By Hamid Khan Wazir
LAHORE, Pakistan: In is quite unfortunate that education has turned into a business in Pakistan as most of the people holding powers are now overwhelmed by materialistic approach; hence they are often looking after monetary benefits rather to focus on ensuring the provision of quality and standard education and meritocracy.
The situation at the University of Sargodha (UoS) is a glaring example of it where nepotism, favoritism, and mal-practices are on the rise, which needs the urgent attention of the concerned quarters to fix the problems forthwith.
These revelations were made in a petition filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) by Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Tariq, a senior Professor of the University of Sargodha.
The petitioner sought justice for the rule of law and meritocracy in higher education. He prayed for observing rules, ordinances, and merit in appointing and filling the senior administrative posts of the HEIs but mainly at the University of Sargodha (UoS) so that the administrative affairs in the varsities could run in a transparent manner.
Through his petition before the LHC, he deliberated upon several examples of ignoring rules and regulations of the University ordinance with malice.
The petitioner contended that the administration of the university was manipulating affairs to keep important positions in its own hands, either with the vice-chancellor or with his own team.
The court was also informed that former and current vice-chancellors exploited the situations in a whimsical manner and weak control of HED let them take such steps.
The statement of the petitioner in the referred writ petition questioned the intentions of the vice-chancellor stating therein that “Vice-chancellor being an associate professor is junior to most of the Professors and he does not like interference and leading opinions qua the important matters of the University”.
He informed the court that, “… there has been a number of key posts which were vacant for several years, in the university including Dean Faculty of Sciences, which have been the biggest faculty of the university, and the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor. All these posts would be filled by the Chancellor according to the university ordinance while the petitioner is the most senior professor of the faculty and the university as per the seniority list which is not being issued by the authorities, which kept the process manipulating.”
While ordering to the writ petition 23343/20, the LHC Justice Ayesha A. Malik directed the UOS to decide the representation of the petitioner within 30 days, who seeks seniority list as per ordinance and rules of the university.
A number of senior key posts has been vacant till now including deans and pro-chancellor but also the posts of the registrar, controller examination, treasurer, etc. and the VC with malice intentions is not filling these posts while the Ordinance of the university is very much confined to the appointments on the key academic and administrative positions strictly in accordance with the seniority.
Earlier, the CMIT and other reports have declared that the present Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ishtiaq has no administrative experience and would be repatriated to his parent department with immediate effect but no action seen so far.
One of the senior faculty in the university commented that it was shocking to observe that the Higher Education Department of Punjab was making appointments of Deans and Pro vice-chancellor without seniority list of university professors in blatant violation of the university ordinance and statutes.
He urged the Secretary Higher Education Department to take notice of mal-administration under his supervision.