ISLAMABAD   - After the rejection of two summaries proposing the appointment of Higher Education Commission (HEC) chief by the prime minister, the Ministry of Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education has forwarded yet another proposal to fill the lucrative slot. 

The ministry has sent a summary to the PM, Controlling Authority of HEC, containing a penal of names of all the 17 members of the governing commission of the HEC to select a candidate for three month's acting charge. 

The ministry has also proposed to form a search committee led by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal to find a suitable person of international stature for the permanent appointment. Other proposed members of the search committee are Secretary Establishment Division, Minister of State for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Commission and HEC Executive Director.

Earlier, the ministry had proposed three names for the acting chief of the Commission, including Vice Chancellors of the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Imtiaz Gilani, Balochistan University of Information and Technology Farooq Bazai and the former VC of Shah Abdul Latif University Dr Nilofur Sheikh. But the Controlling Authority sent back the summary and asked to resubmit it containing all the names of the commission members. 

Besides the aforementioned VCs other Commission members include Secretaries of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology or Information Technology, four nominees of the provincial governments, VC Sindh Agriculture University A.Q Mughal, VC Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan Dr. Ahsan Ali and Principal Secretary to Governor Balochistan Abdul Jabbar.  Seven seats of the Commission members are vacant.

The ministry had also proposed to extend the tenure of Dr Javaid Laghari who completed his first four-year term on Aug 26, 2013 but the proposal was rejected despite extensive lobbying. The PM had also offered the post to the founding president of the Aga Khan University Shamsh Kassim- Lakha but he could not accept it due to his engagements with the international organisations.

The Supreme Court has also taken the notice of non-appointment of chairperson and it is expected that the SC may direct the government to appointment a suitable candidate with a deadline like it has directed in the case of PTA if the government delays the matter further. According to officials the govt is busy with other crucial issues and many other key positions like US and UK ambassadors, National Accountability Bureau, ECP, PIA, CAA are vacant.

So HEC may has to wait a longer for its turn.