Islamabad - National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training on Wednesday recommended removing faculty members serving at administrative positions in International Islamic University, Islamabad.

A meeting of the NA body was held at the IIUI to discuss administrative and financial matters of the university in detail under chairmanship of MNA Amirullah Marwat. The meeting turned into a debate between the committee chairman and IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai as the former expressed disappointment over administrative issues and performance of the university. Marwat enquired about appointment of faculty members against administrative positions. He was told that currently three vice presidents of the university were from academic background.

“How a teacher will be able to contribute to his academic responsibilities if he will run administrative affairs?” remarked the chairman.

Executive Director HEC Dr Arshad Ali said on the occasion that rules allowed for academician to be appointed against the posts of controller examination and registrar. The committee directed the administration to follow the rules and regulations and recommended immediate removal of faculty members from the administrative positions. “Was merit violated in appointments and promotions?” the chairman enquired from the rector. “The university administration strictly followed the merit,” replied Dr Masoom Yasinzai.

The chairman urged the IIUI administration to relax merit for the students of Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Baluchistan and other underdeveloped areas who were not able to afford to pay the university fees.

Federal Minister for Education Baligh-ur-Rehman told the committee that the university was offering need-based scholarships for students on which the merit was strictly being followed, while the Prime Minister Fee Reimbursement Programme also helped students in reducing their financial burden.

The chair while proposing increasing the fund of fee reimbursement scheme from Rs2 billion to Rs6 billion recommended that the IIUI should not increase semester fees for the students. The chairman also directed the rector to build new hostels keeping in view increasing number of students in every department.

The rector IIUI briefed the committee that around 30,000 students were enrolled in nine faculties of the university and half of the student population comprised females which had separate academic block. He said that nearly 2,300 students were from foreign countries. The rector also said that the university had 704 acres of land in Sector H-10, having 717 faculty members with more than 261 PhD-qualified teachers.

Dr Masoom Yasinzai told the NA body that the university was currently facing a deficit of over Rs174 million in its budgetary allocations. He said that the university in total received Rs3,549 million for fiscal year 2017-18 out of which Rs1844 million were generated from own sources.

He added that government had approved a project of Rs2.52 billion in public-sector development programme (PSDP) for capacity building and up-gradation of the university. The rector informed the committee that last construction by an Islamic country in the university was done in 1998 and the presidential grant was issued in 2005.

The committee chairman remarked that the IIUI was built by members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in 1985; however, after 1998, no financial support was given to it.  Meanwhile, during briefing, MNA Chaudhary Hamid Hameed raised an issue which was not on the agenda of the meeting but was endorsed by the legislators and the university administration. He urged the IIUI to frame a legal framework for consumption of alcohol in the country as there was no law to control its consumption. “The law is exercised only in the month of Ramzan while alcohol is not completely banned in the country,” he said. He also stated that the IIUI must research and help in preparing a law to completely ban the alcohol.

The committee recommended that the IIUI, through its Islamic Research Institute (IRI) and its other constituent units would help for legislation and guidance on the issues such as alcohol and issues pertaining to justice. It was also discussed that already drafted work on the issue of alcohol will be shared with the IIUI.  The committee was also briefed by the vice chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University over the illegal encroachment of the university land by land mafia. The committee showed its concern over the encroachment and recommended that in the next meeting, Chairman CDA, Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner ICT and officials of the Revenue Department, Islamabad would be invited to discuss the issue.

The meeting was also attended by Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Rida Khan, Phyllis Azeem, Chaudhary Hamid Hameed, Dr Shazia Sobia, Shahida Rehmani, Dr Imran Khattak, Shahida Akhtar Ali, Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai and Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.