ISLAMABAD National Assembly Standing Committee on Education has decided to start the process of degree verification of employees of various government institutions including ministries after the degree verification of Members of Parliament (MPs). Chairman of the committee, Abid Sher Ali, told TheNation that the committee was considering writing to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) regarding verification of educational qualification of employees of other government departments. Its shameful that the employees of PIA have been sacked because of fake degrees, he remarked. He said, The degrees of all the government employees including Federal Board, vice chancellors of universities, doctors, engineers, ministries and other government institutions should also be verified as the phenomenon of fake degrees has tarnished the image of our institutions and we have to restore this image. He informed that the meeting of the NA Standing Committee which was planned to be held on July 5 has been delayed on the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), as the commission is not prepared for the meeting yet. Now the committee will meet on July 8. Its important to mention that the HEC has already asked the universities to examine the degrees of teaching and non-teaching staff from grade 17 to higher grades. As many as 934 degrees of MPs have been sent to different public and private universities for verification out of which 36 degrees have been sent to foreign universities and 21 to different deeni madaris. Out of a total of 1171 degrees of members of national and provincial assemblies and Senate the commission had received 1,095 degrees for verification from ECP. The commission sent 161 degrees back to the ECP, as they were not readable or because irrelevant documents were provided instead of degrees. The ECP has asked the Returning Officers to provide degrees of those 161 MPs again as the commission itself does not have the degrees in readable form. So far there are about 18 degrees which have not been provided to the HEC for verification. About 51 to 54 degrees of MPs have also not been provided as by-elections have been held on theses seats. The HEC officials have been hoping that they would start receiving verified degrees from tomorrow (Monday) from the universities, which have comparatively fewer degrees to verify. The foreign universities have been asked to reply through e-mail so they would be the first ones to send information to HEC.