About time Punjab govt appoints regular VCs in KEMU, UHS | Pakistan Today

About time Punjab govt appoints regular VCs in KEMU, UHS

After dragging its feet for quite some time, the Punjab government on Friday initiated the process of appointment of the vice chancellors at King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS), as the process of receiving applications was completed, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The Punjab government had been facing criticism for keeping the posts of the two most prestigious universities vacant despite clear orders of the Supreme Court and the passing of the said deadlines. Both important institutions were being run on a makeshift arrangement with a junior professor Professor Asad Aslam Khan running the affairs in the capacity of the pro-Vice Chancellor (VC) at the KEMU, while Professor IA Naveed being the acting VC at the UHS.
The SC had directed the government on March 14 to appoint VCs at KEMU and UHS and given a deadline of three months. However the deadline passed several months ago with no progress being made by the government. A group of doctors also planned to file a contempt of court petition against the government for not having observing SC’s directions.
The stakeholders, including senior professors, had expressing serious reservations against the declining standards of education because of the lack on interest from the senior leadership of Punjab government.
Senior professors maintained that the KEMU had been a victim of government neglect over the years because the prestigious medical college was upgraded to the university status by the former chief minister Pervaiz Elahi. “The government’s attitude towards these universities has been strange because appointing new VCs is a routine procedure which should not take anytime, while the Health Department advertised the posts of the KEMU for the first time many months ago. Yet, the university is yet to see a regular vice chancellor,” a senior professor said, asking not to be named.
The step is a milestone because the Health Department had already advertised the post of the KEMU VC several times before, inviting applications from professors from home and abroad, but the process could never see completion.
The Health Department received around 32 applications for the post. These candidates would be interviewed and the chief minister would prioritise three names from amongst them, of which one name would be forwarded to the governor for final agreement.
“The governor can object to the chief minister’s recommended candidate only once and if the chief minister forwards the same name again, the governor has to accept it,” a senior government official seeking anonymity said, adding that the whole process would be completed by December.

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