During the last three years in the federal Higher Education Commission (HEC), where the most important post of executive director (ED) has not been permanently filled, the regional offices in the provinces have also been run on an ad hoc basis, it has been learnt.
There is a mockery of merit as 17th grade assistant directors or 18th grade deputy directors have been appointed instead of 19th or 20th grade directors general or directors.
According to details, Shafi-ur-Rehman, assistant director of Grade 17 in Regional Centre Peshawar, Ahsan Hameed, assistant director Grade 17 in Regional Centre Quetta, Hakeem Talpur, deputy director Grade 18 in Regional Centre Karachi, and Shehzad Abbasi at Regional Centre Lahore have been posted during last three years. The Bahawalpur sub office was closed last year.
Similarly, the most important post of executive director (ED) was advertised three times and money was wasted from the national exchequer in the form of advertisements. The HEC Act was later violated by appointing a female bureaucrat as ED on deputation and she is still holding the post of ED.
Defending the appointments on deputation and low grade officers to higher grade posts, Dr Tariq Banuri, former chairman of the HEC, said: "The quality of a person doesn't depend on their grade.”
HEC spokesperson and director general Ayesha Akram declined to comment. However, another HEC official, on condition of anonymity, replied that after the appointment of the new chairman, all officers who were posted against the rules would be removed and the situation would be improved.