LAHORE, Jan 2: The search committee tasked with the selection of vice-chancellors for the King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS) has rejected the application of the ‘only’ foreign candidate, it is learnt.

As many as 41 candidates were vying for the two slots. A source close to the development said the application of an Irish candidate was dropped during short-listing because he did not meet the criteria, which required that “the candidate should be a professor in medical sciences (serving or retired) with a minimum of 10-year teaching experience”.

However, a health department senior official said the foreigner had withdrawn his application because of unknown reasons.

Both medical universities have been without VCs for the last several years. According to the new terms and conditions, the key posts at these varsities would be totally ‘non-practising’. Earlier, there was no such condition for these posts. All applicants for these posts have been earning from their private practice hundred times more than the salary they will get after appointment to these posts and it will be difficult for them to quit private practice after appointment to these posts.

Of the 40 applicants, 20 were interviewed by the search committee on Wednesday. An applicant said that one of the senior most medical teachers of Punjab made a victory sign as he came out of the interview room and his gesture brought a meaningful smile on the faces of other applicants waiting their turn for the interview. He said the man who made the victory sign was considered “very close” to the chief minister.

Of the applicants, seven each applied for the posts of KEMU and UHS vice-chancellors, while the rest applied for both posts.

Headed by former federal minister Sartaj Aziz, the search committee consists of Health Secretary Arif Nadeem, Lahore University of Management Sciences Pro-Chancellor Syed Babar Ali, former Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Prof SAR Gardezi, former chief secretary Pervez Masood and Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique.

In the search committee only one member was representing the medical profession and this irked most applicants because they were mostly asked “irrelevant” questions.

KEMU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan, Services Institute of Medical Sciences Principal Prof Dr Faisal Masood, Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Mehmood Shaukat, Punjab Institute of Cardiology former chief executive Prof Dr Jawad Sajjid Khan, Prof Dr Attif Husnain Kazmi of the KEMU, College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan Vice-President Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal, AIMC former principal Prof Dr Javed Akram, Fatima Jinnah Medical College former principal Prof Dr Majeed Chaudhry, Prof Azhar Hameed, former UHS controller Prof Dr Junaid Sarfaraz Khan, Prof Dr Asghar Randhawa (retired) and Prof Arif Siddiqui were among the 20 candidates interviewed on Wednesday. The 20 other applicants will be interviewed on Thursday.

Prof Kazmi and Prof Masood were the only applicants among the 20 people interviewed on Wednesday who had been promoted to grade 21. The interviews started at 2pm and continued for more than five hours.

According to the criteria notified by the Health Department on Oct 3, 2012 for appointment of VCs to the two universities under provisions of the UHS Amendment Act 2002 and KEMU Amendment Act 2012, the age of a candidate should not be more than 65 years at the time of submission of application. It said the candidate should possess level-III qualifications as specified in the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) regulations for appointment of faculty in medical sciences. He should have to his credit at least eight publications as professor in Indexed Medical/Dental Journals recognised by the PMDC and the Higher Education Commission.

A total of 100 marks were set for the candidate for his appointment as head of each institute. The marks were divided as following: 10 marks each for administrative experience, research publications and additional qualification, 20 marks for additional professorship teaching experience and 50 marks for interview by the search committee. According to the terms and conditions, the take-home salary of each newly appointed VC shall be between Rs300,000 and Rs500,000 per month.

After completion of the interviews, the committee shall forward a panel of three suitable candidates for each post to the Punjab chief minister for final selection.


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