LAHORE - The Higher Education Department (HED) has sought complete record from the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on representation against the appointment of Dr Uzma Quraishi as professor of education in BS-21, The Nation has learnt.

As per a letter written to the LCWU registrar, the HED has sought all the relevant information within two days. The criterion for the post of professor against which Dr Uzma Quraishi was appointed as professor of education at the university was demanded from the registrar. Moreover, the Higher Education Commission’s criteria were also demanded at the time of appointment of Dr Quraishi as professor.

The administrative department also sought complete documentation pertaining to appointment process of Dr Uzma and minutes of a meeting of the Selection Board of the LCWU at the time of her appointment as professor and later at the time of processing the case for appointment as Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences of the University.

Official sources in the administrative department said the step was taken after the petitioner took the case to the Lahore High Court Lahore when the executive had showed reluctance to do justice on the representation of the petitioner.

The representation made by LCWU Assistant Prof Dr Ghazala Naureen said that publications of Dr Uzma were not fifteen in number in HEC recognized journals. Moreover, there was an audit para against VC Dr Quraishi on her appointment as professor of education.

It is relevant to mention here that an inquiry committee was also constituted by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to examine the representation of former LCWU VC Dr Rukhsana Kausar against the eligibility of incumbent VC Dr Uzma for vice-chancellorship. Though the committee met but failed to pass any speaking order.

The committee consisted of Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi from LUMS, Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin (chairperson of the Punjab Higher Education Commission), Higher Education Department Secretary and Information Technology University VC Dr Umar Saif.

Dr Rukhsana claimed in her representation that Dr Uzma had less recognised publications, while a candidate for vice chancellorship is required to have published at least 15 papers.

Three of the four members of the inquiry committee were from the same search committee, which had declared Dr Uzma eligible for vice chancellorship despite the fact that she did not have the required number of HEC-recognised publications.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) had referred the case to Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana to decide as per the law. The committee could not decide the matter within the time prescribed by Chief Minister’s Office.

When the executive failed to show compliance, the LHC passed another order, directing the chancellor to hear the petitioner and pass a speaking order. The court also wrote that the law officer shall ensure the compliance to this court order.

Requesting anonymity, an HED official said the department didn’t want to open Pandora’s Box of verification of research publications of professors and vice chancellors. He said there were multiple complaints pending in the department about this issue. He said that universities promoted many teachers to the rank of professor despite the fact that they didn’t meet the criteria. He said that candidates could approach the courts of law for justice. Senior faculty members of LCWU demanded an independent commission to look into the matter.

 

JAVED IQBAL