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August 23, 2019

‘Acting VCs from outside not acceptable’


August 23, 2019

LAHORE: Government College University’s Academic Staff Association (GCUASA) Thursday opposed the government move to assign charge of the Vice-Chancellor to someone from outside the university.

Earlier, a delegation of GCUASA met HED secretary Thursday over the issue. Sources said the delegation was not even given proper hearing. It is pertinent to mention that GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah and University of Education Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Rauf-i-Azam would complete their terms on August 26.

The sources said the HED had recently moved a summary to Governor/Chancellor to assign acting charge of VCs at these universities to Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar, the newly- appointed VC of the UET for GCU Lahore and Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, VC of Punjab University for University of Education.

However, the move upset the faculty at these universities who argued that the government should not assign acting/additional charge to anyone from outside these universities as both the institutions were among big universities of the province and needed to be looked after carefully and with dedication.

“Remote control operation of 155 years old academic institution i.e. Government College University Lahore would not be acceptable at all to its teachers and staff members and any such move would be opposed with maximum ability and force,” said the university’s Academic Staff Association President Prof Dr Hamid Mukhtar in a press statement.

The teachers argued that on acting/additional charge VC from outside the university could not give required time and attention owing to which the universities suffer. “PU and UET are big universities. How can their VCs give due attention to the GCU and UOE,” questioned a senior faculty member at GCU while adding PU VC was already having an additional charge as VC of the Information Technology University (ITU). Another teacher from UOE said the HED should have completed the appointment of regular VCs before expiry of tenure of the incumbent VCs. “The government can trust a VC for a complete term of four years but not any additional time which is strange,” he said. He said if the situation was not affordable, the government should at least assign the charge from within the university to ensure smooth functioning of the universities.

The GCUASA statement reads: “The university’s 28th head, Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah’s tenure was ending on August 26 and there were rumours about giving acting charge of the GCU’s VC’s office to the VC of another university, and who would remotely handle the affairs of the one of the most prestigious’ university of the country.”

The ASA president Prof Mukhtar said GCU was not a new university and was the most prestigious academic institution of Pakistan which had traditions spread over three centuries, and it was not possible for any VC to remotely operate its functions.

Prof Mukhtar said GCU had more than 25 full professors and the Punjab government could give charge to any one of them as per law or could give the acting charge to incumbent VC until the appointment of a regular vice-chancellor.

Prof Mukhtar said the university teachers would go on strike if any alien VC was given the acting charge of the university’s VC office. When contacted HED Additional Secretary Arif Hameed Bhatti, said the department could not make decisions on the wishes of ASA. He said interviews for the appointment of regular VCs at these two and other four universities would start from September 15 and by first week of October the universities would get regular VCs. He added the department might allow the incumbent VCs to continue until the appointment of regular VCs.

It is important to mention that in July this year the HED had advertised the posts of VCs for Government College University (GCU) Lahore, University of Education (UOE) Lahore, Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Government Sadiq College Women University, Bahawalpur and Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering & Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan.

Patient Safety Day: Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid has announced observing September 17 as ‘Patient Safety Day.’ She announced this while chairing a meeting in connection with patient safety at Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department here on Thursday.

Additional Secretary Ahsan Altaf, Dr Hussain Jafferi and other officers concerned were present on the occasion. The meeting reviewed the measures taken to provide secure medical treatment to the patients in public sector hospitals.

Dr Yasmin Rashid said provision of secure medical facilities to patients will be ensured in all government hospitals. She said MSs are responsible for providing best healthcare facilities to the patients by ensuring hygienic condition in government hospitals.