HEC permanent chairperson | Air University convention
HEC gets permanent chairperson at last
Islamabad, April 26: After the delay of about
seven months, the government on Tuesday appointed a full-time
chairperson of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the appointment of Professor Dr Mukhtar
Ahmed who will head the commission for four years. A notification in
this regard was also issued on Tuesday.
The HEC had been working
without a permanent head since August 26, 2013, when the first four-year
term of Dr Javaid Laghari ended. Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, the vice
chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar,
was given the acting charge on November 9, 2013.
has already been working as the executive director of the HEC since
February 2013. The ED serves as the chief executive officer and the
principal accounting officer of the commission.
the HEC, Prof Ahmed, who has done PhD from the University of California,
USA, also served as the deputy director general, Islamic Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation in Rabat, Morocco.
official of the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher
Education requesting not to be identified said that a search
committee headed by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and
Reforms Ahsan Iqbal interviewed 19 candidates on February 10 and 11 and
sent three names to the prime minister for appointing anyone of them as
the HEC chief.
"The three candidates were: Prof Mukhtar Ahmed,
Rector National Textile University Faisalabad Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad and
former vice chancellor Karakorum International University, Giglit, Dr
Najma Najam," he said.
However, the prime minister rejected the names and reconstituted a new search committee.
Mr Iqbal refused to chair the new committee. As a result, Minister for
Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif was nominated as the head of the
The new committee announced that the interviews would
be held on March 18 and 19 but later cancelled the process because of
the engagements of the committee members. The new date for the
interviews could not be announced, he said.
In the meanwhile, the
Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday ordered the government to appoint
the chairperson of the HEC within 15 days.
But just 24 hours
after the court directions, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif revisited his
initial decision of rejecting the three names sent by the committee
headed by Ahsan Iqbal and approved the appointment of Prof Ahmed as the
HEC chief, he said.
"Although it was the right of the prime
minister to reject the candidates for the post, it seemed that he (PM)
was initially misguided by some elements due to which he rejected the
three names selection by Mr Iqbal," he said.
An official of the
HEC on the condition of anonymity added that because of the appointment
of Prof Mukhtar as the chairperson, the post of the executive director
had fallen vacant.
"There are two possibilities. Either the post
of ED will be advertised again or Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari of the
Quaid-i-Azam University will be considered for it." Dr Shinwari was on
number two of the list prepared for the appointment of the ED when Prof
Ahmed was made ED in February 2013, he added.
However, initially, the acting charge of the post will be given to one of the members of the HEC Commission.
There are currently 11 members of the 18-member commission, he said. Dawn
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Government's credibility questioned on HEC chief's appointment
Islamabad: After informing the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday that Dr Mukhtar
Ahmad was not eligible to become the HEC chairman and the prime
minister had turned down a summary containing his name, Nawaz Sharif has
now appointed Dr Mukhtar as the HEC chief. Though the court had given
15 days to the government to complete the process, this has been done
the very next day. Thus the PML-N government continues with its practice
of making controversial appointments.
committee headed by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan
Iqbal had finalised three names for the statutory post of the HEC
chairman, which included Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, HEC ED, Dr Najma Najam, VC
Karakoram University, Gilgit, and Dr Niaz Ahmad, VC Textile University,
Federal Secretary for Education, Training and
Standards in Higher Education Muhammad Ahsan Raja appeared before the
IHC on Monday and informed the court that the prime minister had
rejected the summary sent by a committee headed by Ahsan Iqbal on the
grounds that the persons nominated were not eligible or appropriate for
He also informed the court that the prime
minister had constituted another search committee, which would be headed
by Khawaja Asif. The court gave the government 15 days to appoint the
new HEC chairman after showing its annoyance over the delay. It was
obvious that the IHC ordered the government to appoint the chairman by
following a laid down criteria. The new search committee had issued a
notification to re-interview all the candidates on April 17, 2014.
the candidates were waiting for their interviews, suddenly the
government appointed Dr Mukhtar as the HEC chairman while he was facing
cases on his dual degrees taken in the same year and his title of
The IHC has issued notices simply three days
before the case against Dr Mukhtar's obtaining two degrees in the year
1995, one of PhD Botany and the other of Masters in Business
Administration, is heard.
This implies that two or three
years before 1995, Dr Mukhtar was studying for both the degrees of PhD
and MBA, which is illegal. On the basis of similar reasons, the earlier
summary was dropped.
In the reports already published, an
HEC spokesman had rejected all the charges against Dr Mukhtar. He said
Dr Mukhtar was a very competent person and fulfilled the criteria for
the HEC chairman. Some vested interests, he said, launched a
vilification campaign against Dr Mukhtar, who is an honest person and an
asset for the HEC.
Appointments made by the government
are being questioned from the very first day. Either these are top
appointments of sports boards or top positions in government
departments, organisations, corporations, accountability institutions
and big profit earning bodies, the decisions made by the government are
being questioned. However, a government official insisted that the premier, under the rules, had full powers to
reject the earlier summary for the appointment of the HEC chief and now
under the same rules he enjoyed full powers to accept the same summary.
the question is not of powers of the prime minister but the
credibility, eligibility and suitability of all these appointments and
the latest appointment has become a classic case as the government has
itself informed a superior court that an earlier summary was turned down
for the reasons that those nominated did not fulfil the criteria and
were not eligible. Dr Mukhtar Ahmad switched his cell off on Tuesday and
was not available for his version.
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Nawaz Sharif awards 18 gold,14 silver medals to Air University students
Islamabad: The 4th Convocation of the Air University was held at Jinnah Convention Centre here on Thursday, says a press release.
Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif graced the occasion as the chief guest.
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt, who is also
chairman of the Board of Governors of the Air University, was also
present in the ceremony.
Bachelor's and master's degrees
in various educational disciplines in engineering and administration
programmes were conferred upon 933 students. The chief guest awarded 18
gold and 14 silver medals to the position-holders. The first PhD degree
of Air University was awarded to Ms Kiran Sultan in the field of
Addressing the ceremony, the prime
minister stressed on the government's commitment to education for
providing access to all citizens and for achieving a knowledge-based
economy to realise the socio-economic development of the country. He
appreciated the Air University's achievements in higher education in a
very short span of time and reiterated his government's resolve to give
due importance to women's education and their empowerment for a better
future of the country.
The prime minister lauded the
efforts of Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt
for his focused patronage to provide quality education at the Air
University. He also appreciated air chief's concerted efforts for the
expansion of the Air University and announced allotment of 70 acres of
land for the university.
In his message on the convocation
of Air University, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt said that
education played an important role in this era of globalisation which
needed qualified engineers and effective managers. He advised students
to play an active part to strength the pillars of our society in order
to become a self-reliant nation.
Earlier, Dr Ijaz Ahmad
Malik, vice chancellor of the Air University, in his welcome address,
thanked the Higher Education Commission and the Pakistan Air Force for
their continual supports towards the university.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, chairman of the Higher Education Commission, Air
University chancellor, heads of various educational institutions, senior
civil and military officers and parents of the graduating students
attended the function.
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Honour for student of PMAS-AAUR
Rawalpindi: Naeela Qureshi, student of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University
Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) has won Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum
She is one of the five female scientists
around the world and first Pakistani female scientist to get this award.
She was also awarded highly prestigious Dr. Norman E. Borlaug
International Agricultural Science & Technology Fellowship in 2012.
this achievement, Jeanie Borlaug Laube daughter of Dr. Norman Borlaug
gave her award at 2014 Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Technical Workshop
PMAS-AAUR, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad gave her a
University shield on her success. He congratulated and wished her
future endeavours. On the occasion, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad emphasised
the importance of nation building and urged upon the students to work
hard to be able to play their due role in overcoming the challenges
faced by the country these days.
She got this award for
her involvement in the wheat research, particularly for the genetic
diversity analysis of pre and post green revolution wheat varieties of
Pakistan based on RAPDs.
Naeela Qureshi completed her MSc
(Hons.) with specialisation in Plant Pathology from PMAS-AAUR. After
her master's programme, she started her professional career as Plant
Pathologist in Farmer's Market (Pvt) Ltd. associated with Pir Mehr Ali
Shah -Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) for the
production of disease free hydroponically grown vegetables. Later, she
worked for the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department as
Deputy Director-Seed Virologist. Currently, she is working as Assistant
Plant Pathologist at Barani Agricultural Research Institute, Chakwal. The news
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