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July 9, 2019

Ban on recruitment in varsities: HED directed to seek law department’s advice


July 9, 2019

LAHORE: The Chancellor/Governor has directed the Higher Education Department (HED) Punjab to seek advice of the Law Department vis-à-vis ban on recruitment of faculty and staff in public universities of the province where remaining tenure of Vice-Chancellors (VCs) is less than six months, it is learnt.

The HED Punjab had sought advice/direction of the chancellor/governor over the issue last month. Interestingly, while the directions from the chancellor were still awaited the HED in a letter on June 28, 2019, had imposed a ban on recruitments at these universities. The move had attracted strong reaction from the academic staff associations of public sector universities who had termed the ban ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’.

A VC of a university, seeking anonymity, said the entire process of hiring at such universities where remaining tenure of the VCs was less than six months was halted after the letter issued by the HED. “This is strange that instead of waiting for the chancellor’s final directions, the department imposed the ban,” he added.

He said since the VCs could not afford confrontation with the higher education department they had stopped the recruitment process. “Otherwise, there is no logic and justification to ban the recruitments at universities without directions from the chancellor,” he added.

In his earlier point of view, a senior official of HED Punjab had termed the letter to the universities ‘a caution’ or ‘piece of advice to VCs’ following complaints of alleged violation of merit in recruitments.

Another VC said because of the prevailing situation the universities were actually suffering as the new academic session was ahead and the universities needed more teaching and non-teaching staff.

It is pertinent to mention that the universities where remaining tenure of VCs is less than six months are Government College University (GCU) Lahore, University of Education (UOE) Lahore, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Rawalpindi, Government Sadiq College Women University, Bahawalpur and Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering & Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan.

When contacted, HED Special Secretary Sajid Zafar said the department would send the case again through the Law Department. He said the department would also quote his (the chancellor’s) powers this time. He said the department had also received some letters from universities seeking permission to complete the recruitments already under process. He said the department would also send these letters to the chancellor/governor.

Our correspondent adds: Commissioner, Lahore Division, Asif Bilal Lodhi has said there is ample land available for tree plantation in Safari Zoo and even in Racecourse Park.

He said very long land patches are available on both sides of Lahore Ring Road and near eastern bypass. He was briefed that a tobacco company wanted to donate 500,000 saplings in plantation campaign free of cost. He said numbers of saplings could be reduced, but plants of 4 to 5 feet height would be more welcomed due to their more survival rate.

He constituted a committee comprising Additional Commissioner, Suhail Khawaja, PHA and Ring Road Authority to give final shape of agreement with PTC. He said land would be given to the company for nursery on Ring Road with easy access. He said 39 types of plants were identified and only indigenous plants would be planted.

APP adds: More than 30,000 saplings have been planted by Danish Schools & Centres of Excellence Authority (DSCEA) on the direction of Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas under Clean and Green Pakistan campaign.

As many as 14 Danish Schools and 11 Centres of excellence, established across Punjab, launched the campaign in April this year. A total 26,000 saplings have been planted at the campuses of these schools so far.

Members of the provincial assembly, deputy commissioners, police officers, political, social dignitaries, teachers and students of concerned districts participated in the campaign, stated a news release.

Overall, 4,500 and 2,500 plants have been planted in Danish Schools Mianwali boys and girls campuses, respectively. MPA Farooq Amanullah and Rajanpur DCO Afzal Nasir Khan planted 10,000 saplings at Rajanpur boys and girls campuses.

As many as 5,400 saplings were planted at campuses in D G Khan. Tree plantation was also carried out in Rahim Yar Khan, Hasilpur, Attock, Chishtian and centres of excellence schools located in other districts. The ongoing campaign is a flagship project of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the favour of human health and ecology.