AIOU VC likely to replace Mukhtar as HEC chairman

  • FAPUASA calls for HEC chairman’s appointment through open, competitive process

ISLAMABAD: The term of Dr Mukhtar Ahmed as Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman will expire in April 2018, and lobbying for the coveted post has been started already, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

Sources in the HEC told Pakistan Today that HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed’s tenure will come to an end on April 2018.

They said that though the potential candidates are yet to apply for the coveted post, the name of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Shahid Siddiqui echoed in the HEC as the strong candidate for the post, although he has yet to make a formal announcement in this regard.

They said that the term of Dr Shahid Siddiqui, who earned a good name for starting various revolutionary programmes in the university, is also going to expire next year as AIOU VC. Moreover, the sources said that he was not interested in taking an extension and wanted to leave the position with pride.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Dr Mukhtar Ahmed as HEC chairman on April 15, 2014.

Meanwhile, Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded an end to extension and the ad-hoc culture in the field of higher education. They have also demanded the appointment of new HEC chairman through an open, competitive and merit-based mechanism.

FAPUASA Central President Professor Dr Kaleemullah Barech, while talking to the faculty delegations from various parts of the country here on Tuesday, said that the extension, ad-hoc culture, and non-merit based appointments at key positions in the higher education sector have adversely affected the progress of higher education in Pakistan.

He said that in light of various verdicts of Supreme Court of Pakistan, all the appointments in higher education, especially HEC chairperson and vice chancellors, should be done through advertisements and open and transparent mechanism instead of granting extensions.

He went on to say that the time is right to advertise the post of HEC chairperson. “There is a dire need to create opportunities for dynamic personalities to lead the higher education sector, both at national and provincial levels,” he added.

He also demanded that the posts in higher education sector should be advertised three months before the end of the tenure of the outgoing official.

Dr Kaleemullah also appreciated the decision of Council of Common Interests and Senate Functional Committee on Devolution for effective implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment in the higher education sector and addressing the issues of university faculty including extending retirement age limit to 65 years and 75 per cent tax rebate.