Islamabad  -  The friction between Arid Agriculture University (AAU) and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) continues as the university has urged the commission to repatriate its official from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), The Nation learned on Thursday.

The Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University (AAU) administration has written a letter to the HEC to repatriate the advisor QAA Dr. Riaz Ahmed back to the university with immediate effect as his services are required there.

Earlier, Higher Education Commission Quality Assurance Agency had reported to stop and halt nearly 80percent research programs of Arid Agriculture University, while the university had claimed that the Quality Assurance Agency report was released late by the Higher Education Commission.

Sources said that the university has asked the Higher Education Commission to repatriate its official to seek his help in improving the standards of university, as mentioned in the HEC report.

The official was sent on deputation for one year but the university has asked for his repatriation two months later to enhance its own quality on the research side.

Sources informed The Nation that hiring of advisors from the university is already a practice which results in the conflict of interest.

“It’s a pick and choose of blue eyed officials,” said an official.

The officials on deputation taken by universities are appointed on the choice by the head of the Higher Education Commission bypassing the powers of the supreme decision making forum ‘commission’.

The official said that nepotism and biasness prevails in absence of any competitive process in appointment of advisors from the universities.

“Either the official on deputation never takes position against his own university or goes completely opposite for personal motives,” said the official.  

Although, the Higher Education Commission is regulating 192 universities of the countries, the body itself is being run on ad-hoc basis with a majority of officials hired on deputation or on contract, whose agreements were being renewed.

Some of the vacant posts at Higher Education Commission include Member Academics , Member HRD Advisor for finance, monitoring and evaluation, planning and development on the slot of permanent DGs the department of Quality Assurance Division (QAD), audit, Information Technology (IT), Human Resource Management (HRM), sports, media and publications, monitoring and evaluation.

The post of Managing Director QAA is also vacant.

The letter written by the university to HEC and available with The Nation said “it is to apprise that the university syndicate in its 80th meeting held on 30.06.2018 endorsed the placement of services of Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed, Director QEC from this university to Higher Education Commission for a period of one year w.e.f 01.01.2018 to 31.12.2108.

However, due to reasons mentioned herein his services are required back to the university on urgent basis”.

The letter mentioned that the Higher Education Commission Program Review Committee paid a visit to the university on 09.02.2018 to evaluate various degree programs offered in the University and forwarded the report of the committee to the university after lapse of six months during which final semester of various degree programs were completed and report was submitted to Higher Education Commission for reconsideration of the committee recommendations.

The final report is to be finalized by Higher Education Commission after considering the comments submitted by the university.

“I would like to allude attention of your good self that Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed being Quality Control of the University has to look after these academic affairs and its functions promptly and effectively, thereby it is requested that he may be repatriated to the university with immediate effect enabling the university to address the points as indicated by the HEC.

Further, it is also imperative to clarify that a deputationist has no vested right to remain on the post or for a stipulated period as mentioned in the notification and can be repatriated at any time reliance is made on the celebrated judgment of the August Supreme Court of Pakistan having citation 2010 SCMR 378 Dr. Shafi Ur Rehman Afridi Vs Capital Development Authority Islamabad,” said the letter.

A senior official at Higher Education Commission said that university has asked for the repatriation of its official and Higher Education Commission will follow the rules in this regard.