HEC Amendment Bill | LUMS passing marks
Rectors, VCs demand govt to notify Task Force on HEC
Islamabad, Feb 06: Rectors and vice chancellors representing 137 public and private sector
universities on Tuesday demanded the government to notify Task Force
established back in 2011 so that consultation process on Higher
Education Commission Act can be initiated without any delay.
demand came forward in the 11th Vice Chancellors' Committee meeting
held at Higher Education Commission (HEC). One point agenda of the
meeting was the recently proposed Private Members HEC Amendment Bill.
vice chancellors felt that any change in the HEC Act should be
according to the recommendations of the Task Force established by Prime
Minister's High Powered Committee. They demanded that the Task Force may
be notified so that consultation process can start without further
delay. The vice chancellors also highlighted the financial problems
being confronted by higher education sector.
Force called 'Task Force on Higher Education and Research 2012' was a
consultative forum formed in the year 2011 to review HEC Act 2002 in the
post 18th Amendment constitutional scenario based on analysis of HEC
performance and achievements since its establishment (2002-12),
observance of global trends, requirements of national development and,
wide-ranging consultations with the provinces and the stakeholders.
National Assembly Standing Committee on Education and Training Sheikh
Rohale Asghar along with other committee members including Surraiya
Jatoi (PPPP), Tasneem Siddiqui (PML-N), Qudsia Arshad (PML-N), Dr. Donya
Aziz (PML-Q), Rukhsana Jameshed Buttar (PML-Q), Shaikh Salahuddin (MQM)
and Sufyan Yousaf (MQM) attended the meeting and listened and exchanged
views with the VCs relating to their reservations and concerns over the
The VCs noted that the universities have shown
tremendous progress in the last decade and HEC reforms are being
followed by the other countries as role model. They said that the
proposed bill would have detrimental effect on the higher education
sector and would revert back all the achievements gained during last
The vice chancellors were of the view that the
higher education sector has been a growth engine for socio-economic
development of Pakistan and higher education institutions have started
to play pivotal role for the well-being of Pakistani people and
industrial growth through strong university-industry linkages. They said
that it would be extremely unfortunate if at this point legislative
step are taken without any consultation with the stakeholders.
Chairman Sheikh Rohale Asghar and other committee members of the
Standing Committee appreciated the role of HEC for socio-economic
development and promotion of quality education in the country. They were
of the view that any legislation that takes away the dynamism and
autonomy of HEC will be damaging to the higher education sector in the
country. They were of the unanimous view that HEC is one institution
which has functioned extremely well and has delivered wonderful results
during the last decade.
On the behalf of the committee, he
categorically stated that the legislation should be based upon careful
review of past progress and consultation with the relevant stakeholders
so that this model organization may be further strengthened to continue
its positive role.
Sheikh Rohale Asghar remarked that the
committee would not undertake any step undermining the autonomy and
future of higher education in Pakistan. "We will not table any bill
which is damaging to the performance and will curtail the autonomy of
HEC. We need to strengthen the institutions", he emphasised.
the end of the conference, through a unanimous resolution, the vice
chancellors appreciated the efforts of chairman and members of the
Standing Committee on Education and Training for their deep,
comprehensive understanding and their concerns about the future of
higher education in the country.
They thanked the
Committee for offering them the opportunity of being heard. The meeting
expressed the hope that interaction of the people's representatives with
the representatives of higher education would continue in future as
well. The Vice Chancellors were appreciative of the assurances given by
the Standing Committee that that the autonomy of HEC would not be
Speaking on this occasion, Chairperson HEC Dr
Javaid Laghari extended thanks to Chairman and members of National
Assembly Standing Committee on Education and Training for sparing their
time to have input of the vice chancellors who are the most important
stakeholder in the higher education sector.
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"Was A Great Event and as always winning is a good habit"
Name: Abiola Moshood
City, Country: Islamabad, Pakistan
New HEC ED assumes charge
Islamabad: Professor Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed assumed the charge of Higher Education Commission (HEC) executive director on Monday.
joining the HEC as executive director, Professor Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was
deputy director general of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organisation (Isesco) at Rabat, Morocco, since February 2011.
PhD from University of California, Riverside, USA, Mukhtar has over 25
years of educational development and management experience including
teaching, policy development, linking educational research to industry,
introducing entrepreneurial approaches to education and a diverse range
of related programmes. He has the experience of working with
distinguished national and international organizations and brings with
him unique expertise of educational leadership. He has also severed as
Member (Operations and Planning) at Higher Education Commission from
Addressing a gathering of HEC employees, he said that HCEC would continue its active role for the socio-economic development of country.
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LUMS, ministry admit lowering pass marks to adjust 'political appointees'
Islamabad: After abruptly calling back 42 commercial consulars from across the
globe, the outgoing Pakistan People's Party's government is set to fill
the highly important vacant posts with loyalists, especially ordering
one of the country's top universities to lower the standard of their
selection exams, senior officials of the university and ministry of
commerce have confirmed.
Professor of Economics at the Lahore University
of Management Sciences (LUMS) Abid Aman Burki who supervised the test
confirmed that the threshold was lowered on the orders of former prime
minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. He also said the university would not
conduct such tests in future, as it is fed up with controversies
involving the process. When contacted, a senior official of the commerce
ministry said the passing marks were lowered, as there were complaints
that the written test was too tough. "We had no option but to lower the
passing marks as the commerce ministry came up with written directions
from the prime minister in this regard," Prof Burki said,
explaining the reasons to relax the selection procedure. Burki, however,
maintained that test was still competitive and the university did the
job with integrity. He said LUMS conducted a similar test in 2005 based
on 60 per cent threshold. "It is not a LUMS degree examination. We
conducted this test on the request of the ministry and we had to
entertain their request," Burki maintained.
The strange move has left
dozens of Pakistani foreign missions in some key economies of the world
without commercial consulars formonths, jeopardising the country's trade
ties with key global players. Even the future trade prospects do not
appear very bright with a big question mark on the competence of the
replacing officers. According to sources, the Lahore University of
Management Sciences had been directed by the government to lower the 60
per cent threshold to 40 per cent to allow the incompetent candidates to
pass the written test. If this was not enough, the university also
refrained from revealing the marks of successful candidates on the
directions of the commerce ministry.
Only the interview committee headed
by the commerce minister and PPP stalwart Makhdoom Amin Faheem knew the
exact marks obtained by each candidate. The LUMS professor also
admitted that the university was asked by the ministry not to reveal the
marks obtained by the successful candidates. "We usually let the
candidates see their marks but this time we were asked by the ministry
not to do so." However Burki strongly refuted claims that the university
shared the question paper with the ministry ahead of test. He said 278
candidates appeared in the written exam and 206 passed the test by
obtaining 40 per cent marks. The successful candidates appear for
interview before a committee headed by Makhdoom Amin Fahim. "It is
difficult to get the required number of officers if we continue with 60
per cent passing marks," said Kabir Qazi, a joint secretary at the
commerce ministry who is also working as the ministry's official
spokesperson. He said the selection of commercial consulars was at the
final stage and the process is expected to be completed within days.
When asked about the political influence in the appointment process,
Qazi said politics is not a bad thing. "The chairman of the selection
committee is the minister of commerce who is a politician. Politics is
not a bad thing," he repeated. He claimed the selection process was fair
as officials from multiple ministries were involved in interview of the
However, another senior ministry official said that abrupt recall of the commercial consulars from foreign missions
without their replacement does not bode well for the country's trade
objectives. "The proper procedure was to first appoint the new officers
before recalling the senior officers. There must be proper handing over
to ensure the trade ties with other countries do not suffer," he said.
The sources said the current stalemate in the appointment of commercial
consulars has resulted from intense wrangling within the party's
influential circles about the exact number of posts to be allotted to
each party stalwart. The news
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Preston University brings 'BIZFEST 2013' trophies
Islamabad: The Preston University clinched first position in both
'Business Launch Competition' and 'Elevator Pitch Competition' held
under the banner of 'BIZFEST 2013', organised by the Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI) from January 25
The Preston University's teams, which were led to the
competition by Prof Khalid Javaid Anwer, consisted of students Nabila
Iqbal (team leader), Madiha Zar and Atobatele Abiola Moshood.
among the universities, which participated in the 'Business Launch
Competition' category of BIZFEST 2013 were the Preston University,
Islamabad, GC University Lahore, Beaconhouse School System (Liberty
Campus), Lahore, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi,
ICAS Lahore, UOL Business School, Lahore, and Preston University Kohat.
University, Islamabad, beat all the other competing universities to win
the first position in this category of the competition. The GC
University Lahore captured the second position, while Beaconhouse
grabbed the third position.
The universities that took part in
the 'Elevator Pitch Competition' category of BIZFEST 2013 were Preston
University, Islamabad, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI), Topi, GC
University Lahore, UET Lahore, and Preston University, Kohat. In this
category also, the team of Preston University, Islamabad, was declared
the best and was awarded first position. The GIKI, the host institution,
came second in the Elevator Pitch Competition.
In view of its
outstanding performance in both categories of the competition of BIZFEST
2013, Preston University, apart from being awarded two trophies for
standing first in each category, was also awarded the overall best
performance trophy of BIZFEST 2013 competition. In addition to this, a
cash prize of Rs 30,000 was awarded to the Preston University team for
giving the best business idea 'Capital World – A Cultural Theme Park',
in the Business Launch Competition.
Preston University Chancellor
Dr Abdul Basit profoundly congratulated Prof Khalid Javaid Anwer on the
outstanding achievement of Preston students in BIZFEST 2013. He also
immensely appreciated the brilliant performance of students Nabila
Iqbal, Madiha Zar and Atobatele Abiola Moshood, who participated in the
competition and won laurels for the university. Daily times
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