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10 VCs appointment in doldrums

Chief Minister poised to approve names due to procedural flaws

Fresh advertisement after amendment in selection law, age relaxation

5 Ali ArshadLAHORE: Amid divide in the powerful bureaucracy of the province, the Punjab Higher Education Department (PHED) forwarded Search Committee’s recommendations and a summary tothe chief minister for amendment in the law regarding maximum age limit of vice chancellors. A fresh advertisement for recruitment of 10 vice chancellors in the public sector universities of the province would be given after the promulgation of new act, sources told The Educationist.

The procedural flaws, like recommendation of only 15 names in the first list (1.5 each for one post) instead of standard 30 names (three each for one post) was a hurdle in the selection of recommended professors as vice chancellors, besides some serious objections raised by the candidates and members of the committee, experts believed.

The search committee earlier, formed a list recommending the nameof Prof Dr RukhsanaKausar for Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi,Prof Dr Tahir Ameen for BZU Multan, Prof Dr AzraAsghar Ali for Women University Bahawapur, Prof Dr AtharMahboob for Rahim Yar Khan University, Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman for Ghazi University DG Khan, Prof Dr Samina Amin for Lahore College for Women University.

The chief minister was poised to take decision due to confusion arise out of the controversy regarding procedural flaws, as some candidates are still ready to approach court, in case recommendations are approved.

Re-interview of another 15 candidates could have been just a formality to meet the procedural requirement, the issue was raised by a member and supported by others that at least 30 candidates’ list should be forwarded to the CM, as per procedure of PPSC and FPSC.

Education experts believed that abolishing upper age limit of 65 years for VCs would prove a milestone in the development of varsities and the plan to link their performance to re-appointment was a better idea.

Punjab HED secretary was not available for comments. Punjab Higher Education Commission chairman Prof Dr Nizamuddin said there should be a formula to evaluate the  performance of VCs at the time of re-interview.

It is noteworthy that 425 applications were submitted, around 180 were shortlisted. Search committee members included Syed Babur Ali, Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Dr Nizamuddin, Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus, HED secretary IrumBukhari.  The criteria for the selection is 60% qualification and 40% interview. The tenure of Dr SabihaMansoor as VC LCWUand Dr Samina Amin Qadir as VC of FJWU expired on July 13 while Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman of GCU Lahore, Dr Faiz-ul-Hassan of UoE Lahore and Dr Syed Khawaja Alqama of BZU, Multan on July 22, 2015.  The age relaxation law would give new service life to many retiring VCs, besides sweeping away the hopes of many new candidates.

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