Degrees verification at a snail's pace

Islamabad: Though the revised date for degree verification of Islamabad's babus and other federal gazetted employees is ending today, it may be revised once again to ensure submission of all employees' degrees for proper authentication. "The target date for submission of academic degrees has lapsed but some of the departments have not yet submitted their degrees to the concerned department. The date could be revived further in order to accommodate latecomers," sources in the Cabinet Division told TheNation on Sunday. Following the Prime Minister's announcement, the verification of degrees of approximately 18,869 federal government officers (BS-17 and above) and more than 64000 officers of autonomous bodies, semi-autonomous bodies, corporations is being carried out. Initially the target time for the exercise was 60 days (staring from the date of issuing instructions for carrying out the exercise Marach 8, 2011. As the Prime Minister in an official announcement had also directed the Establishment Division (ED) that educational certificates of the employees working in all federal government institutions may be verified authenticity by the respective institution. It was learnt that in the verification process none has been declared as fake degree holder as yet. The Minister Incharge of the Establishment Division had claimed in the National Assembly (NA) that if such cases were reported or come to the notice of the concerned ministry, a necessary action would be taken. When contacted, Cabinet Division's officials shared that recently a letter was also circulated for DMG, Police and other Secretariat employees for submission of their degrees to HEC. He said that degrees verification process is underway smoothly as almost main divisions have submitted their degrees for verification. Meanwhile, the sources said that due to some reasons Higher Education Commission (HEC) was not accepting the degrees for verification as quite recently they have restarted this process again. It would also be not out of place to mention here that the fate of verification of educational documents of hundreds of members of Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies is simmering on a back burner after the lapse of over nine months. The sources said that the pace of submission of degree to concerned department was initially bit slow and it gained momentum with the passage of time. After around two weeks from the start of the verification process around 10 per cent required degrees have been submitted to the concerned department. As per the official reply in the National Assembly (NA) on particular issue, Minister Incharge of the Establishment Division informed that initial the target time given for the exercise was 60 days (starting from the date of issuing instructions for carrying out the exercise 8 March, 2011 which was extended for another 90 days with the approval of the Prime Minister. It was further informed that if fake degree cases were reported or come to the notice of the concerned ministry necessary action would be taken as per rules. A number of attempts were made to seek comments of Secretary Cabinet Division Nargis Sehti on the issue but cell phone was switched off. The nation.

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