FAISALABAD: No-one knows the fate of an inquiry, a Governor House direction and the complaints against a professor who is among the 30 candidates interviewed last week for the position of vice chancellors of three women universities of Punjab

The appointment of Dr Sofia Anwar, presently acting vice chancellor of the Government College for Women University, Faisalabad, (GCWUF) was declared illegal by an audit team in 2015. She was given the charge of the GCWUF on Oct 20 last.

An inquiry against Dr Sofia Anwar was initiated when she was serving as the head of the Economics Department at the Government College University, Faisalabad, (GCUF) on charges of fake signatures of dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Shahbaz Arif, on her annual confidential report (ACR).

The matter came to fore when Dr Arif, who retired from the university on March 29, 2015, approached then GCUF vice chancellor Dr Muhammad Ali with an application (copy available with Dawn) stating that the lady had submitted her ACR with his forged signatures.

“I have received the copies of the said ACR from the registrar office through proper channel. Neither did she submit her own ACR nor any of her teaching faculty’s ACR from the Economics Department through proper channel to me or to the office of the dean. I very strongly protest that the given comments and the signatures on her ACR are fraudulent.”

Dr Shahbaz requested the VC to conduct an inquiry and take necessary action.

During audit of the GCUF for the period of 2014-15, the personal file of Dr Anwar was checked and it was observed that she was appointed as professor on Aug 28, 2014, but the requisite experience in teaching/research was not fulfilled.

The audit team observed that Dr Anwar had done her PhD in agriculture economics but the subject required for the position was economics. Noting that the equivalence certificate from the Higher Education Commission was also not obtained, the audit team recommended that amount for the period of illegal appointment may be recovered from the defaulter at the earliest.

As per GCUF service statutes 2003, qualification for a professor was PhD in the relevant subject with 15 years teaching/research experience in a recognised college/university and eight research papers published in journals of international repute. Since June 30, 2010, at least eight years post-PhD experience in HEC recognised university or postgraduate institution or professional experience in the relevant field in a national or international organisation is required.

On July 25, 2016, the Punjab governor secretariat had sent a letter to the GCUF VC with a direction for action following the application of Dr Arif. However, till date no action has been taken.

Dawn approached GCUF acting VC Dr Nasir Ameen for his version that why the inquiry had not been concluded even after three years, he did not respond to the text message sent to him through WhatsApp as well on Saturday last.

A probe into charges of alleged corruption at the hostels had also been ordered against Dr Anwar by former VC Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who is now serving as VC of the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. Findings of this probe are also not yet known.

Responding to Dawn queries, Dr Anwar claimed that she had joined the women university after getting all sorts of clearance from the GCUF administration. She said there was no inquiry related to hostel corruption but mere allegations.

“I provided whole details and data to the concerned person. I did not having even a single account against my name, rather every account was maintained through the treasure office.”

Regarding her ACR issue, she said she had submitted her reply to the university months ago. She claimed she had submitted her ACR to the dean which was signed by him and the then VC as well.

“The GCUF registrar office has shared with me the status of ACRs,” she claimed but did not give any documentary proof.

Higher Education Department Additional Secretary Academics Tariq Bhatti told Dawn that they had not received any application against Ms Anwar who has been shortlisted and interviewed for the post of vice chancellor in women universities of the province.

He said the HED did not know about any inquiry pending or decided against Ms Anwar.

“If anyone has any grievance, he can approach the department,” he added.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2019