LAHORE, Nov 11: The Higher Education Commission has approved the policy of upgradation of the posts of university teachers by offering them one grade higher than their existing grades without any condition. The policy was announced by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Oct 6 on the World Teachers’ Day for the public sector varsities’ faculty.
However, the recruitment of new faculty in all varsities will be subject to the qualification conditions as agreed upon by the HEC and the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA).
The HEC has asked the vice-chancellors of all public sector varsities to take the matter of upgradation of posts to their respective syndicates and get it approved formally.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of 10 vice-chancellors chaired by HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi at commission’s offices on Saturday. The meeting was attended by vice-chancellors of Punjab University; University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore; Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi; Karachi University, Sindh University, Jamshoro; Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro; Balochistan University, Quetta; Peshawar University; and University of Agriculture, Peshawar.
During the meeting the VCs were reportedly unanimous in emphasising that no prerequisites should be attached to the upgradation of posts of the existing faculty. They were of the view that doing so would create anomalies and make policy implementation difficult.
According to the one-step upgradation formula, the existing university lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors would be given BPS-18, BPS-19, BPS-20 and BPS-21 respectively against the existing BPS-17, BPS-18, BPS-19 and BPS-20.
The finance division, establishment division and ministry of education had already agreed to the HEC’s proposal regarding the post upgradation. The Punjab University and University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, have already adopted the post upgradation policy from Nov 1 and Nov 2, respectively.
When contacted, PU registrar Prof Dr Naeem Khan said PU VC Arshad Mahmood had taken lead by adopting the new upgradation policy. He said the matter had formally been placed on the agenda of the Punjab University Syndicate meeting, which was expected to be convened in the third week of this month.
Following approval by the syndicate, he said, the varsity would advertise some 200 to 300 new faculty posts. He said the new recruitment would be made according to the qualification criteria agreed upon by the HEC and the FAPUASA. He said the HEC meeting had not made any amendment in the qualification criteria set for the recruitment of new faculty members.
Answering a question, Prof Khan said there was no policy regarding the one-step upgradation of professors already serving in BPS-21. He, however, added that the university had a criteria to select meritorious professors and that would be implemented to select those in BPS-22. Similarly, he said, the PU had also given BPS-22 as a personal grade to Prof Dr Munawwar Mirza on her last working day before retirement.
He said the total financial impact of the posts’ upgradation would be around Rs20 million to Rs30 million per annum to be borne by the varsities.
FAPUASA vice-president Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar has welcomed the HEC’s approval of one-step upgradation of varsity teachers’ posts without any condition. He hoped the incentive would infuse enthusiasm among the teachers to impart quality education and conduct high-quality research.