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ISLAMABAD: In a move that raises eyebrows, the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture has rejected by majority vote the government’s Pak University of Engineering and Technology University Bill 2022 that aims at the establishment of an engineering university in the premises of Prime Minister House.

The committee met Tuesday under the chair of opposition Senator Irfan Siddiqui from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

The committee reviewed the Pak University of Engineering and Technology University Bill 2022 that provides for the establishment of University of Engineering and Emerging Technologies (UEET) in the premises of PM House.

The panel was of the view that “instead of the establishment of a new university, the prevailing system should be enhanced and improved as an apt utilisation of the budget.”

The committee was also of the view that the new disciplines/subject, if required, could be incorporated in the existing universities and the financial resources could be utilised to “enrich the institutions.”

“Rejection of this bill does not have any ill will behind it but only in the larger interest of the education sector,” the chairman committee remarked. The committee also discussed the possibility of security lapses that may occur due to the establishment of a university in the premises of PM House and declared the creation of a university as “impractical and not feasible in an area with high- security zone.”

The panel with majority vote of 5-1 finally rejected this bill that was passed by National Assembly in January this year.

The panel unanimously passed private-member bill: Right to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill 2022, moved by Fauzia Arshad from PTI.

The bill seeks to facilitate the disadvantaged children in acquiring education in the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

“Unfortunately, there are many disadvantaged children who cannot avail education in the formal way due to their weak socioeconomic conditions. Through this bill, along with the existing mechanism, an informal way to educate the disadvantaged children is suggested for which government may collaborate with non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies, international organisations and individuals,” the mover of the bill stated.

Issues related to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the University of Peshawar were also discussed. The committee regretted the absence of the university’s vice chancellor in the meeting. It decided to plan a visit to Peshawar University by the next meeting in a bid address the problems of the administration and teachers.

Committee members: Professor Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Fauzia Arshad, Mehtab Dahar, Rukhsana Zuberi, Rana Maqbool, Falak Naz, Molvi Faiz Muhammad and senior government officials concerned attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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