ISLAMABAD: The PTI government on Monday took a major step to fulfill its promise of converting the Prime Minister House into university when Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawwad Hussain Chaudhry moved a bill in the National Assembly.

“We had promised to set up a university Prime Minister House, today we have fulfilled the promise by tabling this bill,” the minister said while introducing the bill before the National Assembly.

The National Assembly referred the bill to the standing committee concerned.

According to proposed bill, the President of Pakistan will be the Chancellor of the proposed university, while federal minister concerned will be pro-chancellor of the university.

A vice chancellor, an eminent scholar, who is not more than 60 years of age, will be hired for four years term after competitive process.

National Assembly refers the bill to the standing committee concerned

He will be chief executive officer of the university responsible for all administrative and academic functions of the university and for ensuring that provision of this act, statutes, regulations and rules are faithfully observed in order to promote the general efficiency and good order of the university.

The VC will also have support of pro-vice chancellor, deans, chairpersons, teachers, registrar, treasurer, controller of examination, etc. The bill says the government will set up University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies (UEET) on the premises of the PM House.

The bill said that UEET would have the powers and functions to provide education in engineering, science and emerging technologies and other branches of knowledge as it may deem fit, and make provisions for research, service to the society and for application, advancement and dissemination of knowledge in such manner as it may determine.

It will also provide education and scholarship, and makes provisions for research, service to society and for application, advancement and dissemination of knowledge. “ [It will] prescribe courses of studies, hold examinations and award and confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinction to students who have been admitted to and have passed its examination under prescribed conditions,” read the bill.

The proposed bill further said that the UEET would also develop an associated technology park of international standard. It will also develop research commercialisation and intellectual property policy for promotion of commissioned research, spin off companies and incubators.

The bill said that a research fund for the faculty research and innovation will also be developed. It will also make provision of research, advisory or consultancy service and will enter into arrangements with any other institutions, public or private body, commercial or industrial enterprise in the prescribed manner.

Talking about the fee, the proposed bill said that an increase in any fee or change that is in excess of 10pc per annum on an annualized basis from the last such increase may not be made except in special circumstances and only with the approval of Chancellor.

The PM House is reserved for administrative building in accordance with the master plan of the Islamabad prepared in 1960, where university could not be run. However, the federal cabinet last year made a specific change in Islamabad’s master plan to set up the university. The change made by Cabinet is specifically for 50 acres of Prime Minister House.

“The total area of PM House could be more than 100 acres. The 50 acres in question is situated on north western side of building towards Bari Imam side,” said an official of the CDA, who requested not to be named.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2020

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