PU IMPP students protest for degrees recognition


LAHORE – Punjab University (PU) Institute of Mycology and Plant Pathology (IMPP) students on Tuesday held a protest and sit-in in front of the Vice Chancellor’s Office for over three hours against the varsity administration’s failure in getting the institute’s degrees accredited from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and not fulfilling promises made in the last meeting.
Students tried to attack PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran’s office for not considering their degree issues and said that they were ready to sacrifice their lives this time if the administration tried to cheat them. IMPP students chanting slogans said that the varsity administration is cheating them on their degree issues and had appointed four agriculturists, without considering their specialisation, according to basic agricultural courses.
On the other hand, PU administration invited police to stop the protest on which a scuffle was seen, which injured some IMPP students. A number of IMPP students said the administration was playing with their future and cheating their parents who had paid hefty fees. Students annoyed with the VC demanded a meeting with him but administration officials closed the doors, irking students who tried to break the iron gate in front of the office.
PU VC’s Advisor Colonel (r) Ikramullah tried to clam down the students but they got aggressive and said that they would not talk to any retired army officer who did not know about their problems. Students blamed the VC and Dean Dr Shahida Husnain for their problems and termed them obstacles. IMPP student Tariq said that they are protesting against their degrees issue since one year but no administration official or government officer had taken interest.
He said that two months ago, the PU VC in a meeting, which was also attended by former Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab secretary general Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, had promised to resolve all their issues but no action has been taken in this regard. Tariq said that it was decided in the last meeting that four agricultural specialists would be appointed to revise their courses but two of them had refused to do so.
He said that matters concerning their issue were not being worked out according to rules and regulations of the qualification determination committee. The IMPP student said that a botanist has been appointed as associate professor at the institute, while PU Registrar Dr Akhtar had promised that botanists would not join the institute.
A female student said that our parents are worried about our future and female students, enrolled at the department, are also tense. She said that the administration did not seem serious about resolving the issues of more than 500 families. The student said it was shameful that the administration forced female students to protest.
She alleged that Dr Shahida has vested interests at the department and criticised HEC for considering Dr Shahida’ for the Best Teacher award.