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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman has cautioned the administrations of all public sector universities about ‘unwanted’ political activities on campus and directed them to submit reports about it to him on a monthly basis.

He also took notice of the reports of growing use of drugs on campus and asked the relevant authorities, including higher education department, to constitute a committee to check the menace.

“The use of drugs, negative use of social websites and unnecessary political activities on the campuses will not be given space,” he said during a meeting of the vice-chancellors of all public sector universities of the province here on Monday.

An official statement issued here said the vice-chancellors of 27 public sector universities and officials of the higher education department attended the meeting, where the universities’ financial matters and educational and social activities came under discussion.

The governor, who is also the chancellor of public sector universities, said the government was committed to ensuring quality education and training in the national interest.

He said the universities should also work for building the character of students besides focusing on fulfilment of their professional obligations.

“Quality education and good character are imperative for every student,” he said.

Sources said the activities of student organisations and teacher associations having affiliation with political parties came under discussion in the meeting.

They claimed that the government was weighing the option of slapping a complete ban on the activities of student organisations and teacher bodies on campus.

“Rumours have been circulating that the government is planning to ban the operation of the wings of the political parties in educational institutions,” a source said.

The source insisted that the teachers were not only carrying out the agenda of the political parties they’re associated with but they also used students to serve own interests.

He added that the miscreants were using students as shield.

A vice-chancellor, who attended the meeting, said the governor didn’t elaborate on what he referred to.

“He (governor) just mentioned anti-state elements and their possible attempts to misguide university students,” he said.

Sources said the meeting also took a serious notice of the Oct 4 riots inside the University of Peshawar.

Seven students of the university were injured in clashes with the police.

Earlier, the Muttahida Talba Mahaz, a conglomerate of student organisations, held a protest against increase in tuition fees and other academic issues facing them.

The administration claimed that clashes began after an action was taken to evict illegal occupants of hostels.

The government had constituted a parliamentary committee to probe the incident and fix responsibility in this regard.

Sources said the inquiry into the matter had been finalised.

The official statement said Governor Shah Farman asked the university teachers to fulfil their due professional responsibilities saying negligence in this respect is tantamount to committing a crime.

“This is our collective responsibility to make prosperous future of our young generation,” he said.

The governor said all universities should take the provision of quality education to students and their training as a challenge.

He directed the administration of universities to make budget on the basis of ‘genuine requirements’.

The governor also called for merit and policy-based recruitment in universities.

He said the Governor’s House would help resolve the administrative, financial and other issues facing universities and would continue supporting them for improving academic standards.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2018