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GUJRAT: The University of Gujrat (UoG) is facing a number of issues as its new administration is running the affairs allegedly in a haphazard way.

Four hundred contract and daily wage employees of the University of Gujrat (UoG) have been working without pay for the last four months as a technical error by the registrar office in the renewal letters of their jobs is said to be the main reason behind the delay in release of salaries.

On the other hand, at least 58 contract employees from BPS-17 to 20 have also been fired by the acting Vice Chancellor Dr Faheem Malik around a month ago while the university staff is in the grip of fear and yet not raising the matter of their salaries.

Sources said the UoG administration had issued the renewal letters of extending jobs of the contract and daily-wage employees some four months back and ironically all the letters were carrying the terms and conditions of regular employees.

The contract and daily-wage employees though signed the renewal letters but the department concerned, dealing with the salaries, raised objection to the notification and stopped the salaries.

However, the registrar office that had actually issued the notifications had pledged to issue the fresh letters with the terms and conditions of the contract and daily wage employees but after the lapse of four months, it could not issue the rectified job notifications and some 400 employees were working without getting any pay.

400 contract employees sans pay for four months

About 58 contract officers from BPS-17 to 20 have also lost their jobs after serving in the university for five to eight years as the acting VC Dr Faheem Malik cancelled their contracts by saying that the varsity did not require their services around a month back.

It is learnt that the senior university officials, who remained close to former VC Muhammad Nizamuddin who retired on Oct 10, are being victimised by the incumbent administration.

Female students, residing in the women hostels of the UoG, lodged a strong protest two days ago against the transfer of the warden of their hostels besides handing over the affairs of mess of these women hostels to a contractor for the first time in the university’s history as previously the students committee was running the affairs of the hostel mess.

A delegation of the protesting students also called on the acting VC and apprised him of their reservations on handing over the mess to a contractor.

Official sources told Dawn irregularities had been committed in the award of the contract of the mess as the tender notice was not printed in at least two national dailies and only displayed at the website of the PPRA, adding that the contract of more than Rs1m had to be advertised in at least two national dailies and the said Rs1.15m contract was awarded to a woman contractor who did not have any experience of running such a business.

Interestingly, the woman contractor is said to be the wife of a male contractor who is said to be a blue-eyed of the university administration since long and he was the only one who had been providing the furniture to the university since its foundation.

The UoG has selected a private building, located in the Kot Ameer Hussain in the surroundings of its Hafiz Hayat campus for constructing a hostel for students but without following rules and issuing the tenders for acquiring a private building for hostel purpose, reliable sources said that the same contractor had supplied the furniture to the said building.

Following the retirement of Dr Nizam, the Punjab government had posted senior faculty member Dr Faheem Malik as the acting VC of the UoG, however, the Punjab chief minister has reportedly approved the nomination of Professor Zaiul Qayyum, the director FAST Faisalabad/Chiniot campus, as the VC of the UoG but a formal notification is yet to be issued by the Higher Education Department, Punjab.

A senior official of the UoG, requesting not to be named, said the acting VC Dr Faheem Malik had continuously been taking major decisions even knowing the fact that the approval for the posting of the new VC had already been made by the Punjab CM.

Professor Sheikh Abul Rasheed, the spokesman and additional registrar of the UoG, denied any kind of irregularities in the affairs of the university, saying that as far as the matter of delay in the salaries was concerned, the registrar office had been working consistently to complete the process and hopefully the employees would get salaries within the coming week. He said the contract of employees who were fired had been ousted due to the audit objection.

Published in Dawn December 8th , 2014