RAWALPINDI: After issuance of the non-objection certificate (NoC) to Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) by Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) with regards to its recognition, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri on Friday visited the university premises.

However the team of experts, comprising technical and faculty specialists, will visit the university in the coming days to check whether the administration had adopted the necessary criteria or not.

Recently, PMC had issued an NoC that recognised three medical universities. They are Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU), Nishtar Medical University and Faisalabad Medical University.

A senior RMU official told Dawn that the visit of Dr Banuri was part of the process under which green signal would formally be given to conduct examination and award degrees.

He said the HEC would ensure that the university had the required departments, faculty and examination departments.

The team will check whether the university administration had adopted the necessary criteria or not

The official said the HEC chairman inspected various departments in detail including the Reseach Unit Quality Education Centre and Examination Branch.

“RMU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer gave a presentation to Dr Banuri about the new programmes launched by the university.

However, he said the initial requirements had been fulfilled, adding that the RMU lacked basic infrastructure, resources and manpower needed for proper functioning of the university.

“There is no examination controller at the university,” he said.

The RMU official said it lacked basic expertise to run the examination department; the recently created examination department was a mere eye wash and did not have the prerequisite experience and technical staff.

“The posts of registrar and principal are lying vacant despite the Punjab government’s repeated reminders. Professor Dr Rai Asghar is handling the additional charge of controller examinations for the time being,” he added.

When contacted, HEC spokesperson Ayesha Ikram said the HEC chairman’s visit to RMU was only to meet the faculty and students. It is the team of experts which will decide whether the university fulfilled the accreditation requirement, she added.

She said the university was still affiliated with the University of Health Sciences Lahore but it would soon get a degree awarding status itself, adding that the the process was underway.

On the other hand, RMU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Umer, in a statement, said the university had made progress in 30 months since it attained university status without any funding.

A number of research programmes have been initiated by the university during this period, the statement added.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2020