Hiring of ED HEC | IT university VC

Court seeks record of HEC ED's appointment
Islamabad, Jan 19: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman to appear before it with relevant record regarding petition of two HEC directors general who have challenged the possible re-appointment of Dr Sohail Naqvi as HEC executive director.

The appointment process is likely to be finalised on Saturday and Sunday. Petitioners Muhammad Mazhar Saeed, DG Research, and Fida Hussain, DG HEC, adopted before the court that they and other employees of the HEC were affected because of the appointment of HEC executive director.

They told the court that the procedure for appointment of the HEC executive director is laid down in the HEC Ordinance 2002 and the selection board is headed by the HEC chairman.

They said the third time extension to Dr Naqvi, granted on August 27, 2012, was set aside by the prime minister. The additional charge of HEC executive director was given to Qamar Zaman, secretary education and training, and this arrangement was suspended by Supreme Court on December 21, 2012.

As per the apex court order for making the appointment process under rules and regulations, Engr Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gillani was appointed as acting executive director for an interim period.

The petitioners contended that the selection board has managed to get the terms and conditions of service changed contrary to what was mentioned in the advertisement, giving the HEC executive director the status of a vice chancellor, instead of an employee of management pay scale.

They contended that the amended terms and conditions were not approved by the competent authority.

They also contended that Dr Naqvi's name is on top of the short list of candidates for the slot, adding that Dr Naqvi has been a member of the selection board and he cannot be involved in the process of appointment.

The petitioners prayed that decision taken by the HEC for the appointment of the executive director be declared illegal.

HEC Secretary Akhlaq Ahmad Tarrar on January 17, 2013, wrote to the HEC chairman that the proposed meeting to finalise the appointment of the executive director may be postponed to the next working day to avoid any criticism.

He pointed out that the appointment meeting for such a high-profile position should not be convened through video conferencing or Skype and the commission should ensure mutual consultation of selection board members and candidates with their physical presence.

The HEC secretary had suggested that the matter regarding the deadline given by the Supreme Court can be managed by the apex court by extension of another week or 10 days.

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PhD awarded at GCU
Lahore: Government College University Lahore Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences has produced a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the field of Mathematics.

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Governor approves first VC of IT university
Lahore: The Punjab governor/chancellor has approved the name of Dr Umar Saif, chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), as the first ever vice-chancellor of the newly-established Information Technology University (ITU) Punjab, it is learnt.

Recently, the VC Search Committee had recommended three candidates, namely Dr Umar Saif, Prof Dr Muhammad Sher, chairman Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering of the International Islamic University (IIU), Islamabad, and Prof Dr Shaiq A Haq of the University of Wah, for the said post.

Sources, privy to the development, said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, however, had approved the name of Dr Saif for the ITU which was subsequently forwarded to Governor/Chancellor Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood who, surprisingly, approved it without any objection.

It is pertinent to mention here that appointment of VCs has remained a hot issue between the chief minister and the governors in the past as witnessed during the respective tenures of the late Salman Taseer and Sardar Latif Khosa.

The sources further said after his appointment as VC ITU, Dr Umar Saif had to resign from the chairmanship of the PITB, from where he was drawing a hefty salary package as he could not hold both the offices. Explaining the same, they said that it's the governor whop determined the terms and conditions of service of the vice-chancellor, adding the PITB was purely under the administrative control of the Punjab government. They also said there was no precedent that a VC had held another office at the same time.

It is also pertinent to mention that besides the three short-listed candidates, 10 others had applied for the post of the VC ITU. They were: Dr M Aslam, Dr Muhammad Saleem, Dr Javed Ahmed, Dr M Yaqoob Nasir, Dr M Saleem, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Dr M Ashfaq, Dr Abdul Aziz, Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal and Dr Naveed A Malik. Almost all those who had applied for the post had far more teaching and administrative experience than Dr Umar Saif.

The sources also said Dr Umar Saif would be the youngest VC in the history of Pakistan once the Punjab Higher Education Department formally issue notification regarding his appointment. They added the notification would be issued soon.

According to Dr Umar Saif's profile present on the website of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), where he is a faculty member as well, he has received his academic training from LUMS, Cambridge and MIT. He did his BSc (Hons) from LUMS (1998), PhD from University of Cambridge (2001) and Postdoctorate from MIT (2002), all in Computer Science.

Higher Education Department Secretary Dr Ijaz Munir confirmed the development and said that notification in this regard will be issued soon.

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PU festival
Lahore: A LARGE number of male and female students attended the Pioneers Festival organised by the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) at Punjab University, New Campus, on Thursday. The news

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