SHIKARPUR: Emplo­yees, inclu­d­ing faculty, of the newly established Sha­ikh Ayaz University, Shikar­pur, on Tuesday decided to intensify their pro­test aga­inst non-payment of salaries for three months.

Speaking to local repor­ters during a token strike, con­ti­nuing for several weeks, the faculty and administrative staff said they were going to start a boycott of their duties on Wednesday and continue with it till their salaries and dues were released.

They appealed to the Sindh Government to rele­ase the allocated amount of Rs50 million to the univer­sity administration in order to enable it to overcome the financial crunch.

The university was established in December 2018 with the aim of providing higher education facility to the students belonging to the remote areas of Shikarpur district as well as parts of Balochistan bordering Sindh.

‘Lands for departments and hostel not handed over to the university administration due to remaining legal formalities, unpaid amount of cost’

It was supposed to receive funds from the provincial government and an allocation of Rs50m had been made in the current budget. However, the process of recruitment and completion of essential infrastructure to make it a fully fledged university has hit snags due to non-release of funds.

Unavailability of necessary funds has also hindered the procedure of acquiring the land earmarked for the university while construction works to complete the infrastructure for acade­mic activities had to be stopped half way.

A batch of 250 students has already been enrolled and classes have been star­ted in the under-construction class­rooms and departments.

Vice Chancellor Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui and a smaller than required faculty, along with the understaffed administration, have been managing the affairs of the university while continuing efforts to get the funds released, according to Mir Mohammed Mahar, the deputy registrar.

The university offers education in different disciplines of science, comm­erce and arts faculties and has admit­ted students as per its capacity.

Regarding the land issue, he revea­led that the land proposed for the construction of departments, adminis­trative block, students’ hostel etc was not yet formally allotted to the uni­versity so far. “Some legal forma­lities are to be completed and certain pay­ments are yet to be made,” he elaborated.

Commenting on the unrest preva­iling among the faculty and employees of the university, Mr Mahar admitted that the institution was unable to pay salaries of confirmed employees. “The administration is not even in a position to meet the university’s day-to-day expenses now,” he added.

Besides, he said, the matter of the university’s recognition by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was pending, he said.

Mr Mahar said that the chief minister had been requested to look into the issue of the release of Rs50m funds in the interest of education as well as the university’s students and employees. “This will enable the admin­istration to run the university’s financial affairs until the institution starts getting a regular budget,” he said.

The CM had also been requested to constitute a finance and planning comm­it­tee so that the related issues could be addressed.

He said that for the financial year 2019-20, the university would be able to generate revenues from its own sources to meet 70 per cent of its expenditure while the remaining 30pc expenditure would have to be borne by the provincial government.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...