- Search committee headed by an eminent academician for the appointment of new HEC chief and VCs also demanded by the FAPUASA
ISLAMABAD: In order to ensure merit-based appointments of chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) and vice chancellors, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has decided to constitute a committee comprising reputed academicians, representatives of civil society organisations and experts on higher education sector to monitor the appointment process.
The committee would monitor and review the process of key appointments in the higher education sector especially that of the HEC chairman and vice chancellors on a regular basis.
The committee would also prepare monitoring reports in this regard which would be shared with the concerned stakeholders, parliamentarians and media.
Prof Dr Kaleemullah Barech, central president FAPUASA and Dr Shehzad Ashraf, president FAPUASA -Islamabad made the announcement during a meeting on Thursday, where a delegation of the Youth Council of Pakistan headed by Waqar Ali was also present.
They emphasised over the federal government to ensure merit-based appointments on key positions as previously non-transparent appointments in the education sector have adversely affected the progress of higher education in Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that the current HEC chairman Ahmed Mukhtar’s tenure will expire on April 15.
That is why the FAPUASA also demanded the formation of a search committee headed by reputed academicians instead of politicians and government officials like in the past, for the appointment of a new HEC chairman and vice chancellors to ensure transparency and merit in the selection process.
This is the right time to rescue higher education by at least appointing the higher education leadership especially the HEC chairman on merit, which is possible only if the appointment is free from political intervention, they added.
Reacting to the news related to the appointment of a new HEC chairperson, Dr Kaleemullah said that the matter of appointment of the HEC chief, and the role of a search committee has already been challenged at the Islamabad and Lahore high court.
In the light of various verdicts of the supreme court of Pakistan, all the appointments in higher education sector especially that of the HEC chairperson and vice chancellors should be made through advertisement and an open and transparent mechanism instead of granting extensions.
There is a dire need to create opportunities for dynamic personalities to lead the higher education sector at both national and provincial levels.
Being a controlling authority of the federal HEC, they appealed to the prime minister to appoint an eminent academician to head the search committee for the appointment of the HEC chairman through an open, transparent and competitive process.
They said that while appointing on such important posts, candidates with controversial careers should be avoided and the role and composition of the search committee would be vital to appoint a new HEC chief in order to avoid controversies, litigation and a further destruction of the higher education sector of Pakistan.
The search committee, which should be formed without any political interference, can play a vital role in the selection of a competent and qualified HEC chairman. Otherwise, the present scenario may persist and efforts to uplift the higher education sector may go in vain, they added.