The tussle of the provincial government versus the federal, over the ownership of the National College of Arts (NCA) goes on with no clear victor in sight. The 18th amendment handed over control of educational institutions to the provincial government, and since NCA was being controlled by the cabinet, there was a call by the Punjab government to devolve it, and bringing it under the control of the Punjab Higher Education Department; an idea which was not received well by the administration of the arts college. NCA has always been an independent establishment, which thrives without restrictions and needs its freedom to do things the way it wants to, in order to produce themost creative individuals.

The students of NCA are usually passive, until they feel that unacceptable changes are being made to their institution that would undermine the standards they have set for their school. NCA is home to students from all over the country, and naturally, those that are not from Punjab, will not take too kindly to a takeover by one province. The federal identity of NCA, along with policies such as its diversification of the seat allotment process based on provincial demographics, would be undermined by control from just one provincial government.

The jump from federal to provincial might or might not lead to noticeable changes in the policies of NCA, but either way, the other provinces will not be supportive of this move. They see it as just another biased policy which gives preferential treatment to Punjab. The Punjab Higher Education’s commitment to make this change is also hard to understand, but can be explained by the simple motive of the accumulation of power. The Punjab government, for good or ill, likes running the show wherever it possibly can and this is no different. NCA is not comfortable with a change like this, and for good reason too, considering that independence to run things they way they want to is the main concern of the administration. Will the Punjab Higher Education Department allow for the status quo to prevail, or will it attempt to enforce its will by making tangible changes? The real test will be in how much independence NCA is allowed. If more, the Punjab government's takeover may not be a bad thing. Otherwise, let well enough be.