ISLAMABAD - The Covid-19 crisis has af­fected many lives and disrupted all systems and institutions, including educational institutions, but the forced changes can be harnessed to bring about an increase in efficiency and quality of services at the Higher Education Commission (HEC). This was stated by Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri while addressing HEC’s all-staff meeting held online on Wednes­day. The HEC was com­mitted to using the crisis in order to automate its process and systems, simplifying application procedures for universi­ties, faculty members, and students, and mov­ing towards greater ef­ficiency, he added. The chairman directed all the HEC divisions to take necessary steps for “re-engineering of all HEC operations and process­es” as per the current requirements, ensuring transparency, clarity, and precision in them. He emphasised that all the lapses, in terms of qual­ity in all HEC operations, must be identified and addressed. He said all HEC divisions had been asked to ensure com­plete online readiness and online access, includ­ing by taking advantage of other HEC programs, especially the Higher Education Management Information System (HE­MIS), the National Acad­emy of Higher Education (NAHE), and the Edu­cation Testing Council (ETC). The HEMIS and Statistical Information Unit (SIU) have collected data on faculty members, and are compiling a com­plete database of staff and students. ETC has been asked to develop a hybrid system of evalua­tion and assessment, with a more effective use of information technology. Expressing satisfaction that the degree attesta­tion system was able to continue to provide its services through online operations during the lockdown, he directed the attestation division to make its processes more effective in the future, and save students from the hassle of traveling to HEC offices for attestation.