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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel observed on Tuesday that the mushroom growth of varsities creates difficulties for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which has already been strapped for funds.

The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, which met with Irfan Siddiqui in the chair here on Tuesday, directed the HEC to collaborate with the Chitral University and intimate the provincial governments to provide funds for educational institutes working under their purview.

The committee was briefed by Vice Chancellor of Chitral University regarding the issues of the institution. The VC informed that the primary issue is of funds. He said since inception the university was financed through Annual Development Program (ADP) for three years and after that neither the federal government nor the provincial government is willing to provide funds.

Siddiqui remarked that respective provincial governments are responsible for necessary funding of the educational institutes established by them. Mushroom growth of varsities creates difficulties for the HEC which is already strapped for funds, he added.

Discussing the current status, annual budget and details of funds allocated for development and non-development projects of Al Qadir University Jhelum, it was revealed that there is no such university registered with the HEC. Federal Minister for Education informed that Al Qadir University does not exist and HEC has not provided any funds for the alleged university. The Chair deferred further consideration of the matter till the next meeting.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami suggested that the ministry should also announce a relief package for the students of flood-affected areas.

Federal Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain told that the ministry has deferred the two semester’s fees and also intends to offer scholarships to students of the flood-affected areas.

The senate body also deliberated on the bill titled, "The Federal University (Amendment) Bill, 2022". Senator Seemee Ezdi, the mover of the bill, apprised the committee that the primary aim is to make internship mandatory part of the curriculum for all public and private universities located in federal territory. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, the chairman HEC told that the HEC is intending to amend Federal Universities Ordinance and the amendments proposed by Senator Ezdi will be incorporated in it.

On a public petition submitted by Din Kalam Khan Wazir regarding the transfer of his daughters from Tribal District North Waziristan to Abbottabad, officials of the ministry said that the matter was forwarded to KPK ministry and they are willing to resolve the matter and it will be settled soon. The chair disposed of the matter.

Furthermore, the senate body deliberated on the matter raised by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi regarding the issue of examination faced by students of Law in Bahauddin Zakariya University.

Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, stated that the matter is sub-judice before Supreme Court and the FIA committee has already been constituted on the direction of the Supreme Court, which will finalise its findings within three weeks.

Senator Irfan Siddiqui decided to defer the matter until the decision of the Supreme Court.

The meeting was attended by senators Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhary, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Engr Rukhsana Zuberi, Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Falak Naz, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Khalida Sikandar Mandhro, Seemee Ezdi, Dilawar Khan, Rana Tanveer Hussain, federal minister for Education and Professional Training, Aamir Ashraf Khawaja secretary of Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed chairman HEC, and other concerned officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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