LAHORE - A committee constituted by the Punjab chief minister to decide representations against alleged illegal appointment of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) vice-chancellor has not been able to decide the issue even after a lapse of ten months, The Nation has learnt.

Official sources in the provincial Higher Education Department (HED) said the matter was not of importance for the committee. Citing reasons, they said that the committee was formed just to calm down the complainants. They said that how the committee members who were part of the selection process for the VC could set aside their own decision.

It is pertinent to mention here that a committee was formed by the chief minister to examine eligibility of the newly-appointed (LCWU) Vice-Chancellor Dr Uzma Quraishi. Another candidate for the slot, Dr Rukhsana Kausar, had challenged Dr Quraishi’s appointment.

Dr Quraishi was appointed conditionally as the HED notification stated the decision was subject to the final outcome of a complaint filed by Dr Rukhsana Kausar to the secretary.

The committee is comprised of Dr Zafar Iqbal as chairman and Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Dr Nizamuddin, ITU VC Dr Umar Saif and Higher Education Department (HED) secretary as members. Interestingly, all four members had been part of the Search Committee, which had finalized all candidates for vice chancellor’s position.

Dr Rukhsana had filed a representation to the secretary of the Punjab Higher Education Department on November 4 2016. It is pertinent to mention that the said representation was made on account of Dr Quraishi’s deficiency in terms of required HEC recognized research publications, a pre-requisite for the said post. The said representation is still pending and no decision has been made to date, even after lapse of approximately one year and five months. Dr Quraishi did not even meet the criteria set by the HEC at the time of her selection in 2010 as professor of education at LCWU.

Later, Dr Kausar was appointed LCWU VC in December 2016 on the LHC directives. Dr Rukhsana was sent abroad as head of a delegation of shining stars the very next day. Later, the Punjab government, without settling the representation, appointed Dr Quraishi the VC on May 29, 2017.

When contacted, HED Secretary Barrister Nabeel Awan and ITU VC Dr Umar Saif did not respond.

However, HEC Chairman Dr Nizamuddin confirmed that he was part of the committee constituted to hear representation on the LCWU VC case.

An official at CM Office said  that the office was not updated on the latest situation on the subject matter. He said that CM Shehbaz Sharif would take notice if the representation against the lapse of the committee he constituted was filed to his office. He said that HED would make fresh appointments when the courts would settle the pending VCs issues.

 

 

JAVED IQBAL