ISLAMABAD - The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academics Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded of the provincial governments that in the light of 18th constitutional amendment, the provincial governments should also allocate maximum funds for provincial higher education setups in the upcoming budget in order to strengthen higher education throughout the country.Secretary General of FAPUASA Dr. Kaleemullah Berach in his statement stated that as the universities are already under the administrative control of the provincial governments, they should also realize their financial responsibilities. He emphasized over the provincial governments to expedite the process for establishment of provincial higher education setups so that governance and financial issues related to higher education sector may be resolved in an effective and efficient way.Over the request of provincial governments, the Council of Common Interest (CCI), in its meeting held during May 2011 had decided that the financing of provincial universities and population welfare would be the responsibility of federal government till next NFC Award which is due in near future.He appreciated the efforts of Punjab government for preparing the roadmap on higher education and emphasized over the other provincial governments to undertake such immediate steps without any further delay. He emphasized over undertaking special initiatives for promotion of higher education in smaller provinces and remote areas of Pakistan in order to ensure equal access to higher education. He urged federal and provincial governments to allocate 25 per cent of total education budget to higher education as per international standards. The representative body of government universities' teaching faculty also requested the federal government to review the decision of withdrawal of tax rebate over the salaries of researchers and university teachers as this decision is affecting and hindering the promotion of research culture in Pakistani universities. It has also demanded that all the appointments in higher education sector should be made purely on merit and in a transparent manner through following due process otherwise it would badly affect the higher education sector, which is already facing a lot of problems.The association also expressed deep concerns over neglecting social sciences at the national level as Higher Education Commission (HEC) has failed to select any social sciences scholars from Pakistan to confer National Distinguished Professor awards. Since the launch of HEC's National Distinguished Professor (NDP) programme, almost a decade ago, the awards have been conferred on 41 distinguished professors and among them only two are from language and social sciences.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-May-2014 here.