LAHORE - After aspirants for MPhill admissions to the Punjab University wrote to the Higher Education Commission for intervening in the admission process, the varsity in a quick move changed the criteria of eligibility and mentioned it on its website. However, the PU did not advertise the update in newspapers.

Some candidates on Thursday sent an email to the HEC chairman for his help in making the process of admissions transparent. They said, “According to HEC policy only those candidates who had qualified Graduate Assessment Test with 50 percent marks are eligible to apply for Mphill admissions. And, it is also mentioned on the PU admission advertisement that appeared in national press on June 30. According to the advertisement, the last date for submission of admission forms was July 12.” The candidates further alleged in email that PU Institute of Communication Studies had accepted admission forms of some influential candidates without GAT and even after the last date. They were of the view that PU ICS had deceived the candidates seeking admission in MPhill programmes by relaxing the compulsion of GAT a day before the last date for the receiving forms.

A senior PU professor said the flexibility was a violation of the HEC rule. “It is also unethical to relax the rule only one day before closing date, but it is astonishing that varsity further changed the eligibility even after last date of form submission. If varsity wants to relax the rule, it should advertise it,” he said.

PU Doctoral Programme Coordination Committee Chairperson Dr Kanwal Amin said that the varsity had provisionally allowed the candidates, whose GAT results was expected on July 16, to submit forms but they had to produce their GAT results before entry test. She said they also mentioned it on advertisement that those students who will get GAT result 16th of July can apply provisionally.

A day after some students drew the attention of HEC and the issued was raided by media that PU ICS accepted the forms of those candidates whose GAT result was not scheduled on July 16, the PU authorities updated the varsity’s website.

The latest update reads, “Those students who will get result of GAT General (NTS) on 26th August 2013 for admission in M.Sc. (Engg./ Hons) MS/ M.Phil. and GAT Subject (NTS) on 2nd September 2013 for admission in PhD can apply provisionally. However, they shall submit their result (at least print from the website) upto 27th August 2013 and 3rd September 2013 respectively. Result card may be submitted later. “

The PU ICS, which gets spotlight at the time of any admission every year, is being run by an Assistant Professor Dr Noshina Salim who had earlier wrote a letter to Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran against former ICS director Dr Ahsan Akhtar Naz, blaming him for irregularities in admission of various classes. Interestingly, the current admissions to MPhill under Dr Noshina have triggered controversies. Dr Noshina could not be reached for her comments despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, PU spokesman said that admissions will be made strictly on merit as per the policy of the HEC and PU DPCC. The spokesman said that a committee including dean of faculty and six senior teachers had been formed at ICS to ensure transparent admissions. He said propaganda was being made by some corrupt elements against which corruption charges have been proved.