LAHORE: The Technical and Vocational Training Authority (Tevta) has started handing over assets of four of its colleges to three newly-established technology universities.

The Punjab Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skills Development Department (PICISD) had established three universities, including Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT) Lahore, Punjab University of Technology Rasul (PUTR) Mandi Bahauddin and The Mir Chakar Khan Rind University of Technology Dera Ghazi Khan.

The Punjab Assembly had passed the Acts of the PTUT in 2018 and Punjab University of Technology Rasul and The Mir Chakar Khan Rind University of Technology DG Khan in 2019.

Under the Acts, the Government College of Technology Raiwind and Government Institute of Emerging Technology Lahore and their all liabilities were to be transferred to the PTUT, Government College of Technology Rasul’s assets to Punjab University of Technology Rasul and Government College of Technology DG Khan’s assets to The Mir Chakar Khan Rind University of Technology.

The Acts state that an employee, regular or contractual, serving these colleges shall stand transferred to the university concerned immediately after coming into force of the relevant Act, except those employees who are serving the colleges on deputation, with or without deputation allowance, and shall continue to serve the university as such and be liable to be transferred to the parent department of the university.

The employees of these colleges were of the view that Tevta had surrendered the institutions/colleges to the newly-established universities and their jobs were at risk. They expressed fear that the universities would not continue the diplomas being taught in these colleges and it would start diploma of associate engineering. They said the universities would decide the fate of hundreds of the employees of these colleges and their jobs could end.

However, Tevta Chief Operating Officer (COO) Akhtar Abbas Bharwana told Dawn the universities would perform under the Punjab Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skills Development Department and there was no plan to end Diploma of Associate Engineering (DAE). He said they were upgrading the colleges to universities under the quota of 80pc students of DAE would get admission there. He said earlier there was only two percent quota for DAE students in technology universities of the country.

Mr Bharwana said the colleges were not being closed but under the Act they would become constituent colleges of the university and all their courses would also continued.

He also said the universities would not lay off the staff of the colleges and they would be given choice to work with the university or go back to the parent department (Tevta). He said Tevta was having 44 technology colleges in the province and four of them would be upgraded to universities and there were 40 remaining to offer these courses and they also adjust these employees because the department was already facing shortage of around 6,000 teachers.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2020

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