KARACHI, April 6: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday assured Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad that a decision concerning the proposed devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to provinces in the wake of 18th amendment would be taken in the best interest of higher education in the country. The assurance was given when the governor discussed the HEC issue in detail with the president over the telephone and apprised him about the stance of vice chancellors and educational experts on the HEC, according to a Governor’s House press release issued on Wednesday night.

The president said he was taking personal interest in the issue and a decision would be taken in the best interest of the higher education in the country.

In another development, the National College of Arts (NCA) and the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) escaped devolution to provinces following their transfer to the inter-provincial coordination division of the federal government.

Sources told Dawn that in the light of federal ministry of education’s notification (F.7-14/A&C/2011), both the IBCC and the NCA, Lahore, along with their employees had been transferred to the IPC division.

HEC devolution opposed A joint meeting of the academic council and the administrative council of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Wednesday opposed the devolution of the Higher Education Commission and protested against the move.

JPMC executive director Dr Seemin Jamali giving details of the meeting said that the members of the two councils unanimously demanded that the federal status of the JPMC be retained.

They were of the opinion that according to the country’s constitution matters related to postgraduate education fell within the domain of the federal government and therefore they could not be devolved to provincial governments under the devolution plan being pursued under the 18th constitutional amendment.

The councils’ members said that under constitutional requirements the JPMC — which is a postgraduate level centre of medical education and training — must also retain its federal status in the post-18th constitutional amendment phase.Meanwhile, MQM chief Altaf Hussain demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani take back the decision to devolve the HEC.

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