3,600 scholars suffer as HEC runs low on funds
Islamabad, Feb 14: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is facing serious problems in providing stipends to its scholars studying in various international universities, it was learnt on authority.
"The future of 3,600 students, who are on HEC scholarships in various international universities, is already hitting troubled waters. The commission with every passing day is finding it extremely difficult to send their monthly financial support," a well-placed HEC official confided to this reporter.
In a number of cases, stipend is reaching the students with a delay of three to four months, the official said, adding that, "We could hardly do anything in this regard, as the government is not releasing money for the purpose."
So far, the HEC had diverted all of its developmental grants towards its Human Resource Development (HRD) under which it sends students abroad for higher education.
However, things will be turning really scary in the coming months. "Under the commitment, we are supposed to provide money to the relevant universities for our students. Otherwise, they (the universities) could send them back, no matter whether our students are half way through or near to completion of their studies," the official said.
In the ongoing financial year, the HEC needed Rs10 billion exclusively for HRD. However, the expenditure was cut down to Rs7.5 billion by stopping 500 students from proceeding aboard who were duly selected by the HEC for higher studies.
Facing economic crisis, the government had asked the HEC to rationalise its overall developmental budget at Rs16 billion from the original Rs18 billion.
Even then so far the HEC had only received Rs8 billion, which had put it in serious economic crisis. "Besides sending money to our students abroad, the HEC has to pay money against the purchases of laboratory equipments for various universities, hence, it is hardly left with funds to spend on other development projects," the official said.
Only recently, vice-chancellors of the public-sector universities have cried for financial assistance to run their institutions. Considering the seriousness of financial crisis, HEC has asked the government for an education bailout package to save the higher education sector.Your Comments
New education policy by March 23'
Islamabad: Islamabad Model College for Girls, F-6/2, in its third convocation on Friday, conferred degrees, awards, medals and prizes on 145 students. Besides, 12 teachers were also given awards for their outstanding performances.
Education Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said, "The new policy will be introduced by March 23 after approval by the Cabinet Division".
He termed the policy a comprehensive document that addresses various problem areas. He hoped the policy will bring revolutionary changes in the educational system. "We consulted all stakeholders to seek their suggestions while developing the policy," he said. Dawn
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QAU teachers demand implementation of incentives
Islamabad: The Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has asked for the implementation of the BPS Incentives announced by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the faculty who did not opt for Tenure Track System (TTS).
It was demanded in second meeting of the Executive Council of the ASA held the other day with Dr Qaisar Abbas Naqvi, President of the ASA in chair.
The members of the association also demanded enhancement in the PhD allowance from Rs5,000 to 10,000 following the precedent of Punjab University for the PhD faculty.
The Executive Council of the association also decided to hold a meeting of the Council members with the Vice Chancellor on February 16 to discuss various pending issues.
The EC members expressed their dismay and resentment that the VC could not fulfil his commitment to implement the Basic Pay Scale (BPS) Incentives latest by January 31 of this year. They urged that there should be no restriction on the percentage of faculty members in a department/Institute for better incentives.
Through theses incentives a BPS faculty member can get six extra salaries in a year on the basis of good performance.
The meeting noted that the same formula was circulated amongst all the Syndicate members of the university for approval.
Accordingly, the Council resolved that a faculty member who qualifies for the Incentive criteria must be given the benefits. Because according to the HEC letter originally issued in 2007, the BPS Incentives were meant for those who did not qualify or did not opt for TTS and the payment of the incentive should start from July 2007 when the TTS was implemented at QAU.
Executive Council passed a resolution unanimously condemning the article "Who greed ruins academia" written by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy in the daily newspaper "Dawn" on the non-implementation of GRE test at the university.
Most of the members were of the opinion that Dr. Pervez should respect the decision taken by Academic Council democratically and should avoid writing such type of articles in the newspapers. University PRO should get a rejoinder published in the newspaper as well in this regard, added the House.
Executive Council deplored the delay in holding the Selection Board for recruitment and resolved that agenda of the Selection Board be issued latest by February14 as the ban on government jobs has been lifted. It was also decided that the VC should be solicited to stick to his schedule to hold the Selection Board on February 21 and in no case it should be further delayed.
The Treasurer of ASA raised the issue of expected changes in the administrative posts by VC. After discussing the issue at length, the house unanimously resolved that only those heads of the administrative committees/cells be changed whose performance was not up to the mark.
It was also decided that no change should be made under pressure or on the advice of non-elected faculty members.
The members also expressed deep dissatisfaction on the performance of In Charge Networking Cell as most of the computers at the university are out of order or affected by virus although the university has spent huge amount on the purchase of anti-virus software.
The members said that the head of Networking Cell should be either from IT, Electronics or Computer Sciences. EC also urged that any change in the administrative heads should be made after consultation with ASA Office-Bearers.
A three-member committee was constituted comprising Dr Idrees (co-ordinator), Dr Safeer and Dr. Sajid to pursue the better medical facilities for all faculty members. Day Care Centre should be made operational on immediate basis. EC urged that two employees should be appointed by VC soon for quick and smooth opening and functioning of the Day Care Centre.
The house also offered Fateha for the departed souls of Dr Qari Naseer Ahmad of Math department and Dr A. H. Dani, Professor Emeritus, QAU, and an Archeologist of international repute. The Nation
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