Islamabad - A panel of the National Assembly members has decided to put forward its recommendations pertaining to formulation of a testing framework bill comprising detail TORs for all testing services in Pakistan and to present the same in the upcoming session of the National Assembly for approval.

The decision was made at the meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology held at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad Campus under the Chairmanship of Ch. Tariq Bashir Cheema.

The Committee while showing its concern over Higher Education Commission’s direct involvement in the testing of candidates observed that it would raise questions on the transparency of awarding scholarships and other opportunities to students offered by HEC at the same time.

Federal Minister for S&T Rana Tanveer Hussain advised the committee to look into the matter of HEC while acting as a regulatory body cannot be a funding body at the same time.

The HEC has launched a testing council after the Lahore High Court ruled that National Testing Service – a private testing body – cannot conduct recruitment test for universities.  

The members of the standing committee after being briefed about the NTS maintained that all the allegations against NTS have been proved wrong after being heard and certified by the National Assembly Standing Committee on S&T in its two consecutive meetings. The Committee while commending the presentation given by CIIT - under which the NTS works- and NTS officials reposed its full confidence in financial details of the NTS.

The members also applauded the efforts of NTS for ensuring transparent testing mechanism in the country, which is one of its own kind having no comparison as it sets very high standards and tops among the testing services in the country. However, the committee advised NTS to further reduce the test fees being charged, to which NTS ensured its compliance in the future. The members were pleased to share that the testing mechanism of NTS has guaranteed the transparency of merit-based selections in the government departments, which is taken very positively at all the levels.

They further urged all THE government departments undertaking NTS testing services to cooperate with NTS in publishing the results according to their SOPs and that NTS shall not be held responsible, in case if any department is holding a result itself.

The members appreciated the efforts of NTS management for guaranteeing an effective testing mechanism through its own financial resources and without any funding from the government.

The parliamentarians also praised the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) stream of NTS, through which hefty amounts have been disbursed in form of scholarships among needy and deserving students on the country.