LAHORE - The 40 per cent cut in the Higher Education Commission budget in the national budget 2009-10 has adversely affected the performance of universities specially their ranking and research activities conducted by them. Both the quality and quantity of research has suffered particularly in the public sector universities while PhD scholars ratio was already low in Pakistan. The HECs main victims are public sector universities while major portion of grants go to Aga Khan and private universities that eat up the HEC funds through their controversial ranking rate. The budget of our biggest university is not even one third of the budget of Aligarh University, India. According to statistics gathered by Education Executive Club (CEC), the plight of PhD scholars can be imagined from the fact that 3,000 students do MSc in Pakistan every year and only one in 100 opt for MPhil and PhD. The PhDs in social sciences are negligible. There are total 2,500 scholars doing PhD during the last many years while the HEC has set the target of 1,000 PhDs every year which could not be met due to cut in the budget. The HECs 60 per cent allocation is spent on research in universities but we had only 700 PhDs till the year 2008. There are quite few universities in Pakistan as compared to our neighbouring countries. There is only one university for three million students in Pakistan. Our universities are contributing nothing to the society and for the development of industry and social sector because of negligible research in the universities. It was for this reason that our universities cannot generate funds through public donations or sponsorships. Our varsities mainly rely on government grants and tuition fees of students, and do not have any idea to generate funds for their expansion and research. It is also surprising that our universities have no uniformity in curriculum. Every university has its own curriculum and syllabus. There are only 504 universities in 62 Muslim countries while 5,758 universities are alone in America. None of the university in Islamic world ranks among the world universities. There are 5,000 scientists in a population of one million in Europe, out of which 3,800 belong to America, while there are 40,000 scientists in the entire Muslim world. The Jews consider doing PhD as their religious duty. In America alone 26,000 priests are PhDs while none in any Pakistani religious seminary. The PhDs form 70 per cent of the cabinet slot in Europe while there are less than two per cent in the Muslim world. In Japan and Israel, PhDs teach even in the primary schools. Prof M Sharif of the HEC said the syllabus of annual system in our universities had not changed since decades. The books and notes used by the parents are also being used by the children. There are minor changes in semester system but overall it is not compatible with the changing needs of the time. The syllabus of Punjab University and Bahawalpur University is different from each other. How can the HEC evaluate universities ranking when they have different syllabus and different pedagogic techniques. It is possible only through a uniform syllabus, he said. Our universities have no direction and goal. These are trapped in faulty administrative problems and bureaucratic conspiracies, he concluded.