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GUJRAT: University of Gujrat’s six deans, who are members of a committee assigned the task of preparing varsity’s research policy, say they had signed a research policy in November last year and the delay in its implementation is not caused by them.

The varsity administration has been under severe criticism from its own faculty for not giving any incentive on research papers since long which, according to them, has caused a consistent decline in the varsity’s position on the ranking table of the Higher Education Commission.

Sources said the research policy issue had come under discussion on Tuesday last at the 6th meeting of the academic council of the UoG with its Vice-Chancellor Dr Ziaul Qayyum in the chair.

Deans of faculties, principals of UoG constituent colleges, including Nawaz Sharif Medical College (NSMC), and directors of UoG’s Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot and Narowal campuses were among the participants while Dr Ikram Ali Malik and Chaudhry Muhammad Ishaq Olakh attended the meeting as external members of the academic council.

As soon as it was mentioned that the research policy was yet to be signed by the six-member deans committee, the deans responded promptly that they had signed it around five months ago and it was pending with the Office of Research and Innovation Commercialization (ORIC) department of the UoG.

The varsity vide its letter, UOG/Reg/020/27(D) dated Sept 10, 2012, after approval of the Syndicate, had committed to paying Rs10,000 for HEC-cited journal publication while Rs5,000 for the local HEC accepted paper, but actually the UoG has not paid a single penny to any researcher/faculty member in this regard.

It has been four years that the varsity is planning what to do with people who are doing research despite the fact that the UoG has lowest research budget among all public sector universities which entails its poor performance and lower ranking.

Some faculty members are doing research on the platform of other affiliated universities to get benefit and are not sharing research papers with UoG authorities.

The VC assured the participants that meetings of the UoG academic council would be held regularly on the commencement of each semester to enhance academic perspectives at the varsity.

He stressed on better performance of the Board of Advance Studies for updating of study courses according to the need of quality education.

The participants suggested that the educational process should be made better at UoG as the agenda of meeting was to review academic issues and introduce positive changes for making the educational environment more productive and prolific on the campuses.

“We are trying our best to achieve the target of quality education.

Adoption of pertinent rules and regulations can help us run the academic system of UoG to safeguard academic perspectives successfully,” said Dr Zia and added that advanced research methodology and evaluation mechanism were the tools to get better academic results.

He said the social and economic progress of any country hinges upon the quality education and research at its higher education institutions.

“The nature of modern education has been transformed completely due to advancement of technology, making it essential to develop a scheme of studies and curricula on modern lines,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2016