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LAHORE: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has directed vice chancellors of the entire public sector universities to ensure titling their respective institutions under the names of national heroes and not the ideologies based on religion, ethnicity or politics.

The direction has been issued to VCs by the HEC in the light of recommendations of the standing committee on federal education and professional training following the brutal incident of violence at the Abdul Wali Khan University’s Garden Campus on April 13.

“While discussing the brutal incidence of violence at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan under agenda item No. VIII (Serial No-9), the committee recommended titling the universities under the names of national heroes instead of naming under the ideologies which promotes ethnic, religious and political discrimination,” reads an HEC letter (No.2-2/A&C(NA/2016/HEC/205) received to VC of one of the leading public sector varsities in Lahore during the ongoing month. “Accordingly the aforementioned recommendation of the standing committee on federal education and professional training is forwarded to all universities for compliance as per rules,” it says.

HEC issues directions in the wake of violence at Abdul Wali Khan varsity

According to other recommendations appended with the HEC’s letter, it has been sought that the university act and statutes must be followed in letter and spirit and the VCs should immediately stop giving dual administrative charges to the teachers. And action must be taken by the authorities concerned against those VCs involved in ignoring or flouting their varsity act and statutes. “Strict action must be taken by the university administration against those students and employees who were visibly found involved in the heinous crimes,” reads one of the recommendations.

“Employment must be made on merit as per rules laid down in the university act and statutes and any violation in this regard be dealt with strictly. The detail of the recruitment made during tenures of previous VCs be furnished to the committee along with mentioning the relationship of the newly selected employees to the varsity administration, staff and political figures. Any false statement in this regard will be considered as concealment of facts from the committee,” the letter says.

The committee, according to the HEC, sought conducting a high-level impartial inquiry against those involved in this barbaric crime and exemplary punishment be awarded in order to prevent such incidents in future.

The visible failure of the varsity administration and security force must also be inquired and action be taken against all those who failed to respond in time. “Character building in all universities of the country be given due consideration,” the committee said.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2017