23 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 27, 1435

ISLAMABAD, July 24: Issue of appointments of 129 faculty members and staff in Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, has taken a new turn as Secretary Agriculture and Governor Punjab have taken notice of the appointments.

On Tuesday, the secretary called Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university in his office, in Lahore, due to which the VC postponed the meeting of the selection board.

Secretary Agriculture also ordered to form a committee and submit a detailed report by July 27, Dawn has learnt.

According to sources, Secretary Agriculture Mian Mushtaq Ahmed, who has recently come back from China, requested VC, Prof Dr Irfanul Haq, on Monday, to visit his office along with all the record, on Tuesday.

VC postponed the meeting of the selection board, scheduled to be on Tuesday and went to Lahore.

Secretary Agriculture after examining the record decided to form a committee to do inquiry on the issue and submit a report by July 27.

President of Academic Staff Association (ASA), Prof Nadeem Akhter Abbasi, while talking to Dawn said that he has been informed that during the meeting of the selection board, competent candidates were dropped and relatives of management i.e. daughter of VC, sons of two Deans who are also member of selection board and sister of another professor were interviewed.

Another fact that feeds into the allegations is that upon retirement of the regular VC, Prof Dr Irfanul Haq was given charge of the acting VC in last week of May till July 29, 2012 (age of superannuation) to run day-to-day affairs of the university. The acting VC advertised 129 posts, days before retirement.

Resultantly, all the elected members of the university syndicate and ASA decided to oppose the decision. The chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan also took notice and asked the VC to stop the process.

Therefore, chairman HEC apprised the chancellor for intervention into the matter.

Registrar of the university, Arshad Nawaz said that while VC’s daughter was being interviewed, VC was not part of the selection board, so it was legal.

“It does not make any difference if blood relatives of faculty members were interviewed because all the appointments will be done purely on merit,” he said.

VC, Dr Irfanul Haq while talking to Dawn said that he suggested to the secretary agriculture to form a committee because only that is how it will be cleared.

“I also had a meeting with Governor Punjab who is chancellor of the university and informed him about the misunderstanding. So it is expected that issue will be resolved,” he said.


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