VCs reject HEC Amendment Bill
ISLAMABAD, Jan 30: Executive Committee of Vice Chancellors (VC) which is a representative body of VCs of 77 universities, on Wednesday, rejected the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Private Amendment Bill, proposing to curtail the powers of the organisation.
The committee members have decided to meet the President and the Prime Minister, in order to directly apprise them of the reservations of HEC.
The VC meeting was held in Islamabad and members of the committee Engr Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani VC University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Dr Nasser Ali Khan VC Haripur University, Dr Nasir Jamal Khattak VC Kohat University, Engr Ahmed Farooq Bazai VC Balochistan University, Ms Sultana Baloch VC Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University, Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran VC University of the Punjab, Dr Sabiha Mansoor VC Lahore College for Women University and other VCs participated in the meeting.
A participant of the meeting requesting not to be quoted said that the one point agenda of the meeting was the recent HEC Private Amendment Bill.
In a recent standing committee meeting on education and training at the National Assembly, a draft was approved, proposing a bill to curtail powers of the HEC.
The VCs rejected the proposed bill and expressed apprehensions over any legislation that takes away the autonomy of HEC. According to participants such a move would damage the higher education sector in the country.
VC Quaid-i-Azam University Profs Dr Masoom Yasinzai informed the participants of the meeting that faculty members of his university had been planning to move abroad because of the situation.
“Participants were of the unanimous view that an institution which has functioned extremely well and has delivered during the last decade, should not be disturbed,” the VC said.
VC University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that it was a step to push HEC into the dark ages and the whole nation would suffer because of the decision.
“The vice chancellors felt that after the 18th Amendment, changes in the HEC Act should also have the recommendations of the Task Force proposed by the Prime Minister’s High Powered Committee. These recommendations should be incorporated in the proposed amendment bill,” he said.
During the meeting, it was decided that the Executive VC Committee meet the President, Prime Minister, and other law makers to apprise them of the situation.
It was further decided that a meeting of all VCs, both from public and private sector universities would be held on February 6, 2013, to have a broad based discussion and to come up with recommendations.
Executive Director HEC Imtiaz Gilani while talking to Dawn said that VCs had concerns that if HEC loses autonomy, quality of higher education would suffer.
“We have decided to meet the President and Prime Minister. We will tell them that it was not a political issue, it is related to the future of Pakistan and all stakeholders should be contacted before any legislation,” he said.