close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
November 17, 2020

Pre-interview scores to candidates for VC vacant posts: Marking & short-listing criteria shrouded in mystery

Peshawar

November 17, 2020

PESHAWAR: The pre-interview awarding of marks to candidates for the vice-chancellorship of eight universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa astonished the contestants and other stakeholders as the marking and short-listing criteria is shrouded in mystery.

A total of 60 candidates have been called for the panel interviews today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday). The six members of the Academic and Search Committee headed by former chairman Higher Education Commission, Dr Ataur Rahman, have separately awarded marks to each candidate and a percentage of the total marks has been drawn out on the basis of which the candidates have been placed at different positions. Other members of the committee are Prof GA Miana, Dr Akram Sheikh, Prof Arif Nazir Butt, Prof Anwarul Hassan Gilani, and Prof Shoaib A Khan. It was strange to see one member awarding a candidate around 90 and another 50 marks. None of the members of the committee were accessible to explain the criteria of awarding the marks. Officials of the Higher Education Department (HED) too were not aware of the criteria for the awarding of marks before the interview. Normally, the HED collects applications and finalizes a list of eligible candidates to forward it to the Academic and Search Committee.

The eligibility is checked on the basis of current, expected and desirable qualification and the capability of the candidates in accordance with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act. According to sources, the Academic and Search Committee conducts further scrutiny on the basis of the candidates’ qualification, experience, research activities, research projects and other similar indicators. They check the quality of work of the candidates. However, it seems that no uniformed criteria have been adopted for the short-listing of candidates.

Also, some candidates, who have been recently appointed as vice-chancellors of other universities and some are facing serious allegations, have also been called for the interview. The candidate, who has been placed on top of the list, has recently been appointed as vice-chancellor of Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan. Five more incumbent vice-chancellors of different universities have also been called for the interview by the Academic and Search Committee in violation of its own directives. The committee had earlier directed that none of the sitting vice-chancellors would be called for interview and appointed again.

On several occasions, the sitting vice-chancellor of a university applies for another university and when appointed, he leaves his office vacant resulting in administrative problems for the institution. According to the current list, Dr Iftikhar Ahmad of Gomal University, Dr Johar Ali of Khushal Khan University, Karak, Dr Jahan Bakht of Agriculture University, Peshawar, Dr Jamal Khan of the University of Swat and Prof. Dr Masroor Ellahi Babar of Agriculture University, Dera Ismail Khan have been called for the interview. A number of candidates have been facing allegations of favouritism, irregularities and even sexual harassment, but only a few of them have been pointed out in the list.

Different charges like PIT Report, Governor Inquiry and GIT report have been written against them in the ‘remarks section’ of the tabulated list. One of the candidates has two third divisions in his academic career and he has also been called for the interview. In the remarks section, only one of his third division has been pointed out. This candidate has also served as vice-chancellor of one of the leading universities in the province. Some of the candidates expressed reservation over the allocation of marks and placement on the list.

Several candidates, who have the experience of serving as vice-chancellor for one and more tenure, have been placed down on the list. Others who don’t have any administrative experience have been placed among the top candidates.

A good number of senior academicians, who have not been called for the interview, have already expressed concern over the short-listing and scrutiny process and some

of them have even moved the court.