Islamabad - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday approved a six-member committee to select new chairperson of Higher Education Commission, said an official.

Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has issued a notification in this regard after approving six names to be included in the committee.

The notification issued said that “In pursuance of the Prime Minister’s Office U.O No. 38/SPM/18, the Prime Minister of Pakistan is pleased to approve the following Search Committee for selection of Chairperson, Higher Education Commission”.

The six member committee will be headed by convener Syed Baber Ali while Dr. Sania Nishtar, Dr. Faisal Bari, Ms Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Mirza Qasim Baig and Secretary Education will be members of the search committee.

The committee has been mandated to search for the new head of HEC with specific Terms of Reference. It has been directed to set the criteria in terms of age, qualification and experience.

The committee has also been tasked to advertise the position based on a set criteria and to scrutinize the applications on it. The committee will also shortlist the candidates meeting criteria, conduct their interviews and propose a panel.

The committee will also propose at-least three suitable and eligible candidates for the approval of the controlling authority.     

As per the HEC ordinance the PM shall appoint a person of international eminence and proven ability who has made significant contribution to higher education as teacher, researcher or administrator.

The chairperson of Federal HEC enjoys the equal status of federal minister and regulates the standards of higher education in federal charted universities in the country.

The current HEC chairperson Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed is going to retire from the service in April this year and a number of senior academicians have started lobbying for the most powerful post in the higher education sector which has currently more than Rs90billion to for the promotion of the education in the country.

The earlier committee which was formed to appoint the chairperson after Dr. Javed Legharis retirement was headed by current Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal.

 However, the committee was accused of not taking a fair decision.

The higher education teachers’ body, Federation of All Pakistan University Association commended the decision and the search committee names approved by the PM.

FAPUASA Islamabad chapter head Dr. Shehzad Ashraf Chaudry said that the teacher’s body appreciates the PM decision for appointing a political search committee consisting of academicians.

Working Group on Higher Education in its statement welcomed the Search Committee for appointment of HEC.

The statement issued said the working group on higher education has appreciated the federal government for appointing reputed academicians and representatives of civil society as members of Search Committee for appointment of chairman Higher Education Commission.

They hoped that learning from previous experience, the search committee would ensure transparency and merit based appointment for selection of new HEC Chief as per prescribed criteria.



rahul basharat