HEC crisis | Municipal Library Islamabad
ISF warns of movement over HEC issue
Islamabad, Jan 30: Insaf Student Federation (ISF) has warned of launching a countrywide 'remove
government, save education' movement if the PPP-led federal government
introduced a bill for controlling autonomy of Higher Education
Commission (HEC) in the parliament.
Addressing a press
conference at ISF's central secretariat here on Tuesday, ISF President
Farrukh Habib said that the student wing of PTI would knock every door,
including the Supreme Court, to protect HEC from the PPP and its
coalition partners 'who wanted to teach HEC a lesson over fake degrees
Terming passing the bill by the standing committee
unconstitutional, Farrukh claimed that the government did not even get
approval from Council of Common Interest (CCI) in this regard. He said
controlling autonomous status of HEC was meant to play with the future
of thousands of students who were studying higher education on
scholarships in the country and abroad.
The ISF president
said the HEC was investigating into degrees of around 400
parliamentarians and many of them had fake degrees. He said the
government wanted to save them from being victim of Articles 62 and 63
to clear their way to contest coming general election.
warned that if the government did not restrain itself from introducing
such bill in the parliament, the ISF would launch a countrywide protest
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Senator S M Zafar supports HEC stance
Islamabad: In his legal opinion regarding Higher Education Commission (HEC) Amendment Bill
2012, Senator S M Zafar has supported the HEC stance that
constitutionally any legislation regarding HEC requires to be first
considered by the Council of Common Interests CCI.
in HEC said that Senator S M Zafar, who was among the main
architects of 18th Amendment, conveyed this legal opinion to HEC on
Monday. His legal opinion has strengthened the stance of Higher
Education Commission which has been explained in the position paper of
HEC submitted to the National Assembly Committee.
has taken the stance that 18th Amendment fully supports the current
powers and functions of the HEC so it is essential that HEC is retained
as a federal organisation in the strategic interest of Pakistan.
says that the 18th Amendment contains specific provisions regarding the
function of HEC as a federal body. In the Fourth Schedule [Article
70(4)]: Federal Legislative List Part I, Items 16 and 17 address issues
such as research, and foreign students, while the Fourth Schedule
[Article 70(4)]: Federal Legislative List Part II, Items 6, 7, 11, 12
and 13 deal with other core functions of the HEC including regulation of
higher education, national planning, coordination of scientific and
technical research, legal, medical and other professions, standards in
institutions of higher education and research as well as scientific and
technical institutions and interprovincial matter and coordination.
Council of Common Interests is formed under Article 153 of the
Constitution and is comprised of the prime minister, chief ministers of
the provinces, and three members from the government. The functions of
the Council of Common Interest (CCI) are enumerated under Article 154 of
the Constitution as, "The Council shall formulate and regulate policies
in relation to matters in Part II of the Federal Legislative List and
shall exercise supervision and control over related institutions."
says that anything which comes under Part II of the Federal Legislative
List has to be regulated by CCI. "Since various functions of HEC fall
within part II of the Federal Legislative List, the HEC Ordinance cannot
be amended without the prior approval of the CCI. If CCI approves an
amendment of the HEC Ordinance, Parliament would then need to pass the
amendment," says the position paper.
In his response to
HEC, S M Zafar has pointed out that item No 12 of the Federal List (Part
II) fully covers the HEC requiring any Bill to be first considered by
Council of Common Interests CCI.
It says that this stance
is supported by the following judgment of the Supreme Court PLD 2012 SC
224 at Page 240 which says that "The entry 38 is no longer there but
with some changes it has found a place in Entry 12 of Part-II of the
Federal Legislative List. It provides for standards in institutions for
higher education and research, scientific and technical institutions. So
it is a composite entry and entire issue relating to standard has also
not gone to Provinces."
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Teachers concerned about move against HEC
Lahore: Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) has expressed its concern
over the federal government's move to curtail autonomy of the Higher
Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan through new laws.
to a press release issued on Monday, the PUASA has warned that if the
government does not restrain itself from controlling the autonomous
power of the HEC, PUASA will launch a countrywide protest strike. The
office-bearers of the PUASA were of the view that due to positive role
of the HEC, not only the number of PhD scholars increased in the filed
of research but obvious development was also observed. Meanwnhile, a
meeting of Punjab University's Advanced Studies and Research Board
(AS&RB) was held on Monday which approved 11 synopses, 19 panel of
examiners and nine PhD extension cases. The meeting chaired by PU Vice
Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran also approved seven miscellaneous
cases and 10 evaluation reports. Prof Dr Khawja Haris Rashid, Prof Dr
Muhammad Ehsan Malik, Prof Dr Shoukat Ali, Prof Dr M Zakria Zakar, Prof
Dr Mazhar Moeen, Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar, Prof Dr Hafiz Mehmood Akhtar,
Prof Dr Muhammad Taqi Zahid Butt, Chairperson DPCC Prof Dr Shahida
Hasnain, Controller Examinations Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, and Registrar Prof
Dr Khan Raas Masood attended
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HEC chairman stresses political solution of crisis
Islamabad: Chairman HEC Dr Javaid R. Laghari confirmed writing
letter to the Prime Minister for his kind attention. He stressed for
political solution of the recent crisis staring at HEC.
asked about the link of the degree verification of Parliamentarians and
the prevalent crisis, he refrained to comment but said that the HEC is
in contact with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in this
regard. "We will only restart the process after it is requested from the
ECP. He said that the reduction in tenure of members of the Commission
of HEC from four years to three years will disrupt planning, policy
development and organisational objectives of this organisation.
practical functioning of HEC would be severely disrupted. All
development projects including scholarship projects supporting 10,000
students on scholarship whose needs and requirements change constantly
would be affected severely. The funding flow from the Government is
extremely erratic and without flexibility of allocation of funds by the
Commission, the future of Pakistani scholars would be bleak."
about the status of Federal Minister granted to the HEC chairperson, he
said that it exhibits the priority the democratic leadership of the
country attaches to the higher education sector.
chairperson HEC who is appointed by the prime minister represents the
country at international forums to discuss the matter pertaining to
higher education. It is imperative to have a rank of Federal Minister
attached with HEC chairperson. This provision also allows the HEC to
maintain an autonomous status as a Ministry under the Prime Minister at
local Secretariat and ministerial level." He said that the HEC is the
project implementing body for the US$ 300 million World Bank Loan for
uplift of Higher Education in Pakistan.
ability to allocate and distribute funds, entire operation of HEC would
essentially come to a halt and the HEC would be forced to withdraw from
this programme resulting in huge loss of a concessional loan for the
higher education sector of Pakistan."
In addition to
that, the HEC has partnered with the USAID to set up three Centres for
Advanced Studies in Energy, Food Security and Agriculture, and Water at
the universities in Pakistan through a 127 million dollars grant.
Without the ability to allocate and distribute funds, the entire project
of HEC would essentially come to a halt and the HEC would be forced to
withdraw from this project.
"If the powers of the HEC are
diluted and it is made a subservient organisation, the core function of
degree recognition, equivalence and attestation would be compromised
since the Commission would no longer be autonomous," he pointed out.
HEC attests more than 200,000 educational documents each year. "Every
Pakistani going for work abroad must have their degrees attested by the
HEC which is recognised by the entire world to be a fair and impartial
body whose attestation is accepted at face value. By taking financial
powers away from the Commission, removing the status of federal minister
from the chairman, reducing tenure of Commission members, the authority
and autonomy of the HEC would be severely compromised risking the
future of the all graduates from Pakistan whose degrees the world would
not be ready to accept," he added.
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A library without librarian for 20 years!
Islamabad: Same as a kitchen shows the discipline of the housemates, a library portrays how
education-friendly and disciplined a city is. If put on this scale, the
lone public sector library of the city, Municipal Library near Liaquat
Bagh portrays a bleak future of Pindiites.
ignorance of the city's managers can be gauged by the fact that the post
of a permanent librarian (BPS-17) has been lying vacant for 20 years.
If this is not enough, the post of assistant librarian (BPS-14) is
looking the way of the officer for six years.
of staffers in the library is also reducing, as no replacement is given
whosoever retires or leaves. At present, the library is being run by 8
staffers in total, including peons.
Employees of the library gave contradictory statements about the total number of books.
number of books this library contains is around 50,000", says Ms
Raheela, a Grade 7 clerk working as the acting librarian. Another
employee insisted on 80,000, but a rough counting by this correspondent
was putting the figure at around 25,000-30,000.
mind over 2 million population (rank 4) of the city with an adequate
touch of modernity according to Pakistan's standards, this figure is a
huge embarrassment for the city district government.
have been visiting this library since 1995-96 and am a diehard reader of
Urdu literature. They also lack new books. You will hardly find new
fiction and other books here. I am now fed up with the same old titles
since late 90s," says Amjad Rasheed, a regular visitor.
must for today's libraries besides books and periodicals is other media
like audio-books, e-books, videotapes, CDs & DVDs and internet. But
don't even dare to think about these. "The library purchased about 10
personal computers in 2002, but they were not used. The PCs have now
become dysfunctional with the passage of time," says Raheela.
established in 1873 with around 500 books in two rooms, the library was
shifted to its present venue in 1977. After enjoying the patronage of
municipal corporation for a long time, the library was devolved to the
city district government in 2001 under the new rules of governance for
civic bodies by Pervez Musharraf.
"The 2001 flood played
havoc with the library. The books put on lower three shelves of racks
were destroyed. We suffered a huge loss as over 10,000 books were
destroyed by floodwater," says Ms Raheela.
the major chunk of books comes from donations by the Punjab Library
Foundation and Asia Foundation. "The last consignment by the Punjab
Library Foundation came in 2011 with 800-900 books," she claims, but it
is near impossible to find the newest and freshest titles in the racks.
employees and officials concerned may give 100 reasons for the state of
the library, but for how long they will keep on playing with the fate
of our ignorant populace remains a big question.
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AIOU launches admission process
Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has started its admission
process for the Spring Semester 2013 from the Secondary School
Certificate (SSC) to MA-MSc level programmes in different disciplines.
admission forms and prospectuses are available at the sale-points of
university's main campus in Sector H-8, Islamabad, and regional campuses
and coordination offices throughout the country.
admission forms along with prescribed fee can be submitted in the
branches of Bank Alfalah, Habib Bank Limited, First Women Bank and
Allied Bank and in nominated branches of the National Bank of Pakistan
and Muslim Commercial Bank.
The admission forms and
prospectuses of SSC, FA and BA level programmes for Pakistanis in the
Middle-East can be obtained-downloaded from the website
The computerised admission forms have
been sent to all 'continuing students.' They can also download
'continuing admission forms' from the website (www.aiou.edu.pk). The news
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