PSF appoints PASTIC DG in violation of merit


ISLAMABAD: A professor of Mehran University, who has been working in Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC) from last five years, has now been appointed PASTIC National Centre director general (DG), allegedly in sheer violation of merit, transparency and promotion policy, sources said.

Documents available with Pakistan Today said that Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) on October 9, 2017, issued written advice to Pakistan Science Foundation chairman to re-advertise the post of DG to maintain the principle of transparency and merit in the appointment of the top slot at PASTIC.

According to an order issued by PSF Secretary Dr Ghazal Roohi, Dr Akram Sheikh was appointed as PASTIC DG in grade 21.

Sources in MoST informed that earlier, names of only two candidates for the post of director general were presented before departmental selection/promotion board meeting. They said that out of two, one candidate was dropped due to lack of required experience.  Upon this, the Ministry of Science and Technology advised to re-advertise the post to maintain the principle of merit, and transparency in line with the instructions of Establishment Division, they added.

The sources also said that Establishment Division has already advised having five names for the appointment of director-general to make the suitable candidate available for the authority/board to choose from.

However, Dr Akram Sheikh’s name was chosen despite the fact that he is already working on deputation at the state-owned organisation.

Sources said that PSF Board of Trustees Chairman Dr Muhammad Ashraf, instead of removing the objections and following the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, separated a member of the ministry in a bid to pave way for the appointment of Dr Akram Sheikh at the top post at PASTIC.  They also said that the chairman has allegedly instructed verbally the authorities concerned to avoid re-advertisement of the said top slot.

It is pertinent to note that Dr Ashraf’s tenure is going to expire on February 20.

Furthermore, the seniority list of all the three organisations i-e PSF, Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and PASTIC is maintained separately according to PSF promotion policy section 14.

It was also learnt that PSF Board of Trustees has also promoted Additional Director Dr Raja Raziul Hasnain (BS-19) to Grade 20 in PSF, allegedly in violation of the promotion policy and against the seniority list.