QUETTA: The Balochistan government has constituted the University Finance Commission (UFC) for distribution of grant-in-aid among public sector universities in the province, announced the provincial finance department through a notification on Saturday.

Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi will be chairman of the commission while vice chancellors of all government universities in the pro­vince, principal secretary to the governor, secretary of college, higher and technical education and secretary of finance department will be its members, the notification said.

The commission has been constituted in pursuance of a decision made by the provincial cabinet on Sept 2.

The cabinet had decided to increase the allocation for the varsities’ grant-in-aid from Rs550 million to Rs1.5 billion. The move would help the public sector universities to deal with the financial crisis they are faced with.

During the last financial year, the Balochistan government provided Rs550m funds to the public sector universities which are facing a financial crisis after reduction of their funding by the Higher Education Commission.

Apart from other consequences of the fund cut, the local universities’ PhD programme in foreign varsities has also been affected, exposing a large number of scholars pursuing PhD and MS degrees abroad on local scholarships to financial difficulties and compelling them to work to bear their educational expenditure.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2019