Sub-committee gravely concerned that dozens of universities are without VCs

Islamabad:May 05:The Senate special oversight committee on Tuesday asked the Ministry of Law to prepare a report on how to determine the Uandate each of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency, in order to check overlapping the jurisdiction of one by the other. The chairman committee, PML-N’s Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi, seconded a proposal offered by Farooq H. Naek of PPP and directed the Law Division to come up with a comprehensive report in the next meeting so that steps could be taken to determine the jurisdiction and mandate of FIA and NAB. A meeting of Senate Special Oversight Committee was held here at the Parliament House under Javed Abbasi to discuss NAB and FIA overlapping jurisdiction of each other. The Law Ministry presented its interim report over the matter after consulting NAB and FIA. The representatives of the Law Division informed the committee that FIA and NAB both expressed their contentment over the existing jurisdiction the two organisations are exercising. Officials of FIA and NAB told the Law Division that they were working smoothly and whenever any need arose the FIA referred cases to NAB and vice versa. He further added that the Law Division could not amend FIA Act as it came under the Ministry of Interior. Senator Farooq H. Naek suggested that in order to repeal, amend or alter the existing NAB ordinance and FIA Act, a special committee should be constituted. The committee should review in detail the existing law and draw a line between the jurisdiction both of FIA and NAB to eliminate over-lapping. Secretary Establishment Division was also present, who gave detail insight into the civil services reforms under consideration. He told the committee that a number of civil services reforms regarding declaration of assets by civil servants, conduct rules, increase in age qualification, women and minorities’ quota in CSS are on the agenda of the reforms. He added that the report of Civil Services Reforms committee would be presented to the Oversight committee once it is finalised. Officers of Ministry of Climate Change briefed the committee regarding the functioning of the ministry. It was told that the ministry has 195 officers and officials and has jurisdiction within Islamabad after the 18th amendment. The committee was informed that 33 per cent of ministerial documentation was done through e-filing and measures to increase the percentage are under process. He also said that installation of CCTVs and biometric verification machines is underway. The committee meeting was attended, among others, by Senator Farooq H. Naek, PPP’s other Senators Saeed Ghani, Saifullah Magsi and Mrs. Zahida Khan of Awami National Party. Meanwhile, a Senate panel here on Tuesday expressed grave concern over non-appointment of vice-chancellors of dozens of universities in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh despite passage of several years. The panel laid emphasis on early steps to fill posts of vice-chancellors. A sub-committee on federal education and professional training met here under its convenor- PPP’s Sehar Kamran here. The sub-committee meeting was convened primarily to review appointments made in the university so far from grade-1 to grade-22 and overall education programme. To the surprise of the forum, Chairperson of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad revealed that the post of vice-chancellor of Hazara University could not be filled during the last two-and-a-half years. He continued that nine other universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and several others in Punjab and Sindh also faced similarly situation. On this, Sehar Kamran maintained that education played a crucial role in development of a nation and regretted that despite this, posts of vice-chancellors of so many universities were lying vacant, undermining their proper functioning. PML-Q’s Mushahid Hussain Sayed and the ruling PML-N’s Muhammad Javed Abbasi also strongly advocated early appointments of top posts in the universities and wondered why the authorities failed so far to do the needful. HEC chairperson pointed out that some 30 students were given scholarships for doing PhD abroad and on their return, they managed to get jobs but the sad aspect of the matter was that for the last five years, they had been denied promotions. Acting vice-chancellor of Hazara University Dr. Habib Ahmad informed the sub-committee that the act for the university was passed in 1997 and first vice-chancellor was appointed in 2001. About the university, he explained the institution was spread over an area of 1,000 kanals and included land of four districts, namely Mansehra, Battagram, Kohistan and Torghar. He said the university started its operation from a mental hospital building initially and in 2005 earthquake, 90 per cent building stood destroyed. The university resumed functioning after seven months. Presently, there are as many as 1,390 employees working in the university: its four faculties have 32 departments, whereas 32 private sector institutions were affiliated with it. A total of 12,500 students are presently enrolled in the university. However, some 90,000 are registered as students in its affiliated institutions. The Senate sub-committee decided to have a close examination of the related working papers within a week.The news.