LAHORE, Dec 7: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said autonomous status of universities is essential for the promotion of education, but still there should be an effective check and balance system to monitor misuse of powers.

He was talking to the Punjab universities’ vice chancellors at his Model Town residence on Friday.

The VCs had called on him to express their reservations about amendments to the Universities’ Act and discuss powers regarding recruitment on a contract by VCs in special circumstances, appointments of VCs, their salaries and other matters.

The meeting was also attended by Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, Special Assistant to CM on Education Zaeem Husain Qadri, secretaries and educationist Sartaj Aziz.

Mr Sharif said the universities were playing an important role for promotion of science and technology and equipping the young generation with higher education. He said the VCs, professors, associate and assistant professors and other teachers were highly respectable as they were imparting knowledge to young generation.

The chief minister constituted a committee, headed by Senator Ishaq Dar, to deliberate on these issues.

Mr Dar earlier led a committee which recommended change to the Universities’ Act.

The committee also comprises Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Sartaj Aziz, Zaeem Qadri, educationist Dr Zafar Qureshi, law, health and higher education secretaries, advocate general Punjab, VCs of UET, Punjab University, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, LCWU and FJWU.

He directed the committee to come up with recommendations within two weeks.

The VCs felicitated the chief minister on the PML-N success in the by-election.

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