Monday May 27, 2024

Forced leave issue: Islamia College University’s acting VC playing his cards tactfully

By Yousaf Ali
October 25, 2020

PESHAWAR: Playing tactfully, acting vice-chancellor of Islamia College University Dr Naushad Khan on the one hand has moved court against the chancellor’s decision to send him on forced leave and on the other sought advice from the Higher Education Department (HED) to close the institution for a week.

The HED has also been meaningfully delaying action upon the “most urgent” directives of the governor, the chancellor of public sector universities, to give breathing space to the outgoing pro-vice-chancellor/acting vice-chancellor of the university so that he may get relief from somewhere. Meanwhile, the HED has taken the decision in principle to award the additional charge of the university’s top office to vice-chancellor Agriculture University, Peshawar Prof Dr Jan Bakht till arrival of a regular vice-chancellor, reliable sources told The News. “A formal notification to this effect is expected in a couple of days,” the sources said. Ideally, the HED should appoint any one from among the senior most professors of the university as pro-vice-chancellor and give him the acting charge of the vice-chancellor. But the matter has got complicated as the incumbent pro-vice-chancellor is supposed to leave a couple of months prior to completion of his three-year tenure.

One of the two senior most professors Dr Inayat Ali Shah has also been indicted in the Governor’s Inspection Team (GIT) report along with Dr Naushad Khan while the other one, Prof Dr Nisar is going to retire in a couple of months. The HED has no other choice but to give additional charge of the office to the vice-chancellor of the university located nearby. The two adjacent universities to Islamia College - University of Engineering and Technology and University of Peshawar - have also been functioning under caretaker administration. Therefore, the charge is supposed to be given to the vice-chancellor of Agriculture University.

“The action is in the pipeline. The pro-vice-chancellor would be sent on forced leave and the additional charge would be given to Dr Jan Bakht. But it may take a couple of days more as the matter is not so simple to deal with,” an official in the HED told this reporter. Sources in the university argue that Dr Naushad Khan has been playing a very tactful move. He has approached the court against the GIT report, while on the other hand he, through the university’s registrar, has sent a letter to the HED to seek its advice about closure of the university on the pretext of a clash between students of the university the other day. The letter addressed to secretary HED with the subject of “Guidance regarding closure of the university for a week time” says: “A fight took place between students of different federations of campus.

In view of the prevailing circumstances and unrest created by these federations, police have recommended closure of the university for a week from October 24 to October 31.” An official of the university told The News: “They are closing the university in order to delay the joining of new acting vice-chancellor and meanwhile the incumbent could get stay from court.” The Governor Secretariat in a recent letter to the HED has directed sending Dr Naushad Khan on forced leave in light of the serious allegations of irregularities, favouritism and creating unrest in the university levelled in the GIT report. Dr Naushad has rejected the allegations as baseless. Some faculty members of the university are supporting Dr Naushad, while others want immediate implementation of the governor’s directives.

The university also saw a scuffle between two students’ organisations in which two students sustained injuries. But that scuffle was not so serious in nature that the whole institution may be closed due to it as the matter has already been resolved.