KARACHI – The academic and nonacademic staff of the NED University of Engineering and Technology has shown serious concerns over the future of country’s best engineering university. The authorities concerned have become active to change existing NED Vice Chancellor Engineer Abul Kalam, who is considered as benefactor of NED University by the educationists and literary circles in the country. Senior teaching faculties are worried that the current progress made under the headship of NED Vice Chancellor Engineer Abul Kalam may be affected after the removal of the current VC. Any political influence in the appointment of the future vice chancellor will rather be a matter of concern for the stakeholders of the NED University. The search committee has already shortlisted four names from the candidates list. These four names included Prof Dr Muzaffar Mahmood, pro-vice chancellor at NED University, Dr Afzal Haque, director at NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology in Multan, Prof Dr Nazimuddin Qureshi, NED Academy director-general, and Dr Mujeebuddin Memon, a professor at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology. Around 15 candidates have applied for the said position at NED University.A gossip about the expected removal of Engineer Abul Kalam from his official position has gripped not only the NED University Campuses but also the literary and social circles of the metropolis. On condition of anonymity, a senior teaching faculty member of the varsity told The Nation that we do not want any politically-backed person to be head of the varsity. We know that our political parties have nothing to do with the education; especially higher education is not in their priorities, they said. They added that they used to support and back malpractices and corruption in the public higher learning institutions of the country. It is pertinent to mention here that Engineer Abdul Kalam is about 90-year-old. He is the longest serving vice chancellor in public sector universities of Pakistan.NED Registrar Engineer Javed Aziz Khan while talking about the developments made under the headship of Abul Kalam, said that prior to the era of Abul Kalam, the university used to offer four-year bachelor programmes only in six to seven engineering disciplines but under Kalam, the NED University made unprecedented progress. “Currently, NED University offers four-year bachelor programmes in 22 different disciplines, including automotive, chemical, civil, construction, computer and information systems, electrical, electronics, industrial and manufacturing, materials, mechanicals, metallurgical, petroleum, polymer and petrochemical, software, telecommunication, textile, Urban, computer science and information technology. It is also presently offering 34 Master’s level postgraduate programmes; this number is also increasing each year. At present, the programmes for Doctoral studies are restricted to faculty members; this university is implementing its wide-ranging Development Programme in which its demands for Faculty Development are of such intensity that they leave no room for offering Doctorate programmes for external candidates.” The independent Internet facility installed in June 1999 was the first of its kind – making this university an independent Internet Service Provider for internal usage. This facility has since been augmented by the PERN facility provided by the Higher Education Commission and supplemented by the portal facility for usage by all its Departments. This University has also been one of – if not the very first – in establishing liaison with industries, public utilities and companies engaged in Consultancy and Construction activities. These efforts have greatly facilitated and also extended its scope for students obtaining gainful employment almost immediately after graduation. This University can thus – without pretending to possess the ability to provide its students the same facilities as in developed countries – certainly offer them intellectual challengers in competing with students possessing abilities of level equal to if not sometimes higher than those in developed countries.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 03-Feb-2013 here.