Prof Dr Umar Saif, the founding VC of Information Technology University and Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar, Principal Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) and Prof Dr Sajjad H Shami of University of Management & Technology. They added Dr Umar Saif was on serial No.1 in the panel in order of merit with 93 points out of total 100, followed by Dr Mansoor Sarwar with 80 points and Dr Sajjad H Shami with 76 points.

The move has raised many eyebrows with some questioning as to how the interim government could prove itself neutral by making appointment of some VCs and pending the case of Information Technology University when the entire process was complete and only final selection was to be done by the caretaker chief minister.

It is pertinent to mention that Dr Umar Saif was given the status of Adviser to the Chief Minister Punjab during the Pakistan Muslim League-N government in November 2016.

Among the shortlisted candidates for all these four and other universities, Dr Umar Saif secured the highest points i.e., 93. The sources said it was perhaps due to the political office he held in the past that the interim government avoided taking any decision on the appointment of Information Technology University vice chancellor because of the top candidate, Dr Saif.

Meanwhile, it is learnt the Search Committee for the University of Jhang has also completed its task and finalised the panel of three candidates but the summary to the CM was yet to be moved by the Higher Education Department.

However, the Search Committees for the University of Home Economics and the Women University Multan have yet to interview the shortlisted candidates.

When contacted, Caretaker Minister for Law, Finance and Excise & Taxation Zia Haider Rizvi said, “We have not been signing any summaries since August 14, being the last week of our period. It must have gone back in loads of all other files. The new CM has been announced and it will be done by the new setup in few days.”

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