ISLAMABAD: Vice chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar on Friday revealed that students’ ethnic councils were not only fomenting the spirit of sub-nationalism but also jeopardising the university’s peaceful academic environment.
The newly appointed VC said this while briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, which met here with Member of National Assembly (MNA) Makhdoom Syed Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani in the chair.
He was briefing the committee about students’ clash on campus on Feb 27 that left around two-dozen students injured and led to closure of the university.
Recently, the university resumed MPhil and PhD classes and decided to open it for graduate students.
Members say VC must hold regular meetings with students, seeks report within 15 days
He said that a first information report (FIR) was registered at the Secretariat police station against the unfortunate eventuality while all hostels were vacated. The committee, after listening to the VC and students’ representatives, held that there should be no compromise on discipline but the VC, playing his parental role, should hold meetings with students for amicable settlement of issues as well as restoration of academic activities and submit a report to the committee within 15 days.
Meanwhile, the committee has asked the VC of Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) to ensure his presence in the next meeting.
The VC of IUB Prof Dr Athar Mahboob was required to attend the meeting (in person) to present a report of the last syndicate meeting of IUB but he remained absent and did not bother to obtain prior permission of the committee.
The registrar, IUB, informed the committee that the VC was preoccupied in some other engagement and thus did not attend the meeting.
The committee held that the attitude of the VC had always remained non-serious towards the business of the committee in the past which leads to the breach of rules of the committee. Therefore, members unanimously decided to issue summons of the VC (IUB) to ensure his attendance in the next meeting.
Similarly, VC University of Gujrat (UOG) Prof Dr Shabbar Atiq briefed the committee about history, faculties, departments, research and development, international ranking, students’ strength, allied facilities, of UOG.
He held that the enrolment ratio of male and female students was 38pc and 62pc respectively, which shows parents’ trust on the administration.
Moreover, according to Times Higher Education Ranking of 2022-23, the UOG was amongst 1,001 to 1,200 all over the globe, 43rd in Pakistan and 13th in Punjab. The committee, while appreciating the VC, pointed out that there were reports of some administrative lacunas in the university.
The committee inquired about the fate of a long outstanding inquiry against Abdul Rasheed, an employee of the university, referred by the governor of Punjab to the administration of the university.
The VC, in response, said that the matter was duly placed in the last syndicate meeting on March 21, 2023 and the same will be finalised in the near future.
The committee members directed the VC to update it about the outcome of the syndicate’s decision in the next meeting.
On the issue of The Global Institute, the committee appointed a sub-committee under the convener-ship of Ch. Mohammad Hamid Hameed (MNA) along with Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Ms Kiran Imran Dar and Dr Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, besides other MNAs as its members.
The sub-committee will look into all issues of students of the institute, recommend ways and means for their redressal and submit a report to the standing committee in 15 days.
It has also considered: (i) The National Skills University (amendment) Bill, 2023 (Government Bill), (ii) The NFC-Institute of Engineering and Technology Multan (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (Government Bill) and (iii) The Kalam Bibi International Women Institute Bannu Bill, 2023 (Government Bill) and recommended that the same may be passed by the National Assembly (NA).
Whereas, the committee disposed of the matter referred to it by the speaker, concerning non-registration of Bachelor of Engineering degree of Sheraz Waqas Soomro, a student of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology by Pakistan Engineering Council.
Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023
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