ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Education has urged the government to avoid cuts in the development and recurring budget of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as it would adversely affect the projects launched by the HEC for the promotion of higher education in the country. The committee, which met at the Parliament House Friday chaired by Senator Razina Alam Khan, was given a detailed presentation on the meeting of the vice-chancellors of public sector universities with Higher Education Commission (HEC) held recently. It was also briefed on the Code of Conduct formulated by HEC for the Students Unions. Members of the Committee expressed their surprise and dismay over the fact that 80 projects of the HEC have been dropped due to financial constraints. They pointed out that HEC was playing an active role in promoting the higher education and there was a need to allocate substantial funds for improving the quality of education. The committee also expressed its reservations over the restoration of student unions in the educational institutes of the country. Senators were of the view that such a thorough and implementable Code of Conduct was the need of the hour so that students might not indulge in such activities that may hamper their studies. The meeting also constituted a sub-committee on the occasion to give its input on the issue of formulation of code of conduct for student unions. A number of members had their reservations in this regard in the light of the previous experience. They observed that a majority of unions indulge themselves in undesirable activities. The mandate of the sub-committee would be to see whether the Code of Conduct is properly implemented. The Sub-Committee would represent all the political parties in the Upper House so that a consensus could be achieved on the issue. Earlier, HEC Chairman Dr Atta-ur-Rehman informed the committee about the decisions taken by the 4th vice-chancellors meeting held recently. He said that the VCs meeting had recommended to the Government to provide grant for payment of 'Pay & Allowances' to the universities' employees as well as to meet increasing cost of utilities. He said it has recommended ensuring that ongoing mega projects are fully funded by the government and that faculty development should be given top priority irrespective of the financial constraints that the country in general and HEC in particular is facing. Dr. Atta further said that cut in the recurring budget must be reversed.