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May 26, 2021

Swabi Women University VC rejects irregularities, mismanagement charges

PESHAWAR: Women University Swabi Vice-Chancellor Shahana Urooj Kazmi has rejected the Governor Inspection Team (GIT) report and termed the irregularities and mismanagement allegations baseless.

She said the GIT findings were based on wrong assumptions with no legal grounds. She said she left Karachi and came to Swabi to serve the girl students of remote areas, but a vicious campaign had been launched against her after dismissal of a few employees.

She said that all appointments were made on merit from Sindh and Punjab, and not a single relative of her was recruited.

The GIT report had levelled serious allegations of irregularities and mismanagement against the vice-chancellor. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor had approved the GIT report and sent the VC on forced leave for 90 days.

Dr Shahana Kazmi told the scribe that due to security reasons in Shah Mansoor Town, she had decided to live in Islamabad. Instead of a house, she rented an apartment and used one room and the rest of the rooms were used for guests of the university/ experts, selection board/ syndicate and senate members, etc. She said when the governor’s team came to visit the guest house, there was no cook, no chowkidar available because there were no guests staying in the apartment, except for the VC, who was in the university.

Whenever there were guests, a cook was sent from the university to make food, but the VC makes her own food to save the university money, she added.

“The fixed salary of an assistant professor, according to the HEC, at that time was Rs130,000/ month. The increment was recommended by the selection committee to give a reasonable package, much lower than the HEC salary to PhD qualified and experienced newly hired assistant professors,” she added.

Shahana said there was no dean, senior professor, or experts for new health-related disciplines curriculum development, registrar, academic council, scrutiny committee meetings, etc. Therefore, highly qualified and experienced three superannuated persons, appointed on a contingency basis for a short duration on a contract basis, who were relieved after six months. This is not a violation but only a way out to meet a contingency requirement.

“We can hire anyone from any province with the required qualifications and relevant work experience on a contract with a fixed salary or on regular basis in BPS 17- 21, following all rules and regulations.

“This observation smells of provincialism, which is against the Constitution of Pakistan. The VCs of the public sector universities are appointed on market-based salary, with admissible perks in accordance with qualification and experience,” she added.

However, after recruitment, she did not receive her salary for two months as she was expecting the higher education department to send her a letter regarding salary, allowances, and other conditions. Despite sending three letters to the HED to fix the salary, no reply was received. As no response was received, the university administration fixed the salary temporarily and informed the HED that their instructions were awaited, but no letter had been received thus far.

She said the VC/ Rector of Pak-Austria University, which is a public sector university in KP, had been fixed at Rs21 lakh per month. She said an amount of Rs57,780 of air ticket was reimbursed because when you hire somebody from another country or city, you have to bear the cost of travel and transfer of residence. She did not get any letter with terms of reference, so she assumed that this will be included in the package.