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LAHORE: The Health Department has sent a summary to the Punjab chief minister proposing Fatima Jinnah Medical College (FJMC) principal Prof Dr Sardar Fakhar Imam as acting vice-chancellor of the newly established FJM University (FJMU).

If the summary is approved, Prof Imam will be the first acting vice chancellor of the FJMU.

He is also the last principal of the 67 years old medical college as the principal post has been abolished after upgrading the institute as the third degree-awarding medical university of the provincial capital.

One of the oldest and premier medical institutions of the country, the FJMC for Women, Lahore, had admitted the first batch of 39 students in October 1948 and was formally inaugurated in March 1949 by Khawaja Nazimuddin, then prime minister of Pakistan.

The institute has called the last academic council meeting of the historic FJMC on Tuesday (today) as senior faculty members were seen very emotional to attend the highly momentous gathering.

After the meeting, the flag of the 67 years old college will be replaced with a newly designed flag of the varsity.

In a related move, the Health Department also suspended the notification through which it had declared the Fatima Jinnah Medical University a third degree-awarding medical varsity of the provincial capital, an official who is privy to the development, told Dawn.

The department had issued notification on June 21 upgrading the FJMC to a medical university after the Punjab governor (chancellor of the university) and the chief minister accorded approval to change the status of the premier medical institute. The Punjab Assembly had passed the FJMU Bill 2015 on May 25.

Through another notification on June 26 it declared that previous notification (issued on June 21) will stand null and void till July 1.

The official said health authorities suspended the previous notification of the FJMU when they came to know that the FJMU Act had abolished the post of principal and there was no acting vice-chancellor to head the varsity’s administrative, financial and academic affairs.

In the previous system the medical college’s principal had powers of ‘drawing and disbursing officer’ to run the affairs of the institute.

The health department took decision of notifying the new medical university without knowing the fact that the financial transactions of the institute which had roughly been estimated at Rs400 million could not be done due to abolition of the principal post.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2015

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